Welcome to Chelsea, Todd Boehly!

Exclusive Academy Transfer Updates w/Scott Trotter! The Chelsea Spot Podcast

  1. Exclusive Academy Transfer Updates w/Scott Trotter!
  2. Mount shines against Bournemouth & Enzo Fernandez to the Blues?!

In our latest episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Paree (Owner – @CFCParee) was joined by Rob (Admin – @CFCRobL) & Tom (@tmdftbl) to discuss the exciting news in the last few weeks. *Recorded before Todd Boehly was deemed the clear favourite*. They discussed the 1-1 draw against Manchester United and Tuchel’s in game management, Todd Boehly’s bid and what we would like to see from our new owner, a deep dive into how good our squad actually is and looking ahead to Sunday’s game against Super Frank’s Everton. 

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Podcast: Roman Abramovich is selling the club!

Exclusive Academy Transfer Updates w/Scott Trotter! The Chelsea Spot Podcast

  1. Exclusive Academy Transfer Updates w/Scott Trotter!
  2. Mount shines against Bournemouth & Enzo Fernandez to the Blues?!

In our latest episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Paree (Owner – @CFCParee) was joined by Orlando (Admin – @0rland1nho) to discuss the crazy last week surrounding Chelsea. Talking about Chelsea’s Carabao Cup final loss to Liverpool, our instant reaction to Abramovich’s statement that he is selling the club, the problems hidden in the 4-0 win over Burnley and looking forward to Norwich on Thursday.

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The Chelsea Spot 2021/22 Season Predictions!

The season has begun and we’re two games in, with victories in both the Super Cup Final on penalties and against Crystal Palace on the opening gameweek of the Premier League season. Before the game against the Eagles, I asked our writers to give their season predictions, so let’s have a look at what they said…

Paree

Premier League Position – 2nd
POTS – N’Golo Kante
Academy POTS – Harvey Vale
Loan Army POTS – Conor Gallagher
Surprise Player – Hakim Ziyech
Top Scorer – Romelu Lukaku
Will we win a trophy? – Yes (FA Cup)

Orlando

Premier League Position – 3rd
POTS – Kante
Academy POTS – Xavier Simons
Loan Army POTS – Billy Gilmour
Surprise Player – Timo Werner
Top Scorer – Kai Havertz
Will we win a trophy? – Yes (FA Cup)

Dan

Premier League Position – 2nd
POTS – Kante
Academy POTS – Xavier Mbuyamba
Loan Army POTS – Levi Colwill
Surprise Player – Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Top Scorer – Lukaku
Will we win a trophy? – Yes (Carabao Cup)

Paree, Orlando & Dan discussed their predictions in much more depth here!

Brandon

Premier League Position – 2nd
POTS – Lukaku
Academy POTS – Vale
Loan Army POTS – Armando Broja
Surprise Player – Werner
Top Scorer – Romelu Lukaku
Will we win a trophy? – Yes (Champions League)

Mash

Premier League Position – 2nd
POTS – Lukaku
Academy POTS – Jude Soonsup-Bell
Loan Army POTS – Armando Broja
Surprise Player – Trevoh Chalobah
Top Scorer – Lukaku
Will we win a trophy? – Yes (FA Cup)

Following an incredible past 3 months for Chelsea, I can see us really pushing on this season. 2 major European trophies will have had a crazy boost on our morale, and as many of the boys have said, we have a real family at the Bridge again. And just to clarify, Trev will be surprising because I feel he will have a much bigger role to play than people may think this season, and I think Tuchel believes in Trev just as much as we do. UTC.

Michael

Premier League Position – 2nd
POTS – Havertz
Academy POTS – Thierno Ballo
Loan Army POTS – Levi Colwill
Surprise Player – Timo Werner/Kai Havertz
Top Scorer – Lukaku
Will we win a trophy? – Yes (1 of the cups)

I think this next season is going to be interesting in terms of how we preform throughout the entirety of a season under Tuchel. I have faith in the squad to really be strong this year even before Lukaku, however he obviously improves us. A few things I’d like to see this season is a fair amount of minutes for Cal, and real development opportunities for our academy players. While it’s great to have these world class stars in our team and compete on all fronts, I do really hope we don’t overindulge and cast aside the potential we could sustain with guys on loan and in the dev squad right now.

Jon

Premier League Position – 1st
POTS – Havertz
Academy POTS – Soonsup-Bell
Loan Army POTS – Gilmour
Surprise Player – Hakim Ziyech/Trevoh Chalobah
Top Scorer – Timo Werner
Will we win a trophy? – Yes (Premier League)

Luke

Premier League Position – 1st
POTS – Havertz
Academy POTS – Tino Anjorin
Loan Army POTS – Broja
Surprise Player – Werner
Top Scorer – Romelu Lukaku
Will we win a trophy? – Yes (FA Cup + Premier League)

I think with Lukaku coming in now, that’s the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle. We saw how defensively sound and snappy our build up play was towards the back end of last season, but now we have one of the best strikers in the world, there’s no excuse to not seriously challenge Man City.

Rob

Premier League Position – 2nd
POTS – Kante
Academy POTS – Charlie Webster
Loan Army POTS – Gilmour
Surprise Player – Hakim Ziyech/Trevoh Chalobah
Top Scorer – Romelu Lukaku
Will we win a trophy? – Yes (FA Cup)

16 points is a substantial gap to close to a team that have just purchased Jack Grealish (and potentially Harry Kane) which may be a step too far for this young Chelsea team. The arrival of Lukaku has undoubtedly made us contenders but without a DM profile that will enable some more tactical flexibility for Tuchel, I think there will be a number of frustrating games that will cost Chelsea necessary points. The biggest test will be whether the likes of Rudiger and Christensen are able to retain their impressive form under Tuchel.

Sairam

Premier League Position – 2nd
POTS – Lukaku
Academy POTS – Charlie Webster
Loan Army POTS – Billy Gilmour
Surprise Player – Kepa *surname*
Top Scorer – Romelu Lukaku
Will we win a trophy? – Yes (FA Cup + Club World Cup)

Frankie

Premier League Position – 2nd
POTS – Havertz
Academy POTS – Vale
Loan Army POTS – Conor Gallagher
Surprise Player – Mason Mount
Top Scorer – Lukaku
Will we win a trophy? – Yes (Club World Cup + Carabao Cup)

It will be a grueling season that will need a lot of rotation to survive the 50+ games we will play this year. Coming off a Champions League triumph, the expectations are high for Chelsea and many people see Chelsea as favourites to win the League. This will be a new challenge for Tuchel and the players as I feel our current squad thrives on being the underdog.

Danny

Premier League Position – 1st
POTS – Mount
Academy POTS – Soonsup-Bell
Loan Army POTS – Gilmour
Surprise Player – Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Top Scorer – Lukaku
Will we win a trophy? – Yes (FA Cup)

We have the clinical number 9 we were crying out for, now it’s time to challenge City. Chelsea are going to need a fourth midfield option (Kante can’t play every week!) and Rubes could grab his chance in cup competitions and matches against lower table opposition. The King Romelu has returned and I expect him to feast on the countless chances he’ll be provided. We needed a clinical striker last season and now we have one capable of surpassing 20 league goals per season. Failing that, Jorginho to top score with 5 hop-skip-jump penalties.

Do you agree with our predictions? Make sure to let us know on our social media platforms or replying in the comment section below!


Rating the Core of Chelsea’s Squad for EA Sports FIFA 22

The Champions of Europe are in line for some tasty FIFA upgrades, for those of you out there who are avid gamers and addicted to breaking controllers. With some special seasons from certain players, some new transfers in and out and fresh off a UEFA Super Cup win, I decided to spin my own take on the ratings of our boys in blue.

Romelu Lukaku – 88

Lukaku had a special league winning season at Inter Milan and will surely be an integral part of the success we’ll have this season.

Mason Mount – 84

Our player of the season struggled to have an impact at the Euros but I think we all know that he performs better in a blue shirt.

Kai Havertz – 86

Our marquee signing from last summer had a limited impact during the season but showed up when it mattered most. Excited to see more from him in 21/22.

Tammy Abraham – 80

Our leading scorer from 19/20 completely fell off the grid after the appointment of coach Thomas Tuchel and didn’t leave it all on the pitch when afforded some time. His future doesn’t look long for Chelsea.

Christian Pulisic – 81

Handed the #10 in the footsteps of Willian and Eden Hazard, Pulisic has struggled to make a real impact at Chelsea thus far and this preseason hasn’t indicated any tangible improvement from him.

Hakim Ziyech – 86

Ziyech had an okay start to life in London under Frank Lampard but faded after injuries and having to adapt to Tuchel’s system hampered his progress. His electric preseason has me wanting to see more from him this season.

Timo Werner – 86

Werner’s finishing left a lot to be desired after an electric start to the season. His improved playmaking chops made a real difference despite his finishing woes, resulting in a minor upgrade for him. I hope to see better from him this year.

Callum Hudson-Odoi – 76

Odoi had an up and down season that ultimately saw him rarely feature as an attacker after an alright start to the season. I speak for a lot of Chelsea fans when I say I’m still waiting for that star breakout moment.

Jorginho Frello – 86

Jorginho’s strong, successful season culminating in several trophies and penalty goals landed him a serious and well deserved upgrade. I hope he can keep it up.

