ESPN Soccernet - Correspondents - Chelsea
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Posted by Phil Lythell on 05/28/2012

Lifting the European Cup for the very first time should be a cause for unbounded joy and delirium. For Chelsea fans the 19th May 2012 was a date that evoked those very emotions yet in the days afterwards there was a tinge of sadness appended to this chapter in the club’s history - the departure of Didier Drogba.

Of course, we all knew there was a reasonably good chance of the big man leaving the club with his contract set to expire and rumours of a £250,000-a-week offer having been made to him by big-spending Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua but it always seemed like an issue that would work itself out with him staying in London. This was not the first time his future at Stamford Bridge had been called into question with several summers over the past eight years having seen rumours abound that he was destined for pastures new.

Drogba’s time at Chelsea can be seen as nothing other than an unqualified success, despite a tricky start. He encountered difficult times initially in England not least due to his penchant for the theatrical side of the game which drew criticism even from the Stamford Bridge faithful. To his credit, he managed to rein in some of the amateur dramatics reserving them only for when his team mates really needed it, most notably the first leg of this year’s semi-final against Barcelona when his momentum killing tumbles bought the defence time to regroup.

His relatively low profile in this country prior to his £24m transfer from Marseille in 2004 meant that much was heaped upon young shoulders and the sprinkling of goals rather than the expected torrent set some questioning his value. However, the Ivorian dispelled any doubts in his debut season with a barnstorming display against Bayern Munich in the quarter-final of the Champions League in which he utilised his immense strength to the team’s advantage for the first time. It was a side of his game that would go from strength to strength together with his goal output and once he had coupled each of those key strands of talent, he became the complete striker and arguably the best orthodox centre-forward of the last 20 years. Drogba won the Premier League Golden Boot on two occasions while lifting the title itself three times. Four FA Cup wins – with a goal in each final – together with his match-winning performance in Munich underline just what an immense contributor he has been to the most successful period of Chelsea’s existence.

It will be strange to the see the new season start without reading ’11 - Didier Drogba’ on the back of the matchday programme but it is impossible to begrudge him the manner of his departure having reached the very summit of football’s dreams in the most eye-catching way possible.

Drogba is not the only one leaving the club this summer with compatriot Salomon Kalou also seeking a new employer. Kalou has always divided opinion among supporters due to his tendency to take the wrong option when in a potentially game-changing situation but he has had his moments in a Chelsea shirt. Remember it was him whose actions at first leg of the Champions League semi-final at Anfield in April 2008 prompted John Arne Riise to put through his own net and give the Blues a precious away goal that would ultimately prove pivotal to reaching the final.

Jose Bosingwa is another to be leaving west London and it almost seems like a shame now that he appears to have rediscovered some semblance of form. The Portuguese right back was excellent upon signing from Porto in 2008. Unfortunately a season long injury in the following campaign meant that he never rediscovered the verve of his early days at the club and while he has frustrated fans in the last couple of years, he will always be remembered as part of the team that won club football’s biggest prize.

The departure of this trio opens doors for others to shine which is why it was so desperately disappointing to read those comments from Fernando Torres about his uncertainty since moving to Chelsea 18 months ago. His complaints may not have been a surprise and perhaps he will be given credit for speaking his mind rather than hiding behind the media training thrust upon all footballers these days but the timing of those words – uttered in the bowels of the Allianz Arena shortly after THE trophy was won – was tactless and unnecessary. It was stranger still as his celebrations on the pitch in Munich were as wild as any other player, hugging Drogba as if his life depended on it and joining the bonkers David Luiz in climbing onto the crossbar in front of the Chelsea fans.

On the plus side it showed his determination to succeed and now with the considerable shadow of Drogba having been removed from his path, hopefully we will now see the very best of the £50m man.

Torres’ success will be all the greater now that the signing of Eden Hazard has been confirmed. The Belgian trickster has skill and pace in abundance and together with Juan Mata and Marko Marin, our Spanish striker will be feasting on the very best service next season. Hazard has flirted with just about every club over the past few months but he has announced on Twitter that he is "signing for the Champions League winner" though the small matter of a transfer fee – around £30m – is yet to be agreed with his club, Lille.

With a potential line-up consisting of Torres, Mata, Marin, Hazard, Lampard and Ramires, next season should see a serious effort towards regaining the Premier League title. And who knows, perhaps another chapter will be written with Chelsea becoming the first team to retain the Champions League.

Dreaming? Possibly, but then we weren’t supposed to win this season. It’s a funny old game, after all.

