We visited the impressive CFCNet website to get the views of our friends from Moscow and London ahead of the new season. We got the opinions of several forum members and include the best here.
Q. Last season – did you expect to win the title? How disappointed were you?
‘DP89’: Yes, I did to be honest. Bringing in the likes of Sheva and Ballack had most Chelsea fans in heaven, and as Utd had only brought Carrick, it looked like we would do 3 in a row.
George: Yes I did, I thought what with bringing in Shevchenko to bang in the goals, and Ballack to add o the midfield thought we’d have OUR trophy again.
litchy: Obviously dissapointed, but I was happy that we won 2 cups anyway. At the start of the season I expected big things, not just from Chelsea, but from Ballack and Shevchenko. That, obviously, didn’t happen, but we still played very well. Amongst all the criticism we received for not winning ‘what we should have’ people forgot that we were still ruthlessly efficient and kept up our unbeaten home record. The whole Jose vs Roman saga took over alot of what we were doing on the pitch.
Mark Kelly: Nope.As a Chelsea supporter of 38 years I’ve learned never to expect anything!
Q. Where you more disappointed to lose the title or not to win the CL again?
‘DP89’: The title. The Premiership for me is the bread and butter, and what you fight for every week of the season. Thats my priority.
George: Not to win the league. The league is a week in week out test through injuries etc. The champions league is a bonus to a season.
litchy: Well, over all, I would have preferred to win the league for a third time, but the manner that we exited the CL made that harder to swallow. I have to admit, once again, Rafa has worked out how to play us. You just wait though, next season we’ll batter you (on penalties) in the final.
Mark Kelly: I was more dissapointed in the manner in which we lost both to be honest , with what seemed at the time the board being hell bent on stopping Mourinho doing either.
Q. Which would you prefer this season? CL success or win the title back?
George: Title back
litchy: That a tough won. It would be great to win both obviously, and it’s not beyond us. I think having lost the league last season that will be our priority next year (maybe it wasnt last time round).
Mehrino: Prem every day of the week. But a first CL in Moscow would be pretty special.
Q. Are you happy with your summer signings? Who do you expect to make an impact this season? Any of the new boys or a youngster?
‘DP89’: I’m happy with the signings, as they are what we need. If we get Alex in, we’ll have 4 quality centre halfs, which was our main weakness last year. Pizarro and Sidwell are good cover players for when Drogba/Mikel and Essien head off to Ghana in January, and I’m excited about Malouda.
there’s a few of the youth’s that I’m excited about, although I doubt any will break through properly this season. Jose obviously see’s something in Sam Hutchinson and Scott Sinclair, and with RB being a troublesome position, perhaps he’ll get a shot at some time.
George: I’m glad we got another CB in after last season’s lack of cover and hopefully Alex is on his way too. I am also pleased we got another talented CM in so that we have cover the Afrocan Cup Of Nations. I think Malouda will have a big impact
Mehrino: Very happy with the free’s, but would like to see Alves come in to provide us with more pace and creativity. I expect Malouda to have a good season, with Sinclair and possibly Hutchy pitching in when called upon.
Q. What do you consider to be your teams biggest strengths?
‘DP89’: The ability to win when not playing well, and also scoring late goals. The strength in depth we have now looks great, the squad looks much stronger with the 5 new boys (and with Glen Johnson returning).
litchy: We are ruthlessly efficient, thats safe to say. I think to be honest, your style of play is most similar to ours out of the big clubs. We just suss teams out, pass it about a bit, score 1 or 2 then pack up shop. Its not pretty, but its bloody effective. And it helps to have the best keeper in the world as well (even if he is shite at penalties)
Q. And weaknesses?
‘DP89’: Positionwise, weakest would still be RB, but Paulo was very good at Wembley, and I’ve got a feeling Glen Johnson could be a decent player for us soon.
George: Does the inability to beat liverpool in a semi count as a weakness?
litchy: Not so much a weakness, but we should play with a bit more flair sometimes. We win on the most part with our current style of play, but it would be nice to destroy a few teams once in a while, particularly against smaller teams.
Q. One thing you could change at your club?
litchy: Not sure really. An improvement in various semi-finals would be nice.
Lizzington: According to the press, the Mourinho and the higher management seem to be at loggerheads with each other all the time. So IF that is true, I hope everyone at the club can get along like a big family.
James Prescott: If there are disagreements at the club, to get us all pulling in the same direction – with Jose in sole charge of footballing matters. But not too much to be honest.
Q. Hopes for the coming season?
‘DP89’: Champions, and CL final. We dont ask for much.
Q. What about us, how do you think we will fare this coming season?
‘DP89’: Closer, but not close enough. 3rd again.
George: I think you will do better, but not great. 4th or 3rd, don’t think title challengers.
litchy: Well its tough with Liverpool. Eveyone tips them to do well before the season starts, then by Christmas your challenging for 3rd. Could be the same again this year really, but you’ve definately improved squad wise.
Q. Impressed with our summer spending?
‘DP89’: Not really, as I’ve never been a Torres fan, and Babel didn’t over impress me in the Euro U21’s. Benayoun COULD be a steal at Â£5mil though.
George: Impressed is not the word I’d use. 20 million for Torres seems pretty steep and form what I’ve seen he’s a good player in an average team. I don’t feel he’s the man to solve your goalscoring problems.
Mehrino: Torres and Lucas yes, but I think Babel was overpriced, and what the hell is Benayoun all about?? Off-loading Bellamy was a good idea and Voronin on a free is good business too.
Q. So, tips for this coming season:
Title: All said Chelsea
Top Scorer: Berbatov/McCarthy / Berbatov, McCarthy, Drogba and Ronaldo again for me. Maybe Torres
Relegated: Birmingham, Wigan, Sunderland / Birmingham, Derby, Wigan
Player to come from no-where: Titus Bramble for player of the year / Sidwell / Bianchi
Liverpool will finish in: All said 3rd or 4th
Chelsea will finish in: All said 1st