Spyin' Kop - Chelsea at Anfield 2007/08

Posted by nidgemo on August 14, 2007, 09:41:40 PM

Bit of a bumper edition this month, as, when I visited the Chelsea forums, I found them in a talkative mood. I've used a selection of answers, though this is still a bit of a bumper edition, but if anyone wants to see the rest of the answers they can be seen in the threads the questions were posed, at


For this edition, I visited Chelsea Mad, CFCNet and The Shed End.

Thanks to chelsea2 and tamworthcfc from chelseamad, The Special Dimwit, Tore Andre Flo 19, Seb, Washington Blue, Chelseaboy, James Prescott, 1johnnyspencer, bluejones, mehrino, Nicholasobe, Carefree Chris, Juni, Hugh Jarse 99 from CFCNet, and Fester from The Shed End for taking the time out to answer the questions.

Liverpool v Chelsea
Barclays Premier League
Sunday 19th August 2007
Kick Off: 4.00pm

I'll skip the full history bit, as this is quite long enough without it, but anyone who wants to read it can do so at

•   First Division/FA Premier League: 3 (1954-55, 2004-05, 2005-06)
•   Second Division/First Division/The Championship: 2 (1983-84, 1988-89)
•   FA Cup: 3 (1970, 1997, 2000)
•   League Cup: 3 (1965, 1998, 2005)
•   FA Charity Shield/Community Shield: 3 (1955, 2000, 2005)
•   Full Members Cup: 2 (1986, 1990)
•   UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 2 (1971, 1998)
•   European Super Cup: 1 (1998)

And now, the questions...

It's obviously still fairly early in the season, but what have you made of your two performances so far?
tamworthcfc - Obvious difference in the style, 4-4-2 with Sheva did not work last season, wingers are back, SWP looking the biz, well chuffed so far
the special dimwit - Very impressed. We had injury problems against Utd, yet still matched them. Defensively suspect against Brum, but sparkled offensively.
Tore Andre Flo 19 - Man Utd - a little toothless but still a decent performance to hold the Champions. We were missing key players, too.
Birmingham - exciting football, goals galore, debut goals for Malouda and Pizarro, and only one injury. Exciting times at the Bridge.
Washington Blue - Cautiously optimistic. Malouda and Pizzaro look like very good signings and briliant for the money. Ben Haim and Sidwell have also looked like solid additions to address the lack of depth that cost us the title last year. We are definitely an experiment at the moment, though. We played some really beautiful attacking football against Birmingham but conceded a practically unheard of 2 goals at the Bridge. Thought we controlled the Community Shield match fairly well. Our well known inability to win on penalties bit us yet again.
Carefreechris - We faced Man Utd without Terry, Drogba, Shevchenko, Ferreira, Ballack and Robben, who can all claim to be first choice players, and drew with them 1-1 in the 90 minutes. We tried a more fluid attacking style in that game, but without a central focal point (until Pizarro came on), it didn't happen.
Then in the Birmingham game, with Pizarro starting, the attack was much improved - fluid, movement, pace, understanding. We could and should have scored more than 3.
Now we have to build on that and carry that emphasis on.

Who do you think is your most important player(s)?
the special dimwit - John Terry.
Tore Andre Flo 19 - Michael Essien, John Terry
Seb - Essien, Terry and Drogba at the moment. They're all just brilliant in so many ways, I'd like to go into detail but I'd probably ruin the rest of the interview.
Chelseaboy - Lampard, Essien, Drogba, Carvalho, Terry, Cech
Mehrino - Petr Cech, JT, and Frank.
Nicholasobe - In order of importance: Cech; Terry; Drogba and Essien.
Juni - Quite comfortably Petr Cech, the man is the best goalkeeper in the world and his absence last year cost us the title, I'm sure of it. Man Utd fans will rightfully tell you they suffered a lot of injuries too but you only have to look at the points dropped in Cech's absence and the type of goals we conceded to know the difference he would have made.
Hugh Jars 99 - Cech. There is no other keeper in the league that commands the box like he does. The goals we concede are either pearlers like Kapo's or lucky strikes where Cech doesnt stand a chance. Terry and Drogba are important to the side, but if your keeper can guarantee you 10 or 12 points a season, then that puts us one step ahead of any side in the Premiership. Terry has comparables in the league; Rio or Carragher and Drogba too can be compared to the likes of Rooney or Torres, but Cech stands alone as the league (and possibly Europes) number one keeper.

