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Posted by Phil Lythell on 07/04/2012

With Euro 2012 having finished the world's attention will once again switch to domestic matters. But before events in Poland and Ukraine fade into black and white, let's assess the impact that the Chelsea contingent made upon the tournament.

The most high profile participant from Stamford Bridge was undeniably Fernando Torres. While others might have spent more minutes on the pitch than the Spain striker, Torres departed Kiev not only with a winners medal but also the Golden Boot despite making Vicente Del Bosque’s starting eleven only twice in his team's six matches. Much was made of Spain tactics that often dismissed the need for an orthodox striker but there is no doubting that when Torres was on the field the eventual champions looked far sharper in attack. He may have missed as many chances as he scored during his fleeting appearances but he did become the first man to score in two European Championships finals having scored the winner in 2008 which is no mean feat.

The incredible amount of talent at Spain’s disposal was exemplified best by the fact that Chelsea’s player of the year, Juan Mata, was restricted to just five minutes of action in the whole tournament – and those were the final five minutes after the destination of the trophy was already beyond doubt. Had the little maestro been English, you can be certain that his name would be the first on the team sheet and the rest of the eleven built around him. Still, his brief foray into European Championship football yielded one well-taken goal that was set-up superbly by Torres to rubber stamp the quality of Roberto Di Matteo’s squad.

While they may have returned home with no silverware, Chelsea’s best regular performers were John Terry and Ashley Cole. Terry re-affirmed himself as one of the very best central defenders on the continent with a succession of imperious displays that formed the bedrock of England’s encouraging - if dour – run to the quarter finals that included two clean sheets in the four games played. How he was not selected in UEFA’s official squad of the tournament is beyond me. The effervescent Cole did not put a foot wrong either until he stepped up to take a penalty that was thwarted by Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon in the last eight. After a magnificent campaign for the left back it was a cruel way for it to end but I still couldn’t help thinking that I was glad that he had missed that one instead of his attempt in Munich on 19th May.

Raul Meireles continued his fine end to the season with some good displays for Portugal though he must be ruing a slightly under-hit pass to Cristiano Ronaldo in the closing seconds of Portugal’s semi-final with Spain that forced the Real Madrid man to check his run and ultimately fire high over the crossbar. Florent Malouda was relatively anonymous for France which is not too much of a surprise looking back at the last 10 months though Petr Cech’s form for Czech Republic was alarmingly poor. Four goals – the majority of which were saveable – were rattled past him by Russia while a shocking mistake against Greece almost derailed a comfortable cruise to victory.

It was a shame that Belgium did not qualify as it would have presented Chelsea fans with a chance to see a whole collection of the club’s talent face Europe’s best, not least £32m man Eden Hazard. Thibaut Courtois would have featured, alongside Kevin De Bruyne and reported target Axel Witsel while Romelu Lukaku would certainly have been in the squad.

Though perhaps keeping Hazard under wraps for the new season is a good thing. He will have had a decent rest before the Premier League season kicks off again in August and he is unleashed against Wigan on the opening day.

I can’t wait.

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

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Posted by Peter pedro Agogoh on 07/03/2012

Chelsea is a great team,and i wil like the coach to buy a winger lik Adam johnson of man city.

Posted by Jason on 07/03/2012

Well done Phil, well done. I think you had a typo when you said "How JT was chosen in the official UEFA squad is beyond me" but otherwise a well-written, comprehensive analysis of Chelsea's players in the tournament. Can't wait for the season and even preseason!


Nice spot, Jason! Glad you enjoyed it.

Posted by bill edwards on 07/04/2012

he made the starting line up twice once against ireland the other against croatia


That is true, have amended accordingly

Posted by Pratap poudel on 07/04/2012

Torres was undoubtly superb, only we couldnot see him much...Chelsea should buy a creative midfild...what about ganso...and a right back...well van der weil was not so another option maybe...micon will be ok...also i would love to see piazon, lukaku given more playing time...and if possible modric, hulk, walcott, and mosses if available in low price will be good....

Posted by Anonymus on 07/04/2012

Eden Hazard can play the wing thats good enough though It would have been great if Hulk arrived

Posted by B on 07/04/2012

You sir, are a moron.

Torres had a good tournament, but taking in the whole thing, he is nothing more than a blip on the radar.


Why am I a moron? I didn't suggest he had a great tournament and deserved accolades, just that he managed to score some goals and create a bit of history despite missing chances.

Perhaps read the article rather than just the headline.

Posted by 08107949229 on 07/04/2012

chelsea is a great club with great squad they will make it through come next soccer season

Posted by Ollor friday on 07/04/2012

I love chelsea somuch.....i wuld love dem 2 sign Moses of winger

Posted by Lizzerd on 07/04/2012

Maybe that tells you something... buying all that Belgium talent and they cant even qualify for the euro!


