Tag Archives: Chelsea

Chelsea transfers, Boring Boring Newcastle and Wishing to be Everton

Chelsea Transfers

A lot has already been written about Chelsea’s transfer business over the last two windows.

I have never seen anything like it before.

The long term contracts are normal in baseball, a sport Todd Boehly has been involved nin for over a decade. He has basically taken the way things work in America and applied it to football.

If it works, it will change the way every football team operates. If it doesn’t, Chelsea are going to end up with a lot of underperforming players on long term contracts.

One aspect rarely mentioned is that during the takeover, the consortium Boehly is part of had to commit to investing £1.75 billion over 10 years into the club. It is this investment that is freeing up the cash to make these transfer, the fees then amortised over the length of the contracts for accounting purposes.

One risk Boehy is taking is over squad size.

As it stands, Chelsea have 37 “senior” players, including those out on loan. Arsenal have 30.

They also do not look like slowing down their spending and are being linked with Moisés Caicedo and Marcus Thuram, and with a deal for Christopher Nkunku agreed for the summer.

They are going to have to release sell or loan out a lot of players during the back-end of this window and throughout the next just to ensure they do not end up with double figures of unregistered players.

On paper, bringing their squad numbers down does not quite look as difficult as it seems.

Of the 39 players contracted to the club (included Nkunku):

2 have their loan deals expiring
4 have their contracts expiring
At least 8 look surplus to requirements

If they decided to not renew any of the deals expiring, and were able to shift the 8 players listed above, it would take their squad size down to 26.

With many of them not needed to be registered due to being U21, they would have squad space to make further additions.

But selling (or loaning) those players comes at a risk.

Any loan deals will see Chelsea still paying a huge chunk of the salaries. Clubs will know the players need to be dumped and will take advantage of that.

Likewise, the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are unlikely to be sold unless Chelsea are willing to take a huge loss on their transfers.

If they can not sell or loan enough players, they will end up looking at cashing in on Kai Havertz, Cristian Pulisic, Raheem Sterling and others. Players they do not really want rid of but would be fairly easy to move on.

If they can move on everyone they need to, it will see around 14 players depart, with 14 bought in over 3 windows. That is tough for any manager to integrate.

Chelsea’s transfer behaviour is due to how poorly they have been run over the last few years.

Too many ageing players whose contracts expired, and too many big money replacements have flopped. They have needed this huge investment to re-address their squad issues.

What they now need is all of their new signings to “bang”. Any of that doesn’t they will be stuck with for a long time…

Boring, Boring Newcastle

Newcastle have kept 7 clean sheets in the 8 games since the return of football. A fantastic achievement.

But they have only scored 1 goal in their last 4 Premier League games – an 84th minute winner against Fulham.

3rd in the league is sensational for a small club like them.

Even when you take into account the money spent – and it really has not been that much – what Eddie Howe has done is incredible.

But the way he has done it is not so impressive, and beginning to get exposed.

Howe sets his team up to stop opponents, to waste time, to spoil the game, and to win free kicks and set plays.

The fact 3 sides have been sanctioned by the FA when playing Newcastle shows just how much they are set up to frustrate and ruin the game.

And it is not just the XI on the field that get involved. Coaches and substitutes have been booked on numerous occasions for trying to slow down the game.

And this style of ply is slowly catching up with them as lesser sides begin to realise they are not a threat going forward.

It is all well and good coming away from the Emirates with a 0-0, but failing to beat or score against Crystal Palace or Leeds United just isn’t top 4 form.

Their time-wasting tactics will be to their own disadvantage as we get to the stage of the season where teams need to win, not draw, games.

Wishing to be Everton

“Be careful what you wish for”.

Some Arsenal fans cried like babies when Farhad Moshiri sold his minority share in Arsenal and bought Everton. It would be the end of us as a top club and turn Everton into title challengers.

With his departure, they also thought this would be the end of Alshir Usmanov’s links with Arsenal, and the Uzbecki would plow his billions into Liverpool’s second club.

Part of that proved right as 2 years later KSE bought our Usmanov’s shares to take 100% ownership of the club.

