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THE REIGN OF VILLAS-BOAS

I have forgotten the shape of Chelsea team, this was down to Carlo. He played too many shapes, leaving the players not knowing what to expect

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I have forgotten the shape of Chelsea team, this was down to Carlo. He played too many shapes, leaving the players not knowing what to expect; they have ranged from the diamond to 4-2-4 and 4-3-3. Was he confused? Was he trying to be tactical? Was he trying to play with the available players? I found myself losing interest.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Incredibly we went from a double winning season to nothing – Wow some transformation!!! What went wrong??? From my evaluation and assessment these are the things that went wrong and if this man, Villas-Boas makes the same mistakes his career will be short lived like Carlo.
 
They are:                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
1. We forgot too soon that we narrowly won the double and needed to strengthen.                                                                                                                 
2. Instead of strengthening we released several players and never got their replacements.                                                                                                        
3. We introduced too many very young and inexperienced players at one time – that’s not our style.
                                                                                         
4. We took the position of assistant coach for granted and sacked Wilkins who was Carlo’s backbone. He knew the English game unlike Carlo, and should have replaced him with a veteran.                                                                                                               
5. We allowed ourselves to have too many crises in one season.                                                                                                                                                     
6. Lampard is getting old and we are doing nothing about it, he is at the heart of Chelsea’s play. In my opinion our best player ever, but now we need to get someone new who is as reliable to the centre of the park.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
7. Terry needs good support, his peers have either been injured or not as commanding or daring.                                                                                             
8. Torres started too soon, he couldn’t understand the way the team played. Luiz should have been tested as a holding midfielder or even a right full back, we never got to see his versatility. Why did Josh stop playing? Stopping him from playing was too demoralizing, the same goes for Daniel Sturridge, why did he have to go on loan when he should have stayed and been given the chance to play.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
9. What happened to home advantage? We did not make the most of it, Stamford Bridge has is not the fortress that it once was.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
VB is an excellent but young coach, he could be the next Guardiola and even surpass his glory. Personally I don’t think Pep would achieve the same success in the EPL as he has done in La Liga. But if VB can do half of that, then he will be named the best, even greater than the master Mourinho himself.                                                                                                 
To achieve this, he must work with his coaching crew and never let them have success, especially Di Matteo who could easily have got a job as a Head Coach, even in the Premier League.                                                                                                                          
There should be no rush to off load anyone because we are already short of players. A key disadvantage last season. If we must off load, let’s wait until January, not even Sturridge should go on loan. There are already talks of Zhirkov, Malouda, Anelka, Drogba, Kalou, Bosingwa, and even Luiz going. Maybe we will soon hear that Cech is going …                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
The squad has not got any surplus, we are short and that was our problem last season – When the injury hits us, unlike the two clubs from Manchester there were no replacements.                                                                                                                                
We should be talking about adding three key players and two young ones who are willing to develop from the bench. There should be no need to overspend to get a player. If someone wants to come, he should put in a transfer request. He should be brave enough to say: ‘I want Chelsea.’ We need committed players to fulfill the Chelsea dream.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
An ideal option is Lukaku, he should be snapped up at once, well if he wants to come. We should buy good players who want to join Chelsea and who we can get for a fair price.                                                                                                                                
We should buy a right winged player, as it stands we are almost a one winged team. Maybe Malouda or Zhirkov’s game would be enhanced with a good attacking winger in the mould of United’s Valencia or Young.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
We should get a good central goal scoring midfielder, a young Lampard – Someone who will help to bring out the best in our midfield and strike force.                                                                                                                                                                                    
We need a solid defender, if possible an Englishman who understands the English game. One edge that we do have is that in the past we have had a lot of good English players. They are currently available and we should be able to get them at affordable rates, our defence is shaky because Terry, Alex and Bosingwa are all prone to injury. I don’t think we should get rid of Bosingwa, but after such a lengthy injury he needs time, you never know he could become a new revelation like Malouda became last season.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
There is need for a solid reserve keeper, now is the time to move for Stoke’s Asmir Begovic who we have supposedly pursued for some time now. He will be a good cover for Cech, and may even challenge him for a place in the starting 11.                                                                                                                                                                                                       
We must get at least two Porto players for VB. I think Ancelloti would have done better  had he brought in some of his old players like Pato, Kaka or Pirlo. These players already understood his game, but unfortunately for him, he had to do it without them. If VB wants Mountino, Falcao, Rolando, or Hulk the let us make a good deal for at least two of them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
If VB must win things, he has to demonstrate confidence and ruthlessness in his approach. Playing freely will lead to winning and we must make the bridge a fortress again. Chelsea wins by invoking fear, this will restore the team to glory. Small teams should come to our home, hoping to secure at best a draw whilst big teams should forget about the idea of winning at the Bridge.                                                                                                                                               
I kind of like VB though, he is the “American dream”. He rose from an opposition scout to the team manager, all of which was done within the space of seven years – Seen as many as a lucky number. Football is a game of luck. I want to believe that the next three seasons will be a fairytale with VB in charge – Maybe we could beat Mourinho in the Champions League final.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
But what if he doesn’t perform; will I want him to go? Let’s see.
 
