FABREGAS: Ex-Chelsea pro blames lack of confidence to a year ago!!

There are so many football "pundits" these days that you don't have to look very far to spot them on your TV. I wouldn't mind half the time but you have to question why some of them are being paid for their opinions when they haven't achieved anything of note in the game!

Pundits such as Robbie Savage, Kevin Killbane and Jermaine Jenas are ones that come to mind straight away but as far as Chelsea goes, Tony Cascarino really, really winds me up! What the hell has he achieved that warrants the media heading his way for HIS opinion! No one cares Tony so shut up!

Here is an example of the total bollocks this blokes comes up with. It really is a joke and whenever there are questions to be asked of Chelsea if they have lost a game or something has happened, you can guarantee this bloke will pop up to talk nonsense.

People are debating the situation with Cesc Fabregas at the moment. Some believe that his performances and influence in games has gone right off the boil of late and as usual there is plenty of speculation as to why.

So to Tony Cascarino and on talkSport this week, he was asked for his opinion. He said:
"Cesc has struggled. He was terrific in the first part of the season but he hasn’t looked the same.
His goal ratio was one in five at Arsenal, one in three for Barcelona. He has got two in 25 for Chelsea and he is meant to be an offensive, effective player.
He can make assists but he just doesn’t look like he has got the legs to get around the park at the moment. It is just not quite working for him.
I think he is slightly lacking confidence from where he was he was a year ago."
Lacking confidence from where he was a year ago? Are you for REAL!?? A year ago he was in a Barcelona side, playing out of position and more often than not, being substituted. He was down on confidence and knew that he didn't fit into where they wanted him to be so LEFT Barcelona to come to Chelsea! How on earth can this season be any worse!?

I would like to point out that for Diego Costa's goal at Hull last Sunday, it was Fabregas who had the assist once again and as long as he keeps producing moments like that, despite not playing well, then that is fine by me.

Yes, he hasn't been at his best in recent weeks but that goes for everyone bar Eden Hazard.  After the impact Fabregas has had at our club AND the Premier League from the moment he arrived here, you can forgive him for being off his game lately.

Cesc Fabregas IS that good that he will play an important part in the run in to the Premier League title between now and the end of the season and I am 100% confident that we will see him back to his very best - in a season don't forget that he said he was playing at this best!

As for Cascarino and the other pundits who have achieved NOTHING - leave it to the likes of Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher!

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CUADRADO: Talks of slow start and a need for patience.

Juan Cuadrado hasn't exactly set the Premier League alight since his arrival in January. With little time to really make an impact in games and as yet, not being named in the starting eleven, the Colombian revealed that it will take a little time to settle down. 

He said:
“I am happy. I am adapting to the city, the game and the new teammates.
The Premier League is a little bit different to the Italian league. The transition from defence to attack is very fast.
After a change a player needs to be patient. I have just started. I need to work hard and when the chance arrives be ready for it.”
It must be hard to come in halfway through a season, to not feature in much football, just ten or fifteen minutes here and there and then expect to settle down into our League and our culture. Going from regular first team football to playing a bit part has to be difficult but the signs are good.

Granted, when he has come on and tried and trick or two, he has been found out or lost the ball so he needs to improve that side of his game.

The talent is there and I am sure under the guidance of one of the best man managers around, Cuadrado will become as good as Willian has in our team.

Let's hope he gets some all important game time between now and the end of the season!

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Emmanuel Adebayor at Chelsea next season - Yes or No?

In a surprising twist to the transfer rumour mill over the last twenty four hours, Tottenham's Emmanuel Adebayor has been linked with a move to Chelsea in the summer. I am asking you the Chelsea fan whether or not you would be in favour of the move?

With the prolific form of Harry Kane, Adebayor has had to settle for life outside of the first team at Tottenham and rightly so. However, it's easy to forget that the big Togolese striker on his day is a real class act and WAS once signed by Jose Mourinho before.

As we all know with the rumour mill, it could be someone quite literally linking the two together again that has started all of this and there could be nothing in these reports. What if there is?

Adebayor is only 31 years of age and has plenty of football still in him. He has ridiculous skill for a big man and knows exactly where the goal is as proven up and down Premier League grounds around the country.

I remember that he and John Terry used to have fantastic battles whenever we played The Arsenal and he was always a handful to play against. I guess the question is whether or not he would be prepared to come here to fight for a place behind Diego Costa or whether we should be considering the likes of Adebayor when we have someone ready and raring to go in Patrick Bamford?

For me, Adebayor is proven quality but needs games like everyone else. Could he be someone Jose Mourinho would be keen to bring to the Bridge to replace Drogba?

What do you think?

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DIEGO COSTA: "I take a beating constantly, just like in Spain, But I’m not complaining!"

