Tag Archives: Didier Drogba

Manchester City’s Biggest Loss and Chelsea’s Savior: Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge has been Chelsea's best for much of the season.

 By Kevin Koczwara

Mario Balotelli and Kun Aguero set the pace for Manchester City against Chelsea on Monday, Dec. 13. Chelsea looked vulnerable and in trouble again, something not all too unfamiliar this season for the Blues. Then the ball skipped to Daniel Sturridge, playing to the right of Didier Drogba, and he carved past a fumbling Gael Clichy, crossed a beautiful ball across the edge of the six-yard-box to a surging Raul Meireles, who scored his first goal for Chelsea since transferring in the summer from Liverpool — and since getting that terrible haircut. The game was level again. Chelsea no longer found itself in a hole, thanks to Sturridge’s play.

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Chelsea and Liverpool Bid to Save Seasons [Part 1]

Roman Abramovich saw his Chelsea team failing to live up to potential this season, and he took some drastic measures and invested in the transfer market to ensure the team improved. (Courtesy Marina Lystseva)

By Kevin Koczwara

Neither Liverpool or Chelsea started the 2010/11 English Premier League season the way they wanted to. Neither team has lived up to any of their hype or their past glories. Both needed a change. Did anyone expect this to happen though?

Let’s start in London with Chelsea and work our way north to the Merseyside to visit Liverpool [Part 2].

The Blues started the season off like a piston firing on all cylinders, but it was as if someone forgot to check the oil and the they all started rubbing, grinding metal on metal before coming close to a halt. Chelsea scored 12 goals in its opening two games of the season and looked like it was going to run ragged on the Premier League again this season, maybe even securing another double – a bigger double, one that included Roman Abramovich’s prized Champions League trophy.

Things started to unravel for Chelsea in October. Frank Lampard got injured. Ramires hadn’t adapted to the Premier League’s pace and speed well (he is improving with every game and could be well worth the money spent). Youngsters Daniel Sturridge and company weren’t producing. John Terry and Alex seemed to be forming a strong partnership in the center of the defense, they both got injured. Didier Drogba fell off the boil, in fact he stopped starting and contracted Malaria – good excuse, but still, he slowed down and still hasn’t caught up to speed yet.

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Rooney signs extension with United

After a turbulent few days regarding his future with Manchester United, striker Wayne Rooney signed a five-year contract extension with the club. (Photo Courtesy AtilaTheHun)

By Michael King

In an affair that’s become more bizarre than anything to hit the English Premier League in recent history, Wayne Rooney is staying with Manchester United. Is this just another example of manager Sir Alex Ferguson getting his way, or is Rooney’s commitment to the club genuine?

Answers to this question and others are far from evident. But is this behavior surprising from someone who has “Just Enough Education to Perform” tattooed on this right forearm?

Regardless of thoughts on anyone’s intelligence – or maybe emotional intelligence would be more appropriate here – the end of this saga should mark the return to brilliant soccer for Man U. Rooney’s alleged beef with the club surrounded its inability to secure enough talent to adequately complement his own. Certainly recent acquisitions Javier Hernandez, Chris Smalling and Bebe don’t exactly refute Rooney’s claim that United is a club in decline.

But from Man U’s perspective, losing Rooney was the Armageddon scenario. Surely with its brand, resources and, of course, Sir Alex, United would survive and remain competitive in the long term. The decision to sell Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid two summers ago for an obscene amount of money was driven by economics and the desire of the Portuguese international to play in his native Iberia.
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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading — Sept. 9, 2010

Didier Drogba was snapped up by Chelsea from Marseilles in 2004 when Jose Mourinho took over as manager for his brief spell in charge at Stamford Bridge. Marseilles will have t pay a hefty price if they want to bring the striker back to France. Courtesy United Nations Development Programme

FIFA.com —  Blatter: Encourage free-flowing football

President of FIFA, Sepp Blatter sits down and talks about this summer’s World Cup in South Africa and what changes could be made to how games are played. Blatter says rules for extra-time could be changed before the next World Cup to either include a shoot-out without any extra-time played or the the golden goal could return to encourage teams to play to win rather than draw during the earlier stages of the World Cup. Too bad the interview doesn’t mention anything about the use of technology in the future or the missed calls by some of the referees.

Sky Sports — Marseille reveal Drogba bid

Marseilles will try to defend its top-spot in Ligue 1 this summer the club’s manager Didier Deschamps had some disagreements with sporting director Jose Anigo over signings and transfers, but there was one move the two agreed on: An attempted signing of Chelsea’s prized striker, Didier Drogba. Drogba was sold by Marseilles to Chelsea in 2004 for £24 million and the club looked to bring their former ace after selling last season’s top scorer, Mamadou Niang, to Fenerbahce. The club’s bid for Drogba fell through as Chelsea values the player too much to let him leave without a suitable replacement.

