Pre season: Good, bad or ugly?
Like all money-spinning mile-clocking pre-season jaunts, our ‘tour’ of the US was underwhelming. Any match in which you’re playing Paulo Ferreira at left-back should be filed under ‘Mickey Mouse’. The real work begins now at Cobham.
Hopes for the season:
My one main hope is that come the business end of the season we are somewhere in the same realm as the Manchester clubs. Last year, domestically, was abysmal. The typical manager fiasco didn’t help and hopefully this year will see more stability. The signings of Oscar and Eden Hazard are promising and should give Fernando Torres the best possible chance to rediscover his form of old.
Fears for the season:
Our signings flop, Mata gets injured and Torres remains crap.
Absolute bare minimum you’ll accept:
Third in the Premier League (finishing above Arsenal and Tottenham) and a decent showing in the Champions League.
The signings of Oscar and Eden Hazard are promising and should give Fernando Torres the best possible chance to rediscover his form of old.
Fixture you’re most looking forward to?
Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. There’s not a team in the League I enjoy beating more than Arsenal. We all remember what happened last year; it’s time to put that right. Also, QPR away. The fact we lost to them at Loftus Road last year is still pretty unbearable.
Got the right manager?
Seems like we arrive at this question every summer. Roberto di Matteo delivered the impossible last year and fully deserves a fair crack at things – whether he’ll get that is hugely questionable. His two-year contract suggests he could well be a stop-gap for the returning Pep Guardiola while ensuring himself a pay-off. Above all, he deserves respect and I hope he gets it.
By Christmas you’ll be…
Comfortably in the top four, hopefully in touching distance of whoever is above us.
Player you’d most like to sign?
Neymar. The boy has skills. One of the most exciting talents in world football. He is exactly the type of player Abramovich dreams of, which is why the Russian has been trying to smooze his family and representatives for the best part of three years. It won’t happen though – it’s widely believed Santos already have a deal in place with Barcelona.
Which player should we look out for?
This will probably go against the grain but I’m going to say Fernando Torres. This season really is make-or-break for the 28-year-old. If he doesn’t deliver in Didier Drogba’s absence it will most probably be curtains for his Chelsea career.
There’s not a team in the League I enjoy beating more than Arsenal. We all remember what happened last year; it’s time to put that right.
Which player would you love to ditch?
I used to love Florent Malouda. Under Carlo Ancelotti he was one of the few genuine flair players we had. Now it just seems he’s not bothered. His form was through the floor last season and he looked bewildered at the Euros. It’s time for him to go and soak up some samba in Brazil.
Opposition hate figure?
Joseph ‘The Philosopher’ Barton. No explanation required, hopefully.
Tell us something we don’t know about your club?
Stamford Bridge hosted a baseball match between New York Giants (now San Francisco Giants) and Chicago White Sox in 1914.
What won’t happen this season?
Tottenham finishing above us.
‘Robin van Persie, he leaves when he wants’
Where will you finish?
An optimistic 2nd.
Any other news?
Look out for Paulo Ferreira being handed a new contract. Gotta love him.
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