Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chelsea 2 - Stoke 0


Chelsea 2 - Stoke 0

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Champions League Draw:Chelsea face Marseille Inter To Face Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United Draw Valencia, Barcelona And Rubin Kazan To Meet Again


The 2010-11 UEFA Champions League group stage is now set after the draw took place in Monaco on Thursday and it proposes some interesting match-ups and intriguing possibilities.

The trophy holders Inter have been dealt a tough hand in Group A as they will face-off against Werder Bremen, Tottenham Hotspur, and Twente. The likely group of death would seem to be Group G with Real Madrid, Milan, Ajax, and Auxerre.

Meanwhile, Barcelona in Group D will be relatively pleased to battle against Panathinaikos, Copenhagen, and Rubin Kazan.

Last year's finalists Bayern Munich also have a Germany - Italy duel versus Roma. Basel and Cluj round out Group E.

English giants Manchester United will take on Valencia, Bursaspor, and Rangers while Chelsea's Didier Drogba will visit his old stomping ground versus Marseille.

Chelsea Consider £8m Move For Monaco Striker Park Chu-Young - Report


Chelsea are considering a move for Monaco striker Park Chu-Young after he impressed for South Korea at the 2010 World Cup, according to The Sun.

The striker's representatives reportedly held talks with Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti ahead of their 6-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on the opening day of the new Premier League season.

Ancelotti is set to decide in the next 48 hours whether to meet Monaco's £8 million asking price for the 25-year-old, and the deal could help Chelsea make a commercial impact in the Far East.

Along with Manchester United midfielder Ji-Sung Park, Park Chu-Young is among the best known sportsmen in the Far East and could prove lucrative in shirt sales and other marketing ventures.

Saturday, August 21, 2010



Chelsea continued our emphatic start to the season with a 6-0 away win, but we didn't have it all our own way at the DW Stadium.
It took half an hour for the Blues to even register a shot on target, but as soon as Florent Malouda swept home Frank Lampard's parried effort, there was only going to be one winner, and five second half goals was the mark of a much improved showing from Carlo Ancelotti's men.
Nicolas Anelka claimed the first two, sub Salomon Kalou the next pair before Yossi Benayoun netted his first Chelsea goal in injury time.
It was a harsh lesson for Wigan, who for long periods in the opening half had dominated possession and stopped Carlo Ancelotti's men playing the football they so enjoy, but there will be no complaints that it was a deserved three points.
Chelsea's only change to the starting line-up was at right-back, where Branislav Ivanovic, now fully fit, replaced Paulo Ferreira who dropped to the bench.
Our last meeting with Wigan may have yielded eight goals, three points and a Barclays Premier League title, but Carlo Ancelotti was right to recall his first visit to the DW Stadium in September last year, when we were beaten 3-1 and eventually down to nine men.
It was the Italian's first defeat as Chelsea manager, but after last week's 6-0 win against West Brom and today's hosts' 4-0 home drubbing by Blackpool, he will have been confident of avoiding a repeat.
The Wigan side that started this game though looked a far more accomplished outfit than the one which appeared a week ago, and they were the more impressive side in the game's opening minutes. Left-back Maynor Figueroa tested Petr Cech's alertness with a long-range drive, and Hugo Rodallega then curled a free-kick at the goalkeeper in the 24th minute, both efforts before Chelsea had registered anything meaningful.
The Colombian sent another shot into the goalkeeper's arms shortly afterwards as the home side sought to convert possession and territory into goals before the inevitable Chelsea improvement, but they were out of luck.
On 33 minutes Chelsea put together the best move of the game as an intricate passing move eventually saw the ball come to Cole on the left, and when he pulled back to Lampard it looked as though the midfielder would score, but Chris Kirkland in the Wigan goal parried the ball back into play with a smart save.
On hand to tap in the rebound, however, was Florent Malouda, who netted his third Premier League goal in two games and gave the Blues a lead we hardly deserved.
Two minutes after half-time the advantage was doubled, and in sensational fashion.
Possession was well retained inside the Chelsea area, with Cole and Lampard working the ball to Mikel, who sent a 50-yard diagonal pass into the right channel for Nicolas Anelka to chase.
With the ball slowing as he approached, Anelka opted to shoot first time, and hammered it low into the far corner across Kirkland for his first of the season, and to more than likely put this game beyond Wigan's reach.
James McCarthy toe-poked just wide in response before Anelka grabbed his second in four minutes, nodding home from a yard out after Drogba had pulled Malouda's deep cross back across the face of goal.
Rodallega jinked his way past half the Chelsea defence before seeing his shot blocked, and then Alex performed a superb tackle on Charles N'Zogbia before the Frenchman could get his effort away.
Mauro Boselli's follow-up after McCarthy's deflected effort came back off the post was chalked off for offside, and then the Argentine headed straight at Cech when he should have netted.
Back on the attack Michael Essien forced Kirkland to save with his legs at his near post, and then Drogba dragged a shot wide moments after crashing a free-kick into the wall.
The Ivorian's next involvement was far more impressive, turning his man inside out and racing on towards goal, squaring for Kalou to tap home rather than trying to beat Kirkland himself as Chelsea made it 4-0 and 10 league goals for the season inside three hours.
With two minutes left Kalou was prevented from adding to his strike by a strong Emmerson Boyce tackle after showing skill inside the Wigan half, but a minute later he had his second of the game, flicking home Drogba's excellent cross from the left.
The scoring still wasn't complete, as sub Yossi Benayoun secured his first Chelsea goal, stroking home into the far corner from 10 yards to make it our best ever away win against the Latics, after another sub, Paulo Ferreira had supplied the perfect pull-back.
So two games, six points, 12 goals for and none conceded. Starts do not get any better than this.
Wigan (4-3-3): Kirkland (c), Stam, Gohouri, Alcaraz, Figueroa (Boyce 83); Thomas, Diame (McArthur 79), McCarthy (Watson 78); N' Zogbia, Boselli, Rodallega.
Chelsea (4-3-3):Cech; Ivanovic (Ferreira 62), Alex, Terry (c), Cole; Essien (Benayoun 78), Mikel, Lampard; Anelka, Drogba, Malouda (Kalou 69).
Scorers Malouda 33, Anelka 47, 51, Kalou 77, 89, Benayoun 90+3
Booked Ivanovic 36, Terry 60

