Conte: Searching for solutions

Antonio Conte insists he and his players will work together to find ‘the right solution to improve’ as they spend the week preparing for Saturday’s visit to Hull City.

The Blues were defeated 3-0 by Arsenal on Saturday and after a frustrating evening at Emirates Stadium, Conte stressed a period of contemplation is needed before fully assessing his side’s performance.

‘I think we must have time to reflect a lot,’ said the head coach. ‘It’s important for me and the players to reflect.

‘After this defeat, it’s normal for me to not sleep – not only for one night, but two. When I don’t sleep, I reflect. And it’s important to reflect.

‘I’ll watch the game again and I need to find the solution to improve very soon because we played a very bad game.

‘When you want to win you must have a good balance when you attack and when you defend. I think this is the right way if you want to win.

‘It’s important to work together in defensive situations and in offensive situations. We must work together. We can improve a lot and it’s important to understand this and try to work together.’

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger described his side’s first-half performance as ‘nearly perfect’. Chelsea conceded all the goals in that period and Conte admitted the dressing room during the interval reflected this.

‘Sure, I was angry, but also my players were angry,’ he added. ‘We weren’t satisfied with our performance. But I prefer to keep my words. There are the rules in the dressing room and you must respect this.

‘It’s important to take this experience like an opportunity that if we want to come back very soon or fight for something important, it’s important to improve.

‘We win and we lose like a team. We must continue to think in the same way always, that’s important.

 

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Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford issues apology to fans after ‘liking’ celebratory Arsenal photos.

Bamford has defended his actions on Twitter after upsetting some Chelsea supporters.

On-loan Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford has issued an apology to the club’s fans after liking Mesut Ozil and Hector Bellerin’s Instagram posts celebrating Arsenal‘s 3-0 win over the Blues on Saturday (24 September). The 23-year-old angered some fans of the Stamford Bridge club after he approved of the Arsenal duo’s celebratory pictures following their one-sided success at the Emirates Stadium.

Bamford is currently on loan with Burnley and has clarified his behaviour, insisting he was merely “liking my friends pics”. He has, however, said that he did not wish to upset Chelsea or any of the club’s supporters.

“Wth regards 2 the Instagram pics I liked, was only liking my friends pics as I’ve done many a time. No shade or disrespect intended. Sorry (sic),” the on-loan Chelsea youngster tweeted.

Bamford joined Chelsea from Nottingham Forest in 2012, but was recently farmed out on loan for the sixth time in his career at the club, having previously spent time with Milton Keynes Dons, Derby County, Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace and Norwich City.

Bamford left Palace in abrupt fashion in 2015, saying his loan spell with the south London club had been “terrible”. The Chelsea youngster terminated his year-long loan spell at Selhurst Park due to a lack of first-team football, having made only six appearances in the Premier League from the bench.

Wth regards 2the Instagram pics I liked, was only liking my friends pics as I’ve done many a time. No shade or disrespect intended. Sorry!

“If I were being honest, it has been terrible. No one wants to sit on the bench and not play,” the Chelsea striker subsequently said, according to Sky Sports. “It was my decision. The coaches have just found out – I have told them I am going. The gaffer hasn’t actually spoken to me. I will go in and say bye now. But I think it will be fine. Shake hands and say it didn’t work out. No hard feelings.”

Source : http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/

Mario Pasalic will not return to Chelsea midway through loan spell, agent confirms

Exclusive: Croatian midfielder’s agent responds to reports regarding possible return to Chelsea.

Mario Pasalic’s agent Federico Pastorello spoke exclusively to IBTimes UK and made it “absolutely” clear that his client will not be rejoining Chelsea after failing to break into the AC Milan first-team thus far this campaign. The Croatian midfielder joined the Serie A giants on a season-long loan and will remain with them at least until next summer before he returns to Stamford Bridge.

According to Italian publication Calcio Mercato, Milan were planning to cut short the loan deal for the midfielder despite paying a £1m ($1.3m) fee to take him to the San Siro during the latter stages of this summer’s transfer window. Vincenzo Montella has a number of midfielders at his disposal for a limited number of positions and Pasalic is said to be behind Suso, Jose Sosa, Juraj Kucka, Riccardo Montolivo, Giacomo Bonaventura and Andrea Poli in the pecking order when it comes to a place in the first-team squad.

The Croatia international’s agent, however, has dismissed suggestions of a return to England at the moment and believes it is only a matter of time before he gets his chance in the Serie A. The 21-year-old midfielder is returning from a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a back injury and is likely to be eased back into action to avoid a setback.

“It is absolutely not in the plan at the moment. The championship started only one month ago and Mario reached the team only at the end of August, after a very long injury,” Pastorello told IBTimes UK.

“So he just need time to adapt at the new manager’s tactical scheme and all will be fine,” the on-loan Chelsea midfielder’s representative added.

Pasalic joined Chelsea from Hadjuk Split in his homeland in 2014, but is yet to make an appearance for the Blues having spent the last two seasons on loan with La Liga side Elche during the 2014/15 campaign and last season with AS Monaco in Ligue 1.

Source : http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/

Chelsea eye Griezmann, Keane as Abramovich plans summer overhaul

The transfer window might be shut, but don’t think the wheeling and dealing won’t continue!

Free transfers can still be submitted to the FAs, plus there’s January to start thinking about. As always, you can see all the latest deals here.

Top Story: Abramovich to back Chelsea revolution

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is ready to back manager Antonio Conte and sanction an overhaul of the Blues’ playing squad, with a new “full-back, another central defender, a midfielder and a new forward” on the Italian manager’s wanted list, according to the Daily Telegraph.

After a promising start to the season with three wins in their first three games, Chelsea have reverted to the disastrous form of the previous campaign and have picked up just one point in their past three fixtures. That leaves them behind pace-setters Manchester City and Arsenal.

Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann is a confirmed target, as is Roma’sAntonio Rudiger, if the German defender can prove his fitness following a knee ligament injury. Another target could be Burnley’s Michael Keane, with Chelsea having made preliminary enquiries about the defender’s availability,the Mirror claimed in a separate report.

But any major revamp of the playing squad will have to wait until next summer, it is claimed, which gives underperforming stars such as Branislav Ivanovic and out-of-favour midfielder Cesc Fabregas time to prove their worth at Stamford Bridge.

 

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REVEALED: Mikel Is King, Read Why

Contrary to reports that Manchester City teen star Kelechi Iheanacho is Nigeria’s highest earning player in England, Owngoalnigeria.com gathered that Mikel Obi is by far the highest paid Nigerian footballer in Europe.

Past reports has it that Iheanacho new deal is worth £85,000 a week, £10,000 more than what Mikel is currently earning at Chelsea. But recent research has it that the 19 year old Man City star is on a weekly wage of £10,000 a week but has a contract with incentives that means he earns almost twice the amount in a week.

However Mikel’s current earning of £75,000 a week is the highest among all Nigerian players in Europe, where Victor Moses comes next on a reported salary of £50,000 a week at Chelsea.

Alex Iwobi of Arsenal, Odion Ighalo at Watford and Emmanuel Amuneke of Turkish side Fenerbahce round up the top five for Nigerian players earning big money at their various team in Europe.

The title of the highest earning Nigerian player still remains with former Inter-Milan forward Obafemi Martins, who plays for Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua where he currently earns £130,000 a week.

 

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Conte: Guardiola only better than me because he has it easy

Pep Guardiola’s strong start at Manchester City is down to the job being tailor-made for him, says Antonio Conte.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte believes Pep Guardiola’s comparatively superior start to life at Manchester City is down to the Catalan having it easy at the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola has won his first nine matches as City boss, while Chelsea have picked up just one point from the last six available in the Premier League and travel to Arsenal on Saturday.

Both Premier League newcomers were expected to take time to transition into English management, but Guardiola has shown little sign that his methods will need to bed in,.

Chelsea, by contrast, have struggled for fluency in many of their matches under Conte’s stewardship.

However, the former Italy coach believes that friendlier surroundings meant Guardiola was always more likely to enjoy a superior start.

“I think that Manchester City they are playing similar football to what they played in the past,” he said.

“You must see what type of tactical situation you find [when taking over a club].

“That is because the directors of football are Spanish and they bought a lot of players who are used to this idea of football and these tactics. I think it is a bit easier for his players to get into his ideas.”

Conte has undertaken a rebuilding job at Stamford Bridge after last season’s disastrous title defence under Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink, who took over following the Portuguese’s sacking.

Embarking on the 12th managerial reign of Roman Abramovich’s 13-year ownership at Stamford Bridge, Conte does not fear the notoriously twitchy trigger finger of the Russian billionaire.

“When you trust your work, you are never afraid [of being sacked],” Conte said. “I am doing my work and I continue to do my work in the same way that I did in the past and in the present, continuing as usual.

“I am sure that if I don’t win tomorrow, if I don’t win the next game, I am sure that in the future I will win, I am sure.

“I discussed about my job with the club before I arrived to sign and before I signed I think that here and at every club before you sign or they take a new manager, it is important to speak about what work the manager did in the past.”
Read more at http://www.fourfourtwo.com/

Conte admits Chelsea are not living up to their billing

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte pulled few punches as he suggested his players are “only good on paper” after they were hammered 3-0 by Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

In comments that will reverberate around the Chelsea dressing room, a sullen Conte suggested his players need to work hard if they are to live up to their reputations under his watch.

An error strewn and sub-standard display handed Arsenal their first win against Chelsea since 2011, with Conte clearly infuriated by his side’s feeble surrender.

“After today we are thinking we must work a lot because we are a great team only on paper,” he stated, in a damning statement.

“It is always a team problem rather than individuals. When nothing works it is very hard for a player to play well.

“I don’t want to talk about the mistake [Gary Cahill]. it is not right for the player. We win and lose as a team.

“If someone thinks this team is ready to fight, I think we must wait to improve a lot to come back a great team on the pitch, not just on paper.

“We have not got the balance and now is the moment to consider everything. It is incredible to concede three goals.

“We must have last season present in our mind to not repeat the mistakes. We must reflect a lot to find very soon the right way.”

The mood in the Arsenal camp could not have been more contrasting, as manager Arsene Wenger offered up this upbeat version of his side’s big win.

“It was an outstanding team performance. We played with spirit and collective pace and movement. Always in a positive and committed team way,” said Wenger.

“Our defenders have done extremely well today. You cannot say one player was not at the right level from Petr Cech to Alexis Sanchez.

“We wanted to start strong in a high pace and committed way. We started wobbly in the first 20 minutes against Southampton.

“We wanted to be consistent in our pressure no matter the score. We did it very well in the first half. It was in and out in the second, which was understandable.

“Ideally you want the perfect game and you never get it. We got nearly the perfect first half and that is not bad.”

Source : http://www.sundayworld.com/

Conte could replace Cahill & Ivanovic with Championship heroes

After another shambolic display in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Arsenal – which means the Blues have now conceded 11 goals in four games – Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is reportedly planning a defensive clear-out.

That’s the Chelsea transfer news coming from the Daily Mail, who claim that Conte will phase out Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic.

Conte is already said to be on the lookout for replacements, with the same source claiming that Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson and Burnley’s Michael Keane are on his scouting list.

Centre-half Gibson and right-back Keane bossed things in the Championship last season, becoming heroes at their respective clubs, who both achieved promotion to the Premier League.

