Hurrah! He signs the extension, finally! Frank Lampard says that there have been compromises on both sides to come to an agreement, but it’s certainly worth the wait. It’s great to know that Lampard will be with Chelsea for another 5 seasons. This is the kind of contract that will make him retire at Chelsea and that’s what he wants. Lampard was so good last season despite all this uncertainties around his beloved manager, his prolonged contract discussions, his mother’s health and he still came up with some telling performances. Now, he can just concentrate on giving his best to Chelsea. I want to see him outscore every other midfielder in the premier league, of course, including that winker.
I’m very pleased for Lampard that he could get himself a 5 year deal at the age of 30. His agent must have been working overtime. Anyway, there must have been some compromise from both parties as Lampard admitted. The compromise from Chelsea FC being the 5 year contract instead of a 4 year one. May be, that extra year could be on a different pay scale and that could be the compromise on his side. Anyway, Lampard’s happy, Kenyon’s happy, we are happy. Having spent 7 seasons with us, Lampard is well on his way to be a Stamford Bridge legend, if he is already not. Add this 5 to the 7, he’d have spent 12 seasons with Chelsea at the end of this contract!
Now, the core of Chelsea are all well protected by contracts. Essien, Cech, Lampard have all singed extensions in this summer. Drogba, Joe Cole, Carvalho and Terry have all at least two years for their contract expiries. Only Ballack, Cudicini and Kalou have their contracts expiring in June 2009. At least for Kalou, I’m sure there’ll be another lengthy contract extension during the course of the season. Overall, there is a strong sense of stability in the squad.
If last season was all about instability and uncertainty, this season is all about clarity, stability and continuity. We’ve got a new manager whom the players really respect and admire, we’ve got three crucial players that have signed their extensions, we’ve got two important players join us, we’ve got a good pre-season and a decent break before the start of the premier league. So now, the only focus would be on football and in particular, winning. This must be a very worrisome development for the rivals. Aren’t we supposed to disintegrate and dissolve in this summer? What’s been happening is quite the opposite. We are consolidating and grouping so nicely ahead of the new season. The credit should go to Scolari, Kenyon and Deco.
Why Scolari because his name has given a lot of confidence to the players. They genuinely believe that he will guide them to glory. Scolari has also been able to being in players, while he also managed to retain talents. And Kenyon for being able to tie the players with agreeable contracts. Finally Deco for being such a lovable and admirable player that he is. Players are overawed at his character and ability, they are all excited about his arrival and him being around and are keen to play alongside him. Deco is the name on everyone’s lips.
Frank Lampard says he is a huge fan of Deco and they both can link up nicely:
I’ve always been a huge fan of Deco from afar, having played against him and watched him. He is a fantastic player, a dream to play with, and with his unselfish attitude and way he moves the ball and sees a pass. The early signs with the way we linked up in pre-season are that we are both happy with how it is going and he is going to add a lot to our midfield.
Here’s John Terry heaping praises on Deco:
Deco looks awesome and it’s exciting to see him play. I never realised how good he is, I played against him four or five times, and he’s probably one of the best I’ve ever played against and trained with. He can pass the ball, has a great touch, opens up defences, gets stuck in as well, which I like about him. He makes it look so easy. I heard speaking to Eidur [Gudjohnsen, now at Barcelona] he is a class act, but day in, day out you see he is determined as well. He wants to prove himself and there is no better place to prove it.
One surprising thing about Deco is how easily he has adapted to Chelsea. In all the pre-season friendlies, he was not playing like he had just joined a new club. He was the man of the show. The Catalan fans are still aggrieved about two things – one is that Deco was allowed to leave and two is he was sold for just 8 million. They simply crucified Laporta for this decision. At 30, Deco’s shown his best at Barcelona but that does not mean that he is on the decline. He can still better himself. He is a kind of player whose style does not depend on strength or pace. His style is all about skill, ball control, intellect and passing. Players with this kind of style don’t grow old that soon. Playmakers are like wine. They are better when they are older. I can’t wait to see Deco play. Come Sunday, the strongest midfield in Europe would be in action at Stamford Bridge.
In the Olympics, it is Kalou who’s setting Beijing on fire. Watch out for him. This could be his season. He has already spent two full seasons at Chelsea. His ‘getting to know’ period is over and he’s got some fierce competition in Franco di Santo. Let’s see if he makes the best out of the absences of Drogba and Sheva. If Franco’s form in competitive football is as good as it was in the reserves and friendlies, Kalou should do something special to get himself playing opportunities. As you know, I like Kalou. I know he can do better, will do better.
While I was expecting Chelsea FC to come out and clarify on Joe Cole, Kenyon chose to insist that we are still chasing Robinho and that we have time till the end of this month to pull a coup. Hardly inspiring news for Joe Cole. Pizarro may not really move as the interested clubs find him a bit expensive for their budget. May be we should try loaning him out if we don’t get any good offers. ‘Ivanovic could be Milan’s in a matter of hours’ say the headlines. It appears that Ivanovic has agreed to move. It’s so pathetic. Let him leave.
Man Utd are rumoured to be signing Berbatov. I’m sad for two reasons. One is, I think Berbatov should stay with Spurs in their most realistic pursuit to date of breaking into the top four. Another is of course, he would immensely strengthen the Man Utd team. The vacuum created by van Nistelrooy’s exit would be filled in by a player like Berbatov. We’ll see how strong Ramos is, in holding on to what he wants. Especially after letting Keane go, it would be suicidal to let Berbatov also go, unless Ramos is planning for a sneaky bid for David Villa.
In champions league qualifiers on Wednesday night, Arsenal have undeservingly beaten FC Twente and Liverpool have been held to a goalless draw by Standard Liege. Any bets on Liverpool missing out on Champions league football?
I’m done with the part 3 and 4 of “I’ve been to Stamford Bridge” and would publish soon. I’m coming up with one long pre-match analysis post for the Portsmouth match. Save all your discussions on the first match until that post! See you!