Diego Costa has been making some headlines this week with his withdrawal from international duty with Spain but HAS been talking about life in the Premier League.

As we know by the coverage certain incidents have had lately, Costa has set the Premier League alight for his goals but also because of the way he plays the game - I love him for it!

So, to this week and Costa was asked of the difference between playing his football in La Liga and in the Premier League and he said:
“I take a beating constantly, just like in Spain. But I’m not complaining. They go in hard, but also you don’t get the free-kicks you do in Spain. Sometimes defenders try to target me and put me off my game, but my self-control is getting better and I just try to do my thing.”
Despite all the "battles" he has had this season so far, Costa remains the Premier League's leading scorer with nineteen goals which is staggering considering that for most, the opinion is that it takes foreign players a while to come in and adapt to our game.

If you haven't noticed by now, Diego Costa seems to thrive on it!

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Chelsea look to QPR Goalkeeper to "replace" Petr Cech in the summer?

As you would have read here and over the media this week, it seems that Petr Cech WILL decide his future this summer with all the indications being that he wants to play regular first team football.

Following on from quotes made by Cech, there has been additional speculation that Chelsea will first demand a transfer fee of around £10m and secondly, that Cech would be free to choose his destination paving a way to remain in the Premier League next season!

You can pretty much bet your mortgage on Cech leaving unless something drastic happens between now and the end of the season, so to the future and who Chelsea have their eye on to replace him?

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Well it seems, according to reports, that man is Robert Green of QPR. As we know, Green has tonnes of Premier League experience and at one stage was England's first choice Goalkeeper so comes with some pedigree.

Yes, he has endured difficult times with QPR but has come out the other side and has made some fantastic saves this season despite QPR's lowly league position. I think it's safe to say that unless there is a drastic turnaround, QPR will find themselves back in the Championship next season so it will be interesting to see what Green himself would decide if Chelsea came knocking on the door?

You would imagine that Green would like to continue playing first team football because, as with Petr Cech up until this season, it's been part and parcel of his career week in, week out.

Do you think that Green would want to remain with QPR next season or even test the water to see if there is another team in the Premier League that would be interested in his experience?

I just wonder if this is the time, as Tyler wrote yesterday, whether or not we should look to promote Jamal Blackman into the first team squad as number two next season?

What do you people think on Green next season?


BRAZIL vs CHILE - Training session - Live Blog

Welcome to a true festival of football, as Copa90 and Football FanCast welcome you to exclusive, weekend-long coverage of Brazil vs Chile.

In a bid to change the way football fans experience football events, Copa90 have secured behind-the-scenes opportunities and are bringing them straight to YOU, the fan.

Stay tuned to the live blog below to take in:

·      First-chance peek at Copa90’s hot-off-the-press coverage of France vs Brazil at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

·       The weekend told through the eyes of Copa90’s very own Eli Mengem.

·      Neymar, David Luiz and co. warming up for the big game on Saturday at Emirates Stadium.

·      Exclusive access to Brazil’s changing room prior to the Chile match.

·      A pitch-side Comments Below special broadcast.

And, of course…

·      All the action, reaction and social media hype LIVE when Brazil and Chile battle in out in a repeat of last year’s gripping World Cup quarter-final.

Buckle in and enjoy folks…

Brazil vs Chile

John Terry: England's best signs new deal, praises Mourinho and the 21 partners he's had at Chelsea!

Fantastic news yesterday that John Terry has signed a new one-year contract extension to remain at Chelsea next season. 

Speaking after signing his new deal yesterday, Terry spoke of the deal and of Mourinho's honesty and said:
"I'm delighted to stay for another year. And hopefully there could be a few more years after this. 
The honesty that he had with me when he first took over, basically: 'play well and stay in the team. If not there will be other players that will come in and step in'.
He just demands that from everyone on a daily basis. He's doing everything right at the moment. We're top of the league and everyone's hungry.
We're very close at the moment. To get that big one at the end of the season would be fantastic.
Then we can regroup and go again next year. I'm delighted to be here and hopefully there's going to be many more."

