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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rival Rendezvous: Devils At The Bridge

Welcome to another edition of the special blog feature 'Rival Rendezvous'! Today, we talked to Chelsea FC fan Mukesh Kini ahead of tonight's game at Stamford Bridge, where Manchester United will attempt to win their first game at West London since 2002. Mukesh was frank with his opinion as we discussed about the game, what's going on at the club & the fans' perspective...

1. Starting off this conversation, what are your thoughts on the game at Stamford Bridge?

Mukesh: A huge huge game for Chelsea FC. We definitely are out of the title race but we can definitely put pressure on United by scoring 3 points as we are not under pressure as United are. 

2. Chelsea have been misfiring quite throughout the season, except for a blitzkrieg start. What has gone wrong this time?

M: Yes, Chelsea FC have clearly been off the hook this season. I feel the sacking of the first team coach Ray Wilkins has brought a drastic change. The sacking was surely due to some internal bleeding. The likes of Drogba, Lampard, Malouda all need to up their game which they haven't till now. We need it in the final half of the season.

3. How do you see Ancelotti's position at the club right now? Do you see him at the club next season?

M: Carlo's position according to me isn't in danger. All Roman Abrahamovich needs is the UCL crown which he has been longing to get. Carlo in his first season at Chelsea FC has done wonders by winning the League as well as the FA Cup. He definitely has the capability in him to get UCL crown to the Bridge. Only thing he needs is time and Roman's support which I feel he definitely will have as you can see, two huge signings already done during this January transfer to strengthen the squad. He will definitely stay as the Chelsea FC manager next season as well.

4. Torres & David Luiz for a total outlay of £75 million in the January transfer window. How optimistic are you about those two new signings?

M: Torres and Luiz are really big signings for Chelsea FC. When Torres gets going any kind of defense trembles, we all know it. He is just top notch at the demolition act. He needs time to settle down at his new club. We have definitely seen instances of his top class playing style against Coppenhagen when teamed with Anelka. When teamed with the deadliest Drogba and when both are in top form then it's going to be a DREAM combination up front which we surely will witness in the days ahead. And David Luiz the young Brazilian center back. With most of the Chelsea squad's players on the final stage of their career, Luiz who is just 23 years old and who has the capability to fill in the CB role alongside JT was indeed a class signing for the present as well as keeping the future in mind.

5. The investment this January makes us believe that there is more to come. Do you think that senior players, say Drogba, Anelka will be shown the door similar to last summer?

M: Yes, definitely there will be more players making their way into the Chelsea FC squad this summer. And its obvious, you don't play your best football you don't stay a chance to be in the top 11. Drogba according to me might last not more than one more season at Chelsea, as he is 33 already. Anelka has been playing some great football off late. But again age is the crucial factor. But there will definitely be a huge shuffle in the squad this summer.

6. Given the fact that Chelsea is competing only for the Champions League (regardless of what Terry says), do you think the Blues have a realistic chance to winning it this time?

M: Yes, I feel we can win it (UCL), IF AND ONLY IF the players up their game drastically so that we stand a chance to win the huge throne. We need the likes of football Chelsea showed against Sunderland recently.

7. Tell us something about those new kids coming out of the Chelsea academy.

M: Youth players are definitely not playing a huge role in the main team, but there is definitely a huge chance for some of them next season during the re-shuffle to make it into the main team.

8. What d'you think of United's form this season?

M: United's main reason to be up there leading Chelsea by 15 points is that, they are playing it together as a team. Every time they are on the break they look threatening. The likes of Berbatov, Nani, Vidic, Rafael, Giggs all have played a crucial role to bring the team to this stage.

9. Who will win the Barclays Premier League title 2010-11?

M: As of now its clear cut that Sir Alex Ferguson will get United their 19th title unless and until a MISHAP occurs which I don't see it happening.

10. On a ending note, what's your scoreline prediction for the Stamford Bridge game?

M: I go for a 2-1 win for Chelsea with Torres scoring his first :)

I'd like to express my heartiest thanks to Mukesh for talking to Traffordshire County. In case you wanna know him better, you can check him out on Twitter @mukeshkini.

So what are your pre-match thoughts on the game tonight? Feel free to leave your comments below or drop me a line on Twitter @AbhinavCJ & I'll get back to you right away!

Today, do spare a thought for our evergreen Ryan Giggs, who has completed 20 YEARS as a professional footballer for Manchester United! The Living Legend will also equal Sir Bobby Charlton's record of most league appearances (606 appearances), when he plays against Chelsea on Tuesday. Hope he goes on and on and on for the Red Devils...!!!

Daniel Taylor, of the British daily 'The Guardian' has published an excellent piece on Ryan Giggs as he celebrates 20 years in the Premier League. You can read it here.

As I wrap this up, I'd like to give a special mention to the excellent football blog 'BigFourZa' - the ultimate one-stop for the best articles for all die-hard football fans!

That's all Folks!


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