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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Latest Chelsea News

Terry seeks to cool waters with rallying cry

Chelsea captain John Terry has reiterated his commitment to the club in the wake of the Carling Cup final defeat by Tottenham last Sunday.

Terry, who was involved in a training-ground row with first-team coach Henk ten Cate the day before the Wembley showdown with Spurs, was unsure of his place in the starting line-up after he was omitted from the Champions League side that drew with Olympiacos the previous Tuesday.
But he has been quick to make it clear that he wants to stay at Stamford Bridge for life and is looking forward to the rest of the season after two months spent on the sidelines with a fractured foot.
'I really can't see myself leaving and I signed a new contract earlier in the season. I love the club, and I'm so passionate about Chelsea,' Terry said.
'I just want Chelsea to succeed. I like to think I know what the fans go through on a weekly basis. I don't just come in, train and go home and forget about things, I take it home with me.
'I am fortunate to be in the position I am at an amazing club like Chelsea, and to enjoy the things that come with being a professional footballer.
'I have been here on £45 per week and worked my way through to being where I am today. I appreciate everything and work hard every day.'
Terry also admitted that Avram Grant's squad must use the defeat at Wembley to spur them on to glory in the remainder of the season.
'It's hard to take any defeat, let alone a final,' he said.
'The boys worked their socks off to get to the final, and it's the worst time to lose, but we have to pick ourselves up, and we're still fortunate enough to be in all three competitions, and we're still very much in contention.
'The Premier League is still close, and we have a great chance in the Champions League and FA Cup, which is our trophy so we need to stay positive.
'Over the last three or four years we've got into a mode where we've been dominating things and we've been in the final stages and had a taste of success.
'There have been a couple of occasions where we've lost out and that is not a nice feeling, and I think no-one likes to lose, we didn't want to, but we have to use it as a positive and be more hungry in the future.
'Having that taste of defeat is not a nice feeling to have, and there are things out there we can win, like the Champions League that we still haven't won.'
Terry also said that he is under no illusions that, even as captain, he has to fight for his place like everyone else.
He added: 'There are so many world class players, and seeing how well Ricardo Carvalho, Tal Ben-Haim and Alex are doing, makes me want to get back and train, and prove myself again.
'It's horrible because you read things where people think they can walk back in the team, and I certainly haven't thought that.
'I've watched games and seen two players playing so well together so I had to work my socks off.
'It's not down to me or anybody else to pick the team, it's down to the manager and thankfully he's seen enough to put me in.'

Bridge snipers provoke Grant rant

Avram Grant has launched an angry tirade against his critics and has denied Chelsea are in crisis after Sunday's Carling Cup final defeat
On Friday afternoon, a rattled Grant launched into his most fearsome outburst since taking over from deposed Jose Mourinho last September.
The 52-year-old Israeli rounded on his detractors and lashed out at agent interference, inaccurate media reporting and a lack of respect for what he and his players have achieved since he took charge at Stamford Bridge.
Grant also explained that captain John Terry and first-team coach Henk ten Cate shook hands and hugged seconds after their training-ground row the day before last weekend's cup final at Wembley, where Tottenham won 2-1 after extra-time.
Chelsea also revealed they have issued legal correspondence over reports that scouting chief Frank Arnesen allegedly wants Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard as their next manager.
Grant initially began his pre-match media conference ahead of Chelsea's Premier League game at West Ham on Saturday in a low-key mood but his demeanour soon changed.
"If you speak about the last game, we didn't play well and we lost," said Grant calmly.
"The other five months, it was okay.
"Sunday was a bad game, a bad day in the life of the team. It happens sometimes. We lost the game but we are fighters and we move on."
But when asked about his relationship with the players following the defeat by Spurs, Grant reacted angrily.
"Why didn't you ask that question a week ago?," he fumed.
"Just because we lost one game... now, this is wrong, that is wrong.
"I don't want to defend myself about this. The spirit is very good in the team, the situation is very good with the team. We're sorry about what happened against Tottenham. I'm sorry, but we did a good job in the previous five months."
His unhappiness continued as he was quizzed about the training ground bust-up between Ten Cate and Terry.
Grant added: "I liked what Alan Shearer said. If you're a player, you know things like that happen. It was a discussion, you move on. They shook hands a minute later.
"No team in the world is without fighting. Sometimes it happens. Everything was okay a minute later. They shook hands, hugged."
Grant then made it clear that he had no problems with any of his staff, including Arnesen and owner Roman Abramovich.
"I have no problem in relation with anyone at the club," he said.
"We have a very good relationship with the staff, the players, with everyone.
"It's not been easy but we've won a lot of games together. I speak with Roman Abramovich a lot of times. No-one was happy with what happened in the game on Sunday.
"I respect the media in England - even though you gave me no credit at the beginning, but since then I've heard a lot of lies.
"Roman Abramovich has never told me one player that he needs to play, never told me to pick the team this way or that. I'm in charge. Please, you need to respect my professionalism.
"You're (the media) trying to hurt the team, hurt the club because we lost one game. If we lose tomorrow... wait with the knife a little bit.
"When a new player comes to my team, I give him two months to show what he can do.
"You didn't behave too nicely. Now I don't respect you too much because we lost one game and you've taken it too far. I don't like it. You hurt my players, you hurt the club and this is not the right way.
"We were the only team to get to the final from the big four, we are still in all the other competitions. We've won 24 games in 35. We have done a fantastic job in our opinion.
"The relationship is fantastic between the squad. Now, because we lost, this and this and this is not good. What wasn't good is that we lost the game.
"You have to see the facts of what's happened in the last few months and give respect to the players and to me for what we have achieved."
Grant also responded to the touchy subject of playing Nicolas Anelka on the left wing against Spurs - a position that left him isolated for much of the game.
"He had a bad day," agreed Grant.
"But I take the responsibility for everything - for my staff, for my selection. If I decided to play some players after injury, that was my decision.
"Criticise me for that. If I put Anelka on the left side, it's my decision. I'll take criticism on that."
Grant though rejected suggestions that some players had been critical of his team selection after the game and accused some agents of creating unrest within the camp by leaking incorrect information to the media.
"The players are fantastic," said Grant.
"They behave nicely. Don't listen to agents so much. I sat down with the team and they felt they didn't perform well.
"I agree with Sir Alex Ferguson. Agents came to football to make things easier for the players. But sometimes they link things to the papers they don't need to and sometimes it hurts the team.
"But it's your problem. You need to check the facts. Some 95% of what was written didn't happen. But I don't think it was because of the agents that we lost the game.
"I know there were some players who were disappointed not to play, but that's part of it.
"No one has criticised me for the team that was selected. They all look forward. All the players knew the day before that they were playing. But, if I want to name the team three hours before the game, I'll do that.
"I'll do what I want. Nothing was different to other games. What was different was we lost."

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