After last night's defeat to Juventus in the Champions League, it left Chelsea's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League knock-out stages hanging by a thread. It means that now they must rely on other results in order to qualify, which is never advisable in the unpredictable game of soccer. Di Matteo set up his side to defend and hit Juventus on the break, with Torres dropping to the bench in what was seen as a bold move. In the game, Chelsea were outplayed for most of it, with only a few chances coming their way in front of goal. The fact that this was supposed to be a defensive set-up and Chelsea lost 3-0 was worrying.
With tickets for next season's 2 NFL games at Wembley next year going on sale this week, the topic of a UK franchise is one that continues to dominate discussion around the NFL. Roger Goodell is very much for a UK franchise, with many of the owners such as Robert Kraft of the Patriots, also declaring that they'd like to see an NFL franchise in the UK.
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle stated on the TM Football UK podcast this week, that the idea of not just 1 but 2 franchises could be an option that would be looked at by the NFL. This would look at having one team playing in the Wembley stadium, and another in the Olympic stadium. This would bring a rivalry in London straight away, but this would seem unlikely at this stage with even the thought of 1 NFL franchise in London being hard for people to comprehend.
Ahead of England's friendly match against Sweden on Wednesday, striker Daniel Sturridge spoke to the press about his lack of playing time at Stamford Bridge. He stated that if he was given the chance by Di Matteo, he would score 20 goals a season. Sturridge fell out of favour with Di Matteo after the sacking of Andre Villas Boas, with Di Matteo seeing Sturridge's reluctance to track back, as a big issue. Di Matteo preferred to put Kalou in that position, due to the defensive qualities he had and Sturridge clearly lacks. One of the big failings of the infamous AVB high line was that Sturridge was deployed on the left or right wing, which would leave Chelsea's fullbacks open to one on one situations. This lead to many goals being conceded from Chelsea's wings, and Sturridge was dropped as soon as Di Matteo took over.
So with Week 10 of the NFL drawing to a close last night with the Kansas City Chiefs falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime, there's one topic of discussion that everyone seems to be talking about. Concussion. On Sunday, 3 starting quarterbacks suffered game ending concussions, with Michael Vick's being so bad that he's incidentally been ruled out of next Sunday's match up against the Redskins. Now many Eagles fans may see this as a blessing in disguise for this franchise, especially with the Eagles having lost 5 out of their last 5, and many fans calling for Andy Reid to start Nick Foles ahead of the unpredictable Vick.
In fact many are surprised it's taken so long for Vick to sit out a game, considering he was hit 134 times in the first 8 games. Not only will his pride be hurting, but also his body. With the exit door looming for Vick, you would have to wonder if Foles has a good week at the Redskins, whether Vick would be able to obtain his place.
After Chelsea’s draw today to Liverpool, there was much unrest on twitter about how the team was playing. Many pointed to Di Matteo and his inability to change a game when Chelsea get pegged back, with others choosing to direct their blame at certain players, with one gaining more attention than others. Fernando Torres.The Spanish striker has really struggled to endear himself to the Chelsea fans, who have stuck by him for so long. During his first season and a half, any piece of skill or movement which brought a positive effect for the team, would be greeted with chants around Stamford Bridge of the Spaniard’s name. But the striker struggled to score goals in his first season and a half, playing in as system that was designed for Drogba, and which Torres didn’t seem to fit into, with his appearances in the 11/12 season being limited after the dismissal of Andre Villas Boas.Then there were the mutterings from Torres after the Champions League final that he was unhappy, and that he felt that a number of promises had been broken that were made to him on his arrival.