You can read more of Phil's opinions at or on Twitter @PhilLythell

Follow ESPNsoccernetFC on Twitter .


Posted by mcphilip shotoo on 05/28/2012

i mcphilip shotoo i promise 2 luv chelsea & i wil luv dem 4va & natin wil stop me 4rm luvin dem & also big tanx 2 al d players especialy cech,cole,chaill,drogba,torres etc

Posted by Jason on 05/28/2012

Well written, as usual Phil. Quick questions: with Ramires, Hazard, Marin, and Mata, how will Lampard fit into this scheme? Sounds like plenty of bench time for him. And do you think De Bruyne will get loaned to Genk another year because there's not much space. Finally, what's your take on the managerial position?


Phil: Thanks for your kind words, Jason. Firstly I think Lampard will be used in a deeper position as his years advance. He has adapted well in the last few months to that position and he can be a wise playmaking head in a youthful midfield. De Bruyne looks set for another year on loan which is a shame though ultimately it depends whether whoever is manager likes the look of him. if he stays then he will have it all to do to be a regular starter though hopefully he will relish the challenge. Personally I would like RDM to get the job after all he has done though it will be very different from the one he has just done. it will involve changing the personnel, employing more positive tactics and he will no longer have the cushion of being an "interim" manager. Hard to say whether he will be up to the task with any certainty.

Posted by walter on 05/28/2012

yep,dreams does come true,howin d fact dat they r possibly goin 2 b some nice furtification in the attack ing line up.i forsee chelsea doin more exploit next season,all hail d bluess...

Posted by Ugamaekene on 05/28/2012

Am very happy 4 hazard 4 makingup his mind 2 sign 4 chelsea. Hello who will be d next ? Hulk or who

Posted by Ballackbj on 05/28/2012

Let de bruyne join blues chelsea nid to release maluda nd kalou so hulk nd de bruyne get space

Posted by Daniel on 05/28/2012

I think that's a fire power that can rival City. More concerned about the manager and our bench. Do you see more players coming in and if yes, the likes of whom should we be expecting?


Phil: I think there will be more signings, perhaps three more. Lots of talk about Hulk though personally I think he is hugely overpriced at the projected £30m+ bracket. A right back will definitely be pursued especially with Bosingwa gone and I can see Ajax's Gregory van der Wiel being the man to arrive as he's young yet experienced with a sack load of talent. I would also think another orthodox central midfielder will be sought though maybe not someone quite as eye-catching as Modric. Always the possibility of Falcao given Abramovich's track record though that would just create another headache with Torres.

Posted by adewale rufai on 05/28/2012

i wil remain chelseafc fans,til jesus come,or til sea runs dry,up chelsea and i luv 2see chelsea to be the first club to win the uefa champion leauge back 2 back insha allah.

Posted by Keshub on 05/29/2012

What about lukaku and sturridge?

Posted by badejo adetayo on 05/29/2012

I would like if roman, can retain RDM as coach and help us to secure the services of luka and hulk.
Then lets the like of malouda,kalu, boswinga go.
We shall challenge any team in europe and premier.

Posted by Angel Musonda on 05/29/2012

i pray that Torres will now play Drogba's role for us.we have all reasons why we should miss Drogba. i love the blues bigtime

Posted by edmond on 05/29/2012

Let Kalou, Ferrera,Malouda,Bosingwa, Essien be discharged
Bring us fresh blood.
For Hazard we are ready to witness your name in the goals

Posted by funsho kareem on 05/29/2012

Phil, I really think chelsea needs another striker like falcao cause Torres might still be a flop next season and not convert chances given to him which will make most of our midfield be under pressure to get goals, that's something the club should really think of and not put their eggs in one basket, Lukaku and sturridge are not standard/quality strikers as standy.

Posted by Semakula D.C on 05/29/2012

Phil nyc article. I lyk RDM but i dont think its ok to leave him as Chelsea manager. We need someone of the frame of Pep, B. Rogers and if possible Capello. The departure of Drogba is sadening but its his tym to leave so that Torres can have lyf upfront. Trouble is what midfield wud have him flourish? Kalou shud stick around, I see less playing tym for F.Lamps shud Hazard arrive, Though i wud favour the arrival of L.Modric. (To fill Lamps shoes) Malouda shud really pack his bags. The over worked player this season has been Mata, he needs some rest hence a tricky playmaker required. We dont need Hulk, we need E.Cavani or Falcao these can fill D.D11 shoes not Hulk.Oh!, i wud also fancy Harry Reddnap as the manager.

