The match reports
The Guardian, Dominic Fifield: “Fernando Torres’s scriptwriter has finally earned his money. The Spaniard’s ineffective form in pre-season was jettisoned in timely fashion here as Chelsea bade farewell to the far east with victory, the Barclays Asia Trophy and a striker looking more like his old self. The goal guided in with the Spaniard’s first touch just before the hour-mark was instinctively pilfered and hardly celebrated. It was also hugely welcome.”
Official Chelsea FC Website: “Chelsea made it six wins from six in pre-season as we lifted the Barclays Asia Trophy following a convincing win against Aston Villa in Hong Kong. It sees John Terry claim a trophy he first lifted eight years ago in Kuala Lumpur, and is the perfect start to the campaign for new manager Andre Villas-Boas, who was able to give a large chunk of his squad valuable match minutes once more.”
2′ McEachran 1-0
59′ Torres 2-0
“I have been optimistic throughout [the Asian tour]. It’s been a very intensive tour in all senses, and I think today I must congratulate the players for the superhuman effort they put on the pitch and the performance.
“It has been training non-stop, trips non-stop, commercial activities non-stop and for the players to be able to show this mental and physical freshness and to put on the things we trained is something that leaves me very confident and optimistic. It has the value it has because the most important thing in the end is to win when we start the Premiership but it’s great to feel the group and the team together as we showed today.
“Commitment-wise, motivationally, and the professionalism of the players has been something I haven’t seen before.
“It’s not easy to come away from your home and in these difficult conditions we find to put on a tremendous effort in training, always finding motivation and this is a positive sign for us. Generally speaking we are happy with the tour we have had.
“It was good [today]. We managed to find the correct space, it was a good pass from Bosingwa to Nico and then following from that, we really found some good spaces. It’s important for us to find these spaces and have these opportunities.
“It’s a good sign, of course Aston Villa is as tired as we are, but in the end it was good. To create opportunities is one of our main objectives, a lot more attacking football and possession and we were able to do it today. Even so, coping with Aston Villa’s aggressiveness in their game, always testing us in behind and we were able to manage it quite well in the first half and better in the second half.”
Best performance of pre-season so far, and the most suitable to be used as a yard stick, bearing in mind Villa will be league oppo.
Josh played very well. Nice to see him score his first senior goal, but it was so easy, it’s not the highlight of his performance. Played some intelligent passes, dictated most of the play during his appearance. Thought Mikel shone in the holding role, little got past him.
Impressed with Anelka. Impressed with Torres and Drogs. Overall impressed with pretty much everyone. Almost so much I might apologise for doubting them a week or so ago.
Lamps looked a little off the pace. Looked mote an age and injury catching up with him thing than it being preseason. Most others looked fitter than I’ve ever seen them. Still think we need to do some buiness in the window, we’re just too predictable with the same old faces, even if Josh and Studge get more playing time.
Sod a third bid for Modric around £30m. A similar amount was touted for the signature of Sneijder. No comparison really.
Yup, another signing needed, Lamps doesn’t look like an every day player anymore. But you’re right, everyone else looked pretty good, even Bosingwa. Shay Given isn’t going to be easy in league, but he never has been. But we do better at that possession. I think. Has Petr had to touch the ball this year yet?
Meanwhile, I was scolding Gervinho through the TV that it was below him as a newly minted EPL player to dive in the box against the likes of the New York Red Bulls (penalty rightfully not awarded). Turns out I was wrong, given the 1-1 final between the Gooners and NY. So Arsenal blew a 2-0 lead to Boca Juniors yesterday, and a 1-0 lead to NYRB. Frankly without Nasri and Cesc they just don’t look like much. Emirates Trophy goes to NY based on their victory over what I’m sure was a Pastoreless PSG.
Agreed with the comments on Lamps. He is playing a new position for him, and he delivered the ball long several times, but he got caught on the ball far too often. I love him, but he is old and just doesn’t have the pace or the physicality to play holding mid.
Happy for Josh and Nando!
Thought it was a pretty decent performance for a pre-season game; just what you want to see at this stage – comfortable, competent, the odd ragged edge which will disappear with a few competitive games. Well done Josh and Torres on their goals; the latter especially – bit fortuitous, but he was in the right place and following the ball in, which is surely a good sign.
Not at all fussed about Pastore, if indeed we weren’t just being used to bump the price up and were actually interested – 43m Euros for a decent season and a half in a moderate side and no top-notch European experience is just nuts. Surely Modric is now the main target?
Well they are definitely having fun 🙂
Not sure I ever ‘really’ thought Pastore was on our radar. Came from nowhere, other than their chairman.
Sneijder / Kaka / Hamsik – someone of that ilk please. We seem set elsewhere as long as Bosingwa sorts himself out.
