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Premier League

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begovic

Ex Liverpool player and now Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher admits that Thibaut Courtois missing the clash at Etihad with Manchester City could be a very important absence:

It will be, as him and David De Gea are the two best goalkeepers in the league. With De Gea not playing at the moment, it looks like he may move on. But in Courtois, Chelsea have the outstanding ‘keeper in the league and so he will be a big miss.

Asmir Begovic is a good goalkeeper, but he is not quite of the standard of Petr Cech, who was their stand-in last year. So who knows, that may cost them, but he is very experienced in the Premier League and he was a very good goalkeeper for Stoke, with whom he actually won at City last season.

So he has been there and done it last season and he will be hoping for the same result”.

 

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Speaking to Chelsea FC website before the clash with Manchester City, Kurt Zouma recalls his first game against Pellegrini’s side, last January in Stamford Bridge:

It is a good memory and it was an important stage in my development.

“First of all I played the game and I was really proud of that. We drew 1-1 and we defended well. For my part I think I did well against a good attack, helping the team to a draw.

On the upcoming game, the French defender says:

We know we are playing against a good team on Sunday and it will be difficult, but we have a chance to win. I think it will be a very interesting game.

“It’s a chance early in the season to show why we are champions. We want to defend our title. The season after a very good season is always hard but we have to show we are ready to try and do it.

“Because I’m right-footed I have never played at left-back. It was different for me positionally so I had to learn quickly and adapt to it.

“It’s really not a problem because the boss needed me in that position and I have to give everything for the team. We all have to think about the team first of all so I always do that.

“They were good experiences for me because I played the games and I always want to be on the pitch enjoying myself and helping the team.

“I’m feeling very well. I had some opportunities to play in pre-season and play in some good games. Now the Premier League has started we are just focused on the next game. We are looking forward to it“.

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eva carneiro

It was announced yesterday that Eva Carneiro, the Chelsea first team doctor, will not be allowed to sit on the bench during games after she ran onto the pitch in the final few moments of Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Swansea City.

It follows days of rumour and speculation in the press and on the internet after Jose Mourinho described his medical staff as “naive” and that they had to “understand” the game. Chelsea were chasing a winning goal at the time and Eden Hazard had fallen to floor injured.

The disruption left Chelsea with nine men on the pitch after Courtois’ red card- including Begovic, the second goalkeeper- with a set piece that could get some advantage to the team. Mourinho’s comments have, on the face of it, been read two ways: the first being a tactic typical of managers at the top of the game to deflect attention from his side’s failure to win, and the second as a personal attack on Carneiro herself.

Carneiro was promoted to the position as first-team doctor in 2011 by Andre Villas-Boas and has since been kept on by Roberto di Matteo, Rafael Benitez and Jose Mourinho. She has become famous by being one of the few women involved in professional football, and her attractiveness has earned her a cult status among supporters of all clubs. Carneiro’s apparent  demotion appears to have united the bulk of football supports, Chelsea and non-Chelsea fans, in her defence, they believing that the two interpretations of Mourinho’s post-match comment mean the same thing-that the Portuguese couldn’t bear not winning the first match of the season, and so found someone to blame.

With the referee above reproach because of the obviousness of Thibaut Courtois’ red card, and with no great ill struck against his team from the opposition, the theory is that Mourinho found someone else to lay the blame at- the smiling, pretty, initiative taking team doctor.

It is an unfair accusation because nobody really knows the truth, and perhaps has more to do with the mob mentality of the internet than it does Jose Mourinho’s inability to accept responsibility for a poor result. Carneiro’s fandom is also a largely ignorant one, most apparently believe, or so the memes would have one believe, that she is the team’s physio as opposed to its doctor. They do not accept that Mourinho’s comments were mainly accurate, that in fact she should not have entered so fast onto the pitch and should have allowed the team to continue its pursuit of a winning goal. They also forget that she was not the only one to run on the pitch, and she was in fact joined by the team’s physiotherapist Jon Fearn, as well as that Mourinho did not mention her name when speaking to the media.