Your worst player(s)?
chelsea2 - We dont have one yet! last season was Boularouz but even thats very harsh
tamworthcfc - Probably Glen Johnson. Don't want to be hard on him, but he is not a top quality defender, would be better suited to midfield
the special dimwit - Johnson's coming in for a fair amount of stick. There are no duds at Chelsea, as there used to be.
Seb - Hmm...I would have said Boulahrouz if he was still with us, so thats my scapegoat gone. I'd say Ashley Cole, purely because no one else warrants it so far and because I was unimpressed by his performance on Sunday.
1johnnyspencer - Hilario's the only truly crap player on the books. Johnson should get a flea in his ear and knows this is his last shot at the big time, otherwise he's off to Sp8rs or some other dead end.
Blue Jones - G.Johnson and P.Ferreira. No wonder every singel team attacks us on the right side all the time.
Nicholasobe - Are you Tubby's secret scout ...-:) Anyway, I prefer the term, improving ......
Hugh Jars 99 - Some have gone with Johnson and I think that this is grossly unfair. In our pre-season games I was fairly impressed with his performances so I think that those whipping Glen for one mistake against Birmingham this weekend gone are completely over-reacting. Shevchenko is the worst player in my opinion.
Fester - Glenn Johnson, I think defensively he loses concentration if not kept busy (as he was a Pompey). It's normally a goal keeper issue, a GK looks great at a 'small' club where he's always busy and makes great save after great save, but when he moves to a 'big' club and often has little to do he can lose concentration and drop clangers - Cech's biggest strength is his ability to pull off a blinding save after being idle for much of the match.

Who was your most improved player last year?
the special dimwit - Essien first, Drogba second, Carvalho third.
Tore Andre Flo 19 - Mikel went from very poor to very good, plus of course Drogba who had a screamer all year

This meeting will be our 17th in the last 3 and a bit years. Do you feel liverpool are starting to get the upper hand?
chelsea2 - In the cups you seem to have the Indian sign over us, league is different gravy. Last season at Anfield we played with half our team injured and you still had to score a blinder to get things moving. I wouldnt get too excited about last Anfield result lads
the special dimwit - Champs League, obviously you've got the better of us, but Jose's record against Tubby is still impressive.
Seb - I feel that it's become a lot closer than it had been previously, and of course last season you had the advantage in terms of wins. I still think that it's in our favour, just. I'll have to judge on the next game at Anfield.
Washington Blue - Quite simply, no. You've been very fortunate in two Champions League matches, which obscure the fact that we've owned you in the League. Remember 4-1 before the Kop? Remember not being able to beat us with a man advantage? I will say, however, that I am sick to death of playing you. You do not bring out the best in us or we in you.
Chelseaboy - Erm, no. Last time I heard someone suggest that, we trounced you 4-1 in your own back yard.
Chelseaboy - Domestically, we've been better in recent years. I'd say things are pretty even overall.
1johnnyspencer - Only in cup semis. Not in the league, you only beat us at Anfield last season because we had no centre-backs. There's no way Id take your Manager over ours, even if yours does know the way to Amarillo.
Blue Jones - No, not at all. But I think its safe to say that you got us on chokehold in the CL. That will change if we face you this season:)
Nicholasobe - Quite simply, no. The head-to-head is still very much in our favour and I'm not expecting last season's Anfield capitulation. I reckon your back four will be overworked and exposed on Sunday. That's where your weakness lies.

Any young up and coming players in the squad that we might not know about?
tamworthcfc - Scott Sinclair is lightning and skilful dwon the wing, looks a decent prospect
the special dimwit - Sinclair has been retained, rather than shipped out on loan, so he's obviously ahead of the others, in terms of vying for a first-team spot. It's worth remembering, the likes of Mikel, Diarra, Kalou etc are all very young.
Carefreechris - Scott Sinclair, Sam Hutchinson, Michael Woods, Ben Sahar. Sinclair has got what it takes to be a top top player. He may well play for England within the next 2 years. Hutchinson has been pointed out by Jose as someone who can be a top top defender. Woods is a very good young attacking midfielder, similar in looks and style to Scholes. Ben Sahar I guess you lot know about already.

Who do you think will be your best signing this season?
chelsea2 - Florent Malouda louda louda, Florent Malouda (to the tune of follow the leader)
tamworthcfc - Malouda, fast, quick feet, knows where the goal is
Mehrino - Pizarro. Fantastic touch, makes goals as well as scores them and could do a Berbatov for us this season.
Hugh Jars 99 - To be honest, I wasnt at all impressed with this season's transfer policy and the players we got in on a free were laughable. Malouda has looked industrious without over excelling, but it is early days. Ben Haim and Sidwell would never have been my first choice to fill in the gaps we were definitely lacking in numbers from last season. I'm hoping that Alex settles and knows his onions when it comes to defending.

