Don’t Panic Chelsea Fans¬†

A day rarely goes by at the moment where the press or media don’t publish something that could be described as derogatory towards Chelsea and the new season

The summer transfer window began with very little positive movement from the blues and we were instead fed a daily dose of speculation. Being linked with nearly every top supposedly available player on the planet certainly opens up your eyes to an exciting season ahead. However, frustration was felt as players, particularly promising youngsters were shipped out on loan or the case of Nathan Ake and Nathaniel Chalobah… Sold!  

Willy Caballero was signed on a free but simply as a replacement for the departing Asmir Begovic who was sold to Bournemouth.

We also of course had the realisation that the legend that is John Terry departing to pastures new. 

Eventually the window started to bear fruit as Antonio Rudiger and the well drawn out move for Tiemoue Bakayoko were completed.
The summer then took on a few twists and turns as the supposed top target Romelu Lukaku snubbed us for Manchester United. But was he really a top target? 

Of course shortly after we signed Alvaro Morata who had been hugely linked with a move to Old Trafford. Social media was awash with banter from both sides claiming to have signed the other clubs top target.

Since then things have slowed down somewhat and fans have become increasingly frustrated and many feel our rivals have stolen a march on us. Links to Mendy and Walker saw the pair form part of Manchester City’s huge fullback overhaul.

Comparisons have been drawn with the summer of 2015. A worrying thought, but are things really that bad? In a nutshell… No! That summer saw frustration as what were seen as 2nd rate signings were being made. Papy Djilobodj was hardly a signing to whet the appetite of any Chelsea fan.

The clubs pre-season campaign has hardly been a success. However it is what it says on the tin…. PRE-SEASON! You win nothing meaningful this time of year and it’s all about fitness and preparation.

Transfer speculation has continued as big names such as Alex Sandro are continually linked but to no avail. Frustration from fans continues, but we still have a few weeks of the transfer window to go you know.

So why panic? Well I can understand as the window draws to a close it is worrying to see how thin the squad looks in terms of quality of numbers. It must be remembered that we currently have a few injuries which makes it look worse, but does further expose the fact the squad needs reinforcements. 

What some fans need to realise is when improving the squad you can’t always sign the world’s best and actually don’t require a squad consisting of 25 top players who all expect to start every week. It could in fact have an adverse effect due to that very reason. 

Danny Drinkwater is one name being linked heavily right now as is Serge Aurier. Many fans are not happy particularly with the prospect of the former becoming a blue. Short memories springs to mind as the midfielder formed a great partnership with N’Golo Kante as Leicester City clinched the most unlikely of titles in 2016. He’s also a perfect fit for the home grown quota. Aurier is also a talent and comes at a hugely lower fee than Alex Sandro.

For now the press and media will continue to press the panic button as experts and former players working in the media speculate about Antonio Conte’s future. 

He signed a new contract only few weeks ago and we still have plenty of time to improve the squad. 

I personally will not pass any judgement until the window closes. Simply let Antonio work his magic as he did last season, sit back and enjoy the fabulous dramatic life of being a Chelsea fan. 

It’s all about the 1st Of July

The countdown is on as Chelsea fans await the 1st of July. That’s the day the Adidas kit manufacturing deal comes to an end and Nike take over with a brand new kit. 

It is also believed that the club are waiting for that day to unveil new signings. Makes sense as you don’t want to parade a new signing in a kit he will never wear. Rumours of both the new kits and signings have been evident on social media and it kind of makes you feel like a kid at Christmas as the date grows ever closer. However, rather than opening presents we will all be clued to the internet waiting for the big launch and notification of who will be appearing in those kits come August.

This kit has been spotted onsale in America recently and also at JD Sports in the UK. It remains to be seen if it was put out earlier than it should have.

As for new signings – Rumours are rife that Monaco’s French international Tiemoue Bakayoko is due to put pen to paper and make a ¬£35m move to Stamford Bridge. Also Brazilian Alex Sandro could make a ¬£60m move from Juventus.

It remains to be seen, but I really can’t wait for the day to arrive.

Chelsea Transfer Policy – Will they regret Traore Sale?

Courtesy: Olympique Lyonais twitter

As youth football goes Chelsea have an extremely successful set up when it comes to winning trophies. In recent years the young blues have tasted plenty of success in the FA Youth Cup and won the youth champions league in back to back to season’s. They are the current youth league Champions as well, having completed a¬†treble last season.

When will we see these talented youngsters given a fair crack of first team football. Things have improved a tiny bit in recent years with a number of youngsters getting a number of games, but the last star to come through remains John Terry.

Now, Bertrand Traore isn’t a youth product in the same guise as the likes of Nathaniel Cholabah or Ruben Loftus Cheek, but he did originally go into the set up when arriving as a triallist at the age of 17.

The young African then went on loan to Vittesse Arnhem before coming back and joining the first team squad.

