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Cech Reveals New Sport ‘More Fun than Champions League’

Chelsea legend Petr Cech has said that playing ice hockey is something that he always wanted to do. The 40-year-old is a modern day Premier League legend and hung up his boots from the game in 2019 at the age of 37. He was last on the books of Arsenal and opted to retire after losing the fist-choice goalkeeping position at the Gunners to Bernd Leno.

“It’s a completely different level of pressure. This is more fun than when you play a Champions League game for everything,” he said. “I still have that feeling in myself because I want to perform. I want to win. I hate losing. It’s the same feeling I had when I played football.

“You still get that feeling when you’re walking through the corridor, to the ice, surrounded by all these people. Maybe if there were 30 fans, it would be different. But the building is full. That’s what I like.”

He has since fulfilled a childhood dream by playing ice hockey for Guildford Phoenix and now Chelmsford Chieftains. Cech has said that turning to ice hockey was something that he dreamed about since he was a child.

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He took up the game in 2019 after he retired from football. He currently wears the no 39 shirt for the Chieftains and is keen to add more silverware to his personal cabinet, even describing ice-hockey as being more fun than playing in the Champions League.

Cech won virtually everything that there is to win in club football during his time with Chelsea. Perhaps the greatest memory of his time with the Blues and one of the greatest performances in Champions League history came during the 2012 final of the competition as he single handedly led the West London  club to the title following a penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich.

Prior to his time in ice hockey, Cech was working for Chelsea in a backroom role as a directly under former owner Roman Abramovich. The Russian oligarch had to sell the club in 2022 following sanctions levelled against him due to the ongoing Russia/Ukraine war.

The club has since been taken over by American businessmen Todd Boehly and business partners. Cech was released from the club upon the takeover of the new ownership. It remains to be seen if he will ever come back to football in a backroom role.

Real Madrid’s Hazard Apologises After Being Friendly With Chelsea Players

Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard has issued an apology to football fans after appearing to be friendly with Chelsea players after Los Blancos recently lost their Champions League semi-final tie to his former club, Chelsea.

Hazard has been a flop at Chelsea

During a seven-year spell with Chelsea, Hazard established himself as one of the best players in the world. He won nearly everything there is to win in his time at Stamford Bridge, though the one major trophy which eluded him was the Champions League.

Hazard joined Madrid in the summer of 2019 and the reason that he left Stamford Bridge for the Santiago Bernabeu was to try and win the Champions League.

The Blues did not win Europe’s Premier Club competition during the Belgian ace’s time with them and largely struggled to reach the final stages of the competition since they won the tournament in 2012.

There is no doubt that the fact that Hazard is a former Chelsea and not doing well at Madrid would have infuriated fans of the Spanish giants.

To add to the frustrations of Madrid fans, they brought in Hazard as a direct replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo who departed the club in the summer of 2018 to join Juventus.

Hazard has done anything but be a replacement for Ronaldo and it is believed that Madrid will be prepared to now listen to offers for him this summer.

“I am sorry. I have read lots of opinions about me today and it was not my intention to offend any Real Madrid fans,” Hazard posted on his Instagram story on Thursday.

“It has always been my dream to play for Real Madrid and I came here to win. The season is not over and together we must battle for La Liga! Hala Madrid!”

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What next for Hazard?

His reputation would have taken a knock as a result of his troubled spell at Chelsea but at 30-years-old, Hazard could still have another 3-4 years of good football left in him. These days, many top-level footballers are continuing to shine in the mid and late ’30s as is the case with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Hazard is a player who is a generational great and there is every reason that he can emulate Ronaldo and Messi if he is mentally strong.

 

What Next For Tammy Abraham?

Tammy Abraham was a hit for Chelsea in the 2019/20 season as he went on to score 15 goals in the Premier League from 34 appearances, helping the club to attain a top four finish under Frank Lampard.

The 23-year-old’s second season with the Blues has not exactly gone to plan as he has struggled to score goals on a regular basis.

There is speculation that Abraham may be sold this summer in order to raise funds to invest in two new strikers.

Should Abraham leave, the following are some potential destinations.

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West Ham

West Ham sold Sebastien Haller in the January transfer window and did not bring in a replacement, meaning that Michail Antonio has essentially been their only recognized striker since then.

David Moyes has developed a reputation for getting the most out of his players, as he did with Jesse Lingard and with majority of the players in the Hammers setup.

Given that Antonio is injury-prone and now over 30, Abraham is almost definite to get regular game time if he moves to the Hammers.

Crystal Palace

With Roy Hodgson set to turn 74 this year and nearing the end of his contract, the Eagles will be expected to appoint a new manager soon with ex Chelsea boss Frank Lampard being tipped to potentially succeed Hodgson.

