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Gianfranco Zola wants to take Chelsea captin John Terry to Al Arabi where the Chelsea legend is manager, according to the Daily Mirror.

Zola, widely regarded as Chelsea’s greatest ever player, reportedly wants to persuade the former England captain to see out his career in the Middle East with the Qatari club where he has recently taken over as manager.

Terry, 34, has had a troubled start to the season, as have his teammates generally, and has been left out of the squad on more than one occasion, as well as being substituted at half-time of Chelsea 3-0 loss to Manchester City in August.

With his contract due to expire at the end of the season there is the real possibility that Chelsea’s most successful skipper could leave the club. He is yet to be offered a new deal despite playing every one of Chelsea’s matches last season as the Blues regained the Premiership title.

Terry has been courted by Turkish club Fenerbache for some time and there were widespread rumours that he was about to leave during Rafael Benitez’ short lived tenure as Chelsea boss in 2012/13 when he was often left out of the side. It was Jose Mourinho’s arrival at the end of that season that ensured his future at Stamford Bridge but it appears that the next chapter of his career may lie elsewhere.

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho © Francesca Ceciarini

Jose Mourinho will be sacked as Chelsea manager should the team lose against Liverpool on Saturday, according to various reports in this morning’s press. 

Chelsea’s latest defeat last weekend- 2-1 to West Ham- means speculation surrounding Mourinho’s future is more intense than ever. Widespread reports in the English media suggest next Saturday’s fixture at home to Liverpool could be his last should Chelsea suffer another embarrassing defeat and slip further away from the Champions League places.

Some corners of the media believe Pep Guardiola has been sounded out as a potential replacement for Mourinho, despite the Spaniard having this season remaining on his contract at Bayern Munich. Diego Simeone has been talked about but why he would leave his job at Atletico Madrid for a Chelsea in apparent free fall is a mystery.

Next Saturday’s game against Liverpool is set to be a clash of two managers with a great deal to prove. Jurgen Klopp is himself under the spotlight after failing to win a game since replacing Brendan Rodgers. The Reds conceded a late goal against Southampton to draw the game 1-1 having already drawn with Spurs and Rubin Kazan.

Chelsea publicly supported Mourinho recently but did say that results must improve.

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jose mourinho

Chelsea legend Ron Harris believes the club should back manager Jose Mourinho and refrain from sacking him despite the poor start to the season.

Harris, who holds the record for the most appearances for Chelsea with 795 appearances, thinks the Portuguese will change Chelsea’s fortune before long.

Speaking to Radio 5 Live, the man who captained Chelsea to the 1970 FA Cup win and European Cup Winners’ Cup success the following year said this:

“They’ve had one or two important decisions go against them and it’s only natural people get a bit irate.

“Jose has always been a winner and, if he sits down and thinks about it today, maybe he could have handled it in a different manner. He most probably regrets it.

“Let’s be fair, if you look at his track record where ever he’s been, you don’t become a bad manager after 10 games, I do the hospitality at the club and I’ve not seen too many people at Chelsea moaning and groaning.

“Maybe they are disappointed with the results, but I’m sure Jose will turn that around.”

 

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Aston Villa have sacked manager Tim Sherwood after a poor start to the season.

Aston Villa, who Chelsea beat 2-0 last week, are 19th in the Premiership table and were beaten by Swansea City 2-1 at home yesterday.

Sherwood replaced Paul Lambert at Villa Park last season and kept the club in the Premiership. Early reports suggest David Moyes might be favourite to replace him.

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CAHILL

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill claims the players were left distraught after the 2-1 defeat to West Ham United yesterday.

Cahill, 29, scored the equaliser but was part of a back-line that failed abjectly as the Blues suffered another defeat in what has been their worst start to a season in a generation.

Speaking to the press afterwards, the England international said this:

“The mood in the dressing room is not great – like you’d imagine when you lose games. 

“Last season we weren’t used to it. The lads are devastated.

“You’re left scratching your head sometimes. In the first half a Cesc Fabregas goal could have been given and we had a goal that was nearly over the line. That sums up the way we’re going.

“And then we’ve got the sending-off. Originally we played on – we thought the referee had played on. Maybe the assistant called it back, I’m not sure sure what’s happened there. 

