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  1. Mohamed Salah - In and Out!

    Never seen fans turn so fast on a YOUNGSTER who had his first few months in a proper league, is still learning a new culture and langauge, has only played 10 premiership games so far and didn't actually cost a ridiculous amount of money... I don't like to say it but I suspect there's something different about this guy that makes people judge him more harshly. Wonder what it is... Someone mentioned SWP but we gave him much more time, and he was older as well. And for what little it's worth, he's doing just fine. He has the technique and speed to actually make it on this level but yeah, it's too early to tell yet. And that's how it is with most youngsters.
  2. Frank Lampard: Legend.

    Frank, thank you for being the Marshal of Chelsea Football Club together with John Terry in the new era. You were the best player when we set the point record in the premiership. 95 points. We scored 72 goals, and you either scored or assisted more than 40% of those (29). Next year, you were again probably our best football player when we won the premiership again. And just when we thought your best days were behind you, and we didn't look like winning the premiership for a while, we won again in 2009/2010 and set a goal record. You scored and assisted a ridiculous amount (39 in total, 22 goals). That was almost 40% of those 103 goals. Overall, if any one player was the best one in those three premiership triumphs, it was you, Frank. You fell out of favor with Andre Villas-Boas in 2011. And most thought you were done. You ended the season as our top scorer though, with 16 goals, and also got 10 assists. Your crowning triumph was captaining Chelsea Football Club in the Champions League final, and winning it. In the semis, you made the world's best footballer look like a fool by stealing the ball from him and setting up our 1-0 goal. In the next game, we were 2-0 down to Barcelona with only 10 men on our side. You captained us, and thankfully, assisted Ramires and we were through on away goals (Torres of course scored too in extra time). Next year, you broke the Chelsea goal record. And you captained us again when we won the europa league final. Thanks for your service Frank. And best of wishes. You'll never be forgotten. And forever be remembered as one of the most defining players in the history of Chelsea Football Club, one of the Kings of Stamford Bridge. All hail King Frank James Lampard of Stamford Bridge.
  3. Official: Romelu Lukaku Joins Everton

    Demba is a bit similar to Romelu. Not as strong, but good on counterattack, moves his arms around when running, a bit awkward technique. He was scoring for fun for Newcastle (around 30 league goals in one and a half season), then he came to us and has managed 2 in 16. Maybe Jose does know what he's doing. Amazing as his goals were recently for Belgium, Lukaku scored them on big counterattacks. I haven't seen his Everton goals yet, but I've seen everyone from his WBA time and 90% were either obvious counter attacks and/or a cross ball headed in. Obviously, every striker needs to be great at counter attacks. And we definitely need someone who can head a ball in. Yet... what we need the most is someone who'll play along our three AM's and work as a unit with them. Great as Lukaku seems at certain aspects of his game, I've yet to see him shine against parked busses. Not saying he can't... I just haven't seen him do that. It seems to me that Jose, after having him on dozens of training sessions, came to the conclusion that his ball and passing skills against the proverbial parked bus were not up to the standards he wanted. He did score the most goals in preseason IIRC, so Jose already knew he could score goals. But we're looking to have our AM's score most of the goals, not the striker. It's better the striker works for the AM's then the other way around, because he's only one of four in a unit. Ideally, they all score a lot. It's not hard to imagine that Lukaku is simply not up to the technical level of Hazard, Mata and co, and even Torres on his day, and probably Eto'o as well when he becomes 10% more match fit. To compensate for this, he'll need to be really deadly in front of goal. Maybe he is. I don't know yet. But if Jose finds someone more Rooney-esque next season (or in january), I don't think Lukaku has a chance. If Jose fails in finding such a player, he'll have a plan B in Lukaku and that's what I think Romelu really is for Jose. No way would he have loaned him out if he actually thought he was anywhere near his ideal striker.
  4. Official: Romelu Lukaku Joins Everton

