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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Latest Chelsea News

Terry: You Can Still Count On Me
John Terry looked like a man that just had a heavy load taken off his shoulders after making such a terrific impact in his first match since his miserable night in Moscow

The Chelsea captain suffered one of the worst weeks of his decorated career after missing a crucial penalty in last Wednesday’s Champions League final, dooming his side to defeat against Manchester United. But Fabio Capello showed faith by handing him the armband, and Terry did not disappoint as he scored the opener and marshalled his defence brilliantly during the Three Lions’ 2-0 over the USA."I'm a big man, I like the big games and it was great to score," boomed Terry."It was a great boost for me. It was a relief really to have the England game with the USA rather than the whole summer to dwell on what happened in Moscow."Terry can more than likely all but officially count himself on summer holidays, as Capello has already declared that the Chelsea and Manchester United players in his squad will now be afforded a well deserved break and will not be utilised against Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday.
Derek Wanner,

Terry: 'This shows I am a man for the big games'
By Glenn Moore at WembleyThursday, 29 May 2008

Fabio Capello last night refused to reveal which players would be released from this morning's flight to Trinidad for Sunday's friendly, but he did let slip that John Terry would now be allowed to go home and continue his rehabilitation. Terry's Moscow penalty miss appears to have shattered his normally ebullient mood and Capello said: "It was important for him that he scored. It made me happy, he is a good captain and it was a good performance. I saw from him on the pitch what I asked for before the game. He has good charisma for other players, he is a natural leader. Now he goes on holiday happy."
Terry admitted he had been dreading this week but ends it feeling much more at peace with himself. "If I'm being honest this is the last place I wanted to come," he said, "seeing all the Manchester United players, but it has done me a huge favour. I've shown I'm a big man. I take full responsibility for what happened in Moscow but I've shown I'm a man for the big games."
David Beckham, who is in a better position to understand Terry's state of mind than most, said: "He's disappointed by last week and still going through that, but on the pitch you see the man and the player he is. He's going to be hurting but he's got character, one of the strongest I've seen in football. Tonight he tackled, he headed every ball, and scored the goal. I think every one of us was happy when he scored. I think he deserved that tonight."

Of the match Capello said: "We played without fear which is very important. We scored two goals and had a lot of chances to score more, that was also important." The England manager added: "I am very happy because I saw a lot of things I tried during training. We did a lot of good movement. When we play long ball it was when we had to. When it was possible to pass we passed the ball. I liked the pressing of the ball and that we won the ball back quickly. It is a step forward. You have to move on every game."
Capello insisted he did not know who will captain the team in Port of Spain on Sunday, which is not very plausible, but underlines his determination to keep his players – and the media – guessing.
The US team were made to look very ordinary by England, but they recently won convincingly in Poland, who are going to Euro 2008. Their coach Bob Bradley was asked how he could explain that. "Sometimes football is a crazy game," he said. "Everyone in the soccer world recognises the talent England possesses, some of the individual performances for England raises the bar for our team. We have players in Europe but we didn't have seven players starting who played in the European Cup final." It was an observation which again prompted the question of how a team with so much individual talent could come third in qualifying behind Croatia and Russia.

Ballack says Chelsea experience "fantastic" - May 28, 2008

Michael Ballack is feeling good about his status at Chelsea.

"If you play for a club like Chelsea, everyone wants to beat you and it is much harder," the midfielder told Chelsea TV.

"But this is always a good feeling and a good motivation. So you improve your game every year and that's why I went from Bayern Munich to Chelsea. I wanted to learn something about English football, because I used to watch it on TV and I thought it was fantastic.

"It is fantastic to play in these stadiums, it is always a good atmosphere and that is a big part of the football in England."

Cech Nose Ronaldo's Secret

Chelsea keeper Petr Cech believes he has figured out Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty technique, claiming he bears the bruise to prove it

The Blues shot-stopper kept out the Manchester United winger’s spot-kick during the penalty shoot-out in Moscow last week, although it was not enough to prevent the Red Devils triumphing.

The shot may have hit Cech squarely in the face, but he insists the save was no accident.

“Ronaldo’s kick hit me on my nose, it gave me an awful smack,” he said.

“The main thing was that I didn’t want to move so as to make it easier for him. I was prepared for the fact that he might hesitate.

“I waited for that and, as soon as Ronaldo paused, he didn’t have much time to do something. I went the right way and saved the penalty.”

No Reason

The Czech Republic No. 1 will face the Portugal international again during EURO 2008, as both countries have been drawn together in Group A, along with Turkey and co-hosts Switzerland.

Ronaldo has failed to convert his last two penalties on the European stage, having shot wide from the spot during the first leg of United’s semi-final against Barcelona.

But Cech believes the incumbent PFA Player of the Year should with his unique, stuttering approach, pointing to his success from 12 yards prior to the miss at Camp Nou.

“Ronaldo has always paused before taking his last few penalties,” said the 26-year-old. “So I think he will take it the same way again in the future.

“He has no reason to change it. Moreover, he has scored most of them. He only missed the one against Barcelona and the one in the Moscow final.”

Mike Maguire

Clarke fancies sticking with Chelsea - May 28, 2008

Steve Clarke fancies staying on at Chelsea.
The Times says assistant coach Clarke is due to meet chief executive Peter Kenyon, but not until later in the week as he is away on a fishing holiday.

With Avram Grant out of the way, Clarke would like to stay at the club temporarily to see if he has any future under the new manager, but would not hesitate to leave if he was offered a manager's job, even in the Coca-Cola Championship.

Grant: Chelsea would've won league with me in charge from start - May 27, 2008

Sacked Chelsea boss Avram Grant feels proud of the way his team played in the closing months of last season.

"In the last three months in which I was manager people no longer called the team Boring Chelsea," he said. "If we had played at the start of the season the way we did in those last months we would have won the championship.

"I was told by the club that I had come in as part of building the future and my position was not dependent on achievements. Nobody expected we would win anything, because I was given the club when we were fifth in the league and had drawn at home to Rosenborg in the Champions League.

"Nobody believed that we could even finish second or reach the Champions League Final in Moscow.

"But the target I set myself was to at least reach the Champions League Final because a team that invests so much money should at least reach the final."

Chelsea's Cech credits form to contact lenses - May 28, 2008

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has revealed his superb late season form was down to discovering he needed contact lenses!
The 26-year-old stopper even believes the first time he wore them in a match last month was the biggest victory of the entire season for him.

He recalled: "I had been complaining about not seeing well since October. It came to a head against Arsenal.

"I thought I had the ball in my hands and then suddenly it flew past me. That had never happened to me before. I couldn't explain it.

"It seemed I was getting in position a bit later than I normally would or that I was reacting a little bit more slowly."

An ankle injury ruled Cech out of action for six weeks back in March and he used the time to get his eyes checked.

He was on the brink of a return in early April only to suffer a training-ground injury when he needed 50 stitches in a facial wound following a collision with Tal Ben Haim.

He added: "Together with the goalkeeping coach I studied footage from last season and this season in terms of how I dealt with crosses and situations.

"You could see a huge difference in the way I moved. After I got injured, I had enough time to go for various check-ups.

"In the end I got contact lenses and now I can see 100 per cent better. So it's possible to find positives out of the injuries."

The Blues No 1 added: "I have to admit the first day I was supposed to wear them, I got up an hour and a half earlier than usual. I managed it somehow.

"When I tried the lenses for the first time, I realised what a big difference they made. Getting them was possibly the best moment of the season for me."

Abramovich handing new Chelsea boss £80M - May 28, 2008

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has put aside £80 million for his new manager to spend this summer.

The Sun says that is the transfer chest Abramovich has agreed after being left embarrassed the club were trophy-less for the first time in four years.

A Chelsea source revealed: "Avram Grant won nothing and was fired. Roman is not prepared to settle for second best.

"Any candidate for manager will be made aware of what's expected. But significant funds will be made available." Among several targets, Chelsea want Valencia striker David Villa and Barcelona wonderkid Giovani Dos Santos.

Chelsea go for £15M Van der Vaart - May 28, 2008

Chelsea are moving for Hamburg midfielder Rafael van der Vaart.
The Mirror says sacked Chelsea boss Avram Grant is believed to have had Van der Vaart on his radar before being sacked at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

Now the Blues will press ahead with signing the players the Israeli had earmarked for this summer.

