Tuesday, 18 May 2010

End of term report - Chelsea

With seasons in England and across Europe reaching their ultimate conclusion, right now seems like a great time to sit back and take in what the past nine or ten months has taught us. Over the coming days and weeks we will look to articulate how the season has gone for various clubs by getting the low down straight from those who know their team the best – the fans.

So it is perhaps only fitting that our first end of term report centres on your new Premiership and FA Cup winners. Please welcome James Platt, Chelsea fan and co-founder of the world wide web’s premier football site (that’s this one by the way) to take you through his clubs up’s and down’s in 2009/10...

1. If you could sum up your clubs season in one word, what would it be?


2. Everyone knows exams are getting easier today (that’s a fact - I read it in the Daily Mail) but how would you grade your team’s performance in 2009/10? Please show your workings out (i.e. tell us why you’ve given them that grade!)


We won the Double, which I think justifies the A grade without further explanation. The overall standard of the Premiership was not as high this season, and the points tally was lower than the Mourinho title winning sides, so the team just misses out on an A+.

Overall though, the performance has been first class. 103 league goals and the club’s first ever Double – I’m not complaining.

3. Happy with the teacher (gaffer)?

Yes, I’m happy with the teacher. I had reservations, and I maintain that Ancelotti hasn’t really changed much about the team (after the ill-advised decision to try a diamond formation). However, the Double in your first season – that’s some achievement.

What will be fascinating is how Ancelotti adapts and changes the team over the next couple of years. Some of the key players are getting on a bit…

4. Who should go to the top of the class as your team’s star pupil(s)?

Didier Drogba, but there should be honourable mentions for Frank Lampard, Florent Malouda and Branislav Ivanovic.

Drogba’s goal scoring feats have been magnificent, especially considering he doesn’t take penalties (well, didn’t until he had a massive tantrum against Wigan). He’s about as close to a complete centre forward as you’re likely to get. A brilliant campaign.

Lampard deserves a straight-A report card for a staggering 22 Premier League goals, and 27 in all competitions. Malouda has seemingly improved with every game, always creating danger – he’s improved his strength immeasurably too, and now rides the tackles with ease. Ivanovic also warrants credit after coming from nowhere to be the best right back all season, even though that’s not his position.

5. And who should sit themselves in the corner as the school dunce(s)?

A tough one to call when you’ve won the Double, but I’d say Joe Cole. He’s just not the player everyone thinks he is. Limited contribution, inability to last 90 minutes, no goal threat and no real position.

Closely behind would be Deco. He’s got the skills, but is simply at the wrong school.

6. What are the moments this season that made you want to break out in a ‘Mourinhoesque’ charge across a pitch?

In honour of Mourinho’s original sprint down the touchline, I’d say the 2-1 victory at Old Trafford, in the business end of the season. It was probably key to the title. Also, scoring seven goals or more in four separate games warrants a little charge of its own, especially after sealing the title with an 8-0 win.

7. And what are the moments that made you want to grab a dumbbell and shout “die! die! die!”

The set-piece defending in the first half of the season. Is it really that hard? Also, Ancelotti’s reliance on the “celebrity” players – Daniel Sturridge in particular deserved more game time.

8. If your club could make one acquisition this summer, who would it be?

Sergio Aguero.

9. This is not all about you! There are 91 other football league teams out there, who are the best and worst players your clubs come up against?

Best: Gareth Bale, Craig Bellamy, James Milner, Louis Saha (to continue the analogy, Saha really did take our defence to school during the defeat at Goodison).

Away from England, Lucio, Walter Samuel, Esteban Cambiasso and Wesley Sneijder were also brilliant for Inter Milan.

Worst: Steve Gohouri, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Robert Huth, Andre Bikey, Zat Knight

10. Finally, who were the best and worst fans at your place this year?

Best: It always pains me to say this, but Man United’s travelling support is first class. It must be a different clientele at Old Trafford…
Worst: It’s pretty such the same every year – Blackburn. They bring 150, maximum, and are the first fans I’ve encountered who don’t have a song. Literally not one.


  1. You can't really argue with the season that Chelsea have had, and I've been really impressed with Ancelotti all the way along, basically because of his demeanour when he keeps everything in perspective not overreacting to the sensationalism.

    Lampard would definitely be my choice for the Chelsea player of the season to. As you point out, there’s all the goals and assists etc. but from where I see it, Lampard is the real leader of the team, the one who leads by example on the pitch. The final day discussions/arguments he had with Drogba over the penalty were great on his part and showed him to be someone who is a great influence to have in a dressing room. I know we’re going slightly on a tangent away from reviewing Chelsea’s season, but after the respective seasons they’ve had how anyone could say that Gerrard is more important to England than Lampard is beyond me. At least Lampard can play in a formation with others as opposed to needing everything to revolve around him as he’s too undisciplined to play in a team.

    Apologies I’m ranting off topic here...anyway, he’s not had his best season but Sergio Aguero is super talented and would be a great signing. That way you might even get some Maradona sightings down at the Bridge...

  2. I fully concur - you're not going to find a bigger fan of Lampard than me. He's consistently brilliant and a great man to have in your side. I loved the way he told Drogba where to go on that penalty issue too - quite right.

    The Gerrard argument, as far as I'm concerned, is simply a non-starter. There is no argument.