Posts Tagged ‘chelsea’

Football

Transfer update – Liverpool sign Sturridge which means Ba move to Chelsea back on

By Stefano on January 2nd, 2013

Big news in the last hour. Liverpool FC have confirmed that they have signed Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge. There is no news yet on the terms of the deal but Sturridge has said

“I am humbled and happy to be here. Brendan Rodgers said he sees me here for a long time – and I also see myself here for a long time. I’ve not signed here to play for a couple of years and then move on.

“I’ve signed to be here for as long as possible. It’s a humongous club – for me, one of the biggest in the world – and to have the fans and world-class players we have here is amazing.”

Sturridge scored 13 times for Chelsea last season, including 11 in the Premier League, but an injury has limited his role this year.

Sturridge’s transfer means that the Demba Ba move to Chelsea is apparently back on. Newcastle United issues this on their website an hour or so ago.

The club have given the player permission to speak to Chelsea FC and therefore he will not be included in the squad for tonight’s (Wednesday) game against Everton.

Chelsea are thought to have made an offer in excess of £7 million which triggers Ba’s release clause. Infostrada recently tweeted “Demba Ba (36) has scored 2x as many PL goals since arriving in PL in Jan 2011 than Fernando Torres (18) since his move to #CFC in Jan 2011.”

So Chelsea fans – is this the striker you have been waiting for?

 



Football

Arsenal say no to Henry and Sneijder, but new signings on their way

By Stefano on January 2nd, 2013

In today’s least surprising news Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Thierry Henry won’t be returning for a third spell at the club. Arsenal have also ruled themselves out of the race to sign Dutch front man Wesley Sneijder, but Wenger insists that the club will make signings in the window.

Henry has been training with the club in the last month and there was possibility that he would repeat his loan spell of last year which saw him score twice for the club. However when quizzed about a deal Arsene Wenger told the press.

“He is not ready, he has just come back from holiday anyway. At the moment we are not on that case.”

Meanwhile The Sun is reporting that Arsenal (and Chelsea) have passed up on the chance to sign Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder even though he is being offered as a free transfer. Both teams are scared off by his wage demands. He currently earns £200k a week in Italy.

Finally Wenger has reiterated that he is looking to buy players in the window.

He said -

“I will be active, yes. Will I be concrete? I hope so. We are looking everywhere, we are open-minded. We want to strengthen the squad if possible if we find the right players.”



Football

BBC reports Chelsea offer for Demba Ba ‘not enough’

By Stefano on December 31st, 2012

With Arsenal seemingly out of the race it seemed a dead cert that Newcastle striker Demba Ba would be on his way to Chelsea.  BBC Five Live however are reporting that it is still far from a done deal. Apparently Newcastle are saying that they haven’t received an offer large enough to trigger Ba’s get out clause – which is reported to be £7 million

At the same time the player’s representatives aren’t happy with the offer either. It would appear that the issue of Ba’s dodgy knee means that Chelsea don’t want to to risk too much money on the player.

This one still feels like it is going to happen, but it does provide an opportunity for someone else to start courting the striker.



Football

Good news for Man United – six of the last eight Christmas Premiership leaders won the title

By Stefano on December 24th, 2012

So which Premiership manager has Santa for good news for this year?

It could have been so much better for Fergie. Well if United had sneaked a winner against Swansea and Mike Dean ruled out Gareth Barry’s last minute winner for City against QPR. But the United boss still finds his team four points clear of City at Christmas and five clear of Chelsea (and that’s assuming they win both of their games in hand).

United have been here many items before and if recent years are anything to go by, come May it will be the Red half of Manchester that will be celebrating. If you look at the statistics below six times out of the last eight seasons the club that is top at Christmas has gone on to win the Premiership.

The two exceptions are Liverpool who were overtaken by United in 2008-09 and 2007-08 where Arsenal threw away a winning position and ended up in third. That was famously the season in which Eduardo suffered his crippling injury in a game against Birmingham City in February, an incident that apparently shocked the team so much they never really recovered.

If you delve further back in the Premiership the number of Christmas leaders who went on to win the title declines a little – just seven times out of last twelve seasons.

So can we rule out Chelsea as title contenders then? Well if you look at the season 2008-09 United weren’t even in the top three at Christmas but went on to scoop the title that May. So in theory you can’t rule out any of the four teams currently on 30 points – but they would be a very long shot.

