Chill Out, Willie G!


William Gallas has gone crazy and has also fallen out of favor (apparently) with manager, Arsene Wenger. The current Arsenal captain’s madness or lunacy came after the poor result in the North London derby. Arsenal threw away a two-goal lead in the dying minutes of the match, which ended in a draw. There were even rumors of locker room brawls. There were also the losses to Stoke & Aston Villa, which have added even more flames to the fire in the last few weeks.

williamgallasGallas will most likely be stripped of his captaincy & Arsene will have little choice but to do so. But don’t blame the media for blowing this up to the point that Arsenal supporters might as well call the season off. Should we blame Gallas, who has become an orator in the last few weeks? Or Arsene and his “young guns”?

For the sake of the game, I think the “blame game” is bullshit. Arsenal’s inconsistencies are mirrored in their manager, who either praises his Gunners over a win or blames it on everything when they lose. I’ll use this term again, Professionalism – because however a team performs, the manager always has to be professional about it.

I believe the most professional and convincing managers are those that avoid displaying too much of anything. And it’s a little obvious that I’m going to use Scolari as an example of the professional manager because whether it’s after a victory or defeat, Scolari will only & constantly talk about how Chelsea needs to improve. This critical way of approaching such matters is vital in terms of allowing the team to be consistently consistent.

So, I really don’t feel sorry for Arsenal. And Gallas, who will definitely be the scapegoat out of all this deserves to lose his captaincy because it’s totally unprofessional to vent out about your team and play the “blame game” out into the media. And now he’s trying to unite his team and call them out to “war” in order for them to win anything this season. But who will follow his lead once he’s not the captain anymore? Who will listen to someone, who once blackmailed his own team that if he wasn’t allowed to be sold, he would score on his own net? I said it before the season started and I’ll say it again – Arsenal will not win anything this season!


Time For A Drogba Divorce


There is a lot of risk to keep Didier Drogba and it is Chelsea’s fault. Why keep a player who has had doubts over his commitment to the team even before the season had started? But more importantly, his character has put Chelsea’s professionalism in question. And this is what Chelsea needs to address within the next two months.


Didier Drogba is fighting a personal battle. His passion for Chelsea is no longer there, though he’s stated over and over again that he is more committed now because of Scolari. However, since his demotion as a bench player, it’s been more evident that he is not willing to play for a team that doesn’t see eye-to-eye with what he believes is right. And what Drogba believes is that he is an important key player and if he is not seen along these lines, then the team is wrong for thinking so.

FBL-ENG-PR-CHELSEA-SUNDERLANDChelsea need to stand their ground because a team is more important than a single player. And if Drogba is committed to Scolari as his manager, then he needs to express that as a professional player. Right now, Drogba is unhappy, unfit, unrealiable – but this is due to his poor form after coming back from injury. Scolari is right in choosing Anelka and Drogba is wrong for taking it personally. Anelka is more determined this season. He took part in Chelsea’s preseason tour in Asia in the Summer and with him, the team is more in sync. In contrast, Drogba is still unaware of Scolari’s tactics. Drogba missed the preseason tour, which I believe was important to Anelka’s emergence this season. For all the games Drogba has missed, Anelka has taken advantage of. He’s become more and more familiar with Scolari and the new Chelsea style of play.

And the new style of play is something more smooth and fluid. It fits Anelka well because he is a finesse player, similar to Deco & Lampard. There is less of a need for that very powerful striker, though it does help Scolari that he has two very different types of players. However, at this moment, Chelsea is happy with this fast, less power, but more polished style of play, which means that players like Drogba, Bridge & Ballack are going to struggle because that style of play contradicts to their personal style.

Chelsea strengthens


Chelsea face Championship side, Burnley tomorrow night in the fourth round of the Carling Cup. Scolari is not taking any chances and will most likely utilize his returning big guns. Didier Drogba will be set to start to try and regain form. Meanwhile, Michael Ballack, Ashley Cole and Joe Cole are all set to make a return and are expected to start at the bench.

This is awesome news at a time, where Chelsea need to gain as many points as they can leading towards the new year. Already ahead of United by 8 points – the Blues will be happy to maintain and gain more points between them and the current champions. Ashley Cole has been missed, as Wayne Bridge looks unsettled to permanently take that spot at leftback. And the fact is Wayne Bridge is a starter in this league and has been surrounded by rumors throughout the season, which will inevitably lead to him leaving Chelsea eventually.

Ballack, who has missed over a month of play, will look to provide some much needed strength in the middle. The strength that Ballack provides is what Chelsea lacks, especially in the Champions League. Besides Anelka’s success so far this season, Chelsea hasn’t looked dangerous in the area since Ballack’s absence and the big German’s manacing presence in the air. Joe Cole’s return will be a blessing for Scolari with the lack of attack and inspiration coming from the right. Bosingwa has been the Blues iron man at the right and the return of Joe should lighten the load on the Portuguese rightback.

Chelsea presses on


It’s a cold, gloomy and windy day out here in west Toronto. I felt cozy, warm watching Chelsea and Blackburn fight in the miserable weather out in Lancashire. It wasn’t the most interesting match to watch, but because of the warning that the game could be abandoned, I hoped for dear life Chelsea would score before the half.

Anelka put Chelsea up 1-nil before half-time, as Jose Bosingwa’s hopeful strike from 40 yards out deflected off of Anelka’s knee and passed Paul Robinson. The rain ceased after 50 minutes, as predicted and the match went on full of reckless tackles and careless turnovers. The keepers kept the game close. Robinson saved a couple good strikes from Frank Lampard, who continues to impress each game. Petr Cech, who was caught out of position, kept out a sure goal from a blast by Chilean midfielder, Carlos Villanueva from inside the area to keep Chelsea up. Jason Roberts, who turned John Terry – also from inside the area – saw his shot deflected out by the Czech keeper to maintain a cleansheet.