There is no doubt that Mourinho is sometimes guilty of not taking responsibility for his team’s defects, it is actually one of his many attributes, and that he can speak unfairly of some in public. This was such a case, but more irresponsible is Carneiro’s reaction, writing on social media to thank those supporting her, feeding into the media frenzy surrounding her position with the club and making Mourinho, the manager and her boss’, even more of a villain than he was before.

They all fail to mention that the Portuguese urged everyone at the club, medical staff included, to improve upon their efforts from last season to help Chelsea retain the league title, and did so many times throughout the summer. No link has been made between this apparent overhauling of the team’s match day therapy and the successive injuries suffered by Diego Costa, and the staff’s inability to cure him. No mention of other instances, ones that even we as reporters don’t know about, that may have led to this.

Where is the support for Jon Fearn? He too, as part of the medical staff, has been taken off the bench for next Sunday’s game against Manchester City, but there is no outcry in his favour. The lack of support for him only undermines the backing for Carneiro, and the general ignorance and collective amnesia only makes the condemnation of Mourinho shallow. In this case it appears that Carneiro’s gender is dictating the rhetoric, and one can only assume that barely a percentage of the ink and paper that has been spent on this topic would have been if she was a man.

Those that accuse Mourinho of being sexist are only being so themselves when they so vehemently support a woman without, for a start, knowing everything that has gone in the background, and offer up no such support for a man in exactly the same position. The reaction against Mourinho has been populist, naive and the ones perpetuating it are the real ones behaving appallingly. It would be wise to remember that Mourinho mentioned nobody by name, and that his criticism was in a purely professional context.

It isn’t yet clear who will replace Carneiro and Fearn at the Etihad, but the hope is from all Chelsea fans is that it will be the team getting the support and plaudits in the following week’s papers and not the team doctor.

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Manchester City new signing, Raheem Sterling admits that he only thinks about a victory over Chelsea during Sunday’s clash at the Etihad Stadium.

The young player is convinced that he is able to help the Citizens to beat the Blues and finish the week five points behind Chelsea.

Sterling told Manchester Evening News:

“I’ve done alright against them in the past and results-wise, I think it’s been pretty even overall so far in the matches I’ve played in”

“But I’m hoping this one will go our way and it’s vital that it does. We’re on our own ground and with it being our first home game of the season, we want to get off on the right foot.”

“Chelsea are very strong in every department from their defence and midfield to their attack, but it should be a good game and I’m really looking forward to playing in this match.”

 

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With the 2015/16 season underway, this is the fourth and final part of a comprehensive preview of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals, and their goals for the season ahead.

The Blues won their fourth Premier League title with three games to spare last season, their first since 2010, and the third under Jose Mourinho’s leadership.

But after yet another summer of intense transfer business, along with three new teams, we round up the key info and goals of all of the four T-W clubs that Chelsea will face in the next campaign:

 

Tottenham

Manager: Mauricio Pochettino – Ground: White Hart Lane (14 miles to Stamford Bridge)Position last season: 5th (64 points)SQUAD RATING: 8

PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: QUALIFY FOR THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

DOMESTIC CUP GOALS: SEMI FINALS

EUROPEAN GOAL: QUARTER FINALS

Spurs will be looking to continue and indeed improve upon their relatively encouraging performance last season. However, the money they have spent doesn’t warrant qualifying for just the Europa League, and that will provide huge motivation for Spurs in the new campaign. Going down 1-0 to Manchester United away from home is no great shame – they lost 3-0 in the same game last season. But, their lack of transfer activity, particularly upfront, may put unnecessary and unwarranted expectation on Harry Kane. Cup success at home will also be wanted – Pochettino has a long objectives list this year.

