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Next stop on the Chelsea blame-train: Goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon

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Like some bizarro Cat Stevens song, the Chelsea blame train rattles on, ensuring that no smiles or good feelings may enter the rolling, rollicking world of Chelsea anytime soon.  Next stop is Christophe Lollichon, a man far removed from the spotlight, yet familiar to many for his occasionally passionate outbursts on the bench (such as when he was sent off in 2012 in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal against Benfica) and his unorthodox and creative training methods that sometimes pop up YouTube.

Petr Cech was instrumental in bringing Lollichon to the club in 2007.  They had worked together at Rennes before Cech came to Chelsea, and when Mourinho and his entourage were dismissed the first time, our legendary goalkeeper suggested the perfect replacement for Silvino.  Despite the revolving door at the head of the coaching staff since, Lollichon has been one of the ever-presents, even staying on last summer despite Cech's departure to Arsenal.  Many had expected the coach to follow his star pupil (and Courtois even suggested a replacement); that may yet happen given Cech's love and respect, and these latest rumblings from Duncan Castles.

Castles, often well-sourced with Mourinho stories, claims that Lollichon not only rubbed our former manager the wrong way, even to the point of getting "excluded from some [staff] meetings" for supposedly leaking inside information to the press, but that Courtois himself isn't particularly enamored with the Frenchman's coaching methods.  The report certainly insinuates that Courtois's meniscus injury should be blamed on the coach as well, for pushing his young charge beyond the point that he should have.

If true, the report does lend some weight to the Courtois exit rumors, especially since the rumors surrounding Conte's new coaching staff tend to agree that Lollichon is staying.  While it's undoubtedly not as simple as Courtois vs. Lollichon: Only One Can Survive -- they have worked together for two years now, after all, including Courtois's excellent debut season with Chelsea -- it could still be a factor as we reshape the squad for next season.

So stay tuned.  The Chelsea blame train is taking on some coal and water and will soon be ready to choo-choo on along to whatever stop may be next, destroying everything and everyone in its path.

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