Tag Archives: Frank Lampard

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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Emptying out the top-drawer; thoughts on soccer world March 2011

By Kevin Koczwara

This will be a monthly column, I hope, where I dump out the random thoughts I have accrued over the last month. These thoughts are the ones I’ve tried to write columns about and have failed to materialize into anything tangible or readable.

Let’s begin with Arsenal.

Arsenal boggle the mind. The Gunners lose to Birmingham City in the League Cup final on one of the year’s most laughable goals. Then they go on and smash Leyton Orient in what should have been an unneeded FA Cup replay, 5-0, and Nicklas Bendtner scores a hat-trick. Why is the thrashing of Orient a surprise? Well, Bendtner scored a hat-trick. That’s why. It’s an absolute shock he can put together three goals in one game at times. He fumbles over his feet, misplaces passes more often Jake Delhomme, and he isn’t very good int he air despite his height.

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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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Lack of Premier League Quality Depth Haunts Chelsea

Chelsea fans celebrate the clubs first ever Double. The London club won the 2009/10 FA Cup and the Premier League in one season, but things may not be as bright this season. Courtesy Feggy Art

By Kevin Koczwara

Frank Lampard has been out injured since Aug. 28 with a hernia problem. His absence was suppose to be two weeks, it has now been 12 weeks since Chelsea’s captain has been sidelined. During that time he has recovered from his hernia problem, but has been struggling with a groin strain and will be out another three weeks.

Lampard’s injury troubles could spell trouble for Chelsea in the coming weeks as the team looks for pivotal, timely goals that the England international scores on a regular basis. Lampard finished last season with 22 goals, fifth best in the Premier League, and 17 assists, most int he EPL. Those are some gaudy numbers for a midfielder, and Chelsea hasn’t found a way to replace them while he’s been out this season.

Michael Essien did a stellar job filling in for Lampard, but his two-footed challenge into Clint Dempsey in the dying moments of Chelsea’s 2-1 loss to Fulham, got him sent off and suspended, rightfully so. Without Essien or Lampard bombing into the box or fighting for goals in the closing moments of the game, Chelsea has become a one-dimensional team.

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Tremendous Torres Helps Liverpool Upset Chelsea’s Title Run

Fernando Torres has struggled for much of the 2010 campaign for Liverpool and his work ethic has come into question. But no one can question his hunger after he scored two goals against the toughest defense in the Premier League, Chelsea. (Courtesy Myo Kyaw Htun)

By Kevin Koczwara

Liverpool was suppose to just roll over for Chelsea like it did for Blackpool and Northampton at Anfield earlier this year, but it didn’t. Liverpool played with a passion and will to win that has been missing for much of the season to upset English Premier League reigning champions and current leaders Chelsea.

“I think the intensity’s been there in a lot of games but people notice results,” Roy Hodgson told Sky Sports after Liverpool beat Chelsea, 2-0.

The Red’s boss hasn’t had an easy time getting Liverpool on the right track or living up to the fans’ high expectations. Just a few weeks ago the team was in the relegation zone, but now, after beating Chelsea, the Reds are in ninth place, just two points behind fifth place Newcastle and only five points behind Manchester City.

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Gerrard should be Capello and England's captain

 

Steven Gerrard has been Liverpool's captain for sometime now and he has displayed great leadership as his hometown club's captain. It's now time for Fabio Capello to name him the captain of England.

By Kevin Koczwara

When Fabio Capello began managing of the England National team in 2008, he the team’s most qualified players a chance to claim the captain’s armband by showing they could lead the squad on and off the field. One of the players Capello gave the opportunity to was Steven Gerrard, and the Liverpool midfielder could not convince the Italian manager.

Capello named Chelsea defender John Terry captain of the Three Lions, but Capello was forced to make an unexpected change.

When Terry’s extramarital affairs become public knowledge, Capello was forced to make a a tough decision and remove Terry from the captaincy. Terry’s affair affected the England locker room directly, his choice of mistress was a teammate’s ex-girlfriend. When the news broke about Terry sleeping with Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend, the England locker room and brutal English press forced Capello to look for a new leader.

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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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Best and Worst Performers at the World Cup

Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Holland's captain at the World Cup, was a stand-out defender. Courtesy Paul Blank

By The Soccer Guys

Kevin’s Picks:

Strikers

Diego Forlan – Forlan was the most dangerous striker on the field every time Uruguay suited up. He was handed the Golden Ball by FIFA as the World Cup’s best player, and he deserved it. He scored vital goals and did everything for the underrated and under-appreciated Uruguay team.

David Villa – Villa’s five goals tied him for the Golden Boot with Forlan, Germany’s Thomas Mueller, Uruguay’s Diego Forlan and Holland’s Wesley Sneijder, and his goals saved Spain from elimination. Without Villa, Spain might have been watching the final match from home rather than playing and winning the world’s biggest sporting event.

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Mr. Blatter, Something Needs to Change

FIFA President Sepp Blatter announcing the 2014 World Cup host winner Brazil. Courtesy Ricardo Stuckert

By Joe Meloni

Being a soccer fan in the United States means learning to deal with a few things. We understand a portion of our friends, co-workers and anyone else likely to stumble upon our Facebook pages thinks soccer is boring, un-American game. It is, after all, predicated upon not screwing up more than it’s about trying to strike as frequently as possible.

Unfortunately, the World Cup provided more ammunition for my narrow-minded cohorts as overworked officials continually failed to make proper calls or keep matches — even Sunday’s final — in line. Naturally, the blame falls on their shoulders rather than the FIFA officials consistently placing too heavy a burden upon them.

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FIFA and English football still in the Dark Ages

By Mark Duckworth

Fabio Capello is one of the most successful managers of the past decade. He was successful in Italy and Spain, but now his CV is blotted by his time managing the England national side. And it’s not just an insignificant blot, it’s England’s heaviest defeat in a World Cup and a last 16 knock-out. Even Sven made the quarter-finals. So, is it all Capello’s fault or has he just become another victim of the English game and the false promise of talent and success?

Everyone seems to know the score, they’ve seen it all before, and in Bloemfontein Fabio Capello realised what it means to be the England team manager as Germany ran riot over his sorry side.

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