 

Watford

Manager: Enrique Flores – Ground: Vicarage Road (25 miles to Stamford Bridge)Position last season: Championship runners-up SQUAD RATING: 7

PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: AVOID RELEGATION

DOMESTIC CUPS GOAL: GET THROUGH THE FIRST FEW ROUNDS

The Hornets’ 2-2 draw against Everton, away from home, on Saturday was a very respectable one, and will provide much encouragement for those in north-west London. They have made some very astute signings too, noticeably Valon Behrami of Hamburger SV. But, some may ask whether these new faces will be able to muster enough cohesion to allow the club to stay up. Either way, being newly promoted, assuring survival can be the only honest objective that Flores has been set. With this in mind, cup form will mean little.

 

West Brom

Manager: Tony Pulis – Ground: The Hawthorns (131 miles to Stamford Bridge)Position last season: 13th (44 points) – SQUAD RATING: 7

PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: TOP 10 FINISH

DOMESTIC CUP GOAL: GET THROUGH THE FIRST FEW ROUNDS

Tony Pulis repeated his success at Crystal Palace with the Baggies last season, but maybe without the glitz of a seemingly-doomed side in Palace. However, Pulis will want a top 10 finish this season, and with Rickie Lambert now on board, as well as managing to keep Saido Berahino, that could happen. But, Pulis will have to show his best tactical hand for this to happen. It’s not out of reach for the Midlands club, but with a somewhat optimistic objective, cup form may go down the drain.

 

West Ham Manager: Slaven Bilic – Ground: Upton Park (13 miles from Stamford Bridge)Position last season: 12th (47 points)SQUAD RATING: 7

PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: QUALIFY FOR THE EUROPA LEAGUE

DOMESTIC CUP GOALS: QUARTER FINALS With the Hammers’ brief European adventure already over, achieving something eye-catching is Bilic’s first objective. A shock 0-2 win at Arsenal was a clear, and surprising, statement of intent. The club have the talent in their squad to achieve Europa League football next season, or indeed a domestic cup, should they choose to go down that route. Dimitri Payet is an excellent signing, but the team as a whole will really have to step up should they want to achieve their goals.

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COURTOIS RED CARD

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will miss Manchester City clash next Sunday.

The red card appeal made by the Stamford Bridge club was, in fact, rejected.

An official statement of FA website read:

A claim of wrongful dismissal submitted by Chelsea in relation to Thibaut Courtois has been unsuccessful following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing earlier today.

The goalkeeper was dismissed for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity in the 52nd minute of Chelsea’s game against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday (Aug. 8, 2015). Therefore, the player’s one-match suspension, which is the standard penalty for this offence, remains with immediate effect.

For a club to be successful with a claim of wrongful dismissal, it must prove to an Independent Regulatory Commission via written and/or video evidence that the match referee made an obvious error.”

 

Courtois will now serve one game ban, so it will be Asmir Begovic, the second Chelsea keeper, to start at the Etihad Stadium against Pellegrini’s side.

 

 

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Radamel Falcao admits that he needs more time to adapt to Chelsea.

The Colombian striker revealed that he needs more time to settle at Chelsea. A few days ago, Falcao admitted he did not feel pressured score goals for the Blues. But it seems that he hurried with his declarations.

Falcao told talkSPORT:

“I think it will take me a little bit longer to fully understand everything because you need to play in a team to get to know everyone and all the processes of the team,”

“Through pre-season I have started to know those things and, with more games and minutes, I will learn even more and we will get to know each other better.”

Few days earlier, the Colombian striker has complained with the physical demands of the Premier League:

“It’s a very, very competitive league where each team gives absolutely everything they’ve got in every game they play.”

“It demands 100 per cent of your ability and focus because it is very competitive, very physical and tactical too.”

“Maybe the football philosophy is a little different here in that it is always about getting the ball forward and there is less time when teams are just trying to control the ball and take the heat out of the game.

“Once you get to know your team-mates, you all know when it is the right time to put your foot on the ball and take the heat out of the game and when it is the right time to go forward, all out.”

Falcao joined Chelsea on a season-long loan from Monaco. He spent his last season at Manchester United but he failed to impress anybody. But  Mourinho decided to give him a second chance in his team.

