Tags Posts tagged with "chelsea"

chelsea

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Chelsea target Antoine Griezmann has said that he is happy at current club Atletico Madrid, denting the Blues’ chances of signing the midfielder.

Atletico have reportedly increased the buy-out clause in Griezmann’s contract to a huge £75 million, but Chelsea are believed to want to match it after continued interest in the Frenchman.

The 22-year old, who has attracted attention from Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich, has been in fine form this season, netting 18 goals in the league.

Griezmann’s current deal at the Vincente Calderon runs until 2020, and has said that he wishes to stay in Spain:

“I am feeling very well at Atletico,” he told French publication Telefoot.

“This is a big club and I want to achieve great things here. I am ambitious and my goal is to win trophies here. I have become more mature. The club and my team-mates rely on me.

“I have become a more complete player and have to continue on the same path. I am not at my best just yet. I work every day to improve and reach my top. I am still far away from the best players.”

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harry redknapp

Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has said that Jose Mourinho would already be at the Manchester United helm if the club wanted him, despite the club’s poor form recently.

Louis van Gaal’s side suffered yet another home defeat on Saturday; a 0-1 loss to Southampton, in which United mustered just one attempt on goal.

Boos could be heard after just 23 minutes at Old Trafford, with several sections of the United support calling for the Dutchman’s exit.

Reports have claimed this week that Mourinho, who was sacked by Chelsea in December, wrote a six-page letter to the United board outlining his suitability for the role, although the Portuguese has moved to rubbish these claims.

In an interview with the Telegraph, Redknapp has said that if change was to happen at Old Trafford, it would have already occured, and that United should play the waiting game:

“If the United board had wanted to appoint Mourinho they would have done it already,” Redknapp said.

“I think they will wait until the summer and go for somebody like Pep Guardiola or Diego Simeone, if they miss out on the top four.

“United will have no problems attracting managers of that calibre because of their reputation but those guys are simply not available at the moment so I fully expect Van Gaal to battle on.

“With every bad result, and there have been quite a few this season, the pressure cranks up a notch and we see all the headlines about Van Gaal facing the sack or resigning from his post.

But I cannot see anything happeningbecause, quite simply, if United wanted to get rid of him they would have done it by now.

“Van Gaal will still think he can achieve things this season, despite all the struggles, and sacking the manager now would be effectively writing the season off.”

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After a much improved Chelsea performance on Sunday from former Gunner Cesc Fabregas we look at why the Spaniard was back to his best.

After an extremely slow start to the season from the Blues in which Fabregas was singled out as one of the main culprits by many sections of the Chelsea support, he is now stringing some strong performances together. The Chelsea number 4 is no longer being operated in a deep lying playmaker role alongside the likes of Matic and the rejuvenated Mikel.

These two holding players in behind Fabregas, allowing him to roam the field, are vital to his improved form. Sometimes receiving the ball from the centre backs and other times pushing on beyond Diego Costa. This means he often gets the most touches on the pitch and thus allows him to dictate the Chelsea tempo, which he did superbly in the first half at the Emirates and at Selhurst Park in the 3-0 win against Crystal Palace a few weeks ago.

The improved movement of Diego Costa upfront, who was always looking in behind the Gunners defense at the Emirates on Sunday, has also helped Fabregas under Hiddink. When he has runners around him and doesn’t particularly have to worry about his defensive duties quite as much, he can be deadly, as shown by his array of passing and moving in the final third on Sunday which should have resulted in a penalty.

Shown so many times last season and now this season, when he is on form Chelsea are on form. So keeping Fabregas in a free roaming position is vital to the Blues aspirations of reaching the top four.

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Chelsea captain John Terry took to Instagram this morning to heap the praise on his former team mate and club legend Petr Cech after Chelsea’s 1-0 at the Emirates on Sunday.

On his personal Instagram page (@johnterry.26) Terry posted a photo of the two of them after the game with the caption “Great seeing the big man @petrcech yesterday, so much RESPECT for this guy Chelsea Legend”.

Cech is still seen as a hero in West London after his switch to London rivals Arsenal. And it comes as no surprise as he was an integral part in the Blues success’s over the last decade.

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After a successful clean sheet and maintaining Chelsea’s unbeaten record on Sunday at the Emirates goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois reveals just how the Blues tactical approach beforehand worked to full effect.

The 23 year-old Belgian went on to tell the Chelsea FC Official website just how they planned to beat the Gunners. ‘It was a brilliant pass, we knew there was a weakness in behind the two central defenders, we had to play the ball there and Diego is fast so he did very well.