Saturday, August 14, 2010



A Didier Drogba hat-trick, Frank Lampard among the goals, a mighty home win and Chelsea on top of the table. No it is not a reposting of the report from the final league game of last season, but happily the first one of this campaign.
Just six minutes of league football was played by Chelsea since the final goal against Wigan back in May and Florent Malouda netting the first against West Brom at the Bridge today.
The dodgy pre-season results were quickly forgotten and although the rest of the play between that Malouda strike and Drogba's first goal just before the interval was a little uninspiring, in the second half the Blues put the ragged Baggies to the sword, Drogba scoring a further two, Lampard opening his account for the season and Malouda wrapping up the match as he began it when he netted his second.
The afternoon had begun with good news with Lampard declared over his injury suffered on duty with England and he was named in the starting line up, as were Petr Cech and Alex whose recoveries came just in time for the 'big kick-off'.

Didier Drogba was also handed a start following his appearance off the bench in the Community Shield.
Paulo Ferreira was rewarded for his pre-season form by retaining the right-back shirt so Branislav Ivanovic dropped to the bench. Salomon Kalou made space for Drogba in the front three with Nicolas Anelka moving wide right.
Before kick-off there was the expected and totally deserved warm reception for Chelsea cup final heroes Roberto Di Matteo and Eddie Newton (their manager in 1997, Ruud Gullit, was an on-pitch guest at half-time to similar applause).
The first shot of the game was from Di Matteo's team - sliced well wide by Morrison. Anelka was the first to let fly for Chelsea - his on target but straight at Carson.
That was on three minutes and less than two minutes later the former England keeper made a double save but still could not prevent Malouda from opening his account for 2010/11.
It was the same Frenchman who initially won a free-kick in a central position when his run was blocked by Ibanez.
Di Matteo's hopes that his side could survive an early storm on the pitch as the rain poured down from above evaporated when Drogba's attempt was pushed out to Mikel and although Carson intervened again, the ball fell to Malouda just two yards out. The chance was unmissable.
Cole, a persistent attacking presence in the early stages, flashed a dangerous ball across the area soon after before Cech made his first save to keep out Dorran's deflected shot.
Bednar had the ball in the net for West Brom on 18 minutes but the Baggies' lone striker was offside when receiving the ball.
The biggest supply of danger in the midway part of the first half was from the two keepers - both escaping when under-hitting clearances. Chelsea were failing to follow up strongly on the good start. With Malouda and Anelka tucked in behind Drogba - the shape looking more Yuletide decoration than genuine 4-3-3 - Stamford Bridge was looking a very congested pitch.
On 34 minutes Cole showed he is far more than just an attacking instrument in a narrow game when he was back with a timely intervention when West Brom threatened a break with Bedner found quickly.
Then the game became the Florent Malouda show for a four-minute period.

First he crashed a shot against the post as the flag was going up - a tight offside call. Then the number 15 was almost the beneficiary of an expertly-executed Lampard back heel but was strongly resisted by Jara's challenge.
Then Drogba was dumped to the turf and this time Lampard stung Carson's hands with a free-kick. It came Malouda's way once more but this time the opening goalscorer headed over.
Right on the stroke of half-time came Chelsea's third free-kick within shooting range. The rotation put Drogba back on strike and it was third time lucky for the Blues as West Brom's wall let Carson down badly by letting the ball straight through, giving the keeper no chance of making it.
The ball flew just inside the right-hand post at the Shed End. Last season's Golden Boot winner was off and running.

There was a spot of good fortune six minutes into the second half when Dorrans' deflected shot dropped a couple of yards wide after Ferreira had been caught in possession. Cech would have struggled had it been on target.
Any chance of West Brom getting back into the game was ended soon after when Drogba netted his second, gobbling up his chance from inside the six-yard box when West Brom missed their chance to clear, a Terry header having been stopped on the line. That made it 3-0.
With our run of good opening day results now certain to continue, Ancelotti began to change his team - Ivanovic coming on for Ferreira shortly after the right-back had collected the game's only booking.
Benyoun would soon follow on to the pitch for his home debut but not before goal number four. A Chelsea hatful without a Lampard goal is always unlikely and this was not to be such an occasion. Lamps took Cole's square pass after Anelka had made an incision and wrong-footed Carson before rolling the ball home.
Drogba completed his hat-trick on 67 minutes when he both tried and received his luck with a shot from 25 yards out - the ball taking a heavy deflection off Tamas on its way into the net.
Now one of the major tasks remaining was to preserve a clean sheet that an all-round solid defensive display deserved. Alex did his bit with a headed deflection on a shot with five minutes remaining, and then substitute Cox shot wide when well placed.
Then on 89 minutes at the other end a France combination ended the day - Malouda taking Anelka's beautifully-judged pass on the right and finishing off the inside of the post.

Chelsea had recorded our biggest top-flight opening day win.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ferreira (Ivanovic 59), Alex, Terry (c), Cole; Essien, Mikel, Lampard (Benayoun 63); Anelka, Drogba (Kalou 69), Malouda.
Scorers Malouda 5, 89, Drogba 45, 55, 67, Lampard 61.
Booked Ferreira 57.
West Brom (4-2-3-1): Carson (c); Jara, Tamas, Ibanez, Cech; Mulumbu, Brunt; Morrison, Dorrans (Cox 67), Thomas (Barnes 83); Bednar (Miller 67).
Referee Mark Clattenburg
Shots on target Chelsea 13 West Brom 5
Corners Chelsea 3 West Brom 1
Fouls Chelsea 13 West Brom 10
Offsides Chelsea 2 West Brom 1

