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Chelsea FC

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It was rumoured that Chelsea could not extend John Terry‘s contract for another year, this is what Blues boss Antonio Conte had to day about that during today’s press conference ahead of Sunderland clash:

“John is our captain and I think he’s doing a great job, both when he is playing or not, he is helping me a lot in the changing room, he loves Chelsea but now it’s important to be focused on the present.

“I’m getting to know John very well in this period, and I am really pleased to know also the man, not only the player, he’s a real important player for us, both when he plays or not. I hope to have him available to play, he’s traveling with us every game, to give the right message, I think this is very positive.

“I think now it’s better to be focused on the present, I don’t like to look so forward, I’m sure John can do more roles in football, but now he can still play and we must focus on that.”

A Chelsea spokesman then intervened to say that it’s still soon to speak about this kind contract extension and that John Terry’s deal wil be discussed later like it was done in the previous years.

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke before Sunderland game, claiming he’s really excited about these upcoming five matches in Christmas period, an experience that he never had before.

Speaking about injuries updates he said:

“At the moment I don’t know, I am not sure, it’s important to check the situation today and see if we have all the players available, but I am not sure at the moment.”

The Italian manager was also asked about Cesar Azplicueta‘s fresh new deal with the Blues:

“I am really pleased for him: he always shows commitment, I like his availability to play in different roles, he is a good professional, I’m pleased for him, for the club, for the fans, because he is a good player.

“It was a good deal for us, for Chelsea: Azpi is very good player, he can play in different roles, I think it was a good deal for the club.”

Asked about the special challenge of playing five games in twenty-two days he said:

“This is a great challenge, for us, for our mentality, it’s important to give continuity and we all know that Sunderland is at the bottom of the table but you can see they are sixth in the table if u look at the last four games, so it’s important to be focused from the start of the game until the end.

“This is the first game of five in the Christmas period, I think we are ready for this, we worked very hard to face this period and now it’s important to start it in the right way.”

Conte was also asked if he sees his team as Premier League champions at the end of the year:

“If I must be honest no, not because I don’t trust my team, but because I know this league, to win you must put all yourself, it’s fantastic to have nine wins in a row, I hope to continue this, I hope to win the league, of course, but I am not sure.

The Italian coach was asked if he thinks that Chelsea are the favourites to win the title, as most of the pundits and people think in this moment:

“I think this opinion change very quickly, I don’t like this, you must have balance when u judge the situation, four months ago no one was thinking we could fight for the title or that we were ready to win it, we started the season with the same players and manager, I’m pleased that our work is paying off a lot, I thank my players for this every day.”

Diego Costa is on fire and Conte explained how he managed to bring him back to a top level, improving also his behaviour on the pitch:

“Diego is playing in a fantastic way, I am pleased for him, for Chelsea, for the fans, it’s very important that he’s showing his passion in the right way, he’s really focused on the game, on how to move, how to attack the space and he can still improve.

It was rumoured that Chelsea could not extend John Terry‘s contract for another year, this is what Conte had to day about that:

“John is our captain and I think he’s doing a great job, both when he is playing or not, he is helping me a lot in the changing room, he loves this club but now it’s important to be focused on the present.

“I’m getting to know John very well in this period, and I am really pleased to know also the man, not only the player, he’s a real important player for us, both when he plays or not. I hope to have him available to play, he’s traveling with us every game, to give the right message, I think this is very positive.

“I think now it’s better to be focused on the present, I don’t like to look so forward, I’m sure John can do more roles in football, but now he can still play and we must focus on that.”

A Chelsea spokesman then intervened to say that it’s still soon to speak about this kind contract extension and that John Terry’s deal wil be discussed later like it was done in the previous years.

Also Cesc Fabregas was set to leave Chelsea, according to speculations, but the Italian boss keeps saying he is a really important player for the club:

“In my opinion Cesc is an important player for us, he played very well in the last two games, I haven’t decided yet the starting XI for tomorrow but he’s always a good choice for me, he’s in our squad, this is the current reality.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek barely saw the pitch in the beginning of this season, and Conte was asked why the English midfielder didn’t get a chance until now:

“I am sure Ruben has got a great potential, I think it’s important to show this, he can improve a lot in different aspects, he’s got a few injuries in this season, I count on him, there will be the moment I will speak to the club to take the best decision, but I count on him.

Kenedy returned from his loan spell at Watford before the end of the deal and the Blues boss explained why:

“He wasn’t playing with Watford, so we guess the best decision was to take him back, to stay with us and train with us: he will stay here one month and then we will value, maybe he will go on loan again.

