Tags Posts tagged with "Eden Hazad"

Eden Hazad

by -
Eden Hazard © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea have now won 11 straight games at home in all competitions: obviosly the team is in a very good form, but behind this run there’s also something else.

According to Eden Hazard this is the “Stamford Bridge factor”: “Yes, it’s significant”. – the Belgian player told Standard Sport – “It’s difficult for the opponent to come here and win games. Do I get that feeling that some teams are beaten before kick-off? Yes. We are playing better than last season”.

“We are in full confidence here on this pitch”. – added Hazard – “You know the fans bring everything, they support us. I remember against Tottenham earlier in the season when they scored, but the supporters kept going, they kept singing. It’s great and we feel very good on this pitch.”

Chelsea’s form this season at the Bridge is very different from last year, when they won just one League game in five months.

by -

Chelsea 2-0 Peterborough United

Today Chelsea FC and fans celebrated the 26th birthday of Chelsea’s EDEN MICHAEL HAZARD.

The Chelsea Number-10 on the eve of Chelsea’s FA CUP third round clash against Peterborough at home had birthday wishes on Twitter from the club. This also included birthday greetings from Chelsea defender- César Azpilicueta. He tweeted his birthday wishes to HAZARD saying:
“From @CesarAzpi to you” @hazardeden10

The official Twitter account of Chelsea Football Club today tweeted:
“Today we say happy birthday to @hazardeden10!”

By: Samuel Georgewill

by -

An ecstatic Eden Hazard spoke to Sky Sports after the final whistle of Chelsea v Manchester United, where the Belgian was also able to score a wonderful goal for the 3-0:

“It gives us a lot of confidence, we started well, we deserved to win, for the fans, for us, it is a great afternoon.

“It is a big game and we lost two big games this season against Liverpool and Arsenal, so it means a lot to our fans.”

by -

After the defeat at the hands of a rampant Arsenal team,Chelsea have come under attack from former Blues striker Tony Cascarino.

 The former Chelsea player has singled  out Eden Hazard specifically as he accused the Belgian of failing to listen to Antonio Conte’s instructions. 

Chelsea were easily beaten  3-0 by their London rivals Arsenal, courtesy  of Alexis Sanchez, Alex Iwobi,andMesut Ozil goals.

He said, “There are a few Chelsea players who are playing for themselves. They are more interested in how they play but it is not helping the team.

 ‘You can certainly accuse two or three. Hazard would fall into that bracket.

He continued, ” We all know how good he is and how good he can be but I would say he is one of the players who did not follow instructions at theweekend. There were probably two or three others and you only need two or three others. Then your team is finished. You are going to get beaten. ” Hazard was very poor on the night as he was substituted in the 71st minute.

The former Chelsea striker also slammed Chelsea’s shambolic defense as he said, “Defensively, they are awful. I think you can question all the back four. Azpilicueta has not played anywhere near as well. Ivanovic has beenpoor for 18 months. Cahill has really struggled tobe the number one. David Luiz drops far too deep and keeps people onside. The goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois as well just looks disinterested.”

Chelsea have now lost back to back games and sit eight on the premier league table.

by -

New Chelsea signing Michy Batshuayi will play alongside Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard at Stamford Bridge next season after joining the Blues from Marseille for £33m on a five-year deal.

Eden Hazard‘s brother Kylian is sure the Belgian striker will impress under new manager Antonio Conte next season and told Goal.com: “Chelsea is a great team for Belgians at the minute. You see it with another Belgian arriving in Michy Batshuayi as well as Thibaut Courtois.”

“Batshuayi will do really well at Chelsea and he can help Diego Costa, including times like last season when he was injured, and score goals. He will work with Eden well just as they did for Belgium.”

by -
eva carneiro mourinho

José Mourinho could face two days in the witness box at the tribunal brought by Chelsea’s former doctor Eva Carneiro, reports the Daily Mail.