N’Golo Kante – 90

His surge in form and vintage performances in big matches land him among the top midfielders in the game, if not the best. A truly special season for a special guy and a special player.

Mateo Kovacic – 83

Kovacic was a little disappointing this season and didn’t make the impact I’d expect, but his stocks didn’t really change as he added yet another Champions League medal to his collection.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 78

An indifferent loan spell at Fulham leaves Loftus-Cheek’s Chelsea career in doubt after once being one of the brightest stars in England. Thomas Tuchel’s infatuation with his abilities will be something to watch. Was included in the Super Cup squad against Villarreal CF as an unused substitute in midfield.

Ben Chilwell – 84

After an average start, Chilwell evolved into one of the best left backs in the world this past season on form. The heir to Ashley Cole’s throne.

Marcos Alonso – 82

Used sparingly but still moves fairly well and often adds a lot to the attack when the defence behind him is covered. A special guy that fans will learn to appreciate more after he moves on.

Emerson Palmieri – 80

Emerson is a decent player who had some nice moments, such as that goal against Atletico Madrid on the break with his first touch of the ball. Tough competition with Alonso and Chilwell. Nearly moved in the deal with Inter but ultimately should continue to pursue opportunities elsewhere.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 85

Despite some good competition from the rest of the defenders, the cagey vet showed that he still has more left to offer to a top team. Impressive.

Antonio Rudiger – 83

At one point coined as one of our worst defenders, Rudiger’s redemption arc after the Havertz announcement video has been truly remarkable. Deserves every penny and minute of the contract extension that will surely be tabled to him in the coming weeks.

Andreas Christensen – 82

Like Rudiger, many of us had no faith left in this guy after falling off the grid after breaking through under Antonio Conte. It looks like he might have found his feet again in London. Extend him and run it back.

Thiago Silva – 86

The ageless wonder has now won a trophy in every season since 2010/11 after Chelsea’s triumph in the UEFA Super Cup. He’s had a remarkable presence at the heart of the back three and maintains a great relationship with manager Thomas Tuchel, whom he’d previously played for at Paris Saint-Germain.

Kurt Happy Zouma – 81

Zouma didn’t have a crazy season by any means but logged nearly 3000 minutes, was a solid, physical presence at the back and managed to pot 5 goals in the process.

Reece James – 81

Oddly wasn’t rated by Gareth Southgate at the Euros but nonetheless enjoyed a strong campaign with the Blues in a nice, low-key breakout season.

Kepa Arrizabalaga – 82

Clearly replaced by Edouard Mendy but his confidence has begun to come back to him, and that was evident in the Super Cup victory in the penalty shootout.

Edouard Mendy – 85

Recruited by Petr Cech to bring some stability between the sticks, Mendy was the biggest surprise last season. Offers a massive and intimidating frame to go with cat-like reflexes, especially at close range. A special find by the Chelsea scouting team.

LOAN: Billy Gilmour – 74

Gilmour will be plying his trade at Norwich after a mini breakout last season. With only three senior midfielders to truly rely on – Kovacic, Jorginho and Kante – a recall could be on the cards, especially with an injury or if Ruben Loftus-Cheek fails to impress.

Podcast: 2021/22 Season Predictions!

Exclusive Academy Transfer Updates w/Scott Trotter! The Chelsea Spot Podcast

  1. Exclusive Academy Transfer Updates w/Scott Trotter!
  2. Mount shines against Bournemouth & Enzo Fernandez to the Blues?!

In another episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Orlando (Host – @0rland1nho), Paree (Owner – @CFCParee) & Dan (Admin- @danbarkzr) discuss the season ahead. Talking about where Chelsea are going to finish and who could be our best player throughout the season, to a possible training ground bustup…

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2021, Not 2012

With $250 mil spent in the summer Chelsea went into the season looking to close the gap between themselves and Premier League rivals Manchester City and Liverpool. In a global pandemic which forced many clubs to remain cautious in their transfer approach, Abramovich chose to compete or die with various marquee signings for his West London club. Adding onto the youthful arsenal established in a transfer ban season under Frank Lampard, top 4 was the minimum with little room for error. Inevitably, the Chelsea nature of unyielding expectations had it’s way and Frank Lampard was axed after his first poor run of form leaving the squad unsettled with a lack of identity, direction, and passion. Thomas Tuchel was the man appointed by the board to replace Lampard. On one hand it was a questionable decision, with his often described spiky personality seemingly a poor fit for a controlling board like Chelsea, while on the other a sensible appointment to instill a tactical identity for a squad devoid of one.

Compete in all remaining competitions and achieve top 4 – this was the expectation for the ex-PSG manager. With only an 18 month deal offered, Tuchel had little time to prove his worth and acumen to the club, and he seemed to recognize that. He wasted no time and transitioned to the squad into a true defensive stronghold, but in a rather unique way. The concept of “defensive possession” seemed to best describe the system, with a focus on being possession dominant, combined with an emphasis on structure and balance in the team to nullify the attacking prowess of their opponents. Tuchel’s reign started extremely strong, winning many games by starving opponents of not only goals, but opportunities against the defense. Often winning games 1-0 or 2-0, Chelsea slowly became the team no side wanted to face. Ultimately, this became most true in Chelsea’s Champions League cup run.

Having won their group with Frank Lampard at the helm, Chelsea’s first opponent in the round of 16 was Atletico Madrid. The Spanish side were sitting comfortably atop of La Liga at the time of Tuchel’s appointment, and were one of the most in-form teams. With a scheduled date in late February, it seemed highly likely the Blues would have an early exit in the competition in a similar fashion to how things ended in the previous year. In the build-up to the game Chelsea had a favorable run of fixtures – Premier League teams which allowed the squad to get a rhythm in the new system without risking too many points being dropped. The true test came in these later February fixtures, with the matchup against Atletico being immediately followed by Manchester United and Liverpool in the league. Tuchel’s Chelsea passed and performed quite well in these fixtures, with the first game against Atletico relying on a wonder goal by Olivier Giroud, but earning a draw against 2nd place Manchester United, and a dominant performance against Klopp’s Liverpool. This truly kicked off the confidence in the squad and some of the revived players. The belief in the system was clearly present, with players such as Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Jorginho playing what had likely been their best performances for the club. The strength of the squad and its confidence continued to grow and with forcing Atletico to play on the back foot in the 2nd leg, Chelsea were able to capitalize in yet another dominant performance and knockout the Spanish champions in a 2-0 victory. The result was a massive morale booster which showed glimpses of resilience in a youthful and largely inexperienced squad in the distinguished competition.

While taking down Atletico was an exceptional feat, the path forward also provided glimmers of hope to truly go far with PSG, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City, the top 3 favorites, all being drawn on the opposite end of the bracket. This left Chelsea to face Porto in the quarter finals, with potential opponents of either Real Madrid or Liverpool in the semi-final. Once again, overcoming the unexpected obstacles Chelsea faced against Porto, the result was as expected with Chelsea progressing from their 2-0 win in the first leg, being enough after their 1-0 loss in the second on aggregate. Real Madrid was the victor in the other matchup and they were an opponent unlike no other. Filled with world class individual talent, as well as loads of experience and success in this competition, there began to be doubt if Chelsea could truly reach the final. A team composed of many players which had only 1 season of top flight football under their belt, along with numerous big money signings which had been struggling to adapt and stay in-form in their performances. This truly was a different side to the one that had done the unthinkable and taken down one of the strongest sides in Spain, if not all of Europe in 2012 after their struggles throughout the season. There were no established characters, legacies, and accomplishments like in 2012. Characters, leaders, as well as many of the established top players in all of Europe existed in the team. Drogba, Terry, Lampard, Mata, Cole, Cech, Torres, all coexisting in the same squad, many of which are now established legends of the game. Although a similar context and narrative with a midseason change in manager, the chemistry and experience throughout this squad lacked to that of the 2012 team. It seemed like a resilient nature and compete or die attitude was not present in this group of individuals…Or so we thought? 

Instantly in the first match Chelsea looked the more obviously dominant team, showing that a well refined system and unit of role players who worked hard could outperform the individual talent. However, the theme which perpetuated under Tuchel’s reign throughout had been the wasteful nature of the team’s ability to put away the chances they created. Going 1-1 into the second leg, the Blues had a point to prove, and repeated their dominance against this Real Madrid this time winning 2-0 while still being wasteful in their opportunities. This meant Chelsea were in the UCL final for the first time since 2012, and the magical run with it’s overlapping characteristics continued to be likened in nature. 

Throughout Tuchel’s half-season campaign he bested multiple top managers including the likes of Mourinho, Klopp, Simeone, Zidane, and Guardiola. Although his path to accomplishing top 4 was unconventional and reliant on results elsewhere, he did also reach both the FA Cup final and the UCL final. After the loss of the FA cup to Leicester City, the only remaining cup was the most prestigious award in all of European football. Tuchel faced Pep for the 3rd time this season and although having got the better of him on 2 occasions previously, Pep had won this cup before, and the timing and preparation of his Manchester City side seemed inevitably in their favor.

