Safe Hands

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December 31, 2010

Most Chelsea fans, whether they’ll admit it or not, almost take Petr Cech for granted. The Czech custodian has been first choice at Stamford Bridge for six years since joining from Rennes, suffering his fair share of injuries along the way, but in 2010-11 he has been back to somewhere near his best form. At 28, he has many, many years ahead of him, but that doesn’t mean that the…

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The Loan Report: December 13-30

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December 30, 2010

The final loan report of the year takes in a fortnight of action, as last week’s was skipped due to many matches falling foul of the weather. Nonetheless, there has been plenty to catch up on, so we’ll dive straight in at the top, with Michael Mancienne at Wolves. Unfortunately, the England Under-21 captain has been sidelined since December 4th with a knee injury, one which has led to Chelsea…

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George’ll Fix It For You

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December 23, 2010

In the continuation of our look at some of the key performers from the first half of this year’s reserve and youth campaign, we taken a look at George Saville. Alongside yesterday’s feature Todd Kane, George is the only other player to have a 100% appearance record in the Under-18 league, and he too has featured in a number of different roles so far. A left-back for much of his…

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Kane Proving More Than Able

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December 22, 2010

Part of a young player’s development is understanding and experiencing different positions on the pitch. Many an individual will spend time working on and playing in an unfamiliar role to expand their knowledge of the game, and how another player in the team will see things from ther place. In the first of a series of looks at members of the youth and reserve teams who have performed well in…

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Chelsea Sign Young Dutch Starlet

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December 21, 2010

In a move which has been rumoured since November, Feyenoord today confirmed that 15 year-old Nathan Aké will join Chelsea next summer. Leo Beenhakker, Technical Director at the De Kuip side, revealed that Nathan had sealed the move, and indeed, despite interest from elsewhere (most notably Manchester City), he only ever had eyes for the Blues. In an interview with Algemeen Dagblad, Beenhakker said: “I talked with Nathan and his…

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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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