Friday, August 13, 2010



Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce we have completed the signing of Brazilian international Ramires from Benfica on a four-year contract.
The midfielder was granted a work permit on Thursday and finalised his medical in London on Friday afternoon.
Ramires was delighted to complete the deal, and while he will not feature in Saturday's game against West Bromwich Albion, will link up with the rest of the squad for training next week.
'Every player in the world would love to play for Chelsea and it's a great opportunity that was given to me, I will give my best to repay this chance, and I am very happy,' he said.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti added: 'He is a fantastic player, a fantastic midfielder, he is very young and will be the future of the Brazilian national team, and I hope he will be the future of Chelsea.'
Ramires Santos do Nascimento joins us after one season with Benfica, in which he helped them storm to the Liga Sagres title, five points clear of Braga in second place.
During that campaign, the 23-year-old midfielder, born on March 24, 1987, made 26 league appearances, scoring four times including a last-minute winner against Vitoria Guimaraes on his debut.
Rio-born Ramires signed for Benfica from Cruzeiro, on the day he earned his first call-up to the full Brazil squad for the 2009 Confederations Cup, a tournament they easily won, and he went on to help them qualify for the World Cup.
Picked in Dunga's 23-man squad, he appeared in four of their five matches but was suspended for the 2-1 defeat to Holland in the quarter-finals after accumulating two yellow cards. His only start was against Chile in the first knockout round, and so far he has 17 caps, most recently against USA in midweek.
Comfortable in either the centre or the right of midfield, he spent just over two seasons in Belo Horizonte with Cruzeiro, whom he joined from Joinville in 2007, and became a state champion appearing in 61 league matches and scoring 10 times.

English Premier League Season 2010-11 Preview


Coach: Arsene Wenger since September 1996
Star men: Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie
Last season: 3rd
Season expectations: Champions League place
Ins: Marouane Chamakh, Laurent Koscielny, Wellington
Outs: Fran Merida, Pedro Botelho, Eduardo, Sol Campbell, William Gallas, Mikael Silvestre, Kerrea Gilbert, Francis Coquelin, Sanchez Watt, Philippe Senderos
If they were a pop act, they'd be: The Saturdays; Plenty of hits and attractive on the eye, but no sign of a number one

Arsenal were finally expected to splash the cash this summer after their centre back ranks were depleted and frustrations grew about the lack of a first choice goalkeeper. So far, the only major signings have been Koscielny and striker Chamakh. The most important piece of transfer news is undoubtedly their successful attempt to keep Fabregas away from Barcelona's clutches.

Aston Villa
Coach: Kevin MacDonald caretaker manager since Monday
Star men: Ashley Young, Gabriel Agbonlahor
Last season: 6th
Season expectations: Mid-table
Ins: Barry Bannan (loan return)
Outs: Wilfred Bouma, Marlon Harewood, Nicky Shorey, Andy Marshall, David Bevan, Stephen O'Halloran
If they were a pop act, they'd be: The Spice Girls; Years of success, but one high profile departure threatens to unravel the whole outfit

A quiet summer for the Midlanders exploded into life this week after manager Martin O'Neill dramatically quit the club amid rumoured accriminations about the impending sale of James Milner and a lack of transfer spending. If the England man seals his big money switch to Manchester City, Stephen Ireland is expected to travel the other way. More faces, and a new manager, are needed imminently if the club's push to towards the Champions League can continue.

Birmingham City
Coach: Alex McLeish since November 2007
Star men: Lee Bowyer, Nikola Zigic
Last season: 9th
Season expectations: Europa League qualification
Ins: Ben Foster, Nikola Zigic, Enric Valles
Outs: Christian Benitez, Gregory Vignal, Gary McSheffrey, Franck Quedrue, Colin Doyle, Artur Krysiak, Lee Carsley, Jake Jervis
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Editors; Surprise success story from the Midlands

The debate over how much money owner Carson Yeung actually has to spend has raged on all summer. After initially racing out of the blocks with the captures of Foster and Zigic, things have gone quiet. If the rumoured arrivals of Moussa Dembele, Mauro Camoranesi and Fabio Grosso come to fruition, another season of success could be on the cards.

Blackburn Rovers
Coach: Sam Allardyce since December 2008
Star men: Ryan Nelsen, David Dunn
Last season: 10th
Season expectations: Mid-table
Ins: Mame Biram Diouf
Outs: Yildiray Basturk, Steven Reid, Andy Haworth
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Seasick Steve; Rough, tough and bad looking

Manager Allardyce have endured a frustrating summer as he has chased replacements for his shot shy strikers. Manchester United's Diouf is so far the only arrival, but after scoring on his debut, big things are expected. If further additions can be made to boost a solid squad, then another campaign free from relegation worries can be expected.

Coach: Ian Holloway since May 2009
Star men: Charlie Adam, Marlon Harewood
Last season: Promoted
Season expectations: Relegation
Ins: Craig Cathcart, Elliot Grandin, Malaury Martin, Marlon Harewood
Outs: Ben Burgess, Daniel Nardiello, Alhassan Bangura, Hameur Bouazza, Stephen McPhee
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Tangerine Dream; Supporters need to pinch themselves that Premier League campaign is not fantasy

The shock promotion story of the past decade had looked to have turned into a nightmare already after Holloway was rumoured to have grown frustrated at the lack of transfer activity. After seeing repeat deals fall through to bolster his inexperienced squad, a raft of players were secured this week. More faces are needed if The Tangerines aren't to face a season of thumping defeats.

Bolton Wanderers
Coach: Owen Coyle since January
Star men: Gary Cahill, Martin Petrov
Last season: 14th
Season expectations: Mid-table
Ins: Martin Petrov, Ivan Klasnic, Robbie Blake, Marcos Alonso, Tom Eaves
Outs: Ali Al Habsi, Ricardo Vaz Te, Nicky Hunt
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Dave Matthews Band; Dull but refuse to go away

The 'Owen Coyle revolution' has continued at pace as the club seek to move away from the dark days of Gary Megson's reign. A serious of smart acquisitions have boosted a previously thread bare squad and given signs of optimism for the first time in several seasons. If the Scot can convince Arsene Wenger to lend him Jack Wilshere again, a punt at the upper reaches of mid-table can't be discounted.