However, leading up to this point and having discussed the squad composition during the magical 2012 UCL victory, it’s important to discuss the composition of the current victors of the UCL. Our goalie Edouard Mendy was brought in from Rennes for $25 million to take over the below-par record signing Kepa and resulted in a fantastic acquisition. Our back line which rotated due to fitness and availability either consisted of fringe players in Christensen and Rudiger, likely on their way out under Lampard, and put in their best performances in a Chelsea shirt in this system in a dramatic turnaround of form. An ageing legend still at the top of the game in Thiago Silva as well as Azpilicueta who although traditionally a RB, remains at the top of his game in a 3 back at RCB. At wingbacks we have two youngsters in Reece James playing his first full season in top-flight football, and newly acquired $50 million Ben Chilwell who’s highest level before this was his experience in the EPL with Leicester. Our midfield consisted of a combo of any 3 of these players; N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, and Mateo Kovacic who was largely injured leading up to the final. Kante is the most obvious player of quality in the team, however Jorginho is an extremely divisive player for the fanbase, with limitations that need to be protected, but similar to others, played excellently when called on. Kovacic, although a player with an excellent technical skill set, seems to have grown stagnant in his development and production towards the team and as a result has not established himself as a top midfielder in Europe thus far. The front 3 selection being the most varied based on opponent and form is even more interesting in this context. Having acquired Werner, Havertz, and Ziyech, all 3 seemed to have had their struggles in consistency throughout the season. While certain opponents and tactical setups have played to the strengths and driven the line-up decisions of Thomas Tuchel, none have cemented themselves to be the top European attacking threat they were purchased to be, as of yet. On top of this Werner is still only 24 and Havertz 21 with both having limited experience in the competition which rings even more true with the remaining 2 attackers. Christian Pulisic, and Mason Mount are the 2 other regular first choice players under Tuchel, and although Pulisic showed consistent high-level form during the project restart, he failed to carry the consistency into this season. Mason Mount remains the sole reliable attacker/creator in the team to drive Chelsea forward and carry a consistent, tangible threat. While Pulisic has played top-flight football for quite a few years, his injury record and inconsistent output never placed him in elite company. Mason Mount on the other hand is traditionally disliked by the side of the fanbase which seems to favor Jorginho. For all of Mount’s inconsistency and usage in a multitude of positions in his first season for Chelsea, it seemed he really hit his stride this year and is our most probable player of the season at just the age of 22. With this in mind, Chelsea relative to City were nowhere near in contention for such an accomplishment, especially taking into consideration previous outputs of players and the position they entire squad was in when Lampard was sacked. As a result, this spotlights not only the drastic reversal of the squad attaining this level of performance to be reaching such heights. 

However, for all their differences, this team entered the final with the same mindset as the 2012, all odds against them and playing their hearts out until the final whistle. Against very likely the strongest team in Europe, Chelsea did not just win the UCL final, they earned it. A dominant performance with excellent tactical execution and willingness and grit from the players to win this cup is what made the difference. Many pivotal moments from key players never in this position before completely changed the game, while a baseline quality performance was upheld by the entire squad. From Reece nullifying any threat Sterling created down his flank, to Rudiger saving what was quite literally a goal in a last ditch block against Foden in the box, to Werner’s excellent decoy run with Kai’s composure 1v1 after receiving a perfectly weighted pass from Mount to score the only goal. Tuchel had earned his 3rd win in a row over Pep. However, this time it came with the UCL Cup, and the implications for the future are greater than ever.

For a squad this inexperienced, to showcase the character and ability to come away with the title for the most prestigious competition in Europe cannot be understated. Additionally, it highlights the opportunity for a reign of dominance, which Chelsea could establish by building on the foundations present. This side is different from 2012 – while 2012 seemed to be a last shot at glory for those maturing further into the game and nearing the ends of their careers, 2021 is the inverse of that as the final 2 digits of the year suggest. However this does not mean the task at hand is complete, rather it confirms and sheds light on the priorities and needs of the club for the future to sustain this. 

Chelsea had won the UCL, so where do they go from here to increase the chances of repeatability and nurture consistent progression? Firstly, instilling trust in our youth academy talents and utilizing the pipeline with first team involvement with coordinated efforts for development and adaptation. Secondly, a similar transfer approach we exhibited the summer leading up to this, pursuing top-level talents and targets without settling for 3rd or 4th choice options. This second choice comes with a caveat of remaining sensible in our approach, addressing areas of need rather than pursuing the best available players in each window leaving us with a bloated squad and positions still to be addressed with heavy investments that are near impossible to recoup. With these principles, the foundation of the team at hand, and the tactically adept manager Chelsea have in Thomas Tuchel, all the pieces exist to reassert dominance of the West London club throughout Europe for years to come. The outlook, although not guaranteed, is promising, and while 2012 signified the beauty of the game, 2021 could represent the dream of the game.

Podcast: Best moments in the last year!

Emotional stuff…

Exclusive Academy Transfer Updates w/Scott Trotter! The Chelsea Spot Podcast

  1. Exclusive Academy Transfer Updates w/Scott Trotter!
  2. Mount shines against Bournemouth & Enzo Fernandez to the Blues?!

A different type of episode! It’s been an incredible last 14 months for us on this podcast, so we decided to put our best clips so far all together in one video! A huge thank you to all our guests who have featured, and more importantly every single one of you who have listened to even just one episode of our podcast – your support is extremely appreciated!

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Throwback Thursday: When Chelsea Took The Caribbean By Storm

A game called off because of a tropical storm, a 15-0 thrashing and 11 matches in 17 days, this is the story of Chelsea’s Caribbean tour in the summer of 1964.

There isn’t much detail on the back story of how this Caribbean tour came about apart from the fact that Wolves were also involved in organising and facilitating the post-season trip. Cricket tours to Caribbean islands had been common for this time period and even before the 60’s, however this footballing trip in the summer of ’64 was one of the first of its kind.

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Source : The NFC

Game 1 : Chelsea vs Barbados

Chelsea played their first match of the Caribbean tour against the international team of Barbados on the 21st May in the capital city of Bridgetown. I can only assume the blistering heat of southern Barbados was a well deserved treat for the hardworking Chelsea squad. Chelsea had finished 5th in the first division of English football after just being promoted the season before and definitely deserved an easy run of games in a hot climate. An easy game is what the Chelsea squad got as they proceeded to destroy the best of Barbados 7-0. Dennis Brown got a hat-trick, Eddie McCreadie scored two and Frank Upton also scored two. A crowd of 7,000 was in attendance at the Kensington Oval ground that was primarily used for cricket events.

Game 2 : Chelsea vs Wolves

Two days later on the 23rd May, Chelsea played their second match of the tour against Wolves. Strangely, this would only be the first of five meetings between the two teams as they would continue to play matches throughout the entirety of the tour. Chelsea would lose the match 3-1 and Barry Bridges scored the only goal for the Blues. Fatigue and tiredness was not as well researched in the 60’s and the scheduling of this Caribbean tour definitely proves it. Games two days apart in this blistering heat would be frowned upon by the modern day player and physical team but it didn’t stop this Chelsea team from fighting until the final minute. This disappointing defeat was witnessed by 9,000 at the same venue as the game against Barbados. It is not known how many Chelsea or Wolves fans travelled to the Caribbean to see the games however I presume the number is very low and could even be none.

Game 3 : Chelsea vs Trinidad

Two years after it was granted independence from the United Kingdom, Trinidad played Chelsea on the 26th May 1964. On the records of this Caribbean tour, the team we played on this day are just referred to as ‘Trinidad’. I can only assume that exclusively players from the island of Trinidad competed in this game and not the full international team of Trinidad and Tobago. The break of 3 days to travel from Bridgetown, Barbados to Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago, was one of the longest breaks the Chelsea squad would get on this exhausting tour and it would certainly help out. Chelsea would run rampant over Trinidad and win 5-0, Terry Venables opened the scoring within five minutes and Bobby Tambling got the second by the twelve minute mark. After half time Dennis Brown would secure the game with his second hat-trick of the tour. This game would have been monumental for the footballing scene in the Trinidad and would have introduced a lot of new people into the world of football. 20,000 fans packed the Queen’s Park Oval in the capital of Trinidad to watch Chelsea defeat a resilient Trinidad side and our next game would be just round the corner.

Game 4 : Chelsea vs Wolves (For the second time)

On the 27th May Chelsea would play Wolves for the second time and this time the outcome would be better than the first meeting. Chelsea would come out victorious in this match, winning 3-2 in an excellent back and forth match. Eddie McCreadie scored one goal, Barry Bridges got another one and Terry Venables scored from the penalty spot two minutes from time to win the match for the Blues. Similar to the day before, the crowd was 20,000+ at the same venue in the capital of Trinidad. The weather was still blisteringly hot, however the appearance of rain certainly helped to cool the players down during this fiery affair. Wolves striker Ray Crawford was involved in a collision with Chelsea keeper John Dunn, he was only playing in the match due to Peter Bonetti being sidelined over a temperature. With our backup goalie now injured and requiring three stitches near his eye, desperate times called for desperate measures and Wolves agreed to loan their backup goalkeeper Jim Barron to Chelsea for the remainder of the match. Incredibly, the Chelsea playing days of Jim Barron didn’t end there, his performance would impress Chelsea manager Tommy Docherty so much that he would bring Barron to West London in 1965 for a fee of around £5,000.

