August 13, 2014: Chelsea have announced the sale of Victor Moses to Wolfsburg for a fee of 7.5 million pounds. Moses came to Chelsea in 2012, and only made 23 appearances for the team. Chelsea officials wish Moses good luck in the future and thank him for his service to the club.
August 13, 2014: Today Chelsea announced the signing of 17 year old striker Nicolas Kieffer. Kieffer has become quite the hot prospect, with top notch technical ability and determination to become the best. The price is thought to be around 20 million pounds, which is a hefty risk to take on such a young and undeveloped player. Kieffer will train with Chelsea’s first team, but will play regularly for the u21 team, while getting occasional appearances for the first team.
August 10, 2014: Chelsea managed to defeat City 2-0 after 90 minutes at Wembley. In what must be some sort of record, Gregory Johnson has won his first piece of silverware for the club in only his first full day in charge. Johnson fielded a mostly full strength squad, while Manuel Pellegrini opted to rest stars Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero and gave a start to promising striker John Guidetti.
Eden Hazard showed Johnson why he has earned his global superstar reputation, scoring both goals. The first was a textbook team goal, featuring excellent link up play between Nemanja Matic, Oscar, Felipe, Cesc Fabregas, and Hazard himself. The second was a lovely free kick, taken with Hazard’s left foot.
This win will certainly serve as a huge boost in confidence for fans of Chelsea, especially for those who doubt Johnson’s managerial skills.
August 10, 2014: Clubs officials announced that Wallace will return to the club from loan. He had been loaned out to Clube Atlético Paranaense in early July, but it appears that new manager Gregory Johnson thinks that the young Brazillian is the solution to the club’s lack of depth at the full back positions. With Branislav Ivanovic aging, and no established young talent at full back, Wallace is now being touted as Chelsea’s next first team full back. This move also allows Ivanovic to provide cover at centerback, instead of being a permanent full back.
August 10, 2014: Gregory Johnson gave the public their first look at him in two press conferences today. In his reveal, he was very optimistic, and praised the club and it’s administration.
He also hinted at his future transfer dealings, saying that he is looking to improve the defense. One possible target is Mauricio Isla, wing back at Juventus. Isla has recently been placed on the transfer list by his club and is expected to move before the close of the window. Another possible target is young centerback Niklas Süle, who is reported as unhappy at Hoffenheim, having been rejected a new contract. A move to Chelsea could prove lucrative for the young German.
In the conference before the Community Shield match, Johnson again praised the club’s officials, however remained reserved with regards to questions about his plans.
The match should prove entertaining. Johnson has had almost no time to train his side, and it will be interesting to see how well organized they are in the match.
August 9, 2014: This morning Chelsea gave a press release announcing the termination of Jose Mourinho’s contract, as well as the hiring of virtually unknown new head coach Gregory Johnson. This comes as a shock to the football community as an unproven rookie takes the reigns of one of the world’s biggest clubs. In addition, Director of Football Michael Emenalo has also been fired.
Some reports suggest that Johnson, 32, has been undergoing a mentoring process under the club’s administration, and has spent time learning under the coaching staff at Chelsea affiliate Vitesse Arnhem.
There have been a wide variety of reasons reported as to why club legend Jose Mourinho has been sacked, but a common theme seems to be a dissatisfaction among club officials regarding transfer dealings in the past 2 years, and a divide between administration and coaching regarding weighing long term goals versus short term goals. Several sources report that Mourinho wanted to spend money to win trophies sooner rather than later, while club officials wish to build up a more stable future for the club before chasing trophies.
Evidence of Mourinho’s deposition can be found in the analysis of transfer dealings. Young talent such as Ryan Bertrand and Andre Schürrle have departed from the club, and older, more developed talent such as Javier Pastore, Ever Banega, and Borja Valero have replaced them.
Mourinho was coming off of a moderately successful 13/14 season, winning the FA Cup and suffering a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in the Champions League Final to Dortmund. He was less successful in the Premier League, placing 3rd.
Many suggest that Johnson will seek to balance the midfield heavy squad, and attempt to give youth team players the chance to prove themselves in the first team squad.
It may take some time to see if this move pays off, but most people have been voicing their doubts.
Johnson’s first test takes place tomorrow, in the Community Shield match versus Manchester City.