So to Terry himself and the fact that he remains England's best defender. I was reading a really good article on this yesterday published in The Telegraph.  Key parts of the article I want to highlight are as below:

  • John Terry might be loathed outside Chelsea - but he is England's best defender.
  • Jose Mourinho's captain takes after his manager in being unloved outside his own club, but on the field his standards are higher than ever
  • Not since 2005-06, in fact, has Terry been recognised by his peers as one of the two best central defenders in the Premier League - a remarkable statistic.
  • Terry was in the PFA team of the year for three successive seasons up to then but has not made it since. That is eight years since he was chosen as one of the two best centre-halves in English football.
  • Terry was voted in the Uefa Team of the Year on three occasions – in 2007, 2008 and 2009 – in a poll conducted among fans and not players, with the bulk of those supporters coming from outside England. In those same years he was also in the FifPro World XI which is voted for by players.
  • If Terry's popularity is in doubt, his quality is not. He has been and is a remarkable defender who has astonishing powers of recovery, single-mindedness and resilience. And he can defend in an era when there is a dearth of defenders. That has highlighted his qualities even more.
  • There is not only a premium on centre-halves in the way there used to only be on strikers, which has driven the prices up, but there is an increasing lack of options. It is a dying trade. Clubs are scratching around to find players capable of playing the position.
  • With England there is Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones in Roy Hodgson’s current squad with John Stones being held back for the under-21s. But there are few other options beyond that small group. Gone are the days when England could take Carragher, Ferdinand, Sol Campbell and Terry to a World Cup as they did in 2006 with Ledley King missing out through injury.
  • Three of those outstanding players have retired while Ferdinand is seeing out his career at Queens Park Rangers - which leaves Terry as the last man standing from that generation who is still playing at the very top level - for his club, at least.
  • Harry Kane, the league’s top scorer and man of the moment, recently said Terry was the hardest defender he has faced so far in his career after his performance in the Capital One Cup final. “It taught me what a brilliant defender he is, so much experience,” Kane said.
  • Terry has not been sent off for five seasons and been booked only once this campaign in the Premier League and only five times in the past three years.
  • According to Opta statistics he has already won 38 tackles compared to 29 last season and has conceded just nine fouls. He has won more tackles, more headers, made more blocks, more clearances, more headed clearances, more passes and created more chances than Cahill, Jones and Smalling.
  • Terry has been motivated by Mourinho and by Chelsea’s policy of only offering 12-month extensions to players in their 30s and has also been helped by the breaks he can take – such as now – during the international periods.
  • It has been a remarkable comeback by Terry and one that he should be recognised for. Hopefully he will finally return to that PFA team of the year even if he will no longer be in the England team.

John Terry's twenty one different defensive partners. 

This article in the Daily Mail has put together a great article about JT's longevity and the twenty one different defensive partners he has had in the Chelsea first team.

The list of names is impressive to say the least! Have a look below:

Alex, Tal Ben Haim, Winston Bogarde, Khalid Boulahrouz, Jeffrey Bruma, Gary Cahill, Ricardo Carvalho, Marcel Desailly, Michael Duberry, William Gallas, Jes Hogh, Robert Huth, Branislav Ivanovic, Tomas Kalas, Joel Kitamirike, Bernard Lambourde, Frank Leboeuf, David Luiz, Michael Mancienne, Emerson Thome and Kurt Zouma!

Granted, some have only made a couple of appearances with JT but some others have been the cornerstone of Chelsea's success and the rock the team built from. Players such as William Gallas and Ricardo Carvalho back in the day have been our most successful pairings with JT.

The question is, who do you think has been the best ever pairing with JT?

Terry's new contract.

So to John Terry and my thoughts on his new deal. As you have seen, I personally think that he is England's best defender and would still be the Captain of his country if he was still able to be.

There isn't another inspirational character I can see in other clubs such as Terry. Vincent Kompany comes close but has nowhere near the same experience as our Captain.

Never afraid to literally grab hold of a team mate on the pitch to give them a talking to and to re-establish what is expected, he has the respect of everyone in the game on that pitch.

As for the hassle and the stick he gets around the grounds and in the newspapers? That doesn't affect him at all. If anything, it encourages him to play better to prove people wrong and that's exactly what he has been doing since Jose Mourinho returned last season.

Andre Villas-Boas and Rafa Benitez have to look at his performances since his return to first team action and regret the way they handled him.

He fully deserves a new deal and remains the first name on the team sheet in the managers mind. His managers faith in him has obviously driven him on further than before you can see how much it still means to him to be a part of the team let alone the Captain.

I said it before about Frank Lampard and I will say the same about Terry. It's only when he retires from the game that people will reflect on his career and realise just how good he is/was.

Fortunately, we have him for at least another season!