Coach: Carlo Ancelotti since July 2009
Star men: Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard
Last season: 1st
Season expectations: Champions
Ins: Yossi Benayoun, Tomas Kalas
Outs: Michael Ballack, Deco, Juliano Belletti, Joe Cole, Jack Cork, Miroslav Stoch, Scott Sinclair, Ricardo Carvalho, Ryan Bertrand, Tomas Kalas, Rhys Taylor
If they were a pop act, they'd be: t.A.T.u.; Chart topping Russian heavyweight

Ancelotti's pre-season spending spree has taken a Samba touch after attempting to bring in Ramires and Neymar. After freeing about £20 million from the wage bill after the exits of some elderly stars, the Italian is determined to freshen up his Premier League champions. So far, Yossi Benayoun has been the star arrival but expect this to change in the coming weeks as the Blues attempt to finally land the Champions League crown.

Coach: David Moyes since March 2002
Star men: Steven Pienaar, Tim Cahill
Last season: 8th
Season expectations: Europa League qualification
Ins: Jan Mucha, Jermaine Beckford, Joao Silva, Magaye Gueye
Outs: John Ruddy, Dan Gosling, Carlo Nash, Anton Peterlin, Lukas Jutkiewicz
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Simply Red; "Money's too tight to mention" but the Toffees continue to perform

Moyes has again returned with empty pockets after asking chairman Bill Kenwright for funds, but this hasn't stopped him adding to an already impressive squad. Beckford and youngsters Silva and Gueye have add to the Scot's occasionally shot shy striking options. Importantly, there have been no high profile exits to match last summer's Joleon Lescott saga to leave the Toffees in rude health on the pitch if not off it.

Coach: Mark Hughes since August
Star men: Clint Dempsey, Brede Hangeland
Last season: 12th
Season expectations: Europa League qualification
Ins: Philippe Senderos
Outs: Chris Smalling, Erik Nevland, Elliot Omozusi, Toni Kallio, Andranik Teymourian, Wayne Brown
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Billy Joel; Recently dumped for a more attractive option

After the euphoria of last season's Europa Cup final run was dampened by Roy Hodgson's exit, the Cottagers have been attempting to hold the fort. With Mark Hughes freshly installed and armed with a reported £20 million transfer kitty, another push for Europe can't be discounted. They will do this without their only major signing of the summer after Senderos was ruled out for six months with serious injury.

Coach: Roy Hodgson since July
Star men: Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard
Last season: 7th
Season expectations: Champions League qualification
Ins: Danny Wilson, Christian Poulsen, Joe Cole, Milan Jovanovic, Jonjo Shelvey
Outs: Albert Riera, David Martin, Yossi Benayoun, Philipp Degen
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Rolling Stones; Big name but no smash hit in England for two decades

After a season to forget, change has been afoot at Anfield with Roy Hodgson drafted in for Rafael Benitez. Smart moves in the transfer market have seen a weak squad strengthened with Danny Wilson, Milan Jovanovic and Christian Poulsen, while Joe Cole has added some much needed star quality. The biggest 'deals' have been Hodgson's ability to persuade Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard to stay on Merseyside and a push up the table towards the Champions League is on the cards.

Manchester City
Coach: Roberto Mancini since December 2009
Star men: David Silva, Carlos Tevez
Last season: 5th
Season expectations: Champions League qualification
Ins: David Silva, Jerome Boateng, Yaya Toure, Aleksandar Kholarov, Robinho (loan return), Jo (loan return), Joe Hart (loan return)
Outs: Valeri Bojinov, Martin Petrov, Benjani, Sylvinho, Javier Garrido, Ben Marshall, Adam Clayton, Gunnar Nielsen, Nedum Onuoha, David Ball
If they were a pop act, they'd be: P Diddy; Flashing cash like it is going out of fashion

The biggest spenders in the division have kept up the act this summer as Mancini tries to craft a squad capable of lifting a major trophy for the first time in 34 years. World Cup 2010 stars Silva, Yaya Toure, Baoteng and Kholarov have been brought in, with James Milner and Mario Balotelli believed to be on the way. An impressive roster has been established, now the pressure is on to turn the pound notes into silverware.

Manchester United
Coach: Sir Alex Ferguson since November 1986
Star men: Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidic
Last season: 2nd
Season expectations: Champions
Ins: Javier Hernandez, Chris Smalling, Bebe, Tom Cleverley (loan return)
Outs: Ben Foster, Zoran Tosic, Craig Cathcart, Matthew James, Mame Biram Diouf, Daniel Drinkwater, David Gray, Tom Heaton
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Take That; Manchester juggernaut that remains one of the biggest acts around

Groans and moans about a lack of spending from the Glazer family continue, but fresh faces have been in supply at Old Trafford. Smalling will boost a defence that fell apart through injuries last term, while Hernandez and Bebe add more bite in attack. The chase for Mesut Ozil continues and if he - or another star name - can be added, an assault on the sport's top prizes cannot be discounted.

Newcastle United
Coach: Chris Hughton since November 2009 (permanent)
Star men: Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan
Last season: Promoted
Season expectations: Survival
Ins: James Perch, Sol Campbell, Dan Gosling, Xisco (loan return)
Outs: Nicky Butt, Fabrice Pancrate, Jonny Godsmark
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Lady Gaga; Erratic, out of tune but highly entertaining

Gone are the days of the Magpies being one of the biggest spenders. With chairman Mike Ashley forcing a new found prudency, manager Hughton has gone about his business in a demure fashion. Solid signings Campbell, Perch and Gosling won't set pulses racing but give the side a chance of avoiding another painful drop into the Championship.

Stoke City
Coach: Tony Pulis since June 2006
Star men: Kenwyne Jones, Ryan Shawcross
Last season: 11th
Season expectations: Mid-table
Ins: Carlo Nash, Kenwyne Jones
Outs: Amdy Faye, Steve Simonsen, Andy Griffin, Rodney McDonald, Ibrahima Sonko, Diego Arismendi
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Metallica; They may not be pretty but their powerful hooks have struck the right chord in the Premier League

A quiet summer burst into life this week as months of frustration ended with Pulis breaking his transfer record to land Jones. The powerhouse striker is the perfect fit for the Potters and will provide an excellent focal point for Glenn Whelan's passes and Rory Delap's throw-ins. With more cash to spend, a tilt at the upper reaches of the division isn't out of this world.