Abraham played brilliantly under Lampard last season and so could be tempted by a move to Selhurst Park if the latter ends up becoming Eagles manager.

Palace will also be expected to offload Christian Benteke in the near future and so may consider Abraham as a potential replacement.

Newcastle

Newcastle’s entire forward options have struggled to score regularly this season and Steve Bruce’s side must look to sign a new striker as a matter of priority next summer.

St James Park may offer Abraham a good opportunity to rebuild his career but the question is whether it will be a good environment for him to be in?

 

Players Who Played For Both Arsenal And Chelsea

Being London rivals, Arsenal and Chelsea have never had a healthy relationship. However, there has been a fair share of players who transferred between the clubs.

This list will take a look at some of the names who have donned the jersey of both Chelsea and Arsenal.

Yossi Benayoun

Benayoun arrived at Chelsea in 2010 but was hardly used by the club. Interestingly, Chelsea loaned him out to Arsenal (arch-rival) in the middle of his spell.

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Lassana Diarra

As a youngster, Diarra was in the Chelsea fold but failed to win regular game time. He was sold to Arsenal in 2007 and went on to spend just one season with the Gunners before transferring to Portsmouth.

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Emmanuel Petit

Following a successful spell with Arsenal, the 1998 World Cup winner with France spent the final three years of his career at Stamford Bridge before hanging up his boots in 2004.

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Nicolas Anelka

A controversial character in his playing days, Anelka played for many clubs in his interesting career with Chelsea and Arsenal being among them. Anelka came through the Arsenal youth ranks before transferring to Real Madrid in 1999.

He moved to Chelsea from Bolton in 2008 and went on to spend the four most successful years of his career at Stamford Bridge as he helped the club win the Premier League and two FA Cups.

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Ashley Cole

Cole was part of the legendary Arsenal “Invicibles” side in 2004, helping Arsene Wenger’s side win the Premier League without losing a game. He lost the respect of most Arsenal fans by forcing through a transfer to Chelsea in 2006.

In his time at Chelsea, Cole won one Premier League, four FA Cups, one League Cup, the Champions League and Europa League.

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William Gallas

Gallas’ transfer was similar to Cole’s in that it was controversial but in his case, it was the opposite way around and led to him losing the respect of Chelsea fans after forcing through a transfer to Arsenal in 2006, where he spent four years, failing to win a major title.

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Cesc Fabregas

After establishing himself as one of the best players in the world at Arsenal, Fabregas left the Gunners to join boyhood club Barcelona in 2011. He spent three years in Spain before returning to England in 2014 with Chelsea where he would spend five years.

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Petr Cech

After 11 successful years at Chelsea, the Blues club legend left the club to join Arsenal in 2015. His transfer was not controversial as it was to get regular game time as a result of Thibaut Courtois displacing him as the Blues first-choice goalkeeper. Cech spent four years with the Gunners before hanging up his gloves in 2019.

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Olivier Giroud

Giroud’s transfer to Chelsea in 2018 was also hardly controversial. After six years at the Emirates, Giroud moved to Chelsea in January 2018 in order to try and get the playing time that he needed to win selection for France’s 2018 World Cup squad. He did just that, won the World Cup, and has been a valuable asset to the Blues dressing room.

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David Luiz

Luiz has had an interesting career. After two spells with Chelsea, the defender joined the Gunners in 2019 where he has continued to show signs of brilliance, though ultimately proven to be inconsistent.

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Willian

The most recent transfer between the clubs, Willian joined the Gunners from Chelsea in the summer of 2020. The Brazilian has struggled to find the net on a regular basis for the Gunners.

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Two Goalkeepers Chelsea Can Look At

The goalkeeping department at Chelsea has been one of the problem areas for the club since Thibaut Courtois left the club in the summer of 2018 to join Real Madrid.

The club brought in Kepa Arrizabalaga as a replacement for Courtois for a world-record £71.6 million with the Spaniard largely failing to impress at Stamford Bridge. Following Arrizabalaga’s struggles for consistency, the club brought in Senegal international Edouard Mendy last September. Mendy has since steadied the ship somewhat though there is debate over whether he really is a world-class keeper.

It would be a good idea for the club to look at selling Arrizabalaga in the near-future in order to recoup some of the funds that they spent on signing him and also to bring in a new shot-stopper to the club who can challenge for the first-choice goalkeeping position. The Spaniard has clearly not been a fit at Stamford Bridge and he should be allowed to go and continue his career elsewhere.

If the Blues want to win he league in the near-future, they do need a world-class shot-stopper between the sticks.