What are your thoughts on Frank Lampard seemingly pulling a "Michael Owen" as it's known - running down the contract to secure a big move?
chelsea2 - Doubt he is doing that, he'll get his contract, he loves the club. Why would anyone want to leave!!! Face it, Jose is the best man manager in the world
the special dimwit - Not particularly impressed. However, Lampard's hitting 30, he's been with us six years, and he's been phenomenal. Whatever he does in the future, we've had his best years, and we'll always be eternally grateful to him.
Football Writer's Player of the Year when we won the title first time round; runner-up two years running for the PFA Player of the Year (behind Henry one year, Terry the next); runner up for European and World Player of the Year (behind Ronaldinho both times); voted the England national team's Player of the Year two years running; top scorer for England in the last European Championships and England's last World Cup qualifying campaign; 20 goals (or thereabouts) every season for us.
Let's face it, he can do as he jolly well likes. If he leaves he'll go with our best wishes. He'll never scale the same heights, in my opinion.
Tore Andre Flo 19 - He's not, trust me. And by the time his contract expires, who knows how good he will be.
Seb - I don't think it was that as such, I just feel he wasn't very happy with the current wage structure at the club, because of certain big names being brought in the year before. He's consistently said that he wants to stay at Chelsea, and the next contract he signs will be his last, so I'm not very concerned about him at the moment.
1johnnyspencer - No matter what opposition fans think, he's a legend to us. His consistency and hard work are top-notch and his scoring record, second to none.
But if he does go, it's not the end of the world, or the club. Good luck to him. In Mikel we have a top class player, stronger and more complete than the lauded Fabregas. Sidwell is looking like a good buy, too. And I think, if he was to leave next week (Though I hope not), Ballack would probably benefit from that, as Frank dominates our midfield, removing much of the responsibility the German has been used to in the past. Whatever people say about last season, Ballack is a top-drawer midfielder.
If he stays, great. If he goes, good luck, Frank.
Nicholasobe - Players come and go, but the club will always be there .... until a black hole comes and consumes the planet in 2012 (or so we are told).
Hugh Jars 99 - Well thats cobblers. I don't think that Frank is deliberately running his contract down in the hope of seeking a move at all. The murmurings from himself, Jamie Redknapp the weekend and those close to the player and club seem to suggest it is just a matter of time before a contract is sorted out. If that is at the end of the season, then fine, if its the end of the one after then so what. I fully expect Frank to be here for the remainder of his career outperforming most every midfielder in the Premiership time and time again...

Are you going to win the quadruple this season?
chelsea2 - No, home record undefeated and league would do me nicely. CL, i give up, for now!
tamworthcfc - Nope, don't think it will be done in my lifetime
the special dimwit - With Jose at the helm, anything's possible.
Washington Blue - If we stay relatively injury free- and we area already injury ravaged -- it's possible. We have the squad to do it now, but winning three cup competitions is probably not feasible. Too much luck involved, as Liverpool knows better than almost any other club.
Mehrino - No. But will push it very close yet again.
Juni - Don't be silly.
Hugh Jars 99 - Nope. I dont actually have us down to win the Premiership because the quality of the signings to date haven't been that great while United have put in absolute quality while retaining the squad from last year. We have bulked up on numbers, which is good, but I dont feel that they are quality or that they improve the squad a whole lot. We might defend a domestic cup but I'm not overly confident on competing on all fronts for the duration of the season no matter how good a performance I think we put in against Birmingham. United for the Premiership and my shout is for Inter Milan for the Champions League. We'll still finish higher than Liverpool in the Prem though

Which Liverpool player will you fear the most?
chelsea2 - mmmmm, let me think. Oh yeah, whats his name, Gerrard
tamworthcfc - Gerrard, and haven't seen much of Torres yet, but obviously has something about him!
the special dimwit - Don't know about "fear". I like Mascherano. Very shrewd signing. Torres may have cost over the odds at £26m, but from what I've heard, he's a top player.
Tore Andre Flo 19 - Torres. Not because he's any good, but because it's his home debut and he'll get a chance or two.
Seb - Riise, not so much for his technical ability, but every time he plays against us I'm petrified he's going to crack a 30 yarder within the first 5 minutes.
Chelseaboy - Torres. I have a gut feeling that he will score on his Anfield debut.
1johnnyspencer - That spawney Garcia has gone, so we can rest a little easier. Thought he even more inferior Pennant seemed like he was after his job, last season. It's usually the player we least expect.
Blue Jones - Dont fear anyone. But I do think that Riise is dangerous against us with his left foot. Why on earth are you guys fighting so hard to get Heinze when you got a class LB in your squad allready?
Mehrino - Riise. Not because he's any good, but just has a knack of scoring against us. Steven Gerrard M.B.E. also seems to be on unstoppable form.
Nicholasobe - Not a player, just a left foot.
Hugh Jars 99 - I don't think that there is much to "fear" at all to be honest. You've undoubtedly got some good players, and you have added one (Voronin) which I think will be a real gem for you, but not much else to be fearful of.
Fester - Steve G (played in centre mid) is obviously a great player, and Riise does have a knack of scoring against us!

