Thursday, 28 February 2013

February Discussion: Part 2.1

          As in last month's version, this part will be discussing about my preferred starters, as well as the performance of players in my point of view...

Sparta v Chelsea

Starters (4-2-3-1):
Cech (GK)
Azpilicueta (RB)
Ivanovic (CB)
Terry (CB)(c)
Cole (LB)
Ramires (MC)
Lampard (MC)
Moses (RW)
Mata (AM)
Oscar (LW)
Ba (ST)


(what is your preferred eleven? let us know, and do give comments below...)


1. Cech: Never a doubt to be our first choice goalkeeper. Made spectacular & important saves throughout the month.

2. Ivanovic: I still believe that he is better placed as a CB. His crosses and runs is not as good as a true full-back should be, however his towering presence makes him a quality center half.

3. Cole: Wonderful, wonderful player. Bertrand is not yet of Cole's quality, and while he still can play for us, he should be because will always give his best, and his skills as a LB is unmatched.

4. Luiz: His versatility remains such an invaluable asset to the club. Can play as CB when needed, however able to show his brilliant qualities as a MC. Unlucky to only have a spot in the bench (in my eleven) due to Ramires' superb form of late.

6. Romeu: A long term injury.

7. Ramires: A very energetic player and his skills has developed much since moving to the club, and has made some telling contributions & excellent goals recently. Wonderful player.

8. Lampard: Always giving his best, and always want to score goals. Only mistake he made is the penalty miss against Man City, and even so it was a lucky guess by Hart with such a good penalty taken. Otherwise, still the heart of the Chelsea midfield and fans will be deeply hoping that his contract will be renewed.

9. Torres: No goals in the past month. Really a striker lacking of confidence. His touches have been greatly disappointing recently, and will need to start picking up form and goals as well.

10. Mata: Still Chelsea's best and most consistent player. Have been a savior in several occasions, and still Chelsea's top scorer, as well as top assist. What will we be without him?

to be continued... 

February Discussion: Part 1

          This lovely month of February saw us take on 7 matches, with 2 in the FA cup and 2 in the UEFA Europa League. It's not the best of months for us, but there were positives to take, and the possibility of silverware is still there...

Frank Lampard tussles with David Silva

Premier League

          This month have not been kind to us in terms of the league. We now drop to fourth as Spurs rise to third, with Arsenal just 2 points behind us also fighting for the top four spot. Of the 3 games in the league in February, we lost 2. This is not a good situation and we will have to fight harder in the upcoming league games.
           Granted, one of them losses is against Manchester City at the Etihad. It would have been tolerable if our situation is not as it is now. And the loss against Newcastle was just sloppy. We were in the lead at 2-1 but then we messed up and the opposition scored two to give us yet another defeat. The victory against Wigan was a solid one and a much needed one. But still, we will have to work much harder in the remaining games.

FA Cup & Europa League

          These are the two remaining competitions where we still have chance of silverware, and of this moment, we are progressing fine. There were two FA cup matches, the first a fourth round replay against Brentford, and the other is the most recent fifth round against Middlesbrough. In both matches, we struggle to get our foot ahead in the first half, but cruise on pretty well in the second half. And our FA Cup journey have been pretty smooth so far, however our next opposition will be a formidable one, Manchester United.
          Our Europa League debut have not been with such a blast, with a narrow win over two legs against Sparta Prague. However, more importantly, we are through to the last 16, and with Atletico Madrid out, we are now the favorites to win it. Our next tie will be against Romanian side Steaua Bucuresti. Though not one of the favorites, European ties are never to be taken lightly, as many big sides have fallen in the continental competition.