So what do you think will have the most impact on the title race in the coming weeks? I think how quickly Vidic settles again at United and how much he shores up what still looks like a porous defence. Keeping Van Persie injury free would help too and Rooney needs to re-capture some of his old form. I wonder too if the 8-0 thrashing of Villa might energise Chelsea to the point where their incredibly strong squad starts to deliver on their promise.

As for fourth place Arsenal would appear to be favourites. They have a few winnable games on the bounce, will strengthen in January and have been there many times before. If Spurs or Everton find some consistency they could run them close.

Here are the Christmas and final tables for the last ten years.

2002-03
1. Arsenal 39
2. Chelsea 37
3. Man Utd 35

1. Man Utd 83
2. Arsenal 78
3. Newcastle 69

2003-04
1. Man Utd 40
2. Arsenal 39
3. Chelsea 39

1. Arsenal 90
2. Chelsea 79
3. Man Utd 75

2004-05
1. Chelsea 43
2. Arsenal 38
3. Everton 37

1. Chelsea 95
2. Arsenal 83
3. Man Utd 77

2005-06
1. Chelsea 46
2. Man Utd 37
3. Liverpool 31

1. Chelsea 91
2. Man Utd 83
3. Liverpool 82

2006-07
1. Man Utd 47
2. Chelsea 45
3. Liverpool 34

1. Man Utd 89
2. Chelsea 83
3. Liverpool 68

2007-08
1. Arsenal 43
2. Man Utd 42
3. Chelsea 37

1. Man Utd 87
2. Chelsea 85
3. Arsenal 83

2008-09
1. Liverpool 39
2. Chelsea 38
3. Aston Villa 34

1. Man Utd 90
2. Liverpool 86
3. Chelsea 83

2009-10
1. Chelsea 41
2. Man Utd 37
3. Arsenal 35

1. Chelsea 86
2. Man Utd 85
3. Arsenal 75

2010-11

1. Man Utd 34
2. Arsenal 32
3. Man City 32

1. Man Utd 80
2. Chelsea 71
3. Man City 71

2011-12
1. Man City 44
2. Man Utd 42
3. Spurs 35

1. Man City 89
2. Man Utd 89
3. Arsenal 70

2012-13
1. Man Utd 43
2. Man City 39
3. Chelsea 32

Pic PA

People dressed as Father Christmas take part in the Great Edinburgh Santa Run, at West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, in aid of the When You Wish Upon A Star charity.



Football

Are Chelsea now favourites to land Theo Walcott?

By Stefano on December 18th, 2012

So the Theo Walcott  transfer saga rumbles on in many ways over shadowing everything else that is going on at The Emirates at the moment.

Last night the youngster got his wish and was started by Arsene Wenger as a central striker. Walcott scored one and looked a constant threat trying to latch on to balls from Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta. It is clear that Reading gave Arsenal way too much room to play their free flowing football and that naivety cost them dearly. Still, Waclott seems a better bet in the striker position than Wenger’s other winger turned poacher Gervinho.

Wenger has once again called for Theo to sign a new contract and BBC Radio Five Live were reporting that insiders think that the issue of signing a contract is about to come to ahead this week.

If Walcott doesn’t sign then Goal is reporting that the club in prime position to secure the signature of the England player is Chelsea. In an article this morning here’s what they had to say.

Liverpool, the two Manchester clubs and Juventus are all on Walcott’s trail but they all fall short in one notable area.

“Location is key for Theo,” said one source well acquainted with the 23-year-old’s situation. “He is settled in the South East and would prefer to stay there.”

The article suggests that Walcott will stay at The Emirates until the summer and then sign for The Blues.

The sticking point for Walcott could be his insistence that he wants to play as a striker. Were Benitez to sanction the deal Walcott would run the risk of being frozen out of his preferred position if Benitez’s successor has other plans.  It would make a lot more sense to wait until the Chelsea choose a new manager before signing. Choosing to play as a striker will also scupper moves to the Manchester clubs who both arguably need wide men as they are well stocked with front men.

So where do you think Theo will be next season?

 

 



Football

Theo Walcott is on his way to United/Chelsea/City/Juve/nowhere

By Stefano on December 14th, 2012

There’s a lot of news about Arsenal’s speedy winger this morning, though, let’s just say that very little of it falls into ‘from the horse’s mouth’ category and you should take it all with a tankard of salt.

