Out with New, in with the Old (season review part 2)

So, let’s pick up where we left off in part 1.

We’ll start with taking a look at my…

Predictions:

Said we’d beat Spurs 2-1 and that was the score at half time, but we couldn’t hang on to it and drew 2-2. You idiot, Higgins, but we did score from a corner and it was an assist from Cahill, so I was almost right in a tenuous manner.

Said we’d draw against Villa 0-0. Frank blew the world away and we won 2-1. Not even close, Numbskull.

Said we’d beat Benfica 3-0. At least we got that many goals in the game! Not terribly shabby with a 2-1 win and I did say Nando would score.

Unbelievable!

Because I can show both goals..

Branna's looping header of destiny

Lastly I said we’d beat Everton 2-1 and we did. Who’d a thunk it?!

At the end of the day we finished with the same amount of points and a trophy that I predicted. I’ll take that and we’ll turn it into a regular feature next season for a weekly score prediction competition on the RMB Facebook group and I’ll buy the eventual winner a pint and I’ll buy a crappy trophy with an Ice Hockey player on it or something. Tradition, you’ve got to embrace it and it has to start somewhere!

Politics:

If there’s one thing I don’t love about my club it’s how the board and Abramovich run things.

None of us were impressed.
None of us were impressed.

Robby di Matteo was given a two year contract, but even when that happened more than a few of us said he’ll never see the second year. But then we weren’t even half right. How many managers can you name that were fired after a 4-0 win when they were at the top of their domestic league? No, I can’t name one either and that’s embarrassing to me.

And then as if to show that the board know what they are doing they hire a -real- manager. You know, the one person in Chelsea reviled more than any other manager by the vast majority of  Chelsea fans in the history of our club. That’s not to say he did a bad job, but it was a second fuck you on top of the original fuck you they gave us when they fired Mr di Matteo. The vindication is a UEFA Cup and Champions League qualification. Big whoop, Bruce Buck, we would likely have done that and more under Robby anyway.

Chelsea did handle the bout of racism pretty well, though, and I don’t feel obliged to go into things any further than to say that Anton Ferdinand was shipped off to Turkey in January so quietly that I only noticed when he and his brother, Rio “Choc Ice” Ferdinand fell silent about racism in general. Vindication? Not really, the whole thing was a bloody mess from start to finish. The only good to come of it is that players in England now keep their opinions to themselves and leave it to fans in Italy and Russia.

I can only hope that in the future the board leaves all of the talking to the manager and do what they should be doing: Smoke cigars in the board room and telling each other how awesome they are and how much they know about football, so we don’t have to hear about it.

Contracts:

You take the time to make sure you keep your best players if they want to stay, NO MATTER HOW OLD THEY ARE. I have a feeling that Frank only got a contract because Jose said so, and that wraps up my feelings on Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard’s contract positions.

Branna's goal again... because I said so.
Branna’s goal again… because I said so.

Here’s the full LIST. Looking down it we have a few very important names to secure before the end of next season or sell now. John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole. I think we can assume that Mourinho will handle them quickly. Nathaniel Chalobah’s contract will have to be addressed sharpish if we want to keep him but I’m not terribly worried about Jeffrey Bruma, Anjur Osmanovic or Matej Delac. We’ll see what happens on all of them and update you here.

Loanees:

I’m only going to focus on a few of the boys here as I am sure that Julian will want to have a good crack at this one. Not everyone is going to agree with me here (mostly Julian) and likely accuse me of wearing the blue tinted glasses, but here goes any way!

Nathaniel Chalobah – When I first heard about this move I knew it would be good for the lad to work with Gianfranco Zola, but I said one of two things would happen – Watford would either have a terrible season or a great one. They almost made it into the Premiership, losing in the play off final to Palace and they got there due to a great showing from our Chelsea lad. True, one player does not make a team, but by heck did Nathaniel improve it!

Get IN! At Leicester no less
Get IN! At Leicester no less

Higgins rating: Four chainsaws. Great season and should be a part of our first team  in August.

Josh McEachran – Our skippy was shipped off up north to Boro for a season under the guidance of Tony Mowbray. Now Tony’s a no fuss manager. He wants his lads to do the basics well and if they can do the basics well he’ll give them a little bit of license to try a bit more. It’s no frills management and I think it did Josh good. Plenty of match time which has given him enough experience to come back to Bridge a better player. Not much more I can say, really, except that it may have hurt his first team chances for the upcoming season and I expect him to be loaned to a premiership side just before the season starts.