Posted by Godswill longjohn on 05/29/2012

Well done phil!i like ur analysis about our beloved cfc.i love see modric on cfc shirt cos he has alot to do for lamps cos he is we hv got harzad,marelin,i just hope we can get the likes of hulk,modric and vandawel,and i also hope harry rednapp is give the chelsea job.but tell me phil what are the possibilitise of chelsae geting modrich,hulk,vandawel and harry rednapp?

Posted by I.Nace on 05/29/2012

Hello, Chelsea again! Drogba, great player. I don't know personally about Osgood as I was very young when he played. I am a fanatical England fan, so I would like to rise Lamps and Terry, but Drogba is the best Chelsea player ever, after what he has done and achieved. From an egoistic view he left after he won everything now for money. From an altruistic view what more can he do and play at these level, stop Torres and spark dissent or leave high as a gentelman after achieving and open the road for younger and future. We know some of his theatrics, but he also has been a good sport very often. I know that he won't cut the grass, but again that kind of guy would work his heart for a cause and he gave whole to Chelsea. Salute to him from an Arsenal fan!

Posted by Steven Ntow Morcher on 05/29/2012

@Phil,thanx a million for this update. You see we Africans love Chelsea so much because of their blend-style of Africans & Whites playing together in a football club. Now that Kalou, Drogba & Bosingwa are leaving the club, I'll suggest players like Kwadwo Asamoah of Udinese & possibly Asamoah Gyan of Al Ain FC to beef up the african support machinery in the club...Chelsea all the way!

Posted by Freeman sixtus on 05/29/2012

Am a fan of chelsea from Ghana since 2003 and i don't think i will return. Dont u think we should forget about hulk and go for falcao to help the international striker fernando torres. Mr Phil

Posted by george enunwa on 05/29/2012

I think Malouda,Ferrer,Kalou,Bosingwa should be released and RMD should play more positive football if he gets the nod next season

Posted by Cheks on 05/29/2012

Its inappropriate for anyone to think abt signing Falcao while Chelsea still have Torres. Hulk is the perfect man to partner him as he can play wide. Harry Rednapp is not qualified to be a Chelsea Coach. Modric is gud but look at his goal scoring and assist ratio (very poor). Someone like Hazard, Marin and Mata is ok, whole Lampard, Mikel, Essien, Ramirez and Meireress if he stays can all play dip. Chelsea needs a right back. Bring Courtious back 2 help Cech and give Di Matteo a 1 year contract...

Posted by Cheks on 05/29/2012

Players to be released. Malouda, Kalou, Ferreira, Hilario, Bosingwa

Posted by Isaac on 05/29/2012

Nice article. Really exciting having hazard at the heart of our midfield.This kid is special. Hope we can add modric also in view of the ageing lamp. A question phil; any insight into who the likely manager is? Really want RDM to stay atleast a yr. Up blues!

Phil: I have no idea about who the manager will be, unfortunately. Abramovich will no doubt surprise us all as he usually does. Can see him offering RDM a year's contract to wait for Guardiola but not sure RDM would accept that arrangement with others such as Aston Villa and Lazio offering more security.

Posted by Judah Egbe Sampson on 05/29/2012

Thank u phil,a fan from Nigeria i need Harry Redknapp to be chelsea next manager,we need some key star such as modric,facao,hulk,hazard,marin marko

Posted by Alex Hall on 05/29/2012

I think we should grab Guardiola. Spanish coach with Torres could prove wonders. Not saying to rid RDM, put him as an assistant, and Guardiola as main. Eden coming in for us is a good thing, especially since our midfield is starting to age. I believe we should give Torres one more shot, since he showed up towards the end of the season big time in big time games. I believe he found himself in our system. But if he doesn't show up next year, be looking for another striker. Or for that matter, Sturridge could develop into a big time player. I see a lot of potential in him.

Posted by Ignatious H Pasimupindu on 05/29/2012

Thanks Phil for the article.
I think the arrival of hazard will add creativity to our side.Our team was lacking that killer pass from midfield, with Hazard , Mata, Marin,Ramires we should be scoring more goals next season.As for Torres i think he is going to shine now that the huge shadow of Drogba is gone.
Players like Fereira,Hilario,Maloda should pack their bags and go.

