Jan 092013

Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo has expressed his admiration for Frank Lampard, insisting he would love to play alongside him in Italy.

The Chelsea legend’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season, and Roman Abramovich has reportedly refused to offer the 34 year-old an extension. No official stance has been given by the club or player.

Manchester United, Juventus, Inter Milan, Queens Park Rangers and various others have all been linked with moves for the England veteran, with the R’s unlikely to be able to afford his wages.

Should the Blues fail to change their stance, Pirlo would love for Frank to join him at Juventus. The Italian said: “They would be mad to let him leave Chelsea, he’s still one of the best in the world.

“If he wants to play in Italy I would welcome him to Juventus with open arms. Lampard could have another four years at the top in Italy.”

Chelsea fans will not welcome the club’s decision to release him, but will have to accept that the club is bigger than any one player. We have signed a plethora of young midfield talent, and are expected to carry on doing so. We will need to sign an influential player in midfield, who can lead the team the way Franky has for years. The ideal professional, who will be missed dearly.

Dec 062012

David Luiz believes Chelsea could restore their European reputation in the Europa League following the “embarrassment” of becoming the first Champions League holders to crash out of the competition before Christmas.

Chelsea we’re last night eliminated from the Champions League, regardless of their 6-1 win at home to Nordsjaelland, after Juventus’ away win against Shakhtar Donetsk put the Italian champions through.

Chelsea finished the group in third place, losing out to second-placed Shakhtar Donetsk by an away goal, and are now consigned to playing in the Europa League.

Luiz said: “The Europa League is glamorous for me. I don’t have this title so I want to win it.

“I look to the Europa League like I did the Champions League because I don’t have this medal.

“We can do great things in this competition.”

The Brazilian, who will miss Chelsea’s first Europa League match after incurring a ban for his latest yellow card against the Danish outfit, added: “You have great games in the Europa League. There are great teams in this competition.

“Chelsea don’t have this competition so they need to win this title.”

The defender was asked how the dressing room reacted following the clubs elimination from the Champions League, he responded: “There was embarrassment in the dressing room and also sadness,

“We won the Champions League last season and to get knocked out after the group stage is a great disappointment.

“This is a big club and big clubs deserve to play in big games.

“The best games in the world are in the Champions League.”

“I am sad but football is quick and we have another game in two days and another big competition in one week.

“I can’t spend three or four nights crying, you have to look to the next match.

“We have a difficult game on Saturday so need to change our mood.

“Chelsea need to play in the Champions League every year and the players have this inside our heads.”

Chelsea will qualify for the Champions League, no doubt about it. As for playing in the Europa League, I can’t imagine Chelsea concentrating on it too much, not until the latter stages anyway. It would be nice to win it but we have to concentrate on the Premier League for now. Do we really care about the Europa League?

Dec 042012

Andrea Pirlo is determined to kill off Chelsea’s hopes of being the first team to successfully defend the Champions League on Wednesday night.

A win or a draw for Juventus against Shakhtar Donetsk will send holders Chelsea out of the competition.

The Blues’ only hope is a Shakhtar win in Ukraine coupled with a Stamford Bridge victory over Group E whipping boys Nordsjaelland.

Juve playmaker Pirlo, said: ‘I’m sorry for Chelsea fans but the next thing they know they will be saying goodbye to the Champions League.

‘If they go out it won’t only be because of what happens tomorrow.

‘We have been superior to Chelsea and beating them 3-0 was a key moment.’

Pirlo has also ruled out any dirty tricks to send Chelsea packing.

He added: ‘If anyone believes that Juve and Shakhtar have agreed to tie then they are mistaken.

‘The difference between finishing first or second is great in terms of the knockout draw. So our motivation to beat Donetsk couldn’t be greater.’

It has been a fear that Juve would attempt to play out a stale-mate, and if no goals come in the first hour, then the teams are almost guaranteed to sit back. Chelsea have to concentrate on getting a win regardless, and that is no easy task considering the current battle with form we have been having. Chelsea need to get their heads out of the ground and come up fighting. Do we still expect Juve to play out a draw?

Nov 282012

Chelsea’s hopes of qualifying past the group stages took a huge blow last night as Luiz Adriano received a suspension for the final group game against Juventus, with Chelsea needing Shakhtar to claim a win.

The striker was suspended for unsporting behaviour, after chasing down a ball and rounding the keeper when the dropped ball was to be given back to the keeper because the referee stopped play for an injury.