How many players from the current liverpool side would make your first team?
tamworthcfc - Gerrard, Torres
the special dimwit - Right-back's a problem position for us. Long-term, Mascherano would make a good replacement for Maka.
Tore Andre Flo 19 - If all our players were fit, none. Gerrard on the bench next to Carragher, though.
Seb - Gerrard, Alonso maybe, not many really, if I'm being honest.
Washington Blue - Given the signings we've made since Gerrard opted not to join us, I think the answer is none. As good as he is -- and I don't get into the Lampard - Gerrard debate because they are both great so its pointless -- if Gerrard suddenly found himself on our team I don't think one can say he would automatically beat out the likes of Lamps, Ballack, Essien, Maka AND Mikel. That would be a tall order, even for him. Maybe Carragher at right back?
Chelseaboy - Steve Finnan at right-back. Gerrard is an unbelievable player but I wouldn't drop Lamps or Essien for him. We really don't need him.
1johnnyspencer - Finnan, because we've a weakness at right back. Maybe Mascherano or Gerrard, but not both. Maybe Agger, if Carvalho continues his Birmingham form.
Mehrino - Finnan maybe at RB.
Carefreechris - Finnan, maybe. Thats not a slant on Liverpool, as the players form a strong team when they work as a whole.
Juni - Steve Finnan at right back. The rest, including Gerrard, no. I expect RAWK to have a bit of a laugh if that gets put up, but qf I'm not gonna explain the reasoning behind it.
Hugh Jars 99 - Voronin as mentioned above is a proper handful and I would have much prefered to see him at Chelsea instead of Pizarro. I like Alonso a lot; always have done and as someone else mentioned Mascherano is a quality player.
Fester - Steve G, maybe Steve Finnan, hmmmm...I think that's all.

What team do you expect Jose to play against us?
chelsea2 - Attack attack attack attack attacking team. Gotta get through Reading unscathed first (Last year they took our 2 keepers out)
the special dimwit - It depends who's fit. Looks like Essien's out, which is a big blow. Hopefully Terry's back.
Cech, to be honest, Cole A, Terry, Carvalho, Maka, Malouda, Lamps, Drogba, Cole J, Kalou
Seb - I expect a similar team to the one he played against Birmingham, with Terry back in place of Ben Haim if the reports are true and he's close to recovery. Joe Cole also in there possibly for Malouda, if purely because he always seems to have a ball when he plays against you. Oh and of course Drogba in there too.
Chelseaboy - Cech, Johnson, Carvalho, Ben-Haim, A.Cole, Lampard, Mikel, SWP, Malouda, Drogba, Pizarro (Essien might be injured)
Fester - Cech, Johnson, Carvahlo, Terry, Cole, Maka, Essien (if fit otherwise Mikel), Lamps, Maluoda, Drogba, SWP.

Does the absence of Terry worry you?
chelsea2 - A bit, but he'll be back early, maybe at your gaff
tamworthcfc - A bit, so loong as he doesn't have the injuries he had last season we will be ok
Tore Andre Flo 19 - A bit, though Ben Haim looks very solid, and Alex huge, so we're well covered unlike last year. He'll play, anyway.
Seb - It does in the sense that I'm afraid we're open to defensive lapses and consequently conceding more goals, especially against the bigger teams.
Juni - Course it does, losing your captain and the best defender in the country (hint: it's not Carragher, unlucky lads) is going to affect things for the worst. Alex's arrival calms me a bit, at least until he gets onto the pitch.
Hugh Jars 99 - Yep, hugely.

