March - News Archives
In an interview with syndicated U.S.
radio program World Soccer Weekly Monday Chelsea director Paul Smith
distanced the club from ongoing speculation regarding the future
of manager Claudio Ranieri.
"The only decision that's been made regarding Claudio is that he has
a contract with the club until 2007," Smith stated. "Despite all the
rumors and speculation ... we are treating Claudio as the manager for
For example he was consulted on the itinerary for the U.S. tour and
the preparation for next year's preseason. "If he wasn't going to be
a party to next year's plans, we would've put that as a minor issue
on our agenda." Smith was confident that Ranieri would use his remaining
time in charge to build the team and his case for a contract extension
Over the weekend, the English FA moved to end rampant speculation about
England coach Sven Goran Eriksson's future ties with Chelsea by signing
him to an extended contract through 2008. Other high-profile managers
linked to the Stamford Bridge job include Arsenal's Arsene Wenger, Bayern
Munich's Ottmar Hitzfeld, Marcello Lippi of Juventus and Roma boss Fabio
Capello. Smith attributed the constant speculation surrounding Ranieri's
future to competition between tabloid newspapers.
"All the tabloid newspapers are competing very heavily with each other
to become the guy that has the breaking news," he observed. He noted
that the papers had connected Chelsea with about 50 of the top players
in Europe, and he put the managerial rumors into the same camp. "Eventually,
when we do buy one of them (the players) they'll turn around and say
'A-ha! I told you so - we reported this last February' even though they
listed another 49 players. It's the same thing with the managers!" he
Roman Abramovich is ready to shatter
the world transfer record with an amazing £80 million bid for AC
Milan striker Andrei Shevchenko.
The News of the World says Abramovich's dream is see Ukrainian Shevchenko
playing in his Chelsea Blue and will pull out all stops to land the
prolific forward. Milan insist Shevchenko is not for sale, with the
ex-Dynamo Kiev man now back to his best. But Abramovich's money is
sure to make Milan's board think twice, particularly with Italian
football in a state of financial meltdown. .
Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon has admitted
holding ``informal discussions'' with Sven-Goran Eriksson - but
insisted he did not offer him the Stamford Bridge manager's job.
Kenyon's statement to the Press Association follows a Football Association
press conference this morning at which England manager Eriksson faced
a barrage of questions about the meeting at the Chelsea chief's London
Eriksson today signed a two-year extension to his contract which takes
him through to the 2008 European Championships.
|Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink celebrated
his 32nd birthday by coming off the bench and blasting a 12-minute hat-trick
to see off a determined Wolves 5-2 at Stamford Bridge.|
The Dutchman's treble saved manager Claudio Ranieri
from coming under even more pressure as Chelsea came from behind against
the team propping up the table.
The Football Association were today seeking urgent talks
with Sven-Goran Eriksson following further speculation over his
future amid interest from Chelsea. The Sun this morning published pictures
which the newspaper claims show the Swede visiting Chelsea chief executive
Peter Kenyon's west London home on Thursday evening. Eriksson was initially
spotted arriving at Roman Abramovich's London residence last summer
following the Russian's takeover at Stamford Bridge.
Claudio Ranieri is hoping his
side's impressive away defensive record will ensure their progress
into the Champions League semi-finals. The Blues have not conceded
an away goal in five matches in the competition so far.
They will need to keep it that way at Highbury on 6 April if they
are to reach the last four after being held to a 1-1 first-leg draw
at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
Ranieri said: "Away, we have not conceded a goal so far - so why not
continue?" He added: "I'm very pleased with our performance. We played
with a confidence against Arsenal - everybody knows they are a great
team. "We played well, closed down space and tried to play our football
and after we had scored maybe we deserved a little more. "We had two
great chances to score again and after 10 minutes they drew the match.
"It was a good reaction by Arsenal - but I think we deserve a little
more. "But I say 'thank you' to my players because they played very,
very well." .
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was relieved after Robert Pires' effort earned
the Gunners a 1-1 draw in their Champions League showdown at Chelsea.
Eidur Gudjohnsen scored in the 53rd minute before Pires' equaliser six
minutes later. Wenger told Sky Sports: "At 1-0 Chelsea were cautious
and played not to concede a goal. They played well and tried to suck
us in and get a break and got a goal with a situation which shouldn't
have been dangerous.
Jon Smith (Ranieri's agent )
told The Sunday Times: "Claudio is on a good contract at Chelsea,
and we are not about to jeopardise that, or any future settlement
of it, by making any moves now.
"But if he were to be fired, there are clubs at home and abroad who
have indicated their interest in him. "Should the situation arise,
I know he would prefer to stay in this country.".
Damien Duff's first-half winner kept Chelsea in second place as they
ground out a win over Fulham.
6 mins: Gudjohsen curler puts Chelsea ahead
18 mins: Pembridge levels for Fulham
30 mins: Duff reacts first to put Chelsea ahead
Claudio Ranieri admitted Wednesday's Champions League
quarter-final first leg against Arsenal was on his mind when he took
off danger-man Damien Duff with more than 20 minutes to go in the
2-1 win over Fulham.
Duff hit the winner, his first Stamford Bridge goal since October
- after which he suffered a string of injuries. And Ranieri revealed:
``I saw him having his calf massaged at half-time and immediately
thought about Wednesday's game. ``Damien has been out a long time
and I didn't want to take any risk. That was my thought when I took
him off.'' Chelsea fans were also incredulous when Ranieri - who revels
in the nickname Tinkerman - earlier took off winger Jesper Gronkjaer
after an outstanding first half display.
Ranieri said: ``We needed to close up the midfield more because we
were fighting a lot of Fulham players in there and I thought we needed
Scott Parker.'' Eidur Gudjohnsen's brilliant early goal sparked Chelsea
and Duff's winner came on the half-hour after a Mark Pembridge equaliser
from a free-kick.
