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CFC

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was just announced as the winner of London Manager of the Year Award.

Willow, the charity foundation who sponsors the awards, posted the news on their Twitter profile:

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The Blues manager, in his first year at Stamford Bridge, beat Tottenham boss Mauriccio Pochettino, Fulham’s Slavisa Jokanovic, Neil Harris of Millwall and Neal Ardley of AFC Wimbledon to the award. Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger and West Ham’s Slaven Bilic were not short-listed.

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger warned his players before the trip to Anfield to face Liverpool: keep Chelsea out of your minds.

The Gunners boss is not ruling out a late charge for the title but wants to ensure the Blues are not the team in his players minds in tomorrow’s crucial clash:

“We have a game in hand and things can change quickly, but we have to focus on our next game,” Wenger told reporters today.

“To do a thing like that, you need exceptional rhythm in your results and, as well, Chelsea to fade.

“At the moment it is more important that we focus on winning our games and focus on our next game rather than dreaming about coming back to Chelsea.”

 

 

 

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Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon reveals he was drained by Chelsea links in last January transfer window.

The Blues were looking for an Asmir Begovic‘s substitute, since the Bosnian goalkeeper was keen to move to Bournemouth after receiving a good offer from the Cherries, but at the end the deal was called off:

“It was about doing the job and I’ve had that a couple of times in my career where there’s been talk of changing clubs and bids coming in and having to play games during that time,” Gordon said.

“It is mentally draining, but you’ve got to do your job and we continued to play well.”

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Slaven Bilic will face Chelsea in next Monday night Premier League clash and the Croatian coach claimed that the Blues don’t have the title in their hands, like many pundits and fans believe, but they still have to fight as the title race is “very open”.

Chelsea are still leaders with 63 points, with Spurs following with 53, Manchester City sitting in third place with 52 points, Arsenal fourth with 50, Liverpool 49 and Manchester United in sixth place with 48, with Citizens, Gunners and Red Devils with a game in hand.

It’s a huge gap to lose in twelve games, but for Bilic nothing is decided yet:

“It [the title race] is still very open. If they slip up, which you can in every game, other teams need to be ready.”

Just a honest opinion or mind games before Monday’s derby?

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Chelsea move to sign Hakan Calhanoglu could be completed next summer as the Turkish star is open to leaving Bayer Leverkusen, his agent has confirmed.

It is understood the 23-year-old is unable to play until the end of the season due to a ban for an unclear missed transfer from Trabzonspor to Karlsruhe in 2011.

Bektas Demitras told Kicker: “Hakan will be in contract at Leverkusen for three years, if an offer comes along that is fine for Bayer and which also fits with Hakan, we will do a transfer. But the final decision lies with the club”.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is said to be a great admirer of Calhanoglu, who could strengthen the squad in midfield following Oscar’s departure to Chinese Super League.

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A lot of Chelsea supporters didn’t like at all the remarks Jose Mourinho made about Manchester United fans recently.

“I’ve managed several clubs and I have never seen such unrivalled passion. – the former Blues manager said about Old Trafford crowd – The stadium is full every time we play and the support the players receive is special”.

Many Chelsea fans used Twitter to express their fury for Mourinho’s words, that echoed something the Portuguese said when he was at Stamford Bridge last season: “I can clearly say we are the team to get less support in home matches”, – Mourinho said – “I think it’s getting worse. When comparing to my previous time, I think it’s getting worse. Chelsea fans show us their passion for this club every day, but there is a certain line of living at the matches at Stamford Bridge”.

 

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Slaven Bilic, West Ham’s manager has spoken about Victor Moses, one of his former player with The Hammers and who has just signed a new contract with Chelsea.

“I’m not surprised by his progress. – Bilic said – I am glad for him. He was our player and we enjoyed that year. He said that he also had good memories of his time here. So I am really glad for him. His characteristics, his strength, were always like amazing. His pace, quality on the ball and stamina is basically top top class”.

“He proved himself. – the Croat went on – And if you add on top of that he is playing in a position that is not basically his ideal position, it makes his achievement even greater. He should be very proud of what he has done since the start of the season”.

Victor Moses last year played 21 games with West Ham scoring a goal.

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Manchester United star Antonio Valencia says the Red Devils are not out of Premier League title race at all.

“This is the mentality that we have – winning EFL Cup [3-2 against Southampton at Wembley] has given us much confidence,” the 31-year-old claimed.

“We are thinking about these three trophies. I think we can do it. We have to realise we are Manchester United and that we can go on to win these three trophies”.

Then, when asked about Manchester United’s hopes in the Premier League, Valencia added: “We haven’t given up hope this year. 

“We’ll still fight for the league this season, but if we can’t do it this year, then we go into next season and we will fight for the league.”

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West Ham boss Slaven Bilic is confident that his side can ‘get something’ positive at the Olympic Stadium, securing at least a draw against Chelsea on Monday.

The Hammers’ manager said: “It’s harsh to say we have the measure of them because we beat them last time but it does mean a lot, it shows it is not impossible”, 

“They are not a different team now but they have improved from that game when we beat them. – Bilic added – It is not a bonus game for us. We are at home and it is a game we are expecting to get something from.”

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Speaking on Sky Sports News HQ former Chelsea assistant coach and player Steve Clarke claimed that only a catastrophic loss of form could stop the Blues from losing this Premier League title:

“I can’t see it [Chelsea winning the title] 100 per cent but 99 per cent convinced that they are going to get there.

“I think only a catastrophic loss of form can cost them the title.

“I don’t think anyone who has watched Chelsea this season can see that coming.”

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