Messi-Ronaldo-world-cup

Messi and Ronaldo miss out on Russia? How to make sure all the best players go to the World Cup.

As qualifying wraps up this week, we’re staring at the very real possibility next year’s FIFA World Cup will be staged without Lionel Messi and/or Cristiano Ronaldo.

That the greatest competition in world sports, save possibly the Olympics, would fail to include the men most regard as the two greatest players alive (and certainly two of the greatest of all time), seems unthinkable. But it could absolutely happen.

The Situation

Messi and Argentina are in trouble. Continue reading “Messi and Ronaldo miss out on Russia? How to make sure all the best players go to the World Cup.”

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European-Football-Super-League

Premier League TV income impasse: are we on the brink of an all-Euro Super League?

Controversy over how to divvy up the revenues means uncertainty in England. The outcome of these deliberations could move us closer to a European SuperLiga including the big six Prem clubs (and maybe more than that)…

A couple years ago I wrote about the prospects for a European football SuperLigaThis is hardly a new idea (with Marca suggesting it’s a when-not-if, and perhaps sooner-rather-than-later situation) but at that point I was considering the massive infusion of cash into the English Premier League courtesy of its new TV deals and speculating that as a result the rest of the leagues in Europe would soon have no choice but to form a continental Super League. Continue reading “Premier League TV income impasse: are we on the brink of an all-Euro Super League?”

Transfer Window: Conte vs Emenalo

Michael Emenalo and arch-nemesis Jose Mourinho
Michael Emenalo and arch-nemesis Jose Mourinho

In June 2013, Michael Emenalo officially put in a request to leave the club with the reappointment of Jose Mourinho. Rather than letting Emenalo go, Roman Abramovich chose to keep the technical director. Since then, the power struggle between Emenalo and whichever manager has been ever present.

Di Matteo vs Emenalo

This was the first time a lot of us became genuinely suspicious about who had real control over the club. Continue reading “Transfer Window: Conte vs Emenalo”

Too early to panic, but Chelsea defeat to Burnley exposes weaknesses

Antonio Conte watches Chelsea/Burnley grease fire
Antonio Conte watches Chelsea/Burnley grease fire

The 3-2 loss to the Clarets wasn’t the end of the world, but failure to address the team’s flaws could doom the season…

Well, that was disappointing.

Chelsea was slow out of the gate for its title defense, and while the news is hardly all bad, there are reasons for … interested concern, aren’t there?

First, it’s way too early to panic. In truth, a good bit of what transpired at the Bridge today was to be expected. Continue reading “Too early to panic, but Chelsea defeat to Burnley exposes weaknesses”

Nike’s Assimilation of Chelsea FC is complete

Want to buy some Spurs merchandise? Just head over to ChelseaMegastore.com. No seriously.

[Ed. Note: Not everyone cares about brand and design issues the way I do, and some people really like Nike stuff. But keep reading, because it gets worse toward the end.]

A few days ago I posted some thoughts on what to expect from Chelsea FC’s new kits from Nike. Those unis dropped this morning (two of the three, anyway), so let’s have a look.

Relatively inoffensive at first glance. Very minimalist (which with Nike is a nice way of saying they have no ideas.) And as always, they’re Nike first and the club second. Stay tuned – more on this in a minute.

Here are closer looks. Continue reading “Nike’s Assimilation of Chelsea FC is complete”

Chelsea’s New Nike Kits: Five Things to Look For

Nike football design eats every dick in the bag.

I’m not a fan of Nike soccer (hereafter referred to as “football”) design, so it was not a happy day when the new kit agreement was announced. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy about the £zillion/year they’re giving us, but since the news broke I’ve been buying all the Adidas merch I can afford because it’s going to be at least 15 years before I buy anything new.

Damn shame, too – I actually like much of their football (herafter referred to as “throwball”) design. I know a lot of you hate the U of Oregon’s throwball unis, but I find a lot of it to be innovative and stylish. YMMV.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about what we can all expect from the next decade and a half of kit abominations. Take notes – here’s what you can look forward to.

1: BASEBALL SLEEVES!

Bet your mortgage on it. Continue reading “Chelsea’s New Nike Kits: Five Things to Look For”

Where Do Chelsea Go From Here?

Barring any sort of major collapse, Chelsea look set to win their 6th League Title and their 2nd in 3 years. With a spot in the FA Cup semifinals, Chelsea have a chance to mirror their extremely successful 2009/10 double winning season. The amount of similarities between the two clubs demonstrates how Antonio Conte both exceeded expectations, but also how he must avoid the pitfalls that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job just one season after his immense success.

Taking Over For Guus

Guus Hiddink has twice stabilized a struggling Chelsea side. Continue reading “Where Do Chelsea Go From Here?”

What Should Chelsea Do in the Transfer Window?

Has there been a time in recent years when Chelsea had fewer things to worry about in January?

PedroNormally this time of year there’s a great deal of chatter about what teams will do (and ought to do) in the January transfer window, and Chelsea supporters have traditionally enjoyed the winter mini-silly season as much as anyone.

This year, though … January 2017 feels different. Continue reading “What Should Chelsea Do in the Transfer Window?”

Land of Hope… and Expectation.

So we’ve had a few weeks to find our feet, get used to Antonio Conte’s passion and now it looks like the squad has settled into his approach to the game and at least one formation, something we haven’t really seen in Blue at the Bridge since the days of Glenn Hoddle and Ruud Gullit. That’s right, the 3-5-2 is back at Chelsea. Let’s see how Conte’s 3-5-2 compares to Chelsea of the Hoddle era in the wake of our demolition of Jose Mourinho’s  Manchester United.

Days of hope
Days of hope

Defence:

Dimitri Kharine

Courtois seems to have come out of a bit of a slump with a commanding display, showing the promise of his previously shown ability.

Dimitri Kharine is a good comparison, even though Kevin Hitchcock is my favourite Chelsea goal keeper. Kharine was one of the first continental goalies in the Premiership. He was tall, lean and brought a new style of goal keeping that we commonly see in the Premiership today. Continue reading “Land of Hope… and Expectation.”

Emenalo is Not Done Yet, but His Days Are Numbered

Roman is a smart man and he does not like failing. Sooner or later he will see the one constant plaguing the club.

When Victor Moses scored the goal that helped put Chelsea up 3-0 against Leicester, the goal meant more to Moses than any of us will understand. If there is one player that epitomizes the reign of Chelsea Technical Director Michael Emenalo, it’s Victor Moses. Continue reading “Emenalo is Not Done Yet, but His Days Are Numbered”