The £15million-rated HSV skipper has so far refused all offers to sign an extension to his current deal, which runs out in 2010.

Two managers and no trophies - Now Chelsea fans savage £500m Abramovich with a vote of no confidence
Roman Abramovich will this week step up the search for Chelsea’s new manager against a backdrop of growing disillusionment with his regime from the club’s fans.

An poll in the London Evening Standard has revealed the Russian’s approval rating is at its lowest ebb since he arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2003.

The figures are published in the wake of a turbulent season which saw the Blues fail to win a trophy and sack two managers.

Don't look now but I don't think they like us anymore: Roman Abramovich and Peter Kenyon's poll ratings have fallen after a trophyless season at Chelsea

After investing £500million transforming Chelsea into a European heavyweight,
Abramovich has enjoyed hero status among Chelsea fans but the first signs of cracks in the relationship are now starting to emerge.

Chelsea supporters were asked to rate the performance of the key men Abramovich has tasked with running the club over the last 12 months.

Only five per cent thought Abramovich’s board had done a “very good” job which is a startling statistic when compared to 43 per cent in the same poll two years ago.

In total, only 32 per cent of supporters think Abramovich’s regime - in the form of chairman Bruce Buck, chief executive Peter Kenyon and the club’s directors - have done a “good” or “very good” job.

Again, this is a significant fall with the comparative figures standing at 75 per cent in 2006 and 47 per cent last year.

Faces of failure: Avram Grant paid for losing the Champions League Final with his job after John Terry's penalty miss

The number of fans describing the performance of the club’s chairman and board as “bad” or “very bad” has also risen and now stands at 23 per cent.

The poll was conducted by independent research company Football Fans Census as
part of the Standard’s annual London Football Report.

More than 2,000 fans were quizzed with a minimum sample of 100 supporters from each club.

The figures also show the lack of faith supporters had in Avram Grant — prior to his
sacking at the weekend - compared to his predecessor Jose Mourinho.

In the 2007 London Football Report, the Portuguese was voted the capital’s most popular boss with 97 per cent of those surveyed saying he had done a “good” or “very good” job.

The comparative figure for Grant in 2008 was 63 per cent despite Chelsea’s late-season charge.

The poll will provide food for thought for Abramovich as he contemplates finding a
successor for the Israeli.

Figures with more traditional CVs for managing big European clubs, such as Frank
Rijkaard, Guus Hiddink and Roberto Mancini, are believed to be among the prime
candidates to take over at the Bridge.

Don't look now but I don't think they like us anymore: Roman Abramovich and Peter Kenyon's poll ratings have fallen after a trophyless season at Chelsea

After investing £500million transforming Chelsea into a European heavyweight,
Abramovich has enjoyed hero status among Chelsea fans but the first signs of cracks in the relationship are now starting to emerge.

Chelsea supporters were asked to rate the performance of the key men Abramovich has tasked with running the club over the last 12 months.

Only five per cent thought Abramovich’s board had done a “very good” job which is a startling statistic when compared to 43 per cent in the same poll two years ago.

In total, only 32 per cent of supporters think Abramovich’s regime - in the form of chairman Bruce Buck, chief executive Peter Kenyon and the club’s directors - have done a “good” or “very good” job.

Again, this is a significant fall with the comparative figures standing at 75 per cent in 2006 and 47 per cent last year.

The number of fans describing the performance of the club’s chairman and board as “bad” or “very bad” has also risen and now stands at 23 per cent.

The poll was conducted by independent research company Football Fans Census as
part of the Standard’s annual London Football Report.

More than 2,000 fans were quizzed with a minimum sample of 100 supporters from each club.

The figures also show the lack of faith supporters had in Avram Grant — prior to his
sacking at the weekend - compared to his predecessor Jose Mourinho.

In the 2007 London Football Report, the Portuguese was voted the capital’s most popular boss with 97 per cent of those surveyed saying he had done a “good” or “very good” job.

The comparative figure for Grant in 2008 was 63 per cent despite Chelsea’s late-season charge.

The poll will provide food for thought for Abramovich as he contemplates finding a
successor for the Israeli.

Figures with more traditional CVs for managing big European clubs, such as Frank
Rijkaard, Guus Hiddink and Roberto Mancini, are believed to be among the prime
candidates to take over at the Bridge.

Ten Cate misses crunch Chelsea meeting - May 29, 2008

Henk ten Cate has put his future at Chelsea in jeopardy.
The Times says the assistant coach missed an appointment with Peter Kenyon, the chief executive, after returning late from a holiday, which will hardly help his cause because he is expected to be dismissed.

Latest Football News

FIFA president Blatter pushes for foreign limits - May 27, 2008

Fifa president Sepp Blatter continues to champion his controversial 'six-plus-five' rule, despite fierce opposition, and is targeting having it in place by the 2012-13 season.
Sepp Blatter, in Sydney for Fifa's annual congress, said rules restricting the number of foreign players that any club can field at any one time could be in place from the start of the 2010-11 season, beginning with a four-plus-seven quota and progressing to six-plus-five by 2012-13.

And Blatter is now claiming that the plan has the backing of key European delegates.

The Swiss football politician cited the Premier League's dominance in this season's Champions League as a reason why Fifa 'must implement' the idea, despite legal opposition from the European Union and Uefa boss Michel Platini.

Insisting that Fifa would proceed "within the limits of the law", Blatter said: "It's to make sure that there is better balance in the competitions and not only three or four teams in a league of 18 or 20 are fighting to be the champion and all the others are just there to not be relegated.

"As (Newcastle United manager) Kevin Keegan recently said: 'I can only start my season to fight to be fifth or sixth or seventh. It is impossible for me to go into the final four'.

"At the end of the Champions League in Europe you have in the quarter-finals four teams of the same association; in the semi-finals three of these teams.

"Then in the final you are surprised that you have two teams of the same association?

"We want to bring some remedies and this is the six-plus-five rule's objective."

Blatter came out of two days of discussions by Fifa's executive committee convinced that the proposal would be accepted when the congress votes on it later this week.

"The executive committee unanimously supported the proposed resolution concerning the six-plus-five rule," he said.

"We've had confirmation by all the confederations, including Europe, that everybody favours the objectives of the six-plus-five.

"I'm convinced, now the confederations are in favour of such a proposed solution, it is a possibility.

"But we should do it not (with) confrontation but in discussions to try and find a solution.

"We would start, step by step, with four plus seven in 2010 and then 2011 five (plus six), then 2012 six (plus five)."

Blatter added: "We've just seen Manchester United's starting XI in Moscow with six players eligible for the English team on the pitch. And they won. Not bad."

Liverpool chief Parry: Board knows squad additions needed - May 27, 2008

Liverpool chief Rick Parry says the board accepts Rafa Benitez's squad needs to improve if they're to become serious title challengers.

He told "We have to look back, learn and build for next season when the Premier League title will again be a priority target.

"We said back in February that despite the off field issues we needed to focus on a busy and important game schedule. The players did this and we qualified for next season's Champions League with games to spare.

"As ever, we now begin to concentrate on further improving the squad for next year. We have to be real contenders. The points gap has narrowed but it's still not enough.

"We have the nucleus of a very good team and now we must build on that during the summer break."

Liverpool boss Benitez: No chance of Torres sale - May 27, 2008
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez says there's no chance of selling Fernando Torres to Chelsea this summer.
He said: "The situation is very simple - we do not want to sell Fernando Torres.
"If a player does a good job for his team, like Fernando has for us, then it is sometimes easy for people to speculate that he might be wanted by other clubs.
"I am not aware of any offer being made by Chelsea but even if there was my answer would be the same - he is not for sale.
"We are trying to add to the spine of our team and that means keeping players like Fernando, Javier Mascherano, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher."

Ronaldo won't leave Man Utd out of Fergie loyalty - May 27, 2008

Cristiano Ronaldo won't skip out on Manchester United this summer, it has been revealed.

It is understood that Ronaldo still feels he owes United manager Sir Alex Ferguson for the education he has received at Old Trafford and, in particular, for the manner in which Ferguson helped him recover from his own personal nadir of the 2006 World Cup.

Ronaldo returned to England as a hate figure after playing a part in Wayne Rooney's sending-off in the Portugal versus England quarterfinal and was on the point of leaving until Ferguson talked him round.

