Tag: Chelsea

Madness, Or Something More Calculated? The Inevitable Early Departure Of Roberto Di Matteo

If there is one aspect of the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo that actually does retain the capacity to startle, it’s the numbers. Di Matteo is the ninth Chelsea manager to have left Stamford Bridge in the nine years to since Roman Abramovich bought the club. This is a higher managerial turnover than the club had in the first seventy years of its existence, a stark figure, even if we factor in the fact that clubs generally have a higher turnover of managers than they used to have and, while it is clear that the club has won more trophies over these last nine years than it did during those first seventy, we could counter-argue that this may have had more to do with with the vast amounts of money that have been lavished on the first team than the clubs appointment policy with regard to its managerial staff has. Still, Roberto Di Matteo had a good run, by modern Chelsea standards. If we take into account his caretaker period, he was the clubs manager for longer than Avram Grant, Andre Villa Boas or Luis Felipe Scolari. His time at the club had a feel of the flight of Icarus about it, ascending to the absolute summit of European football before plummeting back to earth in less than nine months. It has been suggested elsewhere that Abramovichs judgement in...

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Chelseas Serious Allegation & The Need For A Little Caution

“Super Sunday”, then, didn’t quite end up as “Super” as those who trailed it might have liked. Since the start of the season, a sense of disillusionment has been growing amongst many supporters, and it seems unlikely that those who have been coming around to this point of view will have had their feelings assuaged very much by the events of yesterday afternoon. Headline stacked upon headline. In the first match of the day, Luis Suarez was denied an injury time for Liverpool in their derby match against Everton by a linesmans flag, a decision received with with incandescent fury on the red half of Merseyside and, if social media provides anything like a gauge on public opinion, barely-stifled sniggers elsewhere. Then came the match between Chelsea and Manchester United. Even before the allegations made this evening by Chelsea against referee Mark Clattenburg, this had been a match in which he, rather than any of the players, had become the centre of attention thanks to his sending off of Branislav Ivanovic – not particularly controversial in itself – and Fernando Torres – an altogether more questionable decision which should probably should have ended in the other person involved, Jonny Evans, receiving a card of some description rather than Torres being dismissed  – before Manchester Uniteds winning goal, scored by Javier Hernandez, was allowed in spite of the Manchester United...

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The 200% Pre-Season Previews: Chelsea

It was a penalty shoot-out like no other. In the intensity of the moment, perhaps the longer term significance of Chelseas Champions League victory against Bayern Munich was forgotten, but its ramifications have been felt throughout the Premier League this summer, with the stop-start nature of Chelseas season being swept to one side in those few tumultuous minutes. Had they not ended up winning this shoot-out, let us not forget, last season would have been perhaps the clubs most disappointing for a number of years, with victory in the FA Cup scarcely applying a fig leaf to a disappointing sixth placed finish in the league. As things turned out, however, Didier Drogba kept his cool in the Allianz Arena, Chelsea became Londons first champions of Europe and the whole complexion of this summer in the Premier League tilted on its axis. Chelsea, many believe, are back. Seldom in recent years has such a slender margin between defeat and victory had such potential implications. When the club lost a penalty shoot-out to Manchester United in similar circumstances in Moscow in 2007, failure from twelve yards arguably cost Avram Grant anything more than mere footnote status in the history of the club. For Roberto Di Matteo, however, the coin landed in his favour and there was lite question that he would be handed the job on a more permanent basis. This...

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Match Of The Past: Chelsea

Football League play-off finals aside, the domestic season is now all-but over and last week saw the last of our non-league videos of the week. To fill the gap between now and the start of next season, though, we’re going to bring you some videos from the history of the game in England and who better to start with the new European champions, Chelsea? The arrival of Roman Abramovich at the club changed its fortunes perhaps forever, but supporting Chelsea hasn’t always been so glamorous. After winning the Football League championship in 1955 and spending much of the 1960s in the top half of the First Division, Chelsea spent much of the 1970s and 1980s in a state of disrepair and not far short of bankruptcy. Our first match this evening comes from the start of the 1975/76 season, and a trip from newly-promoted Carlisle United to Stamford Bridge. The two teams had been relegated from the First Division the year before and Chelsea would finish this season in eleventh place in the Second Division. The club was promoted at the end of the following season, and our second match is another home match from the middle of that promotion season, against Wolverhampton Wanderers. The club’s stay back in the top flight, however, was short-lived and in 1979 they were relegated back. This time it took them five seasons...

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Match of the Weekend 3 – The Champions League Final – Bayern 1 Chelsea 1 (3-4 on penalties)

And so it finally came to pass. Nine years after Roman Abramovich arrived at Stamford Bridge and spent like no other owner before him, and Chelsea win the one prize that always eluded Roman’s riches. Ironically, this comes just a week after Sheik Mansour’s Manchester City won the league on even greater resources than Chelsea have been used to. Regardless of how the squad was assembled,Chelsea fought hard for the win, and did it in the toughest way possible – going behind seven minutes from time, conceding a penalty in extra time, and even missing their first penalty in a shootout they eventually won 4-3.   Both sides started the match with players missing through suspension. The absence of Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry weakened Chelsea’s defence, and presumably played a part in the selection at left midfield of Ryan Bertrand, making his Champions League debut. With David Luiz and Gary Cahill both lacking match practice – the Brazilian’s last game was against Tottenham Hotspur on April 14th – Ashley Cole would be expected to cover more defensive duties than normal, meaning that a more defensive left midfielder was needed to help Cole cope with Arjen Robben. The lack of Raul Meireles and Ramires also reduced the midfield options, but most would have expected Florent Malouda to start. Bayern had their own suspensions – Holger Badstuber and David Alaba...

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