Lampard & Oscar

          I mentioned these two names here because they are our best players of the month, IMO. Lampard have been such a presence in midfield, and recently scored lots of goals, taking him to his 199th for Chelsea. His only mistake was his penalty miss against City, but even so it was not a bad one, it was a lucky guess for Hart (probably used to training with Lampard for the national team). He is very much a big presence for the club and I can't imagine how much we'll miss him when he leave the club.
          For previous months, Oscar have been overshadowed with the manager preferring Hazard, Mata & Moses. Of course I think that Mata is still the best of them all, with the most goals & assists as well as the consistency he showed. However in recent games, Oscar have had brilliant games. With the opportunity given, he took them well, and probably earned him the first team play he got recently. He scored some important goals recently, and his slick passes and touches makes him such an invaluable asset. He certainly showed that, and with Benayoun and Marin starting to get minutes of play, we will certainly see more and more rotation in the three behind the striker.

Friday, 1 February 2013

January Discussion: Part 2.2

continuing the previous section...

Oscar and David-Luiz play table football

12. Mikel: Unable to comment as he is currently on AFCON.

13. Moses: Similarly, unable to comment as he is currently on AFCON.

15. Malouda: Perhaps his time is over. Never called, not even on the bench.

17. Hazard: Probably Chelsea's most explosive player, he can break down opposition defenses single-handedly on his day, but not consistent enough. However is still very much a valuable asset to the club and the team.

19. Ferreira: Perhaps Chelsea's most loyal player out of the field. Rarely called upon, even on the bench, but never complaints. He should be second choice RB behind Cesar, and Brana should be converted to CB instead, then hopefully Ferreira may get the chance he deserves once or twice.

21. Marin: Invisible during RDM's tenure, but starting to get games recently. Not yet showing his best, but I still think he is a potentially good player. Must be given more minutes of game when the opportunity comes.

22. Turnbull: As second choice, should have performed better when the chance came, but did not do in recent games when Cech was absent. Then again, you cannot expect too much from a backup goalkeeper.

24. Cahill: Not the best CB, but his hard work and determination is one to be commended. If JT had been in better form, Cahill would have been just a sub in my line-up. Nevertheless a quality player, and still a great asset to the club.

26. Terry: Have been injured, and since then have not been in a good form. Must slowly and patiently work his way back to the team, but currently he should stay as a sub. But we all shall await for the return of our legendary leader.

28. Azpilicueta: Adapting well to the squad and the league, and his qualities offensively have improved and defensively, always reliable. First choice RB in my mind, a wonderful player too.

29. Ba: Shown signs of what he can give to the team, but is not the best of strikers. Nevertheless, he will be an important player in certain conditions, and will be at least a rotation to give Torres the rest he needs.

30. Benayoun: Been out of favor since his move to the club, but should be given the chance once or twice, and he should perform when given. Perhaps will be more integrated under Rafa.

34. Bertrand: Not such a good idea to place him as a winger, unless when playing defensively. Will be a good replacement for Cole when the time comes, but for now must be patient and keep working hard.

40. Hilario: Nearly invisible in the club, as a 3rd choice goalkeeper.

Below is a link of Oscar and Luiz in a charity session playing table football. Very funny. Must watch...

January Discussion: Part 2.1

          In this section, I would like to share my thoughts of the players right now, and also my preferred line-up for the time.


Starters (4-2-3-1):
Cech (GK)
Azpilicueta (RB)
Cahill (CB)
Ivanovic (CB)
Cole (LB)
David Luiz (CM)
Lampard (CM)(c)
Oscar (RW)
Mata (AM)
Hazard (LW)
Torres (ST)



1. Cech: He is no doubt the first choice goalkeeper. Given he's not injured, he would have started every game for sure. His quick reflexes and decision making still makes him one of the best.

2. Ivanovic: His qualities as a CB outweighs his skills as a RB, and so I believe he is better placed at central defense. And his current form is also outstanding making him my first choice CB right now.

3. Cole: Pretty obvious as he is the best LB in the world. No one can match his skills yet, and I am grateful that he chose to serve another season as a Blue. Outstanding player both offensively and defensively, he will be much needed by the club.