Fair Point! They are all young though so should be a team to watch in Brazil 2014 and/or France 2016

Posted by Cyrinus Innocent on 07/04/2012

I luv my team cfc, der gud we wll still progress dis upcoming season...up bluzzz

Posted by Ronaldado on 07/04/2012

There are only a handful of players in the world who seem to be in a position to score a hat trick EVERY time they come on the pitch. Torres has only slightly underachieved this season. He has been poorly managed. At Real or Man U or Barca or Newcastle or any club with stable, intelligent leadership he would have excelled. Del Bosque used him perfectly knowing that a defense trying to stop Torres is a vulnerable defense. Had Italy managed to keep the match level through to the 75th minute, Torres still would have come in and scored. In the EPL, no side will be as talented as Spain but Chelsea will be closest. We are going to see Torres create chance after chance after chance. In his limited play last year he did well but the scores didn't tell the whole story often. There is no Torres problem despite the goal tally--just as it is absurd to say there is a Barca or Bayern problem because they were beaten by Chelsea. The Blues were lucky. So what. Torres was often unlucky. So what!

Posted by katashu on 07/04/2012

Torres is bhalu.

Posted by crokelsky on 07/04/2012

He is actually the best among all strikes in europe 2012..less than 200 minute,3 goals 1 assist is wonderful for sure Torres will come out strong comes 2012/13 season..

Posted by crokelsky on 07/04/2012

El Nino is the him with limited time on the pitch yet won the tournament golden boot is great for him and for his fans as well..comes next season,he is gonna come out smoking..great El Nino, Great CheseaFC..!

Posted by nayar on 07/05/2012

When a player is not performing the're the lowest of the low. They are under rated, critisized etc. But when such a player rises and scores he eveybody's favorite. Isn't that like total bullshit? I'm not giving any excuse for Torres' under performance during the past year. I believe that that he has doubts and lacks confidence in his ability to perform as a result of all the criticism he has been recieving.
Torres is my favorite player whether he scores or not. I admit he disappoints me sometimes, but when he scores I am up in the air and my day gets a little better then I ask myself why have I ever doubted him.
Torres was superb during the Euro Championship and I believe Chelseas future is already looking brighter

Posted by Musa Sabo on 07/05/2012

Up blues i am full Chelsea fan 4 ever please bring Moses and hazard everything will OK up Chelsea for life.

Posted by hamza moahmmed on 07/05/2012

chelsea throughly need a winger like moses or odenwingie , those guys could make changes in the squad

Posted by edu AWKUZU on 07/06/2012

torres is the best,hahahahaa if juan mata is english player even with injury the whole team will build around him and jt

Posted by Robin on 07/06/2012

I think Torres played OK..scored many, missed many..but his confidence will be far better now..should come out with all guns blowing..waiting for the season to start..sick of Malouda..should get rid of, team looks good..UP BLUES...cheers


Malouda might be past his prime but let's have a little respect, eh? He was instrumental when we won the double so should always have a place in our affections

Posted by oscar on 07/06/2012

can't wait for next season, with torres back in form + lampard + hazard + mata + marin,( attack force) let conquer the world. NO MERCY..........

Posted by Sikateyo.DC on 07/06/2012

Ppo r jst 2jelous of Torres,ppo welcm d rturn of Fernando.O he nidd ws 2rmuv d critcsm covr dt u chelsea hater covrd hm wt,wch hs dne nw.C'mon Torres shw dm y ur d deadiest striker d world hs eva cme 2no.

Posted by biola on 07/06/2012

plsssssssssss....di matteo...i am a proud chelsea fan...u wil do me a great favour if u can go all the way for hulk so that drogbas space wont be felt much...pls dis season ,,giv torres a maximuum chance and i am sure he will explode of luck..

Posted by Ubong Attah on 07/06/2012

Dear Phil,my blue brother,help me create awareness toward RA's quarters on Chelsea's need to wrap up the Modric/Moura,Moses,Hulk and a RB(Debuchy,France international) deals ASAP. At least we all know he's such a wise man.

Posted by Adexmum on 07/06/2012

Chelsea is a well club for me rather as a fans,but the only thing now, is to bring in a well creative striker that'll boost the team with a full confidence in him.

Posted by cliffy on 07/06/2012

Chelsea need a solid right back miacon is a short term addition.hulk/moses and wi good to go

Posted by OTAKPOR PETERS on 07/06/2012

To bring in hulk and moses could have given chelsea an age formidable squad in addition to torres and sturridge,one thing going for this two players is that the two plays both leg making possible to fire from all cylinders just like drogba,if they are unable to get hulk they should pursue moses to its logical conclusion because he understands english football better,so he will be able to rise up to the challenges

Posted by Will on 07/06/2012

I think Torres's performance in Poland/Ukraine shows that he has matured and shown that the future is still bright. There are plenty of strikers out there who would have taken the shot against Italy to assure the Golden boot for themselves but Torres selflessly laid it off to Mata. While he hasn't been bringing in the greatest return in front of goal he has shown that he can be a more complete player and provide much assists when the opportunity presents itself. I think this season will be Torres's coming out party for CFC. Keep the blue flag flying high!