“We’ve not had the rub of the green, but we’re not feeling sorry for ourselves. We have to work hard to turn this round.

“Not many words are being said at the moment. I’m sure we’ll reflect in next day or so. We worked really hard with 10 men and had the majority of the play in the second half. It’s a summary of our season at the minute.”

 

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It is perhaps unsurprising that Chelsea’s latest defeat sparked a series of social media posts that at least questioned Jose Mourinho’s position as manager and directly called for it to end. 

The culture of modern football, which can often see managers under pressure very early regardless of past success, Chelsea’s own recent tradition of making dismissals midway through the season as well as Mourinho’s own extremely high standards have meant this season’s travails have created the scenario that many thought impossible in August- the job of Chelsea’s most successful being put in doubt.

The 2-1 loss to West Ham yesterday afternoon was a microcosm of Chelsea’s season thus far. The sloppy  lack of concentration that led the opening goal, the brief resurgence in the second half following equally poor defending from the home side and then the killer mistake that was eminently avoidable. That the officials made two decisions to Chelsea’s detriment- one right and one wrong- and Chelsea’s lack of discipline thereafter only sought to make the game even more representative of the Premiership champions’ poor season so far.

Mourinho did not speak to the press following the game and it was later revealed that he was dismissed from the sidelines at half-time by the referee. Given his fine and suspended touchline after the home defeat to Southampton three weeks it was probably a good thing, one can only be grateful it is not the custom for Premiership managers to vent their anger on social media.

The ire of many fans on Facebook and Twitter was aimed at a combination of the referee- primarily for disallowing Fabregas’ goal when he was onside- the poor performances of many of last season’s star players and Mourinho himself. The Portuguese’s continued trust in the below par performers such as Fabregas, Matic and Hazard- though the Belgian was dropped last week- is often cited along with his insistence on blaming officials himself and his supposed arrogance.

Nobody can hold the opinion that Mourinho is blameless, or in fact that all those charges hold a degree of truth, but nor can anyone deny his past achievements- the cliche of him being only able to win with money being almost completely baseless. Those directly calling for him to leave appear to have no pertinent alternative, leaving the more level headed of us to think their opinion is largely punitive. Diego Simeone has been linked but chances of him leaving fourth placed in La Liga Atletico Madrid for a Chelsea in apparent free fall in October are fanciful, as are ideas that Chelsea could pry back one of their less successful but more mellow managers- namely Carlo Ancelotti- having already sacked him are equally stupid.

During his recent seven minute speech after the loss to Southampton Mourinho struck a certain point, that being this one a moment of acute crisis for Chelsea. The decision the club makes on its manager could define it for the next few years, just as the Portuguese’s original departure in 2007 did as the club looked all over the continent for someone to sufficiently replace him.

The troubles with Chelsea are deeper than the manager and cannot, and will not should club decide to replace him, be fixed. There are traces of 2007 at this certain time, the biggest being the clear and obvious lack of able recruitment in the summer. Rather than looking for a quick fix in the shape of a new manager, the club should examine why it has not given the squad the refreshment it desperately needs and what Mourinho requested the moment last season was over.

This is not a time for Chelsea to make such a drastic change in the manager’s seat. It was only a few years ago that the club were mocked throughout Europe for sacking managers too early, a policy that prevented the team from challenging for the biggest honours on a yearly basis. Those in disagreement are themselves guilty of having very short memories.

This season has gone from being one where Chelsea could push on from winning back the Premiership title to winning in Europe to a campaign where the very involvement in the Champions League beyond this season is under threat. The club need to look beyond the fact they have almost certainly relinquished their domestic title and hold fast so that can start again next season by backing their manager both by keeping in his job and giving him the funds to improve the squad in January and the summer.

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Begovic 4- Should not conceded either goal.

Zouma 5- Not suited at right back, got exposed a few times.

Cahill 5- Scored a good goal but was part of a collective dreadful defensive display.

Terry 5- Not good, two very avoidable goals.

Azpilicueta 4- Was at direct fault for the second goal.

Ramires 5- Worked hard but inconsistent.

Matic 3- Got sent off and that was probably a relief.