The Chelsea shot stopper went on to say “It was very satisfying. Arsenal are doing very well this season and it was a difficult game. It’s a London derby as well so for the supporters it’s massive and it was a good result.

“You need to win these games. I hope this will give us a confidence boost, we have the FA Cup on Sunday and the Champions League is coming up as well.”

‘Last week against Everton we only woke up when we were 2-0 down so there was a good reaction, and a team which doesn’t have confidence wouldn’t normally come back from 2-0 and 3-2 down,’ he added.

‘Against Arsenal we also fought very hard so that’s good for us. We need to climb the table and obviously the FA Cup and Champions League are very important.

‘We have to try to win the games we have left in the league, we are working very hard and I think it shows on the pitch.’

Chelsea remain unbeaten under Hiddink, in his second tenure as interim manager and will only gain confidence from this vital London derby win at the Emirates.

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A fantastic 2 days of Premier League football. Leicester still proving their worth of holding a place in the top tier of English football with a more than comfortable win over Stoke. Manchester City climb above Arsenal after snatching a draw at Upton Park and Chelsea move up into 13th position after an entertaining victory at the Emirates. Aston Villa are still rock bottom, 10 points behind Norwich and safety from relegation.

The results are as follows:

Norwich 4 – 5 Liverpool

Mbokani ’29     Firmino ’19, ’63

Naismith ’41     Henderson ’56

Hoolahan ’54 (pen)  Milner ’75

Bassong ’90+3,    Lallana ’90+5

 

Crystal Palace 1 – 3 Tottenham

Vertonghen og ’30   Kane ’63

–                               Alli ’84

–                               Chadli ’90+5

 

Leicester 3 – 0 Stoke City

Drinkwater ’42

Vardy ’66

Ulloa ’87

 

Man United 0 – 1 Southhampton

–                           Austin ’87

 

Sunderland 1 – 1 AFC Bounemouth

van Aanholt ’45+1    Afobe ’13

 

Watford 2 – 1 Newcastle United

Ighalo ’46      Lascelles ’71

Cathcart ’58

 

West Brom 0 – 0 Aston Villa

 

West Ham 2 – 2 Man City

Valencia ‘1, ’56    Aguero ‘9 (pen), ’81

 

Everton 1 – 2 Swansea City

Cork og ’26   Sigurdsson ’17 (pen)

–                    Ayew ’34

 

Arsenal 0 – 1 Chelsea

Mertesacker sent off ’18    Costa ’23

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Hiddink
Guus Hiddink in the stands with Blues legend Didier Drogba during Sunderland game © Francesca Ceciarini

Didier Drogba has confirmed he is travelling to Qatar to prepare for pre-season training with Montreal Impact following reports he could leave the MLS club for a return to Chelsea.

The Blues legend uploaded a picture to his Instagram profile this afternoon saying:

“On way to Qatar to do some preparation work for pre-season”

Schermata 01-2457412 alle 19.18.48

An official statement released on Impact’s official website on Sunday read:

“Forward Didier Drogba will not be present for the opening of the camp, but he will be doing preparation work in view of the upcoming season.

“He will join the team for the second part of training camp, which will take place from Feb. 15 to 28 in St. Petersburg, Florida.”

Speculations in the last month were claiming that Drogba could return to Chelsea to join Hiddink‘s staff, but at the moment the player still hasn’t found a way to resolve his contract with the Canadian side, that will expire next summer.

 

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has said that Per Mertesacker’s dismissal changed the game as his side lost 0-1 against Chelsea. 

The Gunners lost the chance to go top of the table, with Mertesacker dismissed after 18 minutes for a last man tackle on Diego Costa.

Five minutes later, the Chelsea striker turned in Branislav Ivanovic’s cross to score the winner.

On Mertesacker red card:

I think it was quick and harsh, but I have to watch it again. What can I change? It doesn’t change anything. The referee made the decision and we have to get on with it. I didn’t speak to Per Mertesacker [about it].

Asked if there was contact with Diego Costa:

We have 35 journalists here, I am sure you have all seen it again and analysed it and know much more about that situation that I do. I can’t comment because I didn’t know if Costa was offside or not or if Per touched him or not. I don’t know. It was of course frustrating but it is a decision and we had to get on with our job, which we did.

On Arsenal performance:

“The team [after the red card] was focused and fought until the last second. Despite the disappointing result, we should have even more belief in ourselves after the game, when I see how it went.

On Giroud‘s substitution:

“You want to make a poll for every decision to see who does what? I made the decision and for me it was quite normal. We had to go for long distances and we needed pace to go from one goal to the other. We knew we had to drop deeper and use pace to get forward.