Game 5 : Chelsea vs Wolves (For the third time)

The Blues travelled over 1000 miles to Kingston, Jamaica to face Wolves again on the 29th May at the National Stadium. Immediate revenge would ensue upon Chelsea as we were beaten 4-2 in front of 13,000 fans. Terry Venables and Bobby Tambling would provide goals, but it would not be enough to defeat the Wolves team out for revenge. Ray Crawford, who scored two in this match, wrote in his book, ‘Curse of the jungle boy’, “It was the most luxurious tour you could imagine but all the matches were nothing short of full-blooded.” This solidifies the fact that friendlies were never really friendlies between English clubs during these times. This match was contested for the ‘Four Aces Trophy’ which was donated by the Machado Tobacco Company.

Game 6 : Chelsea vs St. James

Chelsea travelled from the south to the north from Kingston to Montego Bay to face off against local side St. James on the 31st May. It’s safe to say that the Blues bounced back from the loss to Wolves just two days before as we would proceed to obliterate the local opposition in a 15-0 showcase of excellence. Tambling would score five, Bridges would score three, McCreadie would also get three, Marvin Hinton would get a double, Brown would add another and Venables would seal the deal with a penalty. There is no record of attendance at this game similar to the fact that there is no venue listed on any official recordings of this tour.

Game 7 : Chelsea vs Wolves (For the fourth time)

Back in Kingston on the 2nd June, Chelsea once again battled Wolves in the second leg of the ‘Four Aces Trophy’. Chelsea came into the game at a small deficit of 4-2 and with a trophy in sight, Chelsea were ready to put on a good performance and upset their English counterparts. Chelsea put on a clinic in Kingston and defeated the outclassed Wolves side 3-0 to win 5-4 on aggregate to win the ‘Four Aces Trophy’. McCreadie scored one goal, John Hollins scored another and Bobby Tambling finished off the match with one more goal. With ‘The Cat’ Peter Bonetti back in goal, it helped to secure a clean sheet and propel us to victory. One of the most meaningful and impressive performances of the whole tour resulted in the 13,000 fans packed into the National Stadium seeing Chelsea lift a trophy.

Game 8 : Chelsea vs Unknown Local Side

The match we played on the 3rd June is the opposition we have the least amount of detail on. Somehow there is three different teams recorded on various sources of who we actually played in this match. The three teams include, St. Elizabeth and Manchester combined XI, St. James (who we played in game 6) and St. Mary’s. You may be surprised to hear that Manchester would be involved in a Caribbean tour to play one game and I was a bit shocked by the site of that name. However, Manchester is a Parish in West-Central Jamaica and has nothing to do with Manchester United or Manchester City and is therefore a local team that very well could have been involved in the game. The scores of the game are also varied in these sources with some sources having it as a 12-0 win to Chelsea and others having it as 12-1. We know for certain that Bobby Tambling scored five, Eddie McCreadie scored another hat-trick, Hinton and Brown would both score two also. The game was played at the Kaiser Sports Ground in the Jamaican village of Alligator Pond. The peculiar named village is located on the southwestern coast of Manchester, so it is plausible that they put up a local side to face the Blues.

Game 9 : Chelsea vs Jamaica XI

Three games in three days culminated in a showdown between the best of Jamaica and Chelsea in the Jamaican National Stadium in Kingston. Bobby Tambling continued his excellent taste for goals in the Caribbean by scoring two, likewise an inform Eddie McCreadie added another goal to his ever-growing tally and Dennis Brown finalised the game by getting another goal. The game finished 4-1 to Chelsea, a valiant Jamaican side put up a good challenge and Syd Bartlett would score their lone goal. Bartlett is one of the most celebrated Jamaican footballers of all time and after his death in 2009, his legacy was honoured in the form of a league being named after him. The ‘KSAFA Syd Bartlett League’ is still active today and is the fourth division of Jamaican football. An estimated 6,000 fans watched the best of Jamaica battle against Chelsea and definitely got their moneys worth in terms of watching the best of the best play to the top their ability.

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Source : The League Magazine , Chelsea players meeting the Jamaican President

Game 10 : Chelsea vs Wolves (For the fifth time)

The time spent in Jamaica was successful but now two games in the capital of Haiti loomed. Chelsea travelled to Port au Prince and their first match was against Wolves on the 6th June. The two matches played in Haiti would be for the ‘Tournoi Angleterre-Haiti’ trophy which was provided by La Maison Dubonnet. It’s doubtful that either set of players cared about a meaningless trophy, but it may have added a bit of extra incentive for both teams. Chelsea would continue their excellent run of form by beating Wolves 2-0, completely shutting the opposition out. The two scorers for Chelsea were Tambling (who would’ve guessed!) and Venables. Nothing else is known about this match, the venue or the attendance were not recorded online.

Game 11 : Chelsea vs Haiti

One of the most bizarre games Chelsea would play in this era would come against Haiti’s international side. Haiti is not a nation known for its footballing talent but they caused Wolves and Chelsea some serious problems. Haiti would draw to Wolves 1-1, battling back from a 1-0 deficit and proved themselves worthy challengers with their fight and spirit. In the game Chelsea would play against them, the weather would perfectly match the Chelsea performance, abysmal. Haiti would defeat the outclassed blues 2-1 in peculiar fashion. Venables would score a penalty at some point throughout the game, however with the score set at 2-1, the match would be abruptly stopped at the 68th minute due to the tropical storm that was occurring overhead. The torrential rain and obnoxious wind led to the match being abandoned. The 30,000 Haiti fans saw their beloved nation defeat one of the elite sides in England at the time and not even the storm surrounding could stop them celebrating their win. For Chelsea this was a disappointing way to end a seemingly great tour that featured great weather and great footballing spectacles.

Extras

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Source : The League Magazine

WolvesHeroes reported that during the Chelsea 2-0 Wolves game in Haiti, the groundsmen were seen carrying revolvers around the pitch. Reasons unknown, they continued despite the torrential rain pouring down constantly.

Despite being a left back, Eddie McCreadie would score 11 goals in 11 matches on this tour.

In the match that Chelsea lost 3-1 to Wolves, Chelsea manager Tommy Docherty would start the game and then be subbed off at half time and replaced by his assistant manager Dave Sexton in the second half.

In the first match of the tour, accomplished test cricketer Keith Boyce featured as a goalkeeper for the struggling Barbados team. Boyce is regarded as a cult hero amongst Essex cricket fans as he made over 350 appearances for the side.

Written by Frankie

What needs to happen after the European Super League’s cancellation…

What an absolutely crazy few days. One of the most historic in Football ever, and something we will be telling our children and grandchildren over and over again. In the space of 60 hours, football went from being completely normal, to the potential of being completely destroyed, and then almost back to normal again. I’m mentally drained for sure.

It was reported that we were the first club to leave the European Super League, just two days after ‘verbally agreeing’ to joining the breakaway competition consisting of the ‘best’ 20 teams in Europe as a replacement for the Champions League. Although it probably wasn’t as a consequence of this, a few hours before the exit was announced to the media, there was a large protest outside Stamford Bridge consisting of thousands of fans from multiple Premier League clubs to show their frustration at the boards of these clubs. I’m not going to go into detail about the ESL since we recorded a huge one hour episode on the whole situation, which you can listen here.

You can listen to our latest podcast here ^

It’s absolutely brilliant news that all English clubs will be leaving the ESL and rejoining the ECA, but there is still SO MUCH we can learn from the last few days. I’ll be looking at what we’ve learnt from this whole disaster, and what needs to happen as soon as possible before we see anything like this ever again. Because I bet you now, if a scenario like this is even close to happening in our lifetimes, it will happen – and that’s because the idiotic billionaires would’ve learnt from their mistakes. But it’s now time for us to make sure they don’t get that opportunity to pounce again.

We need an explanation and an apology.

Do not forget what our club owners had in mind initially. All these reports about Chelsea being one of the clubs who felt like they were ‘backed into a corner’ or that Roman Abramovich was never ‘too keen’ is an absolute load of bollocks. Yes, us making the first move in leaving does make it seem realistic, but don’t fall into their PR trap which makes us look like the good guys. We could have rejected the proposal, and acted like the big guy instead of the sheep, except we didn’t – we bottled it.

Remember when Liverpool and Arsenal furloughed some of their staff during the global pandemic and only due to the backlash went and fixed their mistake? It’s the exact same thing. All morals were intended to be defeated as long as they benefitted financially, it was fine in their eyes.

Whatever anyone says, don’t forget that this was just more emphasis on the fact that our club do not give a single crap about their fans. They were happy to destroy football for more money in the expense of Chelsea fans’ enjoyment and satisfaction with the club, and to be honest even mental health as making such a drastic change in the middle of the pandemic when thousands of people are relying on football to keep on going was never going to satisfy. We need an apology from the club, and every single English club deserves an apology too from each top 6 club as their selfishness and greed was very visible and could have left them in huge trouble.

How do we stop this from ever happening again?

Is there anything we can do? I think the first thing which springs to mind is follow a very similar model to how some German clubs do it – the 50+1 model. We talked about it in our latest podcast episode, but to summarise it’s when clubs like Bayern Munich have their fanbase owning a large proportion of the club, so any decision such as these goes through the fans and at the best interest of them. After all, everyone knows this, but fans are solely the reason for why football is so big as it is. There also has to be more legaslation from the Premier League sides of things which should make sure that there is no risk of them leaving domestic football.

To be fair, Chelsea were actually a bit ahead of other Premier League clubs on this one. Before everything was resolved, people were thinking about ‘Chelsea Pitch Owners’ as a possibility of a way to get out of the ESL. To quickly summarise, the CPO is made up of fans of the club who can own shares of the pitch, as well as owning rights to the name ‘Chelsea’, as well as the stadium meaning that every home game had to be played in Fulham. This meant that if the ESL was to hold their tournament somewhere else, under the clauses in the CPO, this wouldn’t be possible and we would have to leave the breakaway.