Russians report that Yuri Jirkov has been sold to Russian club “Anji” for 15 million euro.
Makes sense if so. Never really established himself and it might give PVA and Bertrand more of a shout.
Great minds your Kaiserness, great minds
Looking at the Torres goal there was undoubtedly an element of good fortune about it, the slip and mishit shot arriving so that Torres could divert it in his stride.
Begs the question that given the timing of the run and the way he found the space surely the midfield should be looking to play that kind of pass rather than taking a hopeful welly from way out.
Pity about Zhirkov if he goes. Always felt we were about to see good things but injury seemed to get in the way. Its a chance for PVA and Bertrand to step up for the LB spot beyand Mr Cole. Midfield wise, with Essien gone and Zhirkov possibly sold could be be a bit light on the ground if injuries strike?
I’m sure there’s a cunning plan in place.
Practically this is the opinion around there we have Cole, Bertrand and Patrick on the left side, so selling of Jirkov might help us financing Modric.
I see where you’re coming from Blue_M. My thought on Zhirkov was that he was more of a utility player than Cole, PVA and Bertrand and unless we pick up one or two for midfield we could be a bit light.
However these matters pale into insignificance compared to the latest news on PIES. Yes PIES. Nothing is more central to the English footballing culture than PIES. Well maybe beer. No definitely beer. But then it’s PIES.
Why with less than a couple of weeks to the start of the season are Chelsea responding to the BBC Price of Football survey by claiming they have yet to set the price of their pies?
I ask you, is this the way to run a football club? If we can’t price our pies in good time how are we meant to be capable of building a decent squad?
Why are we being more evasive than James Murdoch at a select committee hearing?
Could it be that the season’s price of pies is directly related to our spending in the transfer market? Will an extra £10 million quid for Modric mean 10p on a pie?
Or does the price of a Game Pie in Marco P W’s gaff at the Bridge mean the average price of a pie would be so distorted as to be meaningless, i.e about £25?
We should be demanding answers and answers now!
On a lighter note, (Choux as opposed to shortcrust shall we say?) I was amused to see that Leeds have the most expensive programme at £4. The thoughts of Chairman Bates never did come cheap.
Maybe the pie filling will consist of some unwanted first teamers on high wages that we can’t sell – they’re probably just working out the amortisation schedule now…
Good old Ken – if you offered a penny for his thoughts it’d probably be a very short expletive.
Have to admit it’s a long time since I felt brave enough to contemplate a second mortgage to purchase anything from the catering facilities on my trips to The Bridge – a deadly combination of eye-watering prices, a delicate stomach and a weak bladder [too much information?].
“a delicate stomach and a weak bladder”
Come come now, you’re a Scotsman. Furred arteries and tarred lungs we can accept but this?
(Not that I’m stereotyping or anything)
What can I say?
I can’t even manage fried bacon, eggs and tattie scone for breakfast even once a week these days – see wikipedia link below for the uninitiated:
I think the roast beef rolls with accompanying roast potatoes are excellent value at £4.50
I was as Lords the other week (as we started our humiliation of the Indians) and a crap burger was £6 and a pretentious pork and apple bap, with hardly any pork, from Jamie Olivers Fabulous Feasts £7.50!
Likewise – two pints for £8.40 (from memory)! Glad they at least allow you to bring some of your own in, unlike the Oval.
Arsenal’s pies are the same price as Uncle Ken’s matchday programme, they’re probably that expensive because of the young fresh meat that goes into them.
I’m sure there has to be an inneundo there!
Pie. Very interesting. Possibly healthier than hot dogs, though.
Arsenal are clearly still paying off their stadium, btw. Or it’s like the toll bridge where they promise to remove the toll when the bridge is paid for.
The most famous story is Golden Gate bridge. At the opening ceremony in 1937 the mayor of San -Francisco at that time, declared that this bridge will always be open for free for everybody and this is why today it cost around 5 dollars to cross it 🙂
Ah! but you forget they also have a $14 trillion debt, it has to be payed back somehow.
And speaking of Arsenal, they were doing the wave before the game became concerning. Yuck. Does that happen at the Bridge? FYI it started at Oakland Athletics games in analog form (section by section), but then the University of Washington turned it into the much more familiar digital version known today.
can we have this dolphin playing for us?
Agree that Frank has looked out of sorts for a while, but still a bit early to write him off.
Very dominant display, although we still gifted them a few opportunities that top strikers might punish.
Danny looked so keen to keep his scoring run going, that he neglected the rest of his game, shame because he’s also got a very good touch.
Dear Fabio Capello.
I couldn’t give two shits what you think about the development of our wee whippersnapper Josh McEachran.
