Don’t Dream It’s Over – Beyond the Scholarship

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December 20, 2010

Somewhere in the region of a dozen schoolboys have featured for Chelsea’s academy team so far this season. Many, if not all of those, will go on to secure scholarships with the club going forward, as they continue their footballing development. For others, however, this time of year will be an uncertain one. Staff at Cobham will be deciding upon who will be offered a two-year academy deal (typically at…

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Let’s Talk About Slobodan Rajkovic

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December 18, 2010

If Chelsea were linked with a nearly 22 year-old international centre-back tomorrow, one suspects the reaction would be a positive one. The player in question has over 100 appearances in club football, is versatile, has impressive size and height, and is currently captain of his club side. It all adds up quite well for a potential signing in a position the club has struggled for depth in so far this…

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Under-18s Battle Onwards Despite Injuries

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December 15, 2010

Forgive the rather obtuse title to this article, for I was unable to come up with something more succinct. If one takes a cursory glance at the Group A standings in the Premier Academy League, Chelsea’s name will be found towards the bottom of the table. Certainly, this is unfamiliar territory for a Blues academy who had challenged at the other end in recent years. However, theirs has thus far…

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The Loan Report: December 7-12

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December 12, 2010

After a weather-affected first week of December, the loan report returns this week after a near-full calendar of fixtures was fulfilled. Unfortunately, Michael Mancienne was an enforced absentee from a rare and much-needed win for Wolves on Sunday after picking up a knee injury against Blackburn last weekend. The extent of the issue is not yet known, but it was enough to keep him out of contention this time around….

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Under-18s: Chelsea 5-1 Norwich City

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December 11, 2010

Home comforts have rarely been in evidence at Cobham during the 2010-11 academy season, but in the final league match of the year, Chelsea gave a warming performance to those braving the December weather. A five-star performance crowned by a Billy Clifford hat-trick saw Dermot Drummy’s boys defeat Norwich 5-1 and pick up just a second home win of the campaign. With the fixture falling in between two proposed (and…

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Age – It’s Just A Number

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December 10, 2010

On Wednesday night, Carlo Ancelotti opted to field a near full-strength side in a meaningless Champions League tie against Marseille. Josh McEachran was the sole ‘youngster’ to be afforded a start, with the likes of Patrick van Aanholt and Gael Kakuta left kicking their heels on the substitutes bench, undoubtedly frustrated. It rankled with Chelsea fans, who felt the occasion to be another opportunity to give the next generation some…

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In Search Of Positivity

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December 8, 2010

It’s not often that a dead rubber ends up as one of the most important matches of the season. For Chelsea, however, the trip to Marseille to round off the Champions League Group Stages presents the chance to right some recent wrongs and pick up a first win since beating MSK Zilina in late November. With both teams already through to the last sixteen, neither can change position, and the…

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The Loan Report: November 22-28

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November 28, 2010

This week’s loan round-up will be a considerably quicker read than usual, as inclement weather and FA Cup eliminations meant that many of the young Chelsea loanees were left without action this weekend. Sidelined because of snow were Adam Phillip and Michael Woods as both Yeovil’s trip to Hartlepool and Notts County’s home tie with Bournemouth were called off, with the latter being a very late cancellation. Woods had joined…

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A Slovenian Blue Tomorrow?

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November 25, 2010

In twenty-first century football, everyone is trying to find an edge over the competition like never before. With margins between success and failure ever more fragile, and competition so high, stealing a march on your contemporaries is more valuable an approach than ever. So the news from Slovenia today that Chelsea have struck a working relationship with national powerhouse NK Maribor could be quite the story somewhere down the road….

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Reserves: West Ham United 1-2 Chelsea

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November 24, 2010

Chelsea’s Reserve team returned to action on Wednesday night in front of a rare public viewing, and rewarded those hardy souls making the trek to a cold Bishop’s Stortford FC with a 2-1 victory over West Ham United. Steve Holland was able to call upon three of last night’s first team substitutes, handing Jacob Mellis, Billy Clifford and Jacopo Sala starts, whilst Fabio Borini was able to return to the…

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