Interview with ‘The Chelsea Chat’

Posted: July 30, 2011 by GaryCRobertson in Chelsea, England, Interview, Manchester City, Manchester United, Pre-season, Transfers, Youth

As always, it’s a pleasure to hear views from fellow Chelsea fans. Today, we interview Chelsea Blogger, ‘The Chelsea Chat’, as he shares his views on keeping Hilario, using Sturridge, benching McEachran and our right flank.

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Chelsea Headache: Hello The Chelsea Chat. Thank you very much for your time today as we look forward to hearing some of your thoughts and feelings on Chelsea.

First up, what is your view on our transfer dealings (or lack of) so far in this transfer window? Do you think we really need to be going out for a player like Pastore or Modric when they could be costing in excess of £30m?

The Chelsea Chat: I am happy with the current dealings in the transfer market at the moment. Both Courtois and Romeu look like great signings for the future and it’s great to see Villas-Boas focusing on the youth so much. I do think we need a creative player like Pastore or Modric, but whether they would be worth the money is yet to be seen. I would definitely prefer Modric though; a proven performer at Premier league level. Whereas Pastore looks like he could be too small and weak for English football. I also believe Yossi Benayoun should deserve a go, and with the pre season he’s having, maybe we don’t need a creative player bought.

Chelsea Headache: Some people were shocked, and even angered, by Hilario being rewarded with a contract extension recently. Do you think his collection of stunning saves against the Thailand All Stars has justified why Chelsea did such a thing?

The Chelsea Chat: I didn’t actually catch the Thailand All Stars match myself, but I’ve long been an admirer of the way Hilario has stayed at Chelsea for these years, happy to warm the bench, but reliable and calm when he is needed on the pitch. Yes, he made one error against Man City in the 4-2 loss in 2010, but apart from that he’s been solid, and as we know from many an example, 35 is not old for a keeper. Turnbull doesn’t match up to the standard of Hilario, and has always looked nervous when playing for us. I’m happy to have Hilario stay.

Chelsea Headache: Sturridge impressed a lot of people against Kitchee the other day. Andre Villas-Boas will be all too familiar with his situation at Chelsea and what he’s capable of in the long run. Could this season be his chance to shine in the first team?

The Chelsea Chat: Sturridge is clearly a player with immense talent, which has been brought to the public’s eye with the loan spell at Bolton, and the under-21 European Championships. Villas-Boas has looked like he’s going to focus on youth much more than any of the recent Chelsea managers, which should be good for Sturridge. I believe he should get a lot of games in the first team this year, if Villas-Boas rotates the squad correctly. He is being played in the right position of an inside forward on the wings, which is where he flourishes and he should be a star this season, if he gets the right amount of game time.

Chelsea Headache: Everything has a weakness. Where do you believe Chelsea’s to be? Many believe our right flank to be a bit understrength. Do you agree?

The Chelsea Chat: The right flank isn’t weak, but it is just has a lot less width than the left one. With Ashley Cole and Malouda being very much a wing-back and winger combination. On the right we use Ivanovic and Anelka, Kalou or Sturridge, which is a full-back and inside forward relationship which cuts down on the width, hence the less chances created from the right side of the field. The main weakness on the pitch in my opinion is the lack of a genuine playmaker, with Benayoun being inconsistent in recent seasons for Liverpool. I also believe we could use another defensive midfielder due to Essien’s injury, and the doubt in his long term future at the club.

Chelsea Headache: Recent rumours have been linking Scott Dann with a move to the Bridge. Yes, he’s an English player but with the likes of Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz and Alex all challenging at centre back, surely this is just a rumour and nothing else? What’s more Chalobah will be looking to get some first team game time this season after a nice few run-outs in pre-season. What are your thoughts on this rumour?

The Chelsea Chat: True, there is already a lot of competition at centre back at the club, but this competition is reduced with Ivanovic playing at right back, if he does stay on the flank, I think another centre back would be useful, and Dann is a good player, but the young centre half Rajkovic has shown promise, and if he gets his work permit there will be no need to buy Dann. Chalobah has shown promise, but a loan would be the right move for him at the moment, he is still about a year away from the first team.

Chelsea Headache: It’s always nice to see a player coming through the ranks from the system at Chelsea. McEachran has had a good pre-season and will be pushing for first team action. There are mixed views on whether he should be going out on loan for a season or remaining with the Chelsea squad. If you were Andre Villas-Boas, what would you do with the little English maestro?

The Chelsea Chat: If I were Villas-Boas, I would have McEachran on the bench, with Benayoun, or another creative playmaker signing, mentoring him, showing him the way forward, and having him start the odd league cup, midweek fixture and champions league game, this should help him advance and make sure the team is at the right strength next year.

Chelsea Headache: And now to close. Where will Chelsea finish next season?

The Chelsea Chat: Honestly I believe we will win it. Manchester United aren’t as strong as everyone thinks; they benefited from everyone else being fairly poor last season, City are still a bit behind the pace still, and I don’t believe anyone else has the strength to challenge.

Chelsea Headache: Sounds good to me! Thanks again and I think I speak for a lot of Chelsea fans when I say, I hope you’re right.

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You can follow @thechelseachat on Twitter.

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