4. Luiz: A quality player, and honestly I prefer him as DM/CM rather than a CB. He is an overall outstanding player, but given his occasional sloppy mistakes, it would be less costly as a CM, and his creativity and attacking flair, not to mention his free-kicks, only makes him indispensable to the club.

6. Romeu: Have not seen him in action recently. Not in the month of January.

7. Ramires: His unbelievable energy and pace also makes him a great asset. He barely makes the starting line-up because of Luiz's great quality and form. But Ramires should always be available when required, such as now when Luiz is injured.

8. Lampard: His current form is simply outstanding. His passes and play from midfield is just what the team needs, not to mention his occasional runs into the box. Given his age, he is still the heart of the club's midfield area.

9. Torres: Probably the player with the most issues surrounding him, but his hard work and classy passes and strikes still makes a him a top player. Only need to improve confidence and consistency, and he shall be Chelsea's main man up front.

10. Mata: Chelsea's best player since he arrived a year and a half ago. He can produce something out of nothing at nearly every game. His passes are genuinely brilliant, and with the numbers of goals he scored, he is just indispensable to the club. Outstanding player.

11. Oscar: Another brilliant player. He is second to Moses under Rafa, but now that Moses is on AFCON, Oscar was given the nod, and he didn't disappoint. His skills are such a wonderful one and his touches are slick and brilliant, however require little more consistency.

to be continued...

January Discussion: Part 1

          The month of January has been such a mixed one. With another hectic 9 games in a month, and not to forget the players out on international duty and the number of injuries, rotation had been done, and below are several talking points from the month of January...


Ba vs Torres?

          This is perhaps one of the biggest issue of the month. New signing Demba Ba have shown some signs and immediately earned the fans trusts. And given that he was bought for only 7m, there will be no pressure on him, at least, not as much as Torres. Btw, this is going to be the first transfer window where we earned profit (Sturridge 12m - Ba 7m) since Abramovich took over.
          Anyway, the big question is who should start more? Who is better? Personally, I think Torres is still the better choice, if he can perform. The finish he did to salvage the draw at Brentford was top class, and with his pace I think the spaniard suits better to our play. Of course in the event where he cannot perform, or if we need a physical presence to hold up the ball, that's where Ba comes in. These 2 strikers have different style of play so that they can be called upon depending on what we need. Obviously rotation is the best solution here, but then again the possibility of playing them both together shouldn't even be ruled out, they did well last time. At the end of the day, I still believe that Torres is better, but he can't play every game, so I would want Ba to come in at certain matches, and sometimes as a substitute when needed.

Capital One out, FA nearly...

          In terms of silverware, Chelsea's season is simply falling apart, from the Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, and the Capital One Cup. Then we nearly lost out on the FA Cup if not for Torres' brilliant strike salvaging the replay. Out of the 7 we could have, now there are only the BPL which pretty much out of reach, and the FA Cup and Europa League remaining. The frustration we feel must be the same as Hazard's when he kicked the ball boy. I personally want to believe that we can still win the two latter cups, but I find it hard to see with the performance of the team now. Anyway, as fans, all we can do is keep giving our undying support, the rest is out of our hands.

The Old Guards

          With the rumors about Lampard, and the recent signing of Ashley Cole, I guess it has always been something to talk about. The Old Guards, namely Terry, Cole, and Lamps, I believe, are still much needed by the team, and can still give something more. The re-contracting of Ashley Cole was a pleasing news to me. He is currently still the best left-back in the world and what a waste it would be to see him go. And Lampard, the way he is playing right now, I could not ask for anything more but for him to be offered a new contract. I'd rather see him stay, than the purchase of Cavani, literally. We still have Ba and Torres up front, but who could possibly replace Lampard??? With his current performance this good, I could wish for nothing more. And about JT, granted he has been injured, and since he have not been at his best yet, but I still believe his quality as a leader is unmatchable, and the Blues still need a player of his quality. I can only hope that these players will remain longer with the club, and maybe end their career as well.