Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The off-season: Chelsea

Even finishing second in the league and being a penalty kick away from winning the Champions' League is not enough for Roman Abramovich. This Russian oligarch wants to win everything and if it means sacking two good managers in the form of Mourinho and Grant, than that can be arranged. The most mportant signing for the Blues in the coming months is who becomes manager, since they will be under enormous amounts of pressure to deliver at least the Premier League title or the Champions' League trophy in their first season. I think most Chelsea followers don't care who comes in, as long as the manager produces trophies and exciting. Yet I know two true Chelsea fans who are a bit disgusted at the way Abramovich has treated the club and are wary anything the billionaire does.

GK: Petr Cech, Carlo Cudicini, Hilario

I'm sure whoever comes in will keep Cech and Cudicini. Hilario will go since Mourinho has already left but Chelsea will need a third goalkeeper.

RB: Paulo Ferreira, Juliano Belletti, Jose Bosingwa

I don't know why Chelsea signed Ferreira to a long term deal - he's crap and should have been sold this summer. Yet they will have three profile players competing in this position after signing Bosingwa. Yet another reason why Chelsea are a difficult team to understand.

LB: Ashley Cole, Wayne Bridge

It is amazing to see England's top two left-backs at the same club but there you go. After two seasons underneath Cole, I think Bridge will finally move on. I expect Villa and Newcastle to be top of the pile of clubs asking for him to play for them.

CB: John Terry, Ricardo Carvahlo, Alex, Branislav Ivanovic, Tal Ben Haim, Khalid Boulahrouz

It is inevitable Terry and Carvahlo are the top choices with Alex backing them up. It's just much harder to think of the fourth choice centre-back. Ivanovic has not played at all and you wonder if he ever will. Ben Haim and Boulahrouz are on their way out, leavng possibility of more space in Chelsea's locker room for another central defender.

WG: Shaun Wright-Phillips, Joe Cole, Salomon Kalou, Florent Malouda

Even though Chelsea do have enough wingers, some will be going and others have their futures in doubt. Definitely going will be SWP, whose career has stalled at Chelsea for the past few years. Malouda started last season off well but faded at the end but will be given another season to prove his worth. I think Joe Cole will definitely stay as he's too good and versatile to let go, plus no team in England outside the top four could afford him. Kalou is totally incompetent up front but as a winger he's fast and gets crosses into the main man.

CM: Claude Makelele, Michael Essien, John Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack, Steven Sidwell

Along with Manchester United, probably the best central midfield players in the world. The only blemish is Steven Sidwell, who should be punished by other clubs by not signing him until 2009 because he just took Chelsea's money to rot away in the reserves when he could have joined the like of Aston Villa or Everton earlier, played regularly and even could have made the England team if he wasn't that greedy like Ashley Cole.

FW: Didier Drogba, Andriy Shevchenko, Nicolas Anelka, Claudio Pizarro

Unlike Manchester United, Chelsea don't have a settled forward line-up. Their best forward Drogba wants to go AC Milan. Their most malaligned striker (Shevchenko) wants to go back to AC Milan. Pizarro is crap and Anelka is a whining bastard. You could see all of them staying or going, depending who comes in to manage this mess.


In: Goalkeeper x 1, Left-back x 1, Forward x 1
Out: Hilario, Ben Haim, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Sidwell, Shevchenko

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