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Swansea City

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Jose Mourinho will not back down in the row with Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro despite reports that the 41-year-old is seeking legal advice following her demotion from the first team bench.

Mourinho was outraged by Caneiro and physio Jon Fearn running onto the pitch to treat Eden Hazard when the team was searching for a winning goal. He criticised his medical staff afterwards and a public dispute has subsequently broken out with many condemning the Portuguese for making Carneiro a scapegoat for his team’s poor performance and disappointing result.

Carneiro was told by Mourinho that she is no longer permitted to attend first team matches or training sessions, although she is still in her job as team doctor. Her response, according to reports, is to seek legal advice with the possibility of suing Chelsea FC for constructive dismissal, but a public apology from Mourinho might be sufficient to make retract.

The Chelsea manager’s actions and words in regard to the incident are “extreme”, according the Premier League Doctors group.

Mourinho is said to be unwilling to apologise, and that his view on the matter has not changed despite the bad the PR for him and the club. The club, although anxious about the publicity, support the manager and are said to be wholly unimpressed by Carneiro taking to social media to thank those supporting her.

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Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro has been described as a “cheerleader” and being “extremely naive” by her predecessor as the dispute over her being banned from the Chelsea bench continues.

Ralph Rogers has spoken out after Jose Mourinho was condemned by pundits and the medical profession at large for criticising his medical staff for running onto the pitch to treat Eden Hazard when Chelsea were looking for a winning goal late on against Swansea City on Saturday.

Carneiro, 41, has become the centre of attention in recent days as Mourinho’s comments were interpreted by most to be a direct criticism of her. She took to Facebook shortly afterwards to thank those who had wished her well, and on Monday it was announced that she and Jon Fearn, the physio, will not be on the bench for the game against Manchester City on Sunday.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Rogers stood up for Mourinho in the row and said the fault for the publicity since lies largely with Carneiro.

He is quoted as saying:

“You’re not supposed to take centre stage if you are a physician to a team. You have to understand your dynamic in the club. You are not a player.

“Her putting that “thanks for the support” on Facebook was extremely naive. That would upset anyone. What was she trying to achieve there? Are you bigger than the manager? You’re never going to win, nor should you.

“You’re the backroom staff, you’re there to do a job. You’re not there as a cheerleader. You can play to it or you can play it down. It seems like she played to it.

“You’re not supposed to be a celebrity. You can’t be a celebrity doctor, come on. Let’s get real.”

Rogers was Chelsea’s doctor until he resigned in 2011. He believes the situation is far bigger than Mourinho simply being annoyed by Carneiro running onto the pitch to treat Hazard, and that posting on Facebook was very unprofessional.

“Who’s to say when common sense prevailed and there was no more gasoline poured onto the situation then everything would’ve just settled down.

“But when you add the Facebook and continue with it, because you are a “celebrity doctor” this is what happens.

“There is no chance she is still the first-team doctor. You can’t do your job.

“If anybody really looked at it… there are two sides to every story. Especially because I’ve heard him praise medical staff in the past at other places.

“There’s something else going on. If you had a rapport with someone that important in your club you wouldn’t out them like that. The medical team need to have a relationship with the manager. If you have a respect that kind of thing never happens.

“A head injury you run on – period. But you have to understand the injury and the game. I completely agree with some of the things Mourinho said. I also saw from his reaction there was a little bit more frustration.

“If you think that player is seriously injured and you got the nod [from the referee] you go on. You also have to understand your players.”

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COURTOIS
COURTOIS

Chelsea will find out today whether or not Thibaus Courtois will be available to play in Sunday’s crucial league match against Manchester City.

Courtois was sent off in the Blues opening day draw against Swansea City for denying a goal scoring opportunity. The subsequent penalty was scored and Chelsea missed out an opening day win for the first time since 2011.

The suspension, one game, means that second choice ‘keeper Asmir Begovic will have to fill in for the Belgian when Chelsea travel to the Etihad Stadium. An appeal was filed yesterday evening, and the evidence was heard by the FA at roughly 1pm today. A decision will be reached and announced by this evening.

It is likely that Chelsea’s argument against the red card will include the facts that the foul was committed on the very edge of the penalty area, as well as the covering defenders behind Courtois meaning he was not the final man between the attacker and the goal.

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WILLIAN

Courtois 6- Made a couple of good saves but was caught out for the penalty.

Ivanovic 4- A poor showing, was beaten several times on his side.

Terry 6- Managed the team well in the most difficult moments.

Cahill 6- A fairly solid performance.

Azpilicueta 6- Got forward quite well but was caught out a few times going back.

Fabregas 5- Should have been taken off ling before the 76th minute, still finding sharpness.

Matic 6- Played well in the first half but lost control of the midfield all too easily.

