CHELSA GO TOP

Chelsea managed to go top of the table after a convincing 3-0 win over Newcastle United, which made it 10 matches without defeat for the blues. This includes matches against the likes of Manchester city at the Etihad stadium, where they were expected to struggle.

Eden Hazard scored a hat-trick to remind everyone of his qualities. Despite this impressive result, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho continued to downplay Chelsea’s chances of winning the title after saying that he is looking only at the fifth place battle tomorrow. Continue reading

Mourinho Keen to be Reunited with Khedira

Chelsea are being linked in the football betting press with a summer move for one of Jose Mourinho’s favourites when he was in charge of Real Madrid – Germany international Sami Khedira.

The 26-year-old former Stuttgart midfielder is currently recovering from the serious cruciate knee ligament injury he suffered when playing for Germany in a friendly international against Italy three months ago. Continue reading

WE’RE SERIOUS

Chelsea is quickly becoming serious title contenders with consistent performances and good results that have allowed them to stay right behind Manchester City and Arsenal in the Premier League.

Bertrand Traore signed a 4 year contract with Chelsea as he became the first signing of Jose Mourinho’s side in January. The 18 years old player Traore had previously signed a contract with Chelsea back in October but had to wait until the transfer window opened up again in order to officially become a player of the Premier League club.

Juan Mata is rumored to be frustrated with the limited playing time he has under the guidance of Jose Mourinho and might make a move away from the club if things don’t take a turn for the better.

Mourinho said: “I want to keep him. I want to keep him. I don’t want him to go.

“That’s my opinion, my wish. But my door is open and the club’s door is open too. When a player wants to speak with us we are there waiting.”

Jose Mourinho knows it himself that the Spanish midfielder is unhappy with the current role that he has right now in Chelsea. PSG is a possible destination for Juan Mata if he indeed leaves Chelsea, PSG has already shown interest in securing the services of the player.

Another player that has been linked with a possible move away from the club is Kevin de Bruyne who joined Chelsea a year and a half ago with a price tag of £6.7million but his chances on playing on the main team are severely restricted.

Wolfsburg will be willing to offload £17 million for the Belgian player but the final decision will be on the hands of Jose Mourinho. Kevin de Bruyne truly wants to make it into the Belgium national team and play for the 2014 World Cup but this may be in jeopardy if he cannot get playing time in Chelsea.

MATA HAPPY AT CHELSEA

Chelsea winger Juan Mata has said that he is happy with the 2-0 win over Arsenal in the Capital One cup. Chelsea were the visitors to the Emirates stadium in order to take on Arsenal in this competition looking for a place in the quarter-finals. The West London outfit came with the incredible record of not having lost to Arsene Wenger during the regime of José Mourinho. The record continued on Tuesday as well despite Chelsea decided to field a second string team. That second string team contained with the likes of internationals like David Luiz, Juan Mata, and Cesar Azpilicueta.

They managed to outshine Arsenal in every area of the pitch. Azpilicueta opened the scoring in the 25th minute with his first Chelsea goal. He managed to capitalise on the error from his opposite number Carl Jenkinson, who tried to head the ball back to his goalkeeper. The effort was woefully short and it allowed Azpilicueta to pounce on the mistake. Azpilicueta was signed from French club Marseille for £ 7 million last summer. This was his first goal for the club, and it delighted his compatriot Mata. The Spain international himself scored his goal in the second half to make the game safe for Chelsea.

“We tried our best as it was a difficult game because Arsenal are playing really well in the Premier League and Champions League. They will always create chances with Cazorla, Ozil or Ramsey so it was an important goal to make more distance in the result. But today I’m more happy for Cesar, to be honest. He trains more than anyone and he fully deserves the goal and the celebration more than anything,” said Mata, who has not been featuring regularly in the Chelsea first-team this season. Chelsea came into the encounter on the back of a 2-1 win over title rivals Manchester City.

ROONEY WANTED OUT

Manchester United star Wayne Rooney has revealed that the decision by Sir Alex Ferguson to play him in the midfield was the reason behind his unhappiness at the club a few months ago.

Rooney almost came close to leaving United with the likes of Chelsea and Paris St Germain showing an interest. Chelsea also made two offers for the 27-year-old the summer, but United did not sell him. Even though Rooney did not mention Ferguson by his actual name, he revealed that the reason for his unhappiness was being played out of position. Continue reading

MORE MATCHES

Chelsea have been consistently playing around 60 matches per season in the last few years. This was especially true in the case of the José Mourinho era. Now that the Portuguese is back at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea can be expected to play a similar amount of games this time around as well. Mourinho is a manager who does not think about having easy and difficult matches. He gives equal importance to all competitions over the course of a campaign. Chelsea have made a couple of signings in this transfer window, which has strengthened their squad.

Mourinho recently revealed that he has two players for every position. Rather than stick with the same group for every match, the Portuguese will now be rotating players in order to keep them fresh over the course of a season. Players like Juan Mata and Eden Hazard played a number of games for Chelsea last season, while Torres made close to 60 appearances. It will not be the case this time around according to Mourinho. He has praised the likes of Victor Moses, who have made a great impression in pre-season.

He has said that the former Wigan star is the kind of player who can change the game coming on from the bench.

“Where can I can fit all the players in? I hope to play 60 matches, so where I maybe won’t use different teams, we will use rotation of players that’s for sure. Victor has been terrific. He is another one who is working very hard. He hasn’t missed a single minute of a training session. I think Victor is a very good option for us. In Victor’s position we have Hazard, De Bruyne, Schürrle – it’s a position where a coach can make a change during a match and give new life and fresh blood to the team,” said Mourinho.