The former first team doctor, 42, claims that Mourinho berated, sexually harassed and then demoted her and the club did ‘nothing to stop it’ before she left Chelsea after six years in December 2015. She is claiming constructive dismissal against Chelsea and has a separate, personal legal action against Mourinho for alleged victimisation and discrimination.

Private hearings in January and February took place without a resolution and it has now proceeded to the tribunal.

Mourinho’s is expected to give evidence over 2 days in the tribunal – while the whole tribunal could last up to 10 days.

The case could be settled at any time but all three parties must agree to a settlement for the tribunal, which would be accessible to the public and the media, to be averted.

The court case started this morning and Chelsea lawyers hit back at the doctor, claiming she has already turned down a £1.2million settlement fee, and had demanded a huge pay rise. The club also claimed that she was hungry for fame.

carneiro_fearn

The tribunal hinges on whether Mourinho yelled what Carneiro claims: ‘Filha de puta [daughter of a whore]’ or whether he actually said ‘filho de puta [son of a b***h]’, when she ran on to the pitch to treat Chelsea star Eden Hazard – during Chelsea’s first home game of the season against Swansea in August last year.

After the game Mourinho  criticised her as ‘impulsive and naïve’ and she did not appear on the first team bench again before parting company with Chelsea.

Dr Carneiro’s lawyer,QC Mary O’Rourke, told the employment tribunal in Croydon today: ‘He uses the word ‘filha’ because he is abusing a woman’.

Dr Carneiro heard the term ‘clearly from behind her’ as she ran on to the pitch at Stamford Bridge.

But Mourinho has employed a ‘swearing expert’ from the University of Oxford to prove he said ‘son of a b***h’ , which he claims is the Portuguese equivalent of ‘f*** off’.

The current Manchester United Manager says he and other players, including Spaniard Cesc Fabregas, frequently used the phrase throughout the match. He denies it was sexist, or aimed it at Carneiro.

He said: ‘Filho da puta is a phrase I often use, all of the players know it. There is no sexist connotation in the use of the phrase – it is just like saying ‘f*** off’.

‘In the world of football, a lot of swear words are used.’

Referring to footage of earlier on in the August 8 match against Swansea, the former Chelsea manager highlighted that he had also been using the term then.

He added that player Cesc Fabregas had also used the Spanish equivalent of the term when a Chelsea player was fouled during the game.

In his statement, Mourinho said: ‘Cesc and I both speak English well, but in the heat of the game we both swear in our mother language. Eva was not on the pitch at that point in time.’

Carneiro allegedly asked for a 40 per cent pay rise to £400,000 to return to work, plus bonuses and compensation for ‘distress’ caused by the club and its ex-boss.

Their lawyers also say Carneiro allegedly ‘secretly briefed against Chelsea to the media’.

A skeleton argument submitted to the tribunal on behalf of Chelsea FC and Mourinho stated that Dr Carneiro had been ‘made an open offer of £1.2 million to settle her claims’.

It continued: ‘The respondents have taken these steps only because they believe that it is in no-one’s interests that this dispute should be determined through litigation.

‘They are conscious that, whatever the facts of the matter, it is likely to be widely and incorrectly assumed that they could have avoided this coming tribunal.’

It continued that contemporaneous documents showed that Dr Carneiro did not consider Mourinho’s actions to be discriminatory.

The skeleton argument said: ‘The purpose of the discrimination claim was to lift the statutory cap, in order to justify the claimant’s extravagant compensation claim.’

Chelsea also submitted there were ‘concerns about her willingness to develop her skills in respect of injury diagnosis and rehabilitation, particularly at the expense of being seen as part of the ‘first team’ and undertaking what she perceived as the more high-profile role of providing on-pitch treatment’.

They claim Dr Carneiro was ‘preoccupied with developing her profile’ and associating herself with the first team in a way discouraged by the club for backroom employees.

