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WHO LET THE DROG OUT?
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  1. WHO LET THE DROG OUT?

    WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 21ST 2012


    "Good Morning Sports Fans" broke the latest managerial casualty at Stamford Bridge! Permanent Interim 1st Team Coach Roberto di Matteo was relieved of his managerial duties barely 6 months after the greatest night in Chelsea's history!
    In an unusual show of patience, Abramovich had waited until qualification to the Champions League knock out stages had been secured.
    However, with the European Champions languishing in 12th place in the league and with several senior players publicly voicing their discontent at the underachievement in the league, the latest manager in the revolving door at Chelsea was sent packing with a handsome severance package.


    WHO LET THE DROG OUT?-english-premier-division_-overview-stages-2.png

    Emergency Board Meeting

    This commenced at 10am as the Blues were in the middle of a busy fixture schedule.
    Abramovich, Buck, Gourlay and Emenlano were seen entering through the Millennium Entrance of the West Stand and promised an announcement shortly.
    Chelsea were still in the Capital One Cup and with the FIFA World Club Championship due in less than a month a new Manager was a priority.
    Abramovich looked tired. He had been calling New York all night desperately trying to convince Pep Guardiola to cut short his years sabbatical. Despite promises of a huge contract and budget for players, the normally persuasive Russian had been knocked back.

    "What about Rafa Benitez?" asked Gourlay in a stunning show of ignorance. "He is available, knows the league and could rejuvenate Torres".
    "The fans are pissed off already" replied Emenlano. "If we hire Benitez they will never forgive us. He said he would never manage us and slagged off the fans and our plastic flags remember?"
    "We need a popular signing" retorted Buck. "What about Zola, he is doing well at Watford"
    "He is not big enough, literally" replied Emenlano. "What we need is a real presence, an icon, dare I say a legend. I have an idea...he is already in the country, he loves hanging round the training ground and is still in touch with all the senior players. I reckon by lunchtime we could announce him as our new Manager. I suggest we hire Didier Drogba!!!"

  2. INTERVIEW & PRESS CONFERENCE


    As luck would have it Drogba was already in the UK. He had not settled in China and there had been disputes regarding pay & Drogba had actively seeked an emergency loan deal away from the far east.
    He received a call from Bruce Buck asking him to be at Stanford Bridge by 11am. This was not unusual as he was a regular guest. It was probably to do with the Champions League Commemorative dinner he was organising.

    A Twitter User posted that they had seen Drogba entering Stamford Bridge in a limo at speed. Rumours started to spread that maybe Rafa Benitez wouldn't get the job. There had been no support on social media sites or football blogs regarding this. One user said that Rafa getting the job "would be like the end of the world a month early"

    Meanwhile, a stunned Drogba had learned off the real reason he had been called to The Bridge.
    It took him less than 60 seconds to agree to the task of getting Chelsea back into the top 4 of the premier league & accepted a contract until the end of the season.
    Abramovich accepted his requests to totally revamp the the coaching staff. Chelsea were incredibly light in that department and whilst boasting world class training facilities, the staff were not currently up to it.

    WHO LET THE DROG OUT?-drogba-press-conference.jpg

    In the quickest managerial change in history, Drogba was announced to the worlds press by midday and by the end of the day had announced his arrival to an ecstatic bunch of players.
    Even Fernando Torres, currently on the transfer list at Chelsea seemed pleased....

    WHO LET THE DROG OUT?-fernando-torres.jpg

  3. AT THE END OF THE DAY

    INJURY CRISIS

    By 6pm Drogba had realised the enormity of the task & how quickly the European Champions had fallen from grace.

    There was not 1 fit senior striker at the club. Sturridge was out until the new year with a torn hamstring.
    The mis-firing £50m Torres had fractured a cheek bone and was out for another month.
    Luckily someone had the foresight to train Juan Mata to become a forward otherwise Drogba was contemplating a "False Number 9" tactic.
    Ivanonic was also out until well into the New Year leaving just 20 fit players including the outcast Malouda, 3rd keeper Hilario and the untried youngster Lucas Piazon.
    With just 5 weeks until the transfer window and with £25m burning a hole in his pocket reinforcements were a necessity.

    COACHING ASSISTANCE

    Drogba knew how to play football, he knew how to score goals, he didn't know how to manage a squad of highly paid, egotistical megastars however so decided to revamp the support staff.
    By the end of the day 10 staff had cleared out their desks at Cobham and Roman's compensation bill was increased by another few million.

    Drogba was well connected and had spent the afternoon calling his contacts in the world of football management. Alongside his existing staff members, Dermot Drummy, Steve Holland, Mark Beeney who had been promoted to senior goalkeeping coach and Christophe Lollichon the following approaches were made & accepted.

