Tags Posts tagged with "England"


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Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has voiced his concerns about the future of young English players, believing that more should be done to help them break into first-team football.

The 37-year old left Chelsea in 2014 and spent some of last season on loan at Manchester City. He spent 13 years at Stamford Bridge.

He now faces a different challenge with New York City FC in the MLS, playing with and against players such as Kaka, David Villa and Andrea Pirlo, the last two of whom will be playing alongside Lampard.

However, Lampard has said that if he was 18 now, he wouldn’t be able to make it into the first team.

“The way the Premier League is it’s so competitive, it’s not easy for young boys to break through,” Lampard told BBC Sport.

“Those late teens early 20’s, you can lose a young player.”

Lampard made his senior debut at West Ham as a 17-year old and has gone on to make 885 club appearances so far in his career. But, he doubts that these opportunities exist in today’s game, which is something that he feels also hinders the national side:

“There are questions that need to be answered that may help young boys get the quality they need at a younger age because that is a huge part of your development.

“I think you can lose potentially top players.”

Chelsea stalwart Petr Cech also departed Stamford Bridge this summer, travelling acorss London after managing to win every trophy possible in his 11 year stay at the club.

With this in mind, Lampard was quick to reiterate the importance of Cech’s transfer:

“I think Arsenal signing Petr Cech is a big deal.

“I think it’s been a position that a lot of people at Arsenal, fans and friends have continuously bemoaned the fact that the keeper situation hasn’t been sorted out for quite a few years.

“So he will be huge for them, he might push Arsenal into the running. I think Arsenal weren’t a million miles away last year.

“Year in year out they are there or thereabouts and you have to think they will put a run together.”

Lampard will make his MLS debut on 12th July against Toronto. Along with Villa and Pirlo, the three have a total of 317 international caps, with 36-year old Pirlo managing 115 for Italy, including winning the World Cup in 2006. Villa did the same with Spain in 2010.

“David [Villa] and Andrea [Pirlo] are at the top of the list, I’m a lucky man to be in the same squad as them,” added Lampard, who made 106 England appearances himself.

“I’ve been watching all the games. I know every player and how they play. It will be a pleasure to play with them every day.”

Whilst many have criticised the MLS for allowing players a rich yet easy way out of football, Lampard has been quick to praise the country’s growing love of the sport, and relish’s the new challenge:

“It doesn’t feel like a retirement home.”

“There is a pressure here, it’s a huge city and in sport in America, people will give you credit if you work hard and they want success, that’s a pressure in itself.

“I think that view is probably a bit of an old adage. In England we do have a tendency to be negative about certain situations.

“I don’t expect an easy ride, I’m here to try and win and it’s going to be hard work.”




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Chelsea are set to beat Tottenham Hotspur again as they secure Wembley stadium as their home while Stamford Bridge is being redeveloped. 

The Premiership champions announced recently their plans to rebuild the stadium they have played at since 1905 having decided to stay there instead of looking for a new ground. The redevelopment is likely to cost £500 million and last up to three years, meaning that the club will have to play their home games elsewhere for the first time.

The two leading candidates to be Chelsea’s temporary home are Twickenham, the national stadium of English Rugby Union, and Wembley, the stadium where the national football team plays its home games and where all English cup finals are held. It appears that the club has chosen the latter, and this is likely to irritate London rivals Spurs who are also looking to play at Wembley while their ground is being rebuilt.

Chelsea have reportedly trumped Spurs’ bid of £8 million a season to lease the famous ground with an offer of £11 million.

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Kirby scored 11 goals in five games for Reading this season before her transfer

Chelsea Ladies are reportedly in pole position to sign Reading Ladies striker Fran Kirby.

Chelsea are expected to bid around £40,000-£60,000 for the Royals frontwoman, which would be a record transfer fee. Kirby’s current contract runs until 2018, but WSL rivals Arsenal and Manchester City are also rumoured to be interested.

The transfer deadline for the WSL is Thursday.

The 22-year old was hugely impressive at the recent Women’s World Cup, scoring the first goal in the Lionesses’ 2-1 group stage win over Mexico. It was also Kirby’s first start in the tournament.

The team went on to finish third overall, with England boss Mark Sampson dubbing Kirby ‘mini-Messi’.

She was the only player selected for the World Cup squad who is currently playing in WSL2.

This recent interest marks an incredible tunraround for Kirby – she gave up on football when she was 17, failing to come to terms with the loss of her influential mother, who died of brain haemorrhage three years earlier.

But, she made a tentative Sunday League comeback with Reading Town Ladies two years ago before going back to the club where she had been since she was a child – Reading FC.

Kirby scored an eye-catching 29 goals in just 22 appearances last season, and she has scored 11 goals this season – from just FIVE appearances.


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Chelsea will make a bid for Everton’s John Stones after being convinced the Englishman is the long term replacement for John Terry, according to the Evening Standard. 

