Didier Drogba, la la la la la

May 23, 2012

There will come a point in time when I sit down and explain to my children precisely what it means to be a Chelsea fan. I was told of the Kings Road swagger embodied by that ‘70s team and the legend of Osgood, Cooke, Bonetti and Harris; the sheer numbers of away support in the ‘80s and the rebirth of the club under Hoddle in the ‘90s. I will tell…


John Obi Mikel – Balancing The Chelsea Midfield

April 22, 2011

John Obi Mikel turns 24 today. In his five years at the club he has often divided opinion amongst fans, but there seems to be a slow realisation that Chelsea play better with Mikel in the side than without. In the holding role Mikel is peerless in our squad – and I include Michael Essien in that comparison. Much of the reason the Bison has struggled this season is purely…


The Harding Perspective: The United Blueprint

April 10, 2011

A little departure from the normal Harding Perspective today, taking a firm look at what went wrong in the first leg and how we can rectify these issues for the return leg on Tuesday. Firstly, we should not kid ourselves at the difficulty of the job at hand. Given the level of the performance required against United on Tuesday, the warm-up against Wigan hardly served as perfect preparation. An outing…


The Harding Perspective: Manchester City

March 18, 2011

Sunday’s outing against Manchester City will prove pivotal in the fate of both sides come the end of the season. For City it is a chance to place some distance between them and the chasing pack; for Chelsea, a win puts them above City with a game in hand to play. While every game from now until the end of the season is labelled a must-win, a draw may not…


The Harding Perspective: Manchester United

February 28, 2011

This game, without question, is pivotal for both sides. For United it gives them a chance to hammer home their title credentials; for Chelsea it is a chance to not only creep back into the top four but signal their intent for the remainder of an underwhelming season. With Chelsea’s switch to a flat 442 last week, Ferguson will have a few more questions to answer before he sets his…


The Harding Perspective: Liverpool

February 6, 2011

With Monday’s monumental events still burning (literally, in Torres shirts) across Merseyside, the usual fiery encounter with the Red side of Liverpool has accrued another level of animosity. Pundits, journalists and ex-players of a Red disposition have all toed the party line espoused by “King” Kenny: Torres is finished. While this article serves to preview matches without indulging in the tittle tattle that pervades much of the written press, I…


The Harding Perspective: Bolton

January 22, 2011

Bolton’s signing of Wheater may mean that the former Middlesbrough player will start on Monday ahead of Knight, but the absence of Davis in midfield should see a start for Tamir Cohen in a central midfield berth. I would expect Cahill, Robinson and Ricketts to all start the game in the back four. Davies is a certainty to start up front and Elmander will perform two functions as a strike…


The Harding Perspective: Blackburn

January 15, 2011

I should state that first of all I am not entirely sure as to what formation Blackburn are likely to opt for, but I expect the personnel to be similar to the team below. Pedersen perhaps tucked in with Olsson operating from a slightly wider berth. I expect the tactic to be similar to the one they employed against Liverpool with a lot of success: pace, pace and some more…


The Harding Perspective: Aston Villa

January 1, 2011

ASTON VILLA (H) 02/01/11 Expected Team: Friedel remains one of the more consistent Goalkeeper’s in the Premier League and will present a significant obstacle for Chelsea to overcome. Rarely found wanting, he is decent on crosses and a good shot stopper. His issue remains the amount of times he is tested during a game; Aston Villa tend to allow several clear-cut chances during a game, an indicative symbol of their…


The Harding Perspective: Arsenal

December 24, 2010

With the United match now on the back-burner until March, the focus switches to another of this seasons title contenders; Arsenal. Fabianski’s return in goal should be a welcome sight for Chelsea fans. His presence in goal this season has made a shaky central pairing look even more fragile, as Vermaelen’s loss is felt with each passing game. Fabianski possesses an inability to claim crosses and is a man with…