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LDN Blue

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Everything posted by LDN Blue

  1. Can't believe one hasn't been set up yet?
  2. Michael Essien

    Born near the capital city of Accra in his native Ghana, Michael Essien has followed in the footsteps of his famous countryman - Marcel Desailly, in his rise to the very pinnacle of the list of world class footballing exports from Africa. After starting his career at local club Liberty Professionals, 'Ess' caught the attention of several European clubs during Ghana's run to a 3rd place finish in the 1999 u-17 World Cup. An unsuccessful trial at Manchester United followed (it would later be famously revealed that he was considered 'too small' to make it as a footballer), and the promising starlet was snapped up by France's SC Bastia. Not yet a regular starter, young Michael was required to fill in whenever injuries struck his teammates, a practice that saw him deployed everywhere in defence. Another such positional shuffle to centre midfield would fortuitously result in the world getting it's first glimpse of the Essien we all know and love today. 3 seasons at Bastia highlighted by a French Cup final appearance in 2002, culminated into a 7.8 million Euro move to one of the French and European giants,Olympique Lyonnais. Interestingly, Paris St Germain had initially won the race to sign the tenacious midfielder, only for Essien to reject personal terms in favour of Lyon. The move catapulted Essien into the big time and his abilities came to the fore as Lyon raced away to consecutive league titles in 2004 and 05. Playing alongside the likes of Juninho Pernambucano, Edmilson and Mahamadou Diarra, Michael established himself as a permanent fixture in the midfield. A more defensive role at his new club required him to put on show his physical qualities, and one of the worst disciplinary records in the French Ligue Un remained the only botch on his trophy-littered short spell there, crowned by the award for the French Player of The Year 2005. Summer of that year brought with it speculation of a move abroad, with much of the interest coming from across the English Channel. Newly crowned league champions Chelsea and perennial contenders Manchester United (the club who had originally rejected him as a 17 year old), did battle for his signature. A bitter and lengthy transfer saga ensued, and Chelsea got their man in August for a whopping 24.4 million £ - the club's record signing at the time, and was handed the number 5 shirt upon his arrival Manager Jose Mourinho obviously knew what he was looking for, because Essien didn't take much time at all while slotting into his new side. He made his debut as a second half substitute in a 1-0 victory against Arsenal, and a full debut followed against West Brom in the league. His disciplinary problems however followed him to these new shores, a situation that saw him collect several yellow cards and also a UCL suspension - something that proved costly when Chelsea were eliminated by Barcelona in the Round of 16 tie. 2006 saw him score his first of many for the club and it was all the more sweeter considering the goal came in a win against arch local rivals Tottenham. His first season in England was fruitful on personal as well as team level. Chelsea successfully retained their league title and Essien picked up BBC's African Footballer of the Year award. The following year really established Essien as a part of the Chelsea 'spine'. While his drive, ferocity, energy and battling qualities in midfield remained intact, he also developed the knack of scoring important goals - none more so than a stunning long range late equaliser against Arsenal at home, an effort that served to maintain Chelsea's impressive unbeaten home record. Another crucial effort away against Valencia took Chelsea through to the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League. His importance to the club was underlined when he was voted the Chelsea Player of the Year for 2007 by the fans. The dramatic goal against Arsenal was voted Goal of the Season for 2007. The following year ended on disappointing note for all connected with Chelsea Football Club. Early season was witness to charismatic manager Jose Mourinho parting ways with the club, while end season saw them finish second in 3 out of 4 competitions. Essien's versatility came to the fore once again in a season ravaged by injuries. Regular appearances at centre half and right back underlined his indispensability to the club. He was famously beaten to the headed opener by Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League final held in Moscow. But it was a small defeat when compared to what Essien had done throughout the year. Fans of the club were delighted when Michael put pen to paper on a new 5 year contract with Chelsea in the beginning of the 2008-09 season. Unfortunately they wouldn't see much of him during the months that followed, courtesy of an anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained while on international duty. His absence was strongly felt as new manager Phil Scolari sought to embark on a successful spell. Essien returned amid much eager anticipation against Coventry in the FA Cup in March 2009. On his second game back from injury, in a Round of 16 second leg tie away at Juventus, he scored a crucial away goal just before half time and followed it up with the only goal of the game against Manchester City in the next league game. His penchant for score dramatic yet exquisite goals continued against Barcelona in the Champions League semifinal second leg tie at Stamford Bridge. The magnificent left footed volley from outside the box won him the Goal of the Season award but unfortunately proved inconsequential as Andre Iniesta's late, late leveller saw Chelsea dumped out of Europe in extremely controversial circumstances. Another season brought along another manager, this time in the form of 4 time UCL winner Carlo Ancelotti. Essien began the season in excellent form as Chelsea raced away to the top of the league in the early months. An anticipated slump in form around December saw them relinquish their lead before Essien departed for African Cup of Nations duty. It proved to be his last involvement for months to come. Yet another injury while being away with Ghana not only ended his club season while also ruling him out of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, it also reduced him to a mere spectator as Chelsea recovered from their slump to lift the Premier League trophy after a gap of 3 years and also the FA Cup - a feat that saw them become only the 7th English team of all time to celebrate the revered 'Double'. There are no two ways about it - Michael Essien is a vital cog in the Chelsea machine, and consistently energetic, driven and committed no-nonsense performances from 'The Bison' will be relied on heavily by Carlo Ancelotti as he masterminds a way back into league contention while still keeping an eye on Chelsea's final frontier - the UEFA Champions League. Click here to view the record
  3. Joe Cole