The following are two such keepers that they can look at:

Jan Oblak

Oblak has been Atleti’s undisputed first-choice goalkeeper since 2014 and since then, gone on to establish himself as arguably the best goalkeeper in the world.

Oblak has not yet hit the peak of his career as a goalkeeper and whilst he has gone well with Atletico, he may be tempted to play in the Premier League at this stage of his career.

Interestingly, Diego Simeone’s side brought in Oblak as a replacement for Courtois in 2014 with the Belgian having returned to Chelsea following a successful loan spell with Atleti.

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Gianluigi Donnarumma

Though just 22-years-old, it’s hard to believe that Donnarumma has more than 200 Serie A caps under his belt for AC Milan, yes that’s right!

Donnarumma is set to remain Italy’s first-choice goalkeeper for the far-future with 25 national team caps already under his belt. He is already a world-class shot-stopper and may become one of the world’s best in the next few years.

He could be tempted to join Chelsea with AC Milan having underachieved since he broke into the first-team back in 2015.

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Three Strikers Chelsea Can Look At Ahead Of The 2021/22 season

Chelsea will probably have to look at bringing in a new striker ahead of next season. The trio of Olivier Giroud, Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner have struggled to find the net on a regular basis in the league this season.

For a club to challenge for the league title, they should have a striker who is capable of scoring 25 goals per season. Whilst there are good arguments to keep Abraham and Werner in the future first-team plans, the same cannot be said for Giroud.

The 34-year-old has done his but for the Blues over the past three-and-a-half years but the reality is that it is now the time for Chelsea to cut their ties with him and let him spend the twilight of his career elsewhere.

The following are three strikers that the Blues can look at:

Romelu Lukaku

Since joining Inter Milan in 2019, Lukaku has firmly established himself as one of the top strikers in the world under former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.

Now in the prime of his career, Lukaku may fancy a return to Stamford Bridge in order to prove that he has what it takes to be one of the best strikers in English football after all.

He was previously on the books of the Blues between 2011-2014 but failed to find the back of the net in 10 Premier League appearances for the club.

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Sergio Aguero

Manchester City announced recently that the 32-year-old will be leaving the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season. The Argentine club legend is past his prime and has since been usurped by Gabriel Jesus as City’s main striker.

Though past his prime, Aguero is still a clinical goal scorer and could have a few more years left at the highest level.

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Erling Haaland

There is a good argument that the Borussia Dortmund striker is currently the best in the world. He would easily walk into the starting xi of any side in the world.

The question is whether Chelsea will have the funds to sign him because he will not be cheap.

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Football Legends Who Never Quite Made It At Chelsea

Chelsea has had the opportunity to have some of the generational greats in their team over their years. Some have risen above expectations whilst others flopped.

This article will look at three generational greats who did not exactly captivate audiences regularly whilst playing for Chelsea.

George Weah

The current President of Liberia, Weah remains the only African footballer to have won the Ballon d’Or award, having done so in 1995 when he played for AC Milan.

In 2000, Weah joined Chelsea when he was 34-years-old on loan from Milan. He scored three goals for the Blues from 11 appearances but the club opted not to sign him permanently. He went on to join Manchester City permanently the following season and was last on the books of Al Jazira before hanging up his boots in 2003.

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Andriy Shevchenko

The Ukraine football legend and 2004 Ballon d’Or winner joined the Blues in 2006 after ending a successful seven-year spell with AC Milan.

He was one of the most feared strikers in the world when he arrived at Stamford Bridge and so there was a lot that was expected from him. He went on to yield a poor return of nine goals from 48 Premier League appearances for Chelsea.

Chelsea subsequently sent Shevchenko on loan to AC Milan in 2008 but he failed to find his feet there as well. He eventually returned to his homeland with Dynamo Kyiv in 2009 where he started scoring goals again before ending his professional career in 2012.

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Juan Sebastián Verón

Prior to the emergence of Lionel Messi in the mid-2000s, it was Verón who was the most feared Argentinian footballer. Verón’s journey in England started in 2001 when Manchester United signed him from Lazio.

After failing to impress at United,he joined Chelsea in 2003. He failed again to impress with the Blues, scoring just one Premier League goal from seven appearances.

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Wayne Bridge Would Love Chelsea To Sign EPL Ace

Former Chelsea defender Wayne Bridge has said that he would love to see the Blues making a move for Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane.

‘I’d love to see Kane go there, I think he’s brilliant,’ Bridge told bettingexpert.com ‘Sometimes money talks. If you look at how Tottenham is doing at the moment, I think there’s a great chance he could end up leaving if he wants to go and win something. ‘I’m not sure if he would go, but I’d love to see him come in and start banging in goals for Chelsea. Chelsea has to be careful with who they buy but I’ll be very surprised if they didn’t bring another striker in.’

