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Chelsea FC

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José Mourinho© Francesca Ceciarini

With two weeks to go to the closing of the transfer window, Chelsea boss José Mourinho explained to the club website how the market works and how teams try to fill the gap with the champions to challenge them:

When you win it once it’s more difficult to win it twice. Why has no team won the Champions League twice in a row? If you win the title in a country where you are almost lonely (at the top), or the opposition doesn’t reach the same level, you win it once, twice, three times, four times, no problem. You do it because the other teams have no conditions to react to that.

If you win the Champions League, how many teams can react to the fact they didn’t win it? A lot of them can react. In the Premier League, if you win the title, how many teams are in a position to react to that? A lot of them can.

If you go to Germany, how many teams are powerful enough to react to Bayern Munich’s dominance? They won three in a row and they will probably win it a fourth time. In France, how many teams can react to Paris Saint-Germain’s power?

“Here, Man City won the league (in 2014), so Chelsea weren’t happy, Man United weren’t happy, Arsenal weren’t happy and Liverpool weren’t happy. Chelsea brought in Diego Costa, Fabregas and Thibaut Courtois. Arsenal bought Alexis Sanchez.

Last season, Chelsea were champions so the first thing Man City do in the summer is buy [Raheem] Sterling. If they were champions they probably wouldn’t have attacked the market in the same way. So, here and in the Champions League teams react, and because teams react it’s more difficult to be champions.

Mourinho hasn’t ruled out Chelsea to go on the market again to sign a couple of players but, if this won’t be possible, he expects his team to improve:

My players and my team will improve for sure. If we don’t have an improvement based on a couple of players, I still believe in the improvement of my players.

“If, on top of that, we have one new player or two new players, we welcome them and we can be better. It’s a possibility, the market is still open. One defender comes for sure and apart from that, maybe, maybe not.

“In pre-season I said if we are not buying a lot, the way to compete against the improvement of other teams is to be better. Every one of us has to give more“.


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Eden Hazard © Francesca Ceciarini

Ahead of the clash at the Etihad with Manchester City Chelsea star Eden Hazard spoke to the club website to share his feelings and expectetions for the game:

It’s always good to play against Manchester City.

We know the game will be difficult, they won their first match, we drew ours, but now is the time to show everybody how good we are. We want to play well and win the match.

“When you are young you want to play in the biggest games and play in the Champions League. When you play against City you are up against a big team and big players, so you want to show the world that you have a lot of quality.

Maybe it’s not the best game for players like me because it’s hard to get on the ball and dribble due to the fact it’s very tight and there isn’t much space.

That’s why the Premier League is the best league in the world, because you never know what will happen.

You play a game and you can win, draw, even against the so-called smaller teams. Every game is difficult, every game is a fight.

Even big players are not always joining the biggest teams in the league now. That’s good for the competition because fans want to see exciting matches every week.

Hazard recalls the game at the Etihad of 2013/2014 season, where Chelsea played an outstanding game and won with a great goal by Branislav Ivanovic:

“Both teams will want to fight, be aggressive and make it difficult for the opposition. I remember playing well in that match, when we won 1-0 and  Branislav Ivanovic scored, and if I can do that again it will be very good for myself and the team.

The Belgian claims he had proper vacation this summer, so he could recharge the batteries for the upcoming season:

My holiday was perfect, I can disconnect from football easily and spending time with my family and kids is the most important thing.

I feel refreshed, we are ready for the new season and we want to bring the Premier League trophy back to Stamford Bridge, and to do that we need to be prepared for every game.

Eden thinks that, to retain the title, Chelsea must be strong when playing away:

It’s important to be strong away from home. Obviously we need to be good at Stamford Bridge again but being consistent when you play away makes a big difference.

Away games in the Premier League are always very tough but we need to try and pick up as many points as possible“.

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Chelsea manager José Mourinho © Francesca Ceciarini

Speaking to BT Sport Chelsea boss José Mourinho explained why it was dangerous to return to Chelsea in 2013, after his spells at Inter and Real Madrid:

It was dangerous. It was dangerous for many reasons,” claimed the Portuguese.

The first reason is the old saying, don’t go back to where you were happy before. Why? Because people love me here and Chelsea fans look at me as somebody that was important in a certain moment of Chelsea history.

Why risk the prestige and the passion you got? In that perspective, it was a difficult situation.

“The second situation was because the Chelsea top team finished. No more Essien, Makelele, Lampard, Cole, Drogba – finished.

“The third reason is the evolution of the Premier League. Even if you want to win the league, you risk finishing outside the top four.

