October -1-15- News
|Chelsea is TOP of the league table
Tue Oct 15 2003
Birmingham 0 v 0 Chelsea
FORECAST: 0 - 1 view
Chelsea are taking no chances as they bid to take
over at the top of the Barclaycard Premiership tonight. Ranieri's
men need just a point from their game against Birmingham at St Andrews
to leapfrog Arsenal into pole position, ahead of Saturday's Highbury
showdown between the two London giants.
But Chelsea will not allow their striker Mikael Forssell - on loan
at Birmingham - to turn out for the Midlands side. John Terry, Frank
Lampard, Wayne Bridge and even Joe Cole, who has yet to start a Premiership
game for Chelsea, could all have parts to play. Ranieri said: "Birmingham
are a good side in good condition - but then so are Chelsea.
We have William Gallas back fit and we are ready. "We have had only
one full day's training together plus a warm-down on Sunday after
the international matches but that is always the problem on weekends
like that. "But while Damien Duff and Eidur Gudjohnsen (whose Ireland
and Iceland teams went out of Euro 2004) are hurting a lot, the England
boys like John, Joe, Wayne and Frank feel very strong." .
||CHELSEA soccer star Jimmy
Floyd Hasselbaink copped a smack in the face after
refusing to sign an autograph. |
The striker was in Londons posh Funky Buddha nightspot with team-mate
Mario Melchiot and fellow Dutch star Edgar Davids when he was approached
by an autograph hunter.
After turning the fan away, he was punched
in the gob leading to a bust-up. Bouncers were forced to step
in and stop the incident getting any nastier.
One onlooker said: The fan asked Jimmy for an autograph but he
was on a night out with friends and said something like, Not now,
The bloke wasnt happy and got irate very quickly. He punched Jimmy
in the face and friends from both sides jumped in. For a minute it looked
as though there was going to be a big fight but the bouncers calmed
things down. The incident couldnt have come at a worse time
given the scandals rocking football at the moment.
News Group Newspapers Limited
Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has claimed
that the Italian giants turned down bids from Chelsea for star players
Andrei Shevchenko and Alessandro Nesta during the summer.
Galliani revealed that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was prepared
to part with £70 million for the players but he, along with
president Silvio Berlusconi, turned down the offers, as they wanted
to strengthen their squad and not bolster the squads of their rivals.
Chelsea made a late unsuccessful bid to prise Brazilian talent Kaka
from Milan's grasp, Kaka will become one of the best players in the
world without a doubt.
Sir Alex could not imagine leaving Old Trafford
>> Chelsea had been in touch
Ranieri said that Ferguson utilized the Chelsea
situation to get a better deal out of Manchester
United. Ferguson is negotiating a new four-year
contract at United, with an annual salary of around
£3million, the speculation with Ranieri replacement
did help him bargaining a favorable deal.
Ranieri: "Maybe it was true that he was offered my job but
I don't know when this happened.
"It could have been any time in the past. The point is he decided
to speak out because he needed to renegotiate his contract. If he says
'Chelsea want me' then maybe this will help."Ranieri
has always maintained that his results at Chelsea will determine the
length of his staying at the Bridge, and that his relationship with
Abramovich is good.
Ranieri is asked to unveil the side's tactics
to owner Roman Abramovich ahead of every match.
Club chief executive Paul Smith revealed the Russian billionaire was
showing an increasing interest at every game.But
he insisted that did not stretch to taking greater control of the
team.Smith told the Independent newspaper: "Roman
has full confidence in Claudio.""He
is getting more and more interested in the mechanics of the team and
he has briefings from Claudio on the tactics. He does not interfere.
He is just interested."
After the 2-1 victory against Boro this is what Ranieri
had to say about the gap with Arsenal and Man United and the result
of the match.
"It's just the table," he said. "We're
working to close the gap.
"Some journalists say to me it's very close, but I say no, no,
because we aren't used to coping very well when something strange
happens. For this reason, I say we must work. We aren't like them.
We have a good spirit, a fighting spirit, but sometimes we must improve
our patience and our tactics.
"We need time. We need to understand when, for example here,
Middlesbrough put us under pressure, we must be calm and close the
space. If you watched the match on Saturday, Liverpool and Arsenal,
in the last five minutes, Arsenal kept possession of the ball and
slowed down the tempo and Liverpool could not do anything."
"I'm very pleased with the result," he said. "It was
a difficult match. The first half was fantastic for us. We played
"It's a cruel game this football," he said. "We were
just saying, probably our best two performances of the season have
been Leeds and here against Chelsea and we've lost both games."