The Summer That Chelsea Don't Need the Transfer Market

The 2015-2016 campaign is the year Chelsea should finally start implementing youth talent. It's time to pull back some loanees, and promote some academy players. Next season is the chance for Chelsea to become a club that builds its own talent, and put them directly into the first team.
While it is likely that Chelsea will enter the transfer market for a few players, with several other players seeking exit, the Blues should look to remedy certain positions with talent from it's own ranks. I can't see a better season to do so, or a group of talent thats more ready to make an impact.
Next season is likely to spell the end to Didier Drogba's playing career. If Chelsea win the title this season, he will most likely hang up his boots, in favor of a coaching role. Perhaps he may be a player-coach, similar to Ryan Giggs at Manchester United. Either way it is likely that his playing impact will be mostly over. This would typically trigger Chelsea to enter the market for a third striker. However, this season they should not be so hasty. They have a ready-made third striker in Patrick Bamford. The young Englishman on loan to Middlesborough this season has been setting the Championship alight. Why spend money on a striker who is likely to not see much of the field anyway? Incorporate Bamford into the first team, let him learn from strikers like Costa, Remy, and Drogba as a coach or player. I firmly believe Bamford is our Harry Kane, and it would be silly to leave him on loan, and allow another club to benefit from his undeniable talent. Bring back Bamford should be Mourinho’s first move this summer.
The next step is to find more depth in the center defensive midfield. Mourinho has beat me to the punch on this next move. Let Ruben Loftus-Cheek fight for his spot. The talented Englishman is more than capable of being a backup for Matic and Fabregas, and I think as Oscar tends to go in and out of form, Loftus-Cheek can see more of the field next season. I also think that Nathan Ake will be a big squad player for the Blues. He can play in this role, while also deputizing center back and left back. A player this experienced and versatile for his age, should be implemented as soon as possible. I think that the combination of Loftus-Cheek, Ake, and Ramires will be enough to hold down the the center defensive midfield position in the absence of Matic and Fabregas. Therefore, Chelsea need not enter the market for a new CDM.
Another option in this position and a bit higher up the pitch as well, is loanee Marco Van Ginkel. There is no doubt in my mind that this player has potential. While struggling to find consistent form after his injury last season, he is still brimming with talent. A coach like Jose is exactly what he needs to regain his confidence. Last season, Mourinho compared him to Lampard. That is a comparison that goes a long way to explain how much potential the young Dutchman has. He should be in the first team next season, and Chelsea will be lucky to have him. All the more reason to not sign a new CDM this offseason.
Kurt Zouma has all but justified his position in the first team. He has also proved that he can challenge for a starting role. Although John Terry has signed a new deal, it would be natural to think he may have to play a few less games next season, in order to continue to prolong his career. This means Zouma will have to partner Gary Cahill in the center of defense. Mourinho would need to find another CB in order to have options to go along with these three. He should look no further than Tomas Kalas. The Czech international proved his talent last season against Liverpool in a huge game for the Blues. He continues to ply his trade at Middlesbrough this season, playing right back under Aitor Karanka. Kalas has performed brilliantly when tested and has done enough to be trusted to deputize at center back for the Blues when called upon.
With all of the talent that Chelsea have in their academy and in their loan army, it would be it would be a waste of money for them to enter the transfer market and overpay for backup players. They should focus their money on one or two big signings and not spend frivolously. In the age of Financial Fair Play, it is imperative to build their own talent. This is where the hard work of the academy and the front office come culminate. This is the year that Chelsea become a club that is known for making their own talent, not overpaying for someone else’s.
For more from Tyler Strauss, follow him on Twitter: @tyler_strauss_


Three players touted to leave Chelsea this summer - What do YOU think?

According a report in the British Press this morning, Chelsea are all set to listen for offers on THREE players from Jose Mourinho's current squad this summer. In a move that would indicate that Chelsea could be looking to bolster their transfer kitty even further, Petr Cech, Filipe Luis and Marco Van Ginkel are the players tipped to leave the Bridge.

As we have heard only yesterday, Petr Cech has been quoted about his future and has made it clear that he doesn't want to play second fiddle to Thibaut Courtois for another season and that an offer from Real Madrid would be difficult to turn down. It's believed that Chelsea will seek at least £10m for Cech.

Now to Filipe Luis. Only this week we had a quote from the player himself stating that he is focused on the team from now to the end of the season and it's other people would are free to talk. However, rumours persist that things have not worked out for him and the club as planned this season. With that in mind, you could bet your life that Atletico would jump at the chance to take him back but Chelsea would want the same money they paid for him or at least something similar to the tune of £16m.

Finally to Marco Van Ginkel and it seems that Jose isn't a fan of the youngster. He has been plagued by injury and struggled to make an impact here and I would see the manager use his potential value in the same way he did with Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku to increase our transfer kitty.

All in all we would be looking at approx £35m in addition to the funds the club already has earmarked for the summer; for the manager to bolster his squad next season.

What do you think of the report that these three are set to leave in the summer?


Super Skills Show Number Two - Eden Hazard 14-15 HD

If this guy doesn't win player of the year again it's a joke!


Enter Real Madrid - Petr Cech gives biggest hint yet that he has had enough!

I hate the international break, I really do and do you want to know one of the biggest reasons? It's because we always end up with someone making an quote to a national Newspaper and it causes a massive reaction. Petr Cech has done exactly that today!

