Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughChelsea: The good, bad and ugly. Mid Term Report - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Chelsea: The good, bad and ugly. Mid Term Report - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Chelsea: The good, bad and ugly. Mid Term Report

Current Standings: 4th – Pts: 37, GD: +14

Best XI (4-3-3): Petr Cech; Jose Bosingwa, Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Ashley Cole; Ramires, Raul Meireles, Frank Lampard; Juan Mata, Didier Drogba, Daniel Sturridge.

The Season in a Few Words:
New manager, new players, new style and system. Same old Chelsea relying on same old players.   

The Manager:
A stunning season at Porto (no need to remind everyone of his achievements) put a lot of pressure on Andre Villas-Boas, as he was given the reigns to change Chelsea. He’s ousted some fringe players, benched some of the oldies, thrown in some new ones, all while trying to try to play a Barcelona style game. Unlike previous Chelsea managers, he has been given time. 

Key Player This Season:

John Terry. A Chelsea boy through and through, who bleeds blue, the skipper has had a torrid year both on and mainly off the field. When his head is in the right place he can be true leader that he is. Tough, fearless and uncompromising, he’ll die for Chelsea. He’s just got to stay out of the press and focus on his football; if he does, he can lead the Blues back to the top.

Best Player This Season:

Juan Mata. The Spaniard has been on form this season and has slotted seamlessly in Andre Villas-Boas’ team. Able to play on either side of Villas-Boas’ front three or centrally, Mata has been that ‘spark’ that Chelsea have been missing over the last couple of seasons. Four goals and 7 assists is a decent return for Mata. At only 23 years old, expect him to be around for this Chelsea side for many years to come.

Worst Player this Season:

Fernando Torres. £50 million gets you two goals in 11 appearances and 33 year old Ivorian starting ahead of him. Good value. 

Most improved Player:

Ramires. Bought by Carlo Ancelotti, Ramires first season at Chelsea provided us with a glimpse of his potential, also his inconsistency. Under Villas-Boas, the Brazilian has been in fantastic form this season. Freed from Ancelotti’s defensive roles, he’s become an attacking threat from midfield, adding goals, dynamism and energy to become a key player under Villas-Boas’ reign.

Best Signing this Season:

Juan Mata. Obvious choice. 

Best Match they played:

Chelsea 2 – Manchester City 1. A stellar performance from the Blues as they overcame the league leaders at home to narrow clinch it 2-1. Chelsea was down as early as the first minute thanks to Balotelli blunder, but they regrouped and got an equaliser in the 33rd minute thanks to Meireles. They cranked it up in the second half, pushing City to the edge (who were reduced to 10 men) and after missing some sitters, they got their just rewards when Lampard netted a penalty in 82nd minute. It’s their only victory against the Top Six this season. 

Worst Match they played:

Chelsea 3 – Arsenal 5/ Chelsea 1 – Aston Villa 3. Stamford Bridge used to be fortress under the Mourinho days. Nowadays it’s a surprise to see them lose by a handful of goals. Arsenal ran riot, shattering Villas-Boas’ high defensive line. And New Years Day showed Aston Villa put Chelsea to their sword with a counter attacking display. Something Chelsea used to be build on.

What they need to do:

With the latest reports indicating that Chelsea has signed Gary Cahill from Bolton, that’s one issue that Villas-Boas has solved. Defensive problems have been Chelsea’s obvious critic this season, but it’s the fact that Villas-Boas still hasn’t found his starting eleven that made it difficult for his team to get adjusted to his system. Getting the players he needs over the coming window might help. Finally, re-establishing Stamford Bridge as a fortress would help. 

Prediction for 2012:

They might be fourth on the ladder and everyone’s favourite to make the final Champions League spot, but Chelsea have deeper problems. The team is inconsistent and have struggled to adopt Villas-Boas’ style and this in the end will harm the team’s chances. Regular team changes and a very old squad might see them die out near season’s end. They’ll problem miss out fourth by a whisker. 5th  

Andrew Bishara

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