I admit being in Australia has it's downsides, even if it is a great country for it's weather, beaches etc. One negative is the fact that being a European football fan basically means being nocturnal, as Chelsea games are regularly on at two in the morning and so on, and the second negative is that when trying to write dated articles consistent with the English calendar everything becomes a mess.
The West Brom team news thread has revealed my incompetency at working out the dates, but I think I've got them nailed on in this piece, which is a little delayed today, but hopefully still just as useful. To the links!
The best stuff first...
Brian Phillips on why Napoli should be your new favorite European soccer club - Grantland
It seems everyone wants to talk Napoli, but fortunately it's the journalists who actually take the time to think about what they're saying. Graham is one, and Brian Phillips (of the football academics site The Run of Play) is another, and this is a good look at the historical context of our CL opponents and it's relevance to the current side. Another highly recommended read.
A Football Report - André Villas-Boas' Philosophy of Composition?
This is old, but it's good. Starting off by comparing AVB to Edgar Allan Poe may not be entirely rational, but in the scheme of the article it actually makes good sense as A Football Report takes a look at the current situation at Chelsea. Highly recommended read...
Can Brazil rely on David Luiz? - ESPN Soccernet
Luiz's brain farts don't happen just for Chelsea, you know. Brazil get some of them too and it's prompted Tim Vickery of ESPN to try and work out if the Brazilian's admittedly unusual attacking game is worth the catalogue of defensive errors that comes with it.
After the jump, the speculation of the day...
Chelsea consider hiring Rafa Benitez to replace Andre Villas-Boas - ESPN Soccernet
There's just so many things wrong with this rumour that I'm just not even going to try and put them into words.
Villas-Boas feels Jose shadow | Sky Sports
What the best thing about this story is the photo of the man behind AVB in the actual link. I can't tell if he's just sneezed something horrible or just seen Meireles' latest haircut.
Fernando Torres mentor blames Chelsea for striker's poor form - ESPN Soccernet
This is just so blatantly stupid from Antonio Sanz, Torres' mentor, in that he claims "I don't think Torres has a problem." Huh. About that.
And some interesting Chelsea-rated videos...
Mata: My first six months in London - YouTube
Tommy92 already FanPosted this in the sidebar (a place, incidentally, you would do well to keep track of for some links that I miss), but this video is good enough to earn a double mention. Now Mata is branching out into personal videos, there's even more reasons to love our own little Hobbit.
Hulk scored a stupidly fast screamer in the derby against Benfica this morning, rating a 108m/p/h on the speedometer. He may not be worth 80 million, but he's pretty damm good.
Finally, a reminder that you can share any links you've got by FanShotting them, and we'll promote the best posts onto the front page, and if you've got something meaty you'd like to say you can write it all down in a Fan Post as well and again the most interesting ones will too get a promotion.