    A product of the famous West Ham youth academy, Joe Cole joined Chelsea in the summer of 2003 after he had won the "Hammer of the Year" award at West Ham. In the 2003-04 season, Cole made 50 appearances for the club emerging as a key player as Chelsea finished 2nd in the league and reached the semifinals of the Champions League. He scored 2 goals in the Carling Cup but did not score in the league until April in a game vs Newcastle at St James Park. He made 7 assists to add to his 3 goals. In the 2004-05 season, after Jose Mourinho publicly criticised Cole's defensive irresponsibility, his form improved as he scored 9 goals, including a deft flick in a league game vs Liverpool, and made 6 assists as Chelsea romped to their first league title in 50 years. He scored in a come-from-behind win over Manchester United at Old Trafford as he converted a Frank Lampard cross. Cole continued in the same vein in the 2005-06 season where he scored a wonderful title-sealing goal vs Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. With 4 United defenders surrounding him, Cole wriggled himself free and blasted an unstoppable shot past the keeper to ring in the title celebrations. He was named in the PFA Team of the Season. After participating in the 2006 World Cup (where he scored a wonder volley vs Sweden), Cole was laid low by injuries and returned only in the first leg of the Champions League quarter finals vs Valencia. He scored the only goal in Chelsea's UCL semi-final first leg win over Liverpool but did not make the final after losing out on penalties. He ended the season on a high as he started the 2007 FA Cup final win over Manchester United. He then enjoyed his best season in a Chelsea shirt as he made 54 appearances in the 2007-08 season, easily Chelsea's best player that season. He scored the winners against West Ham, Blackburn and Everton and also scored a brace in the 4-4 draw against Spurs at White Hart Lane. Then manager Avram Grant was criticised for removing Joe Cole when the score was 3-1 in favour of Chelsea. None the less, he helped Chelsea reach the Champions League final where he started before being replaced by Nicolas Anelka in extra-time as Chelsea lost agonisingly on penalties yet again. He was deservedly named Chelsea's player of the year. He started the 2008-09 season brightly, scoring the first goal of the Scolari era after running on to a through ball by Michael Ballack. He made 20 appearances and scored thrice before getting injured in a FA Cup game vs Southend which ruled him out for the rest of the season as Chelsea won the FA Cup under Hiddink. The 2009-10 season was a strange one for Cole. He was increasingly dropped in favour of Florent Malouda and scored only 2 goals in 39 appearances. But his cheeky back-heeled finished against Manchester United was a vital goal for Chelsea as that win gave Chelsea the initiative in the title race. On the final day of the season, Joe Cole came on as a substitute and bagged 2 assists. He won the ball in the area and sent over a cross for Ashley Cole to volley home the final goal in an 8-0 win over Wigan that confirmed that Chelsea were Premier League champions again. He made his last appearance for the club when he came on as a substitute in the FA Cup final win over Portsmouth. After Chelsea After 7 years at Chelsea, Cole finally left the Blues to join Liverpool in 2010 as Roy Hodgson's first signing for the club. He wore the no.10 jersey there as well. He was sent off on his league debut for a wild challenge on Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal and that was the tone of a mediocre season for Cole at Liverpool. After scoring just 3 goals in 32 appearances through out the season, Liverpool loaned him out to French champions Lille in the summer of 2011. On his Lille debut, Cole went on a solo run getting past 4 Saint Ettiene defenders before setting up the 3rd goal in a 3-1 win. After that impressive start, he would go on to have a good season for Lille scoring 8 goals and assisting 5 times in 35 appearances including a hat-trick in the Coupe de France. He has expressed a desire to continue at Lille next season although the French club have expressed fears over his wage demands. Click here to view the record
  4. 1. Kepa Arrizabalaga

    I'll try stick around. I'm avoiding Chelsea related news at the moment, so I'm waiting for some kind of heated debate to rise up somewhere that's not the usual 'sWaP kAnTe FoR jOrGiNhO' rhetoric flying around . Was Term ever allowed back?
  5. 1. Kepa Arrizabalaga

    Here, there, everywhere mate! Just got more and more busy and before I knew it I barley had time to visit as often as I did! Also just realised Snake is listed as my favourite player ffs.
  6. Sarri But Not Sarri Thread

