Football Season Guide



Marko Marin (midfielder)(Werder Bremen,) Eden Hazard (forward)(Lille), Thorgan Hazard (midfielder)(Lens); Oscar (midfielder)(Internacional); Yossi Benayoun (midfielder)(return of loan from Arsenal)


Didier Drogba (forward)(Shanghai Shenhua), Salomon Kalou (forward)(released), Romelu Lukaku (forward)(West Bromwich Albion); Jacob Mellis (Barnsley), Jose Bosingwa (defender)(released)

Chelsea have had a rollercoaster of a season last time out, finally reaching their promised land in the Champions League Final in Munich in May after a rather erratic first few months of the campaign. The flamboyant Andre Villas-Boas only survived till the start of the year, when he was unceremoniously sacked by owner Roman Abrahamovich, who handed the reins to his assistant Roberto Di Matteo on a interim basis. The Italian had a blinder in charge, which earned him a permanent role, with the brief to bring the Premiership title back to Stamford Bridge and defend the Champions League crown this season. As usual with Chelsea, it is a case of out with the old and in with the new this summer. The Blues have let go Didier Drogba after eight seasons at the club, along with Jose Bosingwa and Salomon Kalou. Florent Malouda is highly likely to move on as well while the hugely promising Eden Hazard is making his way to West London. The diminutive Belgian is, for now, Di Matteo's main signing, along with Marko Marin, who is also on board from Werder Bremen. Another exciting arrival is that of new Brazilian international Oscar, who shows all the hallmarks of the creative Brazilian midfielder. Chelsea being Chelsea, more new signings will inevitably follow suit to ensure the Blues remain a force to be reckoned with in England and on the continent. They do have a strong base to build on, with England internationals John Terry and Ashley Cole still going strong at the back, competently seconded by the useful Branko Ivanovic and the hugely talented David Luiz. The futures of midfielders Michael Essien and Raul Meireles remain to be clarified but Jon Obi Mikel should return in defensive midfield after appearing to finally blossom in this role under Di Matteo this year. In the more offensive roles, Frank Lampard should be back as the menace from midfield, with Ramires expected to confirm his rise to preeminence from last season. Last but not least, Fernando Torres, who seemed enfolded in some kind of bad curse for the past year, will hope to recapture the powers that seemed to have deserted him. With the departure of Drogba, the Spaniard should take the main striker role. Hazard being more of a wing type player Di Matteo is working hard to bring in another striker to complement El Nino.


Chelsea will definitely go for the title this year after getting lost in the way last season. Di Matteo's results as Chelsea interim coach should mean a significant line of credit should be handed to him to build a squad able to compete on all fronts.