Chelsea now need to do exactly what Aston Villa have done today - TCC View
Steven Gerrard has always had a delicate relationship with Chelsea.
After nearly leaving Liverpool to sign for the Blues in 2005, the current Aston Villa coach cannot claim to be Stamford Bridge’s favourite son.
There have been countless exchanges between the former England international and the South West Londoners, including some tasty Champions League semi-finals.
To this day, the memory of his infamous slip at Anfield remains strong, due to the chorus Chelsea fans continue to blare out at almost every available opportunity.
But for all the historic rivalry, there remains a respect for the iconic Premier League midfielder.
Gerrard received a standing ovation on his final visit to the home of the Champions League holders, even if this sentiment meant very little to the man himself.
Now, the Blues might want to go one further than a round of applause and actually follow in the footsteps of their great enemy.
Or rather, replicate the actions of Gerrard’s employers at Villa Park.
Hero of the Villians
It was reported today that Villa had come to an agreement with the Zimbabwean Football Association to allow Marvelous Nakamba an extended stay in England ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Nakamba was meant to link up with his national team from December 23rd onwards before the tournament commences properly on the 9th of January.
Instead, the 27-year-old – who has been excellent for Gerrard since his arrival – will be available for three important fixtures instead of jetting off to AFCON straight away.
Trips to Leeds United (December 28th) and Brentford (January 2nd) will interestingly be preceded by a visit from Chelsea on Boxing Day.
If the Blues can copy Villa’s Nakamba request, then they will also be able to call upon one of their AFCON bound stars for the festive period.
Edouard Mendy will be representing Senegal at the competition, with his departure set to be around a similar time to Gerrard’s marvellous midfielder.
Yet, a deal with the Senegalese federation could also make him pickable for a trio of mighty matches.
After the Villa clash, Chelsea play Brighton & Hove Albion on the 29th, then host Liverpool on January 2nd.
A trident of games Mendy might miss, unless his employers appeal to their goalkeeper’s international sporting union.