So, get fans involved, whatever way it is. Football will always be a business, I get that. But football can only be a business with fans of the club. So don’t lose them – we’re fans, not consumers.

We need to use the same energy to defeat bigger problems like racism.Something which Patrick Bamford mentioned following Leeds draw with Liverpool was how quickly UEFA and FIFA responded, and I totally agree. He talked about that as soon as money was involved and their business was at a risk, statements were flying about every ten minutes and there was very clear communication. However, when a huge problem in football like racism gets involved, it normally takes a few weeks for something to come out, and the punishment tends to be very small.

I mean, FIFA were literally threatening players who participated in the European Super League with bans from the Euros and the World Cup despite it not being their fault and it all being money based, yet the racist towards Glen Kamara only got a 10 match ban? Make it make sense.

I think also, we as fans and viewers can do better too. Look at how every single club, pundit, fan and celebrity were united together to end this idea of a ESL. Yet when racism is talked about, we see a few tweets here and there and some 5 minute television coverage. It’s not good enough, it needs to change, and we have to see the same energy towards getting rid of these huge issues in every day life, and football.

The new Champions League format still needs changing.

I think not many people have realised this. The ESL, from a club’s point of view, was only accepted because they were not happy with the money gained in the Champions League, and it was a threat to UEFA to change this format which is still happening from 2024.

In fact, one of the biggest criticisms about the ESL was it’s format, when the new UCL one isn’t that far off it either. The biggest complain was how Arsenal and Spurs were involved despite not winning anything and were there to stay based off historical events, and it’s the same here as you can see in the second bullet point. The final point also was criticised with the ESL format in that there would be simply too many games and the players will burn out very quickly. And if they won’t burn out, the players will be rested for the ‘weaker’ games in their domestic countries, making that a lot less entertaining.

And most importantly, although I disagree with it, the revenue has to increase from UEFA’s standpoint to the clubs. Otherwise what’s stopping the ESL happening once again in 2024 when the clubs aren’t happy with the money they are making from the Champions League?

Will we ever be able to come back from this remarkable moment in history?

I spoke to our writer Jon about this one, and this is what he had to say:

Look at the fan reaction earlier today – you can’t look at that and ignore that this entire thing ever happened. It’s like a permanent stain on our history. We had to have Petr Cech, a club legend, go out there and risk himself in a mob of angry people to try and get them to let the bus out for the players to go play; and it’s of no fault to the players and coaches like Klopp said yesterday. These are some young kids that are the same age as me, or not much older or younger that are seeing their dreams of representing their country in Euros or the World Cup or playing in the UCL final flash before their eyes because of a choice that’s not theirs, and then they have to honor their contract to this club that is doing this to them.

And he’s not wrong. There is so much power in football, and that will never change. But it is remarkable how in a blink of an eye it looked like no academy players would be playing for their big teams any more, players wouldn’t be allowed to play in the Euros, World Cup, Premier League and any home countries. And then even more crazily that they didn’t have a single choice. Fans, players, coaches – they’re keeping the clubs alive, no one else, and they need to be respected.

Do you agree with me? Let me know what you think by tagging us on our social media platforms or leaving a comment down below!

Written by Paree

Podcast: European Super League Special…

Utter madness…

In another episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Orlando (Host – @0rland1nho), Parth (Owner – @CFCParee), Dan (Admin – @danbarkzr) & Gabs (Guest – @Waju_) discuss the possible introduction of the Super League in heavy detail. Talking about whether Chelsea can take much blame, potential corruption, whether we will be supporting the club in the same way, how much of the talk is political and so much more! The first minute includes a small clip from Danny too!

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Thank You, Goodbye, and Sorry.

With all the reports it’s hard to say I didn’t expect this, but upon learning of his sacking it felt unexpected. Early Monday morning history repeated itself as it inevitably does, and the decision to axe the man who loves, embodies, and knows this football club was done. Frank Lampard, his Chelsea dream, and the fans Chelsea project were no more.

Lampard did more than just win titles for our club – he, along with many others made me fall in love with the club and most importantly, the game. Although our managers constantly changed over the years, the spine of our team remained and the class of Lampard as a player and professional was undeniable.

However, the best players don’t always make the best coaches. So, when Lampard was in contention for the Chelsea job, it drew much attention. Along with it came worry, resistance, and fear, from many fans who did not want to bear sacking a legend. And although they knew the board would not hesitate in the ruthless ways they operate, other fans welcomed Lampard back home, accepting he would not be ready, but willing to weather the storm.

Lampard signified more than just a great player, he came back with intentions of restoring the golden ages of the club. With those intentions he brought all the nostalgia and passion Chelsea fans could ask for. With a focus on the youth of the club, Lampard’s first squad felt vastly different to previous Chelsea seasons. The new additions, having barely featured previously, felt almost like new transfers. And in this way the transfer ban was a blessing in disguise, as it forced us as a club to look ourselves in the eyes.

For the first time in a long time I felt a cultural resurgence at the club and along with it came a strong sense of unity in the fanbase. And even after his first game in the 4-0 defeat, something about us made me feel that this fall would end with us upright on our feet. And so the story of Frank Lampard’s reign began.

The foundation had been laid and opportunities created, for many players from the youth academy to be elevated. And from it sprung a season of success stories for many players. From Tammy, Mason, Reece, and CHO, the homegrown talent was fully on show. This was not to say our season was easy, for it was not until the last day we cemented a spot in Champions League.

This inspired much confidence in the club and the fans, as Frank Lampard came in and accomplished all this with a transfer ban. Lampard had done enough to earn his respect, and many were optimistic this may be the start of the first Chelsea project. Continuing to deviate from the norm, the ensuing months proved to be more positive for the club in form. A plethora of marquee signings looking to join our squad, distracting us from the raging pandemic, which allowed us to avoid the transfer swarm. The season began and the projected entered its next phase; reclaiming last season’s accomplishments, while closing the gap, were the expectations in the final days.

With a few shaky starts, the ball began to roll and Frank Lampard’s men were starting to take control. Expectations grew with every goal scored, and the fanbase’s eyes became set on an immediate award. Being top of the league in December, there was nowhere to go but down, and the difficult run of fixtures instantly took our prematurely placed crown. This is where the story only gets worse. For its the board not Frank Lampard, who are truly adverse. In his first poor spell, the board did not want to take a chance, and bid their farewell with hopes to excel.

So it’s with a heavy heart I say my goodbye, as seeing you go killed me inside. I know as I’ve said this should not have come as a surprise, but I chose to follow my blind optimism, rather than open my eyes. So thank you again for everything you have done, beginning things which had never begun. You took over when no one else would, with challenges on a monumental scale. No transfer window, experience, or Eden Hazard, you were setup to fail. Creating the pipeline for the youth will prove its value over the years, and credited to you, as we watch the players grow throughout their careers. From originally cast aside and snubbed, to a wise man once saying:

“They are the future of the club.”

Photo Credit: Rex Features

Ranking Chelsea’s 20/21 squad from ‘Star Player’ to ‘Must Be Sold!’

Chelsea have already confirmed the signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech and are expected to have a busy transfer window with the club looking to offload a number of squad players.

But where do the new signings rank amongst the squad? Who should be starting every week? Who needs to be sold?

Well, here’s my rankings from “Star player” down to “Must be sold”

Tier List made via tiermaker.com

As you can see, the list is quite ‘bottom heavy’ with a large number of players thrown into the must be sold category. The likes of Bakayoko, Batshuayi and Pedro feature as they look destined to be moved on by the club and I doubt many Chelsea fans would disagree. There are, however, some admittedly controversial picks in this tier.

Jorginho is a player who has drastically divided the fanbase ever since he signed for the club in 2018. Since the restart, Jorginho has been out-of-favour and Chelsea managed to win four out of the five league games in which the Italian midfielder didn’t start, scoring an impressive 12 goals in the process. Due to injuries to both N’Golo Kanté and Billy Gilmour, Lampard was forced to hand Jorginho his first start against Sheffield United and The Blues were thumped 3-0 with many describing the performance as the “worst of the season” and Jorginho faced the brunt of the criticism due to a lacklustre display. Despite beating Norwich 1-0, Chelsea put in another fairly disappointing display which lacked urgency, tempo and attacking quality. Yet again, Jorginho started this game and for me, he’s a big part of the problem.

I personally don’t dislike Antonio Rudiger as much as most Chelsea fans seem to. I think he does offer some leadership and certainly has a physical presence which most of his peers lack, however if I’m being completely honest (and harsh) he simply cannot defend.

Image Source: Chelsea-News.co
He’s a central defender… who can’t defend!

So, not only do I think Rudiger should be moved on but I also believe his calamitous partner Andreas Christensen has had more than enough chances at the club. These two are an actual comedy spectacle when they line up next to each other and while Andreas is still young and could improve, I just don’t think he’s suited to be a Premier League centre-half. Although he’s welcome to prove me wrong!

Finally from the bottom tier, Kepa has to be sold. I’ve never witnessed a goalkeeper at the top level struggle to stop shots so badly. The club are reportedly interested in Jan Oblak and Andre Onana, both of whom would massively improve our squad, so Arrizabalaga has to go.

