Chelsea Put 5 Past Middlesbrough

If we’d still got either of our previous two managers we’d have gone into this one whingeing and whining with ready made excuses about injuries. Not so Luiz Felipe Scolari. Now that is instilling a positive mentality. Not filling them full of rubbish about how ‘special’ they are and giving them an excuse ahead of any potential slip-ups, but making it clear no amount of injuries would excuse a below par performance. They’re not superstars, they’re footballers and they’re expected to get out there and get the job done.

And get the job done they most certainly did.

Chelsea dominated the first half although an inability to capitalise on the opportunities they created meant a Salomon Kalou goal on 14 minutes was the only return on that by the time the half-time whistle had blown. However, another one of Juliano Belletti’s stunning goals from distance (51) opened the floodgates for Kalou’s second (53), Frank Lampard (63) and Florent Malouda (67) to finish the game with a 0-5 scoreline that certainly didn’t flatter us.

Whilst it’s fair to say Boro weren’t exactly having one of their better days (and that’s flattering them), that shouldn’t detract from Chelsea’s performance. Whilst some missed chances in the first half could have cost against tougher opposition on the day, Chelsea’s effort shouldn’t be dismissed. Head’s didn’t go down when it wasn’t coming together in the first half, they came out again in the second and did what needed doing. More satisfying than anything else though was watching them continue to push for goals even once the game was well beyond Boro. That’s a definite change for Chelsea and it’s a change for the better.

 

TEAMS

MIDDLESBROUGH – Turnball, Grounds (Johnson 54), Wheater, Riggott, Taylor, Aliadiere, Shawky (Digard 65), O’Neil, A Johnson (Alves 65), Downing, Mido.

CHELSEA – Cudicini, Bosingwa, Terry, Alex, Bridge (Ferreira), Belletti, Lampard (Deco 73), Mikel, Kalou, Anelka (Sinclair 79), Malouda.

Goals: Kalou 14, 53, Belletti 51, Lampard 63, Malouda 67.

 

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Chelsea: How Special Is This New 3rd Kit?

The new replica Chelsea 3rd kit goes on sale August 28th

Another yellow one, but slightly less fluorescent than the last (although Cech’s vibrant orange more than makes up for it).

Still, the new shirt – yet another technological masterpiece – gives us:

ForMotion(tm) technology which allows complete freedom of movement – never again will Drogba feel restricted to staying on his feet:-

Radical cuts and 3D designs follow the shape of your body to increase comfort and improve performanceso no more embarrassing discomfort experienced on the pitch:-

ClimaCool(tm) technology ensures body vapour is pushed out so the sweat, as moisture, doesn’t form. So you stay dry, comfortable and performing at your peak – Even the need for tissues will become a thing of the past.

Technology today eh?

Visit www.adidas.com/chelseafc
Stockist – 0870 2404 204
RRP £40 shirt

 

Scolari’s First Game: The Old Boys Done Good!

So, Scolari’s taken charge of his first game for Chelsea, albeit against the weaker opposition of Guangzhou Pharmaceutical and chalked up a fairly comfortable 4-0 win.

The new Chelsea boss put out a strong side, making use of new signing Deco alongside Lampard, who graced the Chelsea side with his presence for the whole game. Notable absentee’s were Joe Cole and Andriy Shevchenko through injury, Didier Drogba who we already know didn’t make the trip, and Michael Ballack who is currently on honeymoon.

Kalou got Chelsea off the mark after 20 minutes after a Frank Lampard assist although Michael Essien was denied following a brilliant save from the Guangzhou keeper and Anelka, who has apparently remembered the content of his job description, hit the woodwork.  Lampard made it  2-0 after the break, lobbing the keeper from distance, Franco Di Santo added a third and Shaun Wright-Phillips completed the 4-0 score-line.

Scolari certainly didn’t shy away from ringing the changes for his first match in charge, with the immediate introduction of our new signings. The new boss also introduced a different formation, with the old 4-3-3 discarded in favour of a more attacking 4-1-3-2.

Chelsea clearly have a wealth of midfield talent and the new formation takes full advantage of that, pushing Essien, Lampard and Deco forward, with John Obi Mikel given the task of filling the Makelele role. Where exactly this set-up leaves Michael Ballack, we’ve yet to see although I for one hope the answer isn’t ‘out in the cold’ after last season’s return to form for the German. But the abundance of midfielders clearly isn’t a concern for Scolari, because, on first impression’s that’s the whole point.

Scolari’s midfield is about power and pace, forcing the opposition to retreat and opening up space for creative players whilst retaining that midfield ‘general’ to watch their backs. And whilst some might question both the apparent excess of midfielders plus their ability to go the distant with the sort of pace demanded, maybe that’s the general idea? Because whilst players like Essien would certainly have boundless energy to see out an entire season in the Premier League, Deco’s fitness level is slightly more questionable. But when you consider we still have players like Ballack, Joe Cole and maybe even another young midfielder to come, then swapping like-for-like becomes a handy option to have. Of course, it’s not a long-term solution, but Rome didn’t spring up overnight either, and it’ll certainly do away with flogging players to death Mourinho style anyway.

Another benefit of Scolari’s formation choice has to be the use of two men up front. The old 4-3-3 saw us rely far too heavily on Drogba, and the result of him not firing on all cylinders became all too apparent with United’s far superior goal difference over us last season. Unlike his predecessor, Scolari chose to play Anelka ‘in’ position, to his obvious delight, although he had to defer to his strike partner on this occasion when it came to the end product. Not so for young Argentine, Franco Di Santo, who’s introduction from the bench produced plenty of threat and a much deserved goal.

So, all in all, a pretty positive start and if the creativity and attacking play is a sign of things to come, then we’ll all be a lot happier this season than we were last. Of course there’ll be much stronger opposition to face once the season kicks off proper, but it wasn’t a bad start as pre-season’s go and the new Chelsea boss looked satisfied if not exactly over-excited on his first trip out with the lads.

Kalou gets a head-rush 20 mins in
Kalou gets a head-rush 20 mins in
Bosingwa gets a look at Lampards payslip
Bosingwa gets a look at Lampard’s payslip
Look what I can do for the money
“Look what I can do for the money”
Get your hands off and respect your elders son
“Get your hands off and respect your elders son”
watch and learn old men
Franco Di Santo: “watch and learn old men”
Scolari thinks weve got the X-Factor
Scolari thinks we’ve got the X-Factor

Lampard’s Training Ground Sulk: In Pictures

You want out eh Frank?

"You want out eh Frank?"

get over there with all your supporters and have a think about it
“get over there with all your supporters and have a think about it”
what supporters?
“what supporters?”
no point sulking now Frankie, the airports that way
“no point sulking now Frankie, the airport’s that way”
get off my toe then and Ill go
“get off my toe then and I’ll go”

And still the ruthless new Chelsea boss isn’t finished:

tell your dad youre out next son
“tell your dad you’re out next son”

 

Chelsea’s Season: No Script Required