Whether it be on loan or staying at the Bridge as a squad player, we’ll do what’s right for his development. He doesn’t need tarnishing by an England appearance for a good while. Cease all thoughts of him playing alongside Jack Wilshere for ages. Too much pressure / hype.
In other news, bye bye Yuri. Shame IMO, injuries probably robbed him of a fair crack. Undeniably a good player but recouping a chunk of transfer fee is smart business.
Frees up a space for a non-homegrown. Hopefully a Wesley rather than Luka variant….
I hope Fabio and most importantly SB elite read your message!
I can’t understand why Rangers are playing a friendly when their league has already started.
Now they’re out of the Champions League it’ll be a depressed Ibrox this Saturday.
money may be?
Chelsea sign midfielder Oriol Romeu from Barcelona http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/14260398.stm
Don’t know if he’s any good. If he was why would Barcelona sell him.
Plus the buy back clause means if he is good they can buy him back.
Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
With Busquets and Mascherano in front of him for his chosen position, he could still be a pretty decent player and not get a sniff. Has to be worth a punt at £5m.
They afraid they might sell another Fabregas. Doesn’t sound like a good deal to me we buy player, develop him and then, if we do a good job Barca buys him back. Hmmmmm we must be pretty desperate if we are doing something like this, it is even worse than borrow the player.
My thoughts exactly.
We’re now officially a feeder club for Barcelona! I guess it’s good to formalise your status in the food chain.
Unduly pessimistic all round.
We get a Barcelona academy Spain U-20 international with pretty much a whole season of second tier football in Spain under his belt for £5m, which is surely a pretty good deal? The buy-back clause is being widely reported in Spain, so it may be true or it may just be Barcelona placating the natives who don’t want to see another Fabregas situation.
As far as I understand it, if the clause is in there, they have the option to buy him back for £10m after 1 season and £15m after 2 – obviously, they can’t force him to go back there (chances are he probably would, of course). If he plugs a gap until Essien returns, does a decent job and we double our money in a year, again, surely a pretty good deal?
With any buy-back clause there is usually a get-out anyway – i.e. we can pay more to release him from it if we want to keep him and he wants to stay.
Aside of all that, he’s 6ft tall so he probably won’t fit into their team of borrowers anyway…
Fair enough – didn’t realise he’s 6ft tall – so per inch that’s pretty good value.
Never mind the quality feel the width!
It’ll be fine working on that theory until we sign Crouch for £15m…
Mind you, it would make Modric a lot cheaper!
He’s another piece in the jigsaw.
Not sure if he’s one of those sky bits that looks like every other bit of sky so you can’t tell where it goes or one of those edge bits that’s easy to slot in and only leaves you with another 6,937 pieces to sort out before tea.
I assume he was a contractual problem for Barca. Decent and worth a good salary but they need to trim the budget, UEFA squad rules etc. so at least they’ll find out if he can step up and then well its up to the lawyers. ‘Cause of he is good I’m sure we want want to let him go in a hurry.
Seems like a deal that suits all parties at the moment.
Surely takes up another ‘foreigner’ place in our squad as well? And we’d be better giving them to established players.
He’s only 19 so doesn’t take any space in our 25 man registered squad. Hopefully he has been on AVB’s radar for some time as however I have to agree that if he’s good, then what a good way to replace Essien until he’s fit. The kid is young so won’t mind warming the bench and if Barca do buy him back we make a cool 5m. Plus I’m sure his wages aren’t high either.
That said … if he turns out to be quality then I’m sure we can keep him. Glad we are buying youth and not spanking huge wads of cash on older players that have passed their peak and still demand massive wages.
We do need a winger asap though and a creative CM!!
It’s good to see signs of life returning to our blog in readiness for the new season. It appears that we still haven’t had any input from some regulars during the off season, just hope they’re not MIA.
Predictions… top four, Chelsea, the two Mancs and Arse.
Relegated Fiftees home team (sorry) Swansea, and Liverpool (hopefully) 🙂 or failing that Suarez asks to leave in January for Chelsea
Does Josh look like he’s ready to step up full time then? Or is a season out on loan more likely to get him playing time?
Worth a read about the new signing Romeu
Hope not, but you may be right. Taking my eldest to his first ever game tomorrow, the Canaries V Parma. Bit of an ex-Chelsea theme for the Italians – Borini and Crespo up top. Lambert knows his stuff. They’ll surprise people this season and will play football to the end (if that makes sense).
Is our match v Rangers ‘on’ anywhere? Got a taste for the AVB regime with the Villa game on Sky. Can’t wait for the clog-fest at the Britannia in a weeks time…
Ah, Crespo great player, his movement and runs bamboozled many defences, pity his family didn’t want to move here.
Norwich could well do a Blackpool, start well, but fade near the end when it matters.