Posted by myron on 05/29/2012

To be honest i would rather see Lukaku over Torres at the spearhead of our attack. With the way our attacking third is looking we may be lacking a certain killer instinct and physical presence that i (and i think most of us) are not getting from Fernando. After the biggest team accomplishment of your life you do not sulk because you were not allowed to shine as an individual. Phil, in all your wisdom, help me comprehend such sudden selfishness.

p.s. who are we getting for RB? and once they are found where does our beloved serbian play?

Posted by stege on 05/29/2012

I was surprised chelsea won the CL, it was clear when the wizard of wembley(drogba) scored against valencia to qualify us from the group stage. He is gone, what next? Malouda, kalou, bosingwa should follow, so falcao or cavani takes his place. Marin in, hazard next, hulk not needed since we have wide players coming in with youthfulness. RDM should be maintained cos hes already building a team plus the players are already getting use to him. Pep had magician in the name of messi who bangs in goals anytime with a fantastic barca team which makes it easier for any coach. His success wasnt that special to me the whole barca team is special with roberto three months 2cups with a team that no one believed in now thats special. Also more of our youth players lucas piazon, islam feruz, josh should be promoted. Turnbull should be a third choice keeper while courtois takes the no 2 to cech.

Posted by Ibro on 05/29/2012

Bravo chelsea new face,

Posted by fatty on 05/29/2012

Thanks phil, what will happen to the likes of mikel, essien, mereiless assuming chelsea were able to sign all the mentioned craeative midfielders? Please reply. Chelsea till eternity from naija

Posted by Roland uka on 05/29/2012

Chelsea till death do us part. Thanks to our Ivorien big man's contribution to the success recorded at the bridge but we must plan ahead to make Roman Army a force to reckon with next season. Whatever should be done should be done fast to give the manager chance to arrange his team on time. The manager I mean RDM. Let us learn not to change the winning team. All the best to my fellow Chelsea fans across the globe. Kudos MIKEL.

Posted by Will on 05/29/2012

Great article as always. Congrats to our beloved Blues on finally winning the big one for Roman. It will be sad to see Drogba go because of all the great memories and achievements he provided the club. I am a staunch defender of Torres, even though he wasn't scoring as much as we would like he was still providing assists but he must rediscover his goal scoring form this next season. With that being said, Chelsea still needs another striker if they hope to improve their league position and go far in the Champions League next year. Man City had Aguero, Balotelli, Dzeko and for some parts Tevez and they barely won the league so Chelsea could benefit from Falcao coming because Sturridge and Lulu won't cut it as backups. Chelsea could revert back to the diamond of old and play Torres and Falcao up top, Hazard up top, Mata and Ramires on the sides and Lampard holding. Marin and Meireles coming off the bench or starting when the others need a break. We could win the treble with that group.

Posted by nipun on 05/29/2012

brilliant article phill. as good as our offensive line up for the next season.
assuming we would play a 4-2-3-1
i would like to hear from you the roles of mata and hazard. i havent seen much of hazards play. whom do you think could be a better CAM. i really hope next manager wont neither as a wide winger instead make them swap.

Posted by Aniefiok okon on 05/29/2012

I don't know about de ways,bt i know one thing,with Eden Hazard,Marin Marko n Santos Ramires.Chelsea is best in England.I luv Roman Abromovich n I luv Roberto di matteo.Long Live CHELSEA.

Posted by Achor Gab - Nigeria on 05/29/2012

Blues 4life, I want Lavenz frm Napoli he has pace & power, no didier D we need someone with skill & pace which Torres is lacking Achor Gab - Nigeria

Posted by defao on 05/29/2012

Firsly i would like to thank RA for his passion towards the sport and club and investing big time and as such this win was such a refreshing moment for all CFC fans.

I would like to see hulk at CFC particularly due to his goal scoring prowess which can assist the attack to be world class. The fact that he has been proven shows exactly what we are getting.

Indeed it's true that RA does come up with surprises it all depends on his philosophy , as i would surely like to see the youth players be given more opportunity in the first team as now there is a ferocious attacking line up.

It was sad for me to see those Torres comments however once we get Hulk , i think this is the perfect platform for Lukaku to shine and sturridge can interchange with Hulk as well as can have stints as a central striker as players like Hazard can be consistent goal scorers.

I however feel that Malouda shouldn't be given a new contract so as to give space to new and other upcoming players .

Posted by olaoye orishabiyi on 05/29/2012

I my own opinion, buying Hazard is certainly a big plus. We however need to invest more in the cental midfield, i think the everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini would certainly be a good buy, he is strong in the air, dominating good passing range and offers more in attacking than Essien in is current form or Mikel Obi who likes to play safe.