Until a few weeks ago it seemed that Theo Walcott would possibly end up at Liverpool leading the line alongside Suarez. Then Arsenal fans were given a  glimmer of hope with Wenger stating that he wouldn’t let the player go and that he would be with Arsenal til the end of the season at least.

Yesterday it seemed that the new frontrunners for Walcott were United who are hoping to rekindle the Van Persie/Walcott partnership that spawned so many goals last season.

Today the baton has been passed on to Chelsea. The Sun reckons that Benitez will test Arsenal’s resolve with a £15 million bid for Walcott (who remember, can walk away for nothing at the end of the season) and that because he likes living in London he favours the westward move.

But what’s this? It appears that Juve are happy to give Walcott the £95k a week has has asked for and we shouldn’t forget City who have been making noises about Walcott for a while now.

And in all this time neither Arsene Wenger or Theo Walcott has said anything meaningful about his situation. Expect this one to (like its subject) run and run.

Pic PA

 



Football

Arsene says no January sale for Theo Walcott – but is he at odds with the Arsenal board?

By Stefano on December 8th, 2012

The Daily Mail has what it is billing as an exclusive today. According to the paper…

1 In spite of the public perception that talks between Theo Walcott and the club are ongoing,  no formal discussions between the two parties have taken place since August 28. The last offer on the table was a five-year £75,000-per-week deal.

2 That Wenger is desperate to cling on  to his in-form winger for the rest of the season knowing that Walcott could leave on a free transfer in the summer. However Wenger also wanted to keep Van Persie and Nasri but he was over ruled by the board and both were sold with less than 12 months on their contracts. So if the board gets its way Walcott will be sold in January with Chelsea  Liverpool and Manchester City the front runners.

All this in spite of strong rumours that Walcott wants to stay at the club.

He might have been dogged by injuries, but Walcott has been very impressive this season and is clearly forming a useful partnership with new striker Olivier Giroud. His crosses from the right have been a source of seven Arsenal goals and he also netted ten himself.

What the fans can’t understand is why the club won’t make an improved offer to arguably the club’s most in-form player. The financial gap between the two parties is apparently only a few thousand a week. The other sticking point is that Walcott is adamant that he wants to play as a striker.

Given the club’s shortage of front men many fans feel Wenger has missed a trick this season not to experiment with Walcott through the middle. What is even more galling for Arsenal faithful is that Wenger was prepared to give Gervinho a striking berth which, apart from brief  flashes of genius, has been wholly unsuccessful.

It appears that Walcott has the respect and support of a large section of Arsenal fans and were he to leave, unlike Nasri, Van Persie, Toure and other Arsenal emigres, the fans would blame the club and the manager and not the player.

Of course the side could pull a huge rabbit out of the hat by signing the highly rated Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace. Whether that would be enough for the fans to forget their speedy winger remains to be seen.



Football

Will Chelsea fans ever love Rafa Benitez? Or are has Roman marked his cards already?

By Stefano on November 25th, 2012

Rafa is in for a rough ride says Simon Poulter of What Would David Bowie Do?

With his scruffy little beard and penchant for cheap-looking nylon leisurewear, the multi-billionaire Roman Abramovich doesn’t exactly cut the image of a prototypical James Bond villain.

He may not (to my knowledge) possess a white Persian cat, which he strokes for camp and menacing effect, but like 007′s nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Abramovich is clearly capable of dispatching underlings whenever the whim takes him.

So here we are again. Another November, another dip in form, and another Chelsea manager looking for work. Roberto Di Matteo took a decent and dignified stride in his brief managerial tenure at Stamford Bridge. But from the moment he was euphemistically installed as “interim first team coach” he knew he wasn’t exactly the anointed one. He may even have been another ‘dead man walking’, as Victim No.1, Claudio Ranieri, referred to himself.

Go back two managers, which in Chelsea years means to last March, and Abramovich had grown impatient with his bizarre gamble – football’s very own Charlie Buckett, Andreas Villas-Boas – and in looking for a replacement was desperate for Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola. But with the 41-year-old Catalan making clear he was, at season’s end, taking a year’s sabbatical in New York with his family, the unemployed Rafa Benitez was being fitted up for a temporary spell in the manager’s chair.

