24 februari 2007

Don't give up on Shevchenko yet!

The headline might seem redundant considering his goal vs Porto and Logan`s article, but still I want to go into a little depth about the subject.

Shevchenko is a twice Golden Ball winner. He has scored record numbers of goals in Italy, he has scored more than just about anyone, barring Gerd Muller, in European competitions since in his early twenties he made his break-through at Dynamo Kiev. Pure class, and that always show sooner or later.

He is today 30 years old and has according to "experts" been a disappointment at Chelsea. His old coaches tell him he made the mistake of his life coming here and every one and his cat are complaining about him.

Just this week at the Champions Leaguegame, a so called football expert gave him a 1 out of 5 for his contributions to Chelsea this season.

And all I can say. Don`t you know nothing about football and psychology you damned experts?

Before his Shevchenko-like Shevchenko-goal versus Porto he had scored 10 goals I think (I`m not a stat star).

Excuse me, is that so bad? Obiviously when it comes to someone that supposedly cost us £30 million of Roman`s money. For anyone else it would be branded a success.

I still have every faith in Sheva and as I`ve claimed all fall at Vital - wait and see! Sheva will be our secret weapon at the end of the season. As when Jose Mourinho said that we had a £50 million reinforcement coming in when Cech came back and look how he has played.

It`s true that Sheva has had some problems adapting to the English game and the style and playing requirements of Chelsea. Few have mastered that from day one, Makelele is one that comes into mind, but that could be because he took up a position that he had made his own in every club and national team and we did not have at Chelsea before.

This is how I see it: Sheva moved to England due to family wishes. (Note how some of our good players had to move away out England for the same reasons). But Sheva, who personally is a quite shy and very polite boy, spoke no English. And Ukrainian and even Italian is not the prevalent languages at Chelsea today.

No matter how great a player you are, you have to speak the language enough to understand Terry`s instructions, Clarke`s brogue and José`s academic English. And doing that at a packed stadium is not as easy as it may sound. How many of you will be able to follow Fench instructions during high stress?

And I will remind you that just about every foreign forward (it is harder for them than defenders and midfielders) coming to England has taken their time to adapt. And that time period has varied for each and every one. Look at Henry, he took for ever to score his first goal. I would also like to say, look at Drogba and Essien in our own team. Drogba is on fire this year, but it is his third year at Chelsea and Essien`s second. Never forget that expectations can`t be equalised with purchases costs.

That is one reason why Sheva have had some small problems getting into stride. A second and very important reason is the difference in playing styles in England when it comes to forwards. An English forward simply is asked to have a better reportoire than an Italian. In Italy the game was moulded to serve the top forward, Sheva, in a totally different way.

Every one served him every good ball they could. Here our forwards have to make their own way much more, something Drogba now has learned to perfection. But would Drogba be the Top-Drogba of this year had not all defences had to watch out for Sheva all the time - do not think so, no.

The English game has a totally different tempo that is harder for a forward to ease into. Maybe José should have played Sheva more as a sub in the beginning. The English tempo is all game compared to short bursts of tempo as in Italy. That must be very different to learn and get into. Also we have not played with wingers putting the ball in front of the goal, our wingers this year seems to go more for scoring themselves.

As Jose Mourinho pointed out, Sheva has worked hard. His timing and magic touch have not come into play yet, but he opens up positions for the others. Something Drogba sure beneifited from. And remember, just about every player that participated in the World Cup, and Sheva came to that straight from a serious injury, have failed to make their normal impact in any league.

We also have noticed thorugh the years that it takes a bit longer for older players, and especially players coming to a second or third culture and language to establish themselves. It is not just about coming and putting your boots out, they usually have family that they need to see getting in place and establishing a happy home life. They simply are not as single-minded as the younger ones.

I am willing to bet something cheap and inexpensive (I`m a poor man) on this; the last two months of this season Shevchenko will score as many goals as Drogba!

His work ethics have impressed me so much and one day the goals will come as easy as before, though he of course is a player that might have passed his absolute pinnacle. He might even turn out to be worth his price. In my eyes his contribution certainly justifies him being second choice up front in every game.

Hence; if Sheva has not done better than now at this time next year, then I am willing to discuss it. Not yet. He is here for a longer run, and I am absolutely confident that he will show his worth during that time.


Denna artikel har publicerats på Vital Chelsea först.


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