Could youth now be Chelsea’s key to winning the Premiership?

Chelsea Academy

We’ve all seen how Didier Drogba has transformed himself into one of the world’s greatest ever strikers within a matter of years at Chelsea. Nicolas Anelka has also flourished, collecting the golden boot in his second season after scoring 25 times in the 08/09 season. But age is not on the side of Chelsea’s two most prolific scorers in recent years,Drogba (33) and Anelka (32) will soon be of an average retiring age for a footballer. So how can Chelsea replace in confidence the players that would guarantee them goals every season?

The answer may well be lying with the three youthful strikers that they have loaned out this season. After moving to Chelsea in the summer of 2009 from Manchester City for £3.5million (fee could rise to 7million depending on conditions) ,Daniel Sturridge has thrived under Bolton manager Owen Coyle who must take the credit for turning another famous youngster into a top professional in the form on Jack Wilshere, and Carlo Ancelotti must be delighted that he has worked his magic again this year on the young Chelsea forward. After making 9 appearances for Bolton Wanderers since his loan move at the start of January, he has set the Premiership on fire scoring 7 goals and setting up many more. Sturridge has also deserved his call-up on the national scene for England u-21 being named in the 40 man squad for the championships later on this year in mid-June in Denmark.

The second of the three potential young gold-mines in Chelsea’s deck of cards is the Italian Fabio Borini. Having thrived at Chelsea in the reserves team after being made first choice striker he scored 10 goals in 11 appearances making him top scorer for the side. On 17 March 2011, Borini joined Championship side Swansea City on loan until the end of the 2010–11 season where he has linked up with his former Chelsea youth team boss Brendan Rodgers. Borini began his loan spell with the Swans by scoring a brace against Nottingham Forest and so far has 6 goals in the 8 appearences made for the club. Borini however will not be going to the European U-21 championships in Denmark after Italy failed to qualify for the competition.

The last of the three talents at Chelsea’s dispense is one Gael Kakuta, a young Frenchman who joined the club in 2007. This was not without controversy however as it was judged by the FA that Kakuta had breached the terms of his contract with old club Lens to join the current defending champions. He won Academy Player of the Year after finishing as the top scorer in the youth side finishing his first Chelsea season with 12 goals in 24 appearances and has achieved major acclaim from his team-mates including former team-mate Michael Ballack who said after a reserve game “Go see the French lad, he is the star”. In the recent transfer window he moved to Fulham to work under Mark Hughes (a legend at Chelsea) were he has made 6 appearances scoring against Sunderland for his first goal at the club.

So have Chelsea invested well for the future? Judging by the form of these youngsters they could be world-class players within a matter of years which will make Chelsea fans extremely happy to see how the future unfolds.

By Aaron McLoughlin
mcglok5@twitter.com

Chelsea must not fall into Man United’s Webb.


The biggest match of our season comes this Sunday against the United at Old Trafford. Our Blue soldiers (after screwing up mid-season) have worked and fought hard to earn us second place with three games to go. If we win against United, the premier league winner will be decided on goal difference (assuming we do not screw the remaining two). We must beat United.

The game on Saturday is not going to be an easy one. We will be playing against 12 men on the pitch. The FA has decided to aid Red Nose’s EPL trophy hunt by granting him his favorite referee, Howard Webb. With Webb in charge of our away trips, we have won three, drawn four and lost five of them. In addition, we have never won an away trip against a Manchester club with Webb in charge. Yes, the statistics look bleak but we have to play our best game and hope for the best. Red Nose is looking to avoid a trophy less season; he has rested his key players for our game in order to avoid it. Our trip to Old Trafford will not be as easy as it was last season. We can make this season the best season ever; this season could be one of football’s best comeback stories. We have to give it our best and hope the football gods show favor on us.

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Nando nets his first with an absolute beauty!

With all the rain, thunder and lightning at Stamford Bridge, it was clear the football gods wanted to announce the arrival of their beloved Nando. Watch Torres’ first goal for us.

Who says Nando caused a rift at Chelsea? A picture says a thousand words.


This is what Torres had to after his first goal.

      “I kept working and it’s thanks to all my team-mates that I scored. There’s less pressure for me now, now I can enjoy it.

      “The pitch was not the best to score the goal, but football is like this.”

      “The fans have been very patient with me,” he added. “I had more and more anxiety for them than for me.

      “Hopefully this is the first of many.”

