A Chelsea to Look Forward To

Though I will always be sad that Carlo was given a rather rude exit, I am happy that at least things have come full circle and Mourinho has made his return (complete with the first interview). He has come in at a marvelous time because Chelsea have lined up a few young players on loans that have had impressive seasons away and are ready to fight for a spot.

So far he a has endorsed Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, and Tomas Kalas to be part of the first team this season. Lukaku has looked like he is progressing nicely with his 17 goals on loan at West Brom. This is exciting because he is showing all the traits of a proper target man or poacher. The fact that this was in the Premier League including a hat-trick against Sir Alex Ferguson’s last match in charge of the Manchester United squad. The 20 year-old Belgian knocked in 15 and 16 goals at Anderlecht, his former club in Belgium in the 09-10 and 10-11 seasons, respectively in about as many matches. This is a promising striker that can easily become a legend.

De Bruyne, produced a solid 10 goals and 9 assists over at Werder Bremen last season. I believe he can be successfully rotated with Mata, Hazard and Oscar to create one of the most creative attacking midfields in the game right now. In a few seasons, these guys will be able to play off each other in a Spain/Barca/Brazil level. It especially helps that De Bruyne, Lukaku and Eden Hazard are all on the same Belgian squad and they all get national play time.

The 20 year old Czech defender, Tomáš Kalas, is admittedly less known to me as I do not watch Dutch football and he spent the last two seasons at Dutch club Vitesse. I am happy to see this player develop though.

In addition to the returning loanees are some new faces. The 22 German midfielder, André Schürrle, is yet another exciting addition to the impressive line-up in attack developing at Chelsea. With his 14 goals and 9 assists playing for German club Bayer Leverkusen, he will hopefully keep form at Chelsea.

Marco van Ginkel, the 20 year old Dutch midfielder from Vitesse, is another player that I do not have a ton of insight on and will be eager to learn more about.

You can read more about the rumors and speculation but I believe that Chelsea is setting up for another round of excellence with this new crop of players. I only hope that it is not a crowd and we don’t see an attacking midfielder or two lose out on their potential.

A side not I will acknowledge which I have mentioned before on Twitter is that I like the personality of the new players. As talented as Terry and Cole are, they make a lot of people hate Chelsea. The new crop seem to enjoy playing and lead less scandalous lives.

Take care,

Daniel

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How I See The Situation With Frank Lampard and Chelsea F.C.

I haven’t written a post in a while because I’ve been busy and in all honesty I am not bothered with a lot of recent events. I will post about my plans for my blogging in another post but for this post I want to talk about the Lampard situation. As many know, Frank Lampard has been a bedrock of the majority of Chelsea’s success after moving from West Ham for the 2001-2002 season. Recently there has been a lot of speculation as to what will happen given that he is 34 and his contract ends this summer.

On Twitter, people have been divided on how to feel about this. Some think he should stay like Giggs or Scholes are doing for Man U. Some say the fact that it’s even a topic of discussion is crazy. Here are the reasons I think we should just let this be sorted out amongst the parties that need to be involved:

1. Manager

Right now, we have no idea who the manager will be, what system they will use, etc. Lampard is 34 not 24. He doesn’t have time to feel out the position. This is not the strongest argument but one to consider.

2. Squad Development

Since winning the Champion’s League, I’ve seen the team as constantly in search of it’s new direction. Big progress was made in bringing Oscar and Hazard in to form the infamous Mazacar attacking three with our little magician Juan Mata. There are many midfielders also looking to break in such as Oriol Romeu, Josh McEachran, John Obi Mikel (who is still fairly young) and sometimes David Luiz in deeper positions and Kevin DeBruyne and Marko Marin fighting for those attacking spots. These are all young players who need to feel the same trials and tribulations Lampard did to get where he is today. Lampard could settle on a bit role but that brings me to my last point.

3. What Lampard Wants

At the end of the day, he has done more than enough for the club. I think that first and foremost he must assess his priorities. He is very capable of playing top flight football until retirement. He has an eye for the game that will not go with age. However, he will have wages he or his agent may want considering his potential at other clubs. If he wants a potential bit role on reduced wages because he loves the club then it should be allowed but there shouldn’t be any disrespect in him leaving to say go to the MLS where he will still get wages and a solid fan base.

As I always say though, this decision doesn’t involve us in the least bit so forgo instant anger at rumors and just let whatever happens happens.

 

-Daniel

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3 Positives From Rafa’s Reign

Everyone watching the Premier League is aware of the animosity many Chelsea fans have towards Rafa Benitez, the current interim manager. I don’t happen to be one of these people. He isn’t my favorite manager but I respect what he does just as I respect Sir Alex Ferguson for what he does. RB is at Chelsea now and even though the Club World Cup is not ours, I think he is doing some much needed tinkering. Here are the top positives I have taken so far.