"Cristiano does feel that he owes Sir Alex very much," said a source close to the player yesterday. "He loves the club but in particular he feels he owes so much to the manager."

Man Utd get official with Real Madrid over Ronaldo - May 27, 2008

Manchester United have gone official, declaring they're ready to take Real Madrid to FIFA over their public pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Premier League and European champions issued a statement this evening describing their "growing irritation" at continuing comments seemingly emerging from the Spanish club concerning their interest in the Portugal attacker.

The statement, released on their website,, said: "Manchester United has watched with growing irritation the comments attributed to Real Madrid over their alleged desire to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.

"The facts are: the player is on a long-term contract and his registration is held by Manchester United; The player is not for sale.

"The club will have no alternative but to report Real Madrid to the world governing body, FIFA, if it continues to behave in this totally unacceptable fashion. These public attempts to unsettle the player are completely against the regulations and the club will not tolerate them any longer.

"In addition, the club is certain that they are a distraction for the Portuguese national squad as they prepare for the European Championships. No one should be in any doubt that Manchester United will do everything in its power to keep its best players."

Fabio Capello thinks Frank Lampard is called "John Lampard"

Wages erode Premier League cash

Unlike their captain, wages at Chelsea have not slipped
Premier League clubs are spending a greater proportion of their cash on wages than ever before, a report into football finances has found.

The revenues of top-flight English sides topped £1.5bn for the first time in the 2006/7 season, Deloitte said.

But the ratio of footballers' wages to turnover hit its highest level since the league began in 1992.

Pursuing on-pitch success meant clubs spent on players to the detriment of their finances, the report said.

Only eight of the 20 Premier League clubs recorded an operating profit in 2006/7 - half the number which did so a year earlier.

However, strong English representation in the Champions League - with three semi-finalists in successive years - suggested that quality in the Premier League was continuing to improve, it added.

Chelsea - £132.8m (£114m)
Manchester Utd - £92.3m (£85.4m)
Arsenal - £89.7m (£82.9m)
Liverpool - £77.6m (£68.9m)
Newcastle Utd - £62.4m (£52.2m)
(2005/6 wages in brackets)
Source: Deloitte

In detail: Premier League wages

'Sustainable level'

Wages paid by top-flight English sides grew by 13% from the previous season to £969m

One club, Reading, saw its wage bill more than double, while Portsmouth and West Ham United spent 49% and 41% more respectively on paying their players. Chelsea had the highest wage bill, totalling £132.8m

Spending was partly driven by the arrival of a new three-year broadcasting deal - worth £1.7bn - which began in August last year.

Click here to see the wages of the Big Five leagues
This will propel Premier League revenues for the 2007/8 season to about £1.9bn, the report estimated.

"A number of clubs essentially spent some of the money on new players and wages in advance," said one of the report's authors, Deloitte's Alan Switzer.

"They knew the broadcast revenue was coming so it was acceptable to do so, but what would be more worrying would be if clubs' wage bills increased even more significantly in coming years."

The wages-to-turnover ratio hit 63%, up from 62% in 2005/6 and 48% in 1996/7, though Mr Switzer said this was "still at a sustainable level".

"Wages will have gone beyond £1bn for the season which has just ended. It will be interesting to see what happens next, and how high they will go."

'Trophy assets'

Much of the investment has been at clubs which have seen new owners at the helm, said Dan Jones, a partner in Deloitte's sports business group.

Arsenal's matchday revenue grew 105% to £91m in its first season at the Emirates Stadium
Premier League gross spending on transfers was £492m
The top four spenders in the Championship (Sunderland, Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion and Derby County) occupied the top four league spots
Source: Deloitte

However, the failure of clubs to produce a strong bottom line suggested that club owners might not have a "real desire" to make significant profits.

"The improvement in cost control which would demonstrate a normal business culture of maximising profitability does not appear to be happening at Premier league clubs," he said.

"It seems that, as in prior decades, we are seeing football clubs treated as 'trophy assets', except with clubs now owned by billionaires from a range of nationalities rather than local businessmen made good, reflecting the global appeal of the game."

Bolton Wanderers - 75%
Middlesbrough - 76.3%
Blackburn Rovers - 76.8%
Wigan Athletic - 76.9%
Sunderland - 89%
Figure relates to average % of stadium filled for home games
Source: Deloitte

The "key strategy" to making money for the club was in selling it on by building up a brand value, he added, "rather than a more tangible ongoing measure such as profitability".

Elsewhere in Europe, the top flight of the French, Italian and Spanish leagues saw about the same proportion of turnover being spent on wages as in the Premier league.

However in Germany, only 45% of income went on salaries.

The Bundesliga had the highest operating profit margin in Europe, the report said, at 18%.

Chelsea - (£620m)
Manchester Utd (£605m)
Arsenal - (£268m)
Fulham - (£182m)
West Ham Utd (£142m)
Figures are total debt at end of 2006/7 season
Source: Deloitte

This was helped by Germany having Europe's highest average attendances - with fans drawn by the continent's lowest ticket prices.

However the report noted that "the price of Bundesliga's clubs' very good financial performance seems to be a struggle to reach the latter stages of European club competition in recent years".

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bring Back The Special One Jose Mourinho To Roman Abramovich - He Is Simply The Best 2nd To None

Small List Of Blogs that I found but there is many more Chelsea Fans out there who want Jose Mourinho Back !

Chelsea related Websites and Forums -

Petitions To Bring Back The Special One Jose Mourinho -

Terry says Mourinho was best coach

Clare Lovell Saturday, 29 September , 2007, 20:39

London: John Terry says he is taking legal action after newspapers ran stories that a row between the Chelsea captain and Jose Mourinho precipitated the Portuguese coach's shock exit from the club last week.
Writing in the Chelsea programme for Saturday's west London derby with Fulham, England captain Terry also said Mourinho was the best manager he had ever worked with.
"Most of the time it's easy to shrug off stories that are plainly made up but this week I got very angry about a couple of pieces suggesting an argument between me and Jose ... was somehow the cause or contributed to his leaving Chelsea," Terry wrote.
"This is ridiculous and untrue and with the help of my lawyer I'm taking action to put this right." Mourinho left Chelsea "by mutual consent" last week and was replaced by Israeli coach Avram Grant, who is close to owner Roman Abramovich.
Unhappy fans chanted Mourinho's name during Saturday's game, the first at home since his departure and stall holders were doing a brisk trade in "Bring back Jose Mourinho, We love the Special One" tee-shirts outside the ground.
"Jose Mourinho won six trophies at Chelsea, he simply was the most successful Chelsea manager ever and the best manager I have worked with," Terry wrote.
"His training preparation and tactics were outstanding...but more importantly he is a good man..."

Carvalho: Jose is simply the best

Ricardo Carvalho has expressed his shock at losing "the best coach in the world" after Jose Mourinho parted company with Chelsea.The Portuguese coach left Stamford Bridge by mutual consent after the club revealed there had been a "breakdown" in his relationship with the Chelsea hierarchy.
Carvalho arrived at the Blues from Porto where he won the Champions League under Mourinho - and he expressed his belief that the former manager was unsurpassed as a coach.
He told the Daily Mail: "We are extremely sad about this. We are sad and we are shocked.
"For me there is no doubt, Jose Mourinho is the best coach in the world and I cannot believe that we have lost him.
"I never thought he would leave Chelsea without finishing his work, without achieving everything he wanted to.
"This is the first time he has ever done this and it will be terrible for him. He loved Chelsea. It has come as an enormous surprise to all the players.
"In the past few weeks the coach was unhappy because of our bad results but we were all working together towards a solution."
Midfielder Claude Makelele echoed Carvalho's shock, although he admitted recent results had taken their toll on Mourinho.
Makelele told the Daily Star: "This news was like a bomb for me. I would never have believed we would see the exit of the coach just two months into the season.
"We have seen the tension on Mourinho with the results in the Premier League, but he was still confident.
"The new injuries had really hit the manager hard and you could see the anxiety grow as the results started to go wrong.
"I first heard the news after getting a text from a team-mate. I do not know the new manager that well but he is a football man and that is important for the future of Chelsea.
"He faces a big challenge because he will always be compared to Mourinho by the press and the fans."