“Two seasons ago – Manchester United out of the top four. Last season – Liverpool out of the top four. Next season – somebody will also be out of the top four.

When you start a season in a top club, you can be the champion or you can be out of the top four. So I think yes, it’s risky.”

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ashley cole roma

Roma told to ex Chelsea defender Ashley Cole that he can leave despite having another year of contract with the Italian side.

Cole signed for Roma last summer and he only made 11 Serie A appearances so far.

During this pre-season he has rarely featured in the games under coach Rudi Garcia.

Cole was not selected for Roma’s 6-4 friendly win over Sevilla on Friday night which saw new signing Edin Dzeko score twice after sealing a season-long loan switch from Manchester City.

The players of the Roma squad were presented to supporters before the match at the Stadio Olimpico.

It’s now time for Cole to look for a new team.

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea boss José Mourinho was under pressure after the broadcasters’ press conference ended yesterday and the Sunday papers’ journalists remained in the press room with no cameras.

A reporter from LONDON 24 tell us how things went, with the Blues manager becoming nervous for the many questions about medical department issue.

Here is the story narrated by the reporter:

The Chelsea boss was reluctant to spend the whole press conference speaking about the issue but, once the 19 camera crews, clutch of photographers and broadcast journalists left the room, newspaper reporters pressed him on the matter.

“I don’t answer,” was the stock response Mourinho gave three times after questions over the issue of medical staff entering the field of play was brought up, before Chelsea’s head of media Steve Atkins interjected in a bid to calm tensions.

However, the exchanges remained terse and Mourinho’s responses curt, before he gave a lengthy, if rambling, answer on the situation: “The first thing I said to my medical department – and I repeated it three times because I wanted to start the meeting with them having no doubts about it – was if we know, and it is easy to know by many ways, if one player has a problem, the players are more important than the result,” Mourinho said.

“He is more important than the manager, he is even more important than the referee. And if the referee does not give you permission to go to the pitch, you go. You go. It does not matter if the referee is not happy with that. It does not matter if the manager is not happy with that.

“If you know – if you feel, and it is easy to know when to feel because there are many examples of it – you go and you don’t think twice.”

Then things became heated. As another question on the matter was readied, an exasperated Mourinho snapped:

“Don’t make me another question or I go. I go. Think twice before you ask the question. Think twice.

When the reporter instead directed his question at Atkins, Mourinho got up from his chair and walked to the door saying: “Now I go, have a good weekend.”

However, Mourinho was pacified before he could leave the room and returned to his seat, where the subject turned to Sunday’s encounter with Manchester City. As the newspaper journalists’ section came to a close, the subject changed to the surprise Mourinho expressed at the number of those in attendance to talk about the issues surrounding the medical team.

The Portuguese rejected the notion he was the most influential man in English football since Sir Alex Ferguson retired and was perplexed by the suggestions he was a powerful figure.

“Power, oh my word,” Mourinho said. “Power? Jesus Christ! Power of what?

“The only power I have is to choose the team that plays Sunday, to choose who goes on the bench, to choose what we do in the week, which exercises we do, which direction we try to take our game plan.

“It is the power I have and that is not power, it is part of my job to advise my board to do something related to the transfer market, to do something in other departments in relation to my needs and experiences. But I have power for nothing.”

Mourinho was, though, reminded that he referred to himself as the Godfather two years ago. “I am not the Godfather,” he said to laughter in the room. “I am not the Godfather”.

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was relieved after the win against Maccabi Tel Aviv © Francesca Ceciarini

Ahead of Manchester City clash at the Etihad Chelsea boss José Mourinho spoke to the club website to analyse the moment of the team, discussing the pre-season and the first two official matches of the campaign:

“We made a decision which was to give the players a proper holiday. At that moment we knew the start was not going to be the same kind of start we had last year.

“Last year we started early, we worked in different periods of pre-season, we played a lot of matches  before the start of the season, and we had a fantastic start, but I think we paid for that quick start at the end of the season.

“The team was tired, but we managed to control our destiny in the Premier League with the advantage we had in our pocket, which was not normal in this league.

“This season we tried to go in another direction. We went for a slower start, with a short pre-season. We know what we are doing, but clearly some didn’t react as well as we expected.

The manager claims the work during this past week satisfied him:

This week was a fantastic week for us because it was one more week of pre-season, with no matches, no travelling, nothing – just training from Monday to Saturday. The next three weeks will be the same. At the end of the fourth match in the Premier League we are going to be in a good situation.

We are not on top of our game, but the normal tendency is to improve week after week.