Stan Blue

 

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Chelsea ace reveals he is drawing inspiration from this “world-class” superstar

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Hakim Ziyech expresses his admiration of ex-Chelsea winger Eden Hazard and says he has learnt a lot from the 'world-class' winger. (GETTY Images)

Hakim Ziyech says he is drawing inspiration from Chelsea hero Eden Hazard

Speaking in an interview (h/t Mirror), Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech has revealed his admiration for Eden Hazard and says that he has learned a lot from the ex-Blues winger.

Hakim Ziyech joined Chelsea this season after an agreement between the club and Ajax Amsterdam was reached back in February 2020.

The Moroccan winger has had a bright start to his Chelsea career. He has lit up Stamford Bridge since making his league debut for us against Southampton in October 2020.

Chelsea lacked a player that could replace the magic of Eden Hazard since the Belgian’s departure. Chelsea were not able to replace Hazard immediately as a transfer ban was placed on the club.

Hakim Ziyech continued his scoring run for Chelsea
Hakim Ziyech has provided Chelsea with the magic touch which was missing since Eden Hazard’s departure. (GETTY Images)

Despite the two players having a different playing style, comparisons have been inevitably drawn between the two, and the Blues winger has now revealed that he has learned a lot from ex-Chelsea winger Eden Hazard.

“Eden is a world-class player. You always take inspiration from that, how he plays the game and you always look at the small things, how he does stuff and I can learn a lot from him.”

Ziyech says that he is settling in well at his new club and reckons that there are better things to come from him.

“I’m happy, I feel good. I feel at home and those things are the most important when you perform on the pitch. I always know what I’m capable of doing. I always trust in myself, I’m calm in my head. Peaceful. And all the other things will come by themselves.”

Hakim Ziyech has been one of Chelsea's finest players this season. (GETTY Images)
Hakim Ziyech has been one of Chelsea’s finest players this season. (GETTY Images)

Sitting third in the table, Chelsea have been touted as one of the teams capable of challenging for the Premier League title and Hakim Ziyech believes that the Blues can cross the finish line.

“It starts from believing in it and then working every day harder. But you have to believe it is possible and I think that is what we are doing. We believe it and at the end of the season we will see what we do.”

Ziyech has 1 goal and 3 assists for Chelsea in his 6 league appearances this season and would be hoping to feature against Sevilla when the Blues travel to Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

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Frank Lampard admits it was tough to bench Chelsea star against Tottenham

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Frank Lampard reveals that it was not an easy decision to bench Callum Hudson-Odoi against Tottenham Hotspur this weekend. (GETTY Images)

Frank Lampard says that it was hard to inform Callum Hudson-Odoi that he would be benched against Tottenham

Speaking on in his pre-match press conference (h/t Daily Mail) on Tuesday before the match against Sevilla, Frank Lampard discussed the future of Callum Hudson-Odoi at Chelsea and explained that it was ‘difficult’ to bench him against Tottenham Hotspur.

Callum Hudson-Odoi had impressed since the start of the season and grabbed the opening goal against French club Stade Rennais last week in a UEFA Champions League encounter.

However, the 20-year-old youngster was the surprise exclusion when Chelsea’s matchday squad against Tottenham Hotspur was released.

Chelsea drew 0-0 against Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge to remain third on the table. Hudson-Odoi was also left out of the matchday eighteen against Manchester United in the Premier League on matchday six, which was another high profile encounter for Chelsea that finished 0-0.

Callum Hudson-Odoi has scored 2 goals this season in 11 appearances for Chelsea. (GETTY Images)
Callum Hudson-Odoi has scored 2 goals this season in 11 appearances for Chelsea. (GETTY Images)

The call to bench Callum Hudson-Odoi against Spurs was apparently due to the return of American winger Christian Pulisic from injury.

Speaking about the decision to bench the youngster against Spurs, Lampard revealed that it was difficult to inform Hudson-Odoi that he would be benched, considering his good form and attitude.

“It was difficult to tell him that he wasn’t in the Spurs squad as his attitude has been bang on. He was bright against Rennes and Newcastle. He is getting better and is back in contention and I want him to keep that going. I want him to stay positive… He took it well but it wasn’t an easy conversation.”

Callum Hudson-Odoi was not named in the Chelsea matchday squad which faced Tottenham Hotspurs this Sunday. (GETTY Images)
Callum Hudson-Odoi was not named in the Chelsea matchday squad which faced Tottenham Hotspurs last weekend. (GETTY Images)

Lampard mentioned the youngster’s resilience to come back from an injury so early on his career and said that he believes Hudson-Odoi has a bright future at Chelsea due to his quick development. (h/t Daily Mail)

“He got into the team and there was a lot of talk around him and he got a bad injury. Now time and work have shown that he’s back and then you have to appreciate he is developing. I have to see the bigger picture and he is hopefully going to have hundreds of games ahead of him. “

Chelsea face Sevilla on matchday 5 of the UEFA Champions League group stages on Wednesday, and Callum Hudson-Odoi would be hoping that Lampard rotates the squad to include him in the starting XI.