This is all very surreal. Reports say that Jose Mourinho is one of the managers shortlisted by the Chelsea board. JM now has too many friends at Chelsea including Kenyon and heck, Roman Abramovich! It appears that Roman and Jose are friends again and that could only be a great news for Chelsea!
The list of contenders gets longer and longer and it makes it a misnomer to call it a short list. In no order the names that I have seen so far are, Jose Mourinho, Frank Rijkaard, Guus Hiddink, Michael Laudrup, Sven Goran Eriksson etc
Jose Mourinho: Read this story from Sun. Let me repeat, a story from Sun. JM wanted a Ferrari before he was sacked and he was seeking help from Chelsea to get that. 6 months after he was sacked, after our League Cup final defeat to Spurs, JM gets this 2 million pound Ferrari as a gift from Roman Abramovich. A gift of 2 million pounds? From a man who denied him a reinforcements in January for a defender? Surely things must have improved between them. And to top it all, the car comes with a plaque with ‘The Special One’ engraved on it. And that’s from Roman to Jose. Good times are back again?
It is believed that Roman now believes in giving full freedom to the manager of the club. That nicely ties in with what Jose Mourinho wants. Various papers have mentioned that JM has laid down three conditions for his appointment (i) full freedom in football matters including transfers (ii) sacking Frank Arnesen (iii) bringing back his back room staff with him.
If there is one thing no one can question, that is JM being his own man. He is never going to be a ‘yes man’. He may not take this job if his conditions are not met. In fact, bringing back his back room staff could mean a sack for Ten Cate too. Here is JM laying down his conditions to someone who gifted him a 2 million pound Ferrari. He is not going to get these things into his career. Same with Roman too. That’s what he proved when he sacked his friend. If the relationship between Jose and Roman is managed and oiled well, that could be just perfect for Chelsea. Every single fan of our rival clubs know this. This possible re-union of Roman and Jose should make them very uncomfortable. Sad news to those Man Utd fans who were hoping that JM would success SAF.
My choice is quite clear. If JM is available, I want him back. I just want him back. There is no short list or there is not even a list. There is just one name. Get him Roman. Sack all those guys who are simply playing politics to rob you of your money. Let JM manage football, while you can be simply counting the trophies. Chelsea has a massive ambition. There is only one route to achieve that ambition - winning trophies like no one’s business. The income from football, the fan base everything else will follow success. JM is the man who can promise you success and deliver the promise, and with this conditions fulfilled he can even guarantee success.
Time’s running out Roman, go get Jose!

The Sun
Jose drives a hard bargain
TWO DAYS after he was sacked by Chelsea, Jose Mourinho made a promise.
Standing by the banks of the Thames outside the Conrad Hotel at Chelsea Harbour, the Special One said the last of his farewells.
He had just given an interview to SunSport in which he said he was grateful for his time at Chelsea but that maybe he would come back to haunt them.
After an embrace and shake of the hand, Mourinho looked me in the eyes and said something which has remained with me.
“You know,” he said, “I will be back as manager of Chelsea some day.”

Roman's £2m gift

He smiled, turned around and walked towards the September sunset. Most people thought that it was the last they would see of Mourinho in west London.
After the rows with Roman Abramovich and appointment of the owner’s friend Avram Grant to replace him, it looked like there was no way back.
Football, however, is often much stranger than life. A week before he was sacked, Mourinho had asked Abramovich’s help in finding a rare Ferrari he wanted to buy.
The car — a 612 Scaglietti — is the only four-seater Ferrari make and Mourinho wanted a sports car he could drive his two children in.
A special edition was produced to celebrate the company’s 60th birthday with only 60 being made.
A few days after being sacked, the Portuguese coach contacted Chelsea director Eugene Tenenbaum to say that if the car was found he would still like to buy it.
Mourinho heard nothing for five months but was then contacted out of the blue by Tenenbaum, who told him a present from Roman would be delivered.
Three days after Grant lost the Carling Cup to Spurs, Mourinho took delivery of the £2million Ferrari complete with a personalised plaque engraved ‘The Special One’.

He phoned Abramovich to thank him and as the two men laughed together, the Russian billionaire jokingly asked Mourinho ‘When are you coming back?’.
As SunSport revealed on Saturday, the two men have been in regular contact since and the prospect of them being reunited has increased in recent days. From Abramovich’s point of view, the experiment of appointing a ‘yes man’ as head coach has proved a disaster. The Russian billionaire has fallen out of love with his club and has preferred to spend the majority of his time with his girlfriend, Daria Zhukova.
But he has decided the next boss will be allowed to do everything his way while the directors look after the business side.
Whether the promise of no interference is enough to persuade Mourinho to return is another matter.
Inter Milan have spent two months in talks with the former Porto boss and agreement ‘is very close’ according to the Portuguese camp last night.

The fact is though, Inter has never been Mourinho’s first choice. Ideally, he would have gone to Barcelona or Real Madrid and his talks with Inter only became serious 10 days ago when a job in Spain was ruled out.
He would only return to Chelsea on his terms and that would mean written guarantees he has the final say on everything in the football department — including the academy, where Frank Arnesen would have to be sacked from his role as director.
There are other details he would insist on but it is unlikely Abramovich will agree to the terms.
If that is the case, Frank Rijkaard is the only other realistic candidate and ironically, it is understood Arnesen has already contacted the Dutchman.
Rijkaard was offered the job 14 months ago when the club first plotted to axe Mourinho. He decided to stay at Barca but a second barren season at the Nou Camp saw him axed three weeks ago.

Abramovich has been impressed by Rijkaard’s football philosophy and the ex-Holland international needs to work.
He has been caught up in an income tax probe in Italy from his time at AC Milan and must pay back around £6million.
The £6m a year he can expect at Chelsea would be welcome — as would a £100m budget to rebuild and create a more exciting brand of football.
Given the options, Rijkaard is the easier and more obvious choice to lead Chelsea.
And Mourinho? Let’s just say he’s not a man to break a promise.

Jose ready for Blues comeback
JOSE MOURINHO is prepared to make an amazing return to Chelsea — but only on HIS terms.
The Blues sacked Avram Grant on Saturday without having an immediate replacement.
Frank Rijkaard remains the favourite and contact has already been made with the Dutchman, who could be interviewed in the next week.
But Mourinho would say ‘yes’ to taking back his old job — providing he was given three key guarantees from billionaire owner Roman Abramovich:
That he would have complete control of all football matters including transfers, first team and the academy.
Academy director Frank Arnesen — who Mourinho believes to be his enemy — is sacked.
That he could bring back all of his backroom staff with him.
As SunSport revealed on Saturday, Mourinho has been in regular contact with Abramovich and other Chelsea directors over the past few weeks.
But he has been negotiating a deal to take over at Inter Milan next season.
Inter president Massimo Moratti is pressing for an answer and expects to announce Mourinho as new coach this week.
Mourinho would risk losing the Italian job if he tried to delay a decision. The Blues are not interested in Sven Goran Eriksson and have decided Mark Hughes is not ready.
Club chiefs feel appointing an Italian is a backward step after Gianluca Vialli and Claudio Ranieri, while Guus Hiddink does not want the pressure.

'Special' return for Mourinho?
Chelsea fans on MY Sun are putting their Moscow misery behind them as they respond to reports linking Jose Mourinho with a possible return to Stamford Bridge.
The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ joined
Chelsea four years ago, on the back of a long courtship by the Blues' board, after leading FC Porto to a Portuguese and Champions League Cup double.
He quickly established himself as a major Premiership force, as he took the club to two successive Premiership titles, as well as
100 per cent unbeaten home record at Stamford Bridge.
Despite his impressive trophy haul, Jose’s defensive style of football led to rumblings of discontent from the Chelsea hierarchy, who felt the team needed to be more pleasing on the eye, in order to be the global brand they envisaged.
Inconsistent form in the Premiership, and continual internal wranglings with the Chelsea board, culminated in Mourinho being sensationally sacked by the London club.
Second time around?
The news surrounding 'The Special One' and
Chelsea has caught the attention of MY Sun regular Adriano4chelsea.
He has some words of wisdom for Uncle Ambro:"I hope Roman realizes that rich people make huge mistakes.
"Give us Chelsea fans what we really want, and bring back the Special One to Stamford Bridge."
According to
Chelseablue1970, Jose is a natural born winner: "They gave him the job at Liera a second division team in Portugal and he got them promoted without money.
"They then gave him the job at FC Porto again without cash and he won two league titles and a uefa cup and Champions league."
Malaysian Blue
OptimusPrime thinks Jose would transform Chelsea: "Winning is about scoring at least one more goal than your opponent.
"The Special One is the master at this so let's bring him back.!"
Doubts remain over Mourinho's
Champions League record with Chelsea, especially since ex-boss Avram Grant bettered his two semi-final efforts, by taking the team to the Champions League final in Moscow.
"Jose has already won it, says
Chelsea78, and will no doubt do so again.
"Lets hope it's with Chelsea. Bring back the King over the water."
According to
commentator, Jose's return would re-ignite his managerial rivalry with Sir Alex Ferguson: "I bet you the old warrior is bored stiff with Wenger and Benitez.
"He misses his old slug partner and he has some scores to settle with him before he finally retires in three years time."


