Did you expect this? At the end of our Asia tour, we have won 5 out of 5 with 12 goals scored and none conceded. I didn’t expect this. I thought we might lose a couple of matches. I thought we would concede some funny goals. This was because I did expect Boas to experiment with his squad and also with his tactics. He did all this and still won all the matches and conceded no goals.
What started as a dour campaign has really taken some momentum and does show some promise for the start of the season. The improvement has been very gradual and it still doesn’t look like the end product. These are still early days for Boas. It’s too early to judge him – positively or negatively. Some think he will be hit and others think he will be a flop. I think he will be a surefire hit. I want him to be. When Boas took the job, he talked about the playing style and he also kept confirming that if he doesn’t win, he has no job here. He also admitted that he’s not going to get a lot of time to settle down. The nature of the Chelsea job is that you start winning and continue winning.
In this pre-season, I think he’s managed to do just that. I don’t think he’s compromised on the result. He’s given opportunities to the whole squad. He’s tried a couple of formations. He’s tried our player in different roles and combinations. Our playing style has improved between the first and last of these five matches but we are winning and we are not conceding.
I think this pre-season results are important in a certain way. We haven’t still made any serious business in the market. And Boas seems very involved in our transfer business. The Chelsea administration thinks it’s very important to wait for the manager to complete his analysis and consult him so the purchases are aligned with the manager’s thoughts and expectations.
I’m not trying to say that the pre-season results might have changed this too much but just imagine the situation if we had drawn two, lost two and won one. In a way, it would have given him more evidence to go to the market. But with 5 wins out of 5 with 12 goals and none conceded with all the experimentations, he’s saying it loud and clear that he means business. That, in my opinion, also could imrpove his confidence with the Chelsea administration while discussing transfers.
Some managers don’t use their purchasing power well. In the last transfer window, we had just won the double but we bought, if I’m right, only Ramires and Benayoun. Having just won the double, Carlo could have really pushed Roman & Gourlay to buy some top players / young talent. He didn’t. He was a different type of manager, or just coach as some have now identified. I don’t think Boas is of that type.
I think our interest in Modric is straight from Boas. I was quite excited when we bid for Modric. Our bids kept failing. We need a playmaker on the pitch. Spurs need a gentleman in their boardroom. Since this is asking for too much we had to look at Pastore. Palermo and this Argentine have chosen PSG over Chelsea. Guess Palermo has gained a lot. Pastore would soon know how much has he lost. Arsenal is after Mata. I don’t know why we’re not. Now we’re back to Modric. An improved bid I hear.
I think Modric would join us sooner or later. He’s handed in a transfer request. They know that they have an unhappy player who told the whole world that their chairman failed on his promise. They’re getting good money from Chelsea. If Chelsea were to come out and announce that we’re no longer interested in Modric and that we would look elsewhere, Spurs must be worried. No £30m in the bank and they have an unhappy player. I don’t think we need to be held at a ransom by Spurs.
Staying on with the topic of playmakers, Chelsea’s own playmaker Josh McE run the show on Saturday against Aston Villa and even found the net. The goal was an opportunistic one. Like they say for every goal, he was in the right place. And for the minute of the match, he was sharp enough to flick it into the goal. By no means, it was an easy goal. There were two defenders and a stretching goalie between Josh and the goal. He did well there.
Boas had said that Josh would play in an attacking role and that he would organise the game for us. That’s a big privilege for the young man. This was the line up that had legends like Lampard. This was the team he was ‘organising’. He was in the action zone all the time. He probably took more touches than many. He exchanged several passes with players from all around him. Made some very interesting passes and moves, including the one to Anelka which he should have scored. Only goes on to confirm what I’ve been shouting loud and clear – Josh is ready for the premier league. Oh well, I thought he was ready last season itself.
And it wasn’t a surprise that Fernando Torres scored. With every match where he doesn’t score, I’m surprised why a top player like Torres is not finding the net. So when he scores, I’m not surprised 🙂 It should be noted that probably Barclays Asia Champions Trophy is the first trophy that Torres has laid his hands in top flight football! Go Nando!
The one that needs to score a hattrick for us is, Ron Gourlay. He had said that he’ll get a brace but so far, he’s given them all a cleansheet. I think he was hopeful of Modric or Pastore when he said that. Now he says few key things (a) no big name sale in this window (b) to discuss with Boas this week on transfers (c) we have a strong squad. Oh yes, we have a strong squad. I won’t say no. It’s just that we need to ‘strengthen’, like Man Utd looks to do season after season. Heard they’re close to signing Sneijder. Gives me sleepless nights. Why can’t we just hijack that deal and land him here at Stamford Bridge?
Pre-season football is not over yet. We still need to play Rangers next weekend, a day before the Manchester derby determines the FA Community Shield champions. Good thing about the Rangers game is that we’re back in the British Isles. More familiar environment and weather before we kick off the premier league.
Here’s hoping we sign a couple of players before I blog again. Cheers!