Manchester United - Chelsea: Our Biggest Threat?
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Chelsea: Our Biggest Threat?

In the third and final instalment of our analysis of our rivals to the Title, we look at Chelsea, arguably our greatest threat next season, but have they learnt their lessons from last season.

Despite such an unusually quite summer for the London club, Jose Mourinho has still managed to spend 13.5 million on French winger Florent Malouda, and added with the expected transfer of Brazilian defender Daniel Alves, which will presumably hit well over the 20 million mark, Chelsea has potentially spent in the region of 35 million, rather a lot for the team who promised to curb their spending.

Despite this, Mourinho has still had a good summer, recruiting Malouda from Lyon, a powerful and pacy winger who looks a good deal at 13 million, having already scored against Utd at Wembley in the Community Shield. In addition to this, Mourinho has shown his shrewdness, capturing the talents of Ben Haim, Pizarro and Alex on free transfers.

Ben Haim looks a solid player, more than capable of coming in when injury stretches the team thin, and although I think he may find his opportunities to shine next season limited, the ongoing injury-proness of skipper John Terry may mean that Ben Haim will be a big player for Chelsea this season.

Pizzaro looks a decent enough striker, who boasts an impressive scoring record at Bayern Munich, averaging out at nearly a goal every three games. Despite this, I still don`t think he will have the same impact for Chelsea, as he has yet to net for the club, and in the community shield he looked a below-average player, with one wayward drive the only memorable contribution from the Peruvian.

Unfortunately, I think Pizzaro was signed purely as a replacement for Didier Drogba during the 4-week duration he is at the African Cup of Nations and I would be more than surprised if Pizzaro was still at Chelsea next season.

Alex is by far the most impressive arrival to Stamford Bridge, and I am sure he will fit straight into the English style of play, and given a run in the team I can see him pushing himself into the first team ahead of Carvalho. No only in defence does Alex look good, but also in attack, with a perfect example coming last season when he single handily sent Arsenal crashing out of the Champions League, with his powerful heading ability sure to be a huge asset for Chelsea who are renound for their aerial ability.

If Alves does sign it is sure to solve Chelsea`s cursed right-back position, however his questionable defensive ability, I cant see why Mourinho would go for a player like him, as it is common knowledge that he doesn`t favour a system which incorporates the full-backs in attacking positions, just look how much Cashley Cole has changed since joining from Arsenal, with his pacy runs down the wings now seemingly a thing in the past. And with Alves` hugely overpriced price tag, I`m not sure whether or not he would be the best option.

You will notice that I haven`t mentioned Steve Sidwell, and don`t worry I haven`t forgotten him. I just fail to understand what possessed "Moureen" to go for this fella. First of all, Chelsea are already more than covered in the central midfield area, with Essien, Lampard, Mikel, Ballack and Diarra all vying for places, and with no presumable one of these leaving Stamford Bridge after Ballack pledged his future to the club and Chelsea rejected the rumours of Diarra`s move to Arsenal, I just cannot see Sidwell, a player who wasn`t even Reading`s best player last season in my opinion, from throwing himself in the mix for a first team place, and I`m afraid that Sidwell will be warming the benches next season, along with Pizzaro, having a brief stint out during the African Cup of Nations, when Essien and Mikel go to represent their countries.

However with the players Chelsea already had they have more than enough to be challenging for the title, and if Frank Lampard (who in my opinion is "THE" most overrated player in world football) can pull his finger out and realise that you can score without a deflection, Shevchenko realises the form he had at Milan, Drogba has a similar season to last, and some of the other midfielder such as Essien, Malouda, Mikel and Ballack weigh in with more goals I think Chelsea could have a good season.

However, I just don`t see it happening. And unlike most moaning Chelsea fans I don`t blame injuries because every team suffers injury and like it or not it does even itself out over the course of the season, what I do blame is their stupidly high reliance on Didier Drogba, because lets face it you can say what you like about Lampard and Shevchenko, their only real, "proven" goalscorer id Drogba. And I know tomorrow their will be thousands of comments from bitter little Chelsea "fans" saying how Lampard was top scorer for Chelsea in 2004 and 2005. But let me say this, what was his shot to goal ratio. If you ALWAYS (and I mean always) shoot from long distance, you are bound to get a few in (just ask Liverpool), and of those which did find the back of the net, how many of them weren`t deflections, weren`t goals anybody could score. The tuth is, he doesn`t have the brain of a striker and he cant fathom a chance out of thin air like the Drogba`s, Rooney`s and Van Persie`s of this world, and instead he can only score gaols which are literally hand gifted to him be it by bad positioning, bad defending and most often bad goalkeeping.

Jose Mourinho has promised to play a more attractive style of play this season, where wingers will be more prominent in the side, but despite the capture Malouda, the imminent sale of Robben will leave Chelsea in no more of a stronger position than they were before.

So, even though I still see Chelsea as our biggest rivals this year, I don`t think they have learnt from their mistakes last season, and still their reliance on Drogba is too much, and unlike in previous seasons where Chelsea have been favourites due to the size of their squad, our squad has got strengthened too with the arrivals of Hargreaves, Nani, Anderson and Tevez, and without some sort of miracle season from Drogba, I just cant see where Chelsea will get the goals from.