Coach: Steve Bruce since May 2009
Star men: Darren Bent, John Mensah
Last season: 11th
Season expectations: Mid-table
Ins: Cristian Riveros, Simon Mignolet, Marcos Angeleri, Nedum Onuoha, Titus Bramble, Ahmed El-Muhammadi
Outs: Marton Fulop, Nyron Nosworthy, Daryl Murphy, Lorik Cana, Roy O'Donovan, Jean-Yves Moto, Kenwyne Jones
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Elvis Presley; Up and down success over the years with a mystery American in the background pulling the strings

Bruce has been ruthless in re-moulding his squad, with players coming in the front door as quickly as others have been pushed through the exit. South American duo Riveros and Angeleri look set to impress, while Onuoha and Bramble should help firm up a leaky defence. With Manchester United's Danny Welbeck set to replace Jones, the ex-Wigan Athletic boss looks set to anchor the Black Cats in mid-table.

Tottenham Hotspur
Coach: Harry Redknapp since October 2008
Star men: Jermain Defoe, Gareth Bale
Last season: 4th
Season expectations: Champions League qualification
Ins: Sandro, Giovani dos Santos (loan return)
Outs: Eidur Gudjohnsen, Jimmy Walker, Adel Taarabt, John Bostock, David Button, Oscar Jansson, Dorian Dervite, Sam Cox
If they were a pop act, they'd be: N-Dubz; London stars set to make breakthrough into Europe and beyond after success in England

The excitement building at White Hart Lane is set for breaking point as the final Champions League qualifiers set to kick-off next weekend. After successive summers of big spending, Redknapp has yet to flash the cash with Sandro's deal set-up last season. The Spurs supremo never goes through a transfer window without making a splash and a few astute buys could keep the north London outfit in the mix for domestic and foreign success.

West Bromwich Albion
Coach: Roberto Di Matteo since July 2009
Star men: Pablo Ibanez, Chris Brunt
Last season: Promoted
Season expectations: Survival
Ins: Boaz Myhill, Nicky Shorey, Pablo Ibanez, Steven Reid, Gabriel Tamas (permanent deal)
Outs: Filippe Texeira, Robert Koren, Borja Valero, Andwele Slory, Andwele Slory, Kayleden Brown, Marcus Haber
If they were a pop act, they'd be: The Yo-Yos; History repeats for the Baggies as bounce back and forth from the Premier League and Championship

Since the Midlanders were promoted back into the top flight, Di Matteo has been a man on a mission to stop the cycle of relegation and promotion. The Italian has bolstered his squad with smart buys such as Ibanez, Shorey and Reid. A lack of a cutting edge up front still hangs over the club and this must be corrected if another spell in the Championship isn't too occur.

West Ham United
Coach: Avram Grant since July
Star men: Carlton Cole, Scott Parker
Last season: 17th
Season expectations: Mid-table
Ins: Pablo Barrera, Thomas Hitzlsberger, Frederic Piquionne, Tal Ben-Haim, Winston Reid
Outs: Ilan, Guillermo Franco, Matthew Fry, Josh Payne, Daniel Kearns
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Madness; London-born owners David Gold and Sullivan having a Premier League knees up

The memories of a disastrous previous campaign are slowly being swept away as a series of exciting signings have been brought into Upton Park. With Avram Grant at the helm, Mexico World Cup 2010 star Pablo Barrera is set to be given the platform to shine, while Hitzlsberger has just returned from captaining Germany while on friendly duty. If the club can continue to resist bids for Parker and Cole, last season's battle against relegation can be consigned to the past.

Wigan Athletic
Coach: Roberto Martinez since July 2009
Star men: Charles N'Zogbia, Maynor Figueroa
Last season: 16th
Season expectations: Survival
Ins: Ronnie Stam, Mauro Boselli, Antolin Alcaraz, Ali Al Habsi, James McArthur
Outs: Marcelo Moreno, Antonio Amaya, Jason Koumas, Cho Won-Hee, Olivier Kapo, Vladimir Stojkovic, Tomasz Cywka, Tomasz Kupisz, Mario Melchiot, Richard Kingson, Paul Scharner, Titus Bramble
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Paul Simon; Calls on sections from each corner of the globe to forge an eclectic mix

The Latics' well travelled scouting department have been racking up the air miles once again to forge a team capable of keeping their head above water in the Premier League. Argentine hit man Boselli has been banging in the goals in pre-season, while Alcaraz played the star role for Paraguay at the World Cup. Boselli must continue this form if Wigan are to avoid the dreaded drop.

Wolverhampton Wanderers
Coach: Mick McCarthy since July 2006
Star men: Kevin Doyle, Matthew Jarvis
Last season: 15th
Season expectations: Mid-table
Ins: Steven Fletcher, Steven Mouyokolo, Stephen Hunt, Jelle Van Damme, Adlene Guedioura (permanent deal)
Outs: Jason Shackell, Chris Iwelumo, George Friend, Daniel jones, Andrew Surman, Kyle Bennett, Sam Vokes, Stefan Maierhofer
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Snow Patrol; Predictable and uninspiring but still residents in the top 20

McCarthy has plundered the remains of last season's relegated trio to snatch his star summer signings. Fletcher showed enough in an otherwise dismal Burnley squad for the Irishman to splash out £6.5 million, while Mouyokolo could be the break out performer at the back. Relegation shouldn't be an issue for this smartly assembled squad and the safe surroundings of mid-table should be well within the Midland outfits reach.

Thursday, August 12, 2010



Chelsea's new third kit for the 2010/11 campaign is available for pre-order today (Thursday) from the Stadium Megastore and Online Megastore.
The kit will go on sale in the Megastore at Stamford Bridge and Online Megastore on Thursday 26 August, but you can guarantee the arrival of your own third shirt by pre-ordering now.
The shirts feature adidas ClimaCool™ technology, a mixture of heat and moisture controlling materials, ventilation channels and 3D fabrics which improve air flow to the skin.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010



Chelsea Football Club can confirm it has agreed terms with Real Madrid for the transfer of Ricardo Carvalho.

The transfer is subject to a medical and the player agreeing personal terms.