Willian 7- Worked very hard and appeared to the most effective going forward.

Oscar 6.5- Scored a goal and worked hard.

Hazard 6- Was Chelsea’s most dangerous player in the final stages but not much before then.

Costa 6.5- A good performance after injury but tired as the game went on.

Substitutes:

Zouma 6- Gave greater security to the defence when brought on.

Begovic 6- Couldn’t save the penalty when on for Courtois but made some good saves to prevent a defeat.

Falcao 4- Could only scuff a shot late on.

Manager:

Jose Mourinho 6.5- Made the right changes when the team needed it and couldn’t have done much more to win the game.

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Jose Mourinh praised his team’s spirit after the controversial 2-2 draw with Swansea City, saying that the first half perormance was very good and that a draw was not a bad result having played with 10 players for the bulk of the second half.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said this:

“We played well until we had ten men. The first half was high quality and with ten men we fought hard for a long time, not five or ten minutes.”

On the decision to send off Thibaus Courtois, Mourinho refused to be drawn.

“I don’t make (a comment), I’ll ask you to do that, to do that, you have the cameras, the pundits and the specialists so you do that and I don’t.”

“We played very well in the first half and the game was under control. The players were playing with more and more confidence.

“The team was playing really well and but even you are playing well you are at risk. But then penalty, red card, goal and after that everything is different and so we fought hard.

“There were moments when we had to defend and fight hard to not lose the game and in other moments we felt we could score a goal so the game was open for both sides.

“When you play 35 minutes with one player less at the start of the season it is difficult, so under the circumstances I have nothing to say against my players.”

Mourinho claimed to be unhappy with his medical staff who ran on the pitch to treat a player, leaving the team with only nine in the last few minutes.

“I was unhappy with my medical staff, you haved to undestand the game even if you are a kit man or a secretary, and when you go to assist a player you mist be sure he needs it. They left me 8 outfield players.”

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Chelsea have drawn 2-2 with Swansea City in the first Premiership match of the season in an eventful but ultimately disappointing game for the reigning champions. 

The Champions started the game brightly, passing the ball quickly and sharply in the opposition half, pushing Swansea back into their own half. The visitors didn’t allow Chelsea to dictate the play for long, and came close in the 7th minute when a Gomis headed a corner just past Thibaus Courtois’ far past.

Gomis had another, and easier chance a few minutes later when he was almost put through on goal by Jonjo Shelvy. He would have given his side the lead he not dithered and allowed John Terry to get back and smother the shot. The Chelsea defence had more work a few seconds later as Courtois had to punch away a powerful shot from Ki from which the Blues counter attacked but couldn’t create a clear chance.

The home side settled better after that, and the next few minutes were played in the Swansea third of the pitch. A series of set-pieces came to nothing until a 22nd minute free-kick from Oscar, won by Cesar Azpilicueta on the left, flew in past everyone and into the corner of the net to give Chelsea their first goal of the new season.

Having the lead invigorated Chelsea further, and the Stamford Bridge crowd began to see the best of the creative axis that won them the league last season. Hazad, Fabregas and Costa put fine passing moves together and threatened to double the lead. Diego Costa especially looked sharp after the hamstring injury that kept him out of the Community Shield and friendly match with Fiorentina on Wednesday. But Chelsea’s advantage didn’t even last until the half hour mark as Swansea equalised with a soft goal. A cross from the left side found Gomis whose string header Courtois could only push out to Swansea’s Andre Ayew who netted from close range at the second attempt.

Whatever joy Swansea felt at drawing level was even more shot lived than the deficit they obliterated as Chelsea instantly attacked and regained the lead from an own goal from Federico Fernandez- the defender helpless as Willian’s cross deflected off him and into the same corner that Oscar’s free-kick had landed in minutes earlier.

While Swansea appeared a threat, the bulk of their attempts came from outside the box which Courtois was able to keep out with relative ease.

The second half began it did so with Swansea showing great intent, and not at all downhearted by the unfortunate goal they conceded to be behind. Gylfi Sigurdsson took a free-kick from the just outside the box, and the resulting corner found Gomis once again unable to make the most of having the ball in the area. It was a poor start from the Champions, and another Shelvy corner hit the near post with Chelsea struggling to adapt to Swansea’s pace going forwards. Montero in particular was almost unplayable on the left wing.

It didn’t take long for Chelsea to pay for their poor start- a long ball over the heads of everyone found Gomis again clear on goal. Courtois reacted far too slowly and brought the forward down leaving Referee Oliver no choice but to send him off and award a penalty. Asmir Begovic’s first act as a Chelsea player was to send the ball back to a the halfway line for the restart as Gomis easily scored the spot kick. With ten players and the score level Chelsea suddenly found the urgency they should have had after the break, but Swansea did not sit back and hope for a draw. They continued going forward, and a shot from the Montero was pushed away by Begovic mercifully away from the nearby Gomis. The same player cut back in from the left again on 60 minutes and forced another stop from the former Stoke ‘keeper.

