Kickin’ It Ol’ School ………..

Well the Barclays Premiership (EPL) within England has gotten of to a rousing start. And already a number of teams have come out of the box looking to acquit themselves well in the Premiership. And it certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed that Chelsea has seemingly gotten off to tremendous start, with a 6 league game unbeaten run ,to sit atop of the Premiership. They’re closely followed by their most heated rivals Manchester United who sit three points adrift in second place with 15 pts.

Ashley  Cole  (left)of   Chelsea  celebrates  scoring  the  team's  first   goal   on  their   way  to   victory  over  their  North  London  rivals  Tottenham  Hotspur.  Whom  they  defeated  3-0    in   a  Premiership  League  match.            picture  appears  courtesy  of   afp/reuters/ Matthew  Dimond  .........................
Ashley Cole (left) of Chelsea celebrates scoring the team's first goal on their way to victory over their North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Whom they defeated 3-0 in a Premiership League match. picture appears courtesy of afp/reuters/ Matthew Dimond .........................


With just six games played thus far into the season . Chelsea possesses the only unblemished record in the league. However, the team has now suffered an unexpected loss. Star striker , Didier Drogba has been lost to the team for a yet to be determined period of time. And for team coach , Carlo Ancelotti , this is most definitely the last thing that he and team would’ve wanted. Drogba is by far the team’s most effective striker and creative player. And his loss will be a tremendous blow for the team if it is for a prolonged period of time.

Spurs'   Wilson  Palacious  (right) battles  Chelsea's  Nicholas  Anelka    for  the   control of the  ball .   picture  appears courtesy  of  afp / reuters/   Alastair   Rhodes    ......................
Spurs' Wilson Palacious (right) battles Chelsea's Nicholas Anelka for the control of the ball . picture appears courtesy of afp / reuters/ Alastair Rhodes ......................


Courtesy of Barclays Premier League :

Ancellotti : We’ll handle loss of Drogba ………
Carlo Ancelotti believes Chelsea can cope without Didier Drogba even if his calf injury sidelines him for a long time.

The Ivory Coast international striker was carried off in the 83rd minute of Chelsea’s 3-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Drogba had already made and scored one of Chelsea’s goals before he had to be substituted.

The victory earned Chelsea a new club record of 11 straight wins, better than the one forged by Jose Mourinho, but Ancelotti was more concerned with the condition of his top striker.

Important player

“We don’t know precisely what happened,” said Ancelotti. “It is too early. We will have to wait a few days. We hope it is only cramp.

“We hope soon we will have a precise diagnosis of the situation. It is a calf injury but he felt that he had cramp. If it is cramp, it is good for us.

“We have played without Didier before. He is a very important player for us, a fantastic player. I think we can play well without Didier.

cont’d …………..

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Drogba   while  in   control  of  the  ball   looks   to  deny   Sebastien  Bassong  of  Spurs   during  the two   team's Premiership  matchup  .      picture  appears  courtesy  of   getty images  /   Richard   King  .......................
Drogba while in control of the ball looks to deny Sebastien Bassong of Spurs during the two team's Premiership matchup . picture appears courtesy of getty images / Richard King .......................

And while we can all agree that the loss of a player of Drogba’s caliber ,could do immense harm to Chelsea’s title aspirations. One has to feel that Ancelotti will somehow, have a contingency plan in place. The loss of Drogba couldn’t have come at a worse time for the team . In terms of a bona-fide replacement for Drogba , the team is stretched thinly in terms of a proven goalscorer. The team’s 3-0 victory over their London rivals , Tottenham Hotspur emphasizes what an important role Didier plays on this team. His elusiveness , creativity , predatory goalscoring habits, makes him a pivotal and invaluable player for Chelsea. And this was there for all to see with his contributions in the defeat of Spurs. Goals by Ashley Cole (32′), Michael Ballack(58′) and Drogba (63′) , who assisted with one goal and scored one himself. It more than makes the point, that he will be sorely missed by not only the team but also the fans.

Drogba  nets  the  goal  that   would   put  the  game   beyond  the   reach  of  Tottenham  in   front  of  the   home   crowd  at  Stamford Bridge   , South  London.     picture  appears courtesy of    reuters.co.uk  /  Stephen   Lowell  ...........................

Drogba nets the goal that would put the game beyond the reach of Totteham Hotspur in-front of a raucous home crowd at Stamford Bridge , South London. Chelsea defeated their London rival 3-0 , with the other goals coming from Ashley Cole and Michael Ballack, respectively. The team remains unbeaten in the Premiership through the first 6 games of the season. picture appears courtesy of reuters.co.uk/ Stephen Lovell ………….

And though Chelsea’s team is a broad based one in terms of talent. It would be have to be a concerted effort forthcoming from a number of players on their overall squad to overcome Didier Drogba’s goalscoring prowess. Those duties now may fall to the likes of Michael Essien , Nicholas Anelka , Michael Ballack and Salomon Kalou . Collectively , they ought to be able to offer the team something of a respite should the team go through a drought , when it comes to scoring goals. That’s not to say that we won’t see someone else on the team also contributing to the scoring duties.