This is what Drogba had to say on Nando’s goal.
      “I was in the changing room and I wanted to run and jump on as well.”

      “We know we have a great player here, next season is going to go well for him.”

This is what some Blues on twitter had to say on Nando’s first goal.

“SPLENDID!” – @strongnsweeet

“Good finish” – @Ahmedshamsah

“It’s about frickin’ time” – @bpbpayne

“Knew Torres wld score 2day,when he was a #lfc player,he scored against West Ham 4 fun.His drought is over.Watch hm fire em in” – @chelseaboy1971

“Four words define it all GOAL OF THE SEASON” – @BluesFanaticrat

“worth the wait…worth every penny!” – @LaEsmeralda

“worth the wait!! And there will be many more now!” – @chelsea4girls

“Top class and deserved. I thought he lost it, but great finish. And the celebration! The unity in the squad was apparent!” – @LAKTINHO

“The celebration from the fans and the players was worth 50 mn in itself.” – @vj_cfc

“was watching on live stream while painting my nails, next thing I’m screaming & the nail varnish splattered everywhere lol” – @kazzahenderson

CareFree

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…And Chelsea is second! Time to give United a run for their money.

Carefree football has officially returned to the Bridge. Flo Mo got us to a flying start in the second minute. Sala got in on the scoring in 26th minute with a beautiful curler. Flo Mo completed the rout when he headed in a delightful cross from debutant Ryan Bertrand.

The night was good. It would have been perfect if we had kept a clean sheet for Cech. I want Cech to win the golden glove. In my view, he has been our best player this season. Without Cech, we would have probably been fourth or fifth by now, he has saved our bums big time this season. Cech did not get the clean sheet because the love of our lives, Luiz poorly fouled a Birmingham player in the penalty box. Luiz has made similar fouls in the past and it is time the coaching staff addresses this problem.  No hope is lost, there are six games to go and I believe our defense can help Cech win it.

Nando decided not to score against Birmingham. I believe he wants his first Chelsea goal at Old Trafford. I am happy to wait. When that moment comes, the minds of his critics shall explode.

The great news from yesterday was that Le Arse choked as expected. With their Spurs draw, we have moved to second place on goal difference. With five games to go, the devils still have to play our Blue Army and Le-Arse. The devils play Le Arse first, If Le Arse wins we will be in good business. Yes, I know it the chances of it happening are lower than being hit by a bus or lightning but we have to be hopelessly optimistic. We will win at Old Trafford because we are back to our best and because the devils will be exhausted from their midweek champions league game.

It is going to be a long shot to retain our title but we have to give it our best. Let’s give Red Nose’s men a good run for their money.

CareFree

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Chelsea Fun Time with West Brom

Can we play West Brom every week? The West Brom game was fun. It was great to see Chelsea come from a goal down to win the game. Our players really enjoyed themselves, we were always in their box and we could have put in five or six goals. West Brom’s defense is probably the worst defense Chelsea has encountered in months. With all the fun we had with their defense, I was slightly disappointed that Carlo did not bring Nando on a bit earlier to enjoy himself.

When Nando came on, we had completed “Operation Win the Game”, so the new focus became “Operation Get Nando a Goal”. Our Blues wanted Nando to score so bad that we passed the ball to him even when he was in offside positions. It was great seeing JT inform Nando to move into position for Malouda’s free kick.

Nando showed great movement and scored a goal but the linesman ruled him offside. It was a very tight one and I wish the linesman did not raise his flag. It was not as if West Brom was going to get back into the game.

It was fun watching Chelsea win and very pleasing to see United lose to Citeh. What made me laugh was Balotelli’s wink to Ferdinand at the end of the game. Ferdinand reaction was precious and I am glad United are not touching our FA Cup trophy. Let us hope the winner of Stoke/Bolton beats Citeh in the final.

CareFree

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Champions League Post-mortem

What is your opinion on our Champions league exit? My candid opinion is that we deserve the knockout. We cannot blame our failure this year on a slip, referee or former manager. I hate to admit it but United won without even getting into third gear.

Carlo’s decision to start Torres puzzled me. Why start Torres who has not scored in over 10 hours for such an important match? Carlo’s decision was as poor as that of Capello in playing Heskey at the world cup. It is important to know that I have nothing against Torres. I believe he will come good for Chelsea soon. If Berbatov can go from scoring less goals than “own goal” to top goal scorer, Torres can do the same given he is a much more gifted striker. Carlo should have gone with the familiar Drogba-Anelka partnership.