MESSI BACKS JOSE

Argentina star Lionel Messi has backed has former foe José Mourinho to be a success at Stamford Bridge after the Portuguese arrived as a manager for a second spell at the club in the summer. Chelsea were without a manager after they decided not to extend the contract of Rafa Benitez, who was at the club for just over six months. They decided to bring in former manager Mourinho on a four-year contract after he left Real Madrid a few weeks ago.

Messi has come up against Mourinho when he was a Chelsea manager in the past. The 25-year-old has said that he does not expect the Spanish league and Real Madrid to be weaker as a result of losing Mourinho. The Portuguese was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti only a few days ago. Messi has praised Ancelotti by saying that he is an equally good manager, who is capable of making Real Madrid challenge for all the trophies.

Barcelona managed to win the league title last season, but they were unsuccessful in their hopes of winning the Champions League for the third time in the last six years. They were beaten quite heavily by Bayern Munich in the semifinals of the competition. Messi is hoping to be successful this year, and he reckons that Barcelona have a strong squad to do that.

“I think the Spanish league is difficult anyway and will continue being difficult. We’ll be fighting against strong teams with great players like Real Madrid. Mourinho was a great coach but we know that Ancelotti is equally great. I think Mourinho will also succeed back at Chelsea because he’s a great manager. I think we have a great team and great players, as we’ve shown over the years,” said Messi, who also welcomed the arrival of Neymar as well.

MIND GAMES

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has started the mind games ahead of the FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City on Sunday. Chelsea will be coming into the match after having played four matches eight days, while the recently travelled to Russia on Thursday in order to play against Rubin Kazan in the Europa league. Manchester City, meanwhile, have been playing around one game a week for the last few months since been knocked out of the Champions League. As a result, the opposition have a clear advantage when it comes to the fitness and freshness of the players.

Some of the Chelsea players have been working very tired in the past few matches, but Benitez rested the key midfielders for the club – Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, and Oscar – against Rubin Kazan. Hence, they are likely to be a bit more fresh. Further, Demba Ba did not also take part in the Europa league encounter. He recently scored in the 1-0 win over Manchester United in the FA Cup, but he was not at his best against Sunderland in the last Premier league match. Fernando Torres, on the other hand, has managed three goals in his last three appearances for the team, and has been showing signs of returning to form.

“It’s always an advantage (to have rested while Chelsea travelled). I don’t know how much. We’ve tried to manage our squad and we have players with some fresh legs. Hopefully we will be fine. We have too many games and we have to use the squad. Everyone has to be on their toes. Too many games in a season. I will not say international or what kind of games. Too many games, though. Reduce the number of games: simple. To see a game where you can win 8-0 at international level is not an amazing experience for anyone,” said Benitez.

MIKEL SUPPORTS RAFA

The Nigerian midfielder John obi Mikel has come out in support of the manager Rafa Benitez by saying that the fans do not help the team by criticising the manager. The Chelsea fans have made it clear from the start that they did not welcome the appointment of the former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez due to the history between him and the club. Benitez criticised the Chelsea fans on a number of occasions when he was the Liverpool manager. As a result, there has been a lot of support for the former manager Roberto di Matteo, while also equal criticism for the current man.

Chelsea were just four points behind leaders Manchester United when Benitez arrived at the club, but they are now almost 20 points behind the Red Devils. The Spaniard was once again subjected to criticism during the FA Cup match against Manchester United during the weekend. Chelsea were losing 2-0 after just 11 min on the clock. Benitez brought on the defensive midfielder John obi Mikel in place of Lampard, while Hazard replaced the winger Victor Moses. It was a decision that was met with chorus of disapproval from the Chelsea fans, but it later turned out to be the reason behind Chelsea’s impressive comeback in the second half.

“Sometimes it doesn’t help when the fans are not happy. When you give the ball away there is pressure. This is our job. Fans come to watch the football and we have a responsibility to pay them back and make sure we play well. Every game we try to do that, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I have been here for seven years and they (the fans) are fantastic and have always supported us until the end,” said Mikel after the 2-2 draw with Manchester United that forced the tie into a replay.

PRESSURE RISES

Pressure on the Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has increased substantially after the 2-2 draw with Reading on Wednesday night. Chelsea were looking extremely comfortable in the match after taking a two goal lead in the second half, but they had to come away with only a point from the match after conceding two goals in the final few minutes. Juan Mata gave Chelsea the lead in injury time of the first half, while the 10th of the season from the midfielder Frank Lampard doubled the advantage. It looked like Chelsea where taking all three points from the match and closing the gap on Manchester City.

However, Adam Le Fondre came off the bench to score his first goal in the 87th minute, which seemed to give Reading a glimmer of hope. They managed to then snatch an unlikely point in the 90th minute through a second goal from Le Fondre. Benitez said after the match that he is lost for words to explain the two dropped points for the team, which has decreased the chances of him being offered the job permanently. Benitez has said that the Chelsea players should have been more aware of the danger when Reading started playing long balls in the closing stages of the match.

“Everyone could see the game was under control for us until the last minute. It is difficult to explain. The last free-kick we made too many mistakes. We had chances to kill the game. It changed because they were playing long balls. We can say we have to be more clinical, and more aware of this situation with these mistakes defending set-pieces. They had their first shot after 78 minutes. It’s difficult how to explain how we drew this game,” said Benitez. Chelsea remain in the third position after this round of fixtures.