Now, only the other day I posted on here that there had been reports that Real Madrid were going to abandon their plans to sign David De Gea in the summer from Manchester United and turn to the experience of Petr Cech instead.

In light of those reports, Cech was interviewed by one of the national newspapers in the Czech Republic Idnes and was asked of the rumour and speculation of Carlo Ancelotti's interest in addition to leaving Chelsea.

He responded by saying:
“I don’t know what the club’s idea will be.
It looks like it works well with me and Thibaut as a duo. But that can work for one season only. I don’t want another one like this.
There always will be speculation. I leave it for the summer. It will be important to sit down with the club and with the manager to consider all the pros and cons. We will see what will work out the best.
When a specific offer comes I will consider it. There are offers one cannot turn down"
You can imagine the money men around Europe's top clubs will take major interest in his position at at the end of the season as he has virtually opened the door to a move to one of them.

Plenty will be said between now and the end of the season in addition to a proper tribute to a Legend at this club for what he has helped our club to achieve.

For now? At least we have him until the end of the season!

What do you people think of Cech this season up against Courtois and do you believe that he will move to one of the giants of European football as a result?

Should Chelsea sign Radamel Falcao in the summer even on loan?

Things haven't exactly gone to plan for Radamel Falcao since he signed on loan at Manchester United from Monaco. Having scored just FOUR goals and being paid a reported £265,000 per week, it seems that he is all set to return back to his parent club in the summer.

So to Chelsea and these reports that we are interested in making a move for him this summer as a replacement for Didier Drogba.

There are conflicting reports in saying that. Once states we are no longer interested in his services because of the money and the fact that it seems like he just isn't the same player after his long term knee injury over a year ago. The other states that we ARE interested in him but would only be willing to sign him on loan for next season.

What do YOU the Chelsea fan reading this post or even the football fan reading if not a Chelsea fan, think of Falcao since he came to the Premier League and a possible link to Stamford Bridge?

I wonder what the United fans think of him and if they believe he was worth all the money they are stuck with paying him weeks on end?

As much as I acknowledge the player he once was a few seasons ago (he literally destroyed us in the Super Cup for Atletico by scoring FOUR goals), I just do not believe that he is the same player now.

We also have to consider the pace of the Premier League here as an alternative thought. Is it that he has struggled to come to terms with the pace and power of our game and needs time to adapt or do you believe that he has had enough chances?

I take the point that he has been in and out of the Manchester United side but surely that's reason enough. He just hasn't done enough to warrant a regular first team start and for that amount of money, you expect some sort of return.

If Jose was to ask me, I would reject the chance to sign him. What would YOU do?

Bayern Munich in for Chelsea full back this summer!

According to reports in Germany, Pep Guardiola has added Branislav Ivanovic to a small list of names as a potential summer transfer target as he looks to bolster his options ahead of next season.

With Phillip Lahm played as a holding midfielder under the Spaniard, there is an obvious need for experience and quality in the right back position that Lahm no longer adopts.

The German Newspaper Bild has been quoted as saying that they believe Ivanovic has become an important target for Bayern Munich and it will be interesting to see what happens.

Ivanovic DID NOT have his best game on Sunday against Hull and was at fault for the first goal and partly to blame for the second. It's fair to say that in his time at Chelsea as a whole, he is prone to the odd shocker here and there but overall he is one of our most consistent performers.

Only recently Jose Mourinho talked him up as one of our best ever signings so he obviously thinks highly of him; so much so, Filipe Luis has struggled to oust Cesar Azpilicueta from the left back position because Ivanovic still occupies Azpi's normal side on the right!

Iva is 31 now and has a contract with Chelsea until the end of next season. There had also been talk of a new contract on the table for the Serbian defender but with Chelsea's policy of handing one year contracts to the over 30's at the club, Ivanovic could be tempted with a move to play in the Bundesliga.

So what of Mourinho and his insistence of playing Ivanovic at right back? Do we see that remaining the same next season or could we see Azpi and Luis play either side of the centre backs next term?

Although brutally strong and tough to play against, pace isn't on Ivanovic's side and that could go against him as he gets older. He has been caught out once or twice this season but his tackle for the first goal on Sunday was diabolical. He HAS TO do better there.

It will be interesting to see if there is any real substance to these reports and what happens in the summer.

What do you people think of Ivanovic at right back and a potential link to Bayern Munich?

The team meeting after PSG - John Terry reveals what happened!

Many people would have loved to have been a fly-on-the-wall at Cobham the day after we had been knocked out of the Champions League by PSG. Jose Mourinho had stated in his TV interview after the game that he wanted to remain calm, analyse and then speak to his players the following day. John Terry has revealed for the first time what happened that day. 