Carvalho arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2004, following manager Jose Mourinho from Porto after winning the Champions League, and went on to form an excellent partnership at the centre of defence with John Terry after the retirement of Chelsea legend Marcel Desailly.

It soon became clear why Mourinho had wanted him as he showed dominance both in the air and on the ground, and although he sat out two months of his first season with a broken toe he returned to help us tie up the Carling Cup and the league championship, conceding just 15 goals along the way.

After a spell out of the side in 2005/06 he returned to the centre of a near impenetrable defence as we made it back-to-back titles, even making a trademark break from the back to smash home as we sealed the championship with a 3-0 thumping of Manchester United at the Bridge.

The departure of William Gallas and injuries to Terry and goalkeeper Petr Cech brought even more responsibility on the Portuguese's shoulders during the next two campaigns but he responded admirably and took the 2007/08 Players' Player award.

Injuries began in 2008/09, hamstring problems limiting him to just 18 appearances in a season he described as personally his worst ever.

During the summer of 2009 he was linked with a move to Inter in Italy and a reunion with Mourinho, but he stayed in west London and began the season by heading home another goal against United in the Community Shield at Wembley, winning the Man of the Match award too.

He then limped off against United in September, and although he made several attempted comebacks during the campaign, he was unable to string together a run of appearances, and Brazilian defender Alex, so often an understudy, looked to have edged ahead of his team-mate as we tied up an historic Double.

In total, Carvalho played 203+7 times for Chelsea, scoring 11 times, and during his time at Stamford Bridge helped us to three Premier League titles, two FA Cups and two Carling Cups.

Chelsea would like to thank Riccy for his six years of service, and we wish him well in his future career.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Chelsea 1-3 Manchester United


Manchester United lifted the first trophy of the 2010/11 season with a 3-1 Community Shield victory over last season's league and cup winners Chelsea.
United took a first half lead after an excellent quick-fire move that culminated in an Antonio Valencia goal, before Hernandez's second half scuffle bobbled beyond Hilario in the second. A late Salomon Kalou strike narrowed the gap and gave a platform to rally a comeback from before Dimitar Berbatov sealed victory with a fine chip in injury time.
Both sides welcomed back absentees who had been missing with injury. For United Michael Owen made his first competitive appearance since falling foul of the Wembley turf in the Carling Cup final in February, while Chelsea afforded a start to Michael Essien, who missed the World Cup with Ghana after playing little football throughout last season.
Neither manager handed first eleven berths to their summer signings, with Javier Hernandez and Yossi Benayoun watching from the bench after making their respective moves to the Premier League runners-up and winners.
Partnering Owen upfront for United was Wayne Rooney, returning from a poor World Cup in South Africa, but the striker showed early signs of the club form that saw him score 34 times in the last campaign. Early in the match the ex-Evertonian dropped deep to collect the ball and hit a measured pass that bypassed the Chelsea backline and fell to Antonio Valencia, but the Ecuadorian failed to beat Hilario with a lofted shot.
First Half
The former Wigan winger turned provider moments later after finding space down the right hand side, but his weighted cross to Paul Scholes, in space in the middle of the box, saw the veteran midfielder disappointingly smash the ball over.
At the other end, Chelsea's first effort on goal came courtesy of a stinging drive from Nicolas Anelka that had Edwin van der Sar sprawling across the goal to tip it away. Saloman Kalou collected the loose ball and rounding the Dutchman, but with the angle against him he elected to pass across goal, allowing Brazilian full back Fabio to clear after a clattering challenge on Essien.
Last season's double winners should have done better soon after from a free-kick out wide, but Frank Lampard's rolled short pass to Florent Malouda was poorly anticipated as the Frenchman scuffed his shot from the edge of the area.
They would come closer on 17 minutes via another set-piece, this time delivered by Malouda from deep, with Branislav Ivanovic rising above his marker and planting a header to the far corner, but an acrobatic van der Sar was on hand to tip the ball wide.
United were soon threatening Chelsea once more, with a clever Scholes chip finding Rooney in the area, but the Red Devils' powerful striker could only drag his shot wide of Hilario's goal whilst Owen did not react quick enough to turn in the loose ball.
What had been a highly entertaining opening soon petered out into a stop-start and slipshod affair, with both sides struggling to conjure up telling final balls and exchanging periods of possession to little effect as only a flurry of half chances that tested neither keeper. The frustration was epitomised in a brief period of activity that saw a sweeping Chelsea move end with a limp Lampard pass to van der Sar, before a stellar cross-field ball from Scholes picked out Valencia in space and with support, only for the winger to smack his cross into the legs of Ashley Cole .
Finally United were able to piece together a well worked move as Scholes – who had sprayed the ball with precision throughout the first half – picked out Rooney running towards the corner flag, and the Englishman turned the ball into the box where a sprinting Valencia powerfully struck into the roof of yet.
The goal added impetus to what had become a sloppy and stuttering game, with Rooney reinvigorated and tracking back with gusto to begin moves, and Essien hitting narrowly wide from distance as Chelsea pressed for an equaliser prior to the break.
Second Half
Half-time saw, as promised by Sir Alex Ferguson, the withdrawals of Rooney, Owen, and Park Ji-Sung with Javier Hernandez, Dimitar Berbatov, and Nani coming on, with Carlo Ancelotti opting to make no changes.
Malouda had the first chance of note in the second half after allowing a pass to roll around his body before unleashing a left-footed drive that had van der Sar beaten before glancing just wide of the far post.
Hernandez – with the nickname 'Chicharito' adorned on his shirt – then showed glimpses of what his manager deemed worthy of shelling out a reported £7million for after latching onto a Scholes pass and slipping a neat first-time ball through to Berbatov, but the Bulgarian couldn't quite reach it.
United showed further quick thinking from a free kick minutes later. As Chelsea players surrounded referee Andre Marriner, Scholes slipped the ball to midfield partner Michael Carrick who beat one blue shirt before passing to Valencia in space, but again the Ecuadorian could not pick out a team-mate despite being under little pressure.
Chelsea failed to prise open United after 15 minutes, and Ancelotti deemed it necessary to bring on Didier Drogba and Daniel Sturridge for Anelka and Jon Obi Mikel – with Malouda shifting into the middle of the pitch alongside Essien and Lampard as Kalou dropped to the left hand side of the pitch to accommodate the two incoming strikers.
The moves looked to have made the anticipated impact as Chelsea pushed forward with greater poise, and Kalou came close just minutes after the reshuffle after receiving the ball from Malouda, but the young Ivorian's shot was well caught by the veteran van der Sar.
Kalou and Malouda teamed up again moments later to tee up Essien, who shaped up and hit a distinctively venemous strike from range that only just steered wide of the United goal.
The strength and guile of Drogba would be seen too, as the talisman out-muscled Scholes and Carrick before splitting the defence with a pass to Malouda that necessitated a brave block from van der Sar.
The Dutch keeper, however, soon had a horror moment that he should really have been punished from. A high cross from Paulo Ferreira ought to have been grasped, but van der Sar could only tip it to Cole at the far post, but the left back had to wait for the ball to sit before awkwardly angling a shot straight at the keeper who had retreated to the goal line.