1. Torres

Many think it’s pretty obvious that the reason Benitez is here is to make Torres score. With 13 goals all competition and 7 Premier League goals (13 being the top amount), Torres is in what would be called good form now. He also has a lot of responsibility by being basically the only striker. I believe that as mentioned during today’s match, part of what has helped Torres is that the pressure has been taken off of him a bit because of the animosity towards Benitez. Torres has been allowed to just play, take chances, miss then score like any other forward. This is the ideal time to go and buy another striker because it would only lighten the load so Torres not scoring one match doesn’t hurt the squad. Whatever Benitez has done or said has restored much needed confidence in Torres.

2. David Luiz

I won’t go too much into this since I have an article on this topic but Luiz as a midfielder is good for multiple reasons. In today’s match, Luiz lost the ball a couple times. When he was a defender, that meant we were exposed if Mikel isn’t there to hold and cover for Luiz. With Luiz in midfield, there are still two center backs. It allows him to be as expressive and active as he is naturally likely to be.

3. Defending

The defending problem is definitely linked to the Luiz problem with Terry being out but I definitely think the whole mentality has changed. I don’t know the stats but I bet at least half the goals conceded this season involved a winger crossing the ball to around the penalty spot where a center back or defensive mid should have been only to be put in by and unmarked attacker. We will see in coming matches but this seems to have stopped which has naturally led to less goals being conceded.

As to the future, I hope we can bring on board a striker to help Torres out up top, especially with Sturridge heading to Liverpool. I personally think the squad doesn’t need a lot of improvement playerwise.

-Daniel

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An Interesting Article on Mass Shootings

In the wake of the recent shooting in Newton, Connecticut, there has been a lot of debate and such about movement to reform gun laws. I have come across an article that I believe raises some good points and sentiments that many may hold. Worth a look.

This is another article from a different perspective on the issue saying that it may be too late to simply enforce gun bans.

-Daniel

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Andrew Bynum has advice for Dwight Howard: Get used to not touching the ball with Kobe around

Originally posted on ProBasketballTalk:

Dwight Howard tried to avoid talking about Andrew Bynum when the topic came up, and what he did say what right out of the “NBA cliché handbook.”

Bynum on the other hand had no problem talking about Howard and the Lakers.

He says he understands Howard’s challenges, because it’s not easy getting used to playing next to Kobe Bryant. It’s the kind of thing that could stunt a players growth. From CSNPhilly.com.

“I think Dwight’s a great player, but he’s going to have to get accustomed to playing with Kobe obviously, and not touching the ball every single play,” Bynum said…

“Later I thought I was able to get the ball more and do more things with the ball, so I could definitely see how at the end it could stunt growth,” Bynum said. “Winning championships there was fun. But obviously my time there is done. Health is the…

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While you weren’t looking, Golden State got really good

Originally posted on ProBasketballTalk:

They are 15-7, on a five-game winning streak all on the road with a signature win now in Miami. Their shooters and offense starting to find a groove while they dominate the glass. They are a team to watch in the Pacific because they are just going to get better.

The Lakers wish we were that writing about them.

But while everyone has watched the Lakers bumble and stumble, while Blake Griffin finishing Chris Paul’s lobs dazzled people, the Golden State Warriors have become a good team. A legitimate playoff team in the West.

A team that should get better as they go forward because their defensive anchor of a center, Andrew Bogut, has yet to play any meaningful minutes, plus key players have actually not been playing as up to levels we know they can reach.

Golden State has become a team to watch under Mark Jackson. This…

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Natural Born Midfielder

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Today’s match against Monterrey was a first for Brazilian center back David Luiz at the defensive midfield position alongside Mikel. From his first couple of matches, many have considered Luiz a liability as a defender because he gets too into moving up with the play and reckless tackles. His first year or more at Chelsea, Luiz garnered a lot criticism. The epitome of this was former Manchester United player and current pundit Gary Neville’s “Playstation controller” remarks last November. Around Chelsea’s Champion’s League turnaround last year, Luiz put in performances that merited articles such as this one. It showed progress in his defender role.

Yesterday in this Guardian article, Luiz alluded to the possibility that he could play any role the team called for. With Romeu and Ramires out and Benitez obviously being aware of Luiz’s skills, this was the ideal time to test what has been just a strategy of FIFA matches: Luiz as CDM. The overwhelming reaction from fans and neutrals is that he was impressive. Hopefully we will so more if this in matches to come.

-Daniel

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