Is prepared to make an amazing return to Chelsea

— but only on HIS terms.

The Blues sacked Avram Grant on Saturday without having an immediate replacement.

Frank Rijkaard remains the favourite and contact has already been made with the Dutchman, who could be interviewed in the next week.

But Mourinho would say ‘yes’ to taking back his old job — providing he was given three key guarantees from billionaire owner Roman Abramovich:

That he would have complete control of all football matters including transfers, first team and the academy.

Academy director Frank Arnesen — who Mourinho believes to be his enemy — is sacked.

That he could bring back all of his backroom staff with him.

As SunSport revealed on Saturday, Mourinho has been in regular contact with Abramovich and other Chelsea directors over the past few weeks.

But he has been negotiating a deal to take over at Inter Milan next season.

Inter president Massimo Moratti is pressing for an answer and expects to announce Mourinho as new coach this week.

Mourinho would risk losing the Italian job if he tried to delay a decision. The Blues are not interested in Sven Goran Eriksson and have decided Mark Hughes is not ready.

Club chiefs feel appointing an Italian is a backward step after Gianluca Vialli and Claudio Ranieri, while Guus Hiddink does not want the pressure.

Why Jose is The Special One...
Written by
Les Ferdinand
on Thursday, 29 November 2007
Mourinho is very special because of what he did at Chelsea.
I hear a lot of people saying they don’t want another foreign manager, and I agree with that to an extent. But we want the new man to be somebody who is going to make the most of the quality we’ve already got. There’s a lot of talent in our team that I don’t think is being exposed the way it should be and we need a manager who is going to make sure it is.

Everyone that is spoken about seems to be distancing themselves from the job so I think Mourinho is going to be first choice. The England job is not just about a manager’s ability to get the best out of their players - it’s about the whole package, including life outside of football. Unless you’re ready to be thrust into the public eye it’s best to stay away.
It’s a combination of all kinds of things. You have to be tactically aware and you have to be a great motivator. A combination of everything makes the perfect manager – Mourinho’s got that and that’s why he’s called 'The Special One'!

A SPECIAL RECORDIn his 19 Premier League games against Ferguson, Wenger and Benitez, Mourinho lost just two and won 10. Grant has faced these three men four times in the League and lost twice (Arsenal, Manchester United), with one victory (Arsenal).

Mourinho v Wenger Won 2, Drawn 4, Lost 0
Mourinho v Ferguson Won 3, Drawn 2, Lost 1
Mourinho v Benitez Won 5 Drawn 1, Lost 1
Jose Mourinho really was the Special One

By Alan Smith
When those text messages landed late on Wednesday night, when Jose Mourinho told his senior players that he was leaving, the overriding sentiment, I suspect, among the recipients – apart from initial shock – was one of deep sadness.
Sadness that the boss had chosen to walk away from Chelsea. More specifically, sadness that his decision marked the end of an era, a time that reaped so much success, so many good times, thanks largely to the inspired leadership of the 'Special One'. I use that phrase intentionally, by the way. Because for all his foibles, for all his ill-judged remarks over the years, comments that went way beyond the boundaries of good taste, the Portuguese coach does indeed have something special as a manager. As a man as well.

A man apart: Jose Mourinho could bring out the best in his players
To realise that, you only have to be in his company for a couple of minutes. It is an oft misused attribute attached to people, but there is definitely an aura about this particular character, something innately appealing to most who come into contact with him and something, more importantly, that engenders fierce loyalty among his charges.
Think of John Terry and Frank Lampard, two lads already established at Stamford Bridge when Mourinho arrived. It didn't take long for them to realise that something different was afoot.
Likewise, it didn't take long for the new manager to appreciate what he had in this pair. A good portion of the team's spine was already in place. Consequently, they became the gaffer's lieutenants on the pitch, giving every last ounce of effort to deliver the game plan designed to win silverware.

When that success came, what's more, no one looked happier than the two Englishmen. Celebrating that first title win at Bolton, the bond looked unbreakable between all three. It goes without saying, then, that Terry and Lampard will have been upset by the news.
And so will several others who made huge progress under Mourinho's tutelage. Didier Drogba, for one, immediately springs to mind. A handful, certainly, at Marseilles but still something of a rough diamond, he gradually evolved into the most feared centre-forward in Europe. You could say something similar about Michael Essien. Another costly buy, admittedly, but another player now on the way to fulfilling his huge potential. The list goes on. Joe Cole, for instance, turned from an unpredictable show pony into a player of substance under Mourinho.
The dressing-room, therefore, will be in a state of considerable flux just now, with no one quite sure how things will pan out under Avram Grant. There must also be a little resentment simmering under the surface towards Chelsea's former director of football. Inevitably, whispers will go round that the Israeli coach stabbed his predecessor in the back to get a chance in the hot seat. Grant will have to deal with that. It might not be easy.

What is certain is that Mourinho will prove a hard act to follow. When last was a manager forced out after maintaining an unbeaten home record stretching to 64 games? Helping him to achieve such amazing results, never mind what you say about the entertainment value, was an attitude to discipline and organisation bordering on fanatical.
On the training ground, sessions were mapped out well in advance, so that everyone was clear what lay ahead. Off the pitch, to leave no one in doubt of the standards expected, Mourinho issued every member of staff with a special rule book. Those falling short of the requirements could be ostracised in a flash.
Which brings us around to Andrei Shevchenko and Michael Ballack. Whenever a manager departs from a football club, there will always be players feeling fairly pleased. For every Lampard or Terry, a disaffected player will hope for better things under the new boss. Shevchenko, then, will doubtless be praying for a change in fortune, without Mourinho's unappreciative glare boring into his back.

For the rest, however, the mood will be less positive. Their leader has gone. What on earth happens now? Yet the default reaction quickly kicks in. As always in these circumstances, every player starts to look after himself.

Next Chelsea manager......Jose Mourinho

It is looking more and more likely that Jose is going to be our next manager. He and Abramovich have been building bridges recently (Roman just bought him a Porsche) and Jose has openly admitted he would like to manage Chelsea again.
When you look at the available candidates for the job, it becomes even more possible.
Rijkaard - He seems to fall out with everyone both as a player and manager, also he is somewhat unproven, sure a CL winner, but with a squad to die for.
Mancini - Again somewhat unproven, yes he did win the Scudetto with Inter Milan, but this seasons Serie A race was one of the weakest yet. AC Milan were very poor and Juventus aren't even a shadow of the team they one were.
Hiddink - He would be a fine manager for the Blues, but has turned down plenty of high profile jobs as he wants to stay with Russia and carry on doing what he's doing. Has just signed an extension until 2010.

Ericsson - Although I personally like Sven, I just can't see him being the right kind of personality for the Chelsea job. It seems the powers that be have realised we need a big personality to increase our public profile and Sven doesn't really fit the bill.
All this leads us back to Jose Mourinho. He really is the perfect man for the job. The players and fans love him, he loves the club and admitted recently he wants to come back
(March 07 "Asked if he would go back, he said: “Yes, why not. I would love to do that, of course, of course.").
If Chelsea want to be the main story of the off season and want the majority of the media spotlight then bringing back Jose would send the press into an absolute frenzy - Mourinho would love it.

I think it may well become a very special summer.

Official Chelsea FC News - John Terry Letter To Chelsea Fans And Others

Sun, 25th May 2008

John Terry has written an open letter to Chelsea fans following the Champions League Final.
The Chelsea captain wrote:
'To all the Chelsea fans, all my team-mates, the manager and staff at the club.
I am so sorry for missing the penalty and denying you the fans, my team-mates, family and friends the chance to become European champions.
Many people have told me I don't need to say that but I feel I need to, that's just me. I have relived that moment every minute since it happened. I have only slept a few hours and wake up every time hoping it's all been a bad dream.

