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The Big Kick-Off: Chelsea


Paul Grech

As a young kid, Paul Grech got used to hearing ‘oh no, not him’ when the others found out that he would be playing on their team. He quickly took the hint that he was crap at football. Hopefully, he’s a bit better at writing about it....
[full biography]
07/08/2007 08:30:00.
read: 381 times.

Hopes and Fears

Peace has apparently been restored at Chelsea even though Jose Mourinho hasn’t particularly appreciated the appointment of Avram Grant as his director of football whilst Peter Kenyon’s admission that they have to win the Champions League doesn’t exactly reduce the pressure. The squad that failed to win the third consecutive title last season has remained largely untouched although the two additions made are significant.

Brazilian defender, who frustrated Arsenal so much in the Champions League, comes in to replace the calamitous Khalid Bouhlarouz whilst Florent Malouda will come in to give the side further drive on the left side of midfield.

Yet Chelsea’s squad still appears light and injuries could ruin their plans. Particularly in attack where Didier Drogba is their main hope. On the other hand, surely Andrii Shevchenko cannot endure another year as frustrating as last and, similarly, Michael Ballack will make his presence felt even more this season.

Key Transfer

That he rejected Liverpool in order to join Chelsea is already a big plus in favour of Florent Malouda. Yet the French international wasn’t signed simply to spite Rafael Benitez but because he can add width and drive to the left flank. With Arjen Robben likely to move to Real Madrid, his presence will become even more valuable especially if he can build on the good showings in pre-season games.

Something to Prove

The first signing of the Abrahmovic era, Glen Johnson has been shunted on loan largely in a bid to rustle up interest in those willing to sign him. Yet last season he did well at Portsmouth, indicating that there might be a future for him at Stamford Bridge, in particular if Paolo Ferreira remains his only rival for the right back slot.

One to Watch

Granted some playing time towards the tail end of last season, Scott Sinclair showed some glimpses of his talent to confirm the good impression that he left whilst on loan at Plymouth. Chances at a club like Chelsea are always hard to come across, but with such a limited number of strikers, Sinclair might get his opportunity.

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