Posted by D-F on 05/30/2012

This summer of overhaul looks to be exciting, reminiscence of days when Abramovich first took over CFC and went about creating a team of talented of players that lasted for 7-8 years. Now I feel that CFC is starting a new cycle. With a new crop of players coming into the system, CFC will need Terry and Lampard more than ever as leaders. Lampard in particular has been admirable. His attitude and professionalism has seen him grown from strength to strength in the last 8 years. From a box-to-box player to a midfield dynamo to an attacker that links up play, and now with age, he's showing that he can be a deep-lying playmaker like Andrea Pirlo. A living Chelsea legend in action. The fans should savor every moment of this.

I find it amusing that there's always people who wished Chelsea would flounder each season. But for the last 10 years, at the end of it all, I'd said to them, "Chelsea Lives!"

Posted by Yu Bumsuk on 05/30/2012

Phil, I very much enjoy your analysis and the fact that you're a football blogger who can actually write.

Personally I think RA would be crazy not to offer RDM whatever deal it would take him to stay - it's not like he couldn't afford it if things didn't work out - but we'll see. As RDM had hoped for he has one quality the previous few managers didn't: he's lucky.

Posted by Achugbu Charles on 05/30/2012

Hey Phil,l'm a huge fan of ur job because behind every success thrs a dream prior to it.lets keep dreamin.l am a Nigerian living in America n l 4eva pledge my support to Chelsea.ln my opinion,l'm excited wit d introduction of Hazard n d pursuit of Hulk we will b just fine wit Torres up front.He has improved a lot n l see him at his best dis season wt d massive n intimidating figure of DD out of d way.He needs our support,fellow fans.lets blv in him so dat he can blv in himself.l also wanna champion d course ofour youngsters like Josh,transform Sturridge 4rm being selfish n ship off Lukaku.RDM needs a chance too.No 1 shld even think of bringing Rednapp to Chelsea .Viva Chelsea.

Posted by dave on 05/30/2012

Boy, Chelsea do mean business hahahha.

Posted by tampy on 05/30/2012

i think courtois should remain in Madrid for first team experience,the youth players especially josh should be promoted because he has the potential to be as as modric and when he plays he never gives away the ball. ok now we bought 3 creative midfielders we now need to build the teams with the youth gradually. RDM should be given the job to re build the team no other manager will have the passion he has for the club plus we have seen the the other team he has coached played verry attractive football, all he need is time and the support of the club and fans

Posted by oscar on 05/30/2012

good article. would like to see chelsea challenge league title n retain fa n champion cup.
RDM had done an MISSION IMPOSSIBLE job. in only 3 months, he take his team (morally down, underdog) to 2 glory. some players even flourish under RDM like torres. i still wonder mr. Roman, why you look other coach when you have a good one? give RDM a year, who knows he become one of the best coach n chelsea be a team that win back to back champion cup. dont you agree, Phil.

Posted by blueboyce abuga on 05/30/2012

thanks phil for the commentary. i think Torres has what it deserves to play upfront, with mata, ramires, hazard,marin in midfield we need a changed chelsea which is able to play more touches than we have been doing. i also think mikel is amazing and is doi9ng great job

Posted by Anosike francis on 05/30/2012

Dnt let us 4get mikel, we thank god 4 cuming of hazzard he is well wlcum by d fans, and no beta manager lk RDM. Tanx all

Posted by Odede Mena on 05/30/2012

For us in Nigeria,is like a dream and the feeling,out of this world.Just so proud and now is so clear that we are the pride of London.

Posted by CORNELIUS on 05/30/2012

I think Lukaku should be given a chance to show is worth.its good news as well to have signed Eden to strengthen our midfield,i see a stronger team next proud to be a chelsea fan,chelsea till i die.

Posted by Puff-a on 05/30/2012

Am happy to be among chelsea fc fan,lets receive our players that we loaned back need of modric,i prefer..mikel n lampard....mata for free role...

Posted by Aidan Farr on 05/30/2012

Stege...finally someone with common sense this guy pretty much took the words right out my mouth Hulk is not needed we have a lot of younger options who will do just as good if they are given time.

Posted by Wibi on 05/30/2012

Hi Phil! Nice note! Hazard, Marek, Bruyne, Mata, all are physically short and not good in the air. I think we should go for a physical midfield/forward which also massive in the air. Our current players in this criteria are only, Terry, Cahill, Luiz, Ivanovic, all are DEFENDERS!