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Former Liverpool player, Jamie Carragher says that Jose Mourinho should start to be worry about Chelsea’s lack of activity during the summer transfer window.

Ex- Liverpool defender believes that Mourinho must be really anxious about his club’s lack of activity in the transfer market. Besides Falcao and Begovic, Chelsea made no serious strengthen this summer.What is more, Carragher doubts that the Colombian striker is even close to Diego Costa’s level.

Carragher said :

Chelsea’s inactivity, however, is right to cause Mourinho some anxiety,”

“Not buying players to improve their first team isn’t an issue. Not buying players to improve the strength of the squad, on the other hand, is a problem. Having such a well-known team could lead to complacency.”

“Over the past year, the depth of their squad has diminished. I wasn’t a huge fan of Andre Schurrle, but he would pop up with a goal or key contribution. Juan Cuadrado, his replacement, has so far been an expensive mistake and given nothing.”

“How much will Radamel Falcao offer? I never saw any sign during his season at Old Trafford of the player who terrorised Chelsea in the European Super Cup final and if Costa’s hamstring issues persist, does Falcao have it in him to score 10-15 goals? I’m not sure.”

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JOHN STONES

Former Tottenham and QPR manager, Harry Redknapp is convinced that if John Stones decides to join Chelsea, Everton will be unable to stop him.

It is no secret that Chelsea are keen on signing Everton’s defender. Jose Mourinho considers the young player, a natural replacement for John Terry.

Even if Roberto Martinez denies that Stones will leave Goodison Park, Redknapp have no doubts that the move will ultimately be settled if the price will meet club expectations.

Redknapp told Alan Brazil’s Sports Breakfast:

“When you’ve been in the game long enough you know, if a player wants to go, he’s going to go,”

”I would think if the money’s right…”

“David de Gea wants to leave Man United – he wants to go but it’s just when a deal can be done that suits everybody – and I think it’s the same with Stones.”

“It’s a shame. Everton brought him in and gave him the opportunities, he’s been there 18 months and suddenly he’s off to Chelsea.”

“But he’ll be a good signing for Chelsea and he’ll give them good cover and good competition at centre half.”

“All the top teams are looking around for top central defenders and strikers, they’re difficult to find at the moment,”

Redknapp believes, however, that the amount offered for a player is too high looking at his little experience:

“No disrespect to the young lad, he’s a good player, but you look at the amount of money for someone who only signing for Everton from Barnsley a short while ago.”

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Manchester City captain, Vincent Kompany is convinced that this season the Citizens can seriously threaten Chelsea in the race for the Premier League title.

City started their campaign with a 0-3 victory at West Brom last night, in which the Belgian scored the third. After the match, Kompany admitted that his main goal for his season is to challenge Chelsea and to win over any doubters, after a somewhat underwhelming season last year.

Company told Sky Sports :

“We have something to prove.

“Last season was below what we are used to. If you had looked at the training sessions, we are a team of great intent. For us it was a great way to start the first game.”

Manchester City are not considered the favorite in the race for the Premier League, but Kompany believes that it’s just extra motivation for his team:

“It’s something that gives us extra motivation. We came out here knowing we had a point to prove. Last week when we played against Stuttgart it was a really poor performance and it was a good thing for us because we knew we had to work on a lot of things.”

”Until November I was having a good season but it didn’t matter because we didn’t win anything. I just want to get back to my best level and I am extremely hungry for more silverware.”

He has also commented on the club’s transfer market business this summer, particularly the importance of the signing of Raheem Sterling from Liverpool:

“We have some new tools to use,”

 “Raheem has given us this sharpness and speed we need to help teams when we are defending and have our backs against the walls. It gives us that little bit of danger we need. The manager said we have to be offensive.”

Chelsea will play against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium this Sunday at 17:00. But, Kompany has warned his City colleagues they can’t go into their game with the Blues overly confident:

“It will be a big game very early in the season and I’m sure it will matter.”

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