Josh dribbling skill

Higgins rating – Three chainsaws. A good showing, but not enough to impress Jose yet. One more year away, I think.

Sam Hutchinson –  Now, we all know I like the kid. He’s got a great character and when he’s fit he plays like a beast. Having come out of retirement at the wisened age of 23 Sam, who was pipped to be our next JT was shuffled to the middle of nowhere to play in Forest by Nottingham. And what a start he got off to. Labeled their best player and the best full back in the Championship no less, I was expecting him to get back into the beautiful game and make his mark on football. He even scored a cracking goal to boot. And then the lad who retired from football due to a degenerative knee injury got an unrelated knee injury and missed half the season. But he came back and pulled on that red shirt and finished up with 9 appearances.

Higgins rating: Five chainsaws: Shows the temerity to recover from a heart breaking setback to get back on the horse. Get out on loan next year and prove your critics wrong, sunshine!

Romelu Lukaku – Off to West Brom with you, big guy! Learn from Steve Clarke! And boy, did he! Finished the season with a hat trick against Man Utd and should be a shoe in to replace Didier Drogba in our hearts. WHAT. A. BEAST. Here’s the post Man Utd interview:

Higgins rating: Six chainsaws. Hang on, there’s only five chainsaws on the scale. He must be the exception that proves the scoring system.

So we’ll close out with my

Awards:

Player of the Year: Juan Mata. I wanted to pick someone else as he had already won it from the club, but you know what? They were right. We’re a good team without him and great team with him. No one else can say that. Well earned, little fella!

Young player of the Year: Cesar Azpilicueta. Now I was tempted to plump for flair and pick Eden Hazard, but the truth of the matter is that Dave was more consistent and performed very well in every match he was selected for. What a great addition to the team he has proven to be.

High of the Season: Has to be Frank Lampard becoming our all time top scorer. Everyone was pleased for him, even the bin dippers.

Low of the Season: Tie – UEFA Super Cup Final and World Club Cup Final. We really should have won both and yet we were embarrassed by  Atletico Madrid  Falcao and Corinthians respectively. There’s a good call for Bobby being fired, but when it happened I really wasn’t surprised

Goal of the Season: David Luiz vs Basel. We’ve been really spoiled for great goals this season and I don’t care what anyone says, this is better than Oscar’s against Juve. I know Buffon wasn’t in goal, but he wouldn’t have gotten to that one, either.

Sideshow vs Basel

So, that’s the 2012/13 season wrapped up. I’ll be going to Indianapolis for the Inter match and I hope to meet up and trade stories over a beer or three with our Blues brethren from all over the country. By then we’ll know what Jose is up to and that’ll need more articles from me and the RMB lads.

It’s never boring being a Chelsea fan, is it?

Images courtesy bleachreport, Timothy Burke and rushtravel

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4 thoughts on “Out with New, in with the Old (season review part 2)

  1. Here’s a link I think you’ll love https://twitter.com/GiroudAFC_/status/339526752189702144/photo/1/large
    Btw, what on earth is a chainsaw?
    I’d call “Vailla Hutch’s” loan spells a major success for him but a failure for Chelsea. He’s out of contract in a month and it’s extremely unlikely he’ll be resigned at this point. While he likely will never be back for Chelsea, Nottingham seem really keen on keeping him. He proved that he’s still to injury-prone to take a gamble on (especially when we have Azpi, Iva, Wallace, Kalas and Kane)
    As for Chalobah, underrated imo. His loan spell was just as, if not more, successful than Lukaku’s. Chalobah dominated The Championship, it was basically him and Vydra that carried Watford into the top 3.

    1. Bret Higgins

      I said you’d disagree, mate. 😉

      I feel really sorry for Sam, he got a tweak and the injection they gave him to treat it caused an infection in his knee that took forever to heal. Sometimes when you try to save someone an extra week of recovery it costs you months. That said, the long term benefits of the injection will outweigh the time lost.

      Next season is going to be huge for him and it needs to be spent away from the bridge and hopefully it will be back at Forest where he has had a good time.

  2. Bret Higgins

    Update on Sam Hutchinson:

    Aziz Deen-Conteh and Archange Nkumu have been released already, but Hutch has not. With Forest and other Championship sides happy to take him on loan it makes sense to me to keep him on our books and give him a chance to make an impact over the next year or two.

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