He said:
 “Things were said by the manager and a few players spoke. Sometimes they [the meetings] are good, sometimes they don’t work.
The importance of it was to speak after the game, get it over with, everyone say their thoughts and feelings, which they did, and then it’s time to move on. There is no time to dwell on things.
It was an open discussion, we went out and trained and that was the end of it. [In the Champions League] we obviously have to come back stronger and more experienced next year.”
It's vitally important that this happened in my view. There was obviously something wrong because for Chelsea to play they way they did as a team against ten men was unacceptable and we got exactly what we deserved!

I like hearing the fact that people had freedom to talk and express their feelings in the open environment that Jose Mourinho had encouraged.

That takes me back to Carlo Ancelotti's time here at Chelsea in his first season. We had hit a bumpy spell in the League and certain results were not good so one of these meetings was called. People were able to do the same as with Mourinho, players spoke and the manager got his message across. The air was cleared as a result and we went onto win our first Double (Premier League and FA Cup).

Let's hope we do not see a repeat of the PSG performance between now and the end of the season. Although we are not playing well, we are still picking up points and maintaining a gap to our rivals.

The international break has come at the right time and hopefully, we can regroup after it, and get back to playing better and winning comfortably against Stoke in a couple of weeks time!

Liverpool defender charged but not the same coverage as Diego Costa!

Ever since Diego Costa was charged and subsequently suspended by the FA for his supposed "stamp" on Emre Can at Stamford Bridge against Liverpool, The FA have set a precedent and it's nice to see that they have reacted to Martin Skrtel today.

Diego Costa was virtually pillared by pundits and reporters for days after this incident happened and Jose Mourinho went as far as to blame the Sky TV coverage and pundits for Costa being handed a three match ban.

Not only that, but everyone had an opinion on Costa and his playing style. Branded an "animal" and other ridiculous things, Jose Mourinho had every right to defend his player and to feel aggrieved.

So to yesterday and Martin Skrtel's "challenge" on David De Gea. Whereas we have witnessed occasions where Skrtel gets away with it, he blatantly knew exactly what he was doing and has been punished as a result.

Have we seen SKY TV or the pundits take issue with Skrtel in the same way as they have with Costa? No!. Have we read or seen as much copy in the newspapers or online as we had seen about Costa? No!

It's a joke it really is but I am glad the FA have acted retrospectively.

I guess the Steven Gerrard incident has been the focus of the match really which was a shame after two fantastic goals from the ex-Chelsea man Juan Mata.

We know that Gerrard is banned for three games for his straight red and let's hope that Skrtel is banned for the same.

Terry talks of the importance of our win at Hull in the title race.

Chelsea's victory over Hull on Sunday was a relief for all of us. John Terry has spoken to the press after the game and has talked of the importance of the three points before the two week international break. 

He said:
"There was a different reaction – we were disappointed with the way we threw away the lead but at  the same time we showed great character.
The importance of the win showed on the players’ faces and the manager’s afterwards. It was an important three points going into the international break. For everyone to dwell over that for two weeks was massive.
It’s exciting, with us playing on Sunday and watching the games on Saturday. I was hoping they [Chelsea’s rivals] would slip up and we’d come here and win. So when everyone won on Saturday, we had to come here and win before the international break. It was huge.
There is still an awful long way to go. We have Stoke at home and QPR away next, which is always a tough one for us. Hopefully, everyone will come back fit after the international break and go again. It’s important we get back to winning at Stamford Bridge because it’s something we haven’t done for a few weeks.”
He's right, the win could turn out to be massive. We haven't been playing well but somehow have managed to extend our lead over Manchester City to six points with a game in hand.

We were staring yet another draw in the face on Sunday after joke defending gave away our two goal lead and it looked like we would continue to struggle to break Hull down after they recovered from our excellent start.

Loic Remy stepped up, scored another important goal and change the face of the Premier League table once again. Our rivals would have seen that and now take that into the international break knowing we have taken hold of the title race with a distinct advantage that could be extended if we beat Leicester (our game in hand) to go nine points clear.

Some have compared Sunday to Blackburn of ten years ago. Do you agree?

Hull City 2-3 Chelsea: A lucky escape as Remy strikes to get us out of jail!

After taking a day to reflect on the game yesterday afternoon, the most important thing that happened was that we took another all important three points. In dribs and drabs Chelsea played well but to concede two sloppy goals when we were already two nil up, is a major concern.

I'll be honest, after ten minutes, sitting two goals up I honestly thought that this would be another rout like Swansea away. Hull couldn't live with us and we seemed to be clinical again.

Eden Hazard took his goal fantastically well after good link up play with Diego Costa. Driving through the middle and not afraid to have a go from distance, Hazard placed his shot beautifully into the corner giving the keeper no chance!

