All posts by Connor West

Is Olivier Giroud’s time up at Chelsea?

After Chelsea forward, Giroud spoke out about his frustration with the lack of game time, it has sparked rumours that the Frenchman will leave Chelsea in January.

The 33 year old spoke to Le Pelerin and said, “You do not have to be fatalistic in certain situations. I have always been respectful and humble. Even if I do not agree with the coach, I do not criticise him.

“But in myself, I cannot accept it because I know what I’m worth on a pitch. Last year, when I felt that I deserved to play, I asked the coach for explanations.”

Giroud performed well for Chelsea in the Europa League last season, scoring 11 goals in 14 appearances; leading the side to glory after scoring and beating his former side, Arsenal 4-1.

Giroud had a phenomenal Europa League campaign last season

However, Giroud doesn’t regret joining Chelsea from London rivals, Arsenal, “I want to have fun and play more games. Chelsea is my priority but afterwards if in the end I am forced to make a choice, I will do it like when I left Arsenal.

“He (Frank Lampard) will almost certainly watch the matches [I just played for France]. In any case, I am going back to Chelsea pumped up.

“It was not easy to leave Arsenal for Chelsea two years ago. I loved Arsenal,” added Giroud, who scored the only goal in France’s 1-0 win over Iceland on Friday.

“But it was a progression because Chelsea is the English club that has won the most titles, with Manchester City, in ten years.

“I had competitors in attack – [Alvaro] Morata, [Gonzalo] Higuain, who ended up leaving. I won at the end: I played the final of the FA Cup in 2018 and the [Europa League] final in 2019.”

Despite Chelsea having a transfer embargo, if Giroud was to leave, Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard still has Premier League joint top scorer, Tammy Abraham and Belgian, Michy Batshuayi to use if Giroud was surplus to requirements.

Chelsea face Newcastle United at the weekend and it is more than likely Giroud will be sitting on the sidelines yet again with the in form, Abraham expected to start and Batshuayi on the bench.

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The Three Invincible’s

With the new football season in full swing, the tables are beginning to take shape.

The 92 teams are experiencing the highs and lows of English football; from the thrill of winning to the shared spoils of a draw and to the heartache of defeat.

However, three teams have only experienced the thrill of winning and the shared spoils of a draw so far this season as Liverpool (Premier League), Ipswich Town and Coventry City (both League One) still remain unbeaten.

Liverpool

Liverpool started off the campaign with a load of confidence after comfortable wins against Norwich City, Arsenal, Burnley and Newcastle United. With the formidable trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino in their usual form.

Two of the dynamic trio (Firmino, left and Mané, right)

The question is; will Liverpool remain unbeaten this season? The simple answer is, no.

Since the poor display in their 2-0 UEFA Champions League defeat to Napoli, Liverpool have scrapped wins against Chelsea, MK Dons (in the League Cup), Sheffield United and Red Bull Salzburg (in the Champions League).

It seems like Liverpool have been worked out by teams and thanks to Adrian in goal they have managed to keep an unbeaten record this season, but the signs are showing that a league defeat is on the horizon.

Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town are another team unbeaten this season and are enjoying themselves at the top of League One.

With goals coming in thick and fast from star signing, James Norwood, the Tractor Boys look to dominate League One this season.

James Norwood enjoying his first season at Ipswich

With Paul Lambert’s side facing third place, Fleetwood Town, it could put an end to a terrific unbeaten start to the campaign; but that won’t distract them staying at the top of the table for the majority of the season.

Coventry City

This is the second best start to a season Coventry City have had in their history and are just five games away from the record which was set in 1937.

Under their manager, Mark Robins, the Sky Blues look like a force to be reckoned with.

Mark Robins has put the faith back into the Coventry faithful

Their temporary home, St Andrews is becoming a fortress and already having 11 different scorers in the league so far, City are definitely the team to beat.