Both managers introduced two débutantes with Chris Smalling replacing Jonny Evans for United and Yossi Benayoun, a surprise signing from Liverpool, coming on for Malouda.
It was another substitute who would get the second goal of the game as Hernandez opened his account in English football after somewhat fortunately turning in a rare accurate cross from Valencia, who had raced clear of Cole before turning the ball across the face of the goal to the debut boy, who first slipped, then smashed the ball into the ground before it bounced off his head and into the back of the net.
That signalled a second double substitution from Ancelotti, with Yuri Zhirkov – rumoured to be leaving England for a return to Russian football with Zenit St Petersburg – switching for Cole, and youngster Jeffrey Bruma replacing Ferreira. Ryan Giggs came on at the same time to make his 13th Community Shield appearance in a straight swap for Carrick.
Chelsea substitute Sturridge should have closed the gap with a splendid chance after receiving the ball through the right channel, but the former Manchester City striker couldn't manage to lift it over van der Sar on his favoured left foot.
Sturridge, however, would be integral to his side's fortunes just moments later after confidently striding forward from the right wing and hitting a rocket of a shot that van der Sar could only parry into the path of Kalou who was left with a simple finish.
A similar opportunity would present itself to Drogba, again following another Sturridge shot, but the Ivorian – returning from surgery and an injury ridden World Cup – could only hit the side netting from a seemingly offside position.
Zhirkov then fizzed a cross across the face of goal that was clattered away from goal before a touch of class from Berbatov saw United's two goal advantage restored. The Bulgarian finished an exquisite team move with a superb chip over Hilario from just outside the area.

Saturday, August 7, 2010



Deco has today (Saturday) signed for Brazilian side Fluminense for an undisclosed fee.
The midfielder, 32, agreed terms this evening having been allowed to leave the club for Brazil last week on compassionate grounds, ahead of the clubs agreeding a deal.
We wish Deco and his family well in the future, and thank him for his service to Chelsea.
During his two-year stay at Stamford Bridge, Deco provided glimpses of his immense talent - a debut goal from 30 yards rounded off a 4-0 win against Portsmouth in August 2008 as we stormed to the top of the Premier League under Luiz Felipe Scolari, whose knowledge of the player from their time together with the Portugal national team had persuaded him to make him his only summer signing.
A sublime free-kick into the top corner at Wigan a week later suggested Deco would settle very well indeed into English football, but he was limited to just 17 league starts in an injury-ruined campaign with a range of muscular issues.
One more piece of magic did come in that first season, a dynamic overhead kick against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium, and it was against the same side that he played his best football in last season's Double-winning campaign.
Sandwiched together during a busy run of games in October, the two games were lit up by Deco's range of passing and crisp finishing, in the first he smashed home from the edge of the area and in the second swept home after a rapid Chelsea counter-attack.
Injuries were an issue though, and while effective in all areas of midfield when he did play, particularly in wins at home to Aston Villa and away to Manchester United, where his ball retention was almost impeccable, all too frequently he was sidelined, and for the second time in as many seasons he sat out the final month of the campaign, missing our historic Double.
It was a disappointing end for a truly blessed player, who in total appeared 42 times from the start and 16 as a sub, scoring six times.

Community Shield Preview: Chelsea - Manchester United


Chelsea and Manchester United meet in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday hoping to collect silverware in their first game of the season.

The Blues secured their first ever Double last season when an emphatic 8-0 win over Wigan Athletic won them the league title for the first time in four years, before a 1-0 victory against Portsmouth at Wembley saw them win the FA Cup for the second successive year.

Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side will be looking to emulate their achievements of the season before last, when they won the Premier League to complete a hat-trick of titles. Last season saw them win the League Cup and finish runners-up to Chelsea in the Premier League, so they will be determined to go at least one better than that. Their task may prove to be more difficult this season, though, as rivals Manchester City have strengthened over the summer and are ready to launch a genuine title challenge.

Both sides have had an indifferent run-up to the new season with players joining up at different times due to their World Cup commitments, but both Carlo Ancelotti and Ferguson have added new players to their squads.

Chelsea have brought in Yossi Benayoun from Liverpool for a fee believed to be in the region of £6 million, and are expected to complete the £18m signing of Benfica’s Ramires in the next few days, while United have signed youngsters Chris Smalling and Javier Hernandez for undisclosed fees.

Ancelotti’s side have had a poor pre-season results wise. A 1-0 win over Crystal Palace has been followed up by three consecutive defeats away to Ajax, Frankfurt and Hamburg, prompting criticism of Ross Turnbull, Hilario and John Terry for defensive errors made in these games.

Manchester United began their pre-season with a tour of America where they beat Celtic, Philadelphia Union and the MLS All-Stars, but losses to Kansas City Wizards and Guadalajara prevented them from leaving the States unbeaten. A 7-1 win over a League of Ireland XI in midweek sends the Red Devils into Sunday’s clash on form and they will be looking to get one over on the Blues, who beat them on penalties at Wembley in last season’s Community Shield.


