Friday, December 28, 2012

The Friday Quiz: Goal Celebrations

The Chelsea quiz is back for another week, this time celebrating Christmas and the New Year. Which Chelsea players do the silhouettes in the following celebrations belong to?

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Message to Di Matteo Fans

He was our hero, a former Chelsea star, the man that lead us to Champions League and FA Cup success as our interim manager but please people can we finally get over the fact that Roberto Di Matteo is not our manager anymore. I mean did we really expect him to be our long term manager? Roman clearly did not want him as our manager otherwise he would have offered him the job on a permamnent basis straight after he won the Champions League final but instead Roman delayed this decision in an attempt to try and bring Pep Guardiola in. When Pep commited to his 1 year sabbitcal then Roman reluctantly gave Di Matteo the job after being pushed by fans and players to do so but he only signed him a relatively short term deal because Roman still had his eye on Pep when his sabbatical ended. It was blatantly obvious that Roman didn't want RDM as manager so when he was sacked was it really that much of a surprise?

As the owner of Chelsea football club Abramovich has always wanted big name Players and Managers. Due to his money and how well regarded the club is Roman is able to attract these big names. Abramovich refuses to settle for second class and when you think about it that's all Di Matteo really was. Sure he was a terrific man motivator and brought the team together to lead us to trophies last season but lets be completely honest, a man who was sacked as the manager of West Brom is hardly a World Class manager. He did not have the tactical ability to bring success and beautiful football to Stamford bridge and therefore he was sacked.

But what seemed to make fans the angriest was that Rafa Benitez was installed as Chelsea interim manager, a selection by the board that pleased very few supporters. I'm not sure whether it was due to the sudden dismissal of Di Matteo or that it was our old arch enemy Rafa Benitez picked to be manager but many fans were outraged by this decision. But lets be completely honest, behind Pep Guardiola Benitez was the best available manager out there and has a list of honours to his name that many other managers could only dream about. Benitez was brought in as Chelsea manager for two reasons, to keep afloat the sinking Chelsea ship and to get Fernando Torres scoring again. So far he has achieved these goals with success so there is no point to be angry at him. We should forget about his Liverpool past and comments made years ago because at the moment he is Chelsea manager and we must support him. Chanting 'One Di Matteo' everytime we play and abusing Rafa on Social Media websites are not the right way to go about making someone feel welcomed. It was ok the chant Di Matteo's name once but game after game fans are doing it and its unnecessary. It is understandable to be upset about the way Di Matteo was sacked but fans must get over that. Its not like Roman is going to sack Rafa and bring Di Matteo back. Really the chant is sending a negative message to players and staff.

Fans go through Good times and Bad times but what makes a true Chelsea supporter is somebody that sticks through the tough times in the hope that success just around the corner. It is fine to voice your opinion but not the the extent we have done with DI Matteo sacking and the appointment of Rafa. People have stopped supporting Chelsea over this decision and others like it made by Abramovich. These people are what are known as 'Plastic Fans'. We must trust in Roman Abramovich and back the club's decisions because most have paid off and as long as somebody is a part Chelsea we should show our support because this is what makes a true Chelsea Football Club fan.


Follow me on Twitter @Jonnyonnyathan

The Friday Quiz: Christmas Special

This week Justin Cormick has a present for all Chelsea FC 360 fans, a Friday Quiz Christmas Special. Which Chelsea players, past or present, are found beneath the following Santa hats and beards?

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Friday Quiz: Special One Quotes

It is almost the weekend and Justin Cormick returns with the Friday Quiz. Who was former Chelsea manger Jose Mourinho referring to when he made the following comments? Answers next week

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

To Dive Or Not To Dive, That Is The Question

Simulation, one of the uglier aspects of the beautiful game, is a practice that has been a part of the sport for a long time now. However, with football becoming more competitive than ever, many professionals seem to play under the impression that the ends justify the means. A number of teams are falling victim to blatant cheating, and it's time to put an end to this menace. This week, The Controversial High Line takes a look at how diving can be put to bed once and for all. 

During the Premier League fixture between Arsenal and West Brom this weekend, diving standards hit an all-time low. Santi Cazorla had the ball inside West Brom's penalty area when Steven Reid lashed out at the Spaniard. Cazorla went down like a sack of potatoes, flailing at the air and clutching his foot. Referee Mike Jones had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. At first it seemed like the right decision. However, replays showed that there was no contact at all and that it was a classic case of simulation. Simply put, Cazorla dived. Many were shocked that a player of Cazorla's ability felt the need to resort to cheating. Then again, we've seen it happen before. Ashley Young, Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale.... all top players for their respective clubs, all have been given that dreaded tag: Diver.

BREAKING NEWS : Oriol Romeu out for 6 months

Chelsea Football Club can confirm that Spain international, Oriol Romeu has been sidelined for 6 months .Romeu underwent anterior cruciate reconstruction surgery and medial meniscus repair yesterday (Monday). He is expected to be out for six months. He suffered the injury midway through Chelsea's 1-3 victory over Sunderland in the Stadium of Light.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Round-Up Of The Latest Transfer Rumours: Part II

The January transfer window is not yet upon us, but the transfer rumours are already flying thick and fast. And how can any transfer window be complete without a few players being linked with a move to Stamford Bridge? Chelsea FC 360 takes a look at the latest transfer rumours and assesses how likely or ridiculous they are :-

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fernando Torres: The Reasons Behind His Recent Improvement

Fernando Torres managed to end yet another infamous goal-drought against Nordsjaelland in the Champions League. On Saturday he followed up his Champions League exploits with a well-deserved double against Sunderland in the Premier League. And while his goals in the Champions League didn't help Chelsea in any way (we were knocked out of the tournament regardless of the win) his double against Sunderland helped Chelsea win their first League game since October (yes, it's been that long). It was also Rafael Benitez's first win as interim manager.

