Kalou To Silence The Critics?

It’s funny how you can watch some of your players, pass judgment on them, even perform total character assassinations on them at times, and yet this is all based on their ability to do what you want them to with a ball. And after reading an interview with Salomon Kalou, it’s made me realise how harsh that sort of judgement might be.

You see, it’s not that I’ve ever had anything against him, he just frustrates me. He’s never looked like he’s reached his potential for Chelsea, and to be perfectly honest, I’ve always considered him a little too fragile – a bit of a pussy if you like. So that’s left me questioning whether the ‘potential’ I’m waiting to see realised is actually there to start with and whether he’s as bothered as I am about seeing it.

Kalou had actually managed 11 goals and 9 assists in 48 appearances last season, which is a statistic that surprised me if I’m honest because I wouldn’t have credited him with that, but then, until I read his recent interview, I wouldn’t have credited him with much else either. But I hold my hands up to that, I’m usually one of our players’ harshest critics until I’m proved wrong.

And after two goals in eight games, including the equaliser against Manchester United last month – and hearing what he’d got to say in his interview – I’ve a feeling being proved wrong could well be on the cards. Because Kalou says “My objective this season is to force my way to becoming one of Chelsea’s most important players. I’m going to up my work rate because I remain a team player. I want to start meeting and then exceeding the expectations which people around me at Chelsea have for my level of contribution and I want to be a key figure in providing victories.”

But that’s not all, because I’m a sucker for a bit of a cutie and Kalou goes on to talk about how it felt to arrive at Cobham for the first time, saying “The first time was so exciting that I took a camera with me because I wanted a picture of me with every one of my new team-mates. This was the dream moment of my life and I did not want to wake up and find out that it was not real. Suddenly to find yourself on the pitch with Ballack and Drogba . . . well it was impossible not to feel like a timid young lad. The key thing to explain that overwhelming sentiment is that I never, even in my dreams, thought I’d someday be at this level and playing in this kind of company.” So not just cute, but pretty down to earth as well by sounds of it.

But is he complacent now that he’s part of the set-up? Well, it doesn’t sound like it, with the 23 year old saying “I know enough to realise that it’s not getting to the top that is important but deserving to stay there. That’s what I’m after now.”

Kalou goes on to give a glowing report of his team-mates by stating “What’s more the bigger the name, here, the more humble, straightforward and helpful they are. John Terry is the classic example; the first time I saw him joking and larking around it came as a big surprise to me because I’d expected a different personality.”

But even that isn’t as glowing as the tribute he pays to new Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, of whom he says “There are some trainers who don’t need a month’s work to show you precisely how good they are at their job. For me it needed precisely one training session to be totally convinced that the boss was precisely the right guy to take charge of Chelsea.”

He just seems a thoroughly nice lad really – and if he puts in the effort he’s promising to under his new boss, I might be cutting a large slice of humble pie before the season’s out!


2 Responses

  1. Are people still actually slagging him off? His stats tell a different story: he’s right up there in terms of assists and goals last season and he’s still improving. He was certainly far better than SWP and marginally better than Joe, who doesn’t get half the stick Kalou gets even when he’s puts in tepid displays. Kalou is a fashionable boo boy for Chelsea ‘fans’ who have jumped on the scapegoating bandwagon. Open your eyes please. There are players who were far more deserving of opprobrium than Kalou and yet copped half the stick. It’s more than a little bizarre.

  2. […] to admit, even after trying really hard to give him the benefit of the doubt and going as far as hoping I might end up eating a large wedge of humble pie by the end of this campaign, he just ain’t good […]

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