    Assistant Manager - Worldclass global legend Johan Cruijff.
    Head of Youth Development - Blackburn's Phil Cannon.
    Fitness Coach - the surprisingly perennially unemployed Paul Winsper.
    1st team coaches -
    Anselmo Sbraglia
    Dos Santos
    Peter Beardsley
    Rodolfo Borell
    Chico Fraga
    and Valter di Salvo.

    A productive day had left Chelsea with an excellent backroom staff to concentrate on the 1st team.
    For now, the youth team coaches had escaped the cull.

    FIXTURES

    The next 4 fixtures were away to add to the pressure.
    The next 2 weeks were going to be busy with trips to West Brom, Norwich in the Capital One Cup, Liverpool and FC Salzburg in the final Champions League game before a home debut against Champions and League Leaders Manchester City.

    TRANSFER TARGETS

    Several high profile world class players were unhappy with their current clubs and were angling for moves in January.
    WHO LET THE DROG OUT?-falcao.jpgWHO LET THE DROG OUT?-fellaini-main_2814985.jpg

    A striker and a world class midfielder were required and both Falcao and Fellaini had stuck 2 fingers up at their respective clubs and were available for £42m and £14m respectively.
    Could the board be convinced to spend double what had been offered in transfer fees?

  4. Nice story keep it up. Love the story line.

  5. Like the headline, caught my eye

  6. AWAY DAYS

    WEST BROM AWAY



    WHO LET THE DROG OUT?-steve-clarke-3.jpgWHO LET THE DROG OUT?-didier-drogba-1.jpg

    The 2 Rookie Managers knew each other well from the Jose Mourinho glory years.
    West Brom were languishing near the bottom of the table. Chelsea in an unfamiliar 12th place. Even AVB had never sunk that low.

    Despite promising attacking football to the owner, Drogba and Co opted for a counter attacking formation with a solid defence and 2 holding midfielders in Ramires & Mikel.
    The full backs primary responsibility was to defend and the attacking flair came from a narrow attacking 4.
    Mata playing up top supported by Hazard, Oscar and Marin in the free role.
    Mata and Hazard were encouraged to swap positions when it suited.


    WEST BROM 1 - 2 CHELSEA

    A solid 1st win for the new regime.
    Mata opened the scoring after 34 minutes and a Popov OG just before the hour appeared to have made the points safe.
    However, James Morrison ensured a nervy last 15 minutes as he raced clear of a hesitant defence to coolly beat Cech from the edge of the area.
    However, Man of the Match Ramires helped Chelsea record their 1st league win of the month & gain a valuable 3 points despite having less possession and chances than their opposition.



    NORWICH 1 - 2 CHELSEA (COC CUP)

    Terry 59
    Azpilicueta OG 67
    Bassong OG 90

    2 changes to the starting 11 saw Lampard come in for Mikel and Moses for Oscar.
    Despite dominating the game throughout it took a last minute own goal from the excellent Bassong to win the game. It was no less than the visitors deserved as Hazard & Mata gave Bassong & Man of the Match Michael Turner and busy evening.
    Chelsea were through to the semi finals of the Capital One Cup!


    LIVERPOOL 1 - 0 CHELSEA

    Suarez 51

    An even game saw Downing create an opening for Suarez to blast home a winner from the edge of the box. Cech had no chance as his shot smashed in off the underside of the bar.
    It was Drogba's 1st loss as Chelsea Manager and it was against one of his new clubs biggest rivals.
    It was a relief to another one of Drogba's old Chelsea colleagues however as it ensured Brendan Rodgers team rose to 14th in the table after a difficult start to the season.
    Drogba had opted for the same narrow starting formation & personnel as the win over WBA and with Champions League knock out qualification already secured he had the potential to try out something new in the following game.


    FC RED BULL SALZBURG 0- 3 CHELSEA

    Mata 16
    Moses 20
    Ramires 49
    WHO LET THE DROG OUT?-fc-red-bull-salzburg-v-chelsea_-analysis-formations.png
    Drogba chose to rotate his starting 11 as the fixtures were coming thick & fast.
    Chelsea went for a wider formation with Marin and Moses playing as out & out wingers.
    Based on the oppositions defensive formation, the full backs were encouraged to get forward to overlap and supply quality drilled crosses to the back post.
    This was the source of all 3 goals as Chelsea's short, quick passing was just simply too good for the Austrians who could have done with some wings on a cold Winter night.

    Summary

    Apart from the disappointing result against Liverpool, Drogba had settled well into familiar surroundings and the team seemed happy with the formation and style of play.
    Drogba had spoken to the team as a whole and they were determined to improve the results.
    Torres was happy to stay at the club and asked to be removed from the transfer list which was accepted.
    David Luiz was starting an intensive course of training to allow him to play in central midfield.
    Bids were made & accepted for 2 star January signings who would be revealed in December.

