Tags Posts tagged with "Chelsea FC"

Chelsea FC

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Nemanja Matic in action © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic is optimistic and believes that the Blues, now 10th in the table with 40 points – 10 points under Manchester City that occupies the fourth spot with 50 points and one game in hand- can still finish in the top four.

“We’re a big team and we want to be closer to the top four,” the Serbian midfielder stated after the draw with Stoke City.

“It’s very difficult to catch them but we will try our best to win every game.

“We can certainly be in the top six and who knows what happens if we keep winning.

“It’s difficult – and maybe impossible – but in football anything can happen.”

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Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink is obviously frustrated after getting a draw at home against Stoke with the Potters scored the equaliser with five minutes to go:

“Yeah of course frustrating because we conceded a late goal – that is always frustrating.

“We scored a beautiful goal through Traore and then in the second half I think there was one key moment when the penalty was not awarded on Oscar, if you see it it was a clear, clear, clear penalty.

“I don’t often say that, but it would have been given as a free-kick if it was outside the box. I think it was a key moment but we must not say that Stoke was not pushing.

“They got encouraged by that, and they have some very creative players in the attacking part of team. At the end I think it was a fair result.”

He added: “Yeah, that’s difficult, almost impossible. Especially when other teams are also knocking on that door.

“Today’s result of West Ham for instance, we are respectful that they are also knocking on that door as well.

“You have to win, as we said, all the games.

“At the other end we know where we come from in December, one point off the relegation zone, amazingly we did it in a relatively short time to get safe of course, but also going into the mid of the table.

“Normally at Chelsea the standard is not enough, but after this season, If we can go into a very beautiful March and April it would be nice – I am referring to the upcoming Champions League and FA Cup competitions.”

Yeah of course frustrating because we conceded a late goal – that is always frustrating.

“We scored a beautiful goal through Traore and then in the second half I think there was one key moment when the penalty was not awarded on Oscar, if you see it it was a clear, clear, clear penalty.

“I don’t often say that, but it would have been given as a free-kick if it was outside the box. I think it was a key moment but we must not say that Stoke was not pushing.

“They got encouraged by that, and they have some very creative players in the attacking part of team. At the end I think it was a fair result.”

About reaching the fourth spot he admitted:

“Yeah, that’s difficult, almost impossible. Especially when other teams are also knocking on that door.

“Today’s result of West Ham for instance, we are respectful that they are also knocking on that door as well.

“You have to win, as we said, all the games.

“At the other end we know where we come from in December, one point off the relegation zone, amazingly we did it in a relatively short time to get safe of course, but also going into the mid of the table.

“Normally at Chelsea the standard is not enough, but after this season, If we can go into a very beautiful March and April it would be nice – I am referring to the upcoming Champions League and FA Cup competitions.”

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Stoke City manager Mark claims his side deserved the draw at Stamford Bridge for their display in the second part of the game:

“As the second half progressed there was a feeling around the stadium that we were the team likely to get the next goal,” the ex Blues player stated at the end of the match.

“We deserved a point and actually felt hard done by because in the first half we created two or three really good opportunities which we didn’t convert and then we got done with the sucker punch against the run of play.

“When that happens you can be deflated, but in fairness we had completely the opposite reaction. Everyone was encouraged by what we’d produced in the first half and said to carry on doing what we’d been doing.

“I was a little bit fortunate because I was going to take Mame Diouf off just before he scored,” he admitted”That’s the fortune you need.”

 

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Diego Costa © Francesca Ceciarini

Diego Costa was supposed to start today but Hiddink revealed he is out due to a minor tendon injury

CHELSEA-  Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic
(c), Baba; Mikel, Matic; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Traore.

Subs: Begovic, Miazga, Clarke-Salter, Loftus-Cheek, Fabregas, Pato, Remy.

Manager: Guus Hiddink

 

STOKE CITY – Butland, Muniesa, Cameron, Wollscheid, Pieters, Whelan, Imbula, Shaqiri, Affelay, Arnautovic, Diouf

Subs: TBA

Manager: Mark Hughes
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, UK
Kick Off: 3 pm, GMT

 

 

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Guus Hiddink speaks about his experience at Chelsea in these last two months and praise his staff for the precious help they are giving him:

Working here is different and I’m enjoying every day.

“It’s satisfying and I like to emphasise I’m not doing it by myself, I’m responsible and I like to take the lead but I’m depending on my technical team for professionalism.

Steve Holland, Eddie Newton, Chris Jones and Christophe Lollichon are doing great jobs. They don’t get the publicity I get each week but without Steve it would have been different for me.”

The Dutch coach also explained how the team could improve results since he took over in December:

“They don’t have to answer me with words but they have done it with their performances.

“We weren’t hoping, we were expecting (an improvement), because they’ve shown it in the past.