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Chelsea icon reveals he turned down Manchester United; talks about his new role at club

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Bildnummer: 01514040 Datum: 23.04.2005

Claude Makelele reveals that he turned down Manchester United and Inter Milan before joining Chelsea

Speaking to FourFourTwo (h/t football.london), former Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele opened about interest from Manchester United and Inter Milan in 2003 and the new role he now has at the club.

Makelele joined Chelsea in 2003 but revealed that he had interest from other clubs. However, he says that he made the Blues a promise he wasn’t willing to break. (h/t football.london)

I went to Chelsea because they came in first. After that, several other teams approached me, including Manchester United and Inter, who had tried to sign me before I moved to Real.

Due to the way things were happening at Madrid, I told Chelsea, ‘If I go, I’ll come to you.’ I gave them a promise. They went to great lengths to sign me, as I was 30 by then but they still paid a significant transfer fee [£16.8m].”

Claude Makelele enjoyed a great 5 year spell at Chelsea. (GETTY Images)
Claude Makelele enjoyed a great 5 year spell at Chelsea. (GETTY Images)

Makelele joined Chelsea during an era where the club went under a change of ownership under Roman Abramovich. Speaking about the impact of the new ownership on the club, Makelele said that Abramovich made Chelsea a destination for world-class players.

“That’s what the boss did very well because, before then, those kinds of players would move to Manchester United or Arsenal.”

Makelele won 5 trophies in his 5-year stay at Chelsea which included 2 Premier League titles, one FA Cup, and two League Cups. The Frenchman said that he left the club in 2008 to be close to his family.

Eupen’s head coach Claude Makelele pictured during a soccer match between KAS Eupen and Sporting Lokeren, Saturday 19 January 2019 in Eupen, on day 22 of the ‘Jupiler Pro League’ Belgian soccer championship season 2018-2019. BELGA PHOTO BRUNO FAHY (Photo credit should read BRUNO FAHY/AFP via Getty Images)

The Frenchman retired from playing football in 2011 and took up coaching, returning to Chelsea in 2019 as a technical mentor at the club’s academy.

Talking about his role at Chelsea, Makelele believes that he is gaining the necessary experience from his current job to take the next step in the near future.

“It was nice to return to Stamford Bridge with some other former team-mates like Frank Lampard and Petr Cech.

I’m working as a technical mentor for the academy and loan players, which I find very interesting as I deal with a lot of different departments. You speak with the players about their performances on the pitch, and about their personal development off the pitch.”

Makelele featured 219 times for us during his time at the club. Safe to say that he had a huge role in Chelsea establishing ourselves as the superpowers of English football in the early parts of the millennium.

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A View From The Bridge

“He will go there” – Former PL boss backs Chelsea star to stay at loan club beyond current season

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Grealish and Barkley have formed a formidable partnership at Villa

Tim Sherwood backs Chelsea star Ross Barkley to extend his stay at Aston Villa

Speaking on Soccer Sunday on Sky Sports via HITC (h/t Birmingham Live), former Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood has backed Chelsea loanee Ross Barkley to stay at Villa Park beyond this season.

The Englishman has been in fine form since joining Dean Smith’s side on loan in the summer. He formed a strong partnership with skipper Jack Grealish much to the joy of Villa.

Currently out injured, Barkley’s loan to Villa has so far proven to be an unmitigated success for all parties.

former Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood has backed Chelsea loanee Ross Barkley to stay at Villa Park beyond this season.
Chelsea loanee Ross Barkley has done well at Aston Villa

“I think Ross has been great for them and I see him staying at the football club.”

Sherwood has backed Barkley to witness in person the majesty of Villa and realise how big of a club they are. He believes the midfielder has seen the back of Chelsea.

“He has seen the back of Chelsea now. I think he will go there [Villa]. He would have walked into the doors and seen how big that football club is.”

As things stand, Barkley remains a part of Frank Lampard’s future for Chelsea. His performances have not grown unnoticed. Chelsea boss Lampard has already informed the player that he has a place at Stamford Bridge going forward. (h/t Birmingham Mail)

Frank Lampard has informed N'Golo Kante of his importance to Chelsea
Frank Lampard has built a strong Chelsea outfit

Perhaps smartly, Chelsea did not include a buyout clause in the loan deal that took the player to Villa Park. Any potential deal will see the ball in our court. (h/t Birmingham Mail)

Barkley has, over the years, been considered a player with high potential. Unfortunately, he has largely proven himself to be an inconsistent performer.

Given his performances at the moment, he could assure himself a brighter future – whether it be at Chelsea or Villa.

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Ross Barkley may yet have a future at Chelsea
Ross Barkley may yet have a future at Chelsea

While we don’t deny Villa has a rich history, they are nowhere near their glory days anymore. Chelsea today represent a better choice for players seeking glory and if Barkley truly desires instant success, he will do better if he returns as an improved player to Stamford Bridge.

Failing to continue his good form could see the Blues willing to let him go. After all, Chelsea loaning him out has to do with us having better players at our disposal.

What happens remains to be seen.

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