Then Diego Costa produced another moment of magic to make it 2-0. Picking up the ball down our left hand side, he cuts inside, takes a couple of little touches to set himself and produces a curled effort which again gives the keeper no chance! An excellent finish.

So, as I said we were two nil up and cruising. We honestly looked like this was going to be another five goal rout but we just stopped playing. We allowed Hull to come back into the game and that was disappointing to see.

Their first goal is a joke being honest. How on earth Willian and Bransilav Ivanovic allow the attacker to get passed them both with ease, into space, to then play a fantastic ball into the box is unforgivable. Then, as you can see above, Filipe Luis is too slow to react to the cross and is beaten by the winger to drill the ball home to make it 2-1 Chelsea.

So they have just scored, their tails are up and you want Chelsea to just get hold of the ball and keep possession to take the sting and pace out of Hull's game. What do we do? We make it even worse with a joke goal being honest.

Once again Branislav Ivanovic who seemed way off of his game yesterday gives Thibaut Courtois a dodgy back pass. Then for some reason, choosing not to put his foot through the ball and whack it into the stand, Courtois tries to cut inside one attacker closing him down but plays the ball to the other striker who calmly slots the ball home into an empty net. It was a real shocker!

I couldn't believe it. We made a cracking start, looked well in control of the game and within a couple of minutes of each other, the home side got back on level terms and we looked all over the place.

Half time comes and goes, Chelsea once again struggle to break Hull down or force the goalkeeper into action or even look anywhere near threatening. That was disappointing for me once again. Chelsea had plenty of the ball but got to the final third and really lacked that final ball.

Then, down the other end, Courtois to his credit, shakes off what happened in the first half and produces three great saves in succession to deny Hull and keep Chelsea level.

Then, it gets worse as Diego Costa is now feeling his hamstring once again. The injury that has plagued him for two seasons is back and he has to go off. I hope it's just a tweak and a two weeks rest will help him be fit for the next game at home to Stoke, but it's a blow.

The positive is that Loic Remy comes on - always bright and always dangerous in and around the box and he proved to be the case once again.

It was a great move and finish. Credit Willian for making the run into the box, then to lift his head up to spot Remy and pick him out to slide the ball home through the goalkeeper to win the game for us!

I felt the same after the game as I do now. Chelsea really had a lucky escape yesterday. To blow a two goal lead like that was shocking and if we are all honest, we looked like dropping two points.

Loic Remy's goal was a real get out of jail moment for Chelsea and is a good sign that although we didn't play as well as we could for ninety minutes, we still picked ourselves up after conceding two goals and won the game.

However, someone needs to have a word with a few of these players to ask them what they are playing at and to pull their fingers out!


"There is no doubt Chelsea have the freedom to spend big money this summer."

This week, the Telegraph published a fascinating article explaining that Chelsea's position now under FFP rules has been strengthened with the permanent sale of Fernando Torres. The article was such an eye opener, I wanted to feature it here and to explain the situation using quotes from it because I believe that not all of us are aware of how the FFP works.

"Torres has hit Chelsea for just over £18m-a-year in FFP costs and this summer is the first in which the Blues can budget for not having the Spaniard on the books.

The permanent move to AC Milan that allowed Torres to join Atletico Madrid on loan saw Chelsea accept an £18.72m Financial Fair Play hit on the striker this season in order for him to be wiped off next season’s books.

Financial Fair Play accounting dictates that players are valued annually, which is calculated by adding the amortised transfer fee to the annual wage.

Chelsea paid Liverpool £51.5m for Torres in January 2011 and handed him a five-and-a-half-year contract worth £175,000-a-week. That means, in terms of FFP, his fee was amortised to £9.36m a year, plus £9.1m a year in wages – making his annual cost £18.46m.

Once a player is sold, even if there is no fee involved, his entire ‘book value’ is calculated within FFP accounting. When AC Milan made the Torres move permanent, the £9.36m that would have been applied to the 2015/16 books reverted to this season’s accounts – meaning his total cost this year was £18.72m as Chelsea were no longer paying his wages.

Chelsea have also saved themselves money on FFP by handing Eden Hazard a new contract, even though they have increased his wages to £200,000-a-week.

Hazard’s annual FFP cost after joining Chelsea from Lille was £16.02m, but that figure will go down to £13.31m from this summer due to the fact his remaining book value is now spread over the next five-and-a-half years.

It is not widely known outside football accounting that clubs can actually save themselves money in terms of FFP costs by giving their players new contracts, even if they are earning more,” said Cohen.
“Although Hazard’s wages have increased from approximately £9.62m a year to £10.4m annually, his FFP ‘book’ value has gone down. That’s because his £32m fee was amortised at £6.4m a year over an initial five-year contract.

