Chelsea`s season continues to flourish after all the doubts from August, that now turn to optimism, as the team continue build after that initial Burnley defeat. Two players, though, remain in the firing line. First up is Gary Cahill.
Antonio Conte saw fit, at the beginning of the campaign to name Cahill as his captain. The captain has since been on the receiving end of demands to see him remain on the bench rather take up his captain`s role. It`s true he may have instigated his own downfall, by getting himself sent off just 14 minutes into the first game at home to Burnley.
Next up for Chelsea is trip to Spain where they take on their nemesis Atletico Madrid in the new Wanda Metropolitano stadium. It will be the stadiums` first taste of Champions League football. The two clubs have quite a recent history regarding players who have appeared for both clubs.
Thibaut Courtois, who Chelsea bought from Genk in 2011, had a three year loan spell with Diego Simeone`s side before being recalled by then manager Jose Mourinho prior to the start of the 2014-2015 season. Mourinho opted to oust Petr Cech in favour of the Belgian shot stopper as the Blues no.1 between the sticks.
Chelsea travel to Spain this week to take on Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, where they will face one of their former strikers, Fernando Torres. Comparisons between Morata and Fernando Torres are inevitable. Torres arrived in January 2011 after he submitted a transfer request.
Despite the negative hype in the press, Fernando Torres’ stats during his subsequent time at Chelsea were pretty good. Even though he never reached the so-called heights we are led to believe he achieved at Liverpool, Torres did more at Chelsea than he is given credit for.
Chelsea fans once again showed their class in comparison to some of their rivals. Two chants about Alvaro Morata and Romelu Lukaku have made the headlines in recent days.
Both teams had been warned by the anti-discrimination group Kick-It-Out, to do just that. Chelsea supporters` anti-semitic chant was sung for Alvaro Morata and made mention of the ‘Y` word. Morata and Chelsea were very quick to ask fans not to sing it, they have heeded the warning and drew praise from Morata and the club after today`s game at Stoke City.
Chelsea got off to a flyer at the Bet365 stadium, despite the absence of Eden Hazard. Chelsea wasted no time in taking the game to their opponents. Good work by Tiemoue Bakayoko breaking up play had the Blues on for a, now famous, counter-attack.
A through ball by, captain for the day, Cesar Azpilicueta, found Alvaro Morata on the left side of the penalty area, where he unleashed a right footed shot across the keeper and into the bottom right-hand corner just two minutes into the game. Morata puts to bed the theory that he can only score with his head. That`s four goals and two assists in six premier league starts for Spaniard.
The good times are returning to Stamford Bridge, unbeaten in all competitions since the first game blip against Burnley, and with wantaway striker Diego Costa finally leaving. Antonio Conte, it could be argued, got his team selection and tactics wrong in the Arsenal game, but in a busy month of football there`s not much time to dwell upon it.
Saturday afternoon, Chelsea travel to the Bet365 stadium to take on Stoke City, who have had a mixed start to the season. An home win against Arsenal and a draw with Manchester United prove it will not be a walkover for Antonio Conte`s side.
Chelsea have finally managed to negotiate Diego Costa`s dream move back to his beloved Atletico Madrid. In a saga that has dragged on all summer the Brazilian born Spanish international has been AWOL since receiving a text, from Antonio Conte, telling him he was surplus to requirements this season.
Understandably Costa`s popularity amongst Chelsea fans has dropped somewhat since he took it upon himself to disown the club. When he signed back in 2014, he was pleased to have arrived in London,
‘I am very happy to sign for Chelsea. Everybody knows it is a big club in a very competitive league, and I am very excited to get started in England with a fantastic coach (Jose Mourinho) and team-mates. Having played against Chelsea last season I know the high quality of the squad I am joining.’
Chelsea face Nottingham Forest in the EFL/Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening with a kick-off time of 19:45. It will be Chelsea`s third home game in just over a week, and one that ought to see them progress to fourth round of the competition.
With a busy month of games on-going for Antonio Conte`s squad, rotation is likely to be the name of the game. Following hot on the heels of Sunday`s 0-0 draw with Arsenal, there are likely to be a couple of debuts in the starting XI at least.
Listening to the popular sports radio station Talksport this morning, I have to admit to being somewhat taken aback by an interview that took place with ex-Chelsea captain Ray ‘Butch’ Wilkins.
Talking to Breakfast Show stalwart Alan Brazil, Wilkins was asked his opinion on the tackle that saw David Luiz dismissed following his rash tackle on Saed Kolasinac. The opinion of the former Blues coach, in my opinion, beggars belief. I’m not sure what his agenda is, but he certainly seems to have turned away from being Mr. Chelsea in recent months.
Alvaro Morata has had a whirlwind start to his career at Chelsea. Since joining the club during the summer`s transfer window, the Spaniard has slotted into his striking role better than some of his predecessors, that have worn the fated number nine shirt.
In four Premier League games Morata has scored three goals and contributed two assists. Strangely enough they have all come courtesy of his head. Once he finds his feet, the world will be his and Chelsea`s oyster.