Chelsea also claim she was ‘preoccupied with developing her profile’ including nominating a Chelsea star for the Ice Bucket Challenge on YouTube and positioned herself behind Mourinho during TV matches.

In its skeleton argument, Chelsea claim: ‘Contrary to the suggestion that the claimant was uninterested in the media, she twice gave interviews, had discussions about presenting a TV programme, and engaged a digital media consultant (without informing Chelsea).

‘Most seriously of all, she secretly briefed against Chelsea to the media, in flagrant breach of the club’s communication policy and disciplinary procedure.’

eva carneiro

To counter Dr Caneiro’s legal argued: ‘This is a tale of two employees: one good (the claimant) and one bad (Mourinho).

‘The bad employee forces the good employee out of the job of her dreams and the employer does nothing to stop it.

‘The bad employee berates, sexually harasses and demotes the good employee for carrying out her professional duties, namely her health and safety duties as the first team doctor, pitch side.

‘Rather then investigating and disciplining the bad employee, the employer allows the bad employee to confirm the demotion, both publicly and privately and to continue with his job.

‘By comparison, the good employee’s demotion is confirmed and she is instructed to work and to ‘build bridges’ with the bad employee.’

The Gibraltar-born doctor wants a public apology from Mourinho as part of her demands – but she does not want to return to Chelsea.

She is expected to give evidence on Tuesday afternoon for around 2 and a half days.

Mourinho was cleared of using discriminatory language towards Carneiro following an investigation by the Football Association.

Afterwards, Carneiro and the Football Association’s independent board member, Dame Heather Rabbatts, criticised the governing body for not interviewing the doctor as part of its investigation.

Carneiro has also had backing from Fifa’s medical chairman, Michel D’Hooghe, who contacted the doctor to offer his support and that of the world governing body. He has backed Carneiro’s insistence that she was simply doing her job.

 

by -

Belgium manager Marc Wilmots has confirmed that Chelsea winger Eden Hazard will captain his country in the absence of Vincent Kompany at the European Championships.

 

The 25 year old has been struggling for form this season at club level and there were suggestions he could potentially not be a guaranteed starter at the tournament this summer.

Wilmots said: “In Vincent Kompany’s absence, Eden Hazard will be our captain,” said at his press conference.

Kompany underwent surgery on a thigh/groin problem last week after injuring himself in the Champions League semi-final second leg game against Real Madrid.

by -
EDEN HAZARD
Eden Hazard © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea are drawing 0-0 at White Hart Lane in their London derby with Tottenham Hotspur in what has been a close and entertaining game so far.

The home side started the game the better and took less than three minutes to make forays into Chelsea’s box. Energetic play on an off the ball on both sides the pitch led to a low cross from Dembele on the left that Cahill cleared ahead of Harry Kane who slid in to try and make contact.

That chance set a pattern for the opening few minutes as Spurs sought to assert themselves early and take advantage of their opponents’ poor start to the season, leaving Chelsea to try and break away on the counter attack when possible. Playing without a striker meant that the Blues were switching between Hazard and Pedro at the top of the attacking midfield with Fabregas and Willian looking for space in behind the Spurs defence.

Kane, Chelsea’s scourge last season, had a fierce shot from outside the box saved by Begovic, and Pedro almost found a way through to Lloris’ goal before being strangled of space in the penalty area in a lively 20 minutes caped off by a header over the bar from Hazad that the Belgian should have done better with.

Chelsea’s movement again came close to paying off with a superb shot from Pedro that Lloris did well to tip over. Begovic made a great save at the other end of the pitch from Son’s header, the Spurs man directing his attempt down from Kane’s cross, and then again on 30 minutes when Dembele turned and shot from distance, the Bosnia and Hezegovina international preventing a certain goal in the corner.

Chelsea have looked disciplined and well organised throughout with the exception of the opening few minutes. When without the ball they have held a firm line at the back that has forced Spurs into errors in their approach play that has led to counter attacks. The final ball, as ever, has let them down but there are enough positives to take from this showing to suggest that three points could be there for the taking in the second half.