Just as a caveat, Willian has been included in the ‘must be sold’ category solely based on his contract situation, otherwise I’d be happy for him to stick around for a year as a squad player.

The boys in the ‘loan’ list are fairly self explanatory. The teenage lads from the academy could do with a season on loan in the Championship or even League 1 to get acclimated with senior football. I’ve chucked Kenedy in there too just because I think he’s hugely underrated so I’d like the club to keep him on the books, but it looks likely that he’ll be leaving on a permanent basis.

Image Source: Sportskeeda

The squad players section was fairly easy for me. Not all 23 first-teamers can be ‘world class’ (unless you’re Manchester City) so we need a solid bench consisting of players who can come into the squad when needed and make an impact. Players who “offer something different” are key throughout a squad and the likes of Olivier Giroud, Ross Barkley and Marcos Alonso all tick that box. Giroud has proven his value since the restart and is still a goal threat, while Barkley has actually impressed at times throughout the season and by all accounts works extremely hard to improve himself. The reason I’d keep Alonso around is because he gives us the option to switch to a three-at-the-back system whereas Emerson, for me, just offers very little.

There’s absolutely no reason why both Billy Gilmour and Tammy Abraham cannot be starters next season. They both have the quality as they have proven already, but due the signing of Timo Werner and Lampard moving Kanté into a deeper role, I think that they may not be nailed on to start week-in week-out next year but both will certainly play a crucial role in the long-term.

The regular starters that I’ve selected are a perfect blend of youth and experience in my opinion. Azpilicueta has proven to still be a quality captain and player throughout the season and I believe that Frank Lampard is a big fan of the spaniard, Reece James is also battling for the same position though and deserves to be a starter so we may see ‘Dave’ continue to feature as a left-back. However, if we do sign Tagliafico, Telles, Chilwell or whoever it may be then that could knock one of Azpilicueta or James down a tier.

It’s pretty much impossible to fit all of Kovacic, Mount and Loftus-Cheek into one starting eleven but all three players offer different skill sets which are incredibly valuable to this Chelsea side. Mason Mount has been the club’s player of the season for me, his quality both on and off the ball is outstanding and to have contributed so much in his debut Premier League season is hugely impressive. He’s absolutely key to Frank’s system and therefore should and will start the majority of games next season wether we sign Havertz or not.

Image Source: 90min

I honestly believe that a fully fit Ruben Loftus-Cheek is one of the best players in the Premier League. He’s the definition of ‘complete midfielder’ and can offer both a goal threat and be a creative outlet. His physical strength combined with immense technical ability when in full flight makes him a defender’s nightmare and if he can get back to his best next season then he has to be a starter.

Fikayo Tomori and Callum Hudson-Odoi have both suffered injury problems as of late but are two of England’s brightest talents. Zouma and Tomori’s partnership in the first half of the season was far from perfect but was certainly the most encouraging central defensive set-up we’ve seen. Chelsea fans rightly love Hudson-Odoi and despite all of his off-the-pitch issues this season he has the quality to set the standard for young Premier League players next season.

Werner, Ziyech, Pulisic, Kantè. Is that the best “big four” since the Warriors lined up with Curry, Thompson, Draymond and KD?

Edit by @AAZChelsea

Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech are nailed on to be top, top players next season for Chelsea. They’re two of the most dynamic and exciting players in the Premier League and will improve Chelsea’s already strong attack ten-fold. Christian Pulisic’s form since the restart has all Blues fans convinced that he’s the real deal, adding goals to his game and beginning to remind fans of a certain Eden Hazard due to his immense dribbling ability. N’Golo Kanté’s inclusion as a star player needs no justification, despite injury issues this year he’s clearly a world class player who would start for any and every team in Europe.

So, that’s my personal ranking of next season’s Chelsea squad. Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know @TheChelseaSpot

*I (stupidly) forgot to include Ethan Ampadu in this tier list. Personally I’d like to see him as a squad player next season but he could benefit from another loan.

Chopper, The Cat and The Wizard of Os: Chelsea in the 1970s

Chelsea Football Club were born in 2003. Before the oil money pumped in by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, Chelsea were a nothing club. We have no history, no culture, no iconic sides. That’s what rival fans would have us believe. However, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest FA Cup finals in history as Chelsea took on Don Revie’s mighty Leeds United side. The Blues were a flamboyant attacking outfit, with a truly great spine including the late, great Peter ‘the cat’ Bonetti between the sticks, appearance record holder Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris at the back and prolific Peter Osgood up front. A replay was needed as the two teams drew 2-2 at Wembley before the Blues won 2-1 after extra time at Old Trafford in the most viewed FA Cup final in history at the time. It was a game famed for its physicality, despite only one yellow card being shown: modern day referee David Elleray reviewed the match and said he’d have awarded 6 red cards and 20 yellows!

In the 1970s the FA Cup was the most coveted trophy in England, every team was desperate to win it and every fan wanted a memorable day out at Wembley, meaning the competition was fierce. Chelsea were an exciting side; a mix of youth and experience under the stewardship of Dave Sexton who promoted a style of football that meshed together attacking play and a short-passing style with steel and determination in the spine of the team. Attacking output came largely from Peter Osgood, known as the ‘wizard of Os’ (he’s the only Chelsea player to have a statue outside Stamford Bridge), who was one of the most sought after talents in England. He scored the equaliser goal in the replay, as well as scoring in every single round on his way to victory, the last player to have done so. However, it was the defensive steel in both games that gave Osgood a chance to steal the show. Peter Bonetti famously made some fantastic saves, playing through injury after being bundled into his goal by an opposition player, living up to his nickname with his feline agility keeping Leeds forwards from putting the game to bed. Tough tackling captain and talisman Chopper Harris was in impressive form throughout and kept winger Eddie Gray quiet throughout, subduing him with a subtle kick to the back of the knee early on in the Old Trafford tie. These two stalwarts made an incredible combined 1524 appearances and bled Blue: they were truly inspirational in this incredible side. The recently departed Bonetti will remain a Chelsea legend forever.

For a while, Chelsea and its football club seemed to be the very epitome of Swinging London. Any Chelsea fan from that era would be able to reel off the classic team from that period: Bonetti, Webb, McCreadie, Hollins, Dempsey, Harris, Cooke, Hudson, Osgood, Hutchinson and Houseman. Hudson, one of Chelsea’s key men, actually missed the final with an injury so the squad has to be more resilient than ever.

Truly great sides are remembered not only by their results but also by their playing philosophy and this great Chelsea side, although occasionally physical, were often described as a joy to watch on their way to the final of the European Cup Winners Cup in 1971 which was again won after a replay against Real Madrid, once again Osgood scoring in both ties. It was the club’s first taste of European success: Arsenal had to wait another 23 years for theirs.

So not only did this great Chelsea side entice the crowd with their exciting playing style, they fought their way to the biggest trophy in England at the time as well as going on a European adventure which ended in success against the most iconic team in the world. Next time Chelsea’s apparent lack of history is mentioned think back to this supreme side, one which is still talked about by neutrals today, think back to the reflexes of Bonetti, the tough tackles of Harris and the dancing feet of Osgood, and you’ll realise just how flawed that statement is.

Written By Daniel New

Images sourced from These Football Times

 

Reliving Our Famous UCL run in 2012- Part 2: The Setback

Despite finishing top of the group, Chelsea faced a tricky draw in the form of Napoli, who finished runners up in their group, behind our fellow finalists Bayern Munich. The club from Naples had an impressive run in the group stage and finished ahead of Manchester City, scoring 10 times in the six games. Led by the lethal Edinson Cavani, coupled with Ezequiel Lavezzi’s brilliance and the ever reliant Marek Hamsik, this fixture was not going to be a walk in the park. The Walter Mazzari coached side lined up with a 3-5-2 formation, although his assistant was at the touchline for this game. Chelsea were without club captain John Terry, and our manager Andre Villas-Boas who was often criticised for his eccentric line ups, decided to bench our top scorer Frank Lampard.

The game kicked off in an uneasy manner- the hostile home support witnessed both teams being sloppy in possession. Neither team could keep the ball for long enough to string a few passes and turn it into something productive. Understandably enthusiastic, the players played in an aggressive manner- borderline reckless. The first casualty was Hugo Compagnaro, whose collision with Didier Drogba in the 10th minute resulted in him wearing a bandage on his head for the rest of the game. The first substitution quickly followed, this time for the visitors, as Jose Bosingwa went down with a hamstring pull. Half-fit Ashley Cole was his replacement. Petr Cech was his usual brilliant self, denying Maggio with a fine save after whipping out his legs to prevent Cavani from scoring earlier. The home side were definitely on top, and the supporters couldn’t believe that the game was still goalless.

This shortly changed, but not in favour of the Napoli supporters. While their prayers for a breakthrough were answered, it was the visitors who scored. Spanish playmaker Juan Mata tidily finished a wild clearance from Cannavaro, who intended to kick it in the opposite direction altogether. A goal out of nowhere and completely against the run of play, the travelling support was jubilant. Regardless of the result, they knew that an away goal would be a crucial advantage to take back to London.

