Jan -1- 15- News
Ranieri's team emerged from a month of ragged results
to thrash Leicester City 4-0 on Sunday and lift the gloom that
followed a run that had brought just seven points from six games.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who has recently been going through one of
his all too regular sullen spells, was smiling again after scoring
twice while Adrian Mutu ended his barren run with a first goal in
Coach Claudio Ranieri had made six changes from the team beaten Liverpool
1-0 last week and nine of Saturday's starting lineup predated the
arrival of owner Roman Abramovich. '
||Roman Abramovich has demanded
his manager Claudio Ranieri BUY his way out of trouble. Ranieri confirmed
showdown talks with Abramovich on Wednesday night after the home defeat
to Liverpool and it has emerged the Russian billionaire told him that
more signings must be made to keep Chelsea's title challenge on track.
A club source confirmed to The Sun: "Claudio has been told money for new
signings is there if he wants it.
"Mr Abramovich has already spent more
than £110m on new players but he is prepared to finance more deals
and does not think this would be a problem. "He believes that we have
to buy now to make things better. If the right players are available
at the right price, Chelsea will buy them." .
The Blues lie a distant seven points adrift of leaders
Manchester United after sinking to a 1-0 defeat at home to Liverpool
. They have lost three and drawn one of their last six league games
and were held to a 2-2 draw by first division Watford in the third
round of the FA Cup.
However, despite recording only two wins in their last six league
outings and continued speculation linking England coach Sven Goran
Eriksson with the Stamford Bridge job, Ranieri is refusing to panic.
'I am not worried about this run. Of course, I am not happy but there
isn't a team who can stay at the high level for 11 months,' Ranieri
told the club's website.
'When we were at the top of the league, I said it's not important
now. We must continue to build. It's easy for me to say that I want
to fight for the title but it's not true. I am fighting to build a
team.' Ranieri met with Chelsea's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich
immediately after Wednesday's match but the Italian said this was
'Don't worry, you will see me for a long time yet. You will see me
also tomorrow (Thursday),' he said after emerging to speak to the
media long after the final whistle. 'After every match, we have a
meeting.' Injuries to key midfielders Damien Duff and Juan Sebastian
Veron have hindered Ranieri's bid to halt Chelsea's slump, while the
calf injury sustained by Hernan Crespo last night could put the Argentina
striker out of action for some weeks. but the coach said he was unlikely
to add to the £111million spent on players in pre-season.
'No. We need only to go through this bad period,' Ranieri said when
asked about any purchases in the transfer window. Chelsea's form contrasts
sharply with that of Manchester United who have won their last six
league games since a 1-0 defeat by Ranieri's side on November 30.'
||Ranieri admitted he simply cannot
afford to leave John Terry out of any more crucial games after
Watford exposed Chelsea's defensive weaknesses to force an FA Cup third-round
Ranieri defended veteran captain Marcel Desailly against growing
criticism, with Match of the Day pundit Mark Lawrenson describing the
French international as ``creaking''.
Ranieri was, predictably, more circumspect about the
club's plans even after First Division strugglers Watford exposed
the need for a new centre-back in the 2-2 draw at Vicarage Road.
``I have four centre-backs - Marcel Desailly, William Gallas, John
Terry and Robert Huth - so at this moment, I am happy,'' he insisted.
``Marcel had a bad injury to his back and now he's back. It's normal.
Maybe sometimes it wasn't only Marcel, but everyone and the first-half
was not good. ``We cannot concede 45 minutes to the opponents like
that. They created two or three great chances to score and Chelsea
cannot permit this. All the high balls were dangerous for us and that's
not possible. ``I had hoped to give some rest to John Terry without
suffering in this way. But we missed him. Can I afford to leave him
out again? At this moment, no.''
Chelsea are ready to boost Parma's coffers to the
tune of £50 million.
Press reports suggested Roman Abramovich was preparing a mega bid
for Parma pair Adriano and Sebastien Frey. French goalkeeper
Frey would move to Stamford Bridge for £10 million, while Adriano
would be bought outright for £40 million. The striker's registration
is shared between Parma and Inter Milan. .
Claudio Ranieri called for TV replays
after Watford used a disputed goal to draw 2-2 with the FA
Cup favourite Blues yesterday. Chelsea rallied twice in the third-round
game but seldom looked like a side built with £120 million.. Watford
took a 1-0 lead at Vicarage Road after just five minutes when Heidar
Helguson's looping header dropped behind Chelsea keeper Neil Sullivan.
