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Gérémi: We must keep the pressure on

The response to the defeat at Tottenham has been strong — eight goals and two clean sheets in the 180 minutes of football since. Gérémi was right-back for those games and looks forward to the next derby challenge.

With West Ham as visitors to Stamford Bridge on Saturday, the target is a third successive home win.

The Cameroonian has rewarded José Mourinho’s decision to select him for the wins over Aston Villa and Watford with three assists over the two games.

He has told chelseafc.com that in common with many people, he believed it was only a matter of time before the opposition net took a bit of a pummelling.

‘The fact we have been scoring lots of goal is good for the team and good for the strikers to have confidence, because we had been creating a lot of chances and we believe we were unfortunate not to score many. But now we have fortune on our side and we are scoring.’

‘I am enjoying myself because I am helping the team to win,’ he says, ‘and we have got the target; we have to put Man United under pressure. So we don’t need a mistake.’

The diamond midfield system utilised in the last two wins calls on the full-backs to provide width in the opposition half. It has suited Gérémi, a player who did similar for Real Madrid earlier in his career, as well as played on the right of midfield for Middlesbrough.

‘I have the possibility to go up and down, that is important for the team and that is the way the manager wants us to play,’ he says.

‘Normally when the ball is coming to my side I have to open up, give the width and if it is possible, go and cross. But if the play is on the other side, I have to get back and close down.’

The visit of West Ham recalls the last meeting between the sides at the Bridge, a dramatic early kick-off last April and a vital day in the quest for back-to-back titles. One-nil down and one-man down within 17 minutes, Chelsea powered back to win 4-1 in display of mental and physical fortitude.

Gérémi was right-back that day too.

‘West Ham had good fans,’ he recalls, ‘but in our stadium at Stamford Bridge, we had our twelfth man which was the fans.

‘We hope tomorrow they will be there, they will be massive and help us try to push on and get the result.

‘This game is a London derby and we have a lot of respect for West Ham but we play at home.

‘At home when we have ambition, we don’t lose many points.’

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Hey Seapok are we the only Chelsea boys on this thread gov,

Yeah I know but I have noticed a few vistitors when I've logged on, it looks like it's down to you and me Shedend to spread the word

What do you reckon the score will be today mate? I hope Carlo will keep a clean sheet, Drogba is bound to bang in a couple, nice if Lamps scores a cracker, just to shut up the travelling Hammers!!

See they have given Hedman No. 22, Eidur Gudjohnsens old number, bit disappointed by that, Eidur was one of my favourites, well if they are going to give a defender the No. 9 I suppose I can't be that surprised, what's next.....give a youth player Franco's old No. 25.

As Barnet says........Keep the faith

I would like to see the hammers hammered mate. It should be a good game as both teams like to play the ball on the deck and not just use the long ball. My prediction 3-1 win for CFC.

Agreed numbers mean nothing now it is just a squad number these days but it is the name on the back that we pay for to watch bro.

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The name on the front is more important than the back. Remember no player is bigger than the club.

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The name on the front is more important than the back. Remember no player is bigger than the club.

True, true, I couldn't of said it better mayself.

I think it will be 2 or 3 Nil but a 1-0 scored by Lamps would be great

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Hey Seapok are we the only Chelsea boys on this thread gov,

I think Lampard+10'ks a renter.....! :o

redrus

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Hey Seapok are we the only Chelsea boys on this thread gov,

I think Lampard+10'ks a renter.....! :o

redrus

I dont understand, please elaborate!

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Chelsea 1 West Ham United 0

No repeat of the five goals and fireworks of this fixture last season but a gritty London derby has gone Chelsea’s way, thanks to a set-piece special by Gérémi.

In his third consecutive start, the Cameroon international is laying a strong claim to making the previously changeable right-back position all his own. Once again he was part of a clean sheet performance as well as contributing at the other end.

In a game that was far too tight, and far too hard-fought to allow the football to sparkle for more than a few minutes at a time, all three of Chelsea’s Africans emerged with credit.

Essien’s incredible energy was there for all to see as West Ham collected a handful of yellow cards in an attempt to reduce his influence — all to no avail as he covered acres of pitch right up to the final whistle, unlucky not to have scored with a shot that hit woodwork.

Drogba was supreme in the air at both ends of the pitch, though the chances did not fall his way. It was a day when the offside flag was his sworn enemy as he was asked to lead the attack as a single central striker.

That was because Arjen Robben was given his first start since White Hart Lane in a 4-3-3 shape with Michael Ballack rested. The rest of the side remained the same from the Watford win last time out.

On three minutes, Terry got a firm header onto the first corner of the game, taken by Robben. Under heavy pressure from Ferdinand, the skipper was high of the target.

Little happened in either penalty area after that until minute 14 when the Chelsea captain met another corner — this one from the other side and taken by Lampard. The header went closer, but not close enough.

Lampard became the game’s first booking three minutes later for tripping right-back Spector on a break into the Chelsea half.

Within three minutes the visitors had a man cautioned too — Gabbidon for bringing down Drogba as he powered onto a subtle Shevchenko touch and through the defensive line.