Kane may have to soon make a difficult decision

England captain Kane has been one of the best strikers in the Premier League and England’s best striker for more than five years. Though he has been committed to the Tottenham cause since turning professional as a footballer in 2009, he has yet to win a major trophy as the Lilywhites have not won anything since claiming the League Cup back in 2008.

With it looking uncertain as to whether Spurs will make the top four this season, time is now against Kane. He will be 28-years-old by the time next season comes along and is in the prime of his powers. He is not going to be getting better as a football at this stage of his career and so he really should be at a club where he can win trophies.

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Kane may just be hesitant to move to Chelsea

A move to Tottenham’s London rivals may be seen as a sign of betrayal to fans of Spurs. If there is one thing that is certain about Kane, he does love Spurs with all his heart. If he did not he would have left the club much earlier in order to win major silverware.

Nobody can really fault Kane for wanting to leave Spurs at this stage of his career especially when you take into consideration the state of his current club.

Should Kane make himself available, there is unlikely to be any shortage of potential suitors from within England and outside.

Some of the clubs that could be interested in his services outside England include Barcelona and PSG. It remains uncertain whether Kylian Mbappe will remain with PSG ahead of next season whilst the same applies to Barcelona ace Lionel Messi.

Jamie Carragher Names Unheralded John Terry Traits

Jamie Carragher is a Premier League and Liverpool legend.

In his 11-year international playing career, Carragher also got to know Chelsea legend John Terry quite well as the duo often marshaled the defence for the Three Lions.

Most people remember Terry for his excellent leadership

As a player, most people remember Terry for his impressive command of Chelsea and a no-nonsense defender, a type of which is hardly seen in the game today. Terry won five Premier League titles with Chelsea as well as five FA Cups, three League Cups, one Champions League, and one Europa League.

There is no better symbol for Chelsea’s rise than Terry, together with fellow club legends Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard. He was fearless in tackles, not afraid to put injure his body, and was extremely athletic, so much so that he could pull off diving headers excellently, something that few are able to master.  With his near-excellent passing, Terry was able to command the team well, a trait he seems to have passed on successfully to Cesar Azpilicueta.

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Terry had a knack for scoring goals, a trait rare among defenders

He also had a knack for scoring goals and finished with 68 club goals in his career, something unusual for a defender. His knack for being a team player was highlighted in 2006 during a game against Reading in the Premier League when in a freak occurrence, first-choice keeper Petr Cech and substitute Carlo Cudicini were injured, forcing Terry to go into goal.

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Now Carragher has provided some further insight into Terry, which fans may not have been able to see. Carragher was rather humble, even going as far as to say imply that Terry was technically a better player than him.

“John Terry was basically a better version of me,” Carragher told Sky Sports.

“He was bigger, more powerful, better quality on the ball as well. He was one who when you trained with him went up a level in your eyes. You knew he was a great player.

“Technically, he’s a lot better than he’s given credit for. People always talk about John Terry being this man who put his head and his body in front of everything — and he would — and we talk about Rio Ferdinand being the player who was great on the ball.

“But we forget that Rio was a great defender and that John Terry was great on the ball.”

 

Jorginho Raves About Chelsea Youngster Mason Mount

Jorginho has tipped team-mate Mason Mount to go on and become a goal machine due to his work rate.

The youngster has been a fully-fledged member of the Blues first-team since the beginning of the 2019/20 season and was integrated into the first-team plans by former manager Frank Lampard, becoming a first-team regular ever since.

Mount did struggle for consistency towards the end of 2020, so much so that some cited this as a factor behind why Lampard was eventually sacked by the Stamford Bridge hierarchy and replaced by Thomas Tuchel.

Since Tuchel was appointed as Chelsea boss, no player has scored more goals for the club than Mount.

“He works for the whole team. He’s not just focused on goals for himself.

“And that means the goals will just come naturally for him because he works hard, he is always in the right position.

“He needs to keep working like that and then of course he will get a lot of goals in his career.”

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Mount is certainly going to be an England first-team regular

At his current rate, Mount is most definitely going to play a key role in England’s Euro 2020 plans. He is one of the most active Blues team members when the team is out of possession, working extremely hard to eventually put the ball back into the control of his team.

He also uses his pace to his advantage, often using his speed in order to close down opponents who may be trying to launch attacking moves of their own.

One of Mount’s best qualities is his superb passing of the ball. He is also able to use difficult and unique angles as a means of distributing his passes through the lines of the opposition. When he takes possession from players, he challenges the defensive players that are around him.