The striker went on to score a hat-trick in the 5-2 win over FC Nordsjaelland, but the team we’re currently 1-0 down in the game when the incident happened and may have changed the game.

For Chelsea to qualify for the next round of the Champions League, they will need to win their final group game at home, along with Shakhtar to beat Juventus in Ukraine.

Adriano’s ban is just for the one game and will return for the knockout rounds.

UEFA also ordered the striker to do ‘one full day of community football service’.

The striker has played in each group game so far, and will be a big miss for Shakhtar, but with Shakhtar’s goals coming from a wide selection of players, I still feel as though they will beat Juventus in Ukraine. We just have to beat the Danes at Stamford Bridge.

Nov 202012

In a week full of intense pressure, from the speculation surrounding his job safety to the build up to two crunch games, Roberto Di Matteo has spoken out in the press this week.

Rumours surrounding Stamford Bridge are suggesting that the Italian manager, who lead the Chelsea team to success in last years Champions League, could well be sacked if they were to lose on Tuesday night in Turin, against a very strong Juventus team.

A loss to Juventus will potentially put Chelsea into third in their group with only the one game remaining, and could leave them at risk of becoming the first Champions League holders to be eliminated via the group stages.

Di Matteo admitted on Friday he feared Roman Abramovich was going to sack him before he was promoted to caretaker manager at Chelsea last year.

Speaking out this week, Robbie said: “I’m not thinking about that,”

“I’m preparing for the game and the team for tomorrow, and have important decisions to make about that.

“We are very confident we can have a good game and, hopefully, a good result.”

In contrast to when Andre Villas-Boas was sacked last year, the team seem to be sticking together with no mention of player power that we heard so much about last season.

The Chelsea manager insisted: “They need to have belief in themselves, and that’s the most important aspect.

“We work together and, at the moment, we’re all in it together and believe we have a good group, a good team, and are pulling together.”

I would like us to get behind the manager, who guided us to a much more than satisfactory season on the back of a dip in form last season, and I believe the manager will do all he can to turn this bad form around. With the fans behind him I believe we will turn this around quickly. Come on you blues.

Nov 192012

David Luiz spoke to reporters after the loss on Saturday, and seemed unconcerned with the loss in form, pointing out that 2 wins could put us back on the top of the Premier League table.

After a run of 3 league games without a win, Chelsea had hoped to return to winning ways, but that was never going to be an easy feat against a West Brom side who has dropped only two points at home all season.

Speaking to reporters after the match on Saturday, Luiz said: “The thing about the Premier League is its magic. In my first season we were 18 points behind and then in the last two games we could have won the league.

“That is long time from now, but Chelsea don’t like to be far behind other teams. But in two or three games everything can change and Chelsea could be fighting at the top.

“We had a lot of chances to win the game, but we were unlucky. We’ll now go back to London and think about the next game.

“All the other teams come here and do not have an easy game. They have a great philosophy and a great coach, but we are a little disappointed. Chelsea always want to be top.”

When asked on the subject of the Champions League, he said: “We will work it out for the Champions League, and I think we have a great opportunity to qualify, but both teams, Juventus and Shakhtar are great teams.

“Shakhtar have played together for four years. Juventus will be dangerous. They have a great team.

“The group is different now because they are just one point behind us, so I think it is the most important game in the group.”

A loss in this game could put us third in our Champions League group with one game to play, so I hope David is right and the team can rally and get on with the job. Lets join the rally and get behind our team to help them through this tough time of year. Let us bring our A game to Turin and then on to the Etihad…….

Nov 192012

Roberto Di Matteo has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks, with the Chelsea team´s current slump in form, as well as Pep Guardiola speaking about a return to management next summer, then on Saturday after Chelsea´s 2-1 loss to West Brom, raised voices and arguing were heard coming from the Chelsea dressing room.

Petr Cech is rumoured to be at the centre of the dressing room bust up, furious after Chelsea’s poor defensive display left them four points behind Premier League leaders, Manchester City.

It is not known as to who said what, but the lines ‘rubbish – and you all know it’ and ‘Call yourself Champions League winners?’ Were overheard.

David Luiz, who must have been at the centre of some of the defensive complaints, played down the row, saying ‘We were upset, it is normal. We are disappointed as we should have won this game.’

‘Of course it’s normal. This is a big club and you cannot lose games.’

