The Case For/Against Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Over the next few days we will examine 11 Chelsea prospects in every position on the pitch and analyze their potential for the first team in the future.

GK- Jamal Blackman
RB- Todd Kane
CB- Andreas Christensen
CB- Tomas Kalas
LB- Jay Dasilva
DM- Ruben Loftus-Cheek
CM- Lewis Baker
CAM- Izzy Brown
CAM- Lucas Piazon
ST- Dominic Solanke
ST- Patrick Bamford

Case For Ruben Loftus-Cheek

When Ruben Loftus-Cheek signed a £1.7m contract before his 18th birthday, there were a lot of eyebrows raised. The expensive contract was mostly a precaution to ward off interest from various poachers. Given Loftus-Cheek’s size and skill, it is not surprising that teams were lining up to poach him from Chelsea’s academy. There are not a lot of players like Nemanja Matic in the world and Loftus-Cheek is the closest thing you will find in England right now.

From a limited top level sample, it seems that Loftus-Cheek is not out of his depth. Preseason performances against Manchester City and his performance against Liverpool showed that he is a reliable player. His defensive skills are what most people see, but he also contains an underrated attacking component in his game (6 goals in 13 games for England’s U19s). Right now he has all the tools to be a regular first team player and would likely be a regular for most top flight teams.

Case Against Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Nathaniel Chalobah is a cautionary tale for Loftus-Cheek. Chalobah was well ahead of RCL in his development by almost 2 years and it has not worked out as expected for our other talented defensive midfielder. The issue with Chalobah has been with his ego and work ethic. At times Chalobah struggled to remain interested in games at the youth level. Loftus-Cheek seems to have a better handle on things but can go lose his composure at times. Jose Mourinho has said that he plans on making Loftus-Cheek a regular next season, but, should he fail to earn enough minutes, a loan spell could yield similar results.

Looking at the depth chart, it is easy to plug Loftus-Cheek in as Matic’s direct back-up at the moment. John Obi Mikel and Ramires both have questions about their future and there has been no indication that Mourinho has any plans for Chalobah. The problem is that Matic has played nearly every important minute this season while Kurt Zouma has been used as his direct replacement. While Mourinho has made a lot of promised about Loftus-Cheek, there still seems to be trust issues with making him a regular.

Outlook

Loftus-Cheek has two more seasons on his contract. The best way for him to become a regular would be if he stayed at Chelsea and earned minutes alongside Matic rather than in place of him. A loan spell could be the ultimate disaster as it has derailed the opportunities for players on the verge of the first team like Chalobah. Mikel played 21 games this season so far, a similar output next season is the absolute best case scenario for RLC.

The Case For/Against Andreas Christensen

Over the next few days we will examine 11 Chelsea prospects in every position on the pitch and analyze their potential for the first team in the future.

GK- Jamal Blackman
RB- Todd Kane
CB- Andreas Christensen
CB- Tomas Kalas
LB- Jay Dasilva
DM- Ruben Loftus-Cheek
CM- Lewis Baker
CAM- Izzy Brown
CAM- Lucas Piazon
ST- Dominic Solanke
ST- Patrick Bamford

The Case For Andreas Christensen Continue reading

The Case For/Against Jamal Blackman

Over the next few days we will examine 11 Chelsea prospects in every position on the pitch and analyze their potential for the first team in the future.

GK- Jamal Blackman
RB- Todd Kane
CB- Andreas Christensen
CB- Tomas Kalas
LB- Jay Dasilva
DM- Ruben Loftus-Cheek
CM- Lewis Baker
CAM- Izzy Brown
CAM- Lucas Piazon
ST- Dominic Solanke
ST- Patrick Bamford

Case For Jamal Blackman Continue reading

Racist thugs on Paris subway platform do not represent Chelsea FC supporters: #ktbffh

Pick a football site, any football site. Right now the raging topic of discussion is the abominably racist behavior of some Chelsea fans on a Paris subway platform in advance of the club’s Champions League Round of 16 match vs. Paris St. Germaine yesterday. What the heck, try The Guardian.

If you know football, you know that the Blues have a history. Their legendary hooligans, the Headhunters, rated their own chapter in How Soccer Explains the World, and if you go back a few decades you’ll learn that once upon a time the racism infesting the club’s fan culture was so vile that they abused their own black player. Continue reading

Chelsea 2 : 4 Bradford City: Three Thoughts

Well, then. Time for some quick thoughts on today’s FA Cup debacle at the Bridge.

1: Time to rethink that transfer talk?

Just yesterday Jose Mourinho was insisting that Chelsea has no interest in shipping players out or bringing new ones in. He’s happy with what he has. He trusts what he has.

“The window is open, but what I can say is I like them, I need them and I trust them,” he said. “I cannot select the same 18 players every game — I only can play 11. Salah is not playing a lot, Schurrle more than him. They are players that play for us in every competition. Even in the Champions League. I count on them.” Continue reading

Why do Chelsea Supporters Think the Refs are Against Us? Exhibit A…

We Chelsea FC supporters have a bit of a complex when it comes to officiating. Last year the Blues were voted the Most Hated Club in the Premier League by fans, which is fine – if they don’t hate you you’re doing it wrong – but all too often it seems like CFC is equally hated by the referees. I’m not going to bother you with an extended laundry list of grievances – feel free to Google [chelsea referee controversies] if you want details – but trust me when I tell you that for every questionable call that goes our way (and sure, there are some, like Mike Riley awarding Ramires a penalty against West Brom last season), it seems like there are a lot more that don’t.

There was a moment yesterday, in our scoreless draw at Sunderland, that I think illustrates why we have that complex. First, the picture: Continue reading

Goodbye and Good Luck to Fernando Torres

Today’s announcement of a two-year loan deal to AC Milan marked the end of a 3.5 year saga that began with £50m leaving Chelsea’s pockets and going into that of Liverpool. Clearly Torres never hit the heights that many expected, but claims of him being the ultimate flop are hard to justify.

The Beginnings

I’ve already commented on Didier Drogba, a player who was often glorified despite his many flaws. We were all glued to our computers or phones waiting for an official announcement from the club that Torres had been signed. There were those that had concern over the deal but it was mostly positive. We were taking the biggest star from a bitter rival and making him our own. Continue reading

The Drogba Double-Standard: A Tale of Redemption

Chelsea fans revere Didier Drogba and hail his return, but they’re suffering from a bad case of selective memory.

Didier Drogba’s return to Chelsea has been viewed as the homecoming of one of the greatest players to ever wear the famous Chelsea Blue. No one ever denies the importance of Drogba’s contribution to Chelsea but some wonder why people view him as an untouchable god? For all of Drogba’s accomplishments there were just as many turbulent times and failures to go along with it. We welcome back Drogba with open arms, but let’s not forget all the tough times he put us through. Continue reading