The goal saw a tilt in the number of chances created, with Chelsea seeing more of the ball. Daniel Sturrridge wasted a brilliant opportunity as he went for glory himself instead of playing goal scorer Mata through again. The resulting corner saw Luiz head the ball just over the crossbar. Fine margins. Chelsea’s supremacy was soon cancelled out by a brilliant strike from Ezequiel Lavezzi. He curled the ball from 25 yards to finally get the better of our Czech goalkeeper, after Meireles shied away from a challenge. Instead of charging towards him and get his body in the way, the Portuguese midfielder tracked back, allowing Lavezzi all the space he needed to make the hosts level.

Cavani and Lavezzi exploited our defensive woes. Credit- Calciomio

Our midfield pivot of Ramires and Meireles were having a torrid time and getting overrun in midfield, while seeming disjointed from the attack. Ramires wasted a brilliant opportunity to pull ahead once again as he swung his boot wildly from close range. This miss proved far too expensive as gunman and star striker Cavani put Napoli ahead in first half stoppage time. Despite being all over the place defensively, Chelsea were holding on by a thread and waiting for the referee to blow his whistle, when Inler put in a fantastic cross which caught right back Ivanovic off guard. Cavani, who was playing off his shoulder, capitalised on the Serb’s absentmindedness and fired the ball into the net from close range. The stadium announcer had been waiting for this moment throughout the evening, as the crowd followed his “Edinsonnnn” with a loud “CAVANIIIIIIII”. The referee then blew his whistle, concluding a rather eventful first half.

Chelsea were aware that they had an away goal, but wanted to come away from Italy with the best result possible. Instead of shutting up shop, Villas-Boas instructed his team to attack with more intensity, which had been lacking in the first half. The Londoners now pressed higher, but not as a unit. This resulted in the Italian team getting past our press easily, especially as they had five across midfield. Chances did fall for both teams, but were rather farfetched. Malouda’s volley was saved easily by De Sanctis, while Ivanovic and Luiz’s darting runs forward rendered useless. Ashely Cole was clearly not ready for full-fledged action, and failed to provide a wide option in attacks. Chelsea drilled several crosses into the opposition penalty box, but with no reward. Club legend Didier Drogba was also missing his shooting boots, as he fluffed his chances on a couple of occasions, and wasn’t effective with his link-up play while dropping deep.

Chelsea were attacking relentlessly, and hence looked shaky at the back. This was exposed by Luiz (and not for the last time in his career), who just kicked the ball straight at Cavani near the Chelsea penalty area. It wasn’t even a proper clearance or a pass; somewhere in between. However, the ball ended up at the Uruguayan striker’s feet, who looked up and saw the darting run from Lavezzi. He picked the Argentinian winger out with precision, who had an open net in front of him as Cech was off his line amongst all the chaos. Three goals to one, and the home side were comfortably ahead at this point. They now decided to sit back, and Chelsea had all the ball for the remainder of the game. Our manager finally decided to bring on Frank Lampard, who was unsuccessful in his quest to reduce the deficit with his trademark long range strikes. Ivanovic couldn’t scramble the ball into the net after a weary moment in the Napoli penalty area, and the difference still remained two.

It almost became three a short while later when Cech was off his line again- this time Hamsik picking Maggio out to tap it into the seemingly open net. However, Cole got back in the nick of time to clear it away, hence not allowing the hosts to put the tie out of reach. Drogba had a chance late in the game to reduce the difference, but dragged it wide, capping off a rather disappointing outing in Italy. Lapse in concentration along with questionable tactics resulted in a poor showing for Chelsea, who also lacked in communication. We could witness two players going for the same ball on more than one occasion, and players passing to ball to no one with the notion that another player would be in that position. Combined together, it left a daunting task three weeks from that day. Could we reverse the tie and make a comeback? Was the unpopular Villas-Boas still at the helm? Find out in next week’s article.

Re-Living Our Famous Champions League Run in 2012 – Part 1

Nearly eight years on since our against-the-odds Champions League run, and the memories are still fresh in our mind. How could we forget them? We still remain the only team in London to boast winning the trophy with big ears. However, reliving it is a different concept altogether. Despite the words “It’s the greatest night in Chelsea’s history” ringing in my ears, I barely knew the rules of the game apart from the fact that we should be putting the ball in the other teams net- I was 11. It is the age when we would play with the maximum number of strikers on FIFA; and the least possible defenders. Utilising this newfound time, I will be attempting to tempt you to embark on this journey with me again and relive the days when we used to be one of the most feared sides in Europe. When we finally claimed the crown, after reaching ever so close five years prior. When, in simple terms, life peaked.

Over the next few weeks, I will be writing about each and every single one of our games on road to Munich, analysing each game in detail. Make known the unsung heroes who are often overlooked. Uncovering fun facts such as Ross Turnbull having more UCL titles than Gianluigi Buffon- yes, you read that right.

The first article based on this series will be looking into the group stages of the competition. We were drawn alongside Bundesliga runners up Bayer Leverkusen, Spanish club Valencia CF, and Belgian Champions Genk.

Game 1: Chelsea vs Bayer Leverkusen 2-0

Our first Champions League match under Andre Villas-Boas was at home to Bayer Leverkusen, who had just lost their manager Jupp Heynckes to Bayern Munich; where we faced him as the final hurdle before success. It also marked the return of fan favourite midfielder Micheal Ballack to London. The German club’s line-up also included future Chelsea player Andre Schurrle. Meanwhile Villas-Boas had rested legendary duo John Terry and Frank Lampard. In the pre-VAR era, this game was full of controversies, with both sides being denied a goal in the first half. While it looked a balanced game at half time with both teams creating several chances, Chelsea really turned the heat up in the second half, forcing current Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno into several fingertip saves. Record signing Fernando Torres wasn’t at his best, and missed a few good opportunities, but provided assists for both the goals which followed. David Luiz scored the Blues first goal in the 67th minute with a tidy finish, with Spanish playmaker Juan Mata ensuring the three points stayed in London. Anelka did have a legitimate goal cancelled for offside, which would have been overturned now by VAR (or not, we have witnessed some erratic decisions), but we clinched the three points whilst maintaining a clean sheet. A perfect start on our journey to conquer the coveted piece of silverware.

Game 2: Valencia vs Chelsea 1-1

If you imagined this match was calm after the previous game’s shenanigans, then you are wildly mistaken, as this game was even worse than the previous. Chelsea started the game brilliantly and nearly won a penalty in the first three minutes when Adil Rami brought Torres down, but the referee adjudged that there was not enough contact. A flurry of shots followed and brought the best out of Diego Alves, the Valencia goalkeeper. The game ended goalless at half time, but was brought to life in a frantic second half. Lampard put the Blues ahead in the 56th minute with a strike from distance, followed by several wasted opportunities by both Torres and Anelka. Soldado equalized for the hosts from the penalty spot in the dying minutes of the game, after Kalou handled the ball inside the box. The game ended with numerous yellow cards being brandished and the managers had to intervene to cool the situation. Two games in, still unbeaten.

Game 3: Chelsea vs Genk 5-0

Chelsea really turned up for the third game, demolishing the Belgian champions. John Terry was benched for this game as well, but defenders were hardly required for this game, along with Petr Cech as the visitors had zero shots on target throughout the game. We absolutely steamrolled past them, and ended the game with 63% possession. Four of the five goals were scored before the half time whistle, with Meireles and Ivanovic adding to Torres’ brace. Chelsea seemed a little more relaxed in the second half, and added just one more courtesy of Kalou. Unbeaten after three games, Chelsea were in the driving seat and almost guaranteed a round of 16 spot.Game 4: Genk vs Chelsea 1-1

Following their demolition in London, the Genk faithful welcomed Chelsea to Belgium with a rather hostile atmosphere. The hosts caused problems in the first 10 minutes, but Chelsea soon found their rhythm, opening the scoring in the 26th minute courtesy of Ramires. Despite naming a weak starting XI which saw Lampard, Terry, Mata and Sturridge on the bench, Chelsea cruised through the first half. Raul Meireles hit the crossbar, shortly followed by David Luiz having his penalty saved. The second half began with a transformed home team, and they dominated the game before equalizing in the 61st minute. Chelsea continued with their philosophy of missing sitters, and eventually had to settle for a draw. A certain Kevin De Bruyne also featured in this game, rings a bell doesn’t it?

Game 5: Bayer Leverkusen vs Chelsea 2-1   

This game started in a very aggressive manner, with Chelsea seemingly the better side of the two. Both the teams were aware that the winner of the game would ensure qualification for the knockouts. After a reckless and sloppy first half where both teams missed chances, Chelsea finally took the lead courtesy of Didier Drogba three minutes into the second period. The hosts equalised through Derdiyok in the 73rd minute and snatched the three points with a 91st minute header by Freidrich. The Chelsea players only had themselves to blame and rued the missed chances while the German side ensured qualification for the round of 16.

Game 6: Chelsea vs Valencia 3-0
knowing a win would confirm qualification, Chelsea turned up with only one intention in mind. Drogba put the London side ahead in the third minute, and a huge sigh of relief was detected around Stamford Bridge. What followed was very nervy, as Valencia dominated the next few minutes, knowing full well a single goal would ensure qualification for the Unai Emery coached side. Ramires then doubled the home team’s lead in the 22nd minute, which calmed all the nerves of the Chelsea faithful. Petr Cech had brought his A game for this match and made several saves which left the fans and teammates alike with their jaws dropped in awe.  Drogba added another in the 76th minute, and now Chelsea could finally relax as qualification was confirmed. After a backs-to-the-wall performance of purely playing on the counter, Chelsea sealed top spot after Genk secured an unlikely draw against Bayer Leverkusen.