Tactical Analysis: Sunderland 1 - 3 Chelsea

A sigh of relief echoed all around West London as Chelsea notched their first win in the Premier League under Rafael Benitez. Never have I really appreciated the way a team was set up by a manager like that as of the one that was put by Rafa against the Mackems. 

Natural movement for Chelsea can be seen in the following image , highlighting the defensive duties played as well as David Luiz's involvement in midfield along with Victor Moses's involvement in the flanks.

A Blossoming Partnership: Cahill and Luiz

A significant development of the recent weeks or even the past month, has been the emergence of Cahill and Luiz as our main centre backs. Though Ivanovic has been used in this position with both of them alternatively, maximum success sans Terry has been with this partnership between the Englishman and the Brazilian.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

What We Learned From The Sunderland Match : 12.8.2012

What We Learned From The Sunderland Match : 12.8.2012
A good day for Chelsea Football Club, today. 3 goals for the Blues and a very solid defensive performance. 3-1 to The Chels after 94 minutes of play at the Stadium of Light as Rafa Benitez seals his first PL win as Chelsea manager and second in a row in all competitions.

Under The Microscope : Oriol Romeu

With John Mikel Obi serving a three match suspension over the Mark Clattenburg affair, Oriol Romeu, Mikel's backup anchor man, is likely to come into the fray more in the next few games. Romeu has had only 6 overall appearances for the Blues this season (4 in the league), scoring a penalty against Wolves in the League Cup. He was bound to get a fair amount of time and an almost confirmed place on the bench, after the departures of Essien and Meireles. With Mikel featuring in most of the games, and playing a key role in the team, Romeu has mostly been biding his time on the bench, but things could be changing for him with Rafa's arrival.

The Mikel-Clattenburg Saga Was Bound To End This Way

In what was seen by many as an acrimonious decision by the FA, Jon Obi Mikel was handed a 3-match ban and fined £60,000 by the FA after he pleaded guilty to an FA charge of threatening and abusing referee Mark Clattenburg. The ban came as a surprise to many fans who felt that the FA was unfairly punishing Mikel who was, in this case, a victim of alleged racial abuse from Clattenburg. However, after analyzing the whole situation from an unbiased perspective, I have come to the conclusion that it's not at all surprising that Mikel was charged and that Clattenburg walked away scot-free. Oh, and before you decide to abuse me or label me a plastic, please hear me out.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Lessons To Be Learned From The Champions League Exit

Oh how the mighty have fallen. It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating the fact that we had finally won the Holy Grail of European club football: the Champions League. But now, the harsh reality has finally sunk in: we couldn't successfully defend our Champions League trophy. To be perfectly honest, no one really expected to retain the trophy (no team has managed to do it in the Champions League era). But to become the first holders of the trophy to not qualify for the knockout stages.... that's a bitter pill to swallow.

The First Friday Quiz: Debut Matches

Each Friday Justin Cormick will be bringing you ten Chelsea quiz questions. For the first Friday quiz we look at debut matches. Which Chelsea player, past or present, do the following debuts belong to?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pre-match analysis - Sunderland vs Chelsea

Despite a a 6-1 drubbing of group E whipping boys Nordsjaelland, Chelsea find themselves out of the Champions League and in Europa. Though the negatives of that win are easy to figure out, there are positives as well as Chelsea head into their next EPL fixture against Sunderland who haven't lived up to expectations. 2 wins in 22 games is a very poor record and if you face a team that is low on confidence when it comes to playing domestic, how far would Martin O'Neil go for three points?

What We Learned From The Nordsjaelland Match: 5/12/12

The victory in the Champions League against Nordsjaelland was a bittersweet one. Rafael Benitez got his first win as Chelsea manager while Fernando Torres scored a brace. But the reigning Champions of Europe were knocked out of the tournament due to other results not going our way. As always, there were plenty of points to take away from the match :-

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Preview: Chelsea vs Nordsjaelland

Preview: Chelsea vs Nordsjaelland
It has gone horribly wrong for Chelsea FC over the last month or so. The club is now win less for the past 7 games in all competitions. What makes this situation worse is the fact that we can be the first team to get eliminated from this group stages as holders of the competition. No reigning champion has ever suffered such a fate, but that prospect is very real for the Blues.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chelsea sign 18 year old Brazillian

Chelsea have signed 18 year old Wallace Oliveira dos Santos from Fluminense. The young Brazillian will remain with them until the end of season and then join Chelsea, just like Marko Marin.

Dear Platini, PLEASE Don't Mess With The Champions League Format

The Controversial High Line is back after a bit of a sabbatical and this time, the target is none other than UEFA president Michel Platini! Recently, the most powerful man in European football confirmed that certain changes were being considered for all European club competitions. So.... are the changes under consideration viable ones or yet another harebrained scheme that will eventually come to nothing? See for yourself! 

UEFA president Michel Platini recently confirmed that the prospect of scrapping the Europa League and merging it with the Champions League is under consideration. His exact words were, "There is an ongoing debate to determine what form the European competitions will have between 2015 and 2018. We're discussing it, we will make a decision in 2014. Nothing is decided yet." Another idea under consideration is to to offer a place in the Champions League to both finalists of the Europa League from 2015.