But when Benitez threw one of his customary hissy fits at the prospect of being a mere seat warmer, Abramovich had no option but to install, quickly, the popular old boy, Di Matteo. The club’s history of appointing from within has not always gone well: Ruud Gullitt and Gianluca Vialli both fell foul of Ken Bates over money, while Ray Wilkins felt the sharp end of Abramovich’s sword for, it would appear, looking at the Russian the wrong way.

Di Matteo – a club hero still for scoring the fastest FA Cup Final goal after 47 seconds of the 1997 final – had been AVB’s assistant, fulfilling a role similar to that Wilkins had been employed for at Carlo Ancelotti’s side – a link to the club’s history for both fans and players.

But in being condescendingly titled Interim First Team Coach, it was clear that Di Matteo was only installed by default.

How embarrassing, then, that he should go on and end Chelsea’s desperate hunt for the European Cup, land yet another FA Cup trophy at the same time, and galvanise a fractured dressing room.

Perhaps Chelsea had to accept a moral obligation to give Di Matteo the job full-time after all that. Drop him then and Chelsea’s reputation for lousy manager management would have made the club toxic for anyone else to become interested – least of all, Pep Guardiola.

Abramovich had been making overtures to Guardiola again in the run up to Di Matteo’s sacking. But this obsession with landing him is turning the Russian into the greatest stalker since Max Cady came after Sam Bowden and his family. And he’s done it before: so the story goes, Abramovich fell in love with football by watching AC Milan, and set about buying the club. With that not possible, he set about recreating the club by buying Chelsea and installing Andrei Schevchenko, the rossoneri’s star striker, while trying to lure Carlo Ancelotti as coach,

He didn’t, but then he got Jose Mourinho, and that didn’t work out too badly. Or, at least, until Chelsea’s results started to go “in the wrong direction”, the self-same excuse given for firing Di Matteo. Like Mourinho, Di Matteo delivered silverware and good times for the club. But as soon as things started to cool off – i.e. results went against them – they were summarily fired by the itchiest trigger finger since Dirty Harry.

Abramovich, then, has a totally unrealistic level of expectation. But he also appears to lack strong leadership and footballing advice around him. There’s a reason why Manchester United are the most successful football club in history – it’s because they’ve had the same manager for 25 years, who has built, invested and reinvested in consistency and excellence. Personally I loathe the old Scottish git, Alex Ferguson, but you could never knock his record, or indeed his club’s ongoing support for him.

For Chelsea, eight managers in as many years is not only inconsistent, it’s an embarassment. We want success and we’ve had success. We want our club to be led by a dynamic manager whom we can get behind. We had that in Mourinho, we had that in Guus Hiddink, we had that in Ancelotti and we could have had that in Di Matteo.

But, from now until the end of this season (and, it is claimed, with an extension to next season if “mutually acceptable”), Chelsea will be managed by the most divisive managerial appointment it would have been possible to appoint: Benitez.

You may, already, sense some antagonism towards Benitez. That’s because many Chelsea fans consider him a tactical fool, more interested in defensive formations and squad rotation than anywhere near the attractive, free-flowing attacking football Abramovich himself is said to desire.

It’s also because he spent an inordinate amount of time as Liverpool manager winding up Chelsea fans and, especially, Mourinho, and then behaving like an emotionally challenged teenager whenever things went wrong. He’s been out of work for two years, with only a short spell at Internazionale since leaving Liverpool. That speaks volumes.

Abramovich has, at times, treated Chelsea like a plaything. When he’s pumped more than £1 billion into the club since 2004, that’s his prerogative. But you wonder whether he has always had the best advice. Did the club really need a physically crocked Andrei Schevchenko, or a mentally and physically crocked Fernando Torres, each for vastly inflated transfer fees and equally inflated wages?

The problem is impulsiveness and impatience. If Roman wants a bigger yacht, he orders it. Bigger mansion? He knocks through the rest of the street. This has been the ‘see it, want it’ nature of his ownership of Chelsea (which isn’t that dissimilar to the way many Premier League players splash the cash around). More than just an oligarch, like some emperor acquiring lands at will, he has made some ridiculously rash decisions at Chelsea.