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Mount has proven his critics wrong

Mount was accused by some critics of being a Lampard favourite but there is no doubt that he has proved those doubters wrong as he has gone on to star even more since Lampard departed the club.

It remains to be seen how he will progress in the future but he definitely does have the makings of a Blues club legend if he can continue to progress at a steady rate.

 

Football Legends Who Failed To Sparkle At Chelsea

There is an element of truth to the claim that the Premier League is a tougher league to shine in than the other leagues across Europe. There have been quite a few football legends who have not managed to emulate their world-class ability on a consistent basis in the Premier League as compared to the other leagues across the world.

The following are football legends who failed to sparkle in their time at Chelsea.

George Weah

Weah who is regarded as the greatest African footballer of all time joined the Blues on loan in 2000 from AC Milan. To date, Weah who is currently the President of Liberia remains the only African to have won the Ballon d’Or award.

Weah was past his prime when he joined the Blues but managed to score the winner on debut against Tottenham Hotspur.

Though he scored three goals in 11 Premier League appearances for Chelsea, then manager Gianluca Vialli opted against making his contract permanent. Weah subsequently joined newly promoted Manchester City the following season.

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Andriy Shevchenko

The Ukraine football legend and 2004 Ballon D’or winner joined the Blues in 2006 following a successful spell with AC Milan which saw him win the Serie A and Champions League.

In three years at Chelsea, Shevchenko went on to net just 22 times in all competitions from 77 appearances. He showed flashes of brilliance but ultimately failed to find the type of consistency that is required of a player to lead the line for the Blues.

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Juan Sebastian Veron

Prior to the emergence of Lionel Messi in the mid-2000s, the midfield anchorman Veron was arguably Argentina’s most feared player. Veron earned a high-profile move to Manchester United in 2001. After a failure to get going at United, Chelsea opted to give Veron a chance to prove himself in 2003. He scored just one goal from 14 appearances in all competitions, Veron went on to join Inter Milan and then Estudiantes on loan.

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Who Are The Germans To Have Played For Chelsea?

Chelsea spent heavily on recruiting the likes of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz prior to the start of the season. The duo have not enjoyed the best debut campaign in England so far, though, in their defence, they are still young players and may just need some extra time to adapt to the new country and culture.

Havertz and Werner are not the first Germans to play for the Blues.

The others are:

Antonio Rudiger

Rudiger joined the Blues from Roma in 2017. He has been a success in his time at Stamford Bridge and helped the club win a FA Cup and Europa League.

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Andre Schürrle

The 2014 World Cup winner joined the Blues in 2013 from Bayer Leverkusen. He was a first-team regular in his first season at the club, helping the Blues to land the Premier League title.

However, he fell down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge the following campaign before returning to Germany with VFL Wolfsburg. Schürrle was unable to replicate the consistency which saw him become so highly rated in his early 20’s. He was last on the books of Spartak Moscow and ended up retiring from football in 2020, aged just 29.

Marko Marin

Like Schürrle, Marin was highly-rated as a youth before never quite living up to his potential. He joined the Blues in 2012 from Werder Bremen. He would remain on the books of the Blues for four years, serving loan spells in Turkey, Italy, and Spain.

The playmaker is currently a free agent. Aged 32, he was last on the books of Saudi club Al-Raed.

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Michael Ballack

After success with Bayern Munch, the German midfield dynamo joined Chelsea in 2006 at the age of 30. He went on to spend four successful years with the club, helping it to one Premier League title, three FA Cups, and one League Cup.

Ballack left the Blues in the summer of 2012, returning to Germany with Bayer Leverkusen. He retired from football in 2012.

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Robert Huth

Huth had a rather interesting career. Though born in East Germany, the former German international spent his entire professional career in England. The former centre-back joined the Stamford Bridge club from FC Union Berlin in 2001 before graduating to the first team in 2002.

Though mainly a squad rotation option during his time with the Blues, Huth helped the club win two Premier League titles. He left the Blues in 2006 and joined Middlesbrough before having spells with Stoke City and Leicester City.

The highlight of Huth’s career was in 2015-16 as he was a key part of the Leicester team which claimed the Premier League.

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Sebastian Kneißl

Kneißl is definitely the most unknown player in this list and spent five years on the books of the Blues, though he never made a competitive league appearance for the club.

After leaving Chelsea in 2005, he had  spells with lower league teams in England and Germany and a loan spell with Westerlo.

He retired from professional football in 2013, having last been on the books of German club SV Heimstetten.

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Americans Who Have Played For Chelsea

The United States men’s national team may be a sleeping giant. After having struggled to exert itself on the international scene, the “land of opportunity” is currently churning out players who are not only capable of but also playing for Europe’s biggest players.