Willian 6- Team’s best player again but he can’t do it alone.

Fabregas 4- Passed well to begin with but taken off at half time. A shadow of what he was.

Hazard 5- Set up a good chance for Ramires but not good enough.

Costa 5- Worked hard but not a great deal to say aside from that.

Substitutes:

Baba N/A- Brought on with two minutes to go, ineffective.

Falcao N/A- Barely touched the ball.

Mikel 5- Provided some stability to begin with but was overwhelmed by the change of momentum.

 

Manager:

Jose Mourinho 5- The team started well but there are still things profoundly wrong. He couldn’t change the momentum of the game once it went against Chelsea.

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WEST HAM v CHELSEA Diego Costa Obi Mikel disappointed defeat

Chelsea have lost 2-1 to West Ham United as they resume their woes after a promising week at home and in Europe.

West Ham , in keeping with Slaven Bilic’s words prior to kick-off, started the game with belief and were not afraid to get forward early with Chelsea being forced, for the most part, to venture ahead on the counter attack.

Chelsea’s first sight came from the boot of Costa as his international teammate Fabregas chipped the ball through and the forward volleyed high and over. The home side’s early initiative was met attack for attack as Chelsea looked bright going forward but lacked the final pass or finish. Costa won a corner which he then failed to connect with properly and soon after the defending champions were paid to pay as West Ham took the lead.

A free-kick, given away by Fabregas, was tipped over the bar by Begovic. The resulting corner was not cleared and the ball fell to Zarate on the right side who was inexplicably allowed to shoot through the crowded area and in at Begovic’s near post.

Chelsea’s response was timid at first but as the first half continued were able to get forward- resuming their early incisiveness with the ball at feet. They were inches from equalising with ten minutes to go of the first half when a corner was headed by Zouma and almost turned over the line by West Ham forward Lanzini on the line. The same player almost, and should have doubled West Ham’s lead minutes later when put through on goal by Payet but put the ball over Begovic and bar; the Bosnia and Herzogovina international doing well to put off the forward enough to force the miss.

Chelsea’s half did not improve as it neared its end with two defining events. Chelsea were denied an equaliser, this time incorrectly, when Fabregas finished past the West Ham ‘keeper having received the ball from Willian with replays showing him to be level with the last defender.  The next was rather less contentious but potentially a great more damaging when Matic pulled back Sakho on the right wing as the West Ham man turned past him and ran towards the area and was given a second yellow card- he was cautioned for something similar seconds after Lanzini cleared the ball off the line as the home side broke forward.

The second half began rather tentatively for the home side, as if having an advantage in men and score disconcerted them. As a result it was Chelsea that took the initiative and found the leveler they were denied in the first half. A corner was drifted in and West Ham’s defending proved to be as sloppy as Chelsea’s earlier on as Cahill was given leave to fire in the loose ball from close range.

The equaliser gave new life to both sides- West Ham’s Mark Noble had a half volley caught by Begovic, and Costa almost caught out West Ham’s defence when a back pass was short but Adrian was first to the ball. Being a player down curtailed Chelsea’s ability to counter attack although Ramires should have done better with a cut back from Hazard when Begovic cleared away.

Chelsea’s troubles seemed for a time in this past week to be at least almost behind them but they were more acute than ever before as West Ham retook the lead through a header from Andy Carroll. Azpilicueta was isolated and Begovic off his line as Chelsea fell behind again with 12 minutes left. The goal was coming after a period of pressure from the home side and proved once and for all Chelsea’s brittle defence.

The game drew to a close with few chances for Chelsea to regain parity. A stoppage time free-kick from Willian came to nothing and Chelsea once again look like the same empty shell that they have done for much of this season. It is another defeat and one where Chelsea could and should have got at least one point from. It is true to say the referee disallowed a legitimate goal in the first half, but the Premiership champions, now surely destined to relinquish their title in May, must fix the defensive and fitness problems that continue to pervade their football if they are to reach their minimal target of finishing in the Champions League places.

 

 

 

WEST HAM: Adrian, Jenkinson, Tomkins, Collins, Cresswell, Noble (c), Kouyate, Zarate, Payet, Lanzini, Sakho.