But Usmanov’s money did not appear in Everton, other than in a training sponsorship deal.

Despite the lack of obvious Usmanov funds, Everton would begin to spend big (note: prior to the take over they have never spent more than €50m):

2016/17: €86m

2017/18: €203.2m

2018/19: €99.8m

2019/20: €121m

Over €500m spent over 5 years.

On 21 December 2019, they appointed the great Carlow Ancelotti as manager. The day before we appointed Mikel Arteta into his first managerial role.

A serial winner versus a managerial virgin. Against the Arsenal-incels shed tears into their used Kleenex.

Why didn’t we appoint Ancelotti? With Moshri (and Usmanov’s) money and him in charge, they will be title challengers!

In 2020, they then recruited James Rodriguez, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan. 3 players some Arsenal fans wanted us to sign. This will be the year they finish above us!

Everton finished 10th and Ancelotti quit to return to Real Madrid.

The next season, investment dropped to €58m. 70% less spent on players than the peak of 2017.

Last summer they spent €78.2m, but the names of Onana, McNeil, Maupay and Garner were not exactly Rodriguez…

And now they are 19th in the table, whilst Arsenal are top of the league.

Moshri and Ancelotti or Kroenke and Arteta. Be careful what you wish for.



2 more sleeps before Arsenal appear in another FA Cup final

Morning all.

I am all over the place this morning. Part-time furlough will do that to you. Do not know whether I am coming our going!

Hopefully by now you all have your FA Cup final plans sorted.

I will be doing the same as I did for the semi-final. The lads I regularly go with coming mine. BBQ. Beer. Football.

Chelsea are very slight favourites for the final. How close the odds are might surprise some considering they finished 10 points ahead in the league. But it is the form of Arsenal since Mikel Arteta which narrows the gap.

Since Arteta’s first game against Bournemouth on 26th December for the , Chelsea won 34 points in 20 games. Arteta’s Arsenal 33 points.

I have continually bashed on that Arsenal are a top 6 team that were coached poorly for the first half of the season – firstly under Unai Emery and then Freddie Ljungberg.

No blame can be put at Ljungberg’s feet. The problem was the board took 5 games between sacking Emery and bringing in Arteta.

In that 5 games we got 5 points. How different would our season have been if we had have got Arteta in the day after Emery left. Like Spurs did replacing Pochettino with Mourinho. I am certain we would have finished in a European spot. Maybe even challenged 5th.

So we face Chelsea in the final we double figure points between us in the league, but the gap is narrower in reality.

Arteta has faced Chelsea twice since he took over.

The first game was 3 days after Arteta took the helm. Chelsea won 2-1. But the result did not reflect the performance.

Arsenal were winning 1-0 with 7 minutes to go, before Jorginho and Tammy Abraham scored to steal the victory away.

3 minutes before Jorginho’s goal, he pulled back Matteo Guendouzi.

The Brazilian had already been booked and it was a blatant yellow card, which would have been his 2nd equalling a red.

Referee Craig Pawson had already shown 7 yellow cards, a couple of which were for pulling back an opponent. He bottled sending off Jorginho. What sums it up is Alexandre Lacazette was booked for protesting too much!

In the away game at Stamford Bridge, David Luiz was sent off after just 26 minutes. Chelsea scored from the resulting penalty before Gabriel Martinelli equalised.

Chelsea went 2-1 up with 6 minutes to go before Hector Bellerin scored 3 minutes later.

In years go by, down to 10 men after 26 minutes, Arsenal would have conceded 5 or 6. To come away from the Bridge with a point was seen as a bit of a victory.

So over 2 games against Chelsea, Arsenal have been the better side.

I am quietly confident about Saturday.


