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Marcos Alonso still hopes to be included in the Spain national team for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but he knows he has to perform well and win some titles with Chelsea if he wants to get that chance.

From the moment I arrived here, I have felt great playing as a starter,” – Alonso told Cadena Ser Radio – “We had a great season and we deserved the Premier league title. I’ve continued my development at Chelsea and I have to continue to work in order to improve. It’s not going to be easy to win the Premier League again,” he said. “There are many teams that can opt for the title. We saw it two years ago that even a team like Leicester can compete and win the league. The two Manchester teams have strengthened their sides very well. Tottenham have a solid group that has worked together for some time, Liverpool have a strong side. We will fight in each game to give ourselves a chance to be there in the battle.”

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Chelsea legend Pat Nevin claims it will be very hard for the Blues to retain their Premier League title as Manchester City are setting a quality standard right now very difficult to match by any other team.

There is a little sour taste left in the mouth after the loss against Man City and even the points dropped the other week against Arsenal stick in the throat a bit,” – Nevin wrote on Chelsea’s official website. “The two Manchester clubs have a bit of a gap in the league but it is very early days still and any expectation of the league being a cake walk was never seriously considered by anyone anyway. City in particular are the benchmark for quality right now and if they keep up their skill levels, speed and style from the start of this season then they will be very hard to catch.”

 

 

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New York Times journalist Rory Smith claims there is a feeling this one will be Antonio Conte‘s last season at Chelsea.

Smith believes all the signs are pointing towards Conte leaving Stamford Bridge next summer.

The Italian coach recently signed a new contract but he didn’t extend the deal, he only agreed more lucrative terms: with all the disquiet coming from the Blues in the last weeks, it seems the moment Conte will depart from West London is not so far:

“There seems to be at Chelsea, a kind of understanding that this will be Conte’s last season whatever happens,” Smith claimed.

“Why? He’s never made it clear.

Mourinho at Manchester United is pretending he wants to be there for 10 years, just as [Pep] Guardiola is pretending he wants to be there [at Manchester City] for 10 years, they don’t.

“Managerial lifetimes last three to five years.

Pep Guardiola will not be at Manchester City for the next 10 years.

“Conte’s always made clear this is a short-term thing.

“I’m not 100 per cent certain his wife and daughter have moved to London yet.

“There has always been this whisper that he feels that two or three years will be enough and there were suggestions at the start of the season when he signed a deal for improved money but not greater length after winning the title.”

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Gary Neville reckons Premier League title will go to Manchester this season: the Sky Sports pundit is not sure if United or City will win it, but he is sure the league trophy will be back in his city.

“I said last season that the title would come to Manchester – and I was wrong – but I think this year it will.

“I think Chelsea will dip a little bit,” the Manchester United legend claimed.

“Not in a negative way, but just having the Champions League will bring different challenges.

“I think Tottenham will be strong, but I feel that either United or City will win it, but I’m not sure who!

“I say it every year, whoever recruits best, wins the league.

“Chelsea getting N’Golo Kante was a masterstroke and Eden Hazard and Diego Costa came back to form.

“All the clubs are going for the same players, they’re all expensive and controlled by agents.

“So, whoever has the best relationship, the best contacts and is willing to put the money in will probably do it,” the former England international concluded.

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Current Fulham captain Scott Parker announced he will retire from football.

The English midfielder, almost 37, is a legend of English football, having played for some historical sides through-out his career like Chelsea, Tottenham, Newcastle, West Ham, Charlton, Norwich ( on loan) and Fulham.

Parker moved to Chelsea in January 2004, but he only collected 4 apperances in the first successful year of José Mourinho at Stamford Bridge in 2004/2005, due to an foot injury: he scored one goal in 15 appearences in this unlucky spell. He was proceding from Charlton and then moved to Newcastle.

He also collected 18 for England senior team, and was once captain in a friendly match against Netherlands in February 2012.

Speaking about the decision of ending his played football career he said:

“The decision to retire has not been an easy one for me but having thought long and hard over it, and having discussed it with those closest to me, I believe that now is the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life and career,” a statement from Parker wrote.

“I have enjoyed so many incredible moments during my career. From making my first team debut at Charlton, to playing regularly in the Premier League, playing in the Champions League to then playing in a major tournament for England, as well as ultimately fulfilling a lifelong dream by captaining my country. There are just too many highlights to mention.

“I would like to thank everyone at Charlton Athletic, Norwich City, Chelsea, Newcastle United, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham for the unbelievable support that I’ve been shown throughout my time at each and every one of the club’s I’ve been proud to represent.”

 

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Eden Hazard confirmed that Chelsea really worked hard under Antonio Conte to reach the extraordinary results of the past season.

He’s a great manager. When we came back in the pre-season, it was intense, and if we won this season, it’s because of that,” Hazard told The Strait Times.

The Belgian star also revealed that the team worked a lot in the gym, a thing that is not very common in England:

“We practised a lot of tactics, also (worked on) fitness and running. For me, it was the first time in England where we worked a lot in the gym. And yeah, we want to look forward (to next season) with him.”

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Victor Moses challenging Spurs star Harry Kane in November 2016 game at Stamford Bridge © Francesca Ceciarini

Altough very happy for the Premier League title, Victor Moses is already focused on the Fa Cup final which will be played on Saturday at Wembley.

“Now the Premier League is done and we have to switch our focus to the FA Cup final against Arsenal on Saturday. – Victor Moses told Chelsea official website – We’re looking forward to it and we know we have the players who are capable of winning the game”.

Victor Moses, then, ricognises also manager’s Antonio Conte skills:  “He’s taken our game to the next level, he pushes us to our limit”. – the Blues player went on – “Each and every one of us totally respects him. We love him as our manager. He has great passion and he’s played the game before. It’s good to have a manager who believes in every player. He’s given us all massive confidence and we’re enjoying our football”.

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Speaking after lifting the Premier League trophy at Stamford Bridge yesterday, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte analysed the season that brought him to the first title in England:

“I dreamed this,” Conte told Sky Sports.

I must be honest, if you ask me, my first day at Chelsea to arrive at the end of the season and to win the league and the final of the FA Cup, it was very difficult for me to imagine this.

“It is right to enjoy this moment with our fans. This moment is very important for Chelsea. We are in a moment when it is right to build something important.

“We lost many fantastic players for Chelsea, for example [Branislav] Ivanovic and [John Obi] Mikel and now John Terry. Players that have written the history of Chelsea.

“Now it is important to create a good foundation and to build something important for the future.”

Then Conte added:

“This league is very tough. It is great to win after the last win with Claudio [Ranieri].

“Claudio did a fantastic job last season. To arrive in my first season and to repeat what Claudio did, I am proud for me and for my family.

“I think it is amazing for me, the players, the club, it is a great achievement. After a very tough season, don’t forget this. But now it is right to enjoy this.”

“This change was very important because we found the right balance and every single player enjoyed this type of situation.

“The key moment for us and then a lot of work. I must be pleased because I found the players who had never played this system and to change totally – a back three is very different to a back four – it was not easy.

“I found fantastic players and great men.”

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte praises his players after today's win at Stamford Bridge vs Watford which guaranteed three points to the Blues in the Premier League table.   "We show good character, good spirit, we...