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”

Advertisements

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 but 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”

What Does the Chelsea vs Hull Heat Map Tell Us?

Alonso in the “Garysitter” role, Kante playing holding mid in the attacking third, and Hazard is afraid of land sharks…

I’ve been pondering the heat map from the Hull match in light of the ESPN FC story on who wins and who loses in Conte’s alleged 3-4-3 system. I say alleged because for the moment the roles still strike me as … fluid.

You can find all the heat maps for the game at WhoScored.com. I have tried to sort of turn that data into a digestible abstract of the detailed maps, although I admit up front there might be places where my map is a bit misleading (due to the fact that players run around a lot).

So here’s my graphic:

Chelsea vs Hull heat map

Continue reading “What Does the Chelsea vs Hull Heat Map Tell Us?”

Chelsea vs Hull: Better. Sort Of.

Antonio Conte’s tactics today give us a hint of where he’s heading and the result was positive. Still, many questions remain.

This morning’s 2-0 win over Hull was a decided improvement over our last couple of league outings, the most recent of which provoked a detailed critique from me last weekend. That posting proved highly controversial, as a number of people were outraged at my argument despite having clearly not read it.

The main development today was the deployment of a three-man back line. Sort of. Continue reading “Chelsea vs Hull: Better. Sort Of.”