  7. MUST WIN MATCH

    MANCHESTER CITY AT HOME

    WHO LET THE DROG OUT?-chelsea-v-man-city_-analysis-formations.png

    A 1st must win game followed for Chelsea as League Leaders Manchester City came to London for the early televised kick off.
    Drogba had been impressed with the attacking movement in the previous game & opted to keep the same formation and encouraged the full backs to attack.
    It was decided that the best form of defence would be attack.

    City continued with their successful narrow formation but had no Tevez or Yaya Toure.
    Torres was fit enough for a return to the bench as Drogba continued with Mata supported by Hazard up front.


    A stunning 5-2 victory was enjoyed by 41,000 ecstatic Blues fans.
    After falling behind early in the game as Luiz went walk about and Terry struggled to keep up with Dzeko, the team responded magnificently with the front 4 harassing and closing down a hesitant City defence.
    Kompany had a particularly poor game with an own goal & mistake contributing to his team going in at half time 2-1 down.
    3 further goals, the last coming from sub Torres meant that David Silva's strike, again after Luiz went walk about, was in vain.

  8. BIG IN JAPAN - DECEMBER 2012

    CHELSEA 2 - 2 ASTON VILLA

    Mata 2
    Benteke 59
    Luiz 78
    Benteke 83

    A disappointing result as Mata's 2nd minute goal should have provided the platform to win this comfortably.
    Benteke was excellent for Villa scoring 2 and Chelsea were not helped by Azpilicueta picking up a 2nd yellow after an hour.
    Chelsea's already thin & tired squad could do without a key player missing in such a busy fixture period.

    NEWCASTLE 0 - 2 CHELSEA

    Torres 22, 45

    Ferreira made a rare start at right back and performed well.
    However, it was the returning Torres who needed some much needed match action before the Club World Championship who secured the points with a 1st half brace and picked up the man of the match.
    He was stretchered off in the 92nd minute as a precaution but would be fit to travel to Japan.
    Marko Marin continued to perform well on the right of an attacking 3 AMC.

    WORLD CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP

    WHO LET THE DROG OUT?-2012_fifa_club_world_cup-1-.png



    MONTERREY 1 - 2 CHELSEA (AET)



    De Nigris 7
    Hazard 63
    Terry 110

    A hard fought victory although 17 shots to the Mexicans 3 shows that Chelsea dominated the match.
    Cesar, Terry, Cole, Ramires & Mata were rested for the expected final.
    Cech made a suicidal clearance to Bertrand inside the box which was quickly seized upon for the opener.
    Hazard equalised but it took until the 110th minute for the substitute club captain to head home Hazard's near post corner for the victory and the chance to beat Corinthians of Brazil to the prize.


    CORINTHIANS 0 - 2 CHELSEA

    Mata 22
    Wallace (OG) 35

    An exhausted Hazard was not risked for the final, however his replacement Mata (not a bad replacement) ensured he was not missed with a 22nd minute opener.
    He was foiled in his attempt to double the lead by a Wallace OG which meant that Chelsea were crowned World Champions in only Drogba's 8th game as a Manager.


    WHO LET THE DROG OUT?-trophy.jpg

    It was Drogba who had got Chelsea there as a player and now he was a world club winning manager.

    READING 0 - 3 CHELSEA

    Mata 20, 76
    Cahill 51

    An exhausted, jet-lagged Chelsea made the short journey down the M4 to the Madjeski to play struggling Reading.
    Even injuries to Cole and Marin could not prevent a dominant victory.
    Man of the Match Cahill scoring in the middle of 2 Mata goals who was once again leading the forward line.
    Youngster Lucas Piazon was becoming an increasingly important sub and would soon be considered for a starting spot.

    CHELSEA 0 - 0 SPURS

    The last game of the year came on the 29th December and although Chelsea had the best of the play they could not break down a resolute Spurs for whom Younnes Kaboul was Man of the Match.
    A bad injury to Oscar would keep him out for 6 weeks.
    Such was the injury and tiredness problems within the Chelsea squad that 17 year old Islam Feruz was an unused sub.

    SUMMARY

    An extremely succesful December both on & off the pitch despite the injuries.
    Chelsea were still 9th in the league but were closing on the top 3 in terms of points.
    Deals were struck with Everton for Fellaini to bolster midfield and with Athletico Madrid for Falcao.
    Fellaini cost a bargain £14m with £8m over 48 months.
    Falcao cost £42m with £30m over 48 months.
    Drogba identified that it was vital to strengthen the squad with players who could make an immediate impact.

  9. BUSY NEW YEAR

    NORWICH 0 - 0 CHELSEA

    WHO LET THE DROG OUT?-norwich-v-chelsea_-overview-overview.png

    Falcao made his 1st start for Chelsea who were the better team but couldn't break down the Canaries.
    Due to injury and fatigue Ramires and Piazon played in the attacking midfield spots.

    SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 1 - 3 CHELSEA (FA CUP 3RD ROUND)

    WHO LET THE DROG OUT?-sheff-wed-v-chelsea_-overview-overview.png

    A lunatic tackle within the 1st minute saw David Luiz sent off for Chelsea. Drogba was absolutely furious with the curly haired defender as he left the pitch.
    Lampard was immediately replaced by Romeu much to his disgust.
    After a goal less 1st half the Blues played really well in the 2nd with Fellaini and Piazon making the difference.
    Malouda even got on the pitch for a 20 minute cameo.

    NEWCASTLE 4 - 3 CHELSEA (CAPITAL ONE SEMI FINAL 1ST LEG)


    WHO LET THE DROG OUT?-newcastle-v-chelsea_-overview-overview.png


    A goal fest from St James as Chelsea tossed away a comfortable 3-1 lead in the last 15 minutes of the game.
    Hazard gave Chelsea a dream start after 6 minutes but another injury, this time to the influential Mata left Drogba cursing the busy fixture schedule. Mata would join a lengthy injury list.
    The last 14 minutes saw some suicidal defending despite the instructions to retain possession & counter. It was an experienced defence so there were really no excuses.
    A tough 2nd leg was faced to ensure Chelsea reached another final.

    ASTON VILLA 1 - 1 CHELSEA


    WHO LET THE DROG OUT?-aston-villa-v-chelsea_-overview-overview.png

    A lack of attacking options for Drogba with a bench full of defenders & central midfielders.
    Bent scored an early opener and Chelsea struggled to breakdown a stubborn Villa.
    The rejuvenated Torres equalised on 68 to ensure a hard fought away point which was a fair result.

    CHELSEA 2 - 1 WEST HAM


    WHO LET THE DROG OUT?-chelsea-v-west-ham_-overview-overview.png

    Finally, a home game and a return to winning ways. Falcao was fit enough for a place on the bench.
    Old Boy Carlton Cole scored the opener in a tepid 1st 45 minutes. Chelsea looked tired and not at the races.
    However, Torres scored just before half time & Fellaini secured the points with a fine header from a corner mid way through the 2nd half.

    CHELSEA 6 - 1 EVERTON


    WHO LET THE DROG OUT?-chelsea-v-everton_-overview-overview.png

    A return to a narrow attacking midfield with Torres playing as a trequista on the right hand side supporting Poacher Falcao.
    High flying Everton were hoping to regain top spot in the Premier League but were blown away by a top quality Chelsea display.
    Falcao got his 1st goals for the club with a brace & Fellaini netted against his former club as Chelsea raced to a 5-0 half time lead.
    Chelsea eased off in the 2nd but still recorded a fine 6-1 win.

    CHELSEA 4 - 0 NEWCASTLE (CAPITAL ONE 2ND LEG - 7-4 ON AGGREGATE)


    WHO LET THE DROG OUT?-chelsea-v-newcastle_-overview-overview.png

    Another brace for Falcao as Chelsea sealed their place in the Capital One Final with a 4-0 thumping.
    Newcastle were seriously depleted due to the African Cup of Nations but barely put up a fight as Chelsea outclassed the opposition.
    Local rivals QPR would await in the final at the end of February.

    CHELSEA 2 - 1 WATFORD (FA CUP 4TH ROUND)


    WHO LET THE DROG OUT?-chelsea-v-watford_-overview-overview.png

    Chelsea had a lot of shots but scored with their only 2 on target as they beat a valiant Watford side to secure another cup derby against West Ham.
    Cahill was in excellent form and scored another and Torres sealed the win.

    CHELSEA 0 - 1 SUNDERLAND


    WHO LET THE DROG OUT?-chelsea-v-sunderland_-overview-overview.png

    Drogba reverted to playing with wingers after 3 straight wins with Torres again playing behind Falcao.
    The change in tactics & gamble massively backfired.
    It was Chelsea's 10th game of the month and there was the Man United fixture at the weekend but a strong team didn't perform.
    The 2nd half performance was better and Torres was pushed up front alongside Falcao but £92m of strike talent failed to hit the target. Sturridge made a late substitute appearance after 3 months out.

    A win would have put Chelsea 3 points behind 4th with 2 games in hand. Achieving top 3 in the league was looking a tall order now.
    Summary

    No immediate further transfer activity was seen during the month.
    Drogba had to increase the wage budget to accommodate the Bosman signings of Fernando Llorente and Salvatore Bocchetti.
    Malouda was offered a free transfer and a mutual termination to get his £100k a week wages off the payroll but he opted to join PSG for free at the end of the season.

  10. nice so far keep it up

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