The free-kick was 25 yards out and centrally positioned. Lampard and Drogba both lined-up behind it but the taker was the unanticipated Gérémi.

The flight of the ball was perfect, curling up and over the wall and well out of the reach of Robert Green.

It was Gérémi’s first goal since Anfield 13 months ago. It was the 12th Green had conceded in his last four games against the Blues.

The prolonged celebration ended in a handshake with his manager, as if Gérémi was saying thanks for his run in the team and the boss was showing gratitude for arguably Gérémi’s most influential Chelsea form.

With the breakthrough made, the home side looked to pile on the pressure. Shevchenko failed to find his strike partner with the Hammers defence all at sea and Robben sliced a good opportunity wide.

With four minutes to go to the break, Robben scooped another chance across goal and wide after a long throw had dropped his way.

Ashley Cole blocked a shot from Reo-Coker as the first-half drew to a close but Chelsea’s biggest problems in defence had been all of our own making — Cudicini and Terry with a spot of miscommunication and Cole deflecting a Carvalho mis-header wide.

That was until Etherington flashed a shot wide in first-half stoppage time after Cole had allowed Tevez to win possession out wide.

So it was 1-0 at the interval and going pretty well, even if the play had lacked the fluidity of the previous two games.

All was not okay with Ricardo Carvalho however. The centre-back had been troubled by a problem with his ankle since the early stages and had undergone treatment on the side lines. For the second-half a change was made with Khalid Boulahrouz coming on.

Six minutes after the restart, Shevchenko, with good vision, touched a pass through to Lampard but the shot was stabbed high and wide.

A Boulahrouz slip allowed Zamora a sight of goal just past the hour but West Ham’s lone striker never looked as if he believed in his ability as he volleyed horribly off-target.

The game in midfield was closer than the first-half. A second Chelsea goal was now much in need to break the West Ham resistance.

On 68 minutes Joe Cole was introduced for Shevchenko. Seconds earlier, Reo-Coker, who had been engaged in a simmering dispute with Drogba for much of the first 45 minutes, had been booked for a foul on Essien.

On 69 minutes, Mullins followed his captain into the book, Essien again the kicked player. Four minutes later Tevez was the sinner with a copycat foul. It was a useful reminder that the invisible Argentine was on the pitch in the second-half.

Between the bookings, Essien took the fight to the visitors in a legal manner — smacking a low 30-yarder against the post.

A great chance to double the lead then fell to the head of Terry but for the third time in the game from a corner, he failed to hit the target — bouncing the ball too far down and over the goal.

With seven minutes to go, Drogba had the ball in the net from Joe Cole’s ball but had been caught marginally offside. That decision was correct. There were question marks over two or three others in the second-half.

Lampard was denied his highly-prized goal as the clock showed three minutes to go when a well-struck shot was deflected just wide.

Chelsea had succeeded in moving the game into the West Ham half for much of the final ten minutes although there was one final heart-stopping moment with one minute of stoppage time to go as the ball fell to Ferdinand ten yards out.

A striker may have got his shot in but the young centre-half dallied and Chelsea cleared the danger.

West Ham are a side that have not scored a Premiership goal away from Upton Park since August and for most of this game, the crowd could see why.

The east v west London encounter had not lacked for atmosphere, the West Ham fans defiant in defeat, the Chelsea fans delighting in a fourth straight win over big rivals.

It is tight at the top as we head to Old Trafford.

Chelsea (4-3-3) Cudicini; Gérémi, Carvalho (Boulahrouz h-t), Terry ©, A Cole; Essien, Makelele, Lampard; Shevchenko (J Cole 67), Drogba, Robben (Mikel 83).

Goal Gérémi 20

Booked Lampard

West Ham (4-5-1) Green: Spector, Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Konchesky; Tevez, Reo-Coker ©, Mullins, Bowyer (Sheringham 80), Etherington (McCartney 80); Zamora (Harewood 70).

Booked Gabbidon, Reo-Coker, Mullins, Tevez.

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Thanks for out-of-the-blue Geri

The sell-out Stamford Bridge crowd were not the only ones surprised by unlikely goal hero Gérémi’s free-kick winner. His manager José Mourinho admitted he too was astonished by the Cameroon star’s bolt out of the blue.

Alan Pardew was another spectator amazed Gérémi took it. “I wish he hadn’t!” he moaned.

Mourinho disclosed more about the free-kick which won the match.

“Yes it was planned. The plan was these three players on the ball and the movement they have to do. The decision about who takes the free-kick is between them. The distance to the goal, the distance to the wall, the position of the keeper, the feeling is between them. It’s their decision.”

With both Frank Lampard and in-form Didier Drogba lining up alongside Gérémi, few would have thought the 50-1 shot would take it.

“I thought they wouldn’t give him permission to take it,” smiled Mourinho, adding further praise for the right-back.

“Gérémi did well today. He did well in matches before. Some good crosses, some good assists for Didier to score goals against Watford and Aston Villa. A good goal today.

“But I think his performance is always very stable: no defensive mistakes, always controlled his direct opponent - and this boy Etherington is not an easy opponent - very safe with the ball, very confident in the building-up. I think he is playing well.”