Stepping up one division to the top flight was a huge step, but a move to Chelsea would be even bigger for the young English defenders, both 23.

Chelsea were linked with a whole host of defenders over the summer, before they finally landed David Luiz and Marcos Alonso late in the transfer window.

According to the Daily Mail, Conte was unable to sign his top targets, who were apparently Juventus rock Leonardo Bonucci and Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly.

Source : http://www.caughtoffside.com/

Mikel: I told Moses he should never have left Chelsea

The Nigeria captain has praised his compatriot and has pinpointed why he thinks his team-mate is performing to a higher level on the field under Antonio Conte this season.

John Obi Mikel has revealed that he told Victor Moses not to leave Chelsea on loan for Liverpool, Stoke and West Ham in recent years – but confessed that the striker’s time away has readied him for success this season.

Moses repeatedly declined his team-mate’s advice to find a string of temporary moves away from Stamford Bridge but is now finally having his breakthrough campaign under new manager Antonio Conte, despite having joined the club over four years ago.

The 25-year-old winger has appeared in all of the Blues’ first seven matches this term, but Mikel believes that he could have forced his way into the team much sooner.

“I always told him: ‘Where are you going?’ every time he goes away,” Mikel told Goal. “‘Where are you going? I mean, you always go out on loan, but why? Stay here and fight, you are a very good player, a young player. You are quick, you are strong, you are fast, you can dribble, where are you going? Why are you always running away from this football club?’

“Every time I talk to him, he says he wants to play football and I think he has found a manager who will give him time, who believes he has got a lot to offer the team. I think he is ready to take up that challenge as well. I think it is the right time for Vic to be here.

“I think, if he was here another time, I don’t think he would have made it, but I think that this is the right time for him.”

Moses has found himself third in the pecking order behind Eden Hazard and Willian but has made regular appearances off the bench and in cup competitions, proving his worth by netting twice already this season.

Mikel believes that Conte has drawn a previously unseen work ethic out of his fellow Nigerian and expects Moses to get even better over the campaign.

“He looks to me a changed player, a player who wants to be here,” the midfielder added. “He wants to work hard in training because before that has been the big problem with Victor – he doesn’t train well and then the managers don’t want to play him.

mikel-and-victor-moses_1in4fwjmdmvp21ded5kao6eu0z

“I think Vic is a totally changed player. He trains well and you can see that. In the games, when he plays, he plays really well. Vic is going to have a very, very good season this season. So I wish him well.”

Moses’s years in the wilderness have been typical of Chelsea’s recent transfer policy. The Blues are infamous for stockpiling young players and then sending them out on loan. At present, they have 38 players on loan at various clubs around Europe.

Source : Goal.com

West Ham vs Chelsea in EFL Cup raises further security questions over London Stadium

he policing of West Ham United’s potentially explosive EFL Cup tie against Chelsea next month is still in doubt, with no prospect of the new police radio system being installed in time for the game which the Metropolitan police force says it needs for officers to work within the stadium.

The club are facing an early test of their security measures after the Football League drew them against Chelsea for the fourth round tie, to be played on Oct 25 or Oct 26 at the London Stadium, followingrecent incidents that have seen violence erupt within the newly adapted former Olympic stadium.

The installation of the police radio system, which the Metropolitan police say that they need in order to have emergency services within the ground, is the responsibility of the stadium operators London Stadium 185. The system was ordered in March via the Met with the subcontractors Airwave but is still yet to be installed.

There was violence among West Ham fans during the recent Premier League game against Watford that drew attention to the absence of police officers within the stadium.

With the Chelsea game likely to be assessed as a higher risk “Category B” or “Category C” game then the Met will come under pressure to make sure that they have officers stationed within the ground.

There could be up to 10 per cent of the stadium’s 60,000 capacity given over to Chelsea supporters under the Football League’s new rules for the allocation of cup tickets. The visit of Arsenal on Dec 3 in the Premier League was to be the stadium’s first Category C, big London derby followed by Chelsea in March and then Tottenham Hotspur, arguably West Ham’s biggest top-flight London rivals, in May

The fighting in the stands during the game against Watford on Sept 10 drew attention to the absence of the police radio system which the Met said was a prerequisite of them stationing officers within the ground. As things stand the command centre is at the Queen Elizabeth Park headquarters and police only deploy in the stadium in emergencies.

If the Chelsea tie is a Category B or Category C match then the likelihood is that the Met will have to find a way of positioning officers within the stadium whether they have the radio system in place or not.

West Ham lease the stadium from E20, the owners, who use London Stadium 185 (LS185) to run it on a day-to-day basis. E20 have brought in the former Met assistant commissioner Chris Allison to help LS185 with security. LS185 have raised their number of matchday stewards from 750 to 950 and are bringing in more experienced individuals who have worked in football before. There are three West Ham home matches before the Chelsea EFL Cup tie, starting with Sunday’s home game against Southampton.

Since violence erupted during the Watford game, West Ham have banned 20 supporters and relocated a further 200. The problem centred upon season ticket holders with a different expectation of their match-day experience, sitting together which prompted arguments over persistent standing.

For the third round EFL Cup tie against Accrington Stanley on Wednesday, the club also widened the segregation line between home and away supporters. West Ham hope that the measures they have taken will alleviate the issues they have faced in the past. The club’s stadium certificate is issued to LS185 and not the club which means that all security measures are not in West Ham’s hands.

The Metropolitan Police did not comment on Thursday night on whether the radio system would be installed ­before the Chelsea tie or whether they would be able to operate in the stadium without it.

The police, along with Newham Council and stadium owners E20, make up the Safety Advisory Group who will decide whether the game is classed as a Category B or C ­fixture.