Subs: Randolph, Carroll, Valencia, Obiang, Ogbonna, Jelavic, Antonio.

Manager: Slaven Bilic

Scorers: Zarate (17) Carroll (78)

 

CHELSEA: Begovic; Zouma, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Fabregas (Mikel 45), Hazard; Diego Costa.

Subs: Amelia, Baba Rahman, Mikel, Loftus-Cheek, Oscar, Traore, Falcao.

Manager: José Mourinho

Scorers: Cahill (55)

 

Referee: Jonathan Moss

Venue: Upton Park, London, UK

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Chelsea are 1-0  down to West Ham United in what has been a controversial but highly eventful first half at Upton Park.

West Ham , in keeping with Slaven Bilic’s words prior to kick-off, started the game with belief and were not afraid to get forward early with Chelsea being forced, for the most part, to venture ahead on the counter attack.

Chelsea’s first sight came from the boot of Costa as his international teammate Fabregas chipped the ball through and the forward volleyed high and over. The home side’s early initiative was met attack for attack as Chelsea looked bright going forward but lacked the final pass or finish. Costa won a corner which he then failed to connect with properly and soon after the defending champions were paid to pay as West Ham took the lead.

A free-kick, given away by Fabregas, was tipped over the bar by Begovic. The resulting corner was not cleared and the ball fell to Zarate on the right side who was inexplicably allowed to shoot through the crowded area and in at Begovic’s near post.

Chelsea’s response was timid at first but as the first half continued were able to get forward- resuming their early incisiveness with the ball at feet. They were inches from equalising with ten minutes to go of the first half when a corner was headed by Zouma and almost turned over the line by West Ham forward Lanzini on the line. The same player almost, and should have doubled West Ham’s lead minutes later when put through on goal by Payet but put the ball over Begovic and bar; the Bosnia and Herzogovina international doing well to put off the forward enough to force the miss.

Chelsea’s half did not improve as it neared its end with two events that are sure to be talking points at the end of the game. Chelsea were denied an equaliser, this time incorrectly, when Fabregas finished past the West Ham ‘keeper having received the ball from Willian with replays showing him to be level with the last defender.  The next was rather less contentious but potentially a great more damaging when Matic pulled back Sakho on the right wing as the West Ham man turned past him and ran towards the area and was given a second yellow card- he was cautioned for something similar seconds after Lanzini cleared the ball off the line as the home side broke forward.

With a goal and man down it is going to be a very difficult road back for Jose Mourinho’s side. There have been moments of promise and they should have a goal to their name, but the depressingly familiar traits of poor defending and ill discipline have been more corrosive than referring mistakes.

 

 

 

 

WEST HAM: Adrian, Jenkinson, Tomkins, Collins, Cresswell, Noble (c), Kouyate, Zarate, Payet, Lanzini, Sakho.

Subs: Randolph, Carroll, Valencia, Obiang, Ogbonna, Jelavic, Antonio.

Manager: Slaven Bilic

Scorers: Zarate (17)

 

CHELSEA: Begovic; Zouma, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Hazard; Diego Costa.

Subs: Amelia, Baba Rahman, Mikel, Loftus-Cheek, Oscar, Traore, Falcao.

Manager: José Mourinho

 

Referee: Jonathan Moss

Venue: Upton Park, London, UK

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Ahead of Chelsea’s clash with West Ham (15:00 GMT KO), the official lineups have been announced.

The Blues are looking to keep their winning form against their London neighbours, having won just three of their opening nine games.

 

Lineups:

WEST HAM: Adrian, Jenkinson, Tomkins, Collins, Cresswell, Noble (c), Kouyate, Zarate, Payet, Lanzini, Sakho.

Subs: Randolph, Carroll, Valencia, Obiang, Ogbonna, Jelavic, Antonio.

Manager: Slaven Bilic

 

CHELSEA: Begovic; Zouma, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Hazard; Diego Costa.

Subs: Amelia, Baba Rahman, Mikel, Loftus-Cheek, Oscar, Traore, Falcao.

Manager: José Mourinho

 

Referee: Jonathan Moss

Venue: Upton Park, London, UK

Kick Off: 3 pm GMT

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