During the 2015/16 season he was given a chance amid unrest at Stamford Bridge and showed what a star he might become.

A fabulous long range effort against Stoke and a neat header against Manchester City were the highlights and it was highly thought the Sierra Lione striker had plenty to offer.

The ever changing managerial merry-go-round at Chelsea can’t help and although you can in no way fault Antonio Conte, it is obvious the difference of opinion from manager to manager does appear to effect the chances youngsters get at the bridge.

Traore found himself out on loan again. This time at Ajax. His performances in Amsterdam did seem to divide opinion with reporting problems with the Dutch clubs management. He did hit score 13 goals though, most notably 2 in the first leg of their Europa league semi final against Lyon.

Yesterday it was announced he was on the move away again. This time a permanent move to Lyon. The fee of ‚ā¨10m (¬£8.8m) does seem a snip for a 21 year old who has shown so much potential.

The Chelsea policy of buying potential and then loaning out is without doubt a winner. The clubs net spend has been low in recent seasons and 2 league titles in 3 years shows it works. It is frustrating when young talent leaves, but football is very much a business these days.

Will Chelsea regret it? Only time will tell, but you do have to look at where he stood in the pecking order in South West London. Michy Batshuayi is ahead of him and doesn’t get a look in. In addition you have youngsters such as Abraham and further down the list there’s Ugbo. Not forgetting the constant links with top strikers to replace the departing Diego Costa.

I certainly hope Chelsea won’t regret it and wish Bertrand Traore the best of luck in his career.

UEFA U21 Championship – Poland v England

Tonight sees the conclusion of group A as both countries hope to qualify for the semi finals. 

Fate is very much in England’s hands at the Kielce Stadium as they currently top the group with 4 points after an opening game draw with Sweden was followed by a 2nd half come back to win 2-1 against Slovakia. The hosts on the other hand may have to rely on other results, but nonetheless they are still in with a chance of advancing after a late equalizer salvaged a point against Sweden.

Aidy Boothroyd has a big decision to make on whether to play Jacob Murphy or  Mason Holgate at right back after the Norwich youngster impressed against Slovakia. They are expected to otherwise remain unchanged.

The White Eagles may well keep the same line up after making changes following defeat to Slovakia.
Sweden and Slovakia kick off at the same time (7.45pm GMT) and with all 4 countries vying for a Semi Final spot…. It is set to be a night of high drama.

Confirmed Line Ups 

UEFA Twitter

On This Day…. The Hand Of God

31 years ago the unthinkable happened. The quarter finals of the World Cup in Mexico saw England take on Argentina. Argentine talisman Diego Maradona was one of, if not THE best player in the world at the time. His sublime skills and ability were a joy to watch. However, one moment of cheating will never be forgotten and for those of us in England it is what sums him up.

He scored another goal that day. A goal that was one of the best solo goals you’ll ever likely to see. But it’s the ‘HAND OF GOD’ that will always define him for me and many other Englishmen. He coined the phrase himself by claiming ‘it was a little with the head and a little with the hand of God’ He also desperately wanted his team mates to celebrate with him for fear of the goal being disallowed. 

The referee and linesman have gone on record as saying they were waiting for each other to respond. 

Argentina went on to lift the trophy after beating Belgium in the semi finals, before the crowning glory with victory in the final against West Germany. 

The infamous moment is now well and truly in the past, but a huge moment that will never be forgotten.

 
https://youtu.be/-ccNkksrfls

LINE UPS CONFIRMED Sweden v England U21 European Championships 


At 5pm at the Kielce City Stadion in Poland. It’s the opening game of the tournament. The group A clash sees Sweden holders take on a hopeful England. It’s set up to be a close encounter. 

Confirmed Line ups…

Sweden U21

  • 12Cajtoft
  • 2Wahlqvist
  • 3Une Larsson
  • 14Dagerstal
  • 5Lundqvist
  • 16Hallberg
  • 6Tibbling
  • 7Fransson
  • 8Olsson
  • 11Engvall
  • 18Cibicki

Substitutes

  • 1Erlandsson
  • 4Nilsson
  • 9Tankovic
  • 10Strandberg
  • 13Ssewankambo
  • 15Brorsson
  • 17Mrabti
  • 19Eliasson
  • 20Binaku
  • 22Affane
  • 23Dahlberg

England U21

  • 1Pickford
  • 2Holgate
  • 23Mawson
  • 5Chambers
  • 3Chilwell
  • 8Ward-Prowse
  • 4Chalobah
  • 10Baker
  • 11Redmond
  • 9Abraham
  • 14Ja Murphy

Substitutes

  • 6Stephens
  • 7Gray
  • 12Targett
  • 13Gunn
  • 15Swift
  • 16Holding
  • 17Hause
  • 18Iorfa
  • 19Hughes
  • 20Grealish
  • 21Mitchell
  • 22Woodrow

Referee:
Tobias Stieler

BBC SPORT