Archive for the ‘Essien’ Category

Ecstasy and the Cesspool

Posted: August 29, 2012 by GaryCRobertson in Attack, Barcelona, Champions' League, Chelsea, Essien, Rants, Torres
Tags:

Pain is a horrible thing.

Moscow 2008. Pain.

Torres at some points last season. Pain.

Essien’s recurring injury problems. Pain.

But with pain arises progress.

We won the Champions League. We are Champions of Europe. Say it again to yourself, it’s true. Nobody can take that away from you. It’s not an opinion, it’s a fact.

Torres is trying harder than ever during games and seems to be on the brink of recapturing his old form.

Essien, well, it may not be as positive for him at the moment but I’d still love to think that he could regain match fitness and become a crucial part of the team regardless of how difficult that could turn out to be.

I think some of the players at Chelsea may have realised that if they work hard, it will pay off…eventually.

Maybe it was destiny that we won the Champions League but there is still a lot of preparation and training to endure to beat teams like Barcelona and Bayern Munich, in their own back garden.

I still struggle to grasp the fact that we are indeed Champions of Europe. Maybe one day it will hit me fully when I least expect it?

There are bigger things to come as well. Hazard, Marin, Oscar, Moses. Signings that heavily indicate attacking football. Parking the bus may become a thing of the past, even though it is extremely successful if utilised in the correct way.

Things may be going well now. 9 points out of 9 and slick football to name a few positives but they won’t always be this way, as many of you will already know.

What is my point in all this?

My point is this: there are folks out there who are quick to judge, quick to accuse, quick to point the finger, and quite frankly it’s disgusting. Are you a fan or a supporter?

It is important not to be drawn into constant negativity towards the club when things on the pitch may go a bit off the tracks. Because the chances are, things will pick up again (unless you’re Liverpool, maybe). Booing your own players will achieve nothing.
In general though, things are looking excellent, there is plenty to look forward to. Just be wary and watchful. Keep the faith.

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Chelsea have predominantly used a 4-3-3 formation since Roman took the club over in 2003. It seems that is the preferred system of the board, something I would have my doubts about. I believe the board would be happy to see any system as long as it produced winning and stylish football. The truth is, football evolves and with that so does tactics and formations.
For a long time in English football nobody dared venture away from the tried and trusted 4-4-2. In the early noughties we saw a transition to 4-3-3 (or 4-5-1 depending on which team deployed it). We are now seeing an adoption to 4-2-3-1 and even recently to a back three, used by Barcelona and to our detriment, Napoli.
It seems there are innovators in the game and we all wait to see what they do first before a surge of followers replicate. In fact, Chelsea were innovators under Jose and our mind bending 4-3-3 was adopted by almost every team in the Premiership, if not Europe!
Now is the time for change again, and not just because the 4-3-3 is becoming obsolete (I actually don’t think a formation can become so) but because we simply do not possess the tools to adequately adopt the formation. 4-3-3 is very width dependant and we simply don’t have enough effective wingers, and we’re even going as far as playing 2 players out of position on the wings in Mata and Sturridge. Here’s what I propose:
I ultimately would like to see us adopt an exciting and wide 4-2-3-1 formation with Mata central behind our striker and two fast and direct wingers out wide. But, as I said, we don’t have that option right now so I think between now and the end of the season we should go with 4-diamond-2. It fits; we can play our strongest players and we can finally get more support up to out striker which has cut an isolated figure all season by adding another man up there to help him with the workload and a number 10 behind to create the chances.
Anyone that says Torres and Drogba can’t play together are completely wrong. It’s a media fuelled fantasy and I would love to see them prove the red-tops wrong. It also will give more opportunities to Sturridge to play centrally and maybe even an extra couple of games to Lukaku.
If you need convincing just look at the layout below and how our players fit at present:

GK

Cech

RB

Ivanovic

CB

Luiz

Or

Cahill

CB

JT

LB

Cole

DM

Essien

Or

Romeu/Mikel

CM

Lampard

CM

Ramires

AM

Mata

Or

Meireles

ST

Torres

Or

Sturridge

ST

Drogba

Or

Lukaku

You may say we lack width with this formation and you’d be correct but haven’t we done so all season anyway? At least with this formation we can properly protect our back four by consolidating midfield and we also see our best players play in their natural positions. I also believe Ashley Cole and Ivanovic offer a decent outlet out wide when we need that.
Bring on the summer, and bring on some wide players and we can switch to a 4-2-3-1. De Bruyne (hopefully) and Kakuta will be back, and we will no doubt see some additions covering those positions also.
What do you think?
Follow me on Twitter: @fattyfoulke

Aiming For A Trophy

Posted: January 19, 2012 by GaryCRobertson in Cech, Chelsea, English Premier League, Essien, Goalkeeper, midfield

Chelsea have never gone two successive seasons without winning a trophy since Roman Abramovich bought the club all those years ago. Cech believes we can keep that trend up:

“We set a standard in recent years, and that’s the way it is at a big club – especially here. We want, ourselves, to win something. We don’t want to go another season without trophies, so our aim is to end this season with silverware.”

Brilliant attitude.

