Tim Rolls takes us through his upcoming book Diamond, Dynamos and Devils: The Transformation of Chelsea FC under Tommy Docherty. Rolls talks about the changes to the culture and stature of Chelsea FC during Docherty's term. He lays bare the contrast between the game, the personalities and the culture of Chelsea 1961-1967 and the modern game; and how that span overturned life at Stamford Bridge.
Nathaniel Chalobah's and Nathan Ake's transfers brought added scrutiny to Chelsea's youth and loan policy. Jeremie Boga's take-notice performance in the friendly against Arsenal briefly raised hopes that he might stay, but another loan is in his best interests - and the realm of possibility. Rayna, Ajitesh and George talk about the purpose of Chelsea's academy, and the chances for new faces in this season's starting XI.
Chelsea need to reinforce their squad's wingbacks, but few top-level wingbacks are on the transfer market. George and Barrett debate buying vs. adapting players to fill the unique role, along with the latest chapter of Diego Costa drama and Chelsea's next backup goalkeeper.
Virgil van Dijk would be a nonsensical purchase given the depth of ability and character among Chelsea's centre-backs. Timeouye Bakayoko, on the other hand, could complete Chelsea's midfield. George and Barrett rate the Blues' top transfer prospects, discuss Eden Hazard's and Antonio Conte's long-term future at the club and debate the complicated legacy of John Terry.
Antonio Conte's 3-4-3 has become a catch-all explanation for Chelsea's Premier League title. Conte made significant decisions big and small to execute the formation and bring together a broken team. Rayna, Travis and George unpack the 3-4-3, and discuss how the league's tactical battles gave way to basic management and leadership.
Chelsea's individual and team performances in a 2-1 loss to Manchester United laid bare the challenges facing Antonio Conte. The FA Cup semi-final now looms as the unofficial Premier League title game. Ajitesh, Travis and George look at what the Blues must do in the remaining weeks of the season and in the summer transfer window to secure the run-in and prepare for the Champions League.
Diego Costa is forcing his fans (and supporters) to find ever more creative ways to defend his recent unproductive - and counter-productive - form. His teammates' strong performances allow Chelsea to emerge relatively unscathed from his lack of offensive desire. However, Antonio Conte's plans for a Blue dynasty require a striker who actually, well, strikes. Costa is not interested in being that player, and Chelsea will have to see out this season before unloading him to wherever he would...
Gareth Southgate's remarks on the state of English football touch on all elements of the game. Loan programs such as Chelsea's are a major part of introducing young English footballers to a variety of tactics and football cultures. Bringing in accomplished managers from the continent are another way. Newly-arrived managers should follow Antonio Conte's approach: learn, understand and adapt to the league... then dominate it.
N'Golo Kante's and Paul Pogba's performances in the FA Cup spurred a week of conversation about value for transfer fees. But how much should a player be judged against their transfer fee, as opposed to their wages? And with Romelu Lukaku planning a summer transfer, would any team offer him as many opportunities - as well as money - as Chelsea?
Diego Costa and Cesar Azpilicueta are polar opposites in attitude, leadership and work ethic. Chelsea should accept nearly any offer from China for Costa, and make Azpilicueta the next captain. George and Barrett also talk about the future of Chelsea's defence, and size up Monday's fixture against West Ham United.
Cesc Fabregas led the way to Chelsea's victory over Swansea. Pedro and Diego Costa joined him on the scoresheet, with Costa once again showing that he can still score goals even when he is not on top form. Costa, though, has a luxury few Blues have: no real competition for his place in the lineup.
Chelsea and Eden Hazard may soon confront a transfer bid from Real Madrid. Chelsea must be prepared to stand firm on his worth, and Hazard needs to consider if Real would really be a better environment for him. George and Barrett also discuss the rumours surrounding Dominic Solanke and Leonardo Bonucci, Manchester City's debacle against Monaco and the Blues' very real need for wing-backs.