 

 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Mason, Son, Dembele, Eriksen, Kane.

Subs: Vorm, Lamela, N’Jie, Trippier, Onomah, Wimmer, Carroll.

Manager: Mauricio Pochettino

CHELSEA: Begovic; Ivanovic, Cahill, Zouma, Azpilicueta; Matic; Willian, Oscar, Fabregas, Hazard; Pedro.

Subs: Amelia, Baba, Mikel, Kenedy, Diego Costa, Loftus-Cheek. Djilobodji

Manager: José Mourinho

Referee: Michael Oliver

Venue: White Hart Lane, London, UK.

by -

Jose Mourinho sat down with a collection of English jounalists ahead of Chelsea’s pre-season friendly with Champions League winners Barcelona tomorrow morning. Speaking about a range of subjects from leadership to referees and his managerial rivals, Mourinho had a lot to say.

The full conversation can be found below:

JOSE, YOU’VE SAID YOU NEED TO BE MORE UNPREDICTABLE THIS SEASON. WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT? 

By conceding four goals in 45 minutes! (Chelsea conceded four in the second half against New York Red Bulls last week)

Being more unpredictable is to have different ways to play. With the strikers we have, we can play with two strikers together more than we did before. We have three very good strikers, and all of them with special motivations.

(Loic) Remy wants to go back to the national team and has a Euro (2016) to play in a year in his own country. Diego (Costa) is very frustrated because the last three months of the season were full of frustration and injuries for him. (Radamel) Falcao had a very bad season and is frustrated because people in England don’t know the real Falcao.

All of them are very enthusiastic. And my wingers can play all play very well defensively. (Eden) Hazard couldn’t, but now he can. Willian can; (Victor) Moses, Ramires when they play in the side. We have options to be different and to be more unpredictable. We can create problems for the opposition when they play against us. We can play with two strikers or one, so we have more options.

ON FALCAO, I’M SURE THE SITUATION IS DIFFERENT BUT YOU’VE HAD BIG PLAYERS BEFORE THAT EXPERIENCED A DIP, SUCH AS ANDRIY SHEVCHENKO AND FERNANDO TORRES. HOW DO YOU REBUILD CONFIDENCE?  

I don’t have a secret. I just feel it’s a new opportunity for him. He comes after a bad season, but it’s not up to me to speak about it or find the answers for it. I can just say that the analysis we did, and we did a lot of it, showed he is in good condition. We believe he can be very useful for us.

DO YOU DETECT THAT HE WANTS TO PROVE A POINT?  

He’s the kind of player who’s proved people wrong all of his career – at Porto, at Atletico and even at Monaco before his injury. It’s easy to feel he’s a very good professional. Even two weeks ago Mr Van Gaal said he has nothing negative to say about him as a person or a professional. He’s a guy who always tries to be ready for the team and ready to work. We believe he can be very important for us.

HAZARD TOOK SOME BAD KNOCKS AGAINST NEW YORK RED BULLS. ARE YOU FRUSTRATED THAT HE HAS TO ENDURE THAT?  

You know, pre-season game against a team of kids, highly motivated to get a result and afraid of getting a bad result. To stop people like Hazard, I would never complain about these kids. They were aggressive, really aggressive. A couple of cards were more orange than yellow – I don’t say red – but I would never criticise the Red Bulls kids.

But the Premier League is a competition where last year he was lucky, clearly. He’s getting stronger and stronger, not just in his body, but in his attitude. He’s getting physical, very strong. He’s not the kind of guy who overreacts. After a bad tackle he never rolls and rolls like many players do as a protection to themselves to push referees to make certain decisions. Eden is not this guy. He’s loyal and honest, and gets lots of respect from opponents because of that.

