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The Season Preview: Chelsea’s 2011-12 Season (Remix)

August 10, 2011


Load words: titles > change > fortune > tactics > renovation > motivation>dynamics > hope> belief>objectivity > rumours> expectation> pressure> improvisation>

Initiate Pre-Season Profile for Chelsea FC? Yes

A new coach means the re-emergence of the same group of questions for a club that wants to have a long-term project but gets carried away with immediate objectives. Andre Vilas-Boas is not a new face to Chelsea but he resembles the opportunity for a long-term vision to be set in place. His stock is of obvious quality given his development in view of those who’ve mentored him at various points and what he has already achieved in his short career in management thus far.

In brief, it’s been a successful pre-season campaign with a 100% record, 15 goals scored and just the one conceded. The pre-season campaign started at a meander with a fortunate 1-0 victory at Portsmouth before embarking on their tour of Asia. A successful tour ensued with the club bringing home a trophy in the form of the Barclays Premier League Asia Trophy. Pre-season competitions are often derided as purely for monetary gain via the oft-used statement “building our fanbase” but a trophy is a trophy and Chelsea won it without conceding a goal and also showing increasing signs of cohesion in their play as evident against Aston Villa in the final. Their final game of pre-season took the Blues to Glasgow and a tough test in the form of Rangers. Chelsea’s defence was finally breached with Stevan Jelavic being the first man to score against Chelsea under the new boss but Chelsea soon imposed their game plan and came through to win 3-1 with Daniel Sturridge netting a brace.


Input: familiar faces> select all > randomise >remix:

There has been no significant changes to the squad that finished last season. Yossi Benayoun may well feel like a new season following the injuries that plagued his debut campaign for the Blues. This season’s main injury victim thus far is Michael Essien and while it’s obviously a loss given his reputation of quality, last season was very poor by the Ghanaian powerhouse’s standards. The energy that was the core of Essien’s play appeared to be lacking at certain points and it was clear that his injury record was a weight on his mind when coming to decisions on the pitch. Another injury and Essien is in danger of never reaching the heights he has previous illustrated to be possible. At his best, a genuinely world-class player and a complete one at that, his return will be more important to him than his club which is something that would’ve been unspeakable a couple of years ago.

David Luiz and Fernando Torres enter their first proper seasons for the club and obviously possess great quality. While the mainstream media focuses their attention on Torres’ performances (or rather his goal tally as Torres could play an incredible game and not score only for the press to highlight the lack of a goal for the Spaniard), intrigue comes in the direction of David Luiz who had showed plenty of positives in his short time at the club already. He has not featured in the pre-season campaign thanks to the Copa America and tendonitis in his knee meaning it may be a slow start for the Brazilian but his explosive play will be expected soon enough.

In terms of actual new faces at Stamford Bridge next season, so far only two have arrived who will actually be involved in first team duties as while promising goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was the first signing under Villas-Boas’ management, he was loaned out immediately to Atletico Madrid in search of first team experience to aid his development. The first player who was signed for the intention of immediate first team use was Oriel Romeu who has arrived from Barcelona to increase options available in the role of defensive midfielder. The somewhat inevitable signing of young Belgian talent Romelu Lukaku has finally been agreed and it is expected that he will look to learn as part of the first-team. Such young additions are hopefully a sign of a sustained transfer policy and with home-grown talents such as Josh McEachran and Nathaniel Chalobah being given game time for the first-team in pre-season, the future is looking very bright for Chelsea.

Abort. Save remix? Yes.

WARNING: VIRUS ALERT> *) Paris influx, Malaga too, send soulful reinforcements @** Music banned from football grounds? Hurray! >> Smiling happy Catalans (still) holding hands “% God won’t save you xxt! &z but Balotelli might? $$$@> He’s wearing the wrong shade of blue you know ^^If first you don’t succeed claim you were the victim of gross injustice**!!

Virus detected. Move to vault? No. Overruled. Virus moved to vault.

Proceed with Season Preview for Chelsea? Yes.


Load quotes from interview with Andre Vilas-Boas on Chelsea’s official website on 22nd June 2011. Remix? Yes.

“We are a technical staff that focuses a lot on unlocking potential.”

“It is a clashing together of two good organisations and in the end it is the relationship between all of our players that can lead us to success, and that is what I want to work on”.

His ideology is resolute and the man’s determination to succeed is key. But this is said on a frequent basis when a new manager arrives at any given club. He will not be judged on his words but the performances and results of the team. Fate like with many in the realm of coaching is not strictly in the hands of the individual. The collective identity is hugely important and Chelsea is no different despite the money associated.

Save quotes? No. Load quotes from interview with Ron Gourlay on Chelsea’s official website on 2011. Remix? Yes.

“Although our model is different to other clubs we have won major trophies and come very close to the Champions League, so the challenge there is to continue to be successful”.

“Continuity is very important, but so is success and the way we play our football, so as far as Andre is concerned we are delighted he has come on board”.

The club has its sights set on high degrees of success. As to who sets such degrees of expectation, it’s a matter of the powers-that-be but the club is not as daft and ruthless as some may like to perceive it. Villas-Boas comes with a fresh and disciplined approach and will have time to put his imprint on the team. As to how much time, performances and results will be the governor of that as always.

Save quotes? Yes. Formulate pull-out quote? No. Leave to system editor? Yes.


Insert additional overdubs into the mix where necessary.

An image: The new man at the helm and his technical staff make for quite an image. Roberto Di Matteo’s return to Chelsea’s employment is a heart-warming sight. The tagline on the cover of an old issue of Chelsea’s official magazine (April 2001) bears a statement that is no uncertain terms can be claimed to be prophetic. It reads simply: “I’ll be back”. At the time it was hoped he would still be able to play after his horrific broken leg suffered in Switzerland. He didn’t but it is rather obvious as to why such a tagline deserves a mention.

An emotion: Hope is prevalent to all supporters of any club prior to a new season kicking off. Chelsea’s hope is that Villas-Boas will be the man at the forefront of all things blue for a long, trophy-laden time.

A conclusion: Chelsea have won nine season-opening games in a row going into their trip to Stoke. The game cannot come soon enough. It’s a game where Andre Villas-Boas will debut in England in a competitive environment. The odds on victory are short for a reason.

Mix all tracks? Yes. System re-mixing now… please wait.

The Chelsea 2011-12 Season remix now complete. Save? Yes. Print? Yes. Abort.

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