Chelsea ends U.S Tour with 1-0 loss to A.C. Milan
Saturday evening Chelsea looked like a team that was withering after two weeks in the American summer heat. You can hardly blame them since the past two weeks have been packed with travel, two-a-day training sessions, loads of publicity appearances, and of course four heavily hyped friendlies.
After starting the U.S. tour with that promising 4-2 defeat of Seattle Sounders, things have gone downhill a bit, with a draw against Paris St. Germain, followed by losses to the MLS All-Stars and A.C. Milan last night. Yes, it’s only preseason. Obviously the important thing on these tours is team preparedness and bonding – getting as ready as possible before the games really count. The tour has certainly been successful from a marketing standpoint with each of the stadiums mostly full and Chelsea fans turning up in droves for every match. Still, ending the tour with consecutive losses must have at least a small negative psychological effect. You like to see those engines fully revved in preseason, but there’s still time to get ready.
Considering all that the Blues have been through on this tour, it’s hard to be too disappointed or critical about losing to A.C. Milan. It’s not like Milan dominated or anything, in fact, Chelsea controlled large portions of the match. But if there was one minor alarm that went off for me last night, it’s that Chelsea’s play was eerily similar to the way they played much of the first half of last season. That is, controlling most of their matches without actually scoring. Possession without points. Chelsea has a very strong midfield, but they’ve got to produce more goals this season.
Fortunately, the team has a few more weeks to work out the kinks. The biggest readiness test will be that August 12 Community Shield match against Manchester City.
I want to thank everyone for stopping by the blog during the past two weeks. You’ve brought record readership to the site during Chelsea’s American tour. I sincerely appreciate your clicks and I hope you will swing by again often during this season!
Your thoughts on Chelsea’s performance against A.C. Milan?
Chelsea makes second stop on U.S. tour
Chelsea arrived in New York City yesterday to prep for their Sunday match against aspiring super club Paris St. Germain. Before making it out of Seattle, the players enjoyed an impromptu runway training session while waiting out a flight delay.
Much of the deal news this week revolved around Chelsea possibly signing Oscar the Brazilian Wonder Kid. It seemed like a done deal, but now Oscar’s back pedaling. He confirmed he had a physical with the Chelsea folk, but says he won’t make a decision about his future until after the Olympics. This kind of intrigue is always amusing and predictable. I’m sure there’s an agent behind the scenes advising Oscar to be cryptic to ensure continued headlines for a couple more weeks. Anyways, you often can’t tell these deals are final until you actually see the player suited up on the sideline.
Another Brazilian in the news this week was Willian. His club Shakhtar Donetsk supposedly rejected a Chelsea bid for the attacking midfielder earlier this week. Now Willian’s making no bones about his desire to bolt Shak Don for Chelsea.
It’s anyone’s guess how the Oscar, Willian, or Victor Moses deals will go down (or won’t go down)! One thing’s for sure – it will be an interesting few weeks leading up to the Chelsea v. Manchester City Community Shield match which unofficially kicks off the new season on August 12th.
I’m looking forward to the Chelsea v. Paris St. Germain friendly at Yankee Stadium tomorrow. Fox Soccer will be carrying the match live. Should be an energetic game and unique atmosphere. The baseball stadium atmosphere is apparently appealing to a lot of U.S. fans this summer – check out what tickets are selling for…
Who would you rather see land at Chelsea – Oscar, Willian, or Moses?