But the reality is that last season he was lucky – let’s see what happens next season. He could have been injured many, many times. He suffered more than a couple of very nasty tackles and that could have been in trouble. I saw lots of players breaking legs and ankles with less than that. I don’t want to say names because it’s not nice. Last season is finished and let’s have a fresh start. I don’t want to say Mr A, Mr B or Mr C, but he had some very nasty tackles last year.

I PRESUME YOU WANT THAT PROTECTION THIS SEASON?  

I want but it’s not in my hands. The only I can do is what we are doing and what Eden is doing, which is to work and work and work to be stronger and stronger. I don’t want to change his mentality or personality. I don’t want him crying or overreacting. I don’t want someone touching his shoulder and he reacts by throwing his hands in his face like lots of people is doing now. I want Eden to be what he is – and he’s fantastic.

IS THERE A WORRY THAT HE WILL GET INJURED BEFORE HE GETS PROTECTION?  

I hope not. Let’s hope not.

HAVE THE PLAYERS COME BACK AS DIFFERENT PEOPLE NOW THAT THEY ARE CHAMPIONS? 

No, no. All good.

DO YOU NEED NEW LEADERS NOW PETR CECH AND DIDIER DROGBA HAVE GONE? 

No. In this moment the two captains, if I can say captain, captain, captain, the same way last year we had Drogba, Petr and John, this season I would say this year we have John and Ivanovic.

Ivanovic is more than ready to be a big captain too; more than ready: lots of experience, lots of years at Chelsea, his personality, his character, the respect that he has from the other guys. In John and Ivanovic we have two fantastic captains. And after that we have people that come behind. (Gary) Cahill, lots of years at Chelsea, also vice-captain in the England national team. Good personality, good example.

(John Obi) Mikel is, after John, the guy with most years of Chelsea. I think (Cesc) Fabregas has personality for a captain too. Eden is coming with big status now and was voted one of the top 10 players in Europe last year. In my opinion he should be in the top three not in the top 10. Let’s see what is going to happen but we have these people. But let’s say John and Branislav are our captains and the others are ready to come.

DOES EDEN HAVE THE PERSONALITY TO BE A LEADER? 

On the pitch he leads. He is not afraid to take responsibility. He is not afraid to get the team from a dark situation and bring blue sky again for the team. He is not afraid of this. He is a guy with great discipline. He is not the kind of guy you see setting bad examples and so on. So I think he can. His ambition is coming, he is also the vice-captain of the Belgian national team. He has four seasons at Chelsea, so he didn’t arrive yesterday. I think he is in this group. Eden, Fabregas, Cahill are in this group behind the captains.

HOW DOES EDEN IMPROVE UPON LAST SEASON WHEN HE WAS FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR?  

Repeat these trophies. To repeat these trophies, I believe he has go to better, because the normal tendency is for people to find another star; to find somebody new to get these individual trophies. But he has all the conditions to improve. With his age he can improve. 

HAVE YOU TOLD HIM THAT? 

Yes. I told it to all of them, The Medical department too. I told them: ‘You have to be better.’

IS EDEN NOW NARROWING THE GAP BETWEEN HIM, LIONEL MESSI AND CRISTIANO RONALDO?

I think he is the best player in our country. The best player in England. You (the Football Writers) voted him too, the best player in the English Premier League. The Premier League is the top competition in the countries, I think he is in the top players.

Two years ago we reached the Champions League semi-final but he didn’t play. He didn’t play in (Atletico) Madrid, he played injured at home. So he arrived in that crucial moment not in condition.

Last year we did bad in the Champions League and we were out immediately so he also needs a good Champions League. I’m not saying winning but I say a proper Champions League. But he is fantastic.

YOU SAY HE’S TOP THREE IN THE WORLD. THAT PUTS HIM ALONGSIDE RONALDO AND MESSI.  

Obviously, depending on the season they have.

MOST PEOPLE WOULD SAY MESSI AND RONALDO ARE THE TOP TWO…  

They have to win some titles, no? Football without titles is nothing. Messi won the treble. He won three competitions last year, he reached the Copa America Final. he had a fantastic season for him and for his team.

