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Chelsea: Team Summary

Chelsea Football Club was founded in 1905 in Fulham, West London. The last ten years have been the most successful in their history – winning eight domestic titles. Since 2004, Chelsea have won both the Premier League and the FA Cup three times and the Football League Cup twice. However, despite going close several times, a Champions League title still evades them.

Chelsea regularly finish either top or second in the division – and therefore compete in the Champions League. In 2008 they reached the final of the competition but missed out on the trophy after losing the penalty shoot out to Manchester United. Captain John Terry famously missed his penalty kick when slipping during his run up.

The Blue’s recent dominance in the Premier League began in 2003 when Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich, bought the club and started investing heavily in the playing staff. They play at Stamford Bridge (capacity 42,000).

Chelsea Head Coach: Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti is one of the most decorated players and managers in world football. As a player he won three Italian league titles and back to back European Cups (Champions League) with Roma and AC Milan. When playing for Milan he was part of one of the most successful teams ever assembled; including stars such as Paolo Maldini, Frank Rijkaard, Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten.

After his glittering playing career ended, Ancelotti moved into management with Italian team, Reggiana. He has since managed Parma, Juventus and AC Milan – winning one Italian League title and two Champions League titles with Milan. He signed to manage Chelsea in the summer of 2009 after temporary coach, Guus Hiddink, stepped down to focus on managing the Russian national team. After only one season in charge at Chelsea he has successfully steered the club to their first Premier League and FA Cup double.

Chelsea: Style of Play

Chelsea play a very solid style of football. They have an excellent defence, marshalled by England’s John Terry, and a strong forward line lead by Ivory Coast international Didier Drogba.

In the past many pundits criticised Chelsea’s style of play for being unadventurous – earning them the nick name ‘Boring Boring Chelsea’. However, the nickname is unjustified now. While the ‘machine’ approach introduced by former coach jose Mourino previously resulted in ‘robotic’ performances, Hiddink and now Ancelotti must be credited with bringing a more adventurous approach to Chelsea’s play.

Last season they amassed a total of 103 goals and finished in style with an 8-0 thrashing of Wigan – nothing boring about that!

Premier League Guide Prediction 2010/2011: 1st

Ancelotti won the title last season without really buying anyone. This summer he will have Roman Abramovich’s full check book at his disposal. We expect him to strengthen and make Chelsea even harder to beat. The real objective, however, is to win the Champions League – could this be the year?

Chelsea: Key Players

Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba (32) joined Chelsea from French league club Marseille in 2004 for a £24 million ($36 million) transfer fee. Originally from Ivory Coast, Drogba moved to France with his family when he was young and started out his footballing career with League Two club Le Mans aged 20 (a late start for a professional footballer).

Since joining the Blues in 2004, Drogba has amassed a goals to game average of 0.51. Despite struggling to find the net consistently in his first season, he has gotten stronger and stronger in the Premier League. Last season was his best ever goal return in the Premier League – finishing top scorer with 29 league goals.

Strong and powerful, while sometimes liable to mis-control, his strength and finishing abilities more than make up for any technical short comings. Such is his ability to simple brush opposing defenders aside that he is often referred to as being ‘unplayable’ when he is in a rich vein of form.

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard (32) plays as a central midfielder and is the Chelsea vice-captain. He joined Chelsea from fellow London-based club West Ham in 2001 for £11 million ($16.5 million). Lampard is Chelsea’s 3rd all-time goalscorer with 157 goals – an exceptional achievement for a midfielder who didn’t start his career at the club. He plays for the English national team and has over 80 caps to his name.

Lampard is best described as a ‘box to box’ midfielder and is Chelsea’s engine room. Along with club-captain John Terry, he is the heart and soul of Chelsea – often leading by example. He also holds the record for the most consecutive Premier League appearances.

Lampard has great stamina and is well known for his long distance shooting, penalties and free kicks. In his time at Chelsea he has a goals to game ratio of 0.33 and is the team’s main source of assists. Last season he finished with 27 goals and 20 assists in all competitions – his highest ever return since his career started.

Chelsea: Ones to Watch

Salmon Kalou

Salomon Kalou (25) plays as a left or right winger but can also play as a striker. He joined Chelsea from Dutch club Feyenoord in 2006 for a transfer fee of £9 million ($13.5 million). He is of Ivorian descent and plays for the national team.

A pacy player, Kalou loves to take on opposition defenders. Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho who described him as ‘hardworking, versatile, eager to improve and unafraid of the physical side of the game’. Since joining Chelsea, however, he has struggled to impose himself properly – a fact not helped by having to play under five managers in only four years.

Last season was arguably Kalou’s best to date. He managed 12 goals in all competitions without being a first team regular and was rewarded with a new contract after a string of man of the match performances. The 2010/2011 season will see him step up his game and finally cement a starting spot after four intermittent years with the Blues.

Gael Kakuta

Gael Kakuta (19) plays as a left winger or striker. He signed for Chelsea from French League One side Lens in 2007. Of Congolese descent, Kakuta was born in France and has represented the French national team at youth level.

Kakuta is best known for the controversy caused when he signed for Chelsea. It was argued by his previous club, Lens, that the Londoners illegally canvassed him to break his existing contract. This lead to an investigation and transfer ban for Chelsea over the next two seasons. The punishment was, however, later overturned.

A very skilful and enthusiastic footballer, Kakuta loves taking players on and has exceptional turn of pace. In 2009 after making his Chelsea debut he was described by Carlo Ancelotti as ‘the future of Chelsea Football Club’. 2011 should see he get more first team playing team and give the rest of the world a glimpse of the future.

Chelsea Blogs

Chelsea FC Blog
The Chels
Talk Chelsea
Chelsea Daft
Just Chelsea
The Chelsea Blog
Blue Champions
Bridge Views

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