Chelsea Team News – Morata, Luiz And More -Southampton (Home) 



Antonio Conte has just finished his latest pre match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Southampton the visitors to Stamford Bridge.

First up the Italian spoke of availability following injuries such as Alvaro Morata, who missed the midweek win at Huddersfield. The Spaniard is a maybe with Conte confidently informing the press filled room that the striker has trained the past couple of days and is in contention to play this weekend.

Another notable absence recently has been David Luiz. Amid stories of talks between the two with the Brazilian desiring to sort out his future with the transfer window imminent. Conte spoke of the latest of his injury problems stating his has a big inflammation on his knee and doesn’t know when the former PSG man will be back. Make of that what you will. However, it will certainly not put any rumours to bed in the short term.

Continuing on the absentee front it’s good news as there have been no further injuries this week.

How Chelsea line up remains to be seen, but bare in mind the blues face Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday before the busy festive period and so changes and players being rested is a huge possibility. 

In reference to playing without a recognised striker on Tuesday night… Conte explained it’s an advantage as it doesn’t give the opponent a point of reference. Adding “keeping a good balance remains the key” A possible hint that Morata may not figure from the start perhaps? One possible replacement to lead the line is Batshuayi. On the Belgian…  “He is part of my squad. He was out for three weeks because he had a problem in his ankle and then he struggled a bit to find the right physical condition. Now he is starting to stay in good form” 

With 3 points being paramount to any prolonged title challenge… The former Juventus coach said “We must find the right solution to contend for the title and challenge Manchester City”

On Southampton… The Italian is certainly not underestimating the visitors and commented the blues will find it difficult tomorrow due to the saints “young and fast players” Picking out Long, Bouffal, Tadic and Austin as the most dangerous. He went onto mention how unlucky they were in losing late on at the Etihad recently. 

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Luiz In Conte Talks?



Out of favour Chelsea defender David Luiz is in talks with blues boss Antonio Conte over his future according to reports this morning.

Re-signed from PSG last summer in a £30m deal, the Brazilian played a huge part in Chelsea’s title success last season, but has found regular appearances hard to come by of late, with youngster Andreas Christensen proving a perfect replacement. 

Luiz originally lost his place in the team after being sent off against Arsenal. He has also suffered with injury problems of late, making a total of 13 appearances of which 8 have been in the Premier League.

A huge character and personality within the dressing room at Stamford Bridge, the man known for his trademark curly locks may well be seeking some answers about his future with Bayern Munich reportedly showing an interest. 

Whether the no nonsense Conte will give him the answers he wants to hear remains to be seen. 

With the transfer window reopening in just over two weeks, this story could run for some time as their are bound to be other suitors for the 30 year olds signature.

Should David Luiz look for pastures new? Or should Antonio Conte restore him to the starting line up?

Comment below with your thoughts..

Musonda Signs New Deal For Blues

It has been confirmed that Chelsea’s exciting youngster Charly Musonda has signed a new deal with the blues that keeps him at Stamford Bridge until 2022.

On signing Musonda told Chelseafc.com 
 

I am very happy and very proud. I came here very young and am very happy to continue my journey here. I love this club so it’s a great moment for me and my family. Now I want to establish myself and progress into the team and stay here permanently.’

The young Begian spent last season on loan at La Liga club Real Betis. This season the 21 year old has been a regular addition to the first team squad and made his full debut in the Carabao Cup against Nottingham Forest, a game in which he scored. He has gone on to make a total of 5 appearances and is seen as having huge potential to become a star at Stamford Bridge. 

The Oddest Football Shirts Of All Time 

 Recently  I embarked on selling some of my old shirts. Difficult decisions being made as many have memories and sentimental value that stops me even considering parting with them. One such shirt that I did sell is this Chelsea Away Shirt circa 1994-96. Yes, that odd tangerine and graphite number donned by the likes of Ruud Gullit and Mark Hughes amongst others.

  

With this in mind it got me thinking about some of the odd looking shirts that have been available over the years. Whether it be the colour or the design, there have certainly been some, well, unusual to put it politely creations

Here are a few others that have sparked debate. Iconic or eyesore?

Just what were Arsenal thinking with this creation in 1991? I suppose as League Champions they were allowed to do what they like.

 Stoke City may have upstaged that with this 1993 away shirt. Tie dye was popular back then, but not a football field surely.

Next up is a quite well known and often mentioned in these type of discussions. Yes! It’s Norwich City. Kind of looks like a dress your grandmother would wesr. But to be fair to the boys from East Anglia, I always think of Jeremy Goss in Munich when I see this.

Finally an eyesore before it’s time. Yes it’s Coventry City’s somewhat famous brown kit from 1979 to 1981. Bourbon biscuit springs to mind.

There are plenty of other eyesores. Comment below and send us your pics.

Morata Answers His Critics And Why Costa Won’t Be Missed

It’s been a big week for Chelsea Football Club as the Diego Costa saga finally looks to be coming to an end. I won’t go into the whole episode as it’s dragged on for some time now and most Chelsea fans are pleased that it is coming to an end

Diego played a huge part in securing two League titles in three years and for that I, like most blues fans will be eternally grateful. However, it’s been obvious he doesn’t want to be at Stamford Bridge and his petulance was often his Achilles heel as well as being what made him his snarling best at times.  so it’s ‘Adios Amigo’ and best of luck.