Posted by George on 05/30/2012

RDM have done a good Job, and besides, the guy has shown that he is a good tactician. RA should give him a 3 years contract. To win trophies, you need a good coach who knows his onions in football tactics. Who makes changes that bring positive results. I personally dont think Pep fits into the bill. RA should retain RDM. We dont need another coach.

Posted by Omenye James on 05/30/2012

If Chelsea will win next year,we have to spend and get good players to replace outgoing ones.Chelsea to infinite.......

Posted by henrycutz on 05/30/2012

Up blues!
Chelsea for eva!
We are all talkin about Drogba exist,it's right time for him to leave cause I belived he is at his top of achivement n he really need to move to a league of his choice before sayin goodbye to active football.what about the faith of mikel obi in chelsea?

Posted by opara tochi on 05/30/2012

drogba going, it hurts to see a man that have fought with chelsea to,the top now leaving, we are going o miss him.......

Posted by Reuben Theophilus on 05/30/2012

Chelsea al d way, i think d inclusion of marin, hazard n hulk yet to cm is a massive 1

Posted by yusuf ladan on 05/30/2012

Nice piece. 4 chelsea be very competative next season we need addtional striker. sturridge and lukaku have potentials but are not finished article. hulk's flexbility makes his signing good one to compliment torres up front. The main issue is how to handle the crowded midfield-lamps, remires, mata, meireles, hazard mikel,marin, essein and romeu. not to talk of young lads from he acadamy. josh and De Bruyne. At the back,- tery, cole betrd, ivano,luis are ok but just need additional full back. ferr, kalou, mouluda, bosingwa, hillario should just move on. as for the manager, RDM has done well, but it defends on the teaste of the owner.

Posted by HD8 on 05/30/2012

Good piece of analysis, I should say. Well now that the season is over and preparations for the coming season are already under way. I think it is healthy that we have a manager in place. It is good to buy good players but its important that the incoming manager has a hand in the recruitment. It is my fervent hope that Hazard will repay the fans with some sublime displays given the hype that has characterised his transfer to the European Champions. As additions to Chelsea, I would be happy to see Hulk, Gregory Van ,Thibault, Kevin De Bruyne coming to the team. I also think that its high time we release the aging Malouda, Turnball, Ferreira and Essien. We should have a strong bench such that if any changes are made the team remains strong. Remember we also have junior/young players like Romeu, Josh, Piazon, Feruz, Ryan and these players have to be intergrated into the first team structures as we gear up for the restructuring exercise. Chelsea-Yes You Can!!!!!

Posted by Francis otuokwa on 05/30/2012

it's been a very difficult movement ever since Drogba made his decision of leaving Chelsea i pray God should help him in his carirer over there More Goals for you Drogba.

Posted by Prinz Joysammy on 05/30/2012

Hazard has made a very vital and useful decision! Surely, he's going to enjoy his stay at Chelsea! The fact still remain, we need Hulk in addition to Marin and Hazard. Those guys will force Torres to perform. I also want Roman Abramovich to sell both Malouda and Essien

Posted by 3 on 05/30/2012

I would like chelsea sign david silva,hulk,marcelo

Posted by Njugz on 05/30/2012

Nice article Phil.
I have noticed guys have forgotten that when RDM took over guys were like 'what strategy is he going to play? at WBA he play good counter'. He has a very visionary when it come to counter attack(totenham win), what we didn't expect from him is the ultra Italian strategy of defense 1st in the most important games of his life(barca and bayern). He has shown he is versatile and isnt afraid of using the strengths of the focal players in the team to gain victory.
RDM should be given 3 year contract to build a team which is molded to his ideology then guys will forget this PEP talk they have.
Barca gave a relatively untested coach and barca old boy a job to lead them in the future and he did. What Chelsea should be doing is emulate this model not the person.
Blue power
Chelsea fc for life
Ps Lukaku, should be give a chance to prove himself. Torres will continue to be erratic we need Lukaku to start playing games. Sturrige need a lesson in Sharing.

Posted by Ikenna on 05/30/2012

Chelsea should please play more entertaining football next season,am tired of having my heart in my mouth any time i watch them play.More skillful players should be sighned please.

Posted by mentus on 05/30/2012

Torres is a good replacement but Drogba need to be crown prince of Chelsea. By grace they will still set another champions league record.