During the days of Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, American players playing for elite clubs were a dime a dozen.

Christian Pulisic has been the most high-profile American to have played for the Blues and many will be mistaken to think that he is the only American to have played at Stamford Bridge.

However there have been two others and in all probability, more will come in the future.

Here are the two other Americans apart from Pulisic who have called Stamford Bridge home.

Matt Miazga

After impressing in Major League Soccer for the New York Red Bulls, the United States defender earned a move to Stamford Bridge in January 2016.

Chelsea had to make do without the services of Gary Cahill and John Terry for a Premier League game against Aston Villa in April 2016 which resulted in Miazga being handed his English top-flight debut.  The West London club went on to win that match 4-0.

After looking solid on debut, Miazga was selected for the Blues following league clash against Swansea City but ended up being substituted at half-time.

Now on loan with Anderlecht in Belgium, Miazga has since made no Premier League appearances for Chelsea. His contract with the club ends next summer and he will likely be released.

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Kyle Scott

A youth product of the Chelsea development system, Scott spent ten years with the club though he went on to make just one first-team appearance-making his debut in a 4-0 FA Cup triumph over Hull City in February 2018.

After joining Newcastle, Scott has failed to make the Magpies first-team and been used in their reserve games.

The 23-year-old has had an interesting youth international career. He represented England at U16 level, Republic of Ireland at U17 level and the United States at U18 and U20 level.

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USA Coach Berhalter Hails Pulisic Progress

USA national team coach Greg Berhalter believes that Christian Pulisic is proving himself at Chelsea, following his successful comeback from injury. The 22-year-old moved to Stamford Bridge from Borussia Dortmund in January 2019. He was immediately loaned back to the Germany club before joining the Blues permanently at the start of last season.

The American was on the shortlist for Premier League Young Player of the Year last term, and when using an 888sport Promo Code, he’s 12/1 to go one better and scoop the title this season amidst some exceptional performances.

“When Christian was moving from Dortmund to Chelsea we knew there was going to be an adaptation period,” said Berhalter to the Chelsea Mike’d Up Podcast

“He had to get used to the English game. It took time, and as he did that he came out performing really well, helping the team and scoring goals and being influential. All these things we projected him being able to do took an understandable time period.”

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Pulisic’s form has been encouraging at times

After a slow start to life in England, Pulisic began to find form and was largely strong in terms of his performances during his first season before an injury curtailed his progress. The highlight of Pulisic’s time at Chelsea so far was the hat trick which he scored against Burnley in October 2019. The triple made him only the second American to score a hat trick in Premier League history, with the other being former Fulham attacker Clint Dempsey. Pulisic went on to strike six goals for the club before his injury on New Years Day 2020.

There are heavy expectations on Pulisic

Despite being just 22, Pulisic is already widely regarded as being one of the greatest American football players in history and he is expected to usurp Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey in terms of European success. He initially established himself as one of the most highly-rated young prospects in European football during his time with Dortmund but started to be over-shadowed at the Bundesliga club following the arrival of Jadon Sancho in Germany during the summer of 2018. Pulisic’s transfer to Chelsea came at the right time as the emergence of Sancho cut his playing time at Chelsea.

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The American will be expected to become a key player for both Chelsea as well as the United States in the future. He has already made 34 appearances for the United States team and boasts 14 goals.

Lampard Insists He Will Stick To His Principles

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has insisted that he will stick to his principles amidst the club’s current poor form. The Blues are currently winless in their last three games, having lost two of those against Arsenal and Manchester City respectively.

In the two defeats, Lampard’s lack of strategy and man-management appeared to manifest itself.  Lampard’s lack of prior managerial experience appears to be showing. It is important to remember that he lacked experience at the highest level prior to taking up the Chelsea job.

Prior to being appointed Blues manager, Lampard’s also previous managerial experience came when he led Championship club Derby County.

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Lampard is under pressure

Lampard was given massive funding to invest on strengthening the squad last summer. He spent heavily in order to bring in Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz. The German duo, in particular, appears to have struggled to so far adapt to life in England.

So far, the Blues have not shown signs of significant improvement from last season. Should they fail to attain a top-four finish this season, it is unlikely that Lampard will remain at the helm of the team beyond this summer, especially considering how harsh the club has been with managers before.

“I’m not stupid, I know that we need to get results. We want to get results. Do I change things? Sometimes, a little bit. I tweak things. You have to search, but you also have to stick to your principles.” said Lampard as reported by Sky Sports. 

