Date: 16th December 2009 at 8:41am
Written by:

Merlin – from Vital Chelsea answers some questions ahead of the Chelski v Pompey game tonight.

Are you happy with how your season is going so far?
I was perfectly happy until the wheels slipped off the track. After being in cruise control we’ve hit a brick wall whereby we’ve not won in four games. I guess it’s what they call a blip, but apart from that things have been rosy, we’re top, we’re in the Champions League knockout stages and Ancelotti has done a decent job in his first few months in charge.

What is this booing about at Stamford Bridge recently? An outside looking in would think this is ‘plastic fans’ getting a little twitchy as you are not winning ‘every game’ as they expect! Would that be an unfair assumption?
It’s unbelievable and it just goes to show that the new breed of fans that have infiltrated Premier League football, because they see it as fashionable, want instant success. Okay, so we only drew against an injury depleted Everton side, but they were the first home points we’ve dropped all season. Those that were booing should hang their heads in shame!

Are the club treating the fans well, or are they fleecing you? £48 for us as away fans is robbery; I hate to think what you guys pay!
On the contrary, although our prices are high, it should be remembered that we’ve had no price increases, apart from the corporate areas, for three / four years now, which probably means we were being well and truly fleeced back then!

How is Ancelotti suiting you so far, are you happy with how it is going?
The Italian is doing just fine, his English is coming on, he’s got the backing of the players and his results, on the pitch, are proving that he’s already got to grips with the English game. However, it’ll be interesting to see how he adapts to our recent run whereby a win has become a big no-no!

Who do you think was your best summer signing and why?
Yuri Zhirkov – Although to be fair our summer spending wasn’t as aggressive as it has been in recent years, Yuri is a class act but he’s been troubled by the adaption to English football but slowly but surely we’re seeing what his game is all about. He can play left back or left midfield and he loves pushing forward into the danger areas.

Could you have done with more arrivals – if so in which areas and maybe even who?
I guess the temporary lifting of the transfer ban may well answer this question. We currently are strong in all areas but the fear is that if we are subjected to a two window ban there’ll be an age void between the older stars who currently dominate our first eleven selection and the current crop of youngsters who are slowly forcing their way into the first team squad.

Will there be many more arrivals in the next couple of years, or will this ‘proposed’ transfer ban not happen?
My feelings are that if the club insists they’ll not be buying this January then they’re confident the ban will be chucked in the bin. Rumour has it we have the documentation to prove our innocence but time will tell. As for new arrivals, is there smoke without fire when the name of Sero ‘Kun’ Aguero keeps cropping up?

Avram Grant, as was always likely to be the case when he became our director of football – much like it was with you – is now our manager. Have we got a man capable of turning things round for us?
Avram was a strange man, he inherited a good side after Jose pushed his luck just a little too much and but for a slip on a rainy night in Moscow he’d be a legend. However, he’d probably have still got the tin-tack. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how he copes with a club that hasn’t got the cash to buy, here at Chelsea we’ll always be grateful for his January purchase of Nicolas Anelka, what a bargain!

What were your expectations, or hopes before the season kicked-off? Have they changed since?
Just to win a big trophy! The Champions League would be nice but I’d prefer the bread and butter of the Premier League. Ask me next May though and my views might have changed!

What about Pompey, what do you think we should expect or hope for now?
Survival! Everything seems to have gone badly wrong for you lot. The euphoria of the takeover has been washed away in a sea of broken promises and, as you’ve previously guessed from my intrusions onto your site, I have a soft spot for you lot. Your support is fantastic and I’d hate to see you go down, if you did I fear it’d be the start of that plunge down the slippery slope!

Who is the real danger man that Pompey need to watch?
If he’s passed fit this morning, after suffering a back injury in training on Tuesday, Didier Drogba! He’s absolutely on fire at the moment and scoring from anywhere.

If you could take any Pompey player and put him in your squad – although I doubt you would want any of our ‘superstars’ – who would it be and why?
David James – I’m not convince four back-up keepers are good enough if we were to lose Petr Cech for a long period, although some on our site would vote for Cech being rested after recent games, but not me, he’s a class act.

Is there anyone that you would like to send Pompey’s way? Correction could you please send someone, Pompey’s way in January…
Sorry folks, until you’ve settled the Glen Johnson transfer bill you’ll not be getting any of ours, not even the odd duff one we may have!

Go on, I think most know what to expect – Pompey will of course walk it, as we did that last time we faced Ancelotti when he was at Milan, when we should have finished the job! – but who’s going to win?
A Chelsea win! 2-0 I’ll go for!

Questions answered by Merlin from Vital Chelsea.

Look out for my answers on their site anytime…



Do not forget that there will be a ‘Pompey match day live’ feature during the game, so join others on Vital Pompey as it unfolds – assuming you are not at it of course!


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