Posted by chijioke chase okoli on 05/31/2012

Up Blues!i'm stl savouring the euphoria of actually doing it.i feel deliciously deflowered,disvirgined,The Bridged,Didier Drogba'd.... salute to all our was like watching spartacus....staring DD11;shld put a stutue of him smwhere around The Bridge,dude's a legend.Phil,wots up wit dis manager thing?we cant buy up players n end up puting in charge sm1 who cant use them.we need falcao,cant just bank on Torres aftrall DD was there wen he came in,besides wot if he gets injured or somtn?

Posted by Eric on 05/31/2012

Phil, that was a very interesing piece by you. Pls. keep up the good work.The comment trail is also very nice and informing.One thing I'm sure of is that next season would see Chelsea FC play a brilliant and entertaining football,with the array of players line up, and hopefully do a trebble. It's going to be a very tough season though, as all the clubs with the financial muscles are going to strengthen their teams with new players.I tip Torres to do very well next season.We thank Drogba profoundly for all he has done for CFC.It's okay for Kalou and Bosingwa to be released, and RDM should be rewarded with a permanent appointment. CHELSEA ALWAYS!!! Eric from Nigeria.

Posted by Ndukwe David on 05/31/2012

What an intelligent way to write! Thanks for the good job Phil. Well, making reasonable additions to the squad is signal that the Chelsea FC are want to challenge for trophies and defend their UCL as well. But in the wake of some football game's new regulations and laws,every club no doubt should make decisions that are in consonant with these rules; financial fair play for instance. In terms of player additions, Harzard, Hulk,(prospective deals) Marin(done deal) are all wonderful, but let's not forget our battle-hardened strong holds in Mikel,Lampard,aging though, and the unflinching 'goal guards'. These boys need to continue their good work n of course any inbound player should work with them. Bosingwa,Kalou,Malouda,ferraira,hilario n essien have all been wonderful,kudos to them,but should simply move on. Give it up for Drog,he's the man,but a man has got to do what he's got to do,he finished on a high. RDM should please be given some managerial stint,3years contract at least, he deserves it. By and large, good work from Chelsea FC, Great players,great fans,great management,great owner,Sky-high performance! . Indeed the sky is our limit, no wonder the sky is blue. Chelsea, d numero uno!

Posted by sulaiman kalu on 05/31/2012


Posted by Rizalben on 05/31/2012

Malouda, Ferrer, Kalou, Bosingwa, Essien, Turnball, Meireles, Hillario, benayoun must sell... Chelsea must buy Modric, Falcao, Hazard, Gregory van der Wiel... Bring back Thibault, Kevin De Bruyne... I see young players like Romeu, Josh, Piazon, kakuta, Bruma...

Posted by Rizalben on 05/31/2012

Next season squad 2012/2013: GK Cech, Courtois... RB Ivanovic, Van der Wiel... CB Terry, Cahill, Luiz, Bruma... LB Cole, Bertrand, RM Hazard, Marin... CM Lampard, Modric, Mikel, Ramires, McEachran... LM Mata, De Bruyne... ST Torres, Falcao, Sturridge, Lukaku...

Posted by Okechukwu Udochukwu on 06/01/2012

Cfc 4 life... Pls R. Ibrahimovic hazard, hulk, and modric is highly needed by we cfc fans.

Posted by Mas on 06/01/2012

i remember i wrote a comment back in september suggesting chelsea to play a 4-2-3-1. well, RDM did just that and look at the success he had. i suggested it based on the players who were in form at the time. after watching their CL victory, there was one huge void; a viable attacking option from the left not named ashley cole. in hazard, we have this. marin can play through the center to give mata rest, and sturridge or ramires can play on the right. the most important thing about these 2 signings is the flexibility. chelsea now have players who can switch positions mid game and still be effective. the possible signing of hulk is intriguing. he is essentially a better version of sturridge. more powerful and a deadly finisher. he plays on right (thinking he should be in the center) and will selfishly fire away on goal at will. the last signing of the year should be van der wiel (i said this last summer). with mikel playing great, no need for another DM (romeu can continue to get better).

Posted by EZEMA BONAVENTURE O on 06/01/2012

I LUV MIKEL's confidence in the last march,HE MADE US NIGERIAN'S PROUD

Posted by Kevin on 06/01/2012

Dear Dider,it pains to see you no more at Chelsea FC again.just be assured that all the families,Fans and supporters of Chelsea will not forget you and your history will always sing a like a song for 1 minit each time Chelsea has Match.wishing you good shining at any where you are.