Many people have told me I don't need to say that but I feel I need to, that's just me. I have relived that moment every minute since it happened. I have only slept a few hours and wake up every time hoping it's all been a bad dream.
I have had some amazing support from fans, current and ex-players, family and friends and I need to thank everyone for that. But I am a big man and I take responsibility for us not winning.
I am and ALWAYS will be Chelsea through and through. I will give my all on and off the pitch to win this trophy as a player and one day as a manager. And I am sure we will win it.

That night in Moscow will haunt me forever and I feel I have let everybody down and this hurts me more than anything. I am not ashamed about crying. This is a trophy I have tried so hard year after year to win and it was just an uncontrollable reaction, I wear my heart on my sleeve, everybody knows that.
The road to Rome starts here, we have to try and turn this experience to our advantage. I am very proud of how far we have come this season with everything that has gone on.
Thank you for all your support for the team this season.'

24th May 2008

In a summary of the second Champions League Final since he took charge of the European governing body, Uefa President Michel Platini (pictured left) has spoken highly of the fans who attended the game and of John Terry.
In his thoughts, published on, the former France international legend proclaimed the Moscow match a triumph, adding:
'My thanks to all those who contributed to this success, be they from the sporting authorities, the political authorities or at any other level, however modest.
'Thank you to the supporters, whose conduct was exemplary. And congratulations to the winners. At the same time, I would wish for their disappointed opponents to one day know the indescribable pleasure of brandishing the trophy.

'Now our focus turns to Euro 2008,' Platini continued, 'in the hope that the tournament will also be a great football festival, with winners as delighted as the forever-young Ryan Giggs, and losers who behave with the dignity of Chelsea's captain John Terry.'

Sat, 24th May 2008
Everybody at Chelsea Football Club wants to thanks our supporters for their incredible support in Moscow. We know the sacrifices many people made to be there and we all truly appreciate that. The behaviour of Chelsea FC fans in almost every case was exemplary and you were a credit to the club.
We also know that some of you endured a difficult journey either to Moscow or returning. In some cases there were some significant delays especially coming home. Firstly we would like to apologise for those. In nearly all cases these were outside of the control of the club or our official travel partner Thomas Cook. Nevertheless we will be looking into those issues that caused the delays and any lessons that can be learned for future trips.

Fri, 23rd May 2008
Frank Lampard, the first Chelsea player to score in a Champions League Final, believes that the better side lost out in Moscow on Wednesday evening, but is adamant that the Blues will return stronger for the experience.
The midfielder calmly slotted home our equaliser on the stroke of half-time in the Luzhniki Stadium after Cristiano Ronaldo had given Manchester United the lead, and then converted his penalty in the shootout, only to see team-mates John Terry and Nicolas Anelka miss.
Lampard freely admitted it was a bitter pill to swallow, but backed his team-mates to recover from the disappointment.
'It's a small, small detail that loses you the game. No one can deny that after 30 minutes of the game we completely dominated,' he began.

'The best team didn't win, but let's take nothing away from Man United, they are a fantastic team and they've gone and won the Champions League, but it's very hard to take when it happens like that.'
Playing just weeks after the death of his mother Pat, Lampard was able to put the defeat into context, but was full of sympathy for his team-mates.
'I feel very emotionally drained, it's been very tough in the last couple of weeks trying to prepare for the biggest game in my life, but it's almost become not that important with things personally, I'm just disappointed for my team-mates,' he said.
'They have been fantastic to me. Everyone saw what they did for me in the Manchester United league game and I'm very fortunate to have them and I wanted to be part of a winning Champions League team but it's not to be.

'I think we dominated the game, credit to Man United, they took control of the first half an hour of the game and could have gone more than 1-0 up, but once we woke up and got playing, I don't know how many shots we had, hit the bar, hit the post, and were in the driving seat for penalties.'
Terry had the chance to seal victory for the Blues, but at the crucial moment lost his footing, and saw his spot kick clip the outside of the post and bounce clear. Having missed in a shootout while playing for England in the World Cup two years ago, Lampard could empathise with how his captain and close friend was feeling.
'John is Mr Chelsea, he is Chelsea through and through and wants this more than anyone. I just want to say that not many centre-halves will stand up and take penalties, and that's testament to his character as a man.
'At the end of the day it's a game of football - we'll be back.'

Fri, 23rd May 2008

Chelsea duty for Frank Lampard may be over for another season but the vice-captain has explained international action must end before he can turn his attention to contract negotiations.
Both Chelsea Football Club and Lampard (whose Champions League Final strike took him past the 20-goal mark for the third season running) have long made it clear talks would take place only after the football was over - and that includes England's friendlies against the United States on 28 May and Trinidad and Tobago on 1 June.
'My contract has obviously been the last thing on my mind in the last six weeks,' Lampard said after Wednesday night's Final, 'but I'll sit down and talk after the England games

'I hope we can come to a conclusion. I'm pretty confident we can. I've said that many times before.'

Mon, 26th May 2008

The Champions League Final between Chelsea and Manchester United was watched in the United Kingdom by over half of all TV viewers tuned in at the time.
According to figures supplied by Uefa, ITV1's coverage of the all-English encounter from first whistle to the conclusion of the penalty shoot-out attracted an audience of 11.1 million viewers, a market share of 46 per cent.
The coverage on Sky Sports 1 generated an audience of 1.8 million viewers, a further 7.4 per cent share of TV viewers across the UK at the time, giving a 53.7 per cent total.
Across Europe there were other impressive figures with over 7 million viewers in each of France, Germany and Italy; 6 million in Spain and 2.2 million in the Netherlands - giving market shares ranging between 28 and 39 per cent.

Worldwide viewing figures are yet to be calculated but it is thought they may top last year's approximation of 300 million.

Tue, 27th May 2008
Pat Nevin : IF Anyone Can Cope It Is Terry

With another season behind us, and one that almost brought the biggest trophy in the club's history, Pat Nevin takes a professional look at Moscow's outcome and what a certain kick will mean to our captain.
So another quiet season for Chelsea Football Club slips almost unnoticed into the annals of history…or maybe not.
You can paint this one any way you like, two cup finals and just missing out on the league championship on the last day or a trophy count at precisely zero.
Of course we were just one penalty kick away from the best season in the club's history, the width of a post from glory or a small slip from sensation.

The disappointment was huge at that moment but there is little to be gained from dwelling on it, though JT may find that difficult during the close season.
In a perverse way it is maybe best that it was the skipper who missed that chance as opposed to anyone else. That sort of thing can destroy a lesser mortal, it can certainly taint an entire career, but if anyone can cope with the devastation it is Terry.
In Britain certain players are remembered for penalty misses even if they had fantastic careers.
I watched Chris Waddle having many fantastic games and what a skilful player, but ask most of his countrymen to sum up his career in a sentence and it will revolve around a missed penalty in a World Cup semi final for England.

Scotland fans still hark back to a Gary McAllister penalty in 1996 against the 'auld enemy' and he was adored beforehand.
Certainly Stuart Pearce showed that you can get over it, but he had redemption from scoring in another penalty shoot out a while after he had missed a vital one for England.
I hope John gets the chance to have another go and one thing I am pretty certain of is that he will be brave enough to step up again to take the responsibility. He is a leader, he is brave and he would be first to take the hit for a team mate less capable of stepping forward.
In the end it was an incredible night in Moscow and it was great to see so many true Chelsea fans present considering how hard it was to get there for most.

The reaction at the end was impressive too. I sensed general disappointment of course, the word 'gutted' just didn't cover it, but there was also pride. Pride in how far the team had come and in particular how well they had played on the night after surviving the first half onslaught from United.
Nothing is ever simple in football however and what would normally be seen as the start of something special having been a hairs breadth from the top trophy, looks to be the end of another phase, with a new manager arriving over the summer.
I know who I would like to see next in the hot seat but the decision will be made soon enough by the board and speculation is pretty pointless here from me.