Chelsea legend Makelele surprises everyone when naming best teammate

Claude Makelele has played alongside some of the greatest players in the world, so the revelation of his best teammate ever was quite a shocker.

Former Chelsea and Real Madrid star Claude Makelele had a pretty solid career, during which time he played in the same teams as legends of the game. This includes Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, Frank Lampard, Roberto Carlos, Luis Figo and more. But as reported by the Mirror, the Frenchman chose a slightly different player as his best teammate ever.

“I’m not going to say Zidane, because he’s my friend and I’m always talking about him!,” he said.

real_madrid_bernabeu_19976

“I’m going to say Iván Helguera who played in midfield with me at Madrid. We had a great chemistry; we’d train together, we’d eat together. He knew where I’d move on the pitch, I’d know when he was going to push up and try and score. We didn’t even need to talk, just a look was enough to know what the other was going to do.”

Fallen Chelsea hero Dixon aims to rebuild his life

Four months in jail, 10 years of drug abuse, two bankruptcies and hundreds of thousands of pounds blown on gambling are not the figures Kerry Dixon wants to be remembered for but the former Chelsea and England striker is determined to rebuild his life and reputation.

Dixon notched four goals in his eight England appearances and as Chelsea’s third-highest scorer with 193 he is still worshipped by fans who have a deep fondness for those who loyally served in the years before Roman Abramovich’s takeover.

However, the striker’s life spiralled out of control after retirement from the game and hit rock bottom when he was involved in a fight with a man in a pub that led to him being found guilty of actual bodily harm in June 2015 and sentenced to nine months in prison.

Dixon was released after four months and, having lost the hospitality and media jobs he had at his beloved Chelsea, is trying to rebuild his life by working as a labourer.

“I’m going to be remorseful for the rest of my days,” Dixon told Reuters in an interview. “I’m sorry it happened but I’m drawing a line underneath it and trying to move forward.

“I’ve done my time for the crime I committed. I was never sent off in my career and I was booked only five times in 17 years so violence is not my thing.

“The judge saw it as a vicious assault and I’ve got to live with that,” said Dixon.

“But I don’t believe you should be provoked by people in public that you don’t know. If you’ve got nothing nice to say to someone then don’t say anything at all.” The time he spent in prison certainly provided a salutary lesson for Dixon.

“I was in my cell for 16 hours a day and the boredom, the inactivity, the loss of privileges, the whole package, made me realise I’ve got more to offer life than this,” said the 55-year-old.

“I’m not going to say I’m a totally changed person. I still have a drink and I still meet people but I won’t put myself in a position where I see rowdiness and sense things may kick off.

“I was quite comfortable in those situations before. Now I tend to say to whoever I’m with, ‘Come on, let’s go somewhere else’.” One of the most harrowing experiences Dixon endured came within minutes of his sentencing.

SWEAT BOX “I was put in a prison van and the worst part of the journey was the sweat box I had to squeeze into,” he said. “Those vans contain a number of small compartments.

“My shoulders and knees touched the sides and I found it extremely oppressive, made worse by the heat. I started to have a panic attack…I felt like I was in a coffin.

“A dish of water was passed under the door and I gulped it down,” said Dixon who has written a hard-hitting autobiography about his roller-coaster life entitled ‘Up Front’, by John Blake Publishing.

“As a means of transporting prisoners it was horrendous and in my opinion it should be changed, it is inhumane.” Dixon, a member of England’s squad at the 1986 Mexico World Cup, received no special privileges in jail and discovered that boredom was the worst thing about his incarceration.

He had eight different cell mates and said the highlight of each day was the half-hour when the inmates were allowed to get some fresh air in the exercise yard.

“There was a suicide,” Dixon added. “Someone hanged himself in his cell, went into a coma and could not be revived. I never knew the guy.

DEPTHS OF DEPRESSION “When you are inside you appreciate the depths of depression that take hold. It’s easy to slip into feelings of being unwanted and unloved, coupled with loneliness.” There have been several other moments in Dixon’s life where he may have felt similar emotions.

After his career with Chelsea, Southampton, Watford, Reading, Luton Town, Millwall and Doncaster Rovers ended, Dixon developed a drug habit that lasted for around a decade.

“If I stayed up late drinking socially on a night out… I would take cocaine as part of the ritual,” he said.

“Fortunately I have found the urge has died down in recent years. As I no longer have too many late nights, the need for cocaine hardly exists and I’ve managed to shake the habit off.” Dixon also has a string of failed business ventures behind him. He was made bankrupt twice and has lost three homes as a result of the chronic gambling addiction that first took hold when he was a teenager.

At one point during his halcyon spell at Chelsea between 1983-92, his annual salary was 130,000 pounds ($169,429) but he lost 135,000 pounds through gambling in the same year.

“I don’t have a proper home now, I’ve got nothing left,” said Dixon who has three children by his former wife Michele and now lives with his partner Kim.

One thing he will never lose is the adoration of the Chelsea supporters.

For most people the matchday walk from Fulham Broadway underground station to Stamford Bridge takes no more than five minutes, for Dixon it takes three times as long.

Every couple of steps he is greeted by a fan who wants to hug him, shake his hand or simply tell him, ‘You’ll always be a legend here’.

Dixon’s ultimate aim is to re-establish himself with the hierarchy at Chelsea.

“Almost the first thing I did when I came out of prison was to make arrangements to see chairman Bruce Buck,” he said. “I will always naturally gravitate toward Stamford Bridge.

“I loved my job in the hospitality lounges, on Chelsea TV and as a pundit. Were I to be given a second chance back at the Bridge I would be sure not to let them down.”

 

N’Golo Kante was more important to Leicester than he is for Chelsea, says Claudio Ranieri

IT took champions Leicester a while to hit their straps, picking up just four points from their opening four league games, losing two. But the Foxes are in full flow now.