Robbie has an important week ahead of him, in which 2 more losses could end his reign as boss, with a loss all but eliminating them from the Champions League, and then a further loss leaving them 7 points behind Man City.

The manager has claimed that he will be looking to make some changes to the usual set-up of the team, with David Luiz and Fernando Torres at the top of my wish-list for the axe. I personally don´t care what changes are made, as long as they get us through this coming week without a loss.

Up the Blues!!

Nov 192012

Roberto Di Matteo has been answering questions this weekend, after Chelsea´s second league defeat of the season, on the subject of addressing the current slump in form, and on the possibility of making changes to the way the team are playing.

The manager admitted: “Absolutely it is a challenging time when you don’t win games and you need to instil confidence in players and to the team and that is going to be a tough job.”

He was then asked if Fernando Torres could be dropped, he replied “I think we will have to assess the whole team and see how everybody is, and how they have recovered.

“A lot of players have only come back from international duty yesterday or maybe Thursday afternoon from everywhere, from Europe and the rest of the world.

“We will assess them and see what the right selection is for Tuesday. But if I believe it is the right thing to do for the team, then yeah.

“I think as a team we have to be better defending, you don’t defend with one player, you defend with the whole team, like you want your whole team helping when you are attacking as well.

“It is a defensive organisation on the pitch that we need to look at and as I said maybe I have to do some changes.”

Torres needs to be dropped, not only because he´s playing awful, but to prove that RDM does pick the team himself, and we cannot afford to lose either of the two games this week, with a possible loss midweek putting us at risk of becoming the first holders of the Champions League not to get out of the group stages.

So do what is right and drop Torres, and get us back in the kind of form that has had defences running scared.

Sep 222012

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has called upon his Chelsea teammates to improve the team’s defensive record or face a trophy-less season. Chelsea have only conceded 2 goals in 4 league games this season so far, however they have looked shaky in defence at times and Ivanovic wasn’t happy with how Chelsea conceded 2 cheap goals in their opening Champions League game against Juventus on Wednesday.

The European Champions were 2-0 up against the Italian league winners, but as the game progressed, the defence started to struggle and Juventus scored 2 goals to draw the game 2-2. Juventus are a strong side who were unbeaten in Serie A last season but still…

The Serbian realises that, to win a game, you need to attack, however he has called for the team to strengthen itself defensively. When speaking to the London Evening Standard, Ivanovic said;

“We started well against Juventus but after that it was too easy for them, we can improve 50 per cent more on this performance.”

“We are playing differently this year, with more emphasis on attacking, but everyone also has to be focused on defending and being organised. This is what helped us get good results last year.”

Chelsea’s attacking options are vastly improved this season but if you leak goals, you will struggle to win anything.

“It’s all about our concentration and motivation. We have to think that every situation is dangerous and cover well. It’s more of a mental situation because our training is hard enough to prepare for a big game. Mentally we have to do more.
“Every player has to self-motivate themselves, to make sure they are in the right position and be in the right way, so they can give good things for the team.”
It was Chelsea’s defending that gave them the results they needed last season and their defensive duties certainly showed in their run to Champions League glory. Let’s see if the Chelsea defence can re-organise and show the same strength and resilience as they did at times last season.

Sep 122012

Italy’s most successful ever team, the old lady Juventus, are back at the top after the scandal of match fixing saw them demoted to the second division, stripped of titles and many of their players leave. The club won Serie A last year after going the whole season unbeaten in the league.

Their record goal scorer Alessandro Del Pierro has left the club on a free transfer and their attempts to sign a big name replacement in the summer were somewhat less than successful. They ended up loaning Denmark and Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner on loan with an option to buy, and have since admitted that they didn’t really want him all that much.

Bendtner is also, apparently, out of shape and the fans are not happy after being linked with Robin van Persie, Luis Suarez and Fernando Llorente. Most people expect Juve to strengthen their strike force in January, and Llorente was the favourite to get the nod. The Spanish striker has told his bosses at Bilbao that he will not sign a new deal and his contract is up next summer.

Talksport have reported, however, that Fernando Torres could be the man who Juventus go for. They believe that they can prise him from Chelsea for much less than the £50 million that Roman Abramovich paid Liverpool for the 28-year old. If Torres’ form is similar to last season’s then they might be right, but if his return to form continues, I doubt that Roberto Di Matteo will allow him to go anywhere.