What I will say is that Avram Grant certainly rose in the estimations of many of the fans during his eight-month tenure, maybe not difficult because he was a long way from the preferred option when José left.
In my opinion the Israeli can hold his head high after remaining dignified throughout what was a very testing period and let's be honest he had a fairly tough act to follow.
There aren't many more as pressured jobs in the world's game and, as was mentioned above, he came extraordinarily close to winning us the one we all wanted.
As it is the club are on the lookout for a truly world-class coach and maybe even one or two players to bolster the squad. I just hope that this season, which was still amazing relative to the club's history, isn't looked upon for years as the best chance we had.

I want another league title, I want to go to another Chelsea Champions League Final and more than anything else I want John Terry to score the winner before going up to collect the silverware.
And by the way John, the letter on the club website was great, but you didn't need to apologise to a single Chelsea fan, we know what the fans and the club owe you for your efforts over the years.
Last weeks competition asked which current Chelsea player once played for FC Chemnitz. It was of course Michael Ballack in his younger days and the winner picked at random by a little girl who bravely choked back the tears after the final whistle in Moscow was Buz Hannon from Tulsa USA

I am off for a break now but hope to talk to you again next season. Thank you all for reading my inane nonsense, joining in the silly quizzes and most importantly for following the best team there is.

Latest Vacant Chelsea Manager Hot Seat News

Lippi Wants Chelsea Job?
According to the Sunday Mirror, Marcello Lippi has put himself forward for the vacant manager’s job at Chelsea.

The recent sacking of Avram Grant has led to a media frenzy over who will be replacing the Israeli on the bench at Stamford Bridge.A whole host of big-name managers have been put forward as possible candidates, including Guus Hiddink, Sven Goran Eriksson, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Roberto Mancini.According to the Sunday Mirror, legendary Italian manager Marcello Lippi is set to apply for the job at Chelsea.The 60-year-old has been out of the game since leading Italy to the World Cup in Germany in 2006, however he has stated on numerous occasions that he will be returning to management in time for the 2008/09 season.Lippi is one of the most successful coaches of the modern era having won five Italian championships during two spells at Juve.He also won a Champions League title, an Intercontinental Cup, a Coppa Italia, and a European Supercup.He finished as a runner-up in the Champions League on three occasions in 1997, 1998 and 2003, as well as losing a Uefa Cup final in 1995.

Anthony Sormani

Chelsea Reject Mancini
According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini approached Chelsea yesterday about their vacant manager’s job, only to suffer a humiliating rejection.

The search to find a new boss at Chelsea is on following the sacking of Avram Grant, and the coaches who have been mostly strongly linked with the position in the media include Frank Rijkaard, Guus Hiddink, Sven Goran Eriksson and Mancini.The Inter tactician, who last week won his third straight Scudetto in Italy, has been heavily tipped to leave San Siro after a somewhat tumultuous campaign off-the-pitch.The Gazzetta claims that Mancini contacted Chelsea yesterday to notify them of his interest in the job, only to be told straight that he wasn’t wanted.“His representatives have repeatedly knocked on our door, but he isn’t our man,” a source inside the club reportedly stated.Mancini is still refusing to speak to the media, and kept his silence once again following last night’s 2-1 Coppa Italia final defeat to Roma at the Stadio Olimpico.The ex-Lazio and Sampdoria player will meet President Massimo Moratti in the week to discuss his future, but many still strongly believe that Jose Mourinho has already signed a pre-contract to replace him.Luca Capofranco

I want Chelsea job - Deschampsby Laurent Picard, 26 May 2008

Didier Deschamps believes he is on Chelsea's short-list regarding the coaching role at Stamford Bridge, and the charismatic figure is ready for the big move to his old club.
Just two days after sacking Avram Grant, The Blues are working hard to name a new manager and France legend Deschamps is part of the short-list.
The tactician is a free agent since he parted company with Juventus in the summer of 2007, after having helped The Old Lady to gain promotion to the top flight.
Deschamps reckons he is one of the three or four managers that are in the frame to replace Grant, and the tactician dreams of taking over the reins.
“It would be hard to refuse Chelsea, unless I stop being a coach,” Deschamps told RMC. “I want to return to coaching.
“I needed to rest because I had no break between my playing career and coaching career. I feel capable of doing good things.
“The coach’s market is complicated, there are not only the players.
“Chelsea is different because the place is vacant. I am flattered to be a possibility.
“They are a very big club that I know. We will see in the next few days how it goes.
“Three or four managers are on the list, I am part of them.
“We speak about [Marcelo] Lippi as well but he does not speak English. All the famous managers who are free can interest them.
“We cannot forget that they sacked a manager not because of results but because they want to play a spectacular football, attacking, something different than in the next few years.
“[Roman] Abramovich and his directors decide, not the players."
Deschamps added: “I have played with John Terry, I know them [the players], you know, you only work with internationals at Chelsea.
“I would like to have the chance to choose [between Lyon and Chelsea].
“You have a very competitive team, they fought for the title and played the Champions League final but you have big pressure that forces you to win.”

Gift to Jose Mourinho hints at Chelsea return By Steve Wilson

Despite leaving the club under a cloud last autumn former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is still on good terms with owner Roman Abramovich - so much so in fact the Russian billionaire recently gave the Portuguese a £2 million car as a present.

And as the search begins for a replacement to the sacked Avram Grant, the intriguing possibility of Mourinho returning to West London no longer seems the fanciful possibility it once did.

Driven man: Mourinho is still on good terms with Abramovich
Frank Rijkaard, who has led Barcelona to domestic and European success, Guus Hiddink, who is already on Abramovich's payroll as Russia coach, and Mark Hughes have emerged as the leading candidates to replace the Israeli.
Mourinho, despite holding out for opportunities at Real Madrid, Barcelona or AC Milan, is some way down the road with negotiations to succeed Roberto Mancini - another possible Chelsea manager as the European managerial merry-go-round cranks up to full speed - at Inter.
However, news that the manager who delivered back-to-back titles in his time at Stanford Bridge has spoken regularly with Abramovich since his departure raises the possibility of a return that would be welcomed by fans of the club.
A week before Mourinho was sacked after an indifferent start to the season he had asked Abramovich to use his contacts to source a rare Ferrari he wanted to buy.
The 612 Scaglietti is Ferrari's only four seater and Mourinho wanted it so he could drive a sports car that was practical for a man with a young family. A special edition of the model was produced to commemorate the Italian company's 60th birthday and only 60 were made.
Shortly after his dismissal, Mourinho contacted Chelsea director Eugene Tenenbaum to reaffirm his desire to buy the car if it could be found.
Nothing was said for around 5 months, at which point Tenenbaum contacted Mourinho to say that a gift from Abramovich was on its way to him - three days later he took delivery of the £2 million car in the week following Chelsea's defeat to Tottenham in the Carling Cup final.
Mourinho called Abramovich to thank him and the pair quickly renewed an amenable relationship opening the way for a return at some stage for Mourinho. He has stated in the past that one day he would like to return to Stamford Bridge.

Abramovich has admitted that the experiment with employing his friend Grant has been a failure, despite Chelsea running Manchester United close in both the Premier League and Champions League.
And the Russian has privately conceded that a policy of installing a strong disciplinarian to manage the team whilst handing day-to-day running of the business over to the directors may yield the results he craves, both in terms of trophies and aesthetics.
Mourinho being part of that still remains unlikely but a serious shift in the Russian's thinking means that changes at the club are set to be wide and far reaching over the summer both in terms of coaching and playing staff.

Top target rules out Bridge move
Last Updated: Mon, 26 May 2008 13:10
The agent of Guus Hiddink has ruled out the possibility of the Dutchman becoming the next manager of Chelsea.
The search is on for Avram Grant's successor following his departure on Saturday and it was thought that Hiddink was on owner Roman Abramovich's list of possible targets.However, Hiddink is currently in charge of the Russia national side and has a contract that is due to run until 2010. Hiddink's agent, Cees van Nieuwenhuizen, insists Hiddink will honour that contract and has no intention of moving to Stamford Bridge. "There's no way Guus will go to Chelsea," he said in the Times. "It's not an option and has never been. Guus is the coach of Russia and will stay until the World Cup of 2010."Abramovich must now turn his attentions elsewhere and reports continue to link former boss Jose Mourinho with a sensational return to the Blues.

Portugal coach Scolari wants Chelsea job - May 26, 2008
Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari fancies the vacant manager's job at Chelsea.
The Brazilian is the type of no-nonsense, experienced gaffer Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is seeking to replace Avram Grant, who was sacked on the weekend.
The Times says having priced himself out of a move to Manchester City, Scolari is keen on the Chelsea post and has told friends that he would relish working with Abramovich.