The media has already begun their crusade for Carlo sack. I would be disappointed if the club sacks him. I do not believe a double winning manager can turn crap in a period of one year. Carlo is only as good as the players and the back staff we provide him. How do we reward his double winning season? Ballack, Cole, Deco and Carvalho are let go and replaced with Ramires and Benayoun. With Lampard, Zhirkov, Alex and Benayoun out injured for months, Carlo did not have the selection luxury of his first season.

Our season is effectively over. The only thing worth fighting for now is the pride of London. We need to finish the league on top of Arsenal for bragging rights. We need to let go of Anelka, Malouda, Zhirkov, Kalou, Ferriera and Bosingwa before next season begins. We need to replace these “experienced” legs with youthful ones. Our youth have very good technical ability and are hungry for success. We must give them the chance to replace these players next season.

Carefree

Rooney & Co Finally Break The Bridge.

Well, how does that make you feel?
We allowed finally allowed the ogre to seize control of the Bridge. It was annoying watching Shrek score but painful to see that we couldn’t bounce back. So what went wrong? Who do we point the disapproving finger at? Do we point it at the referee, Carlo, Roman or the players?

The referee
This probably the best referee we have had for an important match like this in years. I know you are disappointed that he denied Ramires a penalty. I understand but it happens in life. We can’t keep blaming referees forever. If we play our best football, no amount of poor refereeing will be able to deny us a result.

Carlo
Carlo had most of his tactics right that day. Zhirkov for Malouda was sensible given Malouda’s lack of pace and recent poor form. On Bosingwa, he no choice given Alex isn’t back for Ivanovic to play as right back. Hence the back four was okay. Moving on to midfield, we have one problem. The problem was Essien, Essien hasn’t played well lately (and that’s being generous). He has grown slow and as a result is often pressed when he has the ball. What aids Essien is his strength and ability to quickly switch play to the flanks. I expected Mikel to start ahead of Essien. I expected this because Mikel has been well rested from missing many of our recent games. Mikel is better than Essien defensively. He has a better pass completion ratio than Essien. He is equally strong and I doubt he would have been pressed as often as Essien was in the game. If Carlo knew he wasn’t going to start Mikel, why didn’t he play him against Stoke? If he had played him against Stoke, Essien could have had some rest to make a real impact on the United game. I’m sure Mikel wouldn’t have played if Bosingwa hadn’t given Carlo enough heartburn to try Essien at right back. As for the strike pair, I did not understand it. Drogba scored two goals for Ivory Coast during the international break and scored the equalizer against Stoke. I have no problem with Drogba starting. My problem is with Nando starting. Nando has played games against lesser opponents and he is yet to score. What inspired Carlo to believe it was going to be against a very organized United defense? Meanwhile, our leading Champions League goal scorer was sitting down on the bench. Moving on to Carlo’s substitutions, I understood the Mikel for Bosingwa one but I didn’t understand the Malouda for Zhirkov one. Malouda has never proven to us that he can come off bench and change a game; I felt Kalou should have come on instead. The substitution Carlo made that got me livid was Anelka for Drogba. It is not that I was disappointed Anelka on, I was disappointed that it was coming at Drogba’s expense. Unlike Torres, Drogba wasn’t waiting to be fed with the ball. Drogba was creating his own chances, he holding up the ball well for our players to get in position. He tested Van Der Sar and amongst all our players on the pitch, he looked most likely to get us a result.

The Players
I won’t criticize the players much. We know their abilities and we should not expect it to change simply because it is a champions league game. I believe our best three players were JT, Lamps and DD. Our worst three were Ashley Cole, Torres and Ramires. I know you might be surprised that Bosingwa is not in it. Bosingwa is not in it because of how good he was on the attack. Bosingwa made me wonder where Ramires was on the right wing. With that said, Bosingwa poor defending would put him fourth from the bottom.

Roman
I wonder sometimes if Ancelotti choosing to play Nando even when it doesn’t make sense is because he truly believes in him or because Roman wants to see his new signing play. Since Roman signed Nando, we have had the Toy Story scenario here at Chelsea; the only difference is that Nando’s falling in style only got him a yellow card. I hope Roman reasons and come to the conclusion that Drogba is still the star striker of our team. We have to give him the respect he deserves. If Nando wants to make an impact, Nando has to find a way to blend with the team, not the team with Nando.
If you don’t agree with me, I would love to hear your opinions in the comments.

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Up The Chels!

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