What effect do you think the African Cup of Nations will have on this season (for my money, you will be missing your best 3 players from last season in Drogba, Essien and Mikel)?
chelsea2 - True but we have shev and ballack who didn't turn up that season and they will come back with added incentive. Sidwell will do a job and Malouda, well, watch this space
tamworthcfc - Could be crucial, up to the players left to step up to the mark. Like Ballack!!
the special dimwit - Your money's not worth the paper it's printed on. Mikel's a great prospect, I've no doubt he'll be one of the best players in the world in no time, but Carvalho made a far more lasting contribution to last season' campaign than he did. Obviously, the ACN is unwelcome, but Jose's factored for it. We have a far larger squad than last term, 24 outfield players as opposed to a paltry 19. Unlike Tubby, Jose doesn't do giant squads, or giant waistlines.
Tore Andre Flo 19 - Hopefully very little. Hopefully Sheva will be firing by then. Otherwise we do have enough replacements and we will just have to grind through the fixtures in that period. Here's hoping for a Cameroon-Senagal final, with Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria knocked out early! Also, Mikel is having little disputes with Vogts the Nigeria manager so might well not get called up anyway.
Blue Jones - Looking at our games during this period I wouldnt be to worried. Only "hard" match we got is against you lot.
Mehrino - You're right, three highly influential players and Kalou who's started well. But, the fixtures have been pretty kind to us, so as long as Pizza and Shev are around, I expect us to scrape through that period.

Given the choice, would you rather win the league or the champions league? Have the recent near misses in the CL and success in the prem made the European competition more of a priority, as it's the "missing" one?

tamworthcfc - League every time, it's the bread and butter (I bloody hate that phrase!)
Seb - I don't think so, it certainly seems that way for many people and some of the players. In my case it's the Premiership, because it just shows you the no nonsense truth. Of course it would be incredible to win the European Cup, but when I look at it I think that it's a cup competition which primarily exists to net the clubs loads of money. No, given a choice I'd probably go with the league.
Chelseaboy - Hard to say. Prem is the bread and butter, the real test. But CL is the holy grail.
Mehrino - League, league, league, every time! Although a CL win in Moscow would be incredible.

Who do you think is going to be the top 4 this season, and in what order?
tamworthcfc - Chelsea, the Mancs, Arsenal, Liverpool
Chelseaboy - Chelsea, United, Liverpool, Arsenal
1johnnyspencer - CFC, MUFC, LFC, AFC. But Newcastle or Everton seem more likely to knock Arsenal out of it than  Spurs
Nicholasobe - Chelsea; United; Man City and Liverpool.
Fester - 1. Chelsea, 2. the Mancs, 3. Liverpool, 4. Newcastle

Who do you think will be relegated, and why?
chelsea2 - Birmingham - its a shoitehole. Derby - They are crap. Wigan - Shoite Rugby club
tamworthcfc - Derby, not good enough, haven't improved the team since coming up. Wigan, luck will run out, remind me of Leicester when they were up, battlers and sloggers. West Ham - please!!!!!!!
the special dimwit - Wigan, Derby, Brum. Self-explanatory.
Tore Andre Flo 19 - Bolton, Boro, Derby. Bolton struggle post-Big Sam and not recover, I hate Boro and hope they go down, and Derby are Watford in disguise.
Seb - West Ham, because of the whole Tevez saga and the fact that they just looked awful on Saturday.
Bolton, the repercussions of losing Big Sam will take their toll.
Wigan, I think last season's near miss will catch up to them.
Washington Blue - West Ham, West Ham, West Ham
Chelseaboy - Derby (not good enough), Birmingham (again, not enough talent) and Wigan (Hutchings is a bad manager).
1johnnyspencer - Derby, Boro, Wigan. Still hate Boro after all these years.
Nicholasobe - Sunderland; Bolton and Derby.
Juni - Birmingham, Wigan, and Derby. Because they're not good enough.
Hugh Jars 99 - Wigan, Birmingham and Middleborough. Wigan will sorely miss Paul Jewell, Birmingham are managed by Steve Bruce and Middlesborough just shouldn't exist.
Fester - Derby (lack of Premier League experience), Wigan (a poor team and a poor manager), Bolton (big Sam will be a big miss).

Care to predict the score?
chelsea2 - Tough one, dependant on injuries. 1-1
tamworthcfc - 2-3
the special dimwit - Hopeful of a win. Expecting a draw.
Seb - I'm going for 1-0 If Terry is back, and a 1-1 if he isn't.
Chelseaboy - Chelsea 3 - 1 Liverpool
1johnnyspencer - We'll win 1-0 if Drogs is out, 2-0 if he plays.
Blue Jones - Chelsea to win it with a header by Drogba in the 92 min. 1-0
Mehrino - There'll only be 1 goal in it. 1-0, or 2-1 to Chelsea.
Nicholasobe - I can't, sorry.
Carefreechris - 1-1
Hugh Jars 99 - Chelsea to snick a tight contest 1-0 late in the second half. SWP crowns his recent reassurgence with a goal in the 77th minute. Hows that for a prediction?
Fester - 1-1

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