Just in time to face Claudio Ranieri’s former club in a competition the kings of the King Power have fond memories of from the glorious Martin O’Neill era.

Winners in 1997 and 2000 (‘The Matt Elliott Final’) under the charismatic Irishman, the Foxes were runners-up in 1999, losing in the final by the odd goal to Spurs.

Ranieri is well aware of City’s history in the Football League Cup – they were also winners in 1964 and runners-up a year later – and he would love to add the EFL Cup to his CV.

Whilst the affable Italian, with his infectious smile, is backing current Chelsea boss Antonio Conte to deliver trophies he is hoping the League Cup won’t be the first of many.

“‘He’s a winner. He needs time. I think he can lift some trophies,” Ranieri said of Conte, a man he tried to sign as a player when he was manager of Fiorentina back in the day.

Ranieri has faced Chelsea a couple of times as Leicester manager last season – winning one and drawing one – so it’s not a new experience for him.

Unlike City midfielder N’Golo Kante who left for Chelsea in the summer after playing such a significant part in the Foxes historic Premier League title success.

Ranieri, who has seen his improving side record back-to-back 3-0 wins against Club Brugge and Burnley, hopes the home fans will give Kante a warm welcome back to the King Power.

Midfielder enforcer Kante, who signed for the Blues in July for a reported £30m, was the only key player to leave the champions in the summer.

Whilst the likes of Vardy, Drinkwater, Schmeichel and Co committed to the Foxes, Kante decided he had a better chance of becoming a two-time champion with Chelsea. We will see about that.

“I will be very happy if our fans clap him at the beginning and afterwards,” Ranieri said.

As quoted on the BBC Sport website – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37346049 – the forgiving Leicester boss added: “Kante was very important for us.

“I think he was even more important for us than at Chelsea because Chelsea have so many big players.”

 

Chelsea legend Claude Makelele names N’Golo Kante as his successor in world football

Chelsea legend Claude Makelele has named current star N’Golo Kante as the best player in world football in his old position.

Although, the former Real Madrid man doesn’t think that his fellow Frenchman is quite as good as he was just yet – even though teammate Nemanja Matic thinks that he’s actually better than the Stamford Bridge hero.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16:  N'Golo Kante of Chelsea in action during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 16: N’Golo Kante of Chelsea in action during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

‘This position is so difficult to play. You need leadership. It’s about working with your [midfield] partner, understanding each other,’ Makelele told UEFA’s official site.

‘I do like N’Golo Kanté, but whether he’ll be better than me at it I don’t know. He needs time to learn the position, to learn more about the game.

‘He’s a young player I like, but I hope he doesn’t get to be better than I was!’

Makelele became famous for his work in defensive midfield, and was credited with creating the ‘Makelele role’ of a player dedicated to breaking up attacks.

Kante has taken up a similar position for Chelsea after coming to the fore during Leicester City’s shock Premier League title win last season.

Although the 25-year-old hasn’t quite hit the heights of last season yet, he still looks set to become a key part of Antonio Conte’s side at Stamford Bridge – and has reminded former Blues man Michael Ballack of Makelele.

MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 14:  Michael Ballack, former player of Bayern Muenchen is introduced to the public prior to the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Hannover 96 at Allianz Arena on May 14, 2016 in Munich, Germany.  (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)

MUNICH, GERMANY – MAY 14: Michael Ballack, former player of Bayern Muenchen is introduced to the public prior to the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Hannover 96 at Allianz Arena on May 14, 2016 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)

He could play against former club Leicester in the EFL Cup on Tuesday, which would be the first time he has done so sine leaving the King Power Stadium.

Read more: http://metro.co.uk

Diego Costa ‘almost certain’ to be suspended by Christmas, says Chelsea legend Pat Nevin

Diego Costa will almost certainly be suspended before Christmas due to his shocking disciplinary record, predicts Chelsea legend Pat Nevin.

The Spain striker has enjoyed an excellent season so far from a scoring perspective, finding the back of the net in three of Chelsea’s four games.

However he has also managed to pick up a booking at the exact same ratio.

With five yellow cards leading to an automatic ban, Nevin has predicted that Costa will be suspended before too long.

He then quipped: ‘Don’t worry there will be plenty of offers to play pantomime villain flooding in.’
Nevin though was full of praise for how Costa has started a campaign in which Chelsea remain undefeated with 10 points from 12.

SWANSEA, WALES - SEPTEMBER 11:  Diego Costa of Chelsea celebrates with team mates as he scores their first goal during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at Liberty Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

SWANSEA, WALES – SEPTEMBER 11: Diego Costa of Chelsea celebrates with team mates as he scores their first goal during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at Liberty Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

On Costa’s performance in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Swansea in which he scored twice to take his tally to four for the season, Nevin said: ‘The hold-up play when being harried and kicked by two, three and four defenders at a time was stunning. It was nothing less than a lesson on how to lead the line.’

Nevin added: ‘I don’t think there is another all-round striker in the Premier League who is better than him right at this moment. Others may have individual parts that are better, but for goals, power, skill, ability to lead the line and overall influence, Diego is right in the middle of a golden moment. Long may it last.’

On Costa’s performance in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Swansea in which he scored twice to take his tally to four for the season, Nevin said: ‘The hold-up play when being harried and kicked by two, three and four defenders at a time was stunning. It was nothing less than a lesson on how to lead the line.’

Nevin added: ‘I don’t think there is another all-round striker in the Premier League who is better than him right at this moment. Others may have individual parts that are better, but for goals, power, skill, ability to lead the line and overall influence, Diego is right in the middle of a golden moment. Long may it last.’

Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2016

Kante: I spoke to Mourinho about Manchester United move

The French midfielder swapped Premier League champions Leicester City for the Blues in the transfer window but has revealed he could have been playing at Old Trafford.

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante revealed Jose Mourinho tried his utmost to lure him to Manchester United, but he could not turn down Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge.

Kante, 25, swapped Premier League champions Leicester City for Chelsea during the transfer window, the only major player to leave the Foxes.

United were also reportedly interested in the hard-working France international but Mourinho’s efforts ultimately proved unsuccessful.

“It was amazing to have Mourinho call me, even though I’d been warned before how he would appeal to me,” Kante said.

“I listened to his arguments about why I should move to United.

“But at that time I was hesitant between staying at Leicester or leaving for Chelsea.

“My discussions with them were already well underway. But when I spoke, I had a good feeling with Conte.”

Kante has settled well in London, playing every minute of Chelsea’s three Premier League wins to start the season.

Kante: Mourinho Wanted Me At United

N’golo Kante has revealed that Mourinho was keen on bringing him to Old Trafford, before he joined Chelsea.

The former Leicester midfielder was contacted by Mourinho mere weeks after helping the foxes win the EPL.

However, Kante could not be convinced by Mourinho, with the Frenchman completing a £32m move to the Blues.

“It was amazing to have Mourinho call me, even though I’d been warned before how he would appeal to me,” Kante said.

“I listened to his arguments about why I should move to United.

“But at that time I was hesitant between staying at Leicester or leaving for Chelsea.

“My discussions with them were already well underway. But when I spoke, I had a good feeling with Conte.”

Ezequiel Garay says he turned down offers to join Valencia amid Chelsea links

  • Reports in Spain claim that Blues made €30m offer to sign him on deadline day.

  • Argentinian is expected to fill gap left by Shkodran Mustafi to Arsenal.

  • Antonio Conte signed David Luiz instead from Paris Saint Germain.

Ezequiel Garay has confirmed he turned down important offers during the summer transfer window to move to Valencia to fill the gap left by the departure of Shkodran Mustafi to Arsenal. The revelations come after reports in Spain claimed that Chelsea launched a desperate offer to Zenit Saint Petersburg on decline day to lure the Argentinian centre-back to Stamford Bridge.

Garay, 29, has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League in recent years. Manchester United and Arsenal were reportedly interested in his services in previous transfer windows while earlier this week The Times claimed that the Blues had made an approach to sign him as Antonio Conte was desperately looking to bolster his back-line.

Valencia local publication Super Deporte claims that the Blues eventually stepped up the negotiations on deadline day, making an offer worth more than €30m (£25.2m, $33.4m) to convince Zenit to part ways with the player. However, it is claimed that Garay himself decided to turn down Chelsea to move instead to Valencia in deal worth only €20m.

The former Real Madrid defender has now admitted during an interview with the club official radio station that he snubbed other clubs for Valencia, although failing to disclose whether Chelsea were one of them.

“Yes, there were offers from important clubs but from the very first moment I wanted to come (to Valencia) because they had been interested before and it was always my idea to come to Valencia,” Garay said when asked about his reasons to join Valencia ahead of other clubs.

“I have teammates who I played with (at Benfica) like Enzo (Perez) or Rodrigo or Guilherme Siqueira and I they spoke highly about the club. The work of (club sporting director) Suso Garcia Pitarch and the club also encouraged me to come here and I’m grateful. Valencia have been interested in me for a long timer and finally it could be materialised now. I’m very happy.”

Valencia, who also signed Eliaquim Mangala on loan from Manchester City, got this way his man to lead the defence following the departure of Mustafi to Arsenal. Yet, Chelsea also signed the centre-back they were desperately looking to add to the Antonio Conte’s squad by bringing David Luiz back to Stamford Bridge in a surprising deadline day transfer from Paris Saint Germain.

Chelsea sign Marcos Alonso from Fiorentina

Chelsea have signed defender Marcos Alonso from Fiorentina.

Alonso has joined Antonio Conte’s side on a five-year contract for a fee Sky sources believe to be £24m.

Alonso told Chelsea’s club website: “I’m very happy. It’s a step up in my career and I think this is the perfect place for me to continue developing. It’s time for me to win some titles.

“It was an easy decision for me to make when I heard the club were interested in signing me.

“My family and close friends know Chelsea is the club I have dreamed about playing for so I’m really excited about the challenge and I’m looking forward to working with my new team-mates.”

The 25-year-old will now have his third stint in the Premier League, having played for Bolton between 2010 and 2013 and spending a six-month loan spell with Sunderland in 2014.

 Alonso, who came through the Real Madrid academy and has represented Spain at U19 level, made 75 appearances in all competitions for Fiorentina in two seasons with the club, helping the Italian side to a fifth-place finish in Serie A last campaign.

Chelsea duo allowed to leave on temporary basis to earn first-team experience

  • Matt Miazga has joined Vitesse Arnhem until the end of the season.

  • Chelsea now have 38 players on loan following the departures of Miazga and Piazon.

Matt Miazga and Lucas Piazon are the latest Chelsea youngsters to leave the club on a temporary basis after they secured loan moves to Vitesse Arnhem and Fulham respectively. The former will spend the entire 2016/17 campaign on loan in the Netherlands, while the latter is on loan until 15 January. The duo’s departure makes it 38 players out on loan for Chelsea.

Miazga joined during the Blues during the January transfer window this year from New York Red Bulls and went on to make two appearances under Guus Hiddink last term. The 21-year-old centre-back has been loaned out to gain regular first-team experience as his path to the senior team at Stamfrod Bridge is blocked by John Terry, Gary Cahill, Kurt Zouma and new signing David Luiz, who has returned to the club after a two-year stint with Paris Saint-Germain.