Ranieri said: ``We played well, we were focused and had many shots.
The opponents were good but they only shot from their set-pieces.
``Eidur scored an amazing goal and I was pleased with three points.
Damien made many possibilities for us in the second half and we were
very dangerous but it was not an easy match.'' Fulham manager Chris
Coleman admitted he thought his side was good enough to get something
out of the game. ``I'm disappointed because I thought Chelsea were
there for the taking,'' he said. ``We played our normal 4-3-3 but
nothing happened for us up front and we defended badly for Chelsea's
``It is very disappointing because I thought that, by their standards,
Chelsea were off the pace. ``We had 19 or 20 shots against Leeds last
week but nothing like that this time. You know you are going to have
to ride your luck here because they have talented players but we didn't
give ourselves a real chance, ``Our away form is poor.
Since we won at Manchester United we've drawn only two other games
and that's got to improve before the end of the season. ``I'd be disappointed
very much to see it all tail off.''
Former Chelsea chairman Ken Bates
has criticised the club´s hierarchy for failing to offer public backing
to manager Claudio Ranieri. The Italian coach´s position at Stamford
Bridge has been speculated upon from the outset of the Roman Abramovich
era and the Blues´ board has done little to indicate they are fully
behind him. Bates, who announced he was stepping down as chairman after
22 years earlier this month, is still as outspoken as ever and believed
it was vital the club say something on Ranieri´s future. He said: "I´ve
no idea if Claudio will be around next season. I have a fantastic relationship
with him and admire him a great deal. But I don´t think he´s been treated
very fairly by the new owners. The first thing you have to do is offer
support to your manager."
||Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
has grown tired of the rotation policy at Stamford Bridge and wants away,
but claims the Blues are reluctant to release him. |
The 31-year-old Holland international is contracted at Stamford Bridge
until 2005 .
"I have stated that I prefer a move
away," Hasselbaink told Studio Sport. "We don't have to compete with
each other. "He (manager Claudio Ranieri) is substituting a lot.
"If you play well, you could still be on the bench in the next match.
"The result is you cannot get into a rhythm, and you see that now.
"I have said I would like to leave the club if I can't play every
"However, they don't want to co-operate.".
A 'lucky draw' see Chelsea through the quarter final
of the EUFA cup
Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri admitted his team underperformed
last night, despite seeing off Stuttgart. The 0-0 draw booked Chelsea's
into the Champions League quarter-finals and manager Claudio Ranieri
told ITV2: "It was a difficult match - I think we played better in
Stuttgart. "Tonight we were too anxious to keep possession and move
We are used to playing this way, but it was very difficult. "At the
end of the match we had three very good chances. But it was a difficult
match, and we covered very well. "I wanted to play 4-4-3 with Damien
Duff on the left and Jesper Gronkjaer on the right. But they put us
under pressure, and I had to put one more in midfield - Duff - and
play normal 4-4-2."e .
Argentinian Walter Samuel is Marcel
Desaillys replacement, which will come as news to the fast-declining
France international, who claims in the News of the World that he is
staying for another year. Joe Cole also reckons he is staying
put, though Everton want him on loan, The People reckons. The same paper
says that Chelsea will pay £24 million for Joaquín,
the Real Betis winger who is also fancied by Manchester United..
ROMAN ABRAMOVICH is the UK’s richest resident,
with a £7.2 billion fortune. Actually, make that £7,185,000,000, because
Chelsea are about to spend £15 million on Walter Samuel.
The Mail on Sunday says that football’s least dusty wallet will be
opened again to capture the Argentina defender from AS Roma. Meanwhile,
the Sunday Express is confident that Manchester United and Chelsea
will swap Rio Ferdinand and Damien Duff. Rio has been
contemplating his future — after all, he’s got plenty of spare time
— and he wants to return to London .
Dutch international winger Arjen Robben will
join Chelsea FC from PSV Eindhoven in the summer in a deal believed
to be worth £12m.
Everton want to take Chelsea outcast Joe Cole on loan next
Mario Melchiot says Chelsea FC can't wait to
put their recent domestic disappointments behind them with a UEFA
Champions League victory against VfB Stuttgart. Confidence blow
||Ken Bates ,the chairman of Chelsea
-,is now expected to approach fallen giants Sheffield Wednesday about
joining their board. Bates claimed he was ready for "another challenge"
after ending his 22-year reign at Stamford Bridge.|
Joe Ashton, a friend of Bates and a former board member at Hillsborough,
revealed: "He is definitely, definitely interested in Sheffield Wednesday
"He wants to do what Sam Hammam has done at Cardiff
and I can't think of a better candidate to do the job." Hammam has
rejuvenated the Welsh club, who are now targeting promotion to the
Premiership, if not this seasobn then next.
Ashton, a former Labour MP and a lifelong Wednesday fan, said of Bates
: "He's not coming in as a predator, but he doesn't want a Punch and
Judy show either. "He wants to sound out the directors. He wants to
speak to the fans and get their feedback." Bates, who left Chelsea
after being marinalised by the new regime under Roman Abramovich and
Peter Kenyon, said:
"I'm 72 and I've got another challenge left in me. "I thought long
and hard about it but it is obviously a clash of eastern and western
values and philosophies. Their values and philosophies are not mine."
Bates is reported to have made some £17 million from the sale to Abramovich
of his stake in Chelsea, a club he bought for £1 in 1982.
He had been expected to remain as chairman of Chelsea FC until the
end of next season, when he was then due to become a life president
of the club in its centenary year.
He was also expected to accompany Kenyon, who has now effectively
replaced him as Stamford Bridge supremo, to Premier League chairmen's