Welcome home Robbie !

Roberto de Matteo has been appointed the permanent manager of Chelsea in a 2 year deal. Finally, common sense has prevailed. The guy won both the trophies that he could have with us during his short 11 week role last season; and it was outrageous that the club were considering the out-going manager of one of those he had defeated during the Champions League run – Guardiola, for the full-time job.

Robbie, as he’s fondly called by the fans, may not have a glorious history in football management, but he’s a Chelsea man through & through, having played for the club for more that  seasons before eventually retiring. In those five seasons, he was part of a team which sowed seeds for the unparalleled success of the next generation. He won 2 FA Cups, 1 UEFA Cup and a League Cup as a player, to add to his recent FA Cup & Champions League triumph. On twitter, I came across this very interesting tweet –

On a personal note, the thing I like best about Di Matteo is that he gets it. He understands Chelsea Football Club, the players, the fans.

This is exactly how I felt about Robbie too. Yes, we could have landed another high-profile, supposedly world-beating manager from across the continent, but no one could have had that link with Chelsea as Robbie has. He is a fan himself, has spent long hours in that Stamford Bridge dressing room, knows about the pressures of facing each different opposition and how much more the fans want triumph on a particular day than another (not to say we don’t want victory everyday). But most importantly, he is connected to those players, because he was once one of them. Of course, only probably JT was around when he was a player, but over the course of years, he’s got to know most of them pretty well.

His critics have pointed to his mediocre league form towards the end of the season. But its important to remember here, that of his 3 league defeats, the 2 against City (away) & Liverpool (away) were largely inconsequential since the team were heavily involved in its Cup double winning run. The only game where we probably should have played better was against Newcastle at home, when Papiss Cisse’s 2 moments of brilliance won the game for the visitors. But, then again, a victory on that night, with the results that followed, would have still only meant a 5th place finish, meaning Europa League football next season. Robbie, by winning the Champions League, ensured we play in the competition next season. If you had asked me, I would have happily taken that Premier League run-in to the end, knowing we were going to do the FA Cup & CL double.

We started the 2011-12 season with a new, young manager who had been appointed on the back of his Europa League and Portuguese League success, with an aim to build a new generation of players at the club. We all know how that worked out, but in 2012, we will start with another new, young manager appointed on the back of his Champions League success, only this time one who had won it for us !

Welcome home Robbie.

Chelsea FC Season of 2011/12 – Squad Report

I’ll be profiling all the squad members as build-up to our last game this season.A small matter of a #CL final ! #CFC

Here we go! Petr Cech – 6.5/10 for the seasn.Leaky start to the season,but really solid in the 2nd half,esp in the CL.Still good enough #CFC

Ashley Cole – 7/10 Tiring.Yes.Quick.Yes.Still the best outlet we have on the left & assured as always.Bertrand has a great mentor. #CFC

Bosingwa-As a Sky Sports expert said,he’s good going fwd,but he doesn’t know how to defend! 5/10 Liability.Will start in Munich though #CFC

Ivanovich-As solid as ever in the blue shirt.Never played a game with his heart not in it.As good a RB option as in the center 8/10 #CFC

David Luiz-Had his off days & then great days.One of the match-winners;gets ovr-ambitious at times tho.Many great seasons ahead 6.5/10 #CFC

Gary Cahill-He made the right switch in Jan,& has proved to be very solid,whenever involved.Basically a quicker JT & that helps. 6/10 #CFC

JT-Looked lost under AVB & controvrsy follows him;upswing in his personl form since AVB’s dept evident.Body on the line as always 7/10 #CFC

Bertrand-Impressive whenever he’s had the chance.Quite a way to go filling Cole’s boots but its been the season he broke through 6/10 #CFC

Paolo Ferreira-Largely in the veteran’s club now,scarce appearances but we all love Paolo,determined always.Had useful cameos. 5/10 #CFC

Mikel-Out of favor under AVB & exceptional under RDM.Better going fwd too in recent weeks 6/10 #CFC

Romeu-Lot’ve chances under AVB.Bright to begin with,but erratic as evrything started falling apart.Very rarely used by RDM 5.5/10 #CFC

Essien-Comebck from injury was talked up,but no longr evn hlf the playr he ws aftr recrring injuries.Not in my plans next sesn 3.5/10 #CFC

Malouda-Never like it when he’s on the pitch,which is often.No pace,no creativty,just seems to be in favor with the ‘old guard’ 4/10 #CFC

Lampard-Was open abt his indiff with AVB,performd prtty mch consistntly undr both mgrs tho.Instrumntal in the big games as alwez 7/10 #CFC

Meirelles-Very inconsistant with his passing all sesn,but oozes experience in the big games.Was a panic buy,surely not the soln 6.5/10 #CFC

Mata-The no.10 we were looking for.Excellnt ball control,very creative.Been tired smtimes since he’s been involvd almost evry game 8/10 #CFC

Ramires-Pace,pace & more pace;Rami has been unstoppable all sesn.My player of the year.Contributed imp. goals too 9/10 #CFC

Sturridge-Startd the sesn with pace & enthu;thn it got to his head.Exciting for sesns to come bt has to find team-mates more 7/10 #CFC

Kalou-Thought he had left before he suddenly became a starter under RDM.Most improved player under him & playing more for the team 7/10 #CFC

Lukaku-He was supposed to be “The new Drogba” Looked out of breath as the sesn started & played with the reserves all sesn 4/10 #CFC

Torres-A striker is judged by his goals;he proved more of a hard working playmaker in a team that doesn’t really suit his style 6/10 #CFC

Drogba-Love him,hate him;u jst can’t ignore him;can look very disintrstd in 1 game & carry the entire team the nxt.Big match champ 7/10 #CFC

Turnbull 4/10 Hutchinson 6/10 McEachran 4.5/10 all contributed in their little ways #CFC

Alex 5/10 & Anelka 5.5/10 moved away during the course of the season #CFC

I love you Chelsea FC