Branislav Ivanovic missed a great chance on 66 minutes when he sent a head from a Fabregas free-kick over the bar, and it did appear that if Chelsea were to regain the lead it would be from a set-piece, the build up in open play being too slow, especially with 10 players. Swansea had a goal correctly disallowed for offside moments later when Gomis turned in a Shelvy ball across the goal. Both sides were willing to take risks to win the game. Chelsea counter-attacked in numbers when they could and Hazard almost earned the lead back in the 75th minute after receiving the ball from Willian, but his shot was saved at the near post.

Chelsea pushed on as the game entered its final minutes, the substitution of Fabregas for Zouma providing greater presence in midfield and Hazard found the space that had been denied him earlier on in the game, but there was still little in the way of penetration from the Champions. The attacks were far too slow and the final ball was often lost because of dithering. Chelsea couldn’t find a way through Swansea again and if anything were fortunate to escape with a draw.

It is clear already that it will be difficult for Chelsea to retain their title. One hopes that this result, and match, is not a pattern that the rest of the season will follow.

Chelsea:

Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Diego Costa

Subs: Begovic, Zouma, Ramires, Mikel, Moses, Remy, Falcao

Swansea:

Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Williams (C), Taylor, Ki Sung-Yueng, Shelvey, Sigurdsson, Ayew, Montero, Gomis

Subs: Nordfeldt, Rangel, Bartley, Tabanou, Cork, Routledge, Eder

Ref: Michael Oliver

Attendance: 41,232

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Chelsea are 2-1 up against Swansea City in their first match of the Premiership season. 

The Champions started the game brightly, passing the ball quickly and sharply in the opposition half, pushing Swansea back into their own half. The visitors didn’t allow Chelsea to dictate the play for long, and came close in the 7th minute when a Gomis headed a corner just past Thibaus Courtois’ far past.

Gomis had another, and easier chance a few minutes later when he was almost put through on goal by Jonjo Shelvy. He would have given his side the lead he not dithered and allowed John Terry to get back and smother the shot. The Chelsea defence had more work a few seconds later as Courtois had to punch away a powerful shot from Ki from which the Blues counter attacked but couldn’t create a clear chance.

The home side settled better after that, and the next few minutes were played in the Swansea third of the pitch. A series of set-pieces came to nothing until a 22nd minute free-kick from Oscar, won by Cesar Azpilicueta on the left, flew in past everyone and into the corner of the net to give Chelsea their first goal of the new season.

Having the lead invigorated Chelsea further, and the Stamford Bridge crowd began to see the best of the creative axis that won them the league last season. Hazad, Fabregas and Costa put fine passing moves together and threatened to double the lead. Diego Costa especially looked sharp after the hamstring injury that kept him out of the Community Shield and friendly match with Fiorentina on Wednesday. But Chelsea’s advantage didn’t even last until the half hour mark as Swansea equalised with a soft goal. A cross from the left side found Gomis whose string header Courtois could only push out to Swansea’s Andre Ayew who netted from close range at the second attempt.

Whatever joy Swansea felt at drawing level was even more shot lived than the deficit they obliterated as Chelsea instantly attacked and regained the lead from an own goal from Federico Fernandez- the defender helpless as Willian’s cross deflected off him and into the same corner that Oscar’s free-kick had landed in minutes earlier.

While Chelsea have played well and do deserve their lead they would be wise to remember the harm that Swansea have been able to cause them in the first half. The visitors have attacked with pace and have been able to get behind Chelsea’s back line, in particular from the left.

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Jose Mourinho is grateful for the lack of injuries after Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Fiorentina tonight, and described the game as a “training session” in his press conference following the 1-0 defeat to Fiorentina tonight. 

On how his team are playing ahead of the new season, Mourinho claimed to be satisfied.

“I am happy where we are. “

On Radamel Falcao, who put another poor performance following the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday, Mourinho said that he was happy with the form the Colombian was showing. He went on to speak about his counterpart Paulo Sousa, Mohammed Salah and whether or not Diego Costa will be fit for next Satuday’s match against Swansea.

“He is very good (Falcao) for the situation. He has only had one week of traning, and not many minutes. I took him off at the right moment and I am very happy with the revolution.”

When asked about tonight’s opponents, Mourinho continued:

“It isn’t up to me to comment on Fiorentina but I thank them them for a good training session.”

“Paulo doesn’t need me to speak about him. He is doing his career and nobody gave him anything for free. Some people of his generation got big jobs for nothing.”