A TV replay showed the ball struck the woodwork but failed to cross
the line. Even so, referee Alan Wiley awarded the goal. Ranieri accepted
the error gracefully but called for goal-line cameras to make the call.
"It wasn't a goal, but sometimes it can happen," he said. "I make mistakes,
as do players, referees and linesmen.
But sooner or later all stadia, especially in
the Premier League, must have a camera to say whether it's a goal or
not." Chelsea tied it in the 33rd on Eidur Gudjohnsen's penalty, but
Watford regained the lead a minute later on Gavin Mahon's close-in header.
Chelsea equalized again in the 42nd on Frank Lampard's 18-yard low drive."
Despite the opening of the January transfer window,
Chelsea have made no early move for West Ham striker Jermain Defoe.
Chelsea, who look certain to dip back into the transfer market this
month, despite coach Claudio Ranieri's insistence that there was no
need "if all his squad are fit", have been linked with Defoe along
with Valencia defender Roberto Ayala.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich may have to be prepared to pay well
over £15million for the pair, however, if Chelsea are to be successful.
||Gianluca Vialli believes
he will one day return to Chelsea for a second spell in charge as manager.
Vialli was replaced by the club's current manager Claudio Ranieri more
than three years ago. |
He told the Daily Mail: "I will manage Chelsea again. I know that
one day I will go back and lead the club again..
"I love the club as much as ever and I have a fantastic relationship with the fans there and returning is my destiny."
He added: "I dream about it but I am a believer and I believe it will happen one day."
But Vialli admitted his return to English football is some way off because of his poor record at Watford, where he was sacked after the club finished 14th in Division One.
"I would very much love to manage a club in England because that is where I belong and that is where my football mentality is most at home," he said.
"Unfortunately, I don't know how much credibility I have because of what happened at Watford and I suspect that my next job will probably be in Italy. It will have to be the right one."
||John Terry is ready to
sign for Chelsea for life. Terry, 23, told The Sun: "I'd quite happily
sign for life - and I've told them so. "Claudio is a great manager and
while he is here, Chelsea will just get better and better. I've been at
the club since I was 14 and now we are right up there with the likes of
Arsenal and Manchester United..
He added: "These days there seems to be so little loyalty between clubs and players but that's not the way I feel about Chelsea.
"I love working with Claudio. No one should forget who gave them their first chance in football. He gave me mine and I will remember that for ever.
"We can win the Premiership this year. All the players believe it and want it very badly. If I could win only one trophy this year it would be that."
On Blues owner Roman Abramovich, Terry also said: "When he first arrived no one quite knew what was going to happen or how big the club would become.
"But now we are competing on level terms with United and Arsenal.
"We used to be contenders with them but now we are equals. The players really believe we can push on and win the title this season."
Inter Milan secure deal for Chelsea target Adriano
Inter Milan have fought off the interest
of Chelsea to secure Parma striker Adriano to a contract. The Brazilian
will play out the rest of the season at Parma before returning to
Inter in the summer, says Corriere dello Sport. After lengthy talks
between the clubs this week, Adriano agreed terms on a five-year contract
with Inter. Meanwhile, Manchester United have approached Inter about
striker Christian Vieri. Its reported United boss Sir Alex Ferguson
wants to sign the Italian international when the transfer window opens
this week. Inter have also been contacted by Real Madrid about defender
Fabio Cannavaro in recent days.
Claudio Ranieri's multi-million pound Chelsea squad
have been warned to expect a 'bog' of a pitch when they take on Watford
at Vicarage Road in the FA Cup third round this weekend. Claudio Ranieri:
Pitch problems (BenRadford/GettyImages) Watford boss Ray Lewington
has told Chelsea's expensively-assembled group of internationals that
it is already 'impossible to play good football' on the First Division
'It really is bad at the moment but it certainly isn't the groundstaff's
fault, they do the best they can. 'It's a real bog and not going to
get any better by Saturday, although I wouldn't think it would worry
Chelsea too much. 'I am sure they are used to playing on good surfaces
in the Premiership, but quality players react to any conditions -
and they certainly possess plenty of quality.'
Real Mallorca striker Sammy Eto'o has again
hinted this will be his last season with the club. A target for Arsenal
and Chelsea, Cameroon ace Eto'o said yesterday: "I want to be in a
team with the possibility of winning titles, it is not only a money
subject although this year I have learned that if you can earn a billion
then you should stick around. "When you leave football nobody remembers
you, I have a contract here until 2007, I am calm and very happy in