SO FOR YOU RONALDO LAST YEAR WOULD NOT BE IN THE TOP TWO BECAUSE OF A LACK OF TROPHIES

I think so. I don’t like players or managers to win individual trophies without the team.

SO BY THAT LOGIC YOU WOULD PUT EDEN ABOVE RONALDO?

Last season, yes. In spite of the fact that Ronaldo was fantastic. He was fantastic. He scored an incredible number of goals. I am not saying he is not fantastic. I am not saying he was not fantastic. I am just saying that, in my personal view, every football player in the world should understand that a team has to be in front and no titles.

HAS WINNING TITLES WITH BARCELONA AND CHELSEA MADE CESC FABREGAS A MUCH BETTER PLAYER? 

This guy has won everything. He is a world champion, a European champion. Now he is starting to win titles in England which he didn’t before, but Fabregas is a guy with a very rich career.

WHAT ABOUT YOU – DO YOU STILL RELISH THAT INTENSITY, THAT BATTLE WITH OTHER MANAGERS?  

Not with the other managers. My team against the other teams – yes. My team in the competition – yes. I am more than ready.

DOESN’T IT UPSET YOU THAT MANUEL PELLEGRINI DID AN INTERVIEW (OVER THE SUMMER) SAYING THAT WHEN CHELSEA WIN, IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU? 

No. When a manager is on holidays and even in holidays and still thinks about me and speaks about me, I have nothing to say.

WHY DOES HE DO THAT – IS HE OBSESSED WITH YOU? 

I don’t know. In my holidays I did zero interviews. Since I left London, zero.

ARE YOU STILL THINKING? 

About football? Yes. But I don’t do any interviews, at least in that time. You are free of everything, questions, answers, controversy, mis-interpretation, overreaction. You are free of everything. My holiday time – zero. If other guys use holiday time also for interviews, it’s their problem.

WHY DO YOU THINK THEY SPEAK ABOUT YOU? WHY DO YOU THINK OTHER MANAGERS GET ANNOYED BY YOU? DO YOU HAVE A THEORY WHY? 

No. I finished the season, I went on holiday, nothing. Since I come (back), in relation to other managers – nothing. So until the first one comes, nothing.

WHY DO YOU REFER TO PELLEGRINI AS PELLEGRINO? 

Because I had a player called Pellegrino and because there were two in football at the same time, one was Mauricio Pellegrino and Mr Manuel Pellegrini. I always made a mistake by calling one the other. But the last thing would be a lack of respect.

LOUIS VAN GAAL SOLD ROBIN VAN PERSIE AND YOU HAVE MADE BIG DECISIONS TO GET RID OF BIG PLAYERS FOR THE GOOD OF THE TEAM. IS THAT GENERALLY NECESSARY TO KEEP YOUR TEAM AT THE TOP – THAT RUTHLESSNESS? 

I don’t know if ruthlessness is the right word. There are decisions and decisions. There are decisions with a different dimension, the emotional history with the club, the relationship between me and the players. There are not two cases the same. All of them are different. 

A meeting with Drogba to decide the best for his career, staying or leaving, staying as the third option, leaving on a super high with another title, staying in the club as an assistant, go and play again, stay in the club in a different role. All this is not the same as a player without the same status, friendship with me, empathy. Two cases are not the same. In the end, the team is much more important than anyone of us.

KEVIN DE BRUYNE SAID THAT HE DIDN’T GET A FAIR CHANCE WITH YOU. IS THAT BEING UNFAIR TO YOU?

Yes because I wanted to keep him. And he told me it was not in his personality to be competing for a position in the team. He needed a team where he knows he can play every game. He needs to know that he is important. He needs a team where he doesn’t have to think: ‘Am I playing or not?’ He needs that trust, he needs that quality. He needs that security. So I was not happy when he left. So yes it’s not fair.

