Opposing View: Chelsea
Vital Chelsea editor 'Merlin' joins us today to provide some insight on the Blues ahead of their trip to the Stadium of Light this weekend...
Hopes, fears & expectations for the season?
An interesting question to start with to say the least!
Pre-season I was realistic enough to know that the team would be rebuilt, that some of the older stars would be leaving and that Di Matteo would be trying to integrate the new players whilst also trying to change our style.
I`d hoped that he`d be given time and that we wouldn`t become a laughing stock by changing our manager again. I guess my hopes and fears merged in the spectacular aftermath of the defeat to Juventus in Turin!
As for my expectations, I`m open to suggestion. Nothing is ever straight forward at our club and nothing that happens surprises me anymore, but, like many others, I expect us to finish at least in the top four and another cup would be nice!Should Roberto Di Matteo still be in a job?
In my view most definitely!
The guy landed us the prize we`d been chasing for so many years, defeating the might of Barcelona and winning the trophy in the backyard of the opposition.
Okay, we never played the beautiful game but circumstances dictated we had to work with what we had. To play the final, in Munich, with four players suspended and to win it like we did in story book fashion, was a splendid achievement.
,br>But I guess the sands of time, in Russia, move faster then elsewhere and a poor run of results, four Premier League games without a win and a likely Champions League exit, meant the axe swung way before it should have.Should Rafa Benitez have a job?
He probably should, but not the one he currently has! And that`s all I`m saying on what is a very touchy subject!Are you a booer & if so/not, why?
Call me a private booer!
I`m a great believer in getting behind the team and I`m also a believer that any public booing will affect the team. As for why, there`s history between us, comments about us fans being plastic, how he`d never manage Chelsea and questioning the legitimacy of the money that came our way!Who will be the key man for you on Saturday?
Juan Mata - The Spaniard has been our player of the season so far. His exquisite range of skills have consistently produced the goods for us, be careful of conceding free kicks on, or around the edge of the area.One player you'd drive to his next club & why?
I`ll pass on this one! Several members of Vital Chelsea are on Fernando Torres` back but I`m a believer of getting behind everyone, after all, it wasn`t too long ago that the Spaniard sealed us a place in the Champions League Final, with that goal in the Nou Camp.One Sunderland player you'd snare & why?
Can we have Mr Fletcher? We`re desperate for a striker who can stick the ball in the net. Torres is firing blanks, Sturridge is injured and...well that`s basically it!Any injury or suspension worries?
We`re suspension free but we have two big names that are unlikely to feature in the shape of John Terry (knee) and Frank Lampard (calf). Daniel Sturridge is also struggling but, unless we pick up any injuries in our Champions League tie, this Wednesday that should be it!Match prediction?
Now this is a tough one!
We`ve not won for 7 Premier League games so we`re due a win, or will that barren run continue? The Stadium of Light is always a difficult place to go and is probably not the place we`d choose to go to on the back of this run, but beggars can`t be choosers so we`ll turn up, play some nice football (in patches) and hope to scrape a 1-0 win!Cheers Merlin - I have my doubts that this will be one for the pursists! We're just as poor, if not poorer than yourselves at the moment. A key game for all involved.