Here we go with the final part of my alphabetical preview of the 2010-11 season.
S Statistics. We broke the 100 goal mark for the first time in Premiership history. We scored 103, which averages to more than 2.7 goals a game.
In fact, prior to the Wigan game we had scored 95 goals, which is precisely 2.5 goals a game.
Away from home we scored close on two a game; at home we hit more than 3.5 a game – or one goal every 25 minutes. Impressive, whichever way you look at it. Now don’t get me started on the scorers…
Statistically speaking, not many clubs do that twice. But were not just any club. We are Chelsea.
T Torres. Well, I like him and he’s still a transfer target. Arguably up there with Drogba as one of the best Premiership strikers. Great talent, just a shame he’s made of glass.
In my perfect world he would come to Chelsea, immediately gel with the lads as great players do, and only miss games when Carlo wants to give him a rest not because he’s injured. You never know, might happen.
U United. West Ham, that is. Started last season with Gianfranco and Steve Clarke in charge. The two Davids arrived and allegedly did their best to destroy team morale and send the club down.
Maybe they thought they’d make more money with a season in the Championship? It made me sad to see Franco and Clarkey undermined as they were, but proud that that they maintained their dignity while those in more senior positions lost theirs.
Hopefully they can behave with more in line with the old West Ham tradition next time around.
V Vision, players with. Remember John Terry’s pass to Ashley Cole and that Messi-like finish. In any other country that would have been goal of the season and people would be raving about “Brazilian football” .
Not here, though. Here, players with the vision to produce a pass like that regularly are few and far between, even amongst the big clubs. Fabregas sometimes. Lampard and Deco more often. Old boy Joey Cole would be a contender, but he’s been out too much and is taking too long getting back to full effectiveness. Ballack in his prime did it often, but not sadly so recently.
Maybe that’s what we need. A young Deco, a young Ballack. Either from the Academy system or by purchasing. There are one or two kids who, with experience, could fulfil that role. There are one or two out there we could buy who could do it now. I’m sure that Carlo has the vision and the club have the will to put this into effect.
W Winning. Jose got us to one level, arguably pushed us up the biggest step of all, turning us into winners. Carlo has added two words: with style. He has turned us into trophy winners who can play with grace and panache and also dig in and grind out results when necessary.
And with a season together under their collective belts there’s not many would bet against the team continuing in the same way.
X Adult only. Some of our performances last season should have been X rated.
Hull at home (to be fair the team had only just started to bed in with Carlo at the helm, and we probably just about deserved Didier’s last gasp goal). Man City, at home. Can we use the excuse of extenuating circumstances? I think so, it was the one game where external factors took a hand.
Everton and Blackburn away; no excuse, we were poor and some of the players should have donated their match fees to charity. No children should be made to watch that, unless it’s for educational purposes!
On the whole though, all clubs had their fair share of substandard efforts, Chelsea perhaps less than others. And when it mattered we produced the goods. That’s why we’re champions!!
So this coming season, let’s eradicate those sort of performances and we can, perhaps, win it the easy way this time.
Y Youth. The future of our club, whether we pay for them (like Daniel Sturridge) or develop them from kids. If only half of the potential at youth level develops as it should, we will have a ready-made influx of new talent on tap for the next five or six years.
Kakuta took all the headlines earlier in the season and is Premiership (if not yet regular first team) material at the moment. Borini and Matic are not far behind. Look out for the names of Sala, McEachran, Clifford in the future.
Z Zhirkov. Our one major pre-season signing last time around took a long time to get over injuries and settle in the side. When he did, every performance was an improvement on the last, and he proved himself to be well worth the cash.
A tough tackler with a pretty good reading of the game and superb attacking flair. Covered so well for the loss of Ash that we didn’t miss him… not too much anyway….and is going to be a major asset next season.
Alphabetically speaking, that’s why we’re champions….and that’s why the future is Blue.