LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 16: Chelsea captain John Terry and Didier Drogba celebrate with the Premier League Trophy during the Chelsea FC Victory Parade on May 16, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
This is the sixth in a series of previews of Fulham's opponents in the English Premier League. It is now time to look at Fulham's neighbors. Chelsea have become one of the best clubs in the world. The team resides in London England. They play their matches at Stamford Bridge. The capacity is over 41,000. This club has a tremendous fan base.
Last season Chelsea won the English Premier League and the FA Cup. They are led by manager Carlo Ancelotti. The club's owner is Roman Abramovich. Players to watch include Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, and Ashley Cole. Chelsea are expected to contend for another English Premier League Title this season.
To help me with this preview I have found someone excellent to help me. Chelsea D has the website TheChelseaBlog. This blog is wonderful place to go for fans of Chelsea Football Club. Chelsea D is a lifelong die-hard fan of the Blues.
I asked Chelsea D a range of questions on the Blues. I think this information could be very helpful getting you ready for the upcoming season. Below is my Q & A with Chelsea D of TheChelseaBlog.
Last year was a huge success for Chelsea? However, were you disappointed with Chelsea's performance in the Champions League?
Chesea D: Disappointed?
I think I used stronger words than that at the time! Obviously winning the double was great, particularly with it being Ancelotti’s first season but we let ourselves down badly against Inter and for me that was really hard to stomach.
What are your general feelings on the state of Chelsea as the season is about to begin?
Chelsea D: Pretty dire after our pre-season really and the Community Shield hasn’t helped either. I think we need to just bite the bullet and put up with a season or two out of the running while we make a genuine effort to bring younger players through.
What Chelsea players are the keys to your success this season?
Chesea D: With the way we’ve defended in pre-season, Petr Cech staying injury-free is a must. Our defence – particularly once it’s hit by injury – is far too panicky when he isn’t behind them. Essien and Drogba are key as well, we miss Essien’s physical presence so much when he’s out and we definitely need Drogba to have his scoring boots on again
What style of play would you say Chelsea play?
Chesea D: I think our style of play is still a work in progress. Overall, it’s a more attacking style than we played under Mourinho but there’s still work to be done in terms of personnel before we can claim to be an attacking side. Besides, there’s still an element of patience and caution to our play, so maybe eclectic is a better description right now!
What are the strengths of Chelsea?
Chesea D: I think our greatest strength is mental really, we still haven’t lost the desire to win and the team-spirit that’s helped us continue to keep competing at the top level.
What are the weaknesses of Chelsea?
Chesea D: Defence – it’s a bloody mess right now to be honest.
What players were key acquisitions so far for Chelsea?
Chesea D: Out of Benayoun and Ramires? I’m hoping it’s Ramires obviously but that remains to be seen.
What players were key losses for Chelsea?
Chesea D: I suppose the obvious one would be Joe Cole but I actually think now we’d got as much out of him as we ever going to get – and that hasn’t been much over the past season or two. Surprisingly though, during the Community Shield, I couldn’t help thinking we could have done with Ballack to bring on.
Who are some of the young players of the future for Chelsea?
Chesea D: Well there’s plenty of potential there in the form of Kakuta, Borini, Bruma – who was trusted to play in the Community Shield despite being 2-0 down, and Josh McEachran who is certainly getting some headlines despite his tender age.
What are the strengths of you manager Carlo Ancelotti?
Chesea D: He seems to be pretty strong-minded and doesn’t bow to pressure, already seems to have the players’ respect and doesn’t make a habit of verbal table-tennis in the press.
What are the weaknesses of your manager Carlo Ancelotti?
Chesea D: For me right now, I’d say his inability to recognise our frailties within the squad with a long season stretching in front of us but I hope he proves me wrong.
What are your thoughts on you owner Roman Abromovich?
Chesea D: I have the greatest respect for him. He saved us from going out of business, gave us the money we needed to realistically compete and whilst his extravagance initially may have been naïve, he’s had the good sense not to continue in the same vein – not to mention sticking around.
Do you feel that it is time for Chelsea to win the Champions League?
Chesea D: Well we’ve had enough goes at it haven’t we?
What are your predictions for Chelsea in the Champions League?
Chesea D: It would be nice to make it as far as the semis at least this season but we’ll probably be out before then in reality.
What are your predictions for Chelsea in the English Premier League?
Chesea D: The odd bit of scandal in the press, Didier Drogba’s ongoing battles with the sniper and a few decisions against United maybe? The rest is anyone’s guess!
I want to thank again Chelsea D for the help with this preview. I actually did a preview on Fulham for TheChelseaBlog. Please feel free to click on the link here to see it.