“He (Salah) has arrived at a good club like Fiorentina because he has done something good. I have no idea about Salah, all I know is that he left a few months ago to play for Fiorentina to play games because that is the objective of a loan.”

On Costa’s fitness:

“I don’t risk my reputation again, you asked me before the last weekend and I told he was ready to play, but he wasn’t. I don’t know, ask me on Friday and I will tell you for sure. I really don’t know.

 

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Perhaps the best thing to come out of Sunday’s disappointing Community Shield defeat to Arsenal was the realisation that retaining the Premiership will be a greater challenge than winning it in the first place. 

As they lost 1-0 to Petr Cech and his new teammates, Jose Mourinho’s side appeared tired, unfit and, having returned from a tour of North America, even jet lagged. Despite moments of continued possession and inventive approach play, it was clear that it was their opponents that were more prepared, and whose will to win was far greater.

Whether or not this will become a pattern for the defending Premiership champions, one will have to wait and see- it would be folly to predict as such when the season hasn’t even started- but what is certain is that the team still has flaws and that its rivals will not allow the trophy to return to Stamford Bridge as easily as they did in 2015.

The biggest worry from the Sunday is the chasm left by Diego Costa, and what effect another season of the Spain international’s hamstring playing up could have on the team’s ability to take chances. Neither Loic Remy or Radamel Falcao looked likely to fill the void, there were times when both looked utterly of their depth in terms of finishing and movement in the penalty box.

Whilst Costa’s current injury doesn’t appear to be serious, the outcome of a serious recurrence should worry all Chelsea fans. If Jose Mourinho gets the chance to sign another top quality striker, even if it was a similar situation to the deal that brought Samuel Eto’o to the club in 2013, then this writer at least advises him to take it.

That being said, the other below par performances of Sunday- Fabregas, Hazard etc- aren’t too much of a concern as one imagines they will regain sharpness when the season gets going, but Chelsea’s fragility up front means it is likely they will come to rely on those two outlets of creativity once again,  and without another increase in those two players’ incredibly high standards it is possible Chelsea will fall short in Europe again.

Last year’s defeat to PSG, a rare low point, demonstrated all Chelsea’s flaws and worst habits: an inability to dispense with the best teams when the chance arises, and being all too willing to give away the initiative being the most prominent.

It is easy to remember that along with the ease with which Chelsea won the league and say Europe should logically be the team’s priority, but that would be to underestimate the strength of competition at home, as well be ignorant of Chelsea’s lack of activity in the transfer market. Only when Chelsea have fully maintained a dominance in England, which they did briefly in Mourinho’s first tenure as manager, should they seek out the Champions League.

A near fanatical desire to win in Europe brought about the end of many managers, including Mouinho himself, and damaged the club on the pitch as well its image. Too avoid that happening again it is important Chelsea structure their ambitions as well as be patient. The first ambition, as always, should  be to win the Premiership, and there is little reason to think that it will not happen, despite Sunday.

Chelsea remain the strongest side in the league, and with Mourinho in charge they have the perfect man to give the club the consistency and leadership it needs to remain strong domestically. There are obvious improvements that can be made to the team, but little reason for pessimism ahead of the first match against Swansea City on Saturday.

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Jose Mourinho has spoken candidly about his relationship with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, and how his first spell as manager ended. 

Mourinho became Chelsea manager in 2004 when he left Porto having just won the Champions League. His first two seasons at Stamford Bridge were very successful as the club won two league titles and a league cup.

Relations began to sour midway through the next campaign, perhaps down to the owner’s reported insistence on signings that Mourinho didn’t want, such as Andriy Shevchenko, but made all the worse by Chelsea relinquishing the title to Manchester United.

After over a year of intense speculation, Mourinho left by mutual consent in September 2007 and replaced by Avram Grant.  After another season of rumours in 2013 he returned to the club after leaving Real Madrid in similar circumstances. He is now about to begin his third season since, his sixth in total as Chelsea boss, and is seeking to defend the Premiership title he and the club won last campaign.

He spoke to Sky Sports about his previous tenure and claims that his personal relationship with Abramovich was not the problem, but rather how best to strengthen the team.

“In my first period, my personal relationship with Abramovich was very good but professionally we had some interferences and a bit of a disagreement with some ideas,” the Portuguese is quoted as saying.

He continued:

“In this moment we don’t have this problem. When I left Real Madrid to come here, Mr Abramovich asked me to fight for titles.

“In my first season we were almost there, in my second season we did it and in my third season if you are close, you can always do it.”

Chelsea play their final pre-season game on Wednesday against Serie A side Fiorentina before the Premiership season begins at home to Swansea City on Saturday.

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