Category Archives: Chelsea

Forget Neymar, This Chelsea Playmaker Was The Star In Brazil’s World Cup Opener

Last night we saw the start of the 2014 Brazil World Cup, with the hosts beating Croatia 3-1 to go top of group A. It was far from plain sailing though. Marcelo scored an own goal in the early stages of the game before Neymar equalised for the Samba men. A controversial penalty, converted by Neymar, and a last gasp Oscar goal completed the scoring, and although the former will get the headlines, the latter was my man of the match.

The Chelsea playmaker started on the right of a 4-2-3-1 formation and his fine performance allowed Neymar to play with a large amount of freedom.

Oscar was so comfortable on the ball that opponents looked reluctant to step to him in case he skipped past them and made them foolish.

He had two shots on goal – one being the late, toe-poked finish, and made three key passes. Oscar also completed the most dribbles on the pitch with seven and even chipped in defensively.

Oscar made four tackles, more than both Brazil centre-backs combined, and made three interceptions.

Sure, Neymar deserves credit for his performance, but for me Oscar was the best player on the pitch.

Do you agree?

Modric In, Ramires Out? Why Chelsea Should Swap Brazilian Misfit For Real Madrid Pass-Master

Some exciting news now for Chelsea fans – the Express are suggesting that Jose Mourinho is ready to offer Ramires to Real Madrid in exchange for former Tottenham maestro Luka Modric. I rate the Brazilian highly, but I think Modric could be the final piece in the puzzle for the west London club.

Chelsea finished the Premier League season with the best defensive record last time out and are spoilt in terms of goalkeepers. Both Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois are world class shot-stoppers, in my eyes.

They have a plethora of attacking midfielders, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian, while Romelu Lukaku is returning to Stamford Bridge this summer and will provide them with the target man they need.

Nemanja Matic, who I would say is one of the most able holding midfielders in European football, was drafted into the club in January and has excelled, but Ramires is a bit of a misfit in my eyes.

He’s a bundle of energy but just floats around the midfield and drifts into the wide areas without any real purpose. To swap that for Modric – a real inventive playmaker, would be an incredible move for the Blues.

Modric played 34 La Liga games for Madrid last season and notched six assists. He completed 90% of his passes, created 50 chances and completed 58 dribbles.

Chelsea fans, would you swap him for Ramires?

In The Bag: Chelsea Want To Announce £27m Midfielder This Week, But How Would It Affect The Current Crop?

The Mirror are telling us that Chelsea think their signing of former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas is in the bag, and are hoping to announce the deal this week. Whether that happens or not, I am excited about the prospect of the Spain international bossing the Chelsea midfield. But I can’t help but wonder what it means for the rest of the team.

If he signs, he will be one of the first names on the team sheet – there is no doubt in my mind.

With Jose Mourinho playing a 4-2-3-1 formation at Stamford Bridge, I am guessing he will be taking the slot behind the lone striker, as his creativity level is too high for him to be pushed back.

Eden Hazard will naturally play on the left flank and Nemanja Matic will take up one of the central slots, but that leaves Willian, Oscar, Schurrle and Salah looking for a spot.

Ramires is likely to play next to Matic in the more reserved role, leaving the aforementioned trio fighting for the slot on the right.

Willian, Schurrle and Salah are all relatively new signings, and Oscar had a superb season last time out, so I think it will be a case of strength in depth and different players used in different situations. Whatever happens, I think Fabregas would be a remendous signing. 

Mourinho Tells Torres He Has A Future At Chelsea – Why Blues Boss Is Making A Mistake

Fernando Torres moved to Liverpool back in 2007 and was followed by a huge amount of hype. After scoring 91 goals in 244 games for boyhood club Atletico Madrid, the Spain international was expected to come and set the Premier League alight. He did, for a while, but since his big money move to Chelsea back in 2010 he has not looked the same player. The Stamford Bridge outfit are said to be keeping him on at the club, though, despite his lousy performances.

It may be a case of the owner Roman Abramovich wanted to get his money’s worth, or they could be genuinely planning to use him next season, but reports are saying Mourinho has told him not to worry about Diego Costa’s likely move to west London.

For me, it’s a mistake holding onto him.

With Chelsea playing on sole striker in their system, I would suggest they need two top class centre-forwards in the first team. Perhaps a youth team striker on top of that to cover, or someone like Demba Ba.

If the Blues sign Costa, then they will have him and Romelu Lukaku to lead the line – both of which are far superior to Torres. The latter scored just 11 goals last season in 41 games, while the other two scored a combined total of 42 just in league competitions.

Torres will never be the player he once was, and the longer Chelsea wait for that to happen, the more money they could potentially lose on him.