“When they won the championship there were ups and downs, but at the end of it came the championship. At the beginning there was a lack of confidence but when the results came, and they got used to playing a little bit differently, defending with a higher block, they started playing well and enjoying it, which is important. It’s about doing your job and enjoying your job.”

Chelsea can qualify for Europa League for next season and Hiddink, of course, has his opinion about the competition the club won in 2013:

“My personal opinion is that if you play in the Europa League you can bring in young players.

“I don’t want to undervalue it but it’s nice to have games for younger players. We’ve tried to bring young players in and it’s good for them as well.”

 

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Chelsea captain John Terry revealed one very strange superstition of the Blues dressing room:

“I am very superstitious and, for me, if we win a game then I add it on to my next superstition,” said Terry.

“Last season, as you can imagine, it built up to quite a lot.

“Me and Frank [Lampard] started it a long time ago; in the Chelsea dressing room we have three urinals and me and Lamps started weeing in one. We won the game and, for me, that was it, the next week there was a queue of me, Frank and Ash [Ashley Cole].

The next week there were four of us and the week after there were five.

And even now, up until today, you have Cesar Azpilicueta and Cesc Fabregas, we are all there in one big queue.

A few months ago the club secretary said to me: ‘we have had a few calls from the FA complaining because we have been going out late’ and I didn’t have the heart to tell him it was because we were all waiting to go for a wee.

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Chelsea vice-captain Branislav Ivanovic explained what went wrong in the beginning of this season, when the Blues had the worst start in the last 40 years and went one point from relegation zone, a situation that culminated with the sacking of manager José Mourinho.

The Serbian defender reveals that was not Mourinho‘s fault and that if Abramovich could, he would have fired all the squad for under performing on the pitch but, at the end, as it often happens in football it was the coach to pay for everyone:

“We didn’t know what was going on,” the current Chelsea’s captain on the pitch said.

“We finished brilliantly last season.We won the trophy. We knew how difficult it was.

Jose told us the hardest season in football is the year after you win. We were ready for that, but we didn’t start well.

“We lost control of our game and minds. Those three or four months was one of the most disappointing moments in my career.“

We could not deal with the pressure of what being champions of England means. Your opponents have big motivation.

“When we didn’t win for six or seven games, people realised we were not as strong as last season. They weren’t scared.

“I took criticism from the public, but I was more critical of myself. All players are most critical of themselves.

“I tried to find the reason why I was not performing as I was last season. We gave everything last season.

“We didn’t realise how dangerous it was to be champions. We fell down quickly. We didn’t know what was going on around us.

“I had an injury and was not 100 per cent clear in my head what I was doing, what I had to do.

“Jose didn’t change. He didn’t change his preparation for games. He didn’t change the way he treated us. He was the same.

“Football is about players. The managers are not on the pitch. It is 11 vs 11. You have to be better than your opponent.

“We were more responsible than the manager. Of course it is difficult to change 25 players halfway through the season.

If Abramovich could have, he would have changed all of us as. It’s difficult to say it was only one guy’s responsibility.

Guus [Hiddink] deserves a lot of credit. He is doing an amazing job. But it was all about the players. Changing manager woke us up.

“When we had Jose, we had a shield in front of us. We had someone to protect us, to be criticised first. Now it’s only us.

“We cannot blame someone else. We have no-one around us, and we have to start winning games, which is the aim of the club.

“Chelsea did not deserve to be in the situation they were in. We are trying to do everything we can to save the season.

Asked if he would like Chelsea captaincy he replied:

“Difficult question. We have a captain. I don’t like to think about the future.

“I try to do my best and be ready if it happens. I would hope not to change what I am now. If not, I’m happy like this.

“You need to be the person all the others look to. When we concede a goal, we always look to John and see his reaction.

“A good captain must be successful. Win the trophies. Off the pitch, you need to be professional, set a good example.

“We have lost some leadership. We had big players who built this team. In my opinion we have lost a bit of leadership.“

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Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi is back to be a hot topic for the next summer transfer window.

Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport claim that Manchester United and Chelsea are keen on the striker.

Should Inter fail to qualify for the Champions League next season- currently they are fifth in the Serie A’s table-  the forward will reportedly look to move on.

Icardi was last season Serie A‘s top scorer – along with Luca Toni– with 22 goals.

In case José Mourinho would take over at United this summer, the £32m-rated Argentinian striker could be his first signing.

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Guus Hiddink ruled out again John Terry for tomorrow’s game against Stoke City but he gives some hope for next Champions League crucial game against Paris Saint Germain:

Terry is not fit to start this weekend, we see if he can play on wednesday, he’s not with the group, Pedro is in the same situation.

“I don’t think I would risk John, this kind of injury you have to train a lot before to come back to play.

If he can play against PSG? It depends how good he is in training, we will know on Monday. He’s always restless when he’s injured, but I won’t take any risk with him.

We will do a little game to test him on Monday/Tuesday.”

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