Lampard can still pick things up

It is still a bit too premature to make a fair judgement that Lampard is not the right man to lead the West London club. After all, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was on the verge of being sacked by Manchester United a couple of times before managing to string together a good run of results. Lampard needs to do the same.

Forget Mendy, Chelsea Must Eye Italian Keeper

After watching Kepa Arrizabalaga make error after error, Chelsea eventually realized that they had to make a change in goal, bringing in Edouard Mendy from Rennes last summer.

Mendy arrived at Stamford Bridge at the prime of his powers, at 28-years-old and following an impressive Ligue 1 season. The Senegal international initially showed some strong signs in England, however, some of his recent mistakes have led to concerns about whether he will truly ever be a world-class keeper.

The Blues need a world-class keeper between the sticks if they want to challenge for major silverware, they simply cannot have an ordinary keeper in the position.

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Donnarumma is now an elite keeper 

It’s safe to say that Donnarumma is now one of the best goalkeepers in world football. It’s hard to believe that the keeper dubbed the “modern-day Buffon” has already amassed nearly 200 appearances in the Serie A. He is still just 21-years-old and most players his age are still working their way into first-team football.

With keepers now playing well into their 40’s, especially Italian’s, Donnarumma could potentially have more than 19-years left in the tank. Gianluigi Buffon is still going strong for Juventus at 42 and if Donnarumma is to follow the example of the former long-time Italy first-choice keeper, he will play for another two decades.

Mendy seems like a decent enough goalkeeper to play in the Premier League. But is he good enough to help Chelsea win major trophies? Thus far, the signs have not been promising but time will tell.

Every side needs a top goalkeeper. Manchester City have that in Ederson, Liverpool have it in Alisson and Bayern Munich have it in Manuel Neuer.

During their heyday, Chelsea had that in Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois and since the departure of the latter to Real Madrid in 2018, they have been unable to win the Premier League.

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Craig Burley Believes Grealish Would Have Suited Chelsea

Former Chelsea star Craig Burley believes that Aston Villa ace Jack Grealish would have suited the Blues. Grealish played an instrumental role in terms of helping Villa to avoid relegation last season.

His form has been a totally different story this season. Villa are faring much better than they did last season and Grealish has established himself as one of the best attacking midfielders in the Premier League and a world class talent.

Dean Smith’s side are sixth in the standings with a game in hand over log leaders Liverpool. They managed to claim a memorable 7-2 win over defending champions Liverpool earlier this season with Grealish having been a star in that game.

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Grealish is on another level

As much as Grealish is a boyhood fan of Villa, he is now 25-years-old and will have to leave Villa Park soon if he wants to take his career to the next level and play in the Champions League.  There is no doubt that the vultures will come circling for his signature at the end of this season.

One of Grealish’s strengths is that he is capable of being deployed on the wings as well as in midfield. He may have been a good addition to Frank Lampard’s first-team.

Burley believes that he would have been a good acquisition amidst the struggles of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner in establishing themselves at Stamford Bridge.

“I wouldn’t have been against signing Jack Grealish. He’s been superb again, a fantastic season.” he said as reported by The Sun. 

“Timo Werner is a different kettle of fish because Jack Grealish is a midfielder who can do a bit of everything. Werner is an attacker, and in essence so is Havertz – although he can play a little deeper.

“Grealish would have given them more options than Havertz.”

Report: German Could Replace Lampard If Things Don’t Improve

After a strong start to the season, Chelsea’s performances have begun to wane. There is no doubt that this will frustrate Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, a person who is known to be harsh when it comes to judging managers.

The Blues have lost three out of their last four Premier League games. There is no doubt that Lampard has a talented side at his disposal and anything other than a top-four finish in the league this season will simply not be acceptable.  Lampard was also given plenty of funds to invest last summer on bringing in new players so he certainly cannot be one to complain about not receiving sufficient backing from the board.

Should things fail to pick up under Lampard, the Blues could potentially move for Thomas Tuchel, as reported by The Daily Mail. 

Thomas Tuchel is available 

Tuchel was made available last week after PSG opted to sack him. The 47-year-old is vastly experienced as he has previously managed the likes of Mainz and Borussia Dortmund in addition to PSG. In his time with PSG, he managed to win two Ligue 1 titles and also led the club to the final of the Champions League last season where they lost to Bayern Munich.

It was the best performance by PSG in the Champions League in the modern era.

The report added that Tuchel would love to have the opportunity to work with the likes of Antonio Rudiger, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner. The trio have all been struggling to play well this season. The latter two in particular who arrived last summer were expected to be major hits in the Premier League.

However, they have so far failed to bring their past Bundesliga form to England. Tuchel could help to get the best out of them, given his intimate knowledge of German football.