This may well now offer something of an opportunity of sorts, for a number teams who may well view this all as advantageous as to their own fortunes. But it’d be remiss to think that one could now look to write off Chelsea and their league and title aspirations. Liverpool, Manchester United , Arsenal , Manchester City and Tottenham would be indeed foolish to think that Ancelotti’s team will just lay down and die, at this juncture. There’s still a great deal to play for and with the long term goal being the return of Drogba for Chelsea. It now makes for an intriguing situation around the Premiership for a number of clubs with league title aspirations.

How do you see the present situation facing Chelsea ? And can they overcome the loss of Didier Drogba for whatever
undetermined period of time that he will be lost to the team for ?

Premier League standings at present ……. Click here to view

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20 thoughts on “Kickin’ It Ol’ School ………..

  1. Losing Drogba is a huge blow to the Blues. Can they win the EPL and contend for the Champions league? it will be hard but other players are going to have to step up. Ashley Cole for one. Ballack as well too. Yet losing Drogba is like losing Magic Johnson or Bob Cousy. He is the play maker. Drogba is the cat who creates all the scoring opportunities. It can be overcome. It will be hard. Right on the money. Drogba is the drink that sirs the straw.

  2. Hey guys, I just read this morning on soccernet that Drogs just had a cramp, and should be fine. No serious time on the sidelines is expected. That exhale you hear is from Chelsea nation! But let’s assume for second that he was out for a month or more shall we? I actually think Chelsea would be okay (heck they better get use to it, Drogs and company will be gone up to a month during the Africa Nations in January),as you will recall under Mourinho, Grant, and Scolari Chelsea played with one striker up top sometime exclusively. I believe Anelka could slot in up top for the time being and Kalou could play off him accordingly. With Joe Cole back in the squad that also adds depth to the wings if we needed to play a solo striker….anyways GO CHELSEA!!

  3. dyslecix

    It may well be just cramps but until the Blues’ medical staff say that he’s fit to play. I’ll wait with baited breath. But as you say and as I’ve stated they’ve got the tools for the job over the long haul.

  4. I think you can rest easy!

    “Didier had a scan and there’s no problem with his calf,” said Chelsea’s assistant boss Ray Wilkins. “It was just the most horrendous bout of cramp.

    “We thought he couldn’t release the muscle and it might be something more nasty but he’ll be able to take part on Saturday. It is very good news for us.”

    1. dyslecix

      So Ray says it’s nothing more than a bout of cramp. Funny, I remember when ‘Wilko’ (Ray Wilkins) as we use to call him when he played for the Blues . He use to whine and moan the moment his legs went out from underneath him because of the same thing. Now he’s extolling the virtues of modern medicine and the fact that Drogba will be OK. How quaint !

      The Man U Chelsesa matchup on 11/8/09 ought to be a great game ! It could well be one for the ages and beyond .

      Alan Parkins

  5. I realise this comment is a bit out of date now that we know Drogba is fine! However your blog poses an interesting questio – how will Chelsea cope should anything happen to Didier in terms of injuries?

    I think that if this situation was to occur again, and Drogba was injured for a prolonged period of time, Anelka would be the top candidate for netting in the goals. I think Anelka would be fine at this role – he has no problem stepping up to the challenge, but I think it would be interesting to see how much of a contribution the other players such as Ballack, Kalou and Essien could have in filling in for Didier.

    Either way I think Chelsea will do great this season, they are high on confidence and form. Having to face Liverpool this weekend will not be something they are looking forward to because it was this very clash last season which saw Chelsea’s impressive home record beaten. On the other hand a win is all Liverpool need right now to boost their surge in form and their confidence that they can go on to win some silverware this season.

    http://vaishalibhardwaj.wordpress.com/

    1. vaishali bhardwaj

      It’s never too late to leave a reply . Just as long as you leave one at your leisure. I think that after this past weekend’s loss to Wigan. I think the answer is pretty clear that Drogba is an invaluable asset to this team. If he’s playing then it’s pretty much assured that they’ll do well. When he’s not playing or off form then you know they’re about to struggle.

      Whilst Ballack, Essien and Kalou are indeed very talented players. They’re not in the same mold as Drogba when it comes to that predatory instinct of being a goalscorer !

      Liverpool as you’ve succinctly stated are in need of a win and consistent form.

      Alan Parkins

  6. Drogs played at Wigan and scored a goal…Said it was the worst Chelsea performance since he has been at the club. Least we forget Anelka won the EPL Golden Boot last year, and would be more then able to provide the needed goals should Drogs get hurt, and maybe more importunately when he is away during the African Nations Cup in Jan.

    1. dyslecix

      Anelka is good but he’s no Drogba and on that I’m sure we can agree upon ! Drogba is far more creative and has more of a predatory instinct than a number of his teammates on the Chelsea roster.

      I think that Ancelotti can chalk this loss up to the team’s complacency , more than anything else.

