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Tag Archives: Chelsea

My Mourinho Confessions Are the Special Ones

I was among those who joined the Mourinho bandwagon post his Porto Champions League and upon taking charge of Chelsea. It became an eternal curse that diluted my real reasons why I love Chelsea, and I was also tagged a ‘glory hunter’. No matter how hard I tried to explain that I loved Chelsea when Pierluigi Casiraghi, Gullit, Vialli, and the old gang members were players (and coaches) at the club, I always ended up failing at explaining my old passion for this club.

When Mourinho failed at the European stage with the London based club and moved to Inter Milan, I rejuvenated my relation with following the Serie A and threw my bets right and left that he will win the Champions League in 2010.

I had no regrets at that era but I was becoming more of a blind Mourinho lover. Sad? Maybe not at that time.

The sudden change came my way when the once ‘Special One’ joined Real Madrid. The Spanish press highlighted him in a way that beats the English press by thousands of years. They showed the unethical conduct of Mourinho the coach, his dirty tactics, his on and off pitch antics, and the odd ways he manages the players. The Spanish press played the major role of making me realize he is not a special man, but a hardworking man who knew how to promote himself.

Surprising? Yes, it is. It was surprising for me too to understand the ‘Mourinho Mentality’ at last. I lost my respect for him as a man and felt awkwardly dumb among my friends trying to apologize for my blindness.

The end of Mourinho’s era in Spain and the reunion with Chelsea hit me again down the dark tunnel. I believed he will lead a new revolution and he will be the ‘Special One’ again. However, with the progress of the season I started hating the fact that he might win the Premier League title (which he still can at least mathematically) because Chelsea did not play football. Chelsea looked in a bad shape but I started blaming the quality of the players they have. I even wrote about how by next season the team will be in a great shape when Mourinho picks up his own soldiers and gets rid of the deadbeat. I went far in my support to Mourinho saying he can win but this Chelsea cannot.

And then… Simeone and his Atletico Madrid slapped me on the face and I was forced to wake up!

The Champions League semi-finals exit at the hand of Atletico Madrid was the best thing that has ever happened in my relation with Chelsea and Mourinho.

Away from the weird tactics (where you field 20 defenders for a game you need to win at home) that Mourinho chose to utilize, Mourinho proved to be clueless when facing a real ‘team’.

Looking back at everything I sad, and every Mourinho moment, press conference, statement, excuse, performance, title, achievement, and life, I feel I owe many an apology.

I ask myself for forgiveness for being on an emotional rollercoaster in the Mourinho affair.

I may regret this one day (but I am almost sure I will not): Mourinho is not special and he is not even worth the hype around him.

Jose-Mourinho-001

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Luis Suarez Bites Again

The match between Liverpool and Chelsea saw Luis Suarez Biting Branislav Ivanović

Well, you read it right: Suarez bites, again, and again… It is not the first time he does it, and probably not the last time. He was lucky that the referee did not spot the incident as it happened. The English FA should seriously look into the action and take the right measures against the Uruguayan player.

The websphere went crazy after the incident, and calls to ban Suarez cannot go unnoticed. It is not the first time Suarez does a similar act and the last time he bit a player while at Ajax, in Holland, he was banned for 7 or 10 matches.

While we await the official judgement, and while we expect Suarez to have played his last game with Liverpool this season – and perhaps next season if he is shown the door, here are some images and links reflecting upon the incident [Thanks to @harkous for sharing some].

Mike Tyson follows Luis Suarez on Twitter after the bite.

Crazy memes about the Suarez-Ivanovic incident

The Video of the Suarez moment biting Ivanovic

Suarez has been in trouble for biting opponents before, having been banned for seven matches after an incident while he was Ajax

Suarez has been in trouble for biting opponents before, having been banned for seven matches after an incident while he was at Ajax

 


Chelsea loses the FIFA Club World Cup

Chelsea just lost the FIFA Club World Cup Final to Brazilian side Corinthians. Jokes aside, you tell me what should be done or what is next for the Abramovich Empire. Some say that this title is not the best to achieve and some see it as the end of the world. I am lost and cannot find the words at the moment… 

Abramovich - What's Next?

Abramovich – What’s Next?