Anelka scored his second in the 67th minute to quietly put the game away and put Chelsea back on top of the League table. But Chelsea’s best moments were in the last 15 minutes, maintaining good possession and counter-attacking in full-blitz fashion. There were moments during the match, where I thought Chelsea were uninspiring and almost careless – mimicking the same attitude that saw them throw the game away to Roma in mid-week. I’ve become more critical of Chelsea during the last couple of months and this was definitely one of those games, where I thought they could’ve done more. But let’s save it for another time in more favorable conditions.

Key moments of the match:

  • Frank Lampard is kneed at the back of the head and turns into “Feisty Frank,” not accepting Vincenzo Grella’s handshake, despite replays showing it was an accident.
  • Vincenzo Grella would need to come out of the match because of injury, but most likely because of the incident involving his knee accidentally hitting Lampard at the back of the head.
  • Paul Robinson’s overacting during his “saves.” The ball doesn’t weigh that much, Paul.
  • More “sexy football” talk & it’s funny this notion of sexy football comes out Filipe Scolari, who turns 60 today.

Save your money, We don’t need a new home


Chelsea are considering buying a new home at Battersea, some three miles away from their current home. I’m not surprised by this news of wanting to expand to a bigger arena. But it is shocking that this news came out just days after Roman Abramovich had just decided to lay off club personel because of the huge financial crisis.

The new proposed stadium will seat 65,000-75,000 supporters, but will Chelsea have that much support? The Chelsea board are looking to follow the successes of their North London rivals, Arsenal, who since moving away from Highbury to the new Emirates stadium has had revenue of about £3m each home match. But the real problem will lie on the Blues home support, which has lacked in the last year – failing to sell out tickets to big European matches and even home matches. And if Chelsea are having problems filling up a stadium of 42,000 I’m sure they’re running risky business if they plan to spend £500m more in being hopeful. Stamford Bridge has got the charm and it works for some of the league’s more quieter supporters to have a small stadium to fill with their voices.

Let`s all thank Samir!


It must be sweet for Gunners supporters to see the irritation & frustration on all the United players throughout the match. I’m happy that Arsene Wenger doesn’t have to make a press conference this week to whine and insist his team didn’t deserve a bad result or that the other team wasn’t playing fair to their “standards.” Well, let’s just say the Gunners were about a couple minutes away from the long 6 minutes of added time in the end from blowing another two-goal cushion.

And Chelsea are happy with this result, which could result and should result in Chelsea having an 8 point margin from United after this weekend. Having said that, Liverpool supporters are probably thinking the same thing. But by February, I won’t be surprised and I know I’ve repeated myself a few times already that Liverpool will be in the race for the title, but United will most likely be the main contenders that Chelsea will have to go up against. And an 8 point margin could be pivotal, as it gives Chelsea a couple of slip-ups and still wind up favorites to win. Thank you, Samir!

Scolari Not To Blame For Backwardness
November 7, 2008, 5:23 pm
Filed under: Chelsea, EPL Football | Tags: , ,


Gianluka Vialli recently stated that Chelsea had gone backwards under Scolari, unable to beat the big teams. I will disagree with this statement, simply because I feel Chelsea had been on this slow decline for the last couple of years now, beginning with Jose Mourinho’s last days as Chelsea manager. Avram Grant may have taken Chelsea to the Champions League Final, but it didn’t hide the fact that Chelsea were not the same formidable team six years ago.

I think what Scolari inherited at the start of the season was a weakened Chelsea squad. Chelsea are still and will always be relentless in spirit and manacing on paper with the same group of guys around. The problem is that Chelsea’s become more stiff in the last few years with a sense of inflexibility in the middle and an apprehensiveness at the back. It’s no wonder teams are no longer seeing Chelsea as a dominant team. Take away Chelsea’s control over possession and domination in the middle and the team will struggle. Didier Drogba, who was once a vital part of Chelsea’s success can hardly stay fit. Meanwhile, there is also a huge lack of belief on the Chelsea youth that the team has had to rely on buying mainstream, mature players, whose talents are already diminishing – Deco, Mineiro, Belletti, Ballack, Anelka.

It is still too early to tell whether Chelsea are still capable of being champions. But the scary thing to think about is that in 3-4 years, Chelsea don’t really look well prepared in terms of replacements for Frank Lampard, Joe Cole or John Terry. The only real promising young star Chelsea have at the moment is Mikel John Obi, who has stood out as Chelsea’s jewel this term. Scott Sinclair has barely made any appearances under Scolari & Franco Di Santo still looks unqualified to even be in the first team. But of course he is only 19 yeard old and already being put under difficult situations with the vast number of injuries suffered this season.

Scolari’s job is simply to counter the backwardness that he’s inherited under this Chelsea team. He needs help from Peter Kenyon and Roman Abramovich to bring in a couple young, fresh and ready players to fill the roster he wants. However, Scolari needs to put more value into the Chelsea youth and spend wisely. The best options right now for Chelsea is to sell some excess players – Branislav Ivanovic, Paulo Ferreira and even Didier Drogba in order to make room for guys like Michael Mancienne, Scott Sinclair who are constantly loaned out.

What I’m trying to suggest is that if Chelsea are really looking to move on from Mourinho, Grant, then they need to be truly willing to move on. And this means getting rid of some of those old aspects in order to start fresh before it becomes too late and everything falls apart. There is promise there for Chelsea, but right now they still need a couple more players that can really open up their attack & to bring that width that they need in order to have a more dimensional aspect of play.