SO HE COULDN’T HANDLE THE PRESSURE OF COMPETING FOR A PLACE?  

He didn’t tell me he couldn’t handle the pressure. He told me he didn’t like (it) and that he wanted to play every weekend. I told him: ‘This is Chelsea, you are very young, you have Eden Hazard, you have Mata, you have Willian, you have Schurrle, and I cannot promise you that.’ 

And the first game of the season against Hull City he played. For the second game against Manchester United away, he played. The third game of the season was the Super Cup in Prague against Bayern. I decided not to play him. For the fourth match, in the Premier League, he was on the bench and he was not happy. He told me he was not happy.

He was not training very well and I was asking for me and he was saying: ‘I can’t give you more. This is just my way.’ So I accept that if this is his mentality and it’s his choice to go, it is better for Chelsea to make a good deal. Chelsea made a good deal and he was happy to go and I am happy because the kid is a good kid. And I am happy for him.

WERE YOU DISAPPOINTED HE WAS NOT UP FOR THE FIGHT? 

No. Players are players and they have different personalities. I don’t have to speak about him. We move on. We sold him, made our money and it was fantastic because we bought him cheap and sold him for a good price. And now if Wolfsburg, if they make a fantastic deal, that is good for them, for him. I wish him all the best.

WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF MANCHESTER CITY’S SIGNINGS AND THEIR RESPONSE TO LOSING THE TITLE? 

I think everyone is buying well, there is no reason to buy bad. When you have big money to spend there is no reason to buy bad, you buy good players and you always buy well. After that there is the unpredictability of the game. Sometimes you buy a fantastic player and for some reason he doesn’t play so good as you would have expected. But no big player (club) with a lot of money buys bad players. Everybody is buying very well.

CESC ALWAYS SEEMS TO HAVE A DIP IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON. I KNOW YOU PROBABLY HAVE SOME STATS TO ARGUE AGAINST THAT…  

Of course!

BUT DO YOU WANT TO WORK ON THAT, BECAUSE HE DID HAVE A DIP? 

I go match after match. I don’t go into the first match of the season thinking about the fourth or fifth. In August I am not thinking about December or thinking about having a player in a great condition for a certain time of the season. Day by day, week after week, match after match. That is why last season, we were playing so well, so consistent and winning match after match, for so many months without the suspension and important injuries we always had the same team and I am not going to change that philosophy.

ARSENAL HAVE ONLY BOUGHT YOUR SECOND-CHOICE GOALKEEPER AND SEEM HAPPY. ARE YOU SURPRISED BY THAT?  

I think they bought a fantastic goalkeeper and that is a position which is very important in a team. Every club is a club and we don’t need to speak about them but if you add up the amounts clubs have spent in the last three or four years, I think maybe you will find a surprise.

If you put (Mesut) Ozil plus Alexis Sanchez, plus (Calum) Chambers, plus (Mathiue) Debuchy you will maybe find a surprise. It’s a fantastic squad; lots and lots of good players, a fantastic goalkeeper. I think they are more than ready to be a title contenders.

SHOULD ARSENE WENGER EXPECT TO CHALLENGE TO WIN THE LEAGUE THIS YEAR?  

I think everyone of us. We have five teams who will play for the title, only one will win and one of us will be playing Europa League in two years. That is the reality: five teams for one title and five teams for four Champions League positions. Only one will be champion and one in Europa League.

DO ARSENAL GET AWAY WITH THE IDEA THAT THEY DON’T SPEND BIG MONEY? 

This is the easiest thing to do – I don’t do it. Get a calculator. That is the easiest things, it leaves no space for speculation. If you want to be honest, objective and pragmatic it is the easiest job for a manager or journalist to do. If a manager is interested he can do it. I am not. But Diego Costa plus, Fabregas plus Begovic; Schneiderlin plus; Alexis Sanchez plus this one; Benteke plus Balotelli plus this one. It is easy and objective.

