The Best Chelsea Blog?

The Soccerlens Awards have selected TheChelseaBlog as a candidate in the category of “Best New Blog” award of 2008. So, if you’ve enjoyed reading TheChelseaBlog as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it all together, you can vote for the blog here.

Scolari Considering New Partnership Up Front?

Whether Chelsea finally plan to get rid of Didier Drogba or just bring in some back up with the Ivorian spending very little time playing this season anyway, isn’t exactly clear, but the latest rumours seem to suggest Chelsea are planning on bringing in another striker.

23 year old Rennes striker Jimmy Briand is reported to be the man Luiz Felipe Scolari has his eye on this week, with £15million suggested as the price-tag attached.  Briand is being tipped to become one of France’s top strikers for the future, with comparisons favourably drawn with Thierry Henry. Briand played for the French under-21s and made his senior debut for his national side against Romania in October this year.

From what I’ve heard, he’s a pretty capable forward and a grafter on the pitch, in other words, if he’s having an off-day and it isn’t happening for him, he’ll work his arse off to make it happen for his team-mates. Chelsea could definitely do with more players from that mould right now.

The suggestion seems to be that the young striker would be more than up for the opportunity to play alongside the striker he says is his idol……………….Nicolas Anelka, although where Scolari’s going to get the £15million from is anyone’s guess.

Has Scolari Drawn The Line For Drogba?

Didier Drogba’s certainly been in plenty of trouble lately, from 3 game bans for coin throwing to dodgy meetings in London restaurants, he seems to be really pushing his luck with the Chelsea boss. And yet, Luiz Felipe Scolari has taken it all with a pinch of salt – publicly at least.

So you’d have to wonder just what Drogba has to do to get the bollocking he clearly deserves from the Brazilian. Well, Chelsea’s Champions League game against Bordeaux might have answered that one for us. Because, despite the fact that none of the players would have been jumping for joy after the final whistle, Didier Drogba who’d come off the bench once Anelka had put Chelsea ahead was the only one who headed straight for the dressing room. And if rumours about what happened next are to be believed, Drogba finally saw the side to Scolari he’d maybe rather not have uncovered.

You see, we’re told that as Drogba strode off the field, Scolari was less than impressed with the Ivorian. And an ‘eyewitness’ says “Scolari was clearly very unimpressed with Drogba. It looked like he wanted Drogba to go back and acknowledge all the Chelsea fans who had made the trip over from England for the game. Most of the other Chelsea players were out there doing just that. But Drogba appeared more interested in getting off the pitch and into the dressing room.  Maybe he wasn’t sure what reaction he would get from the fans because of all the negative reports last week. But Scolari certainly had something to say about it.”

Quite right too.

Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal: Questions To Be Answered?

do players get any uglier than this?

do players get any uglier than this?

 

 

CHELSEA 1-2 ARSENAL

If there were questions asked before this game then there’ll definitely be some asked now.

Brazilian football when you’re away from home against lesser opposition is all very nice, but it’s never going to convince anyone if you can’t come up with the goods against the ‘big four’. Add to that the fact that the ‘fortress’ is now more like a sandcastle, and it starts to get a bit worrying. Chelsea might still be top of the table, until tonight at least, but we won’t be enjoying that status in May unless Scolari’s got some contingency plans up his sleeve.

That’s not to say we played particularly badly at home against Arsenal, in fact, we were the better side for an hour,  our passing was better, we had more energy, more fight and totally outplayed them. And at 1-0 up, they didn’t look like they were going to buy a goal – with the exception of the one they scored for us of course – until the linesman who clearly needs a refresher course in the offside rule, gifted them their equaliser. Strange that he missed their player blatantly offside when he’d been so meticulous in ruling an on-side Kalou as off when he was through on goal, but there you go.

 Anyway, the benevolent officiating gave Arsenal the confidence they needed to push on and make that generosity count. And yet our reply to that – the sort of reply Chelsea used to be renowned for – was nowhere near clinical enough. Because the only way to describe Chelsea’s response is to compare it with the waving of a white flag as soon as van Arsehole’s second went in.

From the minute Chelsea conceded, there was a desperation about their game. Gone was the composure they had when they were in front as they ran around like headless chickens, lashing at every ball in the hope it bounced off someone’s arse and flew in the right direction. Literally nothing went right for them from there on in, as they ran out of both ideas and steam.

The usually unruffled Luiz Felipe Scolari, was a little hot under the collar after the game, stating “Chelsea and the referee (were responsible for the defeat) because Arsenal scored the first goal one metre in front of our players and in the first half the same linesman gave (Salomon) Kalou offside when it was not.  I never speak about referees normally. After 15 games in the Premier League, four or five in the Champions League and in the Carling Cup I say nothing. But today, it’s different. It is important to speak to the people about this because if we play and the referee gives two things against my team sometimes it is difficult to win.  OK I make mistakes but we needed a man to come to Stamford Bridge as a referee for both sides, not for one side.”

But whilst I think he had every right to moan about the decisions, which in all fairness probably were the difference between the two sides over 90-odd minutes, I think he’s being a bit forgiving of his own players to suggest the decisions “killed his team”. At the end of the day, we all get games where the officials are definitely more of a hindrance than a help but if we hadn’t insisted on aiming every shot we had halfway down Fulham Broadway, we wouldn’t even be debating points like these. After all, this isn’t the first game Chelsea have ever played against twelve men and his flag waving sidekicks, this is just the first one they’ve played where they had no idea what to do about it.  

To be fair to the Chelsea boss though he doesn’t excuse the fact that his players hadn’t made their dominance count when they had the chance, suggesting “It’s our problem in the last three games. We score one goal but only have one or two good chances. We don’t shoot in or outside the area. We don’t build enough play. I am sad, not happy. I think we didn’t play very well.”

But anyway, whatever the ins and outs of this game were, the fact remains we’ve lost at home again, but more than that, we did it against one of our main rivals – again. And whether the injuries to key players are the deciding factor in the big games (despite Scolari insisting he’s got the squad to cope with them), or whether it’s the lack of the now famous ‘plan B’,  the fact is Chelsea have dropped far too many points against their rivals already. And from a team who previously paid a ridiculous amount of attention to the defensive side of their game, I can only assume Scolari’s been prescribing them all electric breakfasts in an effort to erase all traces of the Mourinho era from their minds.

That’s 12 points dropped at home now, 7 of them in the ‘big four’ games and there’s questions to be answered.

Chelsea Looking To Bring Average Age In Squad Down?

I know there was some talk about the average age of our first team at the start of this campaign although I have to admit I didn’t expect Chelsea to go to such extremes to bring it down.

However, rumour has it Chelsea have their eye on 6 year old Madin Mohammed. The young Algerian has bagged himself a scholarship from the French Football Federation and he certainly seems to have plenty of skills in his locker, which is attracting the attention of Europe’s top clubs. And according to recent reports, both Chelsea and Real Madrid are trying to get ahead of the queue by sending their scouts and agents in early.

Mind you, whilst the youngster certainly has some smart moves, couldn’t jumping in with a deal could prove to be a little premature?

Have a look:

Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal: Video Highlights

It really pains me to post this, but I’ve no doubt the Chelsea boss will be forced to scrutinise endless video tapes of where we went wrong, so why shouldn’t we all suffer? Here are the highlights of yesterday’s game for those of you who haven’t got as far as headbutting walls yet.