Michael Essien: Bakayoko Needs Backing from Chelsea Fans

During Michael Essien’s illustrious career as a box-to-box midfielder, he built up a great relationship with fans of each club he played for and in particular, Chelsea fans. The Ghanaian maestro played over 250 matches for the Blues and scored 25 goals with a couple of absolute screamers. He has since been involved with the club in a number of ways and has had a few things to say about the team.

Eden Hazard Comments on Salah’s Short Chelsea Career

Many football fans would forget that Mohamed Salah played for Chelsea between 2014 and 2016, as he only made 19 appearances. The Egyptian was signed by the Blues in January 2014 for a reported £11 million but his move never really took off and he spent half of the title-winning 2014/15 campaign on loan to Fiorentina as he went in search of regular first-team football. AS Roma then took Salah on loan with the option of a £15 million permanent deal at the end of the loan period, which they took with open arms.

Alvaro Morata Reveals Brilliant Post-Match Routine

Alvaro Morata was signed by Chelsea in the summer from Real Madrid in a deal amounting to around £60 million and he has hit the ground running in the Premier League. The Spanish centre-forward has already managed seven goals in the top flight since the beginning of the campaign. Despite a hamstring injury that kept him out for three weeks, only Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero have found the net more.

However, it is his off-the-field exploits that have been picked up by the media in the last few days as he brilliantly admitted to Cadena Ser that he enjoys a beer on the way home after home matches! The 25-year-old claimed that after they have won a game at Stamford Bridge, he will walk home (without his Chelsea tracksuit for obvious reasons) drinking a beer. While I’m sure that Antonio Conte doesn’t approve of his star striker’s drinking habit, the Chelsea fans absolutely love it!

After this story becomes headline news, there’s no doubt there will be hundreds of Blues fans waiting on Fulham Road after successful home matches looking for a tall bloke with a beer in his hand. The former Real Madrid man also said that he wears a hat when walking home; not just for disguise, but also because he finds the English climate much colder than in his home country of Spain – who can blame him?

Morata has returned to the Chelsea side after the injury he sustained away at Crystal Palace and with a goal and an assist in his last two games, it’s as if he was never injured. While his side have had a below-par start to the new term, he has been brilliant and will need to keep up this top form if Conte’s side are to push for another Premier League title. After the international break, it’s a trip to the Hawthorns as the Blues face West Brom and he will be desperate to get on the scoresheet once again. Have a pint on us, Alvaro!

Header image by Brian Minkoff [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

N’Golo Kante Hamstring Problem Adds to Chelsea’s Injury Woes

Fresh from his maiden Ballon d’Or nomination, N’Golo Kante has suffered a hamstring injury on international duty with France, leaving Antonio Conte desperately searching for positives.

At first glance, the international break couldn’t have come at a better time for Chelsea, with the Blues still reeling from being completely outplayed in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City. Record signing Alvaro Morata limped off in the first half of the loss with what has been confirmed as a month-long hamstring injury, with Kante’s issue heightening the ill-feeling around the Bridge even further this week.

Early season beset with injuries

For much of last season, Chelsea were blessed by a lack of injuries within the squad, a situation that allowed Conte to retain a familiar side on a weekly basis in the Premier League. This term, however, has posed different problems, with Eden Hazard missing the first month of the new campaign through an ankle injury and new signing Danny Drinkwater yet to be fit enough to feature for his new employers.

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The squad’s relatively clean bill of health was cited by most observers as a major factor in the Blues winning the title last term, along with the absence of any European football. Indeed, having a larger fixture list already looks to be taking its toll on the squad this term.

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Kante didn’t feature in the 5-1 demolition of Nottingham Forest but has still played 12 games in 56 days – a greatly increased workload on last season – and his all-action approach looks to have got the better of him momentarily. Morata’s injury is similar in nature and the Blues medical staff will be sincerely hoping that the increased amount of injuries is nothing to do with the training methods used by the staff at Cobham.

Irreplaceable talent?

Morata and Kante have been the two star performers for Chelsea already this season and replacing both of them would be a huge challenge for Conte. Injuries are inevitable and squads are built to fight on four fronts – which is something Chelsea are looking to do this campaign.

During his time in the Premier League, Antonio Conte has shown himself to be an innovative coach that can deal with the ever-changing environment of English football. Whilst he and the Chelsea faithful will be praying Kante and Morata’s injuries are not as serious as they first appear, finding a tactical answer to the problem could be the Italian’s biggest test to date at Stamford Bridge.

Header image by @cfcunofficial (Chelsea Debs) (CC BY-SA 2.0), via Wikimedia Commons

Chelsea Star Makes Ballon d’Or 2017 Shortlist

As Chelsea cantered to the Premier League title last season, one man grabbed all the headlines for his incredible performances: N’Golo Kante. The Frenchman won the PFA Players Player of the Year, the Football Writers’ Player of the Season and picked up his second Premier League medal in as many seasons, after winning the title with Leicester City in 2015-16.