Oct 05 2003 Premiership Boro v Chelsea
Boro 1 - 2 Chelsea
Middlesbrough (possible): Schwarzer, Jones,
Mills, Queudrue, Southgate, Riggott, Cooper, Davies, Boateng, Mendieta,
Greening, Juninho, Doriva, Downing, Christie, Nemeth, Ricketts.
Chelsea: (possible) Cudicini, Johnson,
Desailly, Terry, Bridge, Gronkjaer, Veron, Lampard, Duff, Mutu, Crespo,
Babayaro, Makelele, Cole, Geremi, Hasselbaink, Gudjohnsen, Melchiot,
OUR FORECAST: 0 - 2 view
picking 1 - Chelsea could be
in line to sign Juventus star Edgar Davids
if reports emanating from the Roma sporting director
are to be believed. PlanetFootball reported that Davids
would be joining Roma next season.However, the club
have denied any deal involving the player and seem
to suggest that a move to London is more likely.What
is clear is that Davids has turned down a new deal
at the Stadio Delle Alpi and could leave on a free
transfer next summer.
Buffon Juve and best Italian goalie .
Superman Gigi Website :HERE
Juve picking 2
- Reports in Italy seem to
suggest that Chelsea will replace current keeper
Carlo Cudicini with Juventus stopper Gianluigi
Buffon, with the Serie A champions apparently
already on the look-out for a replacement.Chelsea
owner Roman Abramovich is believed to have told
Juve to name their price for Buffon, but naturally
the player's managers have distanced themselves
from any imminent transfer.Paolo Fabbri said on
Sky Sports: "That seems highly unlikely. It
would be no surprise that Chelsea want him as he
is the best but as far as we know there has been
Ranieri insisted Chelsea's Champions League dream
was still very much alive : this is what he had to say..
``The Champions League is open because Lazio and Sparta drew which
means Lazio have four points and we and Besiktas have three,'' said
the Blues boss, whose team travel to Rome next month for the third
round of matches.
``I am very confident,'' said the Italian. ``I expect a big reaction
on Sunday. We have strong character which we always show, and I am
sure we shall show our strong character on Sunday.''
``We made mistakes and when you make mistakes in the Champions League
you concede a goal 99% of the time,'' said Ranieri, whose team failed
to score despite playing against 10 men for the final 39 minutes
``I am disappointed because I lost Celestine Babayaro and William
Gallas through injury, and I lost the game, but I still feel good
and I feel confident.''
``The fact we didn't score at least one goal, especially in the second
half, is very disappointing. It was difficult because they are a quality
team``They might not have big names like Inter Milan or Real Madrid
but collectively and individually they are good."
WORST NIGHTMARE CAME TRUE
the game with a 2 - 0 victory . Chelsea
were architects of their own downfall. They reacted slowly to a quick
free kick and Sergen swept in the opener from Uzulmez Ibrahim's cross,
a touch off John Terry wrongfooting Carlo Cudicini.
Marcel Desailly has won the Champions League twice. His prospects
of a hat-trick receded as he left a through ball for Cudicini and
the alert Sergen nipped in for his second, aided by a post and an
aimless leap from the keeper.
Claudio Ranieri's chosen 11 provokes endless debate and, not content
with swapping his players, Tinkerman decided to change formations
as Chelsea went 3-5-2. His ongoing quest to give Juan Sebastian Veron
a pivotal role appeared grounds for change; for 20 minutes, the Argentine
was influential as Chelsea cruised.Strike partners Hernan Crespo and
Adrian Mutu each fashioned themselves a chance and came close from
long-range. Veron and Lampard had better opportunities, but indecision
and a poor touch respectively meant Oscar Cordoba was not troubled.Then
Sergen struck twice and Chelsea were floundering. For 15 minutes,
their response was muted until Lampard, their sole source of drive
from midfield, volleyed wide. Veron, with a low drive, and Mutu, with
a shot the outstanding Okan Koc did well to block, also threatened,
but it wasn't to be our night. We've lost 2- 0 .
|Frank Lampard has thanked
Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri for helping him to
become a better all-round player. "I remember
when I first met the boss he said he was happy with
my attacking game and wanted to improve the defensive
side,'' said Lampard.|
"For two years he has kept on at me about defensive duties and I
appreciate that and I am a lot more aware of them than I was as a West
"It makes your whole game stronger. Something
Claudio said - which I didn't realise at first but now I believe is
true - is that if you go a few less times during a game into the opposition
area it is more of a surprise to them.
"If you can show the quality when you get into those areas, that
is what makes the best players dangerous. The best in the world, the
likes of Michael Ballack, when they arrive they show real quality
and that is something I have tried to add to my game". Frank
added : "I would never take for granted that I am going to be
picked every week, especially with the squad we have now. I would
like to think the fact I played regularly last season was down to
my performances and the fact the manager trusts me."