CHELSEA v West Ham: Preview

Date: Monday 15th August, 2016
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 20:00 BST

Here we are then, another season, another Chelsea manager. This year we have Antonio Conte taking charge and given the shambles he inherited after our worst season in years, it’s no secret he’s got his work cut out between now and May.
Conte’s first Premier League game in charge sees us play host to West Ham at Stamford Bridge. Easy enough you might think if you consider we’re unbeaten in our last ten against them in this Premier League fixture. Mind you, Billic is a decent manager and under his guidance West Ham didn’t lose against us last season, something they hadn’t managed for the previous 13 years.
Still, at club level, Antonio Conte has lost just one of his last 30 league games and since Avram Grant is the only Chelsea manager to lose his opening Premier League game in the Roman Abramovich era, he doesn’t have too much to live up to.

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Chelsea 2016/17 Season: what can we expect?

The new season is upon us, we’ve got a new manager (yet again) and a couple of new players but what’s really changed? According to my Twitter feed, not very much.
United and City pat themselves on the back every tweet for their spending prowess and every headline (predictably) has Mourinho as the messiah. Not last season’s Mourinho who sat by and watched, seemingly helpless to stop the slide of Champions, unable to motivate, cajole or even kick arse, as everyone to a man morphed into Sunday league sloths (minus the beer stained kit and half-time fag). This new Mourinho they speak of is relaxed and happy, “always joking in training” whilst working on his master plan to conquer the Premier League. Read more »

Spain v Turkey Preview: Team News, Starting Lineups & Predictions

Euro 2016
Date: Friday, 17th June, 2016
Time: 20.00pm BST
Venue: Allianz Riviera, Nice

Spain are firm favourites to beat Turkey and can book their passage into the second round of Euro 2016 this evening with a victory in Nice.

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Who Will Conte Move For This Summer?

Many had written the Italians off before the tournament had started, but an impressive opening game has shown just what Antonio Conte is all about. While the days of an all-star Italy team are gone (for now), the tactical setup reaffirmed just how good Conte is.

As he looks forward to taking over the helm of the four-time Premier League champions, we look at three players that are top of Conte’s summer shopping list.

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Chelsea at Euro 2016 and Copa America 2016

Chelsea may have experienced their worst ever season since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003, but a number of key players still have the chance of winning a trophy. Both the European Championships and the Copa America start this summer, with six Chelsea stars jetting off either to France or to the USA to take the stage once again.

It’s been a gruelling season for the likes of Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas, but to end the summer with silverware would be the perfect tonic before the start of Antonio Conte’s reign at Stamford Bridge. But which players are most likely to get their hands on a trophy?

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Liverpool v Chelsea preview

Liverpool vs Chelsea
English Premier League
Date: 11th May 2016

Time: 20:00 pm BST
Venue: Anfield, Liverpool

In any other normal circumstances a ‘Liverpool vs Chelsea’ fixture at Anfield on the penultimate week of the Premier League would have generated a massive interest among both sets of supporters.

But, then again, this hasn’t been a ‘normal’ Premier League season, isn’t it? Who would have thought Leicester City to win the Premier League? Who would have thought Chelsea to drop out of top four? Crazy.

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John Terry: Why it’s not a ‘fitting’ end

We all knew the day had to come at some point but it feels maybe a season too soon, and now certainly two games too soon. With the club remaining as tight-lipped, and tight-pocketed as they have all season, it seems John Terry’s Chelsea career has come to an end.
There’ll be some of us who’ve watched his entire career develop, as he’s grown from his debut as an 18 year old, into our our highest scoring defender, our most successful captain, a leader and yes, ultimately a legend at Chelsea Football Club. There’ll also be some, who remember only JT in our back line. From 2001/02 alongside Desailly and the season where he first wore the captain’s armband, and Mourinho subsequently making him captain in 2004/05, John Terry has been a mainstay in the Chelsea defence, leading us to four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and one UEFA Champions League. Read more »

Sunderland v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Saturday 7th May, 2016
Venue: Stadium of Light
Kick-off: 15:00 BST

Today’s game sees us travel to the Stadium of Light and after the fun of putting Spurs’ dreams to bed Monday night, it might be difficult for our players to get themselves quite as ‘up’ for this one. The reality is we’re just seeing out the season, having got ourselves as far up the table as we can now. Whilst Hiddink is ‘satisfied’ we haven’t ended up in a relegation dog-fight, the rest of us probably just want to get the season over so we can put it behind us as soon as possible.
For Sunderland, sitting in the relegation places, it’s a different matter. They do have a game in hand over Newcastle and whilst I’m sure most of us would be much happier to see Benitez drop out of the Premier League this season, we won’t be so happy to see our players under perform in quite the way they have all season, after the game they gave us Monday.

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Sunderland v CHELSEA: Talking to the opposition

Ahead of tomorrow’s game against Sunderland, The Chelsea Blog had a chat with Colin from Salut! Sunderland.

Salut! Sunderland: Welcome back. I think it’s been five years since you sat in the “Who are You?” hot seat and you’ve had a lot better than the present season. It cannot all be Mourinho’s fault. Explain
TCB: Plenty would like to blame our car crash of a season on Mourinho, I can only imagine they have short memories. To blame it on him would suggest the same Jose Mourinho who won three titles with us became a bad manager overnight. In reality, we weren’t great last season and in fact, have needed a proper makeover for longer. Mourinho managed to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, albeit in a poor Premier League season, but it papered over cracks and the club were complacent as a result. The need to freshen up wasn’t recognised and we’ve looked stale all season.
Who knows what happened pre-season but the whole Swansea thing snowballed. Don’t get me wrong, Jose could have handled the situation better but I could see why he’d be furious. Hazard wasn’t injured, what he was, was apathetic. That attitude is something he’s been berated for the entire season, yet Mourinho reacting to it – or rather, reacting to a medic pandering to it – was considered less acceptable. All the denials in the world about player power won’t wash for me though. We still haven’t set the world alight without Mourinho but given the way Guus has managed us, that’s not surprising. Yet the same players who were sliding a bit too close to relegation for comfort, have managed to avoid it.

I recall you were always aloof of that attitude that expects victory in every game, but it must have been a culture shock for Chelsea fans who’ve known only great success
There’s been plenty of toys thrown out of prams, including mine. I’m still clear we’re not entitled to win games, results have to be worked for but expectations have been higher for the last ten years or so and the real shock has been the lack of effort.

How has Guus Hiddink done in sorting out the mess he inherited and what do you feel should be the logical succession?
I think most would say he steadied the ship, I’d say whether that was down to him or the players themselves is debatable. Hiddink hasn’t exerted himself this time and anything he’s perceived to have done is irrelevant the minute Conte walks through the door anyway.

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CHELSEA 2-2 Spurs: Finally Some Fight

The 2015/16 season is all over now bar the shouting (and a few FA charges) although in reality, ours was over a lot sooner than most. That’s not to write us off completely though because whilst the football and the attitude of our players have stank for most of the season, Monday night’s second half might just leave us with the faintest glimmer of hope for better days ahead again. I don’t think any of us are naïve enough to get carried away after a draw at home, particularly when it’s to a side who’ve failed to beat us at Stamford Bridge in 26 years of trying. We were far from convincing in the first half against Spurs, although to be fair, it must be hard to find a rhythm when you’re being upended every two seconds. The fact remains though, from 2-0 down our players dug deep to give us a well-timed reminder of the fight we’ve come to expect at Chelsea.
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