    Liverpool couldn't handle him. Gee I sure would've liked to have a belgian monster available as an option on OUR bench... -_- Well, probably for the best. He needs to play. Which also serves as a reminder to myself that having three top strikers is a really bad idea if you're going to play with one. We should get Moses, trust in Torres and Sturridge and be done with it. Anyway, reminded me a lot of a young Drogba. He would also try exactly the same trick Lukaku used against Carragher. And if anyone remembers, Drogba's technique was quite suspect his first season with us as well, but he worked on it and improved it for the second season.
  5. One interesting thing from the last game was this: - Torres received the ball from the defense 63% of the time. - Drogba received it from the defense only 20& of the time. - Malouda and Lampard gave twice as many passes to Drogba compared to Torres. - 4% of Drogba's passing went to Torres. That's less than 1 in 20 passes. Torres passed to Drogba 15% of the time. This was only one game but it was peculiar that Torres had to pick the ball up from defense so often. I don't think he wanders so deep on purpose but out of necessity because otherwise he struggles to receive the ball from the other attackers. Based on these numbers, I think it would be interesting to see Torres play with Sturridge, Mata and Meireles. Source: http://www.weaintgotnohistory.com/2011/8/29/2390077/tactical-analysis-chelsea-fc-3-1-norwich-city-juan-mata
  6. Well, Abdul-Salam Bilal (that's the name Anelka took a few years back if anyone was wondering) scored one goal in 14 league games for us his first season, and everyone was saying Bilal's a stupid donkey. But next season, he managed 19 league goals... By chance, Torres has 1 goal in 14 league games for us... Let's bring Drogba into this as well. He went from 5 league goals in 2008/2009, to 29 in 2009/2010. So too early to write off Torres yet. Anyone remember his two goals against us? One was a decent display of positioning, pace and finishing and the second was a class finish. It's funny how confidence works... in fact, in about 20 effective games worth of play time in the league for Liverpool, he did manage 9 goals and 2 assists, which is good by any standard. I don't believe for a minute that Liverpool had something particularly unique going on that made Torres tick. When Torres has had a break and a good pre-season, and regained his confidence, I'm certain he'll be banging in the goals again. Of course, he'll still not be worth 50 million but he never was worth that sort of money any time in his career to begin with, so that's our fault not his.
  7. Salomon Kalou

    Kalou is a great squad player to have in the team IMO and should definitely stay.
  8. It's funny how some people like to fool themselves. In three out of the last four seasons, including this one, Drogba has been mediocre a lot of the time. Whether he performs next season or not is a gamble as big as whether Torres will score the goals or not.
  9. Michael Essien

    Essien said in an interview late 2007 about how he prefers to play: "Defensive midfielder. I started out as a central defender, so maybe that's why I like the defensive side of things. I like to break up teams' attacks and let our more attacking players get forward." Seems to me he thinks of himself as defensive midfielder, so I don't see why people can't call him one...
  10. Chelsea Finances Thread

    Time to get crafty then, methinks. 8 MP - Alex: One CB has to go. Ivanovic is more versatile and therefore more cost-effective. Ivanovic will also be backup at LB. 8 MP - Malouda: We need fresh blood on the wings. 7 MP - Drogba: He'll be 31... We should've cashed in earlier. 2 MP - Paolo Ferreira: What the hell is he doing in the squad anyway? Just started two games... 0 MP - Ballack: One out of Deco or Ballack should go. Ballack is one year older, out of contract and more injury prone than Deco. Something like this would be good. That's 25 million pound and two major earners on the wage bill gone. We buy one classy winger and one classy striker. Spend big on them. Striker: 20 MP Winger: 17 MP Net spent after taking into account there are 3 less first teamers: ~5 MP That sounds great if we actually manage to get that one quality winger and striker. We don't need any more than that. We fill the gaps in case of ACN or many injuries with... youngsters! What a concept... :) United manage quite well with this concept actually... and you know what happens with youngsters who get some chances? One or two of them become quality!!! What a concept eh :) Maybe Mancienne could still replace Carvalho in a couple of years. We don't need a major restructuring. We just need that one quality winger and striker. Unfortunately, that's not as easy as it sounds. How great it would be if Quaresma actually did a great job for us the remaining months... actually we could do with two new wingers of quality, but that's not going to happen, so I'd be very satisfied if we just managed one.
  11. Michael Essien

