Writer: J P Fear
Date:Monday December 24 2007
1) We beat you 2-0 at our gaff. Do you fear we might do the double over you guys and really dent your Premiership hopes?
I think our Premiership hopes will flounder on the rocks big time when we lose Drogba, Essien, Kalou and Mikel to the African Nations Cup that’s if they’ve not already with the continued absence of Didier Drogba. To win the Premiership you can’t lose too many games, three or four at worst. We’ve already lost away at Manchester United, Aston Villa and Arsenal; therefore, we can’t afford to lose many more. Our magnificent Premier League home form, seventy-one games without defeat, has kept us in contention but I get the feeling we’re hanging on by our finger tips. As for you lot doing the double over us, how much Xmas spirit have you drunk already?
2) Arsenal and Manchester United are playing the best football and the Prem is a two horse race. Agree?
Totally agree about the best football but not too sure that you can call it a two horse race yet! Arsenal lose Toure to the African Nations Cup and his replacement Cenderos could single handedly turn it into a one-horse race. Sir Alex has been very prudent in his purchases, he will lose nobody to the aforementioned tournament so my suspicions are that United will probably retain their title.
3) Avram Grant? What is that all about? How much are you guys missing Jose Mourinho?
In years to come we’ll look back and ponder over the events of this season. Jose was worshipped by the supporters; he ended our fifty year wait for a top flight title and then won it back-to-back but his ego was always going to ensure it ended in a sudden blaze of publicity. Grant isn’t top draw quality, he was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time, a stop gap we all hope. He hasn’t got that aura Jose had and it’ll be interesting to see how he indulges himself in the transfer market come January. I get the impression Jose’s aura attracted big name players but Avram might find it more of a challenge. As for missing Jose, in a way we do but perhaps his tenure had well and truly run it’s course, perhaps the final parting was inevitable.
4) If you could have one of our players, who would it be and why?
If I could take just one it’d be Ashley Young! Living in Luton we get to hear about those that play for our near neighbours Watford. It was inevitable that his talent would see the Premiership clubs sniffing around him and it came as no surprise when you paid such a fee for him. In a couple of years, if he’s groomed right, he could be everything that Aaron Lennon (Spurs) and Shaun Wright-Phillips flatter to be! How much do you want for him?
5) If you could sell one of your players to us, who would it be?
I thought this would be hard but it isn’t! Many would suggest Tal Ben Haim simply because he’s looked half the player he was in a Bolton shit but I’d go for Khalid Boulahrouz. The Dutch defender is on loan for the season, somewhere in Spain, and if he comes back then I’d love to ship him off to you lot so you can try and find out why one day he can snuff out Ronaldinho but the next make Robbie Keane look like Pele!
6) Who should we fear in your team on Boxing Day?
At the time of writing our squad is fast becoming decimated by injury. However, if he remains fit and able to play then I’d go for Michael Essien. He’s is almost the complete player, all he needs to work on is his finishing (which at times can be woeful) but his strengths mean he can dominate games from midfield. It’ll be interesting to see how Gareth Barry copes with his power, aggression and natural strength on the ball.
7) Will Chelsea need to move away from Stamford Bridge to really expand?
It’s a subject that has been the focus of much debate. Stamford Bridge, as you know, is in an exclusive part of London, an area that is densely populated and with very little spare land able to be developed. Our current problem relating to expansion on the current site is that everybody filters out on to the same road thereby creating safety problems.
If we were to move it would have to be out of the area and after canvassing public opinion it is not something that would go down well. Currently, because of our high ticket prices, our revenue through the turnstiles is one of the highest in the Premier League. However, whilst many champion a bigger ground, it should be remembered that until recently we had trouble filling our current one.
To splash out circa £350 million on a new ground could be foolhardy. There is no guarantee that football will still be the in-thing by the time it is developed. It’s reckoned that it takes seven years from thinking about to completing a new ground, seven years is a long time, especially in football.
Therefore, whilst we’ve still got a rich benefactor to subsidise us I’d suggest we stay put!
8) What is your prediction for the clash of the Lions?
Hopefully the players won’t be as sleepy as the supporters. I ask you, a 12:00 kick off on Boxing Day! Many of us will be sat there, heads thumping, guts heaving after twelve hours of eating and drinking too much just wanting to get a few more hours shut eye. Therefore, let’s hope we get a few decent incidents early on to drag us out of the inevitable post Christmas Day malaise and get the voice boxes working. Oh! A result! 3-1 to Chelsea!
With thanks to Merlin from Vital Chelsea
Date:Monday December 24 2007
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