Chelsea turning to Stones has come about after new Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez said there is no chance Raphael Varane, a Chelsea target for several months, leaving the Santiago Bernabeu.

The 21-year-old has been of interest to Chelsea for some time, but the general opinion was that the club would give him one more season of regular football at Everton before any prospective bid is made, particularly as John Terry and Gary Cahill won the Premiership playing together last season.

Terry’s age, along with Varane staying in Madrid and Chelsea’s failure to progress beyond the second round of the Champions League, a campaign in which they conceded several stupid goals, have made the club think again.  Terry, 34, spoke glowingly of Stones to talkSport last week.

The former England captain said:

“I have seen a lot of games and I am a big fan of his. He pulls wide of the box and wants the ball and for a young defender to do that in the Premier League takes some guts.

“He is exceptional with both feet, he is a ball-playing centre half which you need to be these days.

“He is extremely confident. He looks to play from the back and that can only be good for English football that the likes of him are coming through. He is definitely one I have been impressed by.”

Everton have placed a value of £20 million on John Stones.

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Harry Kane is one of few good prospects of England national team

Former QPR midfielder Joey Barton spoke to BBC Radio after England Under-21s group stage exit from the European Championship, claiming the national team was destined to fail at major championships.

“Everybody wants to blame it on something and it’s not a case of that.

It’s not the players, it’s not the coaching staff, it’s not one thing, it’s an accumulation of many things.

“The culture within English football is not changing – no St George’s Park, no massive spend, no change of coach, this isn’t going to change it.

“The culture is rotten from top to bottom. England’s national team will under-perform at every single tournament because of this reason and that filters down.”

Barton also claimed England players should be unavailable for selection for the senior team for a number of years if they turned down the chance to play for the Under-21s.

“The FA should say to them ‘if you don’t make yourself eligible for an Under-21 campaign if you’re selected, you won’t be considered by the national team for however many years.

Then he added: “We need to get in line, we need to get a passion restored in the badge of representing your country at any level.”

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Chelsea defender Gary Cahill revealed that in his opinion, the key to success both in Chelsea and England national team is to ignore the critics.

29-year-old player can definitely consider this season a huge success. He won the Premier League title and the Capital One Cup with the Blues and England qualified for the European Championship.

In a recent interview, he commented on the critical opinions against Chelsea and the England national team. He stressed that does not care about them and concentrates on the future.

He told the Mirror:

”Honestly, it goes in one ear and out the other,”

”At the beginning of the season with Chelsea we were playing really good attacking football and being praised. Then, after one or two games, people changed their opinion of us.”

”Football is all about ­opinions. England have been criticised as well but if you keep clean sheets, win games no one says anything – and then ­something doesn’t go to plan and people chirp up. ”

”The answer on both fronts is to keep winning, keep doing what we have been doing this season.”

He was asked whether this season at Chelsea was his most successful.

“I don’t really know. It’s hard to say whether it’s the best ever because since I’ve been at Chelsea we have always been successful.”

“Yes, it’s been fantastic. We won the league – something I had never done. It’s a great achievement for me.”

“I’ve had some fantastic performances with Chelsea, and England speaks for itself in terms of goals against, though we were disappointed to concede two on Sunday.

In a few words he commented on the situation in England national team where he is vice-captain.

“Probably the most important thing for England was to build again. We had to rebuild the momentum. That was the most important thing.

“Everyone knows that because we lost Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry and Steven Gerrard in a short period of time we had a very young squad.

“Fresh younger players have come in, fantastic players. The key really is to keep building.

“Everyone has another year under their belts in the Premier League and another year internationally, in which we have done very well . It means we can look forward to some big tests next season.”


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Manchester City have made Jack Wilshere their number one transfer target this summer as Paul Pogba has decided to join either Real Madrid or Barcelona.

City, who lost their Premiership crown to a relentless Chelsea side last season, had made signing the 22-year old their priority but the Frenchman has made it clear he wishes to make Spain his next move. The Citizens had made it clear that they were willing to pay what would have been a British transfer record of £70 million, beating rivals Manchester United’s purchase of Angel di Maria by about £10 million, for Pogba but will now try their luck at signing Arsenal and England midfielder Wilshere.

City’s intention to get back to the top of English football is clear, but it will certainly be expensive and one might question whether or not it is wise to make such an outlay with a £50 million fine for breaching Financial Fair Play laws still applicable. The club has made two bids for Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling the highest of which is believed to be £40 million, and they are reportedly also willing to pay an extra £10 million to get their man.

In regards to Wilshere, City are wiling to pay a similar amount, as well as double the 23-year old’s wages to £150,000 a week. Wilshere scored two fantastic goals for his country in the Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia- England won the game 3-2- after a frustrating season that saw him miss most of Arsenal’s games through injury. His contract at the Emirates runs until 2018 but he has spoken many times of his commitment to the club that he has spent his whole career at.