Di Matteo Sacked – For the Better of Chelsea

I said it many times that Roberto Di Matteo was the right man for the right period. And I said too, that Di Matteo should not continue as manager because he gave all already and the team has become bigger than him. I guess that Abramovich finally listened and took the right decision.

In an official statement, Chelsea club has announced that “Club has parted company this morning with Manager Roberto Di Matteo.” (click here for the full news). AVB drove a ‘Fiat-like’ Chelsea like a Ferrari and failed, Di Matteo drove it like a Fiat and succeeded. Now that Chelsea is a Ferrari, Di Matteo is failing because he still thinks it is a Fiat and can not handle it like a Ferrari.

Who will be the next manager? Will it be Rafa Benitez? And if it is Rafa, will he be able to make Torres score?

chelsea sack di matteo

That’s the way out; thank you and good bye!


Barcelona vs Chelsea – 2011/2012: A Tale to remember (and a post by The Football Supernova)

Did football lose when a team “parked the bus” and got the qualification pass? Is this the end of “The Greatest Team in History”? Will Guardiola stay on and rejuvenate his team and tactics? Can Chelsea stay on their feet and bring “The Cup” for Abramovich? Well, there are many questions and long discussions about the consequences of Barcelona’s exit from the Champions League (and a possible trophyless season) and Chelsea’s brave and weird season so far. However, I cannot answer everything in one post, especially not within less than 24 hours of the final whistle.

For the time being, I am re-blogging one of the best post-match posts, written brilliantly as usual by The Football Supernova. Here it goes:

FC Barcelona 2 – 2 Chelsea – The Catalans are down and out

Chelsea Players Celebrating

That was an unbelievable game of Football. It had everything. Goals, drama, a penalty, a red-card and an “underdog” winning. Well, not sure if “underdog” is the right term to describe Chelsea, but you know what I mean. Some pointers after this game:

– Pique’s hit was a nasty one. He looked completely dazed and for him to get back on the pitch to carry on was a risky thing to do by the player and club’s doctors. When he was substituted, he was immediately taken to the hospital due to concussion.

– I hate John Terry with a passion, but regardless of what anyone, including the wife-hunter himself says, I still think that giving a red card for that was harsh. During Football games, players get knees in the back (or bum in this case) all the time and yes, it is a foul. But a red card offense. A straight one? I’m not so sure about that. Sanchez made the most of it, that must be said, but I was surprised by the decision. Terry went on to say after the game that he’s “not that type of player”. Funny.

– Barca were 2-0 up and strolling their way to victory. They surrendered a 2-0 lead at the Nou Camp. Barcelona! Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona surrendering a 2 goal lead in a Champions League semi-final! Nobody could ever have predicted that. One thing I’ve been saying about this particular Barca team is that despite all their qualities, they’ve never been faced with the disappointments of consecutive defeats. They’re a fantastic mechanism, but their mental strength that requires bouncing back from defeats has never been tested. Tonight it was and it didn’t look too good.

– 3 games without a win for Barca. 2 defeats and a draw (which is actually a defeat). When was the last time that happened to them?

– Ramires. That finish. What a beauty. You’ve got to have balls of steel to try that in such a game and at such a moment.

– The beauty of Barcelona’s second goal was the way Iniesta controlled himself to not fall into the offside trap. A striker’s behavior by a midfield maestro.

– The first half felt like it happened in 5 minutes. Entertainment to the max!

– Was it a penalty? Definitely. A poor striker’s tackle by Drogba. But for Lionel Messi to smash it with such power onto the crossbar was unexpected. Well, who knew? Messi is human after all!

– Lionel Messi has still never scored against Chelsea.

– Barcelona have no plan B. Besides their “philosophy” of passing and all that lovely stuff that people cream themselves over all the time, what happens when teams like Chelsea and Real Madrid “park the bus” or play an organized line to stop those trademark passes? Where’s the plan B? If any of their players had taken a shot from outside the box, I’m pretty sure it would have caused even more chaos and probably resulted in a goal. It felt like they were continuously waiting to caress the ball into the net. Chelsea had 10 men in the penalty area all game. Have a bloody shot and it’ll deflect off someone and who knows what’ll happen.

– Fernando Torres. 50 million pounds, in cash, were just refunded to Roman Abramovitch with that goal. Torres probably couldn’t believe it himself that he scored; but the man has a great record against Barcelona. 8 goals in his last 11 games against them.