    Essien makes a much better CB, RB, DM and RM than Frank Lampard, but Frank's a different class as CM. When Lampard receives the ball, he orientates himself very quickly. Essien doesn't have the same situational awareness and plays more instinctively. This works out rather well some times but IMO he gets lost too easily too often. This is the biggest difference between Essien and midfield generals like Lampard, Gerrard and Ballack and Deco in their prime. You could play Lampard with anyone... but make Essien the main main and the team doesn't have a game plan. And then you have passing ability. Lampard is in another league here. Sometimes I've seen Essien do some great long range passing, but often, his passing range looks uncomfortable. He would be more comfortable if he became more tactically aware. And then you have the obvious fact that Lampard shoots much better than Essien. Anyway, people often suggest Essien as one of the most complete footballers but I just shrug at that suggestion. For that, his tactical awareness, passing and shooting is too limited. Compare him to Gerrard and he looks limited. I don't like Gerrard but he excelled at RM in many games that one season when Benitez was doing his shuffling, and he's also had great games at RB and DM. Essien needs firstmost to improve his tactical qualities. Because I'm not that impressed to be honest. I know people rave about him but I have a long term memory that reminds me that he's gone missing many times for us.
  12. Injury News

    It's not a conspiracy. We simply have a lot of injury prone players, especially the more elderly lads. Drogba - Chronically affected by knee problems. Terry - Chronically affected by knee and back problems. Ballack - Weak ankle after last season's injury. A. Cole - Struggles with ankle problems. Essien - Had two knee injuries last season... not a complete coincidence his knee got busted this season... Carvalho - Don't know if he has weak areas but he does take a month off every now and then doesn't he... Deco - Not what he used to be physically. Cech - Injury prone for a keeper. Wears helmet for obvious reasons... The above are the usual suspects in the team. That's 8 players who're injury prone. Essien wasn't one before his knee got mashed up but I'm afraid there's no turning back now... additionally, he has to go to the african cup... On the other end of the scale are Lampard, Joe Cole, Kalou, Malouda, Mikel and Bridge. They've got good records going for them. Unfortunately, we do lose Kalou and Mikel to the african cup every other year so that's basically like an injury. The rest of the players is difficult to say.
  13. Injury News

    Yes, take it from Ozzy, this is a serious injury. With scar tissue growth being long term and a little unpredictable, it's essential that the surgery is as close to optimal as possible, otherwise you quickly introduce problems. Unfortunately it is difficult to avoid some level of increased soreness, pain and swelling in the knee compared to before. It doesn't have to be a serious impairment but the knee (or rather the ligament area) will never be as strong as before, and the new tissue itself will never have the strength the old tissue had. The last bit doesn't have to be sensible (as in able to sense) but it can mean he will mess up his knee easier in the future. But athletes have big injuries all the time and make good comebacks. But after 5-6 months, Essien is ready to play football. It doesn't mean he's ready to be as confident as before. So I'm afraid we won't get much use of Essien this season. We should prioritize buying a new central midfielder in the january window. Moutinho would be a sensible choice considering he's played with Deco, Bosingwa, Carvalho and Scolari before and we might be of need of someone to quickly step in. Right now it's not so worrying but if we get one of the four central midfielders out for a month or two, the depth will start to wear thin. Last time this happened SWP saved us... this time we will have to rely on Joe Cole or Malouda to do the same.
  14. Injury News

    "Several months" is PR-speak for "it's really bad so we avoid saying half a year". I've been reading up on it a little. Short story: Don't expect to see him play a match for us again before 5-6 months.
  15. Michael Essien

    Essien's a top bloke. He plays in every position we care to put him in (and often does so in a way that puts certain other professionals to shame), always bursts his lungs working, never complains and there's never anything wrong to say about him. Model professional and great footballer.