Again, he spoke about Costa’s role in Mertesacker’s red card:

“You want me to say things I am not interested in. I said Costa got two of our players sent off in the last two games against Chelsea. Those are facts. Was the decision right or wrong, I don’t know but those are facts. Without accusing him of anything.

On Walcott’s captaincy, that probably was a distraction to him

“No, you can find many reasons but you never really know. We are frustrated after the game because we could not play with our real assets. I don’t think that is down to Mertesacker giving the captaincy to Walcott.

On whether Giroud was fit:

“I think yes, but it was a bit in my mind if he gets injured, with his ankle, he was a doubt, he didn’t practice yesterday and today we declared him fit. It was on my mind. But I had to change a player and I thought that was the most rational decision with all the factors.

On Alexis Sanchez’s performance:

“He came on quite well. It took him a while to get into the game but in the last 20 minutes he was sharp.

On the recent record against Chelsea…

Today was a special game. We were down to 10 men and we were 1-0 down straight away. Normally you lose a game like that 3-0 or 4-0 when you have to chase it – there is nothing more dangerous when you are down to 10 men. Overall we come out with a lot of regrets because we couldn’t play with our team and looking at Chelsea today there wa s a lot of room to beat them if we had 11 players.

On the disciplinary record against Chelsea…

“I would not compare today’s situation [with last time]. It was not a confrontational situation like at Chelsea, it was a fact of the game and the decision of the referee. I don’t think it was linked with bad behaviour or attitude.

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Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink has said that the attitude of his side pleased him as the Blues earned a 0-1 win against Arsenal.

Diego Costa’s goal 23 minutes in was enough to seal the game for the Blues, with Per Mertesacker being sent off five minutes previous.

After the game, Hiddink was quick to praise the mindset of his team:

“I am very pleased with the attitude of the team,” he said.

“I’m also pleased with the way the team tried to play – it was not just reactive, but proactive in the first part of the first half.

“We showed ambition to go forwards. We had one or two good chances through Willian. The team showed its ambition and that was pleasing against an opponent who are very skilful even with one man down.

“They always have the ability to surprise so we were very pleased to see the attitude and also the way of playing.

“The only thing you can criticise is that we didn’t go for the kill to make it 2-0.

“There were a lot of options in both halves and then there could be a loose ball from a corner or whatever which could have caused an equaliser. That’s the only thing we didn’t do that we can be critical of.”

Hiddink, who is still unbeaten during his second spell as Chelsea boss, was quick to praise Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who was named man of the match after a solid performance against his old side:

“He’s in a line of improving. He played the previous games in a better way.

“He likes it when he can play and get the opportunity to play as we try to get the team in balance, the creative part and also with the boys who can recover balls as well. He can play well if the balance is right.”

Hiddink also spoke of the dismissal of Arsenal defender Mertesacker for a last man tackle on Costa, the Spaniard then going on to score the winner.

“There was no doubt.

“You could see it was a beautiful through pass from Willian to Diego, he could have run straight through to Petr Cech but he was tripped.

“I had some doubts about the Fabregas penalty claim, and I can understand why the referee didn’t give it, fair enough, but Mertesacker’s red card was obvious.”

Hiddink provided an injury update on the goalscorer Costa, who picked up a slight injury after also sustaining a bruised shin last week:

“He got a knock on his knee. I don’t know if it’s slight or more severe but we will check on it.”

John Terry said after the game fourth place was a possibility and the Chelsea boss also said that it was possible after an upturn in form following the Dutchman’s arrival:

“If the captain says yes then we follow the captain!, Hiddink said.

“It’s a gap but if you see the results in the Premier League, how competitive all the teams are, it’s unpredictable which means all teams can beat all teams.

“With the gap it’s difficult but when the captain says that I will follow my captain.”

Hiddink did however confirm that Didier Drogba would not be joining his coaching staff in the imminent future, with the striker having returned to MLS side Montreal Impact:

“In the short term, no, but in the longer-term we talked about players with a big image for this club being welcome.

“There’s no time issue on this so I wish him all the best now in one of his later seasons.”

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Man of the Match Cesc Fabregas believes that his sharpness has returned after struggling to find last seasons’ form during the early part of this campaign. Playing against his former club, Fàbregas put in a very good shift in midfield and was handed the man of the match champagne to reward his efforts.

“I’m nearly there, I think I’m feeling very sharp I think my brain is much quicker than maybe the last few months”, he said to Sky Sports

“I struggled for a little but I don’t know really why but the sharpness is back. I feel that under pressure I’m much more in control I’m not shaky . My team-mates made it always easier for me, but definitely in the last year probably I’m in the best form right now.

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