Mourinho described the performance as a ‘satisfying display’ and commended our east London neighbours for their attitude.

“We deserved the points but at the same time, West Ham gave us a game. Normally with the production of our football, we should score the second goal and kill the emotion of the game, but we didn’t.

“It was a good game because both teams played with a good attitude, we played to win, they didn’t play for a point. From the beginning it was an open game.”

Alan Pardew felt it was West Ham’s ‘maximum performance’ this season. “We just could not get a result.”

The lack of a second goal could have been costly when, in the last ten minutes, Alan Pardew added more striking options.

“The last ten minutes, Pardew made changes, put on more attacking players, players with danger, players who can score goals and they gave us the last few minutes with some emotion, some danger. I said to my assistant Steve on the bench: ‘Not one chance and now we are in trouble.’

“I think it would be very unfair if they score in the last period of the game and get a point because I think we were the best team, we had enough chances to win the game.”

To counter Pardew’s striking substitutions, Mourinho took off Arjen Robben and brought on John Obi Mikel.

“I think we adapted well. It was only a period of ten minutes but I think John Mikel was important for us because he kept the ball. Even under pressure he’s very confident and kept the ball for us. He put it on the floor for us, touch short, one pass, two passes, three passes, he kept possession of the ball.

“At the same time, when they had one more striker, Geri closed well the space inside and Joe closed well the space outside so Pardew was doing his job well but I think we answered also well and I think we controlled the game and deserved the points.”

Mourinho finished with news of the ankle injury that forced Ricardo Carvalho out of the game at half-time.

“Normally I’m not scared about ankles. I’m more scared about muscles and knees. A couple of days, a couple of weeks? I don’t know but nothing dangerous.”

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Steve Clarke deserves a mention lads as he has contributed so much to the squad over the years.

Steve Clarke - Assistant Manager

Steve Clarke is one of Chelsea's all time leading appearance makers with over 400 games for the Blues spanning over 10 years. When Ruud Gullit became manager of Newcastle he took Clarke with him as a coach.

Although he stayed for a while when Bobby Robson took over he came home when Jim Duffy left to join Graham Rix at Portsmouth. Clarke then put his vast knowledge from playing into the youth team who had a record break run last season. When Mourinho was looking for someone with experience of Chelsea and the Premiership he turned to Clarke who is now assistant manager.

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Hey Seapok are we the only Chelsea boys on this thread gov,

I think Lampard+10'ks a renter.....! :o

redrus

I dont understand, please elaborate!

Come on Redrus elaborate mate.

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Lampard10....! Is a Chelsea fan, rent boy, as you are known throughout the football land.

I added the + and K's as joke that he may be porkin a little, you may have seen the pictures of him with his t-shirt pulled up round his middle.... :D

Sorry if it was a little dry, all in jest you understand.... :o

redrus

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Lampard10....! Is a Chelsea fan, rent boy, as you are known throughout the football land.

I added the + and K's as joke that he may be porkin a little, you may have seen the pictures of him with his t-shirt pulled up round his middle.... :D

Sorry if it was a little dry, all in jest you understand.... :o

redrus

These simple Chelsea brains are not designed to deal with your complex humour Red ...

Stick to the knock knock jokes with these (rent) boys .... :D

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Lampard10....! Is a Chelsea fan, rent boy, as you are known throughout the football land.

I added the + and K's as joke that he may be porkin a little, you may have seen the pictures of him with his t-shirt pulled up round his middle.... :D

Sorry if it was a little dry, all in jest you understand.... :D

redrus

I was unaware of another member called Lampard10, please ignore my ignorance but we will see who is laughing next sunday! :o

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Lampard10....! Is a Chelsea fan, rent boy, as you are known throughout the football land.

I added the + and K's as joke that he may be porkin a little, you may have seen the pictures of him with his t-shirt pulled up round his middle.... :D

Sorry if it was a little dry, all in jest you understand.... :o

redrus

These simple Chelsea brains are not designed to deal with your complex humour Red ...

Stick to the knock knock jokes with these (rent) boys .... :D

I wouldn't say Redrus has a complex humour, being a Chelsea fan all my life its the 1st time I've heard us being called rent boys!, I'm sure myself and my fellow blue boys are an intellectual match to anyone on this site.

Shedend, I think its time for us to stand up and be counted.

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Robben considers Blues position

Arjen Robben claims he may have to consider his Chelsea future, insisting he will not stay at Stamford Bridge purely for money.

The Holland international is in his third season with the Premiership champions, but is frustrated at not being a regular in Jose Mourinho's side.

He has started eight of the club's 13 Premiership games, but is eager to be in the team week in, week out.

Mourinho's change in formation has occasionally seen the 22-year-old marginalised, while Chelsea have also been linked with Lyon winger Florent Malouda.

Robben is prepared to bide his time to become a regular, but insists he will not wait indefinitely to be a first choice under Mourinho.

"If I am not in the team I will have to consider other options," Robben told the News of the World.

"Chelsea said I would be playing more regularly so let us wait and see.

"There are some players here who get a lot of money for doing nothing, but I don't want to be one of them.

"I am too young for that."

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