YOU WILL SIGN A NEW CONTRACT AND BE HERE FOR THREE OR FOUR YEARS. DO YOU THINK CHELSEA WILL WIN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE IN THAT TIME?  

I cannot promise. I can only say that when it’s one of the best teams in England, in spite of the conditions which are very difficult for English teams to compete in Europe, every English team in the top four is going to be a Champions League contender. This season we are going to be, I would not say favourites, but we are going to be (contenders). Let’s say I’m going to stay here for four years of my contract. We are going to be Champions League contenders for four years. Let’s see if we can do it or not.

YOUR EXPERIENCE AND RECORD SUGGEST THAT YOU WILL WIN IT EVENTUALLY AT CHELSEA… 

If somebody comes in after me in a couple of years, gets a fantastic team and can improve it with a couple of new players and be champion, I’m happy with that too.

HOW WILL YOU APPROACH IT WITH REFEREES THIS SEASON?  

The same way as always: understanding the very difficult job they have; having lots of respect; being emotional as always because that’s my way; and accepting mistakes but not accepting a lot of mistakes. Mistakes are a part of the game but a lot of mistakes are not. I’m emotional and this game doesn’t allow us to make lots of mistakes because we are punished for that. Managers, players, referees, we are all punished for a combination of mistakes. It is very difficult to be the perfect but my respect for them is there always.

IF REFEREES MAKE MISTAKES SHOULD THEY GET A SUSPENSION?  

A rest. Even to take pressure off them. I’m not a ref specialist but (Howard) Webb is also part of it and he was the best referee in the world. He must be a fantastic coach for them.

DO YOU THINK THE STANDARD HAS IMPROVED?  

The game is very difficult. The only thing that improves it for sure is the goal-line technology. No more mistakes, no more Tottenham goals at Old Trafford with (Roy) Carroll, no more goals like Luis Garcia in the Champions League semi-final. That is finished and that is fantastic because that is the crucial part of the game.

The other part is that, the mistakes will be always there. Many of the guys, I like their approach to the game, they want to be positive and want to have a good relationship with the players. I go many times to the dressing room and immediately you can feel good relations between the referees and the captains. They want to co-operate and I think everything goes quite well. But when there is an accumulation of mistakes like we had last season I’m sorry, it’s difficult to accept.

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A CLEAN SLATE THIS SEASON?  

Yeah, last season I was never sent off or punished with a ban, I just got fines for comments made for interviews in the press. I was completely clean during the match, very good with the fourth official.

BUT YOU DID THAT INTERVIEW ON TELEVISION THE DAY AFTER THE BURNLEY MATCH AT HOME (AFTER ASHLEY BARNES’S TACKLE ON NEMANJA MATIC WENT UNPUNISHED, BUT MATIC WAS SENT OFF FOR REACTING)?  

Because it was too much. But the objective for me is to have a season with mistakes: my mistakes, players’ mistakes, referees’ mistakes. If there are too many mistakes I put players on the bench and I’m sacked! And with the refs, I complain.

DO YOU THINK THERE WILL BE A CAMPAIGN AGAINST YOU? 

I don’t think there is a campaign. I said after that those words were I would clean. It was just an accumulation of mistakes. You go to Southampton, penalty; they give a yellow card to Fabregas. You go Tottenham, penalty; he doesn’t give it; the aggression on Matic. We had lots of things in the same period and it was too much. But no campaign.

DO YOU THINK DIEGO COSTA WILL GET A CLEAN SLATE FROM REFEREES THIS SEASON?  

I would like him to be punished if he deserves to be punished. I would like him to be judged in a negative way if he deserves to be criticised by negative behaviour on the pitch. But if he behaves well I think people have to give him credit for that. 

RANDOM POSTS

Chelsea star Diego Costa released a statement on his future and, as expected, it won't be at Stamford Bridge: “My destination is already made. I...