Thursday, 24 May 2012

Chelsea: 2011-12 season review


One word to describe this season- CRAZY!

The Lows-

Finishing a lowly 6th position in the EPL! ( our lowest since 2002- Pre-Abramovich) This sucks big time. Sacking Ancelloti (in the Newcastle tunnel, allegedly!) at the end of the 2010-11 season instead of a player 'clean-out' was an error. The Blueprint for a poor 2011-12 was already in place after a trophyless campaign in that season. So many players were past their prime. Just 2 victories against the top 5 ( Man City at home, Newcastle away) in 10 games says it all!

AVB- he inherited an impossible job because of the reasons above. His motor- mouth didn't help matters! Cardinal sin- losing the Dressing room. When you do this as a Manager, your days are numbered! The last straw was the away defeat at West Brom in early March- this, on the back of 9 games in which we only won once! -our poorest run in many years! This effectively put paid to our title aspirations. There was only one outcome from all this. He was duly sacked!

Abysmal- losing 3 times in a season to a poor Liverpool side( twice at home!) we got the last laugh though!( beating then in the final of the FA Cup- hit where it hurts most!) throwing a 3 goal lead away against Manchester United ( Webb- assisted)- that draw felt like a defeat. Losing 1-0 to QPR away- and finishing the game with 9 men. The infamous Terry- Ferdinand incident also occurred in this match. Conceding 5 against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge- which used to be a fortress!

The Highs- Di Matteo's appointment as Chelsea's interim Manager after AVB's sack. Oh, what a master stroke this was with the benefit of hindsight! Our season was nothing short of calamitous before his appointment. This was uncharted territory for us. If you must venture into uncharted waters make sure you have a sober captain to make sure you don’t end up shipwrecked somewhere. Boy, he did steer the ship brilliantly! 4 consecutive wins- including victories against Birmingham ( FA cup q/ finals) and that famous victory against Napoli at home( q/ finals Champions League) and the rocking ship was steadied! . We subsequently went on to win the FA cup and, against all odds, the Champions League- seeing off a great Barca side in the semi- final and winning the finals on penalties with a depleted side on Bayern's soil. If this isn't Character then I don't know what the meaning of the word is!

The future- Drogba has just announced that he's leaving. I think this legend deserves a statue at Stamford Bridge for what he's done for the club!

Players that should leave too- we need a major overhaul of the playing personnel. In my opinion, the following should go- Salomon Kalou, Jose Bosingwa ( indeed these two have just confirmed that they are leaving) Paolo Ferreira, Florent Malouda, Michael Essien- they are no longer good enough to wear the Chelsea shirt

Players that should be sent on loan- Daniel Sturridge, Oriol Romeu, Romelu Lukaku, Ross Turnbull

Players we should buy- we have a stuffed schedule next season- we'll be playing in the European Supercup and the World Club cup- apart from the busy domestic schedule and the Champions League. Hence the need to strengthen the squad ( apart from our dismal league showing this season!). Also 2 of Abramovich's wishes were winning the CL(achieved) and to play attractive football( not quite there yet)

To achieve his second wish- we need:

A creative midfielder- all our current midfielders, bar Lampard and Mata, are ball winners and passers who are not so effective in the opponent's half. This explains the overuse of Mata and his below par performance for much of 2012 due to burn- out. Lampard, though still useful particularly in big games, is not a 30+ games a season player anymore due to age. Hence we welcome Genk's Kevin De Bruyne and Werder Bremen's Marko Marin ( both already signed for Chelsea) to solve this problem.

Strikers- it is common knowledge that I'm in love with Napoli's Edison Cavanni and Ath. Madrid's Roberto Falcao. ( I've even featured the latter on my blog on a few occasions) I pray my wish comes true for at least one of these men!

Pacy winger- to help to spread play and feed the strikers. Bilbao's Markel Sussaeta and Iker Munain, Lille's Eden Hazard, and Juventus's Milosz Krasic come to mind here

Abramovich did say " this is just the beginning!" to the boys in the dressing room after our triumph in Munich. To this I say to the Opposition: be afraid!, be very afraid!!

Rubbing my hands together in gleeful anticipation! Chelsea for life! * kissing the badge*

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