Forget About Costa And Move For Mandzukic – Why Chelsea Should Be Focusing On This Bundesliga Hit-Man

Diego Costa scored 20 goals the season before last while leading the Atletico Madrid attack with Radamel Falcao. Some fans worried that the latter’s departure would hinder the former’s development. However, last season Costa struck 36 times in 52 games last season and is now highly sought after. But with Mario Mandzukic apparently ready to leave Bayern Munich I would suggest to Chelsea that they ignore Costa and move for Madzukic.

The Croatia international will face a lot of competition if he stays at the Allianz Arena with Robert Lewandowski coming in during the summer. At Chelsea, he would be the first choice forward, I would imagine.

Mandzukic is slightly older, but I would imagine he would cost a lot less. He scored 18 Bundesliga goals last season in just 30 appearances and grabbed another eight in other competitions. His overall total of 48 goals in 88 Bayern games is extraordinary.

He is not as aggressive as Costa and is probably a little bit better at picking his runs, while his ability in the air is nothing short of remarkable.

With Madnzukic, Ba and Lukaku, along with Andre Schurrle as back up, I would argue that they have a strong chance of winning the Premier League next season.

Arsenal Target Staying Put – Why Wenger Should Concentrate On This Young Goalkeeper Instead

It’s a sad state when top, international football players are left to rot in the background or warm the bench for long periods of time. Whether it is due to a falling out with the manager or perhaps the way they are conducting themselves off the pitch, we have seen many different cases over the years. One player that fits into that category is Iker Casillas, as he has fallen down the pecking order at Real Madrid over the past two seasons.

It has been said that Arsenal have been after him, though recent reports say that they won’t be able to land him. It’s a big blow for the north London side, in my eyes, but I would be looking to sign this shot-stopper instead.

Jack Butland has had a mixed career so far – he excelled at Birmingham and was snapped up by Stoke, but Asmir Begovic’s strong performances made life difficult for the England international and he was subsequently loaned out to Barnsley and Leeds last season.

For me, he has everything you could want from a goalkeeper and would be a good investment.

He stands at 6ft5, has made over 100 club appearances and is still only 21.

I think Wenger should concentrate on signing the youngster.

FIVE Chelsea Players To Keep An Eye On During The World Cup

With the World Cup around the corner here are five Chelsea players that we can expect to have an impact in Brazil this summer.

1) Eden Hazard – Belgium

The playmaker had his strongest season to date last time out and was the focal point of praise in the Chelsea side. The 23-year-old played 35 Premier League games, created 92 opportunities and scored 14 goals.

He is part of a Belgium squad that is fancied as a dark horse in the tournament and his individual performances will have a big impact on whether they can make a name for themselves.

2) Oscar – Brazil

Oscar is a staple in the host’s side and will be looking to continue his fine form from the season just gone. He played 33 league games, scored eight goals and completed 83% of his passes.

Brazil have the opportunity to make themselves hero to their people and I think he will have a strong tournament.

3) Gary Cahill – England

He was at the heart of the best defence in the Premier League and as an Englishman I expect him to carry that on this summer. Cahill made 216 clearances, 29 interceptions and 101 headers in his 30 games.

4) Thibaut Courtois – Belgium

Many expect him to be Chelsea’s number 1 next season and if he performs well this summer then I can see it happening. He has had three good seasons at Atletico Madrid and will be out to make an impact on the international stage.

5) Willian – Brazil

He’s quick, he’s creative and is tactically sound – Willian has a big part to play for Brazil this summer and I expect him to shine amongst a strong squad.

Willian created 64 chances in his 25 games last season.

3 Reasons Why Chelsea Should Forget About £32m Costa And Concentrate On Lukaku

 

costa

With news coming in that Chelsea have agreed a £32 million deal with Atletico Madrid for the services of Diego Costa, Romelu Lukaku must be left wondering what he has to do to get in the squad. The Belgian international has spent the last two seasons on loan, so here are three reasons why I think Chelsea should forget about the former and concentrate on the latter.

Here is the Stan James promo code, bet £10 and get £10 free

1) Price

The £32m price tag that has apparently been agree for the Brazil-born Spain international is a lot of money, although you could argue that for the player they would be getting for that it is cheap.

However, if they forgot about Costa and concentrated on Lukaku, they would save that money for other areas of the pitch, or even for a backup forward or two.

2) Premier League experience

Both Costa and Lukaku have had two impressive seasons to date, but Costa’s has been in the slower-paced La Liga, while Lukaku already has two successful seasons in the Premier League. We have seen numerous foreigners coming over to the English top tier and struggle to repay the transfer fee paid for them, and although Costa is top class, there is still a chance of that happening.

Lukaku scored 17 league goals for West Brom last season, and then 16 with Everton in the season just gone.

To put that into perspective – Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o managed just 19 league goals between the three of this season.

3) Age

Diego Costa is 26 this year whereas Lukaku turns 21 today. That five year gap will provide a lot of goals, and I think that they should be concentrating of the younger of the two.