Now there’s a new kid on the block…Alvaro Morata. The fellow spaniard has made a decent start for Chelsea with 3 goals in his opening 5 games in the Premier League. Following the Costa sale many pundits and experts asked the question as to the whether the former Real Madrid man could emulate his predecessor? It was also noticeable that he had scored all 3 goals with his head. 

Well, yesterday at Stoke City’s Bet 365 Stadium he answered those uncertainties with a display that even the staunch Morata backers wouldn’t have expected. A fine hatrick that showed his finishing ability is of the highest order and all 3 with his feet I must add. It brings his total for the season to 6 in 6 games and shows he has settled into the Stamford Bridge fold perfectly.

Costa gave passion and power and some will argue the Brazilian born striker is a better finisher. Morata on the other hand still needs to adjust to the physical nature of the Premier League. He’s a very different player to Costa and if I had to liken him to anybody, it would be another famous Spanish striker who donned the number 9 shirt at Stamford Bridge… Fernando Torres. Now before you shout “What you on about?” Despite the obvious link, I’m talking more about the Torres that graced Anfield. Pace and a great finishing ability as shown by Alvaro’s 2nd goal yesterday.

It’s still early days as to whether Morata will turn out to be a prize asset and a suitable replacement, but for now it looks a great bit of business as reports suggest Chelsea are making around £58m on the sale of Costa. Which is pretty much the down payment made for Morata. Add-ons being subject to his success could make the fee rise to £70m. So potentially the blues have sold a player 4 years older and replaced him with a fresh young player full of experience but still with plenty of potential who could lead the line for a good few years to come at potentially the paultry difference of £12m. A great bit of business and well done to the powers that be at Stamford Bridge for not giving in to the reported demands of Costa and the fees offered by Atletico.

What do you think… Will Morata prove to be a great bit of business and a perfect replacement? 

Comment below with your thoughts…

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly…. A Blues View

It’s always difficult to take any positives or negatives from a goalless draw. Especially at home where it feels as if you’ve dropped vital points. But nevertheless I’ve given it a go.

Today saw Chelsea face Arsenal in a titanic London derby. Chelsea have been in good form after the opening day horror show against Burnley. Meanwhile a mixed start from Arsenal has seen the ‘Wenger Out’ brigade reappear.

So, it wasn’t the most entertaining game and from a Chelsea point of view very frustrating. In the first half the blues lacked any cohesion, but improved during the 2nd half but still lacked the potency to snatch the 3 points. 

The plus points must start with another welcome clean sheet for Tibaut Courtois. The Belgian has been a target for criticism from some quarters, but although not overly troubled it will surely be a huge confidence boost.

Gary Cahill: Another to receive a fair bit of abuse recently. I personally think Gary has been a great servant and deserves more respect. However, it is fair to say that has days as a permanent starter may be coming to an end.

Cesc Fabregas: Cesc will a bit of a luxury player in my opinion. I’ve been a big fan of his and he arrives with a bang during the 2014/15 season. His assists record talks for itself. The decline with the Spaniard is typified by his lack of work rate. He simply doesn’t work as part of a 2 man midfield. He rarely tackles back and Kante looks exposed alongside him. If we’re chasing a game his inventive going forward is paramount to our success in the final third, but even that was lacking today.

Victor Moses: I like the Nigerian international a lot. He does seem to have lost his mojo somewhat though. Converting him into a wing back was a act of genius from Conte. We haven’t really seen the best of him in that role for some time now though and the early signs of Davide Zappacosta shows me that Moses really has to up his game to keep his place in the starting XI.

I’m not one to talk about referees and it’s fair to say he got the red card right. He does like many others lack consistency. Too many niggly fouls went unpunished whilst other challenges that seemed like nothing warranted a booking from Mr Oliver.

Eden Hazard’s return is a huge plus. He showed today in his cameo performance of 20 minutes that he will soon be back to his best. Welcome back Eden.

Tiemoue Bakayoko: His 2nd half performance today was his best yet in a Chelsea shirt. He has been recovering from injury and adapting to the premier league in all fairness, but today he showed fight and an ability going forward as well as tackling back that makes him the perfect partner for N’Golo Kante as part of a two man central misfield. 

I haven’t included David Luiz as a pro or a con as I thought he was excellent before the ‘Rush of blood’ moment. It was rash and he deserved to go. I did think he was one of the best on the pitch before that though.

Their were other not so good performances today and at times the blues looked lacklustre. At the end of the day it’s a long old season and a lot will have been learned today. 

So are there any other positives and negatives that you can take from today’s game?

Please comment below with your thoughts…

A Quick Chat With…..

A Quick Chat is a new idea that I wish to add to the blog. It’s an exciting project where I hope to be able to have a ‘quick chat’ with former players and others associated with the beautiful game asking them some simple questions about their career and what they are doing now

The first instalment will be coming up soon. So keep an eye out here and follow us on Twitter 

Follow the my personal account for more opinion and updates – Sean Vranch