“Matt Miazga has signed for Vitesse Arnhem on loan until the end of the season,” a statement on the Blues’ official site read.

Piazon, who joined neighbours Fulham on a season-long loan has been with Chelsea since 2011. He won the FA Youth Cup during his first campaign with the club and was named young player of the season. The attacking midfielder, who can also play on the wings, was promoted to the first team for the 2012/13 campaign and made his debut against Wolverhamton Wanderers in the League Cup. He also earned his first Premier League cap against Aston Villa in the same campaign.

“Fulham Football Club is pleased to announce the signing of Lucas Piazon on loan from Chelsea until January 2017,” a statement on the Cottagers’ official site read.

The 22-year-old has since spent the last three seasons out on loan first with Malaga, Vitesse Arnhem and most recently with Reading in the Championship during the 2015/16 campaign. Piazon and Miazga’s exit from Chelsea this summer makes them the 37th and 38th players to be loaned out by the west London club. Prior to the duo’s departure, Juan Cuadrado, Loic Remy and Patrick Bamford left the club on a temporary basis just before the close of the summer transfer window.

Conte believes Chelsea squad ‘lacks some quality’ so knocks on door again for mega signingSpanish newspaper Marca have a big feature in their Tuesday edition on the futures of Isco and James Rodriguez and the gist is that it’s likely both will stay, but until the window closes anything could happen. Chelsea are once again linked to James, and the only club mentioned by Marca. It’s claimed that Antonio Conte believes his Chelsea squad ‘lacks some quality’, and he’d like to add a truly class player. James could be that man. He’s certainly not the player Chelsea are crying out for right now, but his addition would be impressive and add that quality which Marca say Conte is looking for. If Conte could get James back to his best then he’d be a great recruit, should the Chelsea interest be genuine. Marca believe it is, and that Chelsea are so keen they’ve continued to knock on the Real Madrid door and ask for a deal. Such is Chelsea’s keenness, Marca say Chelsea would accept either a loan or a permanent deal, happy with either scenario. Same again tomorrow then.

Spanish newspaper Marca have a big feature in their Tuesday edition on the futures of Isco and James Rodriguez and the gist is that it’s likely both will stay, but until the window closes anything could happen.

Chelsea are once again linked to James, and the only club mentioned by Marca. It’s claimed that Antonio Conte believes his Chelsea squad ‘lacks some quality’, and he’d like to add a truly class player.

James could be that man. He’s certainly not the player Chelsea are crying out for right now, but his addition would be impressive and add that quality which Marca say Conte is looking for.

If Conte could get James back to his best then he’d be a great recruit, should the Chelsea interest be genuine. Marca believe it is, and that Chelsea are so keen they’ve continued to knock on the Real Madrid door and ask for a deal.

Such is Chelsea’s keenness, Marca say Chelsea would accept either a loan or a permanent deal, happy with either scenario.

Reaction : Willian and Gary Cahill were full of praise for the Team

Willian and Gary Cahill were full of praise for the team after we maintained our 100 per cent start to the season with a 3-0 win over Burnley.

It was a dominant Chelsea display, with Eden Hazard, Willian and Victor Moses on target, and a fourth consecutive win in all competitions, as well as a first clean sheet of the season.

Willian, who made it 2-0 shortly before half-time, said the desire to work together as a team was a key factor.

‘It was a great game, a great performance and we did a great job,’ said the Brazilian. ‘We’re just happy to win. It was my first goal of the season and I hope I can score more.

‘If we play together with the ball and without the ball we have a great chance to win more games and we have to continue in that way.

‘The manager gives confidence to the players with the way he talks to us and he’s doing a good job.’

Cahill, who made his 200th Chelsea appearance, echoed his team-mate’s sentiments with regards to the overall display.

‘It was a very convincing win, I felt we played well from start to finish and totally dominated the game,’ he said. ‘Burnley got a fantastic result last week so they were in high spirits and full of confidence but we totally dominated the game and it was a great result before the international break.’

The defender went on to explain why there has been such a significant turnaround in fortunes from last season, giving credit to new head coach Antonio Conte.

‘We’ve added one or two quality players which is great but predominantly it’s the same players from last year, and when we won the league the season before.

‘The main thing for me is how fit and sharp we look, and the organisation in terms of where players need to be. I felt like last year we were all over the place at times. We’ve got discipline, we’re organised and we look fit. I’m in the best condition I’ve been for a long time.

‘The manager is adamant about the way he wants to play and that’s what everyone has to buy into. If everybody pulls in the right direction, nine out of 10 times you’ll succeed. The fitness and nutrition, things that people probably don’t see, is vitally important, especially in this league.’

Source : Chelsea

Hazard: Giving everything

Eden Hazard spoke about the importance of keeping a clean sheet following our 3-0 win over Burnley yesterday.

The Belgian was outstanding and opened the scoring with a brilliant solo effort, his second of the campaign, before Willian and Victor Moses also netted.

It was a superb attacking display by the Blues but equally pleasing, according to Hazard, was not conceding at the other end.

‘For the defence and everybody its important,’ said the winger. ‘The manager spoke about it before the game, for the last 13 matches we’ve conceded a goal so a clean sheet is always good for the confidence. It’s a lot easier to win when you don’t concede a goal.

‘We created a lot of chances and scored three beautiful goals. There is no doubt we deserved to win and we want to play like that in every game.

‘In front of the fans it’s always good to score goals, we could have scored more but three isn’t bad.’

Hazard also discussed the impact Antonio Conte has made since taking over, and explained what the head coach has asked him to do in terms of his own game.

‘He’s tried to give us confidence,’ added Hazard. ‘He knows players because he used to be one. We had one bad season but we are trying to do better. He tries to motivate us and we are giving everything.