Posted by capoutrun on 07/07/2012

I'm from Australia and thus don't get to watch that many games (times are just rubbish) but why are people so keen on buying moses? Seems very similar to Sturridge.

Posted by Habeeb oluwashola on 07/07/2012

It so amazing to see toores striking at europ einning the golden but i wil huge chelsea to sign victor moses for replacement of drogb

Posted by ricky on 07/07/2012

Chelsea is a great team.hope the arrival of Edin and hulk is a game changer.By the way,any other arrivals before the window closses?

Posted by Sid on 07/07/2012

Torres will certainly shine now that he gets to be the Numero Uno choice at Chelsea. You have to agree that Chelsea's style of play was suited more to Drogba's domineering approach. Now that Didier has left for the far away lands of Shanghai, I expect Fernando to step it up a notch. And by the way, I will miss King Didier a lot.

Also, I believe Chelsea need a solid midfielder. Someone who can hold the ball and pick out a difficult pass. Someone like Xabi Alonso or Bastian Schweinsteiger. We already have Eden Hazard and Juan Mata as two naturally creative players. There is the evergreen Lampard with his eye for goal. The only thing missing is a solid midfielder who plays at the base of the midfield. Someone always willing to receive balls and create plays. Currently, Meireles plays that role for Chelsea and I think he gives the ball away far too much. Secondly, his shooting from distance is woeful. This might sound a little cynical but I think we can try David Luiz in that position.

Posted by pramod on 07/08/2012

The only times Spain looked better with Torres was against Ireland and in the final against Italy. No disrespect, but Ireland are a poor outfit and Italy were down to 10 men. Torres did have a few chances in the first game against Italy, but he didn't finish them off and seemed to be lacking confidence. Overall it was a so-so tournament for him.

Overall Spain looked much better playing the 4-6-0, especially in the knockout stages, and of course, even if you took away all of Torres' goals Spain would've won the tournament, which says a lot really.

I don't want to bash on Torres, he's a good player and I would love for him to return to form, but tbh, he looked pretty average in Euro 2012.

Posted by nalimanga on 07/09/2012

Things come out good in the season that i expected to score nothing and up to now i can't believe we are the champions of Europe.lets start off with a good pre-season.......

Posted by Dike obinna. on 07/09/2012

I luv torres,i love mata,@ first i didnt support spain during the final,but when they brought in torres and mata,i was spain all they way,shouting like a mad man. LOL.

Posted by musty on 07/10/2012

That was a good post, Phil.Cant wait to read your next post.Keep up the good work.

Posted by Mackiver Jerry Hans. on 07/11/2012

Chelsea's definitely gettin it ryt wit d collectn of top stars she nw az @ her disposer. D lyks of Marko Marin, Kelvin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, John Mikel Obi, Ramires, F. Torres, e.t.c, n wit d (most lykly) new arrivals 2 b included in d squad, (Modric, Hulk, Moses), i dn't c any team stopin her frm winnin silverwares dis (soon 2 begin) season. Up Blues...!

Posted by Xzecute on 07/16/2012

If you need Torres to do better this season just don't play Lampard in CAM role behind him. Lampard is the primary reason Torres got so discouraged at Chelsea.

Remember one of our matches last season when Torres was waiting for the final ball and Lampard as usual ignored him and went for it and scored himself.

The camera caught Torres face during the celebration, he was darkly furious. Lampard's selfish play has buried striker after striker. Don't let him commit this final crime before retiring.

Lamps needs to belatedly learn a lesson from Xavi. He's scored all these goals and so few assists, yet not too many people rate him outside of Chelsea's fan club. Xavi & Iniesta on the other hand barely ever go for it themselves but are rated as the best midfielders in the world.

If Frank wanted to be a striker he should have worked on his pace. As it is he's the EPL's most infamous CF serial killer. And I'm a core Chelsea fan, have been long since before Lampard joined from WHU FC.

Posted by Zebby on 07/16/2012

I have always been a Chelsea fan and my favourite player has to be Gianfranco Zola.

With that said, I feel that Torres did have a good tournament. He was playing with top playmakers of course. Chelsea have now brought in top playmakers in the form of Hazard, Mata, Marin and possibly Oscar. Torres will have an excellent season playing in front of those guys.

By the way, we do not need Hulk or Moses or anyone else. Lampard's time on the pitch should also be reduced to give the future generation time to evolve with each other. Raimires is also a super player.

The future surely is bright for our team! Let's go Chelsea!

PS: I respect Lampard but I feel he is an old school midfielder in a changing game. Thanks for everything Lampard. Now please, do not ruin the club by your selfish need to be centre stage.

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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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