Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

Gaffa Benitez’s Story

Posted: December 12, 2012 by GaryCRobertson in Benitez, Chelsea, Random, Rants

rafabenitezchThere is someone you hate. That person has a girlfriend who openly mocks you in front of people. Your “enemy” and her break up. She potters about with a small job here and there but gets sacked by her bosses. Things go very hush hush for her. Nobody hears anything regarding her whereabouts or what she does anymore.

Then all of a sudden and out of nowhere, she is your girlfriend. Life is tough with her. She refuses to apologise for what she said about you many moons ago but you then realise she may have valuable uses for a few months.

You know she won’t be your long term partner but you try very hard to see past that. You know who you’d like to marry but you must firstly get through this patch.

She then brings out certain strengths in you, ones you thought were deep and buried and lost forever. You are not sad, but not happy. You’re in a state of limbo.

Your mind is so focussed towards the future and what that may bring that you forget about the present. This moment – now.

But Rafa won’t be here for long. He’s here on a short term basis to try and salvage something for the season. Benitez has his disadvantages and the demons of his past heavily strained on his shoulders, however he also has his advantages. He is the controller of a strange muffled light at the end of a darkened tunnel.

His job is to expose that light and to keep it shining for as long as possible. Then one day, he will be gone…

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Tell me your views on Twitter @GaryCRobertson.

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Ecstasy and the Cesspool

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

Dead Ends

Posted: June 6, 2012 by GaryCRobertson in Chelsea, loan, Rants, Rumours, Youth

I can’t remember the last time I blogged.

It was before Chelsea won the Champions League, before Drogba announced he’d be leaving us, before Hazard proclaimed he’d be joining us but soon after Di Matteo took over as “caretaker”.

Anyway, what I’m about to write, some will undoubtedly hate, but try and bare with me.

Over 5 years ago, a boy made his debut for Chelsea. Fans had high hopes for him. Would he be the new big thing in England? The answer, at that time, was no; he suffered a career ending injury and was forced to retire at an early age.

He kept working, he kept training, he kept his head in the door at Chelsea and would you believe it…he played in the first team again this season after coming out of retirement on the back of some reserve team appearances. Now that boy is a man. And that man is Sam Hutchinson.

So picture this. There are two “first team” right backs at the club: Ivanovic and Bosingwa. One leaves, meaning there is a potential gap in the squad for another. For Hutchinson? For Kane?

Or for Van der Wiel?

Maybe just rumours, but I was slightly disheartened to hear we are linked with VdW. Not because I think he’s at all a bad player but because if he was signed, Hutchinson/Kane are back down the pecking order again.

There is simply no faith in the youth system.

It is of course highly difficult to blood in youth when the manager is under serious observation from those watching above. But, in Di Matteo, have we finally found someone with the guts to try, test and experiment with one of the best youth systems in the world? Why else would he give Ryan Bertrand his Champions League debut in the final?

Don’t even get me started on Kakuta and Borini.

I find it unfair on youngsters who are not even given a proper chance in the first team and are shipped away on the loan express first class to eternal doom.

Hutchinson came out of retirement! That’s how much he wants to succeed. Surely it won’t hurt too much to give him a game here and there?

Bertrand may have played a considerable amount more than other youths this season in the first team but will he get the same chances next season if a new manager is employed?

I’m creating more questions than answers here, but it’s important to step back and think.

Chalobah, Hutchinson, Kane, McEachran, Kakuta, Piazon, Feruz, Lukaku – will these players ever get decent opportunities in the first team?

Rant over…for now.

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]”.

The Kalou Enigma

Posted: August 2, 2011 by GaryCRobertson in Chelsea, Kalou, Random, Rants, Strikers

Salomon Kalou. Loved by some, despised by others. A player who can do all the difficult stuff but rarely pull off the simplest things. In a word: unique.

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The Ivorian forward scored 10 league goals last season (the most he has in a season at Chelsea since joining from Feyenoord) leading many people to believe it was his best season with the blues. The fact of the matter is, Kalou could be scoring a lot more. In his Feyenoord days he scored 20 goals and then 15 in back to back seasons. Obviously the Dutch league is on a different level to the Premier League but it does show that he wasn’t finding it difficult to hit the back of the net.

Positives:

  • Can score vital goals when you least expect it.
  • Has a sense of humour (yes, I know it doesn’t benefit much but it’s still something).
  • Has pace which some other Chelsea players lack.
  • As previously mentioned, he had a good season in 2010/11 with 10 league goals.
  • Can be an impressive substitute option.

Negatives:

  • Does the impossible by missing open goal opportunities.
  • Has the reputation to lose the ball often.
  • Speaks too much to the press in a way which could put players at unease in the dressing room.

Now from those two lists, there are 5 positives and 3 negatives but don’t let that fool you. There’s another negative that I find difficult to put into words. Basically, it’s like there is something missing from Kalou’s game. Maybe consistency would be the best word to use.

Kalou can be a useful player to have in the squad but a key player? Not so much. It’s hard to make a decision on whether it’s wise to keep him or let him go. He’s a player that doesn’t come around too often.

However, if it was between Kalou and Sturridge on the right flank, I’d have to pick Danny boy.

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What are your thoughts on Kalou? Feel free to leave a comment below with your opinions.

If someone had told me 24 hours ago that McEachran would score within the first minute against Aston Villa and that Torres would score with his first touch as a substitute, I’d quite gladly admit that I probably wouldn’t have believed them.

However, Chelsea have done it again by catching me completely off guard. After just getting prepared to watch the game, I was instantly shocked/amazed/open mouthed/in awe at witnessing 18 year old Josh McEachran score his first senior goal for the club in just over 30 seconds post kick-off. Undoubtedly a huge day for this English hotshot. Everyone could see the joy on his face and maybe even a hint of surprise to go along with it.

And if that wasn’t enough, the towering figure of one Fernando Torres sneaked himself a goal too; a confidence boost that will no doubt have him scoring freely next season; his body language was far superior than in prior games. It’s there to be said that our number 9 could well be on his way back to stardom in no time. Add in the fact that Drogba was also on the pitch, will have every Chelsea fan dreaming of the type of partnership they could form in the near future.

But let us not forget that Daniel Sturridge is deserving of a chance. Genuinely, I believe that Danny could quite easily be the solution to our right wing ‘problem’ of recent times. Yes, we have Kalou and Anelka (who deserves a mention after a good first half display today) but, as many recent posts on the blog have explained, Sturridge needs his opportunity now. He has worked in a determined and enthusiastic manner, which alone warrants a chance.

Bottom line : Do we ‘need’ big signings? No. Does Andre Villas-Boas need to rotate the squad more effectively than his predecessor? Yes. With all that in the equation, it is only minor tweaking that is needed. The current Chelsea squad is more than capable of challenging for every competition they’re a part of and (fingers crossed) even win.

The type of players that Andre Villas-Boas has at his disposal is enough to frighten any manager, so it’s time to up the gear-stick and utilise every player in the way they were originally intended.