Despite this season being of significant change and alteration under the reign of Villas-Boas, Cech still believes it’s no excuse for not winning any silverware. The addition of Gary Cahill from Bolton and Essien back from injury is giving the squad a strong look as we enter into the second half of the season.

Obviously it’s unfortunate Essien couldn’t make the African Cup of Nations however it’s nothing but excellent for us. Our first team central midfield choices now consist of Lampard, Romeu, Ramires, Essien, Mikel and Meireles (with McEachran now on loan with Swansea until the end of the season). Pretty good, eh.

Cech is also conscious that it will not be an overnight job to make the “new” Chelsea a success:

“You can see this team, there have been changes in recent years because you can’t stop players ageing. It’s normal in a top club that people change. We changed the manager and a bit of the philosophy, so it needs time.”

After all, patience is a virtue.

@GaryCRobertson

First of all, happy new year to all our readers! We hope you had a nice time over the festive season. All the best for 2012.

And now onto what this blog is all about – Chelsea.

This could be a pivotal few months: Torres almost guaranteed a starting place due to Drogba and Kalou away at AFCON, McEachran likewise but with Swansea (loan) and also potential new signings slotting into the side.

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It’s getting near the now or never stage for Torres to perform consistently. I firmly believe he will get there and with Drogba unavailable for selection, pressure may be dropped from his head. New attacking signings which may be made this month could prove to be vital in Torres’ future with Chelsea. As has been suggested before, a Mata-Torres partnership (4-2-3-1) would be a successful way to go but would mean altering the formation just for him – something Villas-Boas probably wouldn’t be too pleased to do to suit one player but you never know, he’s surprised us before.

McEachran’s loan to Swansea is something that I’m looking forward to as well. We haven’t been able to see Josh play week in week out in the top tier but now it might just be time to see him playing first team football for the Welsh pass meisters. I think we may be watching some more Swansea football on MOTD now that he’s going to be active in the Premier League. It’s obvious Brendan Rodgers is over the moon that he’s been able to get McEachran on loan – he will definitely utilise him properly.

And then we have the possibility of fresh new signings. Everyone likes new signings but I think I speak for everyone when I say, the Cahill transfer is getting a bit boring. Either sign or don’t! We’re getting fed up. There’s also been a number of rumours linking us with players including Eden Hazard of Lille and Di Maria from Real Madrid (most likely false). But it would seem the press are finding it difficult to find out who Chelsea want to sign so have reverted to who they will get rid of. Laughable at times. Best thing to do is wait until the club officially announces anything. That way it’s genuine.

So yeah, these next few months will be important in shaping the future of Chelsea. When (not if) McEachran succeeds with Swansea he will undoubtedly be a front runner for our first team next season. Torres, as I’ve said already, will have a  perfect opportunity to prove why he’s still one of the deadliest strikers in the world. And we could be gifted with a bunch of new faces too to liven up competition for places in the team. I’d also like to think that in the next few years, some of the young talents from the reserves will be able to make the leap into the first team.

All in all, there’s plenty to look ahead to.

(Also ESSIEN IS RETURNING SOON which is truly splendid)

Essien Biting The Dust?

Posted: September 15, 2011 by GaryCRobertson in Chelsea, Essien, Random, Rants

It’s been a little while since I’ve written anything on the blog here, so I thought I’d put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard and write a bit about a certain Monsieur Michael Essien of Ghana.

When I first heard Essien was injured again, I was gut wrenched, heartbroken and grief stricken. Yet another 6 months out. I really feel sorry for the guy. On his day, a true quality player to have on the field, but some would say he’s now running out of gas.

Nicknamed ‘bison’ makes the matter even worse for me. The image in my head of Essien these days is that of a dying animal; trying ever so hard to pull through hard times but nothing going his way.

Michael, Michael, Michael.

Two of my favourite goals in recent years for Chelsea were scored by Essien. THAT goal against Arsenal and THAT goal against Barcelona.  It’s almost as if some football god in the sky doesn’t want him to do well in the bigger picture. The phrase, “too good to be true”, springs to mind.

It’s ironic that such a tough player can also be so fragile.

(*cue violin music*) Life isn’t fair, blah blah blah, but football god, if you’re listening, work your miracles and help Essien come back stronger. I begeth of you. After all what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. I certainly hope that this is the case for Michael but I’m beginning to fear the worst.

Tears of mixed emotion will fill my eyes when I hear the news that Essien will hang up his boots. Likewise with a number of other current Chelsea players. An era is ending while a new dawn begins. Essien, in my opinion, is still in between the two. Does he still have a chance, a last shot at giving it his all one more time? When he returns from injury, will Villas-Boas provide Essien with gradual integration back into the team? Or is his Chelsea career really coming to an inevitable end?

Not everyone will agree, but I do wish that Michael Essien will pull on the Chelsea shirt dozens more times. Injuries may have taken their toll but I believe a miracle (if I can call it that) can happen. He’s too nice a person to just go past his expiry date.

I leave you with a quote from Malcolm Forbes, which I consider to have some significance in Essien’s eventual departure, as well as another few in the present squad who are getting on a bit:

“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.”

To put it into football terms:

“Too many people overvalue what they have [in their team] and undervalue what they have [and don’t appreciate it]”.