Date:Wednesday April 11 2007
It is always good to interact with our fellow site Editors on Vital Football, we here at Vital Blackburn are more than happy to do so.
With the MASSIVE FA Cup Semi Final with Chelsea approaching here is the first of at least two interviews with my Vital Chelsea counterpart. This interview contains questions on Chelsea's season in general, an FA Cup special interview will appear later in the week!
So this is what Merlin, the site editor of Vital Chelsea, had to say in response to the general questions put to him by Vital Blackburn ahead of the meeting with Chelsea on Sunday:
League Cup winners, Champions League and FA Cup Semi Finalists (at least!) and sitting just behind Manure in the Premiership! What a season so far, stupid question but have you enjoyed it?
It's been an unbelievable roller-coaster ride. If someone had of told me during the festive period when we couldn't find a fit centre back that in April we'd be in this position I'd have called for the men in white coats. Last night epitomised what we're all about. We just never give up, never believe it's over and who is to say that the quadruple will not be won?
Which part(s) have you particularly enjoyed?
My personal favourite memories so far are the 2-2 draw in the Nou Camp. When John Terry headed that cross back and Didier Drogba slipped it home in the last minute, I nearly lost my voice forever. Similarly, the great FA Cup comeback against Spurs fills me with pride. To be 3-1 down, draw 3-3 and then totally out play them at White Tart Lane was unbelievable stuff.
What do you honestly think you will end up with trophy wise when the 2006-2007 ends? Surely the League Cup won't be the only trophy you win?
Who knows what we'll end up with! Before last night I'd have been happy with one more, possibly the FA Cup seeing as Jose has never won it. Now I'm going to simply sit back and watch what happens, I don't want to miss a minute of what is going to be a tremendous finish to the season.
How does this season compare with Jose Mourinho's others?
They've all been different. The first season when he led us our first top flight title in fifty years was magnificent. To wait so long and then win it so emphatically was surreal. The second season wasn't quite as good but his third (and probably last) has the potential to top the lot and leave us all in dreamland.
They`ve got a lot of stick but do you think Andriy Shevchenko and/or Michael Ballack will still be with Chelsea next season? How do you really think they have done this season?
I believe they'll both stick around. Shevchenko started poorly but he's now got fourteen goals, which isn't a bad achievement. The strike at White Tart Lane has to be his best so far though. As for, Ballack, I've been slightly disappointed although they do say the first season is the hardest. Who'd have predicted Michael Essien would have had the season he's had after a mediocre first season.
In no way am I suggesting either have been as much, but who has been your worst player this season?
Hilario - our third choice keeper. Forced into action after the Reading debacle when we lost Cech and Cudicini, he never filled me with confidence. However, being third choice I guess he was never going to be a top-notch keeper. Despite that, he did pull off a few saves that impressed me.
And the best?
Ricardo Carvalho - Vastly under-rated but with the club struggling for a fit centre half he stepped up to the plate and has delivered some sparkling performances. He's also scored a couple of vital goals most notably the winner against Spurs and the equaliser at Old Trafford.
I think Mourinho is great, not to everyone's liking but he is certainly a character and a truly great manager. Honestly is it supreme confidence or arrogance with him? Personally I feel the foremost as opposed to the latter.
He's a genius who uses his confidence to detract attention away from the players. His tactical substitutions are the hallmark of a genius. Who else would go with six front players when 3-1 down against Spurs. Brave, foolhardy or a masterstroke?
Is there really a chance that the Special One will leave in the summer?
According to the tabloids he's already gone. I'd prefer to wait and see. Surely not even the Chelsea of old, let alone the Chelsea of new, would sack someone so talented.
If he did leave whom do you think would replace him?
Lets' not go down that route! It's too painful to contemplate.
There have been some rumours that Mark Hughes could be in the running should the Special One go, could you see this happening, would you even want it?
Mark Hughes has done a good job at Blackburn but Chelsea is a different kettle of fish. The expectations are so high. Could he cope with the constant carping form the tabloids, could he spend the cash wisely, all are questions that would need answering. Personally, I think he's destined for Old Trafford.
With the amount of quality and talent at Stamford Bridge most, maybe all of Rovers players would find it hard to get into Chelsea's side but is there a player(s) you would happily see at Chelsea?
I'd take that young fellow Derbyshire. I watched him in the FA Cup against Luton and I was impressed by his movement and finishing. At one stage I thought McCarthy might follow Mourinho to Chelsea but it never happened.
Thanks to Merlin for his honest and quality replies.
Keep a look out for my answers to Merlin's questions, be this in one, or more than one interview shortly. They will appear on Vital Chelsea soon…
And remember there will be a Special FA Cup interview with Merlin later in the week.
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Date:Wednesday April 11 2007
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