Our game is on Chelsea TV, and I don’t subscribe, but you will find a feed somewhere on the interweb.
I’m a bit confused by TV coverage.
The game kicks off at 3pm but the broadcast starts at 5:15pm http://www.chelseafc.com/page/FixturesAndResults/0,,10268,00.html
My Sky HD box has a 7 second time lag but this is ridiculous.
Perhaps this is some laughable attempt to retain the sanctity of the Saturday 3 p.m. time slot?
I blame Murdoch. And not the one from the A Team, obviously.
That crazy fool!!
Showing my age now, plus the fact I sort of enjoyed the far fetched nonsense.
Hard to say, bettor. He certainly availed himself well during the pre-season (all the Asia matches were on FoxSoccer here in the states) and AVB had nothing but good things to say about Josh. But now Ramires is coming back and you can’t really keep him out of the lineup. Nevertheless, given the fact that AVB actually intends to rotate our aged players in and out, they’ll probably keep Josh and use him a fair amount. Rangers not on, alas, they’re putting on ‘pool and Valencia instead. Still, that should be a good watch considering that Liverpool looks practically like they’re the new Blackpool, complete with the same defense, but with a better attack (once Suarez gets back). I’d love to see Rangers if Luiz and Ramires are playing, though.
I’m in Miami, USA …. I’ve watched all the pre-season games on Fox Sports, are you saying they are not going to show our biggest pre-season game??? This is madness I tells you!!
latest score on the Rangers site http://www.rangers.co.uk/articles/20110806/live-rangers-1-1-chelsea_2254024_2412062
Drogs, Torres, Studge, Lukaku, Kalou, Nico, Malouda.
Simply too many front men UNTIL the ACN, an even then we’ll struggle to fit them all in. Guess that’s why we paid all that money for AVB, he needs to make the choices but I can’t see how he’ll keep them all happy. Based on pre-season, Studge has to stay (though he misses the first 3 games through suspension). Nico looked sharp but there’s talk Drogs is getting another year and nothing for Anelka.
Theres still a Wesley Sneijder shaped hole in our midfield I reckon. One that could possibly but stuffed with an ill-fitting Luka Modric.
But forwards-wise, we’re just round the corner from discontent and stories of unhappiness.
That’s 7 players for 3 positions, I think that’s just the right amount of cover especially when you consider that Malouda is versatile enough to play in midfield, Lukaku will need some time to bed in (even he said a season), and that Nico and Drogs seemed to not be able to play games at their top level when they followed close together…
And Kakuta, I forgot him. So 8 forward players.
Theres a commentary nightmare in there. “Kakuta crosses to Lukaku”. Decent scrabble score though…
Drogs, Torres, Studge, Lukaku, Kalou, Nico, Malouda, Kakuta it is a seemingly long list, but Drogs one year left, Nice one year left, Malouda one year left. They might play two seasons more, but you have to agree that they will be a bench force in 2012 – 2013 season. Now;
Lukaku – 18 years old,
Kakuta – 20 years old,
Studge – 22 years old
All three still require lot of development and year or two playing alongside old guard might really help in their development. I don’t think AVB has got selection problems. He has got season or two to build new squad and he is doing everything right so far. I believe youngsters will feature in CC and FAC games in order to be ready for the next season.
Here is a story that has nothing to do with football except it relates to Stoke and we’re playing there on Sunday.
Not too young for Real Madrid
I disagree that we have too many forwards for the following reasons:
1) 4-3-3 formation
The wide forwards in this formation (or wingers) are on the left Kakuta and Malouda. On the right Nico and Kalou
The CF’s are Drogs, Torres and Lukaka.
Studge can play all 3 postions as can Kalou.
So basically we have 3 CF’s, and 2 Wingers for each positon with Danny Studge able to play across all 3.
2) All good teams that play 4-4-2 need 4 forwards, ideally with a good mix of experience and youth.
3) Malouda can fill in as a CM in a 4-3-3, so if injuries bite he will slot in there.
So all we are missing is a creative CM (please please get Snejider and not Modric!!) and a RB.
Also have to say a little disappointed with Anelka. Clearly he is surplus to requirements and is taking up a squad place, but won’t leave as he knows he won’t get better wages anywhere else and will collect more money on the Bosman. I think we have been very good to him and it would be nice for him to say you know what… 1st team football is important to me seeing as I’m pretty old and it’s not like one more years wages from chelsea will make me so much richer, seeing as I’ll still get at least 30k a week playing for someone else.
He’s got maybe 2 more years of professional football, why spend it on the bench? It’s for this reason that Kalou might get sold to free up a squad space and I think we would all rather Nico left then Kalou, who is younger and a much better impact player.
Would we all rather Nico left than Kalou? I guess, but it isn’t that obvious.