A Chaos Theory and The Element of Surprise

September 4, 2013

I have to admit to a strange feeling before games these days. I only realised I’d had this feeling before the Manchester United game. But it had been there from the start of the season. It was a feeling I didn’t wholly understand. And then again, before the European Super Cup Final. Something was missing. There were the usual matchday feelings of course. Excitement, building up as the day wore…


Power and Responsibility

February 22, 2012

An inevitable consequence of a spell of poor form or a season where expectations are not being met is the media’s take on the cause of the maladies. Typically, the woes will be attributed to dressing room discontent and the notion that the manager has ‘lost’ his players, no longer commanding their respect. True to form, this is currently the case with Andre Villas-Boas and Chelsea. The club’s worst season…


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…


A Statistical Preview: Blackburn Rovers

January 14, 2011

CHELSEA vs BLACKBURN ROVERS 15/01/11 Chelsea meet Blackburn Rovers at the Bridge as they get back to the Premier League after an emphatic 7-0 demolition of Ipswich Town. Daniel Sturridge is the man of the moment having scored 7 goals in 2 games, 5 coming in the reserves in a 7-3 win over rivals Spurs. Daniel recorded a 31.0% accuracy rate (shots on target of total shots) and averaged 0.714…


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…