To say that most of the first round picked itself would be an understatement - even the closest vote (the emergence of Sturridge vs. the emergence of Ramires) was over a 60-40 split, while most of the other winners garnered over 80% of the total votes in their respective matchups. I expect the votes will become less one-sided, however, as we move forward.
Round 2 then will determine the winners of each of the four groups...the best Signing, the best Result, the best Trend, and the best of the rest of the developments surrounding Chelsea Football Club. As before, you can take "best" to mean whatever makes the most sense to you, whether that be the importance/impact of a certain event at the time or its overall impact at the end of the year...or a even a mixture of both.
Three of the four #1 seeds scored easy victories in the first round, with the fourth (the Torres transfer) suffering a perhaps unsurprising upset at the hand of David "Cinderella Team" Luiz's 21m move from Benfica:
Round 2 voting is now open and will run until tomorrow mid-day (PST). Hit the jump to rock the vote.
- Everyone's favorite mop-headed Brazilian, David Luiz scored a rather dominating victory (with 82% of the vote) over the much ballyhooed record-signing Fernando Torres. While I know that Sideshow is a huge favorite, especially around these parts, I figured that the fact that nobody has stopped talking about Torres since his transfer would help him to a better showing in the polls. Alas, his polling-form matches his goal-scoring form. Heyyooo!
- Going up against Lovely-Crazy is the "juan" and only Juan Mata. Mini-AVB has revitalized the Chelsea attacking line with his supreme vision and Zola-esque moments of magic, so it's only fitting that he easily brushed the upstart Oriol Romeu transfer aside in the first round. One might think that he will have a tougher task in this round and I expect this vote to be pretty close.
- No surprise here in the match-up of results from last season, as the 2-1 victory over Manchester United waltzed past the 2-1 defeat of Spurs with the most dominating performance of the first round.
- Fittingly, it gets to now take on its closest neighbors (mirroring the current standings in the Premier League) in Manchester City who suffered their first league defeat of the season at Stamford Bridge, again by a 2-1 scoreline. This result has already taken out a result of greater ramification (3-0 over Valencia, which vaulted Chelsea into the knockout rounds of Champions League), so I wouldn't put it past it to give its in-city neighbors a run for their money.
- In the closest result from Round 1, the emergence of Daniel Sturridge...well, emerged...as winner versus the emergence of Ramires, even though the first half of that was achieved on loan away from Chelsea. At just 22, with stardom in the England National Team beckoning, the world is Danny's oyster.
- A bit further down the age ladder, we have the young crop of Future Stars (at Chelsea, or elsewhere, as is the reality of youth development) putting the New Backroom Staff behind them. So it's young vs. even younger, for a place in the Final Four.
- Andre Villas-Boas stood tall in his bout with the CPO's defiance of the club's shady dealings concerning Chelsea's new stadium plans. I did not expect this match-up to produce any result other than this and I think AVB would have to be considered a heavy favorite to be still alive at the final reckoning.
- But first he will have to get past that man Torres again. As if AVB hasn't spent many sleepless nights worrying about his Spanish striker already! Torres's first goal in Blue was certainly a fun spectacle and it consigned Bat-Cech to continued life in the murky shadows of his Bat-Cave (complete with a drum set and Coldplay karaoke).