Ahead of Sunday lunchtime's game at The Hawthorns, we caught up once more with Chelsea fan Martin from
The Chelsea Chronicle.
He gives his views on the Blues' start to the season,
their prospects for the campaign ahead, Eva Carneiro,
and more. You can follow the
'Chronicle' on Twitter @CFCChronicle
or Martin himself @MartinLi24.
the Eva Carneiro controversy, your take on it?
Unfortunately it’s been a dreadful week for Chelsea, on and off the pitch. The
Blues have never done fantastically on the PR front in terms of racism and
sexism etc, and this has not helped. Mourinho’s words seemed innocuous enough –
he criticised his “medical staff” – but the ensuing media furore, which
predominantly surrounds Carneiro only and not Fearn, has meant the saga has gone
into a battle about gender and how Mourinho had ulterior motives. This will not
help relations and Mourinho will surely, deep down, be angry with himself for
unknowingly causing this mess because it’s detracted Chelsea away from
footballing matters. It is ironic that he blamed medical staff for being slow
when reacting to Petr Cech’s head injury in 2005, and whilst there is some sense
in that physios have to understand the game, first and foremost they have to do
what is medically right. (Besides,
would have only been down to 9 men for around 30 seconds... Mourinho is
clutching at straws!)
It's not been the best of starts
to the season for Chelsea,
just a blip or something to be worried about?
Probably a bit in between. I
can’t imagine it going on for too long, but it shows that this season will not
be a canter. City are strong, United strengthened. It’s Chelsea’s worst start
since 1998/99 but expect Mourinho to pull through. However, if things get
messier behind the scenes with transfer rows or internal strains in relations
and all of a sudden there’s a falling out with Abramovich, then there could be
real, real danger.
Much has been made of the
decision by Jose Mourinho to substitute his captain John Terry at half-time
during last weekend's defeat to
City. Might this be the beginning of the end for the Blues' legend?
I’m shocked at how much this has
been talked about. Mourinho made the tactical decision to take off JT because he
was getting pulled apart. I bet Mourinho was toying with the idea of playing
Zouma from the off, as he has the pace, but felt Terry’s other attributes, e.g.
reading of the game or leadership, will compensate. The reality is it didn’t and
Sterling and co beat Terry for pace. Things had to change. But expect Terry to
be back in the line-up and dominating; he’s not gone yet.
back at last season, how did it compare to previous championship-winning
Whilst Chelsea were good, last
season was won mainly because rivals failed. Chelsea weren’t extraordinary –
they were good because they were at the top of the table after every single
match-day – but it relied heavily on City and United capitulating. We saw pretty
football and then tactical football. In other championship-winning campaigns,
it’s tended to be the more tactical.
confident are you that Jose Mourinho's men can retain their title?
Not very. We have not really
strengthened – and in this world that means going backwards. The start we have
had is not a good omen at all, and expect City to be fired up. It might be
tight, but I’m not so confident as I was last season. There is no match-winner,
all pretty stuff but all too careful.
the club's summer transfer dealings? Anything more the Blues need to do before
the window shuts?
No. Whereas last season we were
quick with Costa and Fabregas, this season we have decided to do nothing. The
imminent signing of Pedro smacks of panic, which is a disastrous way to manage
the market. It was clear Abramovich was trying to save money for a new stadium,
but recruits are needed. I’d personally quite like another defensive midfielder:
Matic is our only competent one, as Mikel offers nothing and Ramires and
Fabregas both have deficiencies to man this position with authority.
for Albion's season?
Tony Pulis is a good manager and
with the likes of Rondon and McLean in, I can probably expect another season of
mid-table mediocrity, well clear of relegation.
Bournemouth, Sunderland, Watford
Chelsea likely to line-up at The Hawthorns on Sunday?
Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill,
Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Ramires, Hazard, Willian; Costa. If
Pedro comes in time, I’d expect a substitute appearance from him and maybe
for Sunday's game?
Chelsea need to get going.
Expect some fire: 3-1.