Chelsea have still not confirmed their new manager for next season yet are continue to buy players. Does the manager even have a say in who comes to the club? Here’s a look at Chelsea’s transfer history and how it’s affected their managers.
Just watched the Barcelona v Chelsea match where a dramatic Fernando Torres goal sealed the Londoners place in the final. With John Terry sent off, Braislav Ivanovic, Raul Meireles and Ramires all yellow carded (they will all miss the next match) it will be interesting to see what team they put out against either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich in the final. What a dramatic and fantastic turn around in fortune it has been for Chelsea football club. Caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo must take all the praise for his ability to pull this squad together to achieve this amazing feat.
Yet again (as against Inter in 2010) Barcelona showed they have no plan B when a team ‘parks the bus’ in front of their goal. Always trying to play short passes near the Chelsea goal with no real danger of threatening Cech. They pushed everyone but the keeper forward and in the end left their goal exposed for Torres to effectively walk the ball in.
What a night of drama. First an injury to Gary Cahill- a sending off for Captain John Terry- then to concede two goals- Ramires to reply with a cheeky chip- a missed penalty from Messi and then a goal of redemption for miss-firing £50m man Torres. Chelsea will now have the chance to put to bed the nightmare of that night in Moscow in 2009. Whoever faces them in the final can not underestimate this side. They have been written off so many times only to defy the odds. Well done to Chelsea and all their staff. They are now 90 mins away from becoming the first London club to win the Champions League.
Tonight see’s Chelsea take on Barcelona in the second semi-final of the champions league. Chelsea manager Di Matteo faces a decision on who to start out of Didier Drogba or Fernando Torres. Torres has a good goal scoring record against Barca, scoring seven goals in ten games against the Catalans. Above is a montage of his goals against them whilst he played for Atletico Madrid. Of the two strikers Drogba is arguably more in form at the moment after playing in Saturday’s FA cup 5-1 win over Tottenham.
In football teams tend to have sides that, for some unknown reason, they don’t not always play their best against. A bogey side. There is also a theory that some players seem to always play well against certain sides. Drogba has tormented Arsenal ever since he arrived in the Premier League. So while Drogba may have scored a fantastic goal in the FA cup on the weekend, Torres history against Barca may see him in with a shout of starting. It may have a physiological effect on the Barca defenders knowing Torres is starting. He has also trained numerous times with Barca defenders Puyol and Pique with the Spanish national side, this may give him an advantage.
Personally I would start with Drogba, as he is better at being played long balls and holding up the ball, while Torres often requires the ball played into his feet or into space for him to run onto. But against Barca, Chelsea will find they face long spells without the ball and may be reduced to long balls up to their front man when they do win the ball.
I used to be a big fan of Fernando Torres. Not because he played for Liverpool but because he used to score bags of goals for my championship manager teams. He was always one of the first players I bought when he used to be with Atletico Madrid, along with Rafel Van Der Vaart who was always a bargain buy from Ajax.
Anyway, I was surprised when he moved to Chelsea but then nothing should shock you in football. Footballers’ loyalty can be very fickle. His failure to score more goals has been well documented. Thus far scoring only one goal on a rain soaked pitch, against a poor West Ham. A pretty poor return for £50m. But Torres is not the first in a line of expensive miss-firing Chelsea forwards. I’m not referring to Andriy Shevchenko who only scored 9 league goals in 47 games, but Chris Sutton.
Some Chelsea ‘fans’ may not know who he is (I’m referring to the post Abramovich fans) so this is his Chelsea career quickly summed up: Sutton was signed in ‘99 from Blackburn Rovers for £10m, which was a large fee back then. Sutton had won a Premiership medal with Blackburn Rovers in the 1994-95 season scoring 15 goals. In the 1997-98 season he was the joint highest scorer with 18 goals. The next season Blackburn were relegated and a move to Chelsea followed. Much like Torres, Sutton had a long series of injuries at his former club before his move to Stamford Bridge. Also like the Spaniard, Sutton struggled to fit in with the style of play Chelsea operated with. He only managed to score one goal in the league out of 29 appearances and 3 goals in total in his one and only season with Chelsea. During his time at Chelsea they did manage to win the FA Cup, but Sutton did not even make it among the substitutes. Ultimately he would not be giving a second season at Chelsea and was moved onto Celtic for £6m.
It would be a stretch to say that Chris Sutton and Fernando Torres are in the same class but I think the parallels between the two strikers are interesting. Chelsea do appear to have an unfortunate history with recently acquired strikers - think Claudio Pizarro, Andriy Shevchenko, Mateja Kez man, Mikael Forssell, Hernan Crespo and Adrian Mutu. Torres should take some solace in the knowledge that he isn’t the first and won’t be the last striker to struggle in the blue of Chelsea.
(I would like to point out I’m aware that Drogba and Hasselbaink are and were great strikers for Chelsea, but mentioning that would make this blog less dramatic)