Conte never experienced football in Christmas period, and this a new challenge for him, that looks really enthusiastic about it:

“This a new experience for me and my family, I think it’s fantastic to have this experience, to play in the Christmas period: in the past I’ve always watched these games on tv – as I was on a break with my family during this period – but now it’s fantastic to live it.”

Yesterday Cristiano Ronaldo won the fourth Ballon d’Or of his career, a prize that for Conte is well deserved:

“We,ll it’s not the first time he won it, I think he deserved it, it’s the fourth one, Messi and him are dividing these awards in these years but I am sure in the future good players to win them will come up.

“I hope a Chelsea player can win it under me, that would mean we have fantastic players, so I hope we win it in the future.”

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Cesar Azpilicueta extends with Chelsea until 2020: the full-back, who arrived from Olympique Marseille in 2012, commits to the Blues for four more years.

The Spaniard is looking to make his 200th appearance with Chelsea against Sunderland tomorrow night and after putting pen on the new deal he said:

“I’m really happy to have signed a new contract. Since I arrived here my target was to progress as a player and win trophies. This new contract gives me the chance to continue my relationship with the club, that’s what I wanted and obviously I’m really happy here.

“We’ve had some really good moments so far this season. From day one, we started working very hard. We have a new manager with new ideas and I’m really happy to be working with him. Obviously we can still improve but the long-term aim for us is to win trophies, that is what we all want, the players, manager and fans.”

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Former Liverpool and Manchester United star Michael Owen gave his prediction on Chelsea clash at Sunderland, claiming the Blues could beat the Black Cats without conceding any goal:

“A fixture that has seen an average of 3.7 goals per game in the history of the PL -30 games,” the former striker said to BetVictor.

“It is possible that one might be enough for this burgeoning and confident Chelsea side.”

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Diego Costa shows his passion celebrating the winner against WBA © Francesca Ceciarini

Another team-mate praising Diego Costa, that has been Chelsea‘s best player in the last games and has already scored 12 goals in this Premier League.

Cesc Fabregas provided him assists against Man City and WBA, but the Spanish midfielder states that all the merit is Costa’s, that turns every pass into a goal:

There is something that every pass I make he turns it into something special,” Fabregas said after the game against West Brom.

“It will probably count as an assist but it was all him.”

“It was vital. We’ve been training all week on the mental aspect, especially for games like this.

“I don’t think we’ve faced enough teams like this recently, they have a very deep block and we knew it would be difficult to create chances.

“The football wasn’t the best but we knew we had to go in behind and push them lower and lower with good pressure.”

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Diego Costa's stunning winner against WBA © Francesca Ceciarini

Diego Costa is on fire and Thibaut Courtois hails his long-time team-mate, since the pair shared the dressing room also in Spain, at Atletico Madrid:

I remember the year we were champions with Atletico he was very strong, and the year we were champions with Chelsea he was very strong as well,” the Belgian goalkeeper told the official Chelsea website.

 “This season up to now he has scored very important goals. He is really strong on the ball as well and he dribbles past defenders like it is nothing, so he is very strong at the moment and we can only enjoy that and use him as our strength.

“It was a rough time for all the team last year but from January or February Diego was already scoring a lot of goals, and he has just carried that form on.

“The goal against West Brom came from a little mistake by their defender and Diego scored fantastically.”

 

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TONY PULIS WBA
West Brom manager Tony Pulis

West Brom manager Tony Pulis is disappointed after leaving Stamford Bridge with zero points despite his team good performance: in fact, WBA was only defeated by a Diego Costa‘s stunning striker with just 15 minutes to go:

“What we needed to do – and we’ve got better players than we’ve shown today – is regain possession,” the English coach said.

“Just get that pass off to get up the pitch a little bit further to give us an opportunity and a chance to cause them more problems.”

“The lads worked really hard, Chelsea play a different formation and shape to most teams in the Premier League.

“We had a good week working on it, what we wanted to do and what we didn’t want to do.

“We were well set up, I thought, without possession. Especially first half I thought we caused them some problems on the break.”

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After the important win against West Bromwich Albion Chelsea manager Antonio Conte praised second-half substitute Cesc Fabregas, who supplied the pass which led to Diego Costa’s winner

“Cesc is an important player for usWe all know his quality, it’s very clear.

“Today it was important to change the cards on the table and find a new solution to cut the point of reference for West Brom. I put on a player who is very good technically, and with a great personality.”

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