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The Journalist

Writer: United4Life  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday August 11 2007

Time: 1:00AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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this is the most biased assessment of a rival i have ever read....not improved over last season....let me give you a 101 in how to improve a team,1.add a continental class striker with hunger and undoubted skill pizarro,he will play more often than you think.2.malouda for me and many chelsea fans a better player than robben.arjen was no doubt a brilliant player but he played less than 50% of our matches,which is not 25 mill quid for him is a pretty sound piece of business.3. you absolutely right abt alex and ben haim will probably the nearest we can come to replacing gallas.4add a epl quality midfielder,with tremendous desire and sidwell is you answer.believe me when i say this if he keeps improving the way he has in the last 2-3 seasons,he can be the eventual successor to lampard.and finally alves,clearly shows your lack of footballing sense.daniel alves is a better defender than evra and silvestre combined.i follow sevilla very closely and i can promise u that.also u should know that he can ,as he does for the brazil team,play in the wings with a rb behind him(ferriera) and that is how he may get your facts right,and by the way ashley cole if you saw him the shield match was brilliant both defending and attacking.jose likes attacking fullbacks since his porto days.and you seem to discount joe cole ,sheva and ballack as if they do not exist.even if two of them fire this season we will the league by more than 10 pts. common mate,at vital chelsea they gave a pretty fair report on u guys which found balanced surely u all can do the same.
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11/08/2007 04:55:00

great article i cant believe Frank lampard is rated any unbiased football pundit should be able to see he is a imposter never seen someone score so many deflected goals,especially his trademark the PINBALL style freekick LLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLL!!!crowd favourite
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11/08/2007 07:26:00

Think that it Brill. I support neither of you as you can se by my name, but surely this season is United's. The quality they have signed has overwhelmed everyone and dont be suprised if they bting home the champs league. Good lukc manure, think your the team again this season
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11/08/2007 07:54:00

Chelsea will scrape 3rd place from Arsenal and we will beat The Bin Dipping Scousers into 2nd place by 10 points.
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11/08/2007 10:56:00

I'm a big ManU fan, but I must agree that ballack, andriy and (flop) friends are underestimated in this article. They are world class players and I can't ignore the fact that they always pose a threat and if they could provide a winning goal each for 3 respective matches, it translates to 9 points extra, which could put chelsea in a very promising position. BUT, chelsea must understand that by bringing together all the big names of the football world, doesnt always work. Take a look at Real's recent attempts, appart from this year's where 2 ex-Reds saved Real's ass big time. Talking about big names, ballack, schevchenko, pizzaro etc will not be playing regularly, maybe 1 game every 2 which is i think is not enough for players of their calibre to reach good performance levels. Very true about the drogba thing though, where every team knows that if they block Drogba, chelsea's chances of scoring drop by 50%. And as seen from last year, the likes of Vida and Rio, Agger and Carragher can easily handle the guy. The biggest thing though that chelsea lacks, is the togetherness of Man U players, and the way that the gaffer takes care of his players, especially the youngs ones, evolving them to great players and main parts of the team as a whole, and not just players with a huge price tag.
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11/08/2007 16:53:00

Who cares, Manure now have two ogres, will be kinda fun watching them ninny around.
Blue is the colour
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11/08/2007 19:40:00

Add to that the diving skills of Fake ronnie...muppets the lot of em, making Pools freakshow of a team look like normal lads... LOOOL
Blue is the colour
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11/08/2007 19:41:00

BITC, is that jealousy i can see?
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11/08/2007 20:16:00

bitc is always jealous he can already see the title sliping away from them aint neither of us have played
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11/08/2007 21:34:00

nonono, youve all got it wrong, the team chalenging you for the title will wear blue...and white...and gold. Im looking forward to our game on wednesday, and more importantly, we still need a win this season. (and an away win - none in 2007, so watch out chelski)
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11/08/2007 22:17:00

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12/08/2007 18:46:00

ALEX dsiplace CARVALHO - dream on!
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12/08/2007 20:17:00

0-0 Boring, boring United :-)
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12/08/2007 20:18:00

maybe some people forgot that chelsea won back-to-back titles with drogba scoring only 14 times in all's still early,only one game played (btw i'm sorry to hear abut rooney,wish him to recover as fast as possible;still have to ask : howcome he didn't get the yellow card when he dived in first half today?)and it is stil learly to predict anything.i have to say that pizarro looked very good today,very rational play by him....we'll see what happened at the end of the season...
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12/08/2007 21:40:00

Man Utd's biggest threat is the complacency that comes from thinking show-ponies win leagues. They don't.
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13/08/2007 01:24:00

Draw against Reading? haha..
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13/08/2007 09:23:00

this article is the most biased I have read in years. cant even give a fair and balanced article without wearing those huge united glasses.
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13/08/2007 09:26:00

Dont forget about Arsenal, they will come good this season after a disappointing last season.
will it ever happen
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24/12/2007 17:15:00


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