The Sky Blues face a tough task away to Rotherham United tomorrow afternoon, if they lose then it would be an end to a brilliant start to the campaign, with all the ongoing issues off the pitch, the players have stayed focussed and now look like real favourites to go up this season.

How is the League One table looking so far

As we approach week eight of the League One season, there have been a few surprises up and down the table.

Flying high

Wycombe Wanderers have been the surprise package under Gareth Ainsworth this season, as the Chairboys sit top of the table, unbeaten this season.

Defender, Joe Jacobson has been the stand out performance so far as he has managed to grab four goals already this season.

Second place, Coventry City are level on points with the Chairboys, but sit behind them through goal difference.

Another side unbeaten this season, Mark Robins’ men have been producing eye watering football at their temporary home, St Andrew’s.

Coventry City’s temporary home, St Andrews Trillion Trophy Stadium

Ipswich Town are currently sitting in third place, a point behind the top two, but with a game in hand.

New signing, James Norwood has looked like signing of the summer in League One so far this season, as he currently has five goals in six games for the Tractor Boys, who will be fighting for promotion under Paul Lambert this season.

Facing the drop

However, Portsmouth, a team who looked to be fighting for promotion, is struggling in 18th place with only one win this season. No one would’ve predicted this start from Kenny Jacket’s side.

Kenny Jackett is feeling the pressure at Pompey

Another side struggling is Southend who are second from bottom, losing six out of six.

The Shrimpers have only scored four goals this season and conceded 17, which is the joint most amount. The Seasiders have a lot to do if they want to stay in League One this season.

Bottom of the table, Bolton Wanderers currently have -11 points, but with a new owner and an addition of 10 new signings, the Trotters will be hoping to pick up more points to try and get out of the relegation zone.

The Sky Blues host Gillingham tomorrow

Five years ago this week seen Coventry City return to a packed out Ricoh Arena when they faced tomorrows opponents, Gillingham, after a years exile to Northampton Town’s, Sixfields Stadium.

Now the Sky Blues are playing at Birmingham City’s, St Andrews Trillion Trophy Stadium, against the Gills, with no Ricoh return looking imminent.

However, the Sky Blues have had a lot to cheer about in the opening four games of the season, with Mark Robins’ men unbeaten so far.

It’s been a very hectic week for the club, as they came from 3-1 down and nine men to draw away at promotion favourites, Portsmouth. As well as recruiting exciting prospect, 21-year-old, Callum O’Hare from Aston Villa, on loan till the end of the season.

Tomorrow, Robins will be without suspended Fankaty Dabo and Gervane Kastaneer, who both received second bookable offences at Fratton Park on Tuesday.

New loan signing, O’Hare is likely to feature in the match day squad.

Robins also revealed that winger Jodi Jones isn’t far off a return back from a serious injury, which he picked up at the start of last season.

Coventry’s opponents are yet to get the ground running this year as Steve Evans’ men currently sit 19th with two draws and one defeat.

Will Frank Lampard be a success at Chelsea?

Chelsea legend, Frank Lampard has started his first season with the club where he has won; the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League, League Cup and Community Shield with; since departing Derby County.

However, with the transfer ban the club have been given, Lampard has been unable to invest in and build his own team and so has to revert to his youngsters.

His side have been ruled out by every pundit with winning any silverware and even finishing in the top four. Lampard though, has taken it in his stride and is happy that his squad are big underdogs this year.

After a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United on the opening day of the season, many fans are bound to be be angry at the side, but the performance shown by the young blues did not reflect the score and with a bit more experience and time to gel together, Lampard can push his side up for a top four finish.

Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich will need to be patient with the former England International and Chelsea’s all time top goal scorer, as Lampard looks to suit the bill for bringing up the youngsters and making them work together as a proper footballing side.

It will be a difficult and frustrating season for everyone around Chelsea, but with the patience, support and encouragement by the fans; Lampard’s side can definitely move back up and challenge for the top four.