Chelsea’s midfield must be neutralised if West Ham are to succeed

PUBLISHED: 12:09 22 April 2011

Florent Malouda, Chelsea

Florent Malouda, Chelsea

PA Wire/Press Association Images

West Ham have tough job on their hands at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has resigned himself to the sack after a season which will surely see them give up their title and once again fail to capture the Champions League.

Last season the Italian won the double in his first season, but never one for patience, it is likely owner Roman Abramovich is likely to wield the axe, with the Blues set to go trophy less for only the second time since he bought the club in 2003.

“I know football. I know clubs sometimes want to change the manager,” Ancelotti said before his side beat West Brom 3-1 at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

“There are a lot of people saying my future will not be here next season, but I’m not sure about this. We have to wait until the end of the season.”

It seems stability is lost on Abramovich and it seems ironic that the signing of Fernando Torres played a part in their poor campaign.

Purchased by the owner for £50m in the January transfer window, there is little doubt the Russian owner has insisted Ancelotti to play the goalless front man at the expense of Didier Drogba, Chelsea’s best striker since he joined the club.

His form has dipped this season and usually well beyond 20 goals at this stage of the season he has only scored 13.

However his latest strike came against United in their Champions League contest and his appearance at the break at the expense of Torres showed how important he is.

He gave Chelsea a focal point, something missing under Torres and it is likely he will start at Stamford Bridge this Saturday.

He is likely to be flanked by Nicholas Anelka and Florent Malouda who have both struggled to rediscover their impressive form last season, but are still extremely dangerous if they are allowed to run at full backs.

Former Hammers Frank Lampard has had an injur-ravaged campaign but looked more at home at the head of a diamond, a position he played in against United, while Michael Essien and Ramires both impressed in defeat and their box-to-box abilities will be key for the Blues this weekend.

Alex and John Terry are an extremely solid pairing at the back, but it will be interesting to see if they can compete with the strength of Hammers’ striker Carlton Cole.

Ashley Cole continues to be one of the world’s finest full backs and was named in the PFA team of the year, while the will be an equal amount of attacking thrust from the other full back through Jose Bosingwa.

Negating Chelsea’s midfield three will be a tough task, especially if Grant lines his team up in a 4-4-2 formation and the likely absence of Scott Parker will give the hosts’ a massive advantage.

Out wide West Ham continue to struggle to stop crosses and with Chelsea’s abilities out wide, it will be essential whoever plays out wide helps out their full backs.

West ham have struggled to create chances of late and with no forward in particularly good goal scoring form, this game could be a struggle for the Hammers.

Latest East London Sports News


The highly anticipated 10-part documentary series “The Last Dance” will debut on Netflix from April 20 with two new episodes weekly.


England manager Gareth Southgate says ‘now is not the time for us to take centre-stage’ in an address to the nation as The FA outline their plan to inform, entertain and empower millions of fans and followers.

Boxers representing Great Britain have won 18 gold medals (16 men, 2 women) between 1908 and 2016 ad we look at those who have come good over these years.

Yesterday, 18:49

The RFU has revealed the final placings for the 2019/20 rugby season, which was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Yesterday, 18:00

In the second of a series of interviews with county cricket captains, the PA news agency has spoken to new Essex captain Tom Westley.

Yesterday, 17:00

With sport shutting down across the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic, why not test your sporting knowledge with a 40-question Friday quiz?

Yesterday, 16:42

Anthony Joshua’s defence of his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO world heavyweight titles against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev has been postponed, it has been announced.

Yesterday, 16:03

The Premier League has issued a statement confirming that the season will not start at the beginning of May, while clubs have agreed to consult their players on taking wage cuts and deferrals.


Festival organisers AEG Presents will once again be providing a variety of exciting opportunities for young people at this year’s event

Looking to rent in London? Securing the keys to a new home in any big city can be an ordeal but there is a way to avoid the common pitfalls of London rentals - dodgy landlords, dubious décor and downright dicey security.

Cauldron Foods’ comedy night will give vegans the last laugh as Vegan comics dispel vegan myths.

Most read sport

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser