Tags Posts tagged with "coach"


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Chelsea vice-captain Branislav Ivanovic is sure this Premier League will be really exciting, with many teams challenging for the title:

“Definitely, definitely,” he replied when asked whether it would be the most difficult season ever.

“Every team after last season will need to struggle. After Leicester won, they then want to be better, to be a new surprise [but] the big teams are still good so it is going to be very exciting.

“Exactly [you can play well and come fifth] but you can also win it. I think, with the new shape, we can improve a lot and we will make our players much better and, if our players are much better and if our players are on top of their game, then we can go very high.”

The Serbian defender also spoke about the job done by Chelsea until now, revealing Antonio Conte gave him a really good impression in these first weeks:

The harder it is in pre-season, the better it is for you in the season.

“He has a passion during the games you can see during the sessions as well so he wants to put us together as a team, to be strong, to be motivated, and to be hungry for every second during the game which is positive and good. I think we are still adapting and can improve as a team a lot. I think we are going to play in a different shape and it is going to be different for us, for the opponents and I think we are on a good road.

“I think it is true [that we will be more attacking] but, for me, I feel like we will be more defensively strong. I feel like that.”

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Officially left out for a an injury in the 3-2 defeat against Real Madrid, Diego Costa seems ready to face AC Milan in the third friendly of their USA tour.

The Spanish striker was involved in a “transfer market case” with his ex club Atletico Madrid, that was keen to sign him back, but eventually signed Gameiro from Sevilla and got also an unofficial blamed from Chelsea, disappointed with the Simeone’s club for approaching one of their players without the club permission.

Blues boss Antonio Conte tried to hose down these rumours claiming Diego Costa is happy at Chelsea:

“Diego has recovered from his injury and now he is available for tonight’s game against AC Milan,” the Evening Standard quotes the Italian coach as saying.

“I will decide the formation, the starting XI today. But he is available and I am very happy that I can count on him. I repeat that Diego Costa is now Chelsea‘s player and for me this is the most important thing in this moment.

“It is an opportunity to see him play against AC Milan. I repeat, Diego is Chelsea’s player and he is very happy to stay with us.”


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Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola was contacted by Hull City to become their new boss after Steve Bruce left the club after four years in charge.

The ex Italian player already coached West Ham between 2008 and 2010 and Watford during season 2012-2013 in the English football, without impressing.

The last club he managed was Al Arabi, in Qatar, during the past season but he was sacked in the end of June.

Now the ex Blues playmaker might have new chance to prove his value also in the dugout can come.

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Eden Hazard © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea star Eden Hazard was often linked to Real Madrid in the past months, but the Champions of Europe manager dismissed all the rumours about this possible deal:

“He is a very, very good player,” the French manager said about the Belgian player after he beat Chelsea 3-2 in a friendly game in the USA.

“Obviously all clubs want the best players but he is a Chelsea player.”

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Antonio Conte is the only manager that beat Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a title race so far and the Italian coach wants to repeat himself also this year.

The Swedish striker won five leagues out of six while playing in the Serie A, and the only one he didn’t win was the 2011/2012, when Conte won his first Scudetto with Juventus, beating Milan in the last fixtures.

The new Blues boss hopes history can repeat with Chelsea vs Manchester United this year:

“As a coach it was the first championship of my career with Juventus. 

“It was fantastic because we started the season as the underdog and the press had us down for sixth or seventh place in the table.

“I remember that Milan had Zlatan Ibrahimovic and it was the only season that he didn’t win the championship.

“I hope that in this coming season, it is the same again!”


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After the friendly game won 3-2 against Chelsea, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane claimed that Alvaro Morata won’t move from the Merengues for the upcoming season:

“He is a Real Madrid player, we are really happy about him. He came back home and I am sure this year he will stay here”.

The Spanish striker was targeted by many European top clubs after his two very good seasons at Juventus, including Chelsea, but the Champions of Europe want to give him a chance to make an impact at the Santiago Bernabéu.

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After the defeat with Real Madrid in the friendly game in Michigan Chelsea boss Antonio Conte warned his guys that without improving and playing as a team the risk is a to repeat a disappointing season like the past one:

“I know it’s not easy to play this game against another great club after only two days of rest, and after a flight of four hours and a half,” Conte said in his post-match news conference.

“I know this because I knew the team was a bit tired.

“But today, I think that this match is very important for us because after this game it’s clear that we have to work together always — without the ball and with the ball — because if we think that we can’t work together when we don’t have the ball, it’s not possible for us. It’s not possible, and we risk to repeat a bad season.

“Today, I think we weren’t a team in defensive situations. It’s important because in the last game, I appreciated a lot our defensive situation and I told also that we can improve when we have the ball. Today, [we were] better with the ball, but bad without the ball.”

The Italian coach spoke also about Eden Hazard, that last year was a huge flop at Stamford Bridge:

“Hazard, he’s recovering the good shape,” he said. “I liked him in this position, like a forward,” he said. “I think he can be a good solution for us. Also to play winger but also to play like a second forward. He must improve his [fitness], but he’s working, he’s working. He knows that his shape can improve a lot, in the same way as the other players.”

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte asked his players to use their mind in the friendly game they will play tonight against Real Madrid near Detroit, in the USA.

The Italian coach is concerned because it’s not easy to play two games in a few days in such a delicate moment in the pre-season:

“It’s not easy to prepare another game only two days after Liverpool. It was a physical game between two teams that compete, that fought to win the game,” Conte told Chelsea’s official website.

“Now after two-and-a-half days it’s not easy to prepare, we only had one session this morning to prepare and we know that in pre-season we have to work.

“I hope tomorrow to use our minds, when you are tired it’s important to use your head. 

“It’s important to stay concentrated to play good football. To improve with and without the ball, I hope to see this but I know after two days it is very tough to play these type of games.”


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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte admitted that new Blues signing N’Golo Kante reminds him himself as player.

The Italian coach welcomed the ex Leicester City midfielder in their Los Angeles base yesterday and could observe him during his first trainings at UCLA:

“He’s in good physical condition, fantastic. He’s a runner. He has great stamina and endurance. He’s in good shape but we want to respect the time in the training session and put him in to play with us in the future.”

Then, the comparison with himself:

“In my career I had great stamina, [I was] a great runner. Also, I scored some goals. I hope N’Golo can improve in this situation. Maybe we are similar but I know N’Golo can become a fantastic midfielder and he can improve a lot.

“I’ve had conversations with him. I explained what I expect on the pitch and that he is an important player. He can become an important player for Chelsea in the midfield, in the same way asMatic and Fabregas and the others. I’m pleased to have all the players here.”


“For N’Golo, today was his first day training with us,” he added. “He started to look at our idea of football and to understand our method.

“We are pleased to have N’Golo with us because he is a player who doesn’t speak a lot but he does his job. He’s a good guy, humble, with a great will to work. It’s very important to me, this.”



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After being targeted by Juventus and other top clubs around Europe following a disappointing season Nemanja Matic seemed on his way out of Stamford Bridge.

But after the arrival of Antonio Conte and a meeting with the Italian manager the Serbian midfielder is set to stay at Chelsea.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport Matic revelaed that Conte made him feel very important:

“What he said gave me a special feeling. It was important for me to know I am a big part of his plans. I was happy to hear that.

“Like every player here, I have a good relationship with the manager. I respect what he said about me and of course I liked what I heard.

“I have been at the club for two and a half years and have always given my best every day. Until I am here, I will continue to give everything to the team.”

The Serbian midfielder was full of praise for his new boss:

“He played football at a very high level. It helps him to know things, to understand us and to show us on the pitch what we can do better, how we can improve.

“We have worked together for two weeks and I can already see he is a great manager, with a great team of coaches. I am sure this team will improve under him.”


Chelsea assistant coach Gianfranco Zola believes "all the players believed in what we were doing" despite Maurizio Sarri had some issues during his first season abroad as...