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Chelsea legend Kerry Dixon is facing nine months in prison after being convicted of assault at Luton Crown Court. 

Dixon, who scored 147 goals in 335 games for Blues between 1983 and 1992, was on trial for punching an kicking a man in a pub in Dunstable in May 2014. The 53-year old had denied the charges, but was found guilt of the attack, supposedly provoked after he was called “fatso” by Ben Scoble.

The judge, Barbara Mensah, described the attack as “shocking and sickening to watch” and subsequently jailed Dixon.

Dixon played for many clubs in England after leaving Chelsea for Southampton in 1993. He retired in 1997. He played eight times for England and scored four goals. He is still considered one of Chelsea’s greatest players and remains popular at the club.

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In her column for BBC Sport, Chelsea Ladies and England striker Eniola Aluko has rubbished the critics of the Women’s World Cup, and commented on her own experiences so far.

England will qualify for the round of 16 should they beat Colombia in Montreal, following a 0-1 loss to France and a 2-1 win over Mexico.

However, many have criticised the tournament over a number of supposed mistakes from players and officials. But, Aluko has hit back at the critics:

“When you are testing the success of a tournament, I would say that is one of the key criteria so it surprises me that there has been some criticism of the standard on show back home.

“People might look at the Women’s World Cup and compare it to the men’s tournament but to make that sort of reference is a bit uneducated really. Those people who don’t want to see women’s football for what it is have used men’s football as a reference, but when you read educated opinions about sport, you actually see that there is no need for comparison.

“My advice is: just judge the Women’s World Cup on its own merits. If what you see is of a poor standard, then that’s a different story but in this tournament, the first time it has expanded to 24 teams, we are seeing a great show.

“You want great goals? Colombian Daniela Montoya’s strike against Mexico was world-class. Inspiring stories? Look at my team-mate Fran Kirby. She scored against Mexico in her first World Cup start, four years after she quit football following the passing away of her mother.

“Overall, I think women’s football is in a great place. So I think it’s time that people just got over their opinion that the game is somehow inferior.

“If you don’t like women’s football, then my message would be: don’t watch it. I know that sounds controversial and we have a responsibility to grow the game but actually the product is very good and I think that people saying negative things about women’s football are now in the minority.”

Although the standard may supposedly differ, FIFA expects around one billion people to tune in to the Women’s World Cup. 2.4 million watched England take on France. The empty seats that are seen can be explained by football’s much less prominent position in Canada compared to Europe.

Even so, 45,000 watched Canada take on the Netherlands.

Aluko is yet to score in the tournament but has hit the bar twice, and came very close on two other occasions against Mexico following a quiet match as the isolated striker against France.

Mark Sampson’s side beat Mexico in Moncton through goals from Fran Kirby and Karen Carney, and Aluko has been quick to praise who many are calling a ‘Mini Messi’.

“I’ve spoken in previous columns about the inspirational players in our team and Fran Kirby is certainly one of them.

“I couldn’t even imagine what it felt like to lose her mum at such a young age. She seems very philosophical about it now, which is amazing for someone who is only 21, and sees her mum almost like a guardian angel.

“So for Fran to score against Mexico in her first World Cup start the day before her mum’s birthday, well it’s hard to put that sort of achievement into words. When I found out I nearly broke down in tears. Every time I think about it now, it brings me out in goosebumps.

“Everyone in the squad is so happy for Fran and I love playing alongside her on the pitch because she is very good at seeing different movements and we combine well.

“I’m just really pleased that she made a big impact on the world stage but I’m not alone in thinking that this is just the start for her in a great career.”


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Chelsea defender Gary Cahill spoke during a commercial act in London.

The centre-back revealed that despite being a top footballer with a very good wage he leads a very normal life:

“It is nice if people say you are grounded because I think it is important to be that way,” the English player claimed.

“Everyone is different. That is just me. My personality is that. I play football.

I feel I am in a privileged position, but I work hard to be where I am. Away from football, I lead a normal life.”

My family around me are just normal, everything in my life is normal, apart from my trophy cabinet, which is great,”

During the past season Cahill had a moment of low form – that is quite normal in a season that lasts ten months- around January, where Kurt Zouma took his place in some games. Reminding that period, he said:


Criticism puts fire in your belly. I got a lot of criticism halfway through the season and it’s satisfying to get to the end of the season and you’ve won a couple of things.

“You always want to strive to be the best and if people doubt you you want to prove them wrong.

“I’m sure it will happen again at some stage in my career, so I just keep working hard.”

Looking to next season he admitted:

We have started to build something here but without getting too ahead of ourselves we have done really well, but next season will be a great season.

And he accepts the challenge Manchester City pose to Chelsea next year will be anything but normal.

“We have even spoken among ourselves that we know it will be even harder to retain it”.


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