November -1- 15 -
is fast learning the ins and outs of top-level football.
Mr Abramovich's favourite player is Damien Duff and
he is ' disappointed' at the position manager Claudio
Ranieri is currently playing the Irishman. |
The Evening Standard says he has told friends he would
prefer to see him terrorising defences down the left
wing rather than playing in the hole behind two strikers.
However, despite his beliefs, Abramovich has no intention
of asking Ranieri about a positional switch.
and now CHELSEA WIPES OFF Newcastle
5 v 0 Newcastle
Johnson 25 - Crespo 40 -Lampard 42 - Duff 78 - Gudjohnsen
Ranieri is sticking to his statement that Chelsea cannot win the Premiership
this season - despite their sensational dismantling of Lazio in Rome this
The Blues battered the Italian giants to deliver one of Chelsea's greatest
European glory nights. But Ranieri still refuses to tip his side for the
domestic crown - a possibility rated just 7-4 by bookmakers.
'I haven't changed my mind about the
title. I might change it in May, but not now. 'I know football, and
what's important is to build a team with foundations and strength. I'm
very happy our fans had such a good time in Rome but I haven't changed
my mind about the title - what I'd like to do is make Chelsea the third
horse in the race.'
Ranieri is backing Frank Lampard, Chelsea's only outfield player who
has started every Premiership game this season, to continue making huge
The 25-year-old has become the big-spending Blues' midfield lynchpin.
Lampard, an £11million signing from West Ham in July 2001, is widely
acknowledged to have taken his game on to another level - and Ranieri
says the only problem with him is trying to get him off the training
'Frank says 'I want to do this and that' and never wants to come back
into the changing room,' said Ranieri. 'When I finished training today
Frank and other players wanted to stay out there - but I said `No'.'
Ranieri, who has previously described his galaxy of stars as 'my children',
believes the foundations of Lampard's improvement as a footballer are
set in his personality. 'I can improve the man,' he said. 'I don't want
to be Frank's father. But if he is right as a man he can improve as
a player. Behind a great player is a right man. 'Frank has improved
a lot since his first game for Chelsea and he understands what I want.
He is very important - and although other players are also important,
I'm playing him at the moment. 'Frank's a fantastic player but can still
improve. More experience will be good for him and also good for the
national team, because it's good for Frank to play at this level and
in the Champions League.' Ranieri believes Lampard has relished the
extra workload heaped on his shoulders because of Emmanuel Petit's knee
With the Frenchman facing another month on the sidelines, it could be
well into December before Lampard gets a rest. 'Because I don't have
Petit, I've asked Frank to do extra work,' explained the Chelsea boss.
'But Frank's used to playing a lot of games - and he wants to improve,
which is important to me.' Tuesday's heroics against Lazio announced
Chelsea's arrival as a true European powerhouse.
CHELSEA WIPES OFF LAZIO
Lazio 0 v 4
Crespo 15 - Gudjohnsen 70 - Duff 75 - Lampard 80
Ken Bates says that the press should get off Claudio Ranieri's
back and stop speculating about his position as the club's manager.|
Bates has given his full backing to the Italian tactician who continues
to keep his side challenging with Manchester United and Arsenal despite
an enormous amount of pressure.
With Roman Abramovich's millions has
come an immense pressure to succeed in the face of persistent speculation
about his position, with Sven Goran Eriksson's name continually linked
with the post at Stamford Bridge. Bates believes Ranieri is definitely
the man for the job after a bright start to the season, and thinks it's
about time the speculation about his job turned to represent what a
good job he is doing.
"Firstly, Claudio is a gentleman and has handled himself well under
pressure," Bates told Sky Sports News. "Secondly he's been under lots
of provocation and pressure, a lot of it unfair, and the way he has
handled it has been magnificent. "It's about time press started talking
about what he has been achieving instead of concentrating on the negatives."
"I'd say they've got a chance of winning both. It was interesting when
we played them (Lazio) at home and beat them, I though it was out best
performance of the season against our hardest opponents.
Everton 0 v 1 Chelsea
|MANCHESTER, England (AP)— Manchester
United has reported Chelsea to the Premier League for using Peter Kenyon's
services when he is still under contract with the Reds. Kenyon, Man United's
former chief executive, left the club in early September to join Chelsea
but has yet to reach a deal with both clubs over his starting date. United
filed its complaint with the Premier League after a report in Spain said
Kenyon had talked with Real Madrid about signing Michel Salgado for Chelsea.