Benitez is going to have to endure six months of indifference and hostility from Chelsea fans. Even after Di Matteo had been appointed in March, Chelsea fans still let it be known at Di Matteo’s first home game in charge that Benitez wasn’t and would never be welcome. And so here he is, like the frog in Peter Gabriel’s song Kiss That Frog “all puffed up, wanna be your king”.

At any other club, the sort of success Di Matteo brought in just 167 days in charge would have had his name emblazoned above a new stand at the stadium. But not at Chelsea. This is a club which, for all you or I know, may have fired Benitez before he’s even begun, and hired – and fired – his replacement.

Benitez has a rough ride ahead of him. Even if he does well, he’ll be out on his ear as soon as you know it. Pep Guardiola knows it too. Just as Ancelotti was the coveted one, once, there is no life expectancy at Chelsea. And if he has any sense, Guardiola would give Chelsea one almighty swerve.

Pic copyright



Celeb style, Sport

Pep Guardiola – the most stylish man in football. Here’s the evidence

By Stefano on November 21st, 2012

After winning a host of trophies with his beloved Barca Josep Pep Guardiola is currently in the middle of a sabbatical from the game, quaffing the Espressos, wandering the streets of Manhattan and pondering his next move.

With Roberto Di Matteo the latest manager to to be given the Siberian shoulder Pep is odds on favourite to take over the reins, if not now then at the end of the season. It isn’t just Chelsea who like the cut of the ex Barca man. Arsenal are also rumoured to have been courting Pep for a while with a view to working at The Emirates – though unless there is some deal that we know little off, with Arsene Wenger booted upstairs, it is unlikely that this is going to happen this year.

There is even the possibility that Spurs may soon be looking for a replacement for AVB while Alex Ferguson can’t go on forever.

Guardiola is known for two things. Firstly the brilliant Tiki Taka football which has confounded team after team both in Spain and in Europe.

Secondly for being the most stylish man in the game. Sure you can make a case for the Italians Di Matteo and Mancini and Newcastle’s Chris Hughton is clearly top of the English league in the fashion stakes – which isn’t actually saying a great deal.

But Pep certainly knows how to dress. Hi is immaculate in his grey suits always with a crisp white shirt and a narrow tie. He also favours the longer jacket look which kind of put his at odds with what was on the catwalk a few years ago and dominates the high street now – and quite frankly looked a bit of a mess on Daniel Craig in Skywalk. But this gives him a degree of individuality and it really suits him.

He also does casual too with Stone Island black jumpers and checked shirts teamed up with prefect skinny-ish jeans and Nike trainers.

He also gives great hope to balding men everywhere in that he keeps his hair very short and teams it with just the right amount of stubble.

Anyway hopefully Pep will be spotted shopping in and around Bond Street very soon.

Btw  he doesn’t always get it right.

Pep goes casual again. Stone Island jumper

Picture 3 of 7
Picture 3 of 7



Clothing, Designer Spotlight, Outfit picks

Topman Reveal New Look- ‘Chelsea Arts Club’

By Will Reid on April 14th, 2009

topman chelsea arts club.jpg

Topman have a new mini-collection on their online shop and the look is ‘Chelsea Arts Club.’ The high street label (beloved by the Brandish team,) tells that “this smart trend is influenced by a sophisticated age where actors, artists and sartorialists mixed in exclusive members clubs…the overall look is quirky.” For me, this translates as unusual textures, subtle details and wow-factor tailoring. My fashspirational men are Bob Dylan, Gregory Corso and Pablo Picasso; men who looked effortlessly awesome in rolled-up trousers and paint-stained tees.

Why not buy basic items from Topman and try your hand at home-made accessories? Prepare yourself for beads on string, paperclip tie bars and old woman’s brooches pinned into buttonholes.

Pick up a Murakami novel, write a poem and carry a wicker basket- this summer is all about your inner artist!

Read the rest of this entry »



Designer Spotlight, Footwear

b Store lace up Chelsea boots from Farfetch

By admin on October 30th, 2008

b store mario boots farfetch.jpg

Click image to enlarge

Combining a lace up with a Chelsea boot doesn’t sound like the smartest move but this B Store shoe is marvellously executed.

In a fetching tan colour the ‘Mario’ boot teams the smart good looks of a lace up with the rugged durability of a boot and will keep you looking stylish all winter. It’s also available in black and at £199 isn’t cheap but a well-made leather boot like this is a great investment.




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