"That deal had two-and-a-half years left to run, so the remaining £16m in ‘book’ value was spread out over the new five-and-a-half-year contract Hazard signed in February, decreasing his annual FFP cost from £6.4m to £2.91m.

"So even with the increase in wages, Hazard will cost Chelsea £2.71m less a year in FFP money from this summer.”

The Yokohama shirt sponsorship that was signed at the end of last month is worth around £40m-a-year, which is £22m-a-year more than Chelsea have been receiving from Samsung.

Even without factoring in any further player sales, new contracts, commercial revenue or the increase in television money for Premier League and Champions League clubs, Chelsea have already freed up more than £40m in FFP cash through Torres, Yokohama and Hazard’s new contract.

Mourinho has operated with a smaller group of senior players to pick from than his Premier League and European rivals over the past two seasons to meet FFP regulations, but can now boost Chelsea’s first-team squad without having to make major sales.

“There is no doubt Chelsea have the freedom to spend big money this summer,” said Cohen. “Unlike the last two years, Jose Mourinho does not have to rely heavily of significant player sales to fund incoming transfers and meet FFP rules.”

It's an interesting perspective isn't it and something I wasn't aware of. I would have thought that Hazard's new contract would hit us financially - not to save us money!

It will be interesting to see if Chelsea do spend big this summer because once again it seems they have the money to do it!

Who would you like to see at Stamford Bridge?

Liverpool starlet wants £120,000 per week - Could Chelsea step in to sign him?

One of the players you would expect to fill plenty of pages in the press this summer would be Raheem Sterling and after news that a new deal has been put on hold, expect there to be plenty between now and the end of the season.

With a contract until 2016, Liverpool have been keen to tie him down to a longer term after some outstanding performances this season but we have been told in recent days that talks of a new contract have been "put on hold".

According to this report, Liverpool have offered Sterling a deal worth £90,000 per week but the article states that the player wants as much as £120,000 per week in order to sign and stay on Merseyside. I just wonder if that's the real reason talks have stalled?

That is an incredible amount of money per week for arguably one of the biggest prospects in the country but can Liverpool afford to upset the apple cart and agree to his demands?

People forget that Sterling is only 20 years of age and will keep on improving. The best years of his career are ahead of him and I could see Liverpool biting the bullet and agreeing to his demands because lets face it, his value is only going to increase in the future.

So what of Chelsea and the possible link to Sterling? Could there be any real credibility in the report?

First and foremost if the player is holding out for a new deal that will signal interest from the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and other big European clubs.

Chelsea WILL have the money to give Sterling what he wants because as with our recent transfer policy over the past few windows, Chelsea have been investing in younger players for the long term as Jose Mourinho looks to put together a side to dominate for the next ten years.

Of course you also have to consider what happens to Liverpool. A top four finish is essential for the Merseyside club and at the moment, that's far from certain. If they do qualify for the Champions League then that puts the club into a strong position. If they do not, I guess they would find themselves up against it with clubs that could offer Sterling the big European stage.

My initial reaction to this report was that it was rubbish but thinking about it, based on where Liverpool finish this season, I'm not so sure it is!

What do you people think of Sterling? Do you think he is holding out for a move or just being greedy?

MOURINHO ON LOFTUS-CHEEK: "I believe alot in Ruben".

High praise for Ruben Loftus-Cheek in Jose Mourinho's press conference yesterday and it was great to see. Ever since John Terry established himself in the first team from our Academy, the club has been looking for the next product to come through - it seems that is all set to be our young midfielder.

As you will understand, there are plenty of people being linked with a summer move to Stamford Bridge and that is due to intensify during the close season. 

One of those players in particular is Paul Pogba who has often been touted as someone that Chelsea have their eye on in the summer. 

However, speaking yesterday Jose Mourinho revealed that he isn't thinking about Pogba or anyone else as he WILL move the youngster into the first team squad next season onwards. 

He said: 
 ‘I don’t think about Pogba or other players. The only thing I can tell you is that you look to our midfield players and between Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic, Ramires, Ruben and John Obi Mikel we have a good group.
And I believe a lot in Ruben and I repeat next season the squad will be made in a way where Ruben is not a number, where he is a player to compete for a position. Ruben is a player that next season I expect him, not just to play  a few times, but I expect him to compete for a place in the team. 
‘I think Ruben next season will be not just a first-team player like he is at the moment, he will be a player to play and compete for a position.’
That really is great news and it will be interesting to see how Ruben responds initially to the praise he received yesterday and next season.

You have to remember that Jose Mourinho has worked with world class players and some of the best players in the world and for him to talk as he has about the youngster - he has to have more than something about him in the managers eyes.

Let's hope he can make the step up, develop and learn from the players and really hold his own!