Match Report: Chelsea 2 – 2 Arsenal

Chelsea (1) 2 Arsenal (0) 2
Premier League
Stamford Bridge Stadium, Fulham Road, Fulham, London SW6 1HS
Tuesday, 21st January 2020. Kick-off time: 8.15pm

(4-3-1-2) Bernd Leno; Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, David Luiz, Bukayo Saka; Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Nicolas Pépé; Mesut Özil; Gabriel Martinelli, Alexandre Lacazette.
Substitutes: Dani Ceballos, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Rob Holding, Emiliano Martínez, Joe Willock, Mattéo Guendouzi, Eddie Nketiah.
Scorers: Gabriel Martinelli (63 mins), Hector Bellerin (87 mins)
Red Cards: David Luiz
Yellow Cards: Mattéo Guendouzi
Arsenal Possession Percentage: 41%
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Attendance: 41,577

Less than a month since our previous meeting, we play Chelsea for the final time this season in the Premiership tonight. Judging by both of our results from three days hence, it goes without saying that a win is desperately needed at The Bridge for us. But it is good to see Hector Bellerin back in the first team line-up, and even better for him to return as team captain for this highly-charged London derby.

It was quite a messy start as far as we were concerned, with a corner or two given away, Shkodran Mustafi temporarily incapacitated with a painful injury and the home team coming close to scoring from a corner in the tenth minute. However, we live to fight on, and the midfield area was getting mighty crowded with much of the early action being concentrated in the centre of the pitch. Defensively we looked wooden again, with an inability to gain control of the game quickly when Chelsea attacked. All hell broke loose on the twenty-fifth minute when a poor ball from Shkodran Mustafi let in Tammy Abraham; he lost Bernd Leno easily and David Luiz had no option but to bring him down in the penalty area. The result? David Luiz getting his marching orders from Stuart Attwell, and Chelsea taking the lead from the subsequent penalty via the right foot of Jorginho. Down to ten men, things started to look a trifle dicey for us now in all areas of the pitch. Despite a period of about five minutes before half-time when we started to wake up a bit, the home side recovered and wave after wave of attack on our goal started to take its toll on our defence. With no shots on the Chelsea goal in the first forty-five minutes, the referee’s whistle for half-time came as a relief for us.

The second half started pretty much as the first one finished, with the home side putting pressure on us, which is only to be expected under the circumstances. Mattéo Guendouzi replaced the ineffective Mesut Özil after fifty-four minutes, but despite new legs being introduced, we still looked all at sea with the inability to make our mark on the match. Somehow, literally out of nowhere, from a Chelsea corner that we cleared, Gabriel Martinelli grabbed the ball and ran the whole length of the pitch (sixty-seven yards to you) and coolly slotted it past Arrizabalaga to equalise the scores in the sixty-third minute with our first attempt of the match. So now, finally we have a game on our hands! We certainly played with more purpose now, as Arsenal felt for the first time in the match, that they actually had a chance of winning the game; and with Alexandre Lacazette’s goal chalked off for offside on the seventy-third minute, who knows? Rob Holding replaced Nicolas Pépé with ten minutes to go, and although we were under renewed pressure from Chelsea, we managed to soak up pressure extremely well. With six minutes left on the clock, controversially with Tammy Abrahams returning to the pitch on an offside position, César Azpilicueta scored for the home side from a corner; but it wasn’t over, even then. A minute or so later, the ball came to Hector Bellerin on the right, and cutting inside scored a beautiful goal with his left foot from outside the penalty area with three minutes left of the match. Joe Willock replaced goalscorer Gabriel Martinelli with a minute left of normal time, just to give us something extra for the four minutes of injury time. It made no difference overall, despite one or two close calls from both sides, the match finished as a draw.

Wow. Two shots, two goals, we’ll take that, any day of the week. Despite all of the disasters out there at times tonight, particularly in the defensive area, the one thing that we cannot criticise is our indomitable and unshakable spirit, and with ten men on the pitch as well! Of course we still have extreme defensive issues and questionable leadership problems, but tonight’s spirited performance went a long way to start righting many wrongs. The road is long, but with the right signings in the next few transfer windows, Mikel Arteta’s new broom may just well pay off eventually. Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as this season is going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Our next match: AFC Bournemouth at The Vitality Stadium on Monday, 27th January at 8.00pm (FA Cup). Be there, if you can. Victoria Concordia Crescit.


Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.