Chelsea and Manchester United Preseason Results

Hamburg 2-1 Chelsea
League of Ireland XI 1-7 Manchester United
Frankfurt 2-1 Chelsea
Guadalajara 3-2 Manchester United
Ajax 3-1 Chelsea
MLS All-Stars 2-5 Manchester United
Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea
Kansas City Wizards 2-1 Manchester United
Chelsea 1-0 Portsmouth
Philadelphia Union 0-1 Manchester United


Petr Cech will miss the start of the season with a calf injury so Hilario will take his place ahead of Ross Turnbull.

Didier Drogba has to settle for a place on the bench, while Alex (calf) and Jose Boswingwa (knee) are ruled out.

Carlo Ancelotti has named his starting line-up and has stuck with the same 10 outfield players who began the 2-1 loss to Hamburg on Wednesday.

Confirmed starting XI: Hilario; Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole; Essien, Mikel, Lampard; Kalou, Anelka, Malouda.

Manchester United

England captain Rio Ferdinand is again missing with the knee injury that ruled him out of the World Cup.

Brazilian duo Rafael da Silva and Fabio da Silva will also miss the game through illness, while Michael Carrick (ankle) has been ruled out for the first two weeks of the season.

Sir Alex, who has confirmed that Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney will play 45 minutes each, has given Patrice Evra an extra week off following his exploits with France at the World Cup.

Possible starting XI: Van der Sar; Neville, Vidic, Evans, O’Shea; Valencia, Fletcher, Scholes, Park; Owen, Berbatov.



Didier Drogba will undoubtedly play a major role for the Blues this season, and could make the difference this Sunday once again - as he has done so often. The Ivorian enjoyed his best season at Stamford Bridge last season, netting 37 times throughout the campaign on his way to winning the Premier League Golden Boot. Although the Ivorian is starting on the bench, don’t put it past him to be the match-winner.

Manchester United

The Red Devils’ key man against Chelsea could be new signing Javier Hernandez. The 22-year-old starred for Mexico at this summer’s World Cup and has already caught the eye of the United faithful, scoring on his debut after coming on as a substitute against the MLS All-Stars. Sir Alex has a tendency to start the players who did so well for him in the previous season in these kind of games, but the Mexican will be desperate to make an impact if called upon from the bench.


Always a tough one to call with the season not yet underway. Difficult to go just on pre-season results so I’m going for a tight game with Chelsea to win narrowly. United are still without Rio Ferdinand which could prove to be the difference if Didier Drogba & Co can start the new cseason the way they ended the old one.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hamburg 2 ‏vs ‏ 1 Chelsea


Hamburger SV pulled off a fine pre-season win over a Chelsea side who will rue the equaliser from the Germans.

Chelsea named a strong starting eleven for their freindly match against Bundesliga side Hamburg in their final match before Carlo Ancelotti's side prepare to face rivals Manchester United in the Community Shield on Sunday.

The Blues named England trio Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and John Terry in their team and Ancelotti decided to start with a 4-4-3 formation with Anelka, Kalou and Malouda operating as the front three.

Ross Turnball got the nod in goal as he continued to deputise for the injured Petr Cech, whilst Michael Essien continued his road back to full fitness.

Chelsea started the game well against the German side, dominating the lions share of possession at the Imtech Arena with some controlled passing movements, but the English champions never really created any clear cut chances.

Saloman Kalou had the first golden chance off the game when he had a free header from an unmarked position which he headed over.

Frank Lampard opened the scoring for Chelsea just after that however, when Hamburg defender Jonathan Pitroipa sold a back pass short to his goalkeeper and Michael Essien supplied the England midfileder who made no mistake in front of goal.

Pablo Guerrero nearly equilised for the home side on 35 minutes when he headed against the crossbar after darting in front of the Chelsea defence from a corner, it was a let off for Carlo Ancelotti's side who had began to let their opponents boss proceddings.

Chelsea were still causing Hamburg problems on the counter attack though and Ashley Cole was close to getting a second when delightfully put through, however he chose the wrong option in front of goal and the chance was wasted.

Ruud van Nistelrooy spurned a great opportunity to grab an equaliser for Hamburg on 53 minutes, when after picking up the ball on the edge of the box, tried a first-time effort, which flew harmlessly over the cross bar.

And the home side were almost punished immediately after. Some sloppy play from the Hamburg defence saw Mikel close down the play, and the ball trickled through to Lampard who fired an effort on goal, but unfortunately for the visitors, dragged the shot wide.

Drogba then spurned a glorious chance for the visitors. Having been played through on goal by Essien, the Ivorian cut inside his marker, but took too long on the ball, and Rost did well to smother the striker’s advances.

And wasted opportunities continued to fuel the plot of the second half, as Hamburg missed another gilt-edged opportunity, with Mladen Petric the culprit this time. Jarolim whipped in a corner, which evaded the Chelsea defence before reaching the Croatian’s head, but Petric was unable to direct his effort goalwards.

But the Croatian made amends on 71 minutes. Chelsea seemed comfortable, as Terry played a simple pass to Yuri Zhirkov, but the Russian played a suicide ball back to Ross Turnbull, and the goalkeeper was unable to reach the ball before Petric, who coolly lifted the ball over him, and into the net.

And with the match seemingly destined to end in a draw, up popped Heung Min Son to grab a winner for the home side with less than five minutes to go. The 18-year-old took he chance expertly, collecting the ball inside the Chelsea penalty area, before calmly slotting the ball underneath Turnball, and into the net.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Chelse Manager Carlo Ancelotti Hopeful Of Sealing £18 Million Swoop For Benfica Midfielder Ramires


Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has admitted he has 'hope' that an £18 million deal will be concluded to sign Brazil midfielder Ramires.

Ramires, 23, has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge to fill the void left by Michael Ballack, Joe Cole and the impending departure of Deco. Benfica have admitted the deal is out of their hands after 80 per cent of the players' right were sold to a third party and he is reported to have arrived in London for a medical.

Speaking to the club's official website, Ancelotti insisted a deal hadn't been sealed yet but was optimstic it was impending.

He said: "I don't know, I will speak about Ramires when Ramires will be a Chelsea player.

"Until now he is not a Chelsea player, we hope, but until now nothing is decided."