The formal name of the club is Chelsea Football Club. The squad are popularly referred to as the Blues, or the Pensioners.
Founded in 1905, Chelsea host their home matches at Stamford Bridge, in London, which can seat over 41,000 spectators.
The owner of the club is Roman Abramovich, the chairman, Bruce Buck, and the manager, Carlo Ancelotti.
The squad won the Premiership last season, and they are favourites to retain their title.
After enjoying eminent success in top tier English football in the sixties and seventies, Chelsea went into decline in the eighties and nineties, only winning their next major championship, the FA Cup, in 1997.
They have won the Premiership three times in all, first winning it in 2004-05, and retaining it in the following season.
In two matches played in the ongoing season, the Blues have recorded identical wins of 6-0, over West Bromwich Albion and Wigan Athletic.
Before Carlo Ancelotti took the rein at Stamford Bridge, Avram Grant and Phil Scolari were handed it, in turn, only to have it taken away.
If Ancelotti has survived where redoubtable managers like Grant and Scolari failed, the reason lies in Chelsea’s winning of the Premiership, on Ancelotti’s watch, in his very first season.
Can Ancelotti, in only his second season, do it a second time running? In his first, Ancelotti kept Manchester United at bay, demonstrating, in the process, why he had been rated so highly at AC Milan.
That said, the Chelsea squad aren’t getting any younger; Didier Drogba, for instance is in his thirty third year.
Michael Essien is emerging from two years clouded by injury, and his presence in midfield could give Chelsea a winning edge, this season.
Ashley Cole has stayed with Chelsea, despite rumours of migration to Real Madrid, and is arguably the world’s best left back.
But his publicized comments about the English haven’t gone down well with local football fans and Cole could come under heavy strafing, especially in away games. Much depends on whether or not he keeps his head.
The following players make up the Stamford Bridge squad:
Cech, Terry, Paulo Ferreira, Cole, Alex, Essien, Mikel, Malouda, Lampard, Anelka, Drogba, Ivanovic, Hilario, Zhirkov, Benayoun, Sturridge, Kalou, and Van Aanholt.
Liverpool’s Yossi Benayoun is a major summer signing while Joe Cole’s departure is an offset.
Deco and Michael Ballack, their best footballing years behind them, have gone home.
There’s no doubting Chelsea’s quality. But as the season wears on, the ages of their star players is likely to come increasingly into focus.
Whether it is Scholes, or John Terry, or Lampard or Drogba, their fitness is bound to be called into question, sooner or later. Can Ancelotti then turn to his younger lot to bail the squad out?
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