– Drogba is still a beast.

– Do Chelsea have a chance in the final without Ramires, John Terry, Ivanovic and Mereiles?

– Should Roberto Di Matteo be given the full-time job? It’s funny that Chelsea’s two Champions League final appearances will have been led by two interim coaches (Grant 2008 and Di Matteo 2012). Maybe Abramovich should keep sacking managers during the middle of the season.

– What’s next for Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona? And for the man himself?

– Last, but not least, the league comparisons. I hate hearing them. During the season, some people say “La Liga is better than the Premier League because X, Y, Z from La Liga are at this stage in a European competition”, or vice versa. The same goes for the Bundesliga, Serie A and all other leagues. You can’t compare leagues with this sort of stuff. The team in 6th in the Premier League is in the final of the Champions League. What does that mean? Is the Premiership the best? No. Is La Liga is failing? No. You just can’t compare. Leagues are different in the same way cultures are. Spending your time trying to compare which league is better than which (especially based on the ridiculous assumption that how many teams left in Europe is an indication of that) doesn’t make sense to me. Some leagues are better than others in various aspects, and depending on your personal preference, it becomes a subjective choice. End of story.


Barcelona vs Chelsea: Champions League is The End of Both

Here we go again and I am all in for goal galore. It is not about putting my reputation at stake or going against a team for another, it is all about… well, just enjoy the game, and here are some thoughts and notes. (Alternatively, you can click here for more stats)

  • 1-0 is one of the toughest scores going into a second leg for the host team.
  • Puyol, Mascherano, Pedro, and Busquets are one yellow card away from suspension for the final, in case they managed one.
  • Ramires, Drogba, Ivanovic, Meireles, and Ashley Cole might play softer because they are afraid of suspension in case they are travelling to Munich later on.
  • Barcelona has not lost 3 consecutive games since 2003.
  • Possession is still Barcelona’s thing, but gaining balls back and efficiency in front of goal have been missing recently.
  • Di Matteo promised to attack, but he will not until Barcelona scores first.
  • If Barcelona scored the first goal early (first 15-20 minutes) then no one can track back the number of goals to follow.
  • Chelsea changed 8 players over the weekend, but still the whole squad travelled to Barcelona. Exhaustion can play a huge role, just like it is playing against Barcelona recently.
  • Referee is Cüneyt Çakır, of Turkish nationality. Let’s start a conspiracy theory around his intents, involving UNICEF and Turkish Airlines (Barca’s sponsor).
  • Champions League 2012/2013 campaign might not be on Chelsea’s agenda and this might be their last European flight for some time.

I couldn’t be cynical trying to write any of the above because I only have myself to blame. I warned before the first leg that “Busquets will not be given the chance to act as Drogba will dominate the show instead” and still no one listened. So, just enjoy the game and forget that I said anything.

park the bus

Will Chelsea park the bus at Camp Nou? And if they did, will it work this time?


Chelsea vs Barcelona: UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2011/2012

Here is my more serious quick preview on the Chelsea vs Barcelona for the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final encounter, leg one.

Both teams can win because this is football where nothing is impossible. Chelsea can get a decent result and Barcelona can go back to Spain thinking of this game as an unfinished business. Here are some reasons why both teams can win.

Chelsea’s FIVE strong points:

  1. Home ground advantage
  2. No pressure
  3. Revenge
  4. Physicality
  5. Experience

Barcelona’s FIVE key points:

  1. Homogeneity
  2. Messi
  3. Possession
  4. Fast Legs
  5. Xavi

I am still pessimistic about Chelsea’s fortunes and you can read about that in my previous post here.

http://www.football.co.uk

Chelsea vs Barcelona: A game to remember (source: http://www.football.co.uk)


Hello Chelsea! Ready for “Manslaughter”?

Now that I got your attention, register the following: I love Chelsea to the extent I did not want them to overcome Benfica so they would not end up facing Barcelona. Obviously I am that pessimistic and obviously I am in no mood to listen to stuff like: Chelsea came back against Napoli and just qualified to the FA Cup final and blabla bla bla…..

Wake up people! This is not 2009. This is not Mourinho’s Chelsea. This is not Napoli. This is a game between a team that plays the best football in the world against a team that is led by a bunch of old soldiers.

