Monday, 28 February 2011

Shooting Practice Takes on a new Meaning at Chelsea

Shooting practice took on a whole new meaning at Chelsea over the weekend as Ashley Cole gave people yet another reason to not like him.

The England left back provided further ammunition for his detractors by making both front and back page news when it was reported he had shot a student on work experience with an air rifle at the club's Cobham training ground.

Speaking to reporters ahead of Chelsea’s game against Manchester United, Carlo Ancelotti revealed that Cole had apologised over the incident and that despite being disappointed with the player he will start at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

‘First he said sorry to the guy that was involved in this, second sorry to the team-mates, third sorry to the club,’ he told reporters.

‘Obviously we are not happy with what happened, but I have spoken with him. He was really disappointed with this, he said sorry, he made a mistake, it was an accident, and now obviously we have taken the proper action, but tomorrow he will play and I think he is focused to play a good game.’

‘He stepped over the line about the rules and we will take the proper action.’

The Chelsea boss admitted to having no idea that the gun was brought to the training ground, but insisted that there wasn't a problem with lack of discipline within his squad.

'Cobham is not out of control. There is discipline. The players have to respect this, if some players step over the line we have to take some action,' Ancelotti said.

'From outside nobody can say we are out of control because we have internal discipline.'

'You can judge the players on the pitch. They are showing fair play, respect for the referees and the fans. This is what we have to judge not other things.'

Saturday, 26 February 2011

The Drog Days are Over at Chelsea?


The arrival of Fernando Torres at Stamford Bridge has signalled the beginning of a new era in Chelsea's attack, which has raised questions about Didier Drogba’s future at the club.

The Ivory Coast international has been at the centre of attention at Chelsea since his £24million move from Marseilles in 2004, thanks to his impressive record for the club of 141 goals from 295 appearances.

Drogba enjoyed his best campaign to date for Chelsea last season scoring 37 goals from 44 games as the west London side claimed the domestic Double, but he has struggled to retain the same goal scoring form this season.

The striker has been far from prolific this campaign with his record currently standing at just 10 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions and he has been pushed down the Blues' pecking order since the signing of Fernando Torres.

The former Marseille ace turns 33 next month and is in the final eighteen months of his contract, which has led to speculation as to his departure in the summer.

There has been talk of a summer clear-out at Chelsea and suggestions that they might look to cash-in on Drogba as they look to build the team around new £50million signing Fernando Torres.

Marseille have already announced their intention of trying to re-sign Drogba, but he has insised that he is not even thinking about his future and is focused on ending the campaign well with the Blues.

'I could not comment at the moment on speculation,' Drogba said. 'I have a contract with Chelsea until June 2012. '

'I just want to finish the season strongly, I am not thinking about my future contract at the moment I just want to put Chelsea on a good run.'

Are Drogba’s days numbered at Chelsea?

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Top 4 Finish: Make or Break for Chelsea Boss Carlo Ancelotti?

Having conceded that Chelsea are no longer realistic title contenders, Carlo Ancelotti has set his sights upon securing a top four finish in the Premiership as well as FA  Cup and Champions League glory to salvage his team's season.

Chelsea have slipped down to fifth in the league and face an intense battle with Tottenham to finish in the top four to qualify for the Champions League.

Speaking about his teams targets for the season the Chelsea boss stated 'For us the most important step now is to reach fourth place because we know we have to fight with other teams.'

'Our aim is very clear. We have the Champions League, the FA Cup and we have to close the gap. But we have to reach fourth place to maintain Chelsea in the Champions League for next season.'

Some have suggested that Ancelotti could be in danger of losing his job if results don't improve, given Roman Abramovich's lack of tolerance for failure.

Fans of football betting may wish to have a quick flutter as Ancelloti is one of the favourites to get to boot as the season draws to an end. 

A recent interview with Jose Mourinho has even sparked talk of the unlikely return of the Special One to Stamford Bridge.

Is Carlo still the man for the job at Chelsea?

Tottenham's Olympic Stadium Plans

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Success in Store for Liverpool this Season?


A ‘Yes we can’ style confidence is starting to evolve at Anfield in a season which had looked for so long to be lacking in promise.

Forums have been abuzz with talk of a possible fourth place finish as well as Europa League glory following the upturn in results since Kenny Dalglish made his return to managing Liverpool.

Discussing a fourth place finish would have seemed ludicrous a few short weeks ago, but the turnaround in Liverpool’s fortunes has seen them come within six points of the hallowed Champions league places.

Liverpool have begun to build up some momentum whilst Chelsea and Tottenham have both dropped points.

To add to this Roy Hodgson successfully guided Liverpool into the final 32 of the Europa League which they are second favourites to win behind Manchester City.

King Kenny is keen to not get carried away, emphasising the importance of focusing on the next game rather than setting long term goals.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Lou & Andy, Liverpool's £58m Strikeforce


Kenny Dalglish has stated that new signings Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll will have to work to earn their place in the Liverpool starting lineup following his team’s victory over Chelsea this weekend.

Suarez was on the bench for yesterdays game whilst it will be a few weeks until £35million Carroll makes his Liverpool debut.

Speaking about his new strikers Dalglish said ‘We’ve signed two fantastic players in Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll, and we are looking forward to seeing them coming back to play, if they can get in the team.’

‘The way the boys played today, it won’t be too easy for them. We’re delighted. It was a busy day on Monday, but I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season. It's been a great week.’

The Liverpool boss was full of praise for the match winning goal scorer Raul Miereles who has racked up four goals in his last five games.

‘Raul Meireles is in a real rich vein of form at the moment’, said Dalglish. ‘The wee man gets up in support in the box, has great technique.’

‘He’s been fantastic since I came in. As a reward for all his hard work and ability, he’s also scored a few goals.’

Liverpool have had an upturn in results following Kenny's appointment as manager with four clean sheets and 12 points in the last four games, which has bought them up to sixth place in the league.

‘If you win games, you get points, you move up the table,’ said the Scot. ‘As long as we continue to do that, keep our feet on the ground. We’ve had our reward with four on the spin, and we’ve got next Saturday to look forward to against Wigan.’

‘It’s repetitive, but in my footballing life I was only ever told to look after the next game. At the end of the season, we’ll add the points up. Sixth is a lot healthier than 12th when we started. That’s credit to the players.’