The Guardian — John Toshack resigns as Wales manager

Wales hasn’t had the best start to its Euro 2012 qualifying campaign and the Welsh FA and manager, John Toshack, have agreed its in the best interest of the national team if Toshack resigned after six years in charge. Wales lost to Montenegro on Friday in a Euro 2012 qualifier and after the game Toshack and the Wales FA board met and decided on the fate of the manager. Toshack has been in charge of the national team since 2004 and had previously manager Real Madrid. Stoke City manager Tony Pulis looked to be the front runner to take over the spot as Wales’ manager, but he has already stated it is too soon for him to take over.

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Hat Trick Helps Drogba Silence Critics

Chelsea forward Didier Drogba scored three goals against West Brom in the Blues' 6-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. (Photo Courtesy Lynchg)

By Joe Meloni

There were questions. Oh, were there questions about Didier Drogba’s health entering Saturday’s match with West Bromwich Albion. Following a summer of surgery to repair a broken arm before the World Cup and a second trip to the surgeon to mend a nagging hernia in late July, the fitness of the Ivorian striker changed every pundit’s opinion regarding Chelsea’s chances to defend its Premier League Crown.

Saturday afternoon, we got answers. Oh, did we get answers. Drogba netted three of Chelsea’s markers in its 6-0 laugher against West Brom. Demonstrating the skills responsible for his status as the best Premier League front runner since Thierry Henry, Drogba snuck a first-half free kick through the West Brom wall and past goalkeeper Scott Carson. In the second half, Drogba cleaned up a loose ball in front of the West Brom net with an emphatic left-footed strike before finishing his day with a right-sided blast from distance. Continue reading

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2010-11 Could Be a Rough Ride for Chelsea

Chelsea celebrates its double win last year with its fans. The Blues earned the Premier League championship and FA Cup, but an interesting couple months since its wins have fans and the media wondering if the Blues can repeat this season. Photo courtesy TheNationalGame.com

By Cameron Dickinson

Last season Chelsea finally wrestled the Premier League title out of Manchester United’s grasp to regain its place on top of the English game after three years of trying.

Entering the season the Blues expected to rival Sir Alex Ferguson’s dominant side, and that proved to be the case thanks to a number of devastating attacking displays which saw them score a record 103 goals.

Chelsea’s attacking prowess was undoubtedly the reason why it lifted its third title in six years, changing the style of the team from the efficient machine of the Jose Mourinho era in to one of the most open, exciting teams in Europe.

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Most and Least Impressive Teams of Round 2

Courtesy sam_herd Flickr

By Kevin Koczwara, Ryan Fleming, and Joe Meloni

We have already looked at the teams that performed the best and the teams that played the worst in the first round of play of the World Cup. Now it is time for us to pick the teams that overachieved and the underachieved in the second round of play.

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Who Won’t Win the World Cup Part 7: Group G

By Ryan Thies of the Long Beach Post

As a Group, group G is the most difficult to dismiss. It is undoubtedly the group of death and while other groups may run four deep, this group has three teams that could win the whole thing. But one of them won’t even make it to the elimination round. And the other two won’t win it all, because even they have their fatal flaws.

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Premier League Puts Its Ribbons On Hold, Blue the Favorite

By Mark Duckworth of The National Game

After the drama of the Premier League that has taken place over the last few weekends, this one was a damp squib. We could have seen new Premier League Champions or United back on top. Instead we got two games that had teams going through the motions and two teams looking for victory.

Liverpool versus Chelsea, was meant to be the game that could hand the title to United, and with Chelsea’s indifferent league away form, the football world waited with anticipation. But when Steven Gerrard misplaced a back pass which led to Didier Drogba rounding the Liverpool keeper, all Liverpool’s fight seem to fade along with the bank holiday weather.

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Premier League Gets Ready To Color Its Ribbons

By Mark Duckworth of  The National Game

This weekend has been 36 games in the making but by the time Manchester and Sunderland have finished their Sunday afternoon encounter we could have new Premier League Champions. Mark Duckworth takes a look at the two games which could decide the Premier League Crown.

When Chelsea came away from Old Trafford everybody thought the title race was up, everybody that is except Sir Alex. And after a few eventful weeks in the Premier League it has come down to possible this weekend and two away fixtures for Chelsea and Manchester United.

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