Regarding Arsenal and Swansea games he said:

“The start against Arsenal was not bad, but the result was not the one we wanted. The first half against Swansea I liked a lot. We were back to a certain level of quality of our game.

In the second half against Swansea I loved the players’ answer from a mental point of view. From a physical point of view the team was in trouble a bit playing with 10 men, but even so, in the last period of the game, if somebody was putting wood on the fire to try to win, it was us“.


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Eden Hazard won the Player of the Year Award last season © Francesca Ceciarini
Ahead of fundamental clash at Etihad Stadium Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany spoke to the Het Nieuwsblad about Chelsea most dangerous man and national team fellow-mate Eden Hazard, he also joked:

You’d almost hope that Eden Hazard would have diarrhoea.

“Not that he was being serious, of course.

“Now let’s be serious, you can’t underestimate the impact he has on Chelsea.

“You can have as many tactical plans as you want, if Eden starts running, it’s chaos.

“He’s at a level where he decides how good his team are“.

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Brazilian midfielder Oscar © Francesca Ceciarini

While speaking to the press this morning Chelsea boss José Mourinho revealed that Oscar will probably miss Manchester City clash next Sunday.

“Oscar is a doubt,” he said the manager.

“He had a little injury in training, Courtois is suspended as you know, and apart of that, all are good”.

The Brazilian was one of the best players on the pitch against Swansea, scoring a beautiful goal on a free-kick.

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Ex Chelsea manager José Mourinho © Francesca Ceciarini

José Mourinho press conference ahead of Manchester City clash at the Etihad Stadium.


Look, I hope this room is full because the champions will be playing against the former champion, because of the transfer window because we have hopefully a big match on Sunday, but I knew it already. It is not a surprise. No question.

‘I don’t want to run away from it. I accept the question, and understand.

First of all I want to say we got a fantastic medical department with a top leader like Paco Biosca, we have more of dozen people between physios and doctors and I have a very good relationship with them, I praised them a lot of times in these couple of years. They tell me they have never been praised as much as they have done by me in the last couple of years. We had disagreements during this period, we need disagreements to improve, and I want to make this very clear.

“The game is emotional space for every one of us…. football is football. The match is the match. And everything in the match can be different.

“In the meeting I had with my medical staff yesterday, the feedback I got is that the relationships we had going back two years we good relations.

“For some people the bench is very important, this is my responsibility, it’s my decision, it’s nobody’s else decision.For other people it is not important. For other people the most important thing is not what people think you do, it is what you do. Every week I have to choose 18 players out of 25, I have to choose four of my seven assistants, I have to choose just one kit man out of seven, and for medical department I need to choose two of them out more of dozen. For some people the bench is important and they  at the Etihad Jon Fearn and Eva Carneiro won’t be on the bench, they won’t be on Sunday, it’s my decision, but this doesn’t mean they cannot be there in the future”

“If someone thinks that disagreements between the manager and two people of the medical department can affect the squad, these people don’t know everything about football.

Oscar is a doubt, he had a little injury in training, Courtois is suspended as you know, and apart of that, all are good.

I speak about myself and I am far to be ruthless, I have a fantastic relation with everyone that work with me, I am open to communication,  I am open to mistakes, I am open to dialogue, I am open to critics. Yesterday I had a meeting with my medical staff and some of them told me that we do mistakes to improve together.

If Chelsea supporters are concerned about the transfer market, they have to look what Abramovich did for the club since he bought it: a fantastic contribution to win titles. In this moment we are not top of league [but[ in relation to the spenders we have don’t have to worry, first of all because the transfer window is still open, and second thing we do things at the right moment, two years ago people were disappointed because we didn’t buy a striker, but we didn’t do that because we knew Diego Costa was coming the following year. We are in great stability at the club, with the owner and the board, they just gave me a four year contract, we work fantastically well.

The players trust everybody in this club, there are fantastic professionals, they trust everyone, also in the medical department, they work with them every week “.

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Nathan Ake

Genoa join the race to sign Chelsea young defender and midfielder Nathan Ake on loan.

The Italian side targeted the Dutch player as an alternative signing to Ajax’s Nicolai Boilesen, who is set to transfer to Aston Villa.

Boilesen, 23, rejected Genoa’s approach and is understood to be keen on securing a switch to the Premier League.

Many Bundesliga sides are also interested in Ake, but it seems Genoa took advantage in the race to Chelsea player.

The Italian club already signed Manchester City youngster Olivier Ntcham.


Ahead of Chelsea's Premier League game vs Southampton tomorrow at Stamford Bridge, Antonio Conte admits he has not a lot of power on the club's decision over the January tranfer window. "It's right to...