      Alan Parkins

  7. I didn’t say he was…He is however a world class striker. Who has turned out for the biggest clubs in Spain and England. And he boasts a goal to game ratio that Drogs does. Will be fine!

    1. dyslecix

      I know we’ll be fine but I’d be much happier knowing that Didier was on the field. My Cameroonian brethren is there to make the difference. Ca passe !
      Their ratios may well be identical but like I said Drogba is the more creative of the two.

      Alan Parkins

    1. dyslecix

      And in terms of competitive soccer the quality in Spain pales in significance when compared to that of the Premiership.

      What do you think will happen when UEFA makes what they believe to be the much needed changes concerning teams and their business operations in terms of their balance sheets and the amount of debt that they can retain on their books ?

      It’s going to be startling for a number of teams around Europe. In particular for the much bigger and prestigious clubs.

      Alan Parkins

  8. Not to split hairs here, but if you look at the UEFA Coefficients and take a five year average of results, the difference in quality isn’t that big at all. Look at the difference between 2nd and 3rd…..
    http://www.xs4all.nl/~kassiesa/bert/uefa/data/method4/crank2009.html

    Also, Spain is in a GREAT place to lure talent away from England….Why? You must know being from England the tax rate for the English in the upper tax bracket is almost 35% higher then for the same tax bracket in Spain. Going forward the EPL will be losing more stars to Spain because its cheaper.

    1. dyslecix

      You’re missing my point here it won’t the tax incentives of each country independently. But what UEFA itself wants to constitute and then make mandatory for all teams. Tax advantages being what they are. Spain , Italy and Netherlands can’t contend with the clubs in England when it comes to money and commercial sponshorship. And that’s the advantage they have over their European counterparts.

      Stars who’ve fled to Spain haven’t reaped the so called benefits as you’re under the impression they have. You want to know why ? They’re doubly taxed on in their income. Their place of employment as well as their place of residency. So the so called benefit aren’t what you believe them to be outright !

      Under UEFA’s mandate they’ll audit the books of the teams and make sure that there’s not debt ratio in excess of 40% of assets . Then they’re likely to be prohibited from competing in European competition. At present that’ll effect a number of Premiership Clubs, from Arsenal to Chelsea and Man U. But in Europe -several of the teams there will also be effected. So for the likes of Real Madrid, AC Milan, Juventus and others of that ilk . They’ll have to put their house in order in double quick time . Before the 2010-11 commences.

      Alan Parkins

  9. I completely agree with you Alan – Drogba does have a more predatory instinct about his style of play and a very strong and dominating presence on the field. The loss to Wigan over the weekend, I believe, was simply a ‘bad day at the office’ for the Blues.

    Interesting discussion about Premier League v Primera Liga… I think the Premier League is the strongest and most competitive league in the world. The Spanish league now boasts high profile and extremely talented players but the difference is that bar the top two/three teams, the rest of the teams in the Spanish league unfortunately are not nearly as good as the elite teams such as Real Madrid and Barcelona. Therefore there isn’t much competition in the league (although of course you can bet on there being some upsets during each season).

    The Premier League on the other hand boasts fantastic players such as John Terry and Fernando Torres but the level of competitive play is much higher than that in the Spanish league.

    Interesting point dyslecix on more players going to Spain once the 50% tax rates are imposed next year. I think this could well happen but if we assume players are more influenced by prospects of winning titles then one could assume that the mass movement of footballers from England to Spain will not happen. But this is of course dependant on how competitive and successful the Premier League can stay in upcoming years as well as how wealthy the league can stay.

    Ps dyslecix – I am hoping more for a Liverpool 3 Chelsea 0 scoreline but it is hard to predict what could happen although I think I shall side with Liverpool to win 2-0.

    1. Vaishali

      The only thing that La Liga has going for it is the high profile names . But other than that in terms of competitiveness . It is of a secondary nature. But what dys’ fails to note is that the English players who foresake the Premiership and head on off the Serie’ A or La Liga end up being doubly taxed. As beneficial as he seems to think that paying that lower tax rate may well be. They do tend to lose out in the long run.

      The Chelsea Liverpool game could go either way. It’ll be dependent upon who’s hungrier to stake their claim for the win.

      Alan Parkins

  10. Interesting points Vaishali…I would argue several bottom EPL teams such as Bolton, Wolves, Stoke, and Birmingham to name a few would be equally as bad an any La Liga cellar dwellar. But the 5 year average speaks volume, the EPL is much better just not a world better.

    As for the British tax increase, it’s already making an impact! Did you see Andri Ashavins claim Arsenal needed to redo his contract this year? He states he is loosing more money to English taxes and should his wages should be pre-tax! I think this is a trend that will bare out more with top echelon players like Ronaldo and company…and less with midtier players.

    1. dyslecix

      Ahsavins is a moron ! He’s the Premiership’s answer to the Vikings’ Jared Allen. Thick between the ears in more ways than one ! If he had any sense he’d sit down with a good accountant and tax attorney instead of spouting off at the mouth.

      Alan Parkins

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