    The thread I've been avoiding the most.. So.. Anyone here still Sarri in?
  7. 1. Kepa Arrizabalaga

    With all the turmoil at the club, I thought where's the one place to feed my resentment of the club right now....
  8. 20. Callum Hudson-Odoi

    Two thoughts on Hudson-Odoi; 1. If he's not signing a new contract then Sarri owes the kid nothing lmao. People keep going on that we have to convince him to sign, the kid is fucking 19, If he doesn't want to be here then why should we pander? Acting like every English kid is going to be the next Jadon Sancho. 2. With all that being said, the fact he isn't deemed enough to play over Willian or Pedro even as the first choice sub is beyond comprehension. Sarri took this 'use 14 players' to heart. Hell even Pep used 17 this season alone!
  9. 1. Kepa Arrizabalaga

    Get a load of this guy, like he was a goal keeper or something. Sheeeesh! I get what you're saying. There's been some point blanks at him that you're expecting a goal keeper to save, not that he doesn't make his share of Hollywood saves. I was hoping to see more of a reaction keeper upgrade on Courtois and I haven't been too impressed but for all that there are improving signs imo. Time will tell if he lives up to this World Record fee but as @Jason said, there's more pressing concerns right now.
  10. Rate The Sig Or Ava Above From A Scale From 1-10

    Careful what you wish for
  11. Marek Hamsik

  12. Is Term still banned around here?
  13. Eden Hazard

    Hardly though. His exact quotes are: "Then I let the board manage Chelsea the best way that they can." "If we have something new - manager or players - it is always good to know it because I want players that can [help bring success back to] Chelsea next season. But to be fair the transfer market is not here [in full flow] yet. We will see after." He's hardly making the demands Sky and inferring. He's been here long enough to know how this club operates with management.
  14. Charly Musonda Jr.

    Former seems to be doing well at Palace, only behind Zaha and Cabaye as their best player. With he and Abraham getting the minutes and plaudits, they'll do what Tbo & AC managed to do/doing. That's why I doubt we'll see Ampadu like that, we seem to blood in players already in first-team situations. (Boy it'd be nice to re-sign Bertrand lol!)
  15. The Conte Thread

    Still about are we Layla
  16. Charly Musonda Jr.

    Youth and Chelsea is a systematic problem rather than a Conte problem. If you can't trust Chalobah or Loftus-Cheek, I doubt Ampadu will be starting. But it would be nice to be proved wrong. Hudson-Odoi would be a nice cameo too behind Morata & Michy lol
  17. Charly Musonda Jr.

    We barely play the 27 year-old CM, I'd be flabbergasted if we played the 17 year-old one.
  18. Charly Musonda Jr.

    Lol what? January 2017? I'll bite, elaborate pls.
  19. The Conte Thread

    Lmao ridiculous press conference, barely any mention to Bournemouth instead asking stupid questions on Carlo Ancelotti & Steve Holland lmao! If anything this is Juve-Conte lashing out at the fabrications. They were so desperate to talk about Carlo they even speculated on Carlo to Everton
  20. Tiemoue Bakayoko

    Good quotes from him, sounds like he's aware of his limitations but is learning on how to improve.
  21. The Conte Thread

    FTFY Ridiculous how we're in a literal 2 year cycle now. Seems now that we've won 2 PLs they want Champions League glory again. And with the most successful CL manager of all time hovering around....
  22. Eden Hazard

    fair enough, won't pretend I watched Barcelona near enough to know. I've understood Suarez has been poor in 2017, so at least we wasn't in such discussion
  23. Eden Hazard

    Don't know man, on an individual performance he was better than that whole MSN combination. His role in the comeback versus PSG can't be understated either. Top scorer in Brazil's successful WC qualifying campaign too iirc. It's not like he doesn't deserve to be in that top percentile bracket imo.
  24. The Conte Thread

    Not surprised at all. Sky are really going for this Conte v Mourinho narrative with more ammunition this year, last year it was The Return for Mourinho which we ruined with that 4-0 win, so now they're going to make it Conte v Mourinho rather than Mourinho v Chelsea. Funny thing is the game is in 2 weeks and we've still got Watford, Everton, Bournemouth & Roma to go before then
  25. The Conte Thread

    Let this notion go lol. Our vision isn't coach-dependent. Our success is based on head coaches doing what they can with the squad they're given by the board. This is not changing anytime soon and it's difficult to argue it when we've been as successful as we have. Right now it works because players seem to respond to new coaches, new manager syndrome so to speak. That's why we won't have a manager that will last >3 years, ideas get stale and players become comfortable and complacent. Hell any given top club now won't last with a manager longer than 3-4 years now. Fergie and Wenger were the last. I even see Zidane leaving/sacked from Real within 2 years.