So that is how the eventful group stage panned out. Despite being table toppers, we were drawn to face Cavani-led Napoli in the round of 16. For in depth analysis of the game, remember to tune in same time next week.

Top 5 Chelsea HOME kits of the Premier League era

A kit can define a team. An iconic shirt can become ingrained in your mind forever. Whether it’s the look of the shirt or what your team did while wearing it, a football kit can live with you perpetually. Over the years, Chelsea have had so many nice kits that it’s hard to even make a list but here it is: I am going to take you through MY top 5 Chelsea home kits of the Premier League era.

5. 2010/2011

Image source: SB Nation

The red collar… the famous red collar. Some fans love it, some hate it. I personally like it a lot, especially on this shirt. I think it looks classy and well positioned; there’s not too much of it so it’s not overpowering, just a dash – I think it’s perfect! Red collar aside, the rest of the shirt is simple, but I think it needed to be. The collar is the statement of the shirt and the rest is just there to do what it normally does. We can’t forget the gold premier league badge too, that really is the cherry on top!

The season, however, wasn’t as nice as the kit. Early exits in all 3 cup competitions saw the pressure on Carlo Ancelotti to win back to back premier league titles rise. Unfortunately, 2nd place wasn’t good enough according to Mr Abramovich and Carlo was sacked in the tunnel after the final match of the season. Overall, this shirt, despite the bad memories attached to it, is one of my favourites of all time and I would love to see the red detail brought back in the future.

Best player in this shirt: Florent Malouda. What a player Malouda was. Unfortunately he never really reached his potential with Chelsea, but he was our star player throughout the dull 2010/11 season. The Frenchman finished as our top scorer in the premier league with 13 goals and his performances were one of very few shining lights in that season.

Best match in this shirt: Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal was my pick of the bunch from this season. It’s always nice to win in a London derby, especially when you win with two world class finishes! Drogba’s deft flick from Cole’s cross and Alex’s absolute thunderbolt of a free kick saw us take 3 points at the Bridge!

4. 1999/2000

Image source: The Athletic

It can be argued that Chelsea were somewhat lacking in ‘nice’ looking kits prior to the Abramovich era. All of the shirts had a very 90’s feel and frankly just didn’t appeal to me whatsoever. However, one always stood out. The 1999/2001 home shirt was a beauty. It was simple but so majestic. This shirt was worn by the likes of Gianfranco Zola and Dennis Wise during our 1999/2000 FA cup winning run. The final wasn’t a particularly fantastic game with the only goal being scored by Roberto Di Matteo after a Zola free kick was failed to be cleared by both David James and Gareth Southgate. One of the best things about this kit is the combination of the Autoglass sponsor and the gorgeously clean logo that was used briefly between 1999 and 2003. This shirt is simplicity at its finest and is certainly the best Chelsea shirt worn in the 90’s.

Best player in this shirt: Gianfranco Zola. I’m sure this one is obvious; the little magician was a blessing for us in a season that brought an FA cup win and a good Champions league run. Despite only scoring 4 and assisting 9, his all-round game was a pleasure to watch.

Best game in this shirt: Chelsea 3-1 Barcelona Champions league quarter final. What a game this was! We blew away the Catalonian giants with 3 goals in 8 minutes at Stamford Bridge. It is a performance that is still talked about today as one of Chelsea’s best European games ever. Unfortunately, the second leg didn’t go quite as well but we didn’t wear this kit in that game so it doesn’t matter!

3. 2003/2005

Image source: Premier League


This shirt is all about the neckline. The white, slightly V necked collar is like a halo around the classic blue shirt. All the details are perfect too: great sponsor, wonderful badge and the Umbro logo looks surprisingly clean with this shirt. This was the first kit of the Abramovich era at Chelsea and is certainly one of the nicest.

The kit was worn in 2 successive seasons, first in the 2003/04 campaign and then in the title winning campaign of 2004/05. The latter was obviously the more successful and it was also the first season of Jose Mourinho’s tenure at the club, which signalled the beginning of a dominant few seasons for the Blues. Chelsea won the league by 12 points in 2004/05 conceding a mere 15 goals in the process – it’s safe to say that the partnership of Terry and Carvalho was rock solid. Aside from the defence, new signing Didier Drogba and a young Frank Lampard developed a partnership which would blossom over the next 7-8 years.

Best player in this shirt: Frank Lampard. Super Frank was in phenomenal form during these two seasons, scoring 34 goals and notching 29 assists! Sensational numbers from midfield. To add to that, Frank finished 2nd in the Ballon d’Or behind Ronaldinho in 2005. He was instrumental in helping us to our first league title in 50 years.

Best match in this shirt: Bolton 0:2 Chelsea. How could I pick anything other than the title winning match? A stellar performance with 2 great goals from Frank Lampard secured us the title at the DW stadium. The game wasn’t necessarily the most enthralling, but it was the meaning behind it that earned it top spot for me. Chelsea were once again champions of England and what a beautiful kit we did it in!

2. 2011/2012

Image source: The Daily Mail

We won the Champions League in this shirt… I’m not sure if I need to say anything else really but I will anyway. What a unique and special shirt this is for every Chelsea fan, even if we take away the sentiment of winning the most prestigious trophy in club football. It’s a fantastic shirt, the white shoulder pads made this shirt instantly recognisable. It wasn’t something we had seen before on a Chelsea shirt and it was executed to perfection. The subtle 2 toned blue stripes that lined the shirt horizontally just added to the beauty of the shirt.

I could talk for days about how this season went but everyone already knows so I’ll keep it simple. The league campaign was atrocious, Andre Villas-Boas set out on a mission to bring youth to the squad but we just weren’t ready. Robbie Di Matteo returned and reinstated ‘the old guard’ and the rest is history – an iconic double including London’s one and only Champions League title. It was an emotional rollercoaster of a season which will live forever in the hearts of all Chelsea fans.

Best player in this shirt: It is hard to look past Didier Drogba for obvious reasons and if Cech wore this kit I’d probably choose him, but all things considered I think Juan Mata is the man for me. The Spaniard hit 12 goals and 20 assists for the blues in this campaign and despite missing his penalty in the final, he was our best player throughout the duration of the season.

Best match in this shirt: Chelsea 4-1 Napoli. There is a little bit of bias for me here, I was at the Bridge for this game and my oh my what a game it was. The most sensational come back imaginable, from 3-1 down in the first leg to 4-1 winners in the next. Not only that, but the 4 goal scorers (Drogba, Terry, Lampard and Ivanovic) were all members of the ‘old guard’ who had been dropped by Andre Villas-Boas earlier in the season! This match sent a message to the world that we weren’t finished and that our most experienced players who many had disregarded were still as good as they’d ever been and that was proven again when we lifted the Champions league on May 19th.

1. 2016/2017

Image source: Sky Sports


Three words: Three Four Three. The Premier League wasn’t ready. Talking of threes, this was the first time Adidas decided to put their famous three stripes down the side of the shirt as opposed to the usual place on the shoulders. Personally, I love the placement. I think it makes the kit look smart and it was a welcome change to the usual style that had become slightly boring. The only slight downside to the kit would be the faint lion emblems that appear all over the shirt, however this is only visible when looking up close so I’m just nit-picking really. The collar of this shirt is also fantastic. I love a white collar, it really makes the whole shirt stand out!

The season that we wore this shirt was outstanding. When Antonio Conte took the reigns in the Summer, people wondered if he would bring his famous 3-4-3 with him. At first he didn’t, sticking to a four at the back and honestly, it just didn’t work. After a 3-0 drubbing at Arsenal Conte unleashed the beast and it was 3-4-3 all the way to the title after that. Our team was full of players absolutely thriving on a system that suited them down to a tee. Alonso and Moses were unplayable at wing back with Kante and Matic running a tight ship in the middle. Even David Luiz managed to look like a good defender in this season and that’s really saying something! Overall, this was one of my favourite seasons as a Chelsea fan. The football was enjoyable and the kit was glorious.

Best player in this shirt: This one is very close. There are 2 or 3 great contenders, but it must be N’Golo Kanté. He won PFA player of the year and deservedly so. Our little general was unbelievable for the duration of the season; he made running the midfield in the toughest league in the world look like a breeze.

Best match in this shirt: Manchester City 1-3 Chelsea. This was counter attacking football at its finest. After going 1-0 down just before the break, we came out all guns blazing. 3 superb goals from Costa, Willian and Hazard won it for us marking the 8th win of our 13 game winning streak that began after the switch to three at the back. Finally, this matched was topped of by Aguero and Fernandinho getting sent of which also signalled one of my favourite moments of the season when Nathaniel Chalobah shoved Aguero to the ground after his rash challenge on David Luiz. Proper football!

Honourable Mention: 2019/2020 FA Kit

Image source: talkSPORT


If this were a ‘real’ kit that we wore for the whole season then it would be number one, no question. This is the most visually stunning Chelsea shirt I have ever seen – everything on it is perfect! The logo used on this shirt should become our permanent logo in my opinion, I absolutely love it. The yellow numbering on the back of the shirt is amazing. Everything is just as it should be, I just wish we could have worn it more.

There is no best game and player for this shirt as we only wore it once so it would be rather obvious.

That concludes this list. Remember this is only my opinion and I’m sure yours will differ, so let us know what you think our best home kits ever were in the comments below!