Recent matches and team forms have shown that they are both ready for this game. Recent results have shown that Barcelona are stoppable if, and only if, there are 2 or 3 Nestas (plural of Nesta) in each team. However, with the likes of John Terry (who is way behind his best days), David Luiz (who doesn’t even know that he is a defender yet), and Mikel (who is Sir Alex Ferguson’s best unsigned player), Chelsea will not be able to stop Barcelona.

Now talking about what will actually happen:

  • Referees will sit on the sidelines because they need to enjoy the show, too.
  • Red cards will be shown; at least one to a player in Blue.
  • Di Matteo will be the first to rush and exchange his jacket with Xavi’s jersey.
  • Stamford Bridge fans will give a standing ovation for Messi’s goal; number four that is.
  • Roman Abramovich will sign blank cheques for Tello, Cuenca, Montoya, Sergi Roberto, and Fontas!
  • Guardiola will be upset when Pedro commits his 10th consecutive unnecessary dribble.
  • Busquets will not be given the chance to act as Drogba will dominate the show instead.

On a serious note, Chelsea can get away with murder in the first leg, but I see goal galore and a beautiful game to remember. If you are crazy enough and have loads of money, go ahead and bet for a Chelsea qualification to the final.

Chelsea vs Barcelona - Referees are not the limit

Chelsea vs Barcelona: Referees are not the limit.

Disclaimer: It has been long since I last unleashed such rants,
and since this is my blog I can do it whenever I want!

UEFA Champions League: Quarter-final and semi-final draw

The draw for the UEFA Champions League, Quarter-final and semi-final draw, was concluded today in Nyon, Switzerland. The ceremony started at 10:45 GMT and had Paul Breitner co-hosting it, as he is the ambassador for Munich 2012 Final.

The games will be played starting March 27, and the lineup of encounters will be:

  • APOEL vs Real Madrid
  • Marseille vs Bayern Munich
  • Benfica vs Chelsea
  • Milan vs Barcelona

The Semi Final stage will see: APOEL/Real Madrid vs Marseille/Bayern AND Benfica/Chelsea vs Milan/Barcelona

The full details of the matches can be found here.

Champions League Draw


Champions League Returns on Valentine’s Day

On Valentine’s Day, the UEFA Champions League returns. February 14, 2012, will see the first day of the Round of 16 matches. Games will kick-off at 19:45 GMT, except for the one played in Russia (Kick-Off is at 17:00 GMT). The full schedule can be checked here or by clicking the image below.

Many encounters are a must watch, while others are hard to predict. My thoughts on the ones I will be following are not even realistic or factual. They are just the sour ideas of a disappointed football fan.

  • Leverkusen vs Barcelona: Will the Germans make love to Barcelona on Valentine’s Day? Or will Guardiola’s men show the football world some love and start the healing process after a run of mediocre performances recently? – Verdict: Barcelona will prevail
  • Milan vs Arsenal: Zlatan is ready to slap his third opponent in a row, in the San Siro. Henry will bid farewell to Arsenal, in the San Siro. In 2008, Arsenal won 2-0 in the San Siro. 9 years ago, Henry scored a hattrick in the San Siro. More San Siro omens? – Verdict: Arsenal are more excited about the match
  • Napoli vs Chelsea: The Italians are sitting in the 7th place domestically, and the English just gifted the fourth position to Arsenal. Chelsea won only once in seven visits to Italy, a 4-0 group stage success at S.S. Lazio in 2003/04. Napoli are still new in the competition and have nothing to lose. Drogba is back from Africa, and AVB has selection headaches. – Verdict: Chelsea will not be Torresed
  • Marseille vs Inter: This one is a must watch. It is a game between two teams who have lost a lot of power to many opponents recently. Both are distracted domestically trying to reach a top 3 or 4 finish, and both have not convinced. The good news about this encounter is that whoever wins will receive a huge boost of morale; nothing more. – Verdict: Who cares?

Other big names like Real Madrid and Bayern will not have but some “walk in the park” encounters. This is not due to relatively small or weak competitors, but due to the facts that the Germans are aiming to play the final game at home, and the Spanish are only getting stronger and more diabolic with every minute of gameplay.

Champions League Round of 16

Champions League Schedule for the Round of 16 - Times are set for CET


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