Was Fergie Right About Chelsea All Along?

We’ve all heard the spiel by now – Luiz Felipe Scolari won’t be given any money for players in January – but whether or not Roman sticks to that if the current squad continues with its recent form remains to be seen.

The suggestion at the minute seems to be that if Scolari insists on bringing in new recruits, he’ll have to fund it by selling off some of what he’s already got.  Did Scolari know all this before he agreed to manage Chelsea, or is this penny-pinching as much of a surprise to him as it is to some of us?

I mean, let’s be honest, Chelsea spent a shed load of money putting together a side capable of winning back-to-back titles. Of course, it takes more than money to do that but would we have done it without having the financial muscle to compete on a level with the top clubs? I think the fact that we clearly didn’t have the resources to take the number one spot pre-Roman answers that one.

However, some elements of our Championship winning side have gone and there are others who are getting close to their sell-by dates and as good a squad as we have, Sir Alex Ferguson’s point at the start of the campaign about it being hard to see how far we could go with what we’d got, is starting to make a lot of sense as the season wears on.

Chelsea have already gone a couple of seasons as runners up to United in the League, finishing totally pot-less last season, and under the new non-spending regime, brought in only Jose Bosingwa and Deco in the summer. So whilst Bosingwa was a necessity rather than a luxury purchase, despite a blistering debut month from Deco, it’s starting to look like he might well not last the distance. And already this season, if our last few games are anything to go by, what we’re looking at is a jaded looking side with a lack of fight, energy or ideas.

Scolari seems unfazed with the lack of funds to address this problem though, stating “In January, if I have something to buy one player or another, OK. If I don’t have, it’s not a problem for me because I have a good squad, I like this squad. Maybe some clubs want one of my players and the time is for change. I give you this and you give me that.” Which is all very resourceful of the Chelsea boss, but isn’t this drastic cost-cutting going to leave us even further behind United, not just in May but in the long-term as well? Because for all John Terry’s straw-clutching earlier this year, suggesting United had reached their peak last season and we’d be the one’s raising the bar this time around, even the briefest look at some of their young talent so far shows that theory to be way off the mark.

So is Roman really happy to spend yet another season finishing behind United, or worse? Because like it or not, unless Chelsea seriously look at bringing some new, younger personnel in, of a high enough calibre, we could be in big trouble.

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Drogba’s Staying – But Does He Know Yet?

It’s hardly news that Didier Drogba’s future at Chelsea has been about as secure as Ashley Cole’s marriage.

The Chelsea striker was linked with moves away from the club before the ink was ever dry on his contract and rumours about a possible reunion with his former Chelsea boss have refused to go away since the summer. Not that the Ivorian helped matters with his recent mood swings and wining and dining Mourinho’s representatives in a London restaurant mind you.

But anyway, irrespective of any dodgy meetings Drogba may or may not have, according to Peter Kenyon they would be a pointless exercise anyway because the Chelsea forward is going nowhere.

The Chelsea chief executive insists “Didier’s under contract for the next 18 months. He will be going nowhere in January. Whether people leave Chelsea is as much down to us as anybody else. I don’t know whether he did or didn’t (meet Inter representatives). I am concerned about the reports only because it is unsettling. But he’s a big player for us and we want him back (from suspension). He’s one of those players who can make a difference.” He adds “But Didier will be going nowhere in January.”

Mind you, the fact that he only says Drogba won’t be sold in January suggests he could be in line for a summer move if the situation hasn’t improved by then. After all, I can’t see Chelsea wanting to end up with bugger all if he decides to take matters into his own hands then.

But what I still don’t buy is the denial over whether a meeting took place or not. Does nobody inside Stamford Bridge actually speak to each other or what?

Did The FA Agree With Scolari Over Decisions?

So the FA do have some commonsense it seems because they’ve decided not to go overboard about Scolari questioning the linesman after Sunday’s game.

You see, what Scolari said was “Chelsea and the referee (were responsible for the defeat) because Arsenal scored the first goal one meter in front of our players and in the first half the same linesman gave (Salomon) Kalou offside when it was not.” All perfectly true, so I’m not sure why the press were wetting themselves at the prospect of Scolari getting his knuckles rapped.

Scolari, who hasn’t had a word to say about officials so far this season, also added “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.” Again, all fact, and I’m sure after watching the replays, the FA couldn’t really argue with what he’d said.

Still, I’ve no doubt the hacks will be disappointed to learn that the FA won’t be taking any action against the Chelsea boss, with a spokesman confirming “We have studied the remarks of Luiz Felipe Scolari and will not be taking any further action.”

Chelsea Get Mikel Refund

Finally, after a few verbal tussles with Lyn Oslo over John Obi Mikel’s transfers which ended in Chelsea issuing proceedings against both Lyn and Morgan Andersen, it appears the matter has been decided out of court.

As we all know, Mikel arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2006, but not before a dispute over whether he belonged to Manchester United or Chelsea saw him spend a year kicking his heels until £12million to United and £4million to Lyn saw the move take place. Of course, Mikel hadn’t helped matters by parading around in a United shirt with a big happy smile for the media, before talking up his desire to play his football at Stamford Bridge instead of Old Trafford, although he’s always insisted he has no regrets.

Anyway, once it turned out Chelsea had been well and truly conned, and Andersen was convicted of forgery, they decided to go after him and Lyn in an effort to get a refund.

Yesterday though, saw the matter finally resolved, with a statement on the club’s official site stating “Chelsea Football Club and FC Lyn Oslo have resolved all matters between the two clubs with regard to John Mikel Obi. The terms of the agreement will remain confidential. There will be no further comment.”

I wonder if we got enough back for Scolari to go shopping?

Player Of The Year To Come To Chelsea

Recently crowned Asian Player of the Year Server Djeparov has been offered a month’s training at Chelsea as part of the prize agreed with the Asian Football Federation.

The Uzbekistan star has had a pretty good season both for his club and his national team and on the interest this seems to have sparked, he says “I know there are some offers for me but at present I am a Bunyodkor player. I am ready to leave if there is a good offer from either a Russian or European club. I played for a new club and won two domestic titles and completed the hat-trick by becoming the topscorer of the league for the first time. Secondly, we made it to the semi-finals of the premier club competition of the continent. To be among the top five players in Asia in itself was a big achievement for me and I was lost for words when I was chosen as the best.”

And on the prize itself, Djeparov says “I am flattered at getting the chance to train with some of the best players in England.  I will have to chalk out a plan and talk to the club about releasing me next season.”

John Terry Wants More Commitment

Despite the recent run of bad form, John Terry believes Chelsea can turn it around again as long as they ‘get back to basics’.

Two draws and a defeat from our last three games might not leave most of us feeling particularly optimistic but the Chelsea captain insists we can still pull something out of the bag this season as long as the players re-focus and get back to doing what they used to do best – battle.

Terry was one of many who lost the plot a bit against Arsenal, diving in with the sort of two-footed tackle he could definitely have walked for. But the Chelsea skipper holds his hands up when it comes to the side’s performances of late, saying “We have to be honest and say in the last few weeks we haven’t got all the basics right, and now is the time to close ranks. Winning major trophies is hard, it takes great quality, athleticism, commitment, stamina and decision making. You have to work and work and be better than the other great teams and players who are also working and working. We have to run for each other, we have to be a close unit. When we get those basics working at their best and then everything else will follow.”

Let’s just hope they rediscover ‘the basics’ sooner rather than later eh?