Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, March 8, 2007


By Asifur Rahman Khan

Without a doubt, Chelsea is a great team. After all, winning the EPL twice in a row after missing out for 50 years has brought on a new respect for the team. New respect maybe, but Chelsea can never be big as rivals like Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool, although Peter Kenyon predicts that Chelsea can be as big as them by the year 2014. I am very eager to see just how Chelsea achieves that!

Sure, I am a Manchester United fan. Sure, I support Manchester United, no matter what position they are in, in the league table. That doesn't stop me from respecting big clubs like Liverpool, and Arsenal. Still, I just can't get myself to respect Chelsea as a team. How can I when their story of winning the EPL completely reminds me of my FIFA 2007 manager mode?

50 years, and they have nothing to show for it. Suddenly, they win two consecutive premier league titles. After all, why wouldn't they? Pour in 200 million dollars for new players, bring in whoever is best in whatever respect for any amount of money, and you can get any team to win the EPL. Isn't that what happens in FIFA 2007? Bring in the best players, and you can win the league and ECC hands down. Simulate each game with these superstars in your team, and you will end up winning every match even if you simulate an entire season away.

I even have more respect for West Ham than Chelsea, who despite being relegation threatened, still produced the England stars that are currently on Chelsea's payroll; Frank Lampard, whose brilliant midfield action salvaged many points for Chelsea, Joe Cole, whose work rate across the field resulted for many goals for Chelsea.

It's quite easy to win the league when you buy the best players around the world at a moment's notice. A spark in the form for a few games, and they buy Shawn Wright Philips. The stature of Chelsea has come down so much that even Theo Walcott didn't want to play for Chelsea, citing the reason that he doesn't want his future to be jeopardized. No better example for this than Shawn Wright Philips, who could have made a big name at Man City, but is now dusting the substitute bench.

This is something that we do in FIFA 2007. The top eleven players will always play in the game, while the subs are used only when we see the starting eleven hit by a high fatigue level.

Home grown talents for Chelsea are rare. With the exception of John Terry, there is not a single player that Chelsea has produced through their youth academy who is currently playing for them. Take Manchester United; their glorious age was initiated with their own home grown talents in the form of Giggs, Beckham, Scholes, and the Neville brothers. I would like to see a similar thing happening for Chelsea, if it ever happens.

What I really want to know is what will happen to Chelsea if Roman Abramovich ever decides to bail out. Is it going to be another 50 years for them to win anything before another billionaire takes over, or are they strong enough to produce players for competing with teams like Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal?

Chelsea supporters, are you going to sit back quietly after this?-RS


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