‘He told me to sometimes to go inside, sometimes to stay wide and open up the game. He wants me to score some goals and make a difference.’

Source : ChelseaFC

match-report.img

The Blues maintained our 100 per cent start to the season with a dominant display against Burnley at Stamford Bridge, running out 3-0 winners courtesy of first-half goals from Eden Hazard and Willian, and a late strike by substitute Victor Moses.

In truth, it should have been a more significant winning margin but Antonio Conte will have been pleased with the performance of his side, who never looked in trouble after Hazardopened the scoring with a wonderful solo goal early on.

Willian made it 2-0 shortly before half-time and Moses capped a superb collective display with his second goal of the week, arriving in the box to fire Pedro’s cross into the back of the net.

There was just one change to the side which started at Watford a week ago with Willianreturning from injury to play wide on the right and Pedro dropping down to the bench.

Gary Cahill, making his 200th Chelsea appearance, partnered John Terry at the heart of the back four and with Diego Costa leading the line Michy Batshuayi, scorer of three goals in our last two games, started on the bench.

It was a cagey start to the contest with both teams guilty of losing possession during the opening exchanges, but the first real piece of quality saw the Blues take the lead after only nine minutes.

Nemanja Matic did well to get on the ball and release Hazard inside our own half but the Belgian still had plenty of work to do. In full flow, however, he carried the ball from deep, running at the retreating Burnley defenders as they backed off, before cutting inside Michael Keane on the edge of the penalty area and curling a brilliant right-footed shot past Tom Heaton into the bottom corner.

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It was Hazard’s second goal of the season and while his penalty against West Ham was no less important, this was a strike that epitomised a player brimming with confidence.

The goal sparked Conte’s men into life and led to a spell in which Burnley couldn’t get out of their own half. Hazard came close to adding a second when his strike at the back-post was somehow scrambled off the line, and moments later a brilliant Cahill volley whistled past the post having taken a deflection.

Hazard, Oscar and Willian were becoming a real threat every time they were in possession and with N’Golo Kante sitting deep, and Burnley struggling to offer any real attacking threat, Matichad more license to operate further upfield.

When Hazard released Cesar Azpilicueta with a clever ball the left-back, who had Oscar waiting in the box, should have done better, but the pressure was relentless and Terry was next to go close, the skipper testing Heaton with a glancing header from Willian’s corner.

Oscar became the first player to be booked when he was punished for a foul on Sam Vokes and as the half-hour mark ticked by despite the fact we were leading and playing well, there was a slight sense of frustration we hadn’t made the most of our dominance.

Nine minutes before the break another big chance went begging as Heaton saved from point-blank range to deny Diego Costa following intelligent build-up play between Willian and Oscar.

It appeared as though we would have to settle for just a one-goal lead at the break but in the 41st minute it was 2-0 as Willian extended our advantage with a fine strike.

Diego Costa picked up possession just outside the penalty area and shifted it out to Willian on his right-hand side and, after skipping past Stephen Ward with an electric burst of pace, he fizzed a powerful low drive into the far corner, giving Heaton no chance.

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The second goal was no more than our performance had merited but on the stroke of half-time, and with their first attempt on goal, Burnley were almost back in it only for Scott Arfield to drag his shot wide from a very good position after they caught us on the break.

There were no changes at the break and we started the second half on the front foot once again. Willian curled a free-kick over the bar after Diego Costa had been brought down and the striker then saw his strike saved by Heaton after Matic had helped a Hazard cross into his path.

The desire to work for each other and win the ball back on the rare occasions we surrendered possession were particularly impressive and the visitors were struggling to cope.

Ten minutes into the second half Hazard, who was causing Burnley all manner of problems, almost added a sublime third when he hit a volley, direct from Willian’s corner, towards goal. Heaton scrambled to his left and made the save, pushing the ball straight into the path of Terry who fired over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

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A wonderful team move, which started in our own half, should have ended with Hazard adding a third but the Belgian was denied by a fine Heaton save low down to his left. Azpilicueta andMatic combined to win the ball before the Serbian found Kante. He helped it on to Diego Costa who switched it out wide to Willian, and when the Brazilian picked out Hazard with a well-executed cross his strike was palmed away with Diego Costa unable to convert the rebound.

Conte made his first change with 14 minutes remaining, introducing Victor Moses for Willian, while soon after Batshuayi and Pedro came on for Diego Costa and Hazard.

Batshuayi was quickly into the action and went close with a right-footed strike after using his pace to get away from two defenders, the strike just a fraction too high.

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The third goal arrived right at the death and it was the two other substitutes combining as Moses timed his run into the box perfectly to meet Pedro‘s cross and beat Heaton.

It’s now three wins from three and maximum points as we go into the international break, which undoubtedly comes at a bad time for Conte’s in-form side.

Next up is a trip to Swansea for what is usually a difficult encounter in a fortnight’s time, but on this showing the Blues will relish the trip to the Liberty Stadium.

Chelsea (4-1-4-1):  Courtois; IvanovicCahill, Terry   (c), Azpilicueta; Kante; Willian (Moses 76), Matic, Oscar, Hazard (Pedro 80); Diego Costa (Batshuayi 80)
Unused subs: Begovic, Aina, Loftus-CheekFabregas, Pedro, Batshuayi.
Scorers Hazard 9, Willian 41, Moses 89
Booked 
Oscar 30, Ivanovic 43

Burnley (4-4-2): Heaton; Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward; Arfield (Gudmondsson 56), Defour (O’Neill 55), Marney (Tarkowski 71), Boyd; Gray, Vokes
Unused subs: Darikwa, Jutkiewicz, Kightly, Robinson.
Booked 
Keane 49

Referee Mark Clattenburg
Crowd 
41,607

Source : http://www.chelseafc.com/