Posted by Jacob undigiang on 06/01/2012

Hulk,hazard,marin,weil is a good signing for chelesa,we shld sell malouda,bosiwa,ferriara,sturrige,essien

Posted by JD on 06/02/2012

This might be repetitive, but I haven't read a majority of the comments above mine. I personally feel that Hazard is a great step in the right direction. I would also suggest that a versatile right-back, like Gregory van der Wiel is a key component. I would also argue that a holding midfielder would only strengthen us. I am talking about a strong-man, along the lines of Daniele de Rossi, Nigel de Jong, etc. Someone to protect our backline, while David Luiz continues to progress. I do eventually see him and Ivanovic leading our defense, but not this upcoming season. As far as our attack goes, I think we need to leave Torres to do what he did best... Lead a line. Give him the freedom and confidence he thrived on at Liverpool.

Posted by SESSI DELA on 06/02/2012

good lock chelsea;good lock DIDIER DROGBA
We need FALCAO and HAZARD next season

Posted by ali akeem on 06/03/2012

Phil, that was a very interesing piece by you. Pls.
keep up the good work.this chelsea is beginning to become the best team in England and Europe.let the likes of Essein,Malouda,Bosingwa,Ferreira,Kalou,sturridge.and with the like of Marin,Hazard,Hulk joining the team we just need williams of sharter donestk,we don't need Modric or any creative Midfilder,just introduce the like of josh or piazon they are doing so well so far and playing among the big boiz will make them perform than expectation.blues till I die

Posted by mats on 06/03/2012

I understand the need to strengthen, every club has to go through this, and a "top four" club that has just finished sixth has plenty to ponder. I just wonder, as always with a club that buys this way, if you see Marin, Hazard, Hulk on the rader and Mata and Torres presumably locks to start, and Ramires maturing into an impact player, what do you think if your name is Sturridge, Lukaku, de Bruyne? Or for that matter, Romeu or McEachran?

Posted by Aich on 06/04/2012

Great Article. And browsing through the 70 odd comments I have noticed my fellow fans discussing forwards and creative midfielders and big names in that category, a serious area of concern I see next season is in the position of defensive/holding midfielder, mikel has been a great player for the club but he is not that good enough (comparing Senna, Alonso, Roy Keane, Veira etc) and I have not seen enough consistent appearances from McEachren and Romeou to judge them and Lampard can plug in that position but that really isn’t his natural position and when he did play there he had support of Meriless and Mikel. We need a solid defensive player (Tiote?) who can be a protective wall in front of CBs…like Super Makele. I believe if we have a good midfild & LB/RB any striker can thrive. What is your take on this?

Posted by Stonnie chibwe chama on 06/04/2012

Firstly great article phil..the blue moon is raisin.we surely need to refresh our midfield wit this gud nams cumin.

Posted by Ukela Prince on 06/04/2012

Congrats to all CFC fans. Chelsea must remain on top. I wish d issue of manager is settled already;we truly wish to watch our team play next season n be proud. We pray all these signings all go through. I wish to see a team that will be a threat to d likes of Barca, Maldrid,Man City,Man U,etc. The Blues For Real!

Posted by I saac on 07/04/2012

Chelsea till I die
Since we already have HAZARD.I think all we need now is Gregory van der Wiel and FALCAO then we should bring in piazon..

Posted by ubani victor obinna a.k.a vicky flavour on 07/05/2012

I'm a Nigerian. Blues (CHELSEA) till I die, Torres is a big, composed striker. He is at his peak cos he just claimed the euro cup championship after he scored 3 goals and assisted his team mate Juan mata on the final day of the match. We now have hazzard,marin,mata who are creative but, sincerely speaking we need 2 more strikers 1 up front wit him and the other coming in as a substitute. We also need to sign midfielders and defnders. God bless us all... Blues I rep till I die!!! Long life Abrahmovic, the coaching crew and all suporters...

Posted by ibrahim haruna on 07/24/2012

DROGBA,we chelseafc fans have REALLY MISSED u

Posted by KingBlue on 08/18/2012

Im a huge chelsea fan and i hope with their young talent like Marin, Hazard, Oscar, and Mata we will win the league this year.

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Phil Lythell Phil Lythell is a Chelsea season ticket holder and lifelong Blues supporter stretching back to the sepia-tinted days of Kerry Dixon and Pat Nevin. Author of Chelsea-centric blog, Phil has spent his entire life living within a 20 minute walk of Stamford Bridge which has cost him a fortune but has also kept him from those interminable queues outside Fulham Broadway Station giving him more time in the pub to discuss the latest glorious/calamitous/insipid match.

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