Tags Posts tagged with "top four"

top four

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Chelsea second goalkeeper Asmir Begovic revealed what is the team target in this new season under Antonio Conte:

“The main goal is the top four and we can do it,” Begovic is quoted as saying by The Daily Mirror.

“Of course we want to win the title but getting back in the Champions league is crucial.”

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Nemanja Matic in action © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic is optimistic and believes that the Blues, now 10th in the table with 40 points – 10 points under Manchester City that occupies the fourth spot with 50 points and one game in hand- can still finish in the top four.

“We’re a big team and we want to be closer to the top four,” the Serbian midfielder stated after the draw with Stoke City.

“It’s very difficult to catch them but we will try our best to win every game.

“We can certainly be in the top six and who knows what happens if we keep winning.

“It’s difficult – and maybe impossible – but in football anything can happen.”

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Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel stated that Chelsea is a better place since José Mourinho has gone:

“We’ve moved on and the atmosphere has improved since the change of manager. It’s fine now, we’ve just not been getting results. José is a fantastic manager and will always be a fantastic guy. But sometimes football is a cruel game and you have to move on. He came back to the club a second time and won two trophies but now he’s gone and we have to move on. Is it the right decision? Who knows? We’ll only see in the future.

“He [Hiddink] hasn’t changed much yet but he was here before and he knows the place and all the staff. The players are different – only me and John Terry were here before – but he knows what to do. We’re down there in the table for a reason so he can’t come in and perform miracles but we want to get out of there and climb the table. We’ve had three games now without losing so are making the right steps.”

Mikel cannot explain why Chelsea went through such a bar run:

“I’ve been as confused as everyone else. It’s difficult when you’re not playing, as you don’t really know what the problems are. I wasn’t playing that much under Mourinho so couldn’t put my finger on what was going wrong. It was a collective thing – the players and the manager were not performing.”

Sometimes you could see in the game that they had chances to attack but were a little bit skeptical or hesitant. Maybe they were a little bit scared.

“I don’t think they were really scared but just a bit cautious. They were playing not to lose as well. Because of the fast players we have up front, who can break, they were cautious and approached the game not to lose. Both teams are not in the right place right now to attack, attack, attack, attack. Sometimes you have to be smart and settle for a point.”

On Rooney and Oscar tackle he said: “I didn’t see the tackle but from what I’ve heard it was a bit high. The other players were talking about it at the end and they said he should have been sent off. Oscar is fine though.”

For the midfielder the top four is still possible:

“I don’t think it’s gone yet. We’ve got a lot of games left to play and points to catch up. If we keep going in this direction and keep keeping clean sheets then we’ll definitely score goals.”

 

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Ahead of Monday’s clash against current Premier League leaders Leicester City, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho spoke to the press.

Asked if Chelsea are still able to finish in Premier’s League top four:

“Before we lost the last three points against Bournemouth, I was convinced of a great December for us, to go for fourth.”

“Now it’s not so easy, so who knows.”

“I have to say, the last defeat was something that was far away from what I believed could happen.”

On Chelsea’s unexpected disastrous results and chances to turn around the season:

“Last year, Ranieri was sacked by Greece for Faroe Islands. Now, top of the league. It’s exciting.”

On Fabregas, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry and Courtois:

“Cesc Fabregas is in the same moment as the team. It is an intimate relationship. The team is not playing well and it is difficult for the players to play well. “Last season, you could go through the whole team: Courtois – amazing, Ivanovic – amazing, Cahill – amazing, John – amazing. Now, there are only one or two. But every minute I see him on the pitch he is totally committed.”

Mourinho is convinced that he still has the full support of Chelsea fans:

“I know for sure Chelsea fans don’t have memory problems,”

“They don’t need that vitamin to improve memory”

Asked about the rumours in relation to Real Madrid:

“I imagine myself finishing my contract with Chelsea. I have three-and-a-half years on my contract. After that I imagine myself coaching – not every club, there are some clubs I will never manage – but every club in the world.”

Mourinho praises coach Ranieri for his achievements as Leicester manager :

“I think he won manager of the month. He should win manager of the half-term… the first six months.”

On the unexpected success of Leicester this season:

“First of all, they [Leicester] deserve to be where they are.. I said before they can’t be champions, maybe I have to think twice.”

“To be there in December is different story. It would be something magnificent, something to impress the football world. Why not?”

On the surprising Garry Monk release from Swansea:

“no, what happened at Swansea was ‘not normal”.

On the injuries:

”Everyone is fit and well.”

 

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Former Manchester City manager and legendary Liverpool forward Kevin Keegan has no doubt that Chelsea are unable to finish in the Premier League top four this season.

Jose Mourinho’s team sit 14th in the Premier League table, already 15 points behind a top four. Defeat to Bournemouth was their eighth league loss and according to Keegan, there is no chance for Chelsea to finish in the Premier League top four this season.

Keegan told beIn Sport:

“Chelsea are struggling to find any kind of form,”

“I felt if ever Chelsea were going to have a chance of getting back into the top four, which I still thought up until this match they could, it’s gone now.”

“It’s not only gone because there is a gap appearing, it’s gone because they’ve lost their way.”

“Their best players (last season) are almost their worst players and they just seem like a club that’s not able to dominate a game anymore,”

“You watch that team and you can’t see them going on a good run.”

Keegan has admitted also that several Chelsea players, such as Nemanja Matic, Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas or Branislav Ivanovic have failed to live up to expectations this season:

“Matic was outstanding last season. This season, he’s not the same player. Ivanovic used to set the standard and now he’s not the same. Hazard is the same. If you take all those things away, you see now what looks a very average team.”

“I’ve said it before with their pre-season but Chelsea look a little bit behind the pace and you can’t catch that up very quickly. For Fabregas it looks like the game is too quick for him. You take confidence out of a player, it can have that effect. The coach doesn’t really know how to put this right.”

“Mourinho has never been in this situation before. He’s always had success on success. Something happened between him and Roman Abramovich. At the start of the season, we felt he wasn’t happy because he hadn’t got the players in that he wanted and I still feel it’s a little bit of that.”

 

 

 

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JOSE MOURINHO
Chelsea manager José Mourinho © Francesca Ceciarini

Speaking to BT Sport Chelsea boss José Mourinho explained why it was dangerous to return to Chelsea in 2013, after his spells at Inter and Real Madrid:

It was dangerous. It was dangerous for many reasons,” claimed the Portuguese.

The first reason is the old saying, don’t go back to where you were happy before. Why? Because people love me here and Chelsea fans look at me as somebody that was important in a certain moment of Chelsea history.

Why risk the prestige and the passion you got? In that perspective, it was a difficult situation.

“The second situation was because the Chelsea top team finished. No more Essien, Makelele, Lampard, Cole, Drogba – finished.

“The third reason is the evolution of the Premier League. Even if you want to win the league, you risk finishing outside the top four.

“Two seasons ago – Manchester United out of the top four. Last season – Liverpool out of the top four. Next season – somebody will also be out of the top four.

When you start a season in a top club, you can be the champion or you can be out of the top four. So I think yes, it’s risky.”

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