 

Jamie Carragher Issues Warning To Chelsea Keeper Mendy

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has issued a warning to Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy following his recent errors against Leeds United and Everton.

The Senegal international joined the Blues in the summer and has since dispatched Kepa Arrizabalaga as the club’s first-choice keeper. Kepa had been struggling to live up to expectations following his arrival at Stamford Bridge in 2018 and made several costly errors.

Whilst the 28-year-old Mendy had a promising start to life at Chelsea, he himself made costly errors against Leeds United and Everton recently. The Blues ultimately lost the game to the Toffees which led to their early season strong momentum being lost.

“He came in and made a massive difference, but I think any keeper coming in would’ve made a massive difference,” said Carragher as reported by The Daily Star. 

“I think he’s made a really good start, there’s no doubt he’s made a few mistakes of late, but all eyes will be on him now a lot more.”

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Mendy will have to up his game

The goalkeeping position at Chelsea is a high-profile one. The last three long-term first-choice keepers at the club- Thibaut Courtois, Petr Cech and Carlo Cudicini are considered to be greats. Kepa became the first keeper of the club in the modern era to not manage to hold onto the first-choice keeping position on a long-term basis.

The 28-year-old Mendy is a late bloomer and was not really known to many people prior to his arrival at Chelsea. After starting his career with French lower league club Cherbourg in 2011, he started making a name for himself in France with Reims and more recently Rennes whom he left to join the Blues earlier this year.

Whilst making errors every now and then is pretty much expected of any player, Mendy will be aware that he will not be able to do this regularly if he wants to make the Chelsea first-choice keeping position his own.

 

Chelsea Players Whose Contracts Expire Next Summer

Every year players come and go from football clubs. The following are players from the club whose contracts are due to expire at the end of the 2020/21 season as per Transfermarkt.

Olivier Giroud 

Giroud has made no secret of his desire to play for France at the rescheduled European Championships this summer. He arrived at the club in January 2018 as an emergency transfer when the Blues were struggling to find a consistent player to lead their line and amidst the struggles of Alvaro Morata at the time.

Giroud has done his bit for the Blues. With Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham in Frank Lampard’s squad, it is unlikely that he will be staying at the club beyond this summer, this time for real.

It remains to be seen whether Giroud also wants to play in the 2022 World Cup. If so, his next destination may be another club from Europe’s top five leagues.

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Willy Caballero

The Argentine joined the club during the summer of 2017 on a free transfer and his duty was to act as a cover option. The 39-year-old has done a professional job whenever called upon and has gone on to make 11 Premier League appearances in his time at Stamford Bridge so far.

Caballero may opt to continue his career elsewhere but his position will be better served going to a younger keeper who can challenge Edouard Mendy for the first-choice goalkeeping position.

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Thiago Silva

From all the players on this list, Silva is the most likely to remain at the club next season. After joining the Blues this summer, he agreed to sign a one year contract with the club, with a clause to possibly extend his stay at the Bridge by a further year.

Silva has so far been a hit in England. It will not be surprising if Lampard wants to keep him for a further year.

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Report: Chelsea Is Keen On Young Sensation

Chelsea are interested in signing Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Braut Haaland, according to a report by 90min

The Norwegian has established himself as arguably the biggest breakout star of 2020. Following some dynamic goalscoring for Red Bull Salzburg, he earned a move to German giants Dortmund in January 2020.

Not many expected Haaland to continue his phenomenal scoring rate in the Bundesliga. After all, he is only 20-years-old and there is a gulf in class between the league of Austria as compared to Germany.

He has done just that and currently as a record of 23 Bundesliga goals from just 23 games.

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Haaland is a future star in the making

Despite still being in the infancy of his career, it is evident that Haaland has intelligence and maturity beyond his age. Most players who are his age are still undergoing a development and learning curve. On the other hand, he can already strut his stuff against the best in the game.

There is no doubt that Dortmund’s good reputation regarding working with young talent played a role in Haaland’s decision to join the club. So far his decision to join Dortmund seems to have been the right one. However, it is unlikely that Haaland will stay at Dortmund for the long-term. Whilst they are a good club, they are unable to compete with the financial might of the top Premier League and La Liga clubs in addition to arch-rivals Bayern Munich.

Will Haaland suit Chelsea

Chelsea currently have Tammy Abraham, Timo Werner and Olivier Giroud on their books. Whilst Giroud is not expected to stick around with the club for the long-term, Werner and Abraham are aiming to do so.

Werner has so far struggled to live up to expectations. If this continues, Chelsea should consider making a move for him.

If Werner and Abraham start scoring on a regular basis, it may be better for Chelsea to invest in bolstering other areas of the team.