Sunderland boss linked with Chelsea job
SUNDERLAND boss Roy Keane is a shock candidate for the Chelsea job, according to reports today.

SUNDERLAND boss Roy Keane is a shock candidate for the Chelsea job, according to reports today.
Writing in the Daily Express, respected sports journalist Harry Harris claims Keane could be on his way to Stamford Bridge as replacement for Avram Grant, who was sacked on Saturday.Keane is more likely to be seen as a potential successor to Sir Alex Ferguson, who has admitted he will retire from the Manchester United hotseat within three years.But Harris reckons Chelsea could opt to beat United to the punch with a move for Keane, or for Blackburn boss Mark Hughes.Luiz Felipe Scolari, Marcello Lippi and Didier Deschamps are also said to be in the frame. While Sven-Goran Eriksson could be a wild card choice.

Bookies' market on next Chelsea manager By Telegraph staff and agencies

As Avram Grant touched down in Israel at the weekend, Frank Rijkaard, Roberto Mancini and Gus Hiddink were heading the bookmakers' race become Chelsea's third manager in nine months.

Currently being tipped as favourite is ex-Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard, fetching odds of 5/2. He was sacked from Barcelona just weeks ago after a second disappointing season at the Nou Camp, and will now be looking for immediate employment as he reportedly faces money problems dating back to his playing career.
His links with Chelsea could prove useful (Henk Ten Cate was his assistant at Barcelona), while his adherence to beautiful football is a quality Roman Abramovich prizes. However, the Russian is looking for a manager to take a firm grip of the dressing room, and Rikjarrd is not known as a disciplinarian, adopting more of a laisse-faire attitude.

Roberto Mancini, 9/2, has just won his third consecutive Serie A title with Inter Milan, and has privately revealed that he will be leaving the club in the summer. Reports had suggested that Mancini had already been in talks with Chelsea, although the board have rejected these rumours.
His reputation for antagonising the press could prove a problem, however.

Gus Hiddink had at one point been regarded as a banker, but odds on the Dutchman have lengthened to 9/2 after he ruled himself out of the running at the weekend. However, Abramovich has serious influence over the Russia manager - Hiddink is already on the Abramovich payroll as the billionaire sponsors his wages in the international side.
His sides play the brand of "total football" that Abramovich desires and as for ruthlessness, Hiddink ticks that box too - he sent Edgar Davis home from Euro 96 after the player advised him to "take his head out of his players' asses, so he can see better."

Mark Hughes is another contender with odds of 16/1 at William Hill, although a search of the market will turn up odds of 9/1. Hughes fits most of the criteria: he has a proven talent on the transfer market, as well as a successful playing career at the club.
However, it is uncertain how much influence he would allow Abramovich to wield in the dressing room.

Sven Goran Eriksson, 6/1, is another manager that Abramovich has been linked with in the past. The "super agent" Pini Zahavi is promoting the Swede for the job, although Eriksson's reputation to kowtow to senior players could prove to be a stumbling block.
Michael Laudrup, the current Getafe coach, is a surprise contender, fetching odds of 16/1.

Laudrup has said that he will leave Getafe this summer after guiding the Spanish club from the relegation zone in La Liga to the Uefa Cup semi-finals.
Odds on Jose Mourinho returning to Stamford Bridge have shortened since last month to 12/1 after it emerged that Abramovich had presented the Portuguese with a £2 million Ferrari after Mourinho had been fired.

However, Inter Milan remain his most likely destination.
Other contenders are Phil Scolari at 16/1, Marcello Lippi at 20/1, and Didier Deschamps at 25/1, although at this stage these managers are looking like also rans.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Latest Chelsea News

Cech tormented by Chelsea defeat

Petr Cech remains tormented by Chelsea Football Club’s UEFA Champions League final defeat.

The Blues lost the premier club competition in European football to Manchester United in a dramatic penalty shoot-out, and it will take their Czech Republic international goalkeeper some time to get over. "To lose in the Champions League final cannot be forgotten," Cech told his personal website. "The only way we can forget about it at some point is to get to the Champions League final again as soon as possible and win it."It is a massive disappointment for me. If we were the worst team and lost clearly 3-0, then it would not make me feel as sorry as it does this way. It is really very difficult to cope with the loss. "We were unbelievably unlucky in the game."

Nicolas Anelka criticises under-fire Avram Grant - Force To Take Pen when he didn't want to

With Avram Grant waiting to discover his fate, Nicolas Anelka has added to the mood of despondency at Stamford Bridge by openly criticising his under-fire manager.
With the Israeli already fearing the worst, despite leading Chelsea to within one penalty kick of winning the biggest prize in European club football for the first time in their history, Anelka has added his weight to the debate. The France forward, know as "Le Sulk" says he is fed up of being played out of position, and also claims he was introduced into Wednesday's Champions League final without being given the chance to warm-up.
Anelka has failed to make a significant impact since he joined Chelsea from Bolton Wanderers in January. He has often had to settle for a place on the bench, behind Didier Drogba, or has been deployed in wide positions. However his season reached a low-point in Moscow when, after coming on for the final ten minutes of extra time, Anelka's decisive penalty was saved by Edwin van der Sar.
"I didn't come here to play on the left or right," he said. "When I came here, people told me I would play in a 4-4-2. In England, I no longer need to prove that I am better through the middle. Since I arrived, I haven't played in my position. Never as a number nine, always on the left or the right.

"Until now, I haven't said anything. I was a newcomer, I haven't wanted to make a story out of it because I still didn't know the club. But from next season, I insist I will no longer be the little newcomer."
Anelka was also critical of Grant's decision to throw him on for the final few minutes of the final.
"At no point did I think I was going to come on," he added. "I was on the bench for 110 minutes and suddenly I am asked to play, not even a minute after I was sent out to warm up. I don't know if that has ever happened in a Champions League final, in a match of that intensity, that a player has gone on to the pitch without having warmed up. When you go on, you have to be ready to run!"
"I was asked to take one of the first five kicks. But I said: 'That is out of the question, I have come on basically as a right-back and you want me to take a penalty.' So I had to go in seventh but Van der Sar pushed away my shot. All the better for him, that is the game."

Lampard to resume Chelsea talks

Frank Lampard is to open fresh talks with Chelsea over a new contract after England's friendly internationals. Fabio Capello's side take on USA at Wembley and then travel to play Trinidad and Tobago on 1st June.England midfielder Lampard revealed he will discuss a new deal to keep him at Stamford Bridge on his return. Lampard's current contract expires next summer and talks over a long-term extension were put on hold for the duration of last season.But following Chelsea's dramatic penalty shoot-out heartbreak against Manchester United in the Champions League final on Wednesday night, Lampard is confident a deal can be agreed."I have got to talk to the club," said Lampard. "My contract has obviously been the last thing on my mind in the last six weeks, but I will sit down and talk with them after the England games.

Terry spitting mad over Tevez row,16368,1778_3600321,00.html
Chelsea captain John Terry has denied spitting at Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez in Wednesday's Champions League final.

Tempers flared in extra-time in Moscow when Tevez opted against giving the ball to Petr Cech by kicking the ball out for a throw-in after they had intentionally kicked the ball out of play.
Despite Chelsea using the same tactic twice themselves during the game a handful of players, including Terry, confronted the Argentina international about his behaviour.
A confrontation occurred that resulted in Didier Drogba slapping Nemanja Vidic in the face, which saw the Ivory Coast striker sent from the field.
Terry admits to some brief argy-bargy, but he strenuously denies any untoward behaviour towards Tevez.
"There was some pushing and shoving, I admit that," he told The Sun. "But no spitting, that is not my style.
"No way would I spit at another player."

Man Utd's Evra defends "gentleman" Drogba - May 23, 2008

Manchester United fullback Patrice Evra has jumped to the defence of Chelsea striker Didier Drogba after his Champions League final dismissal.
Evra reflected: "I did not understand it, I have not seen anything. I was told that he had given a slap on Vidic. Even when he walked off, I felt for him ... Didier did not deserve it because he is a great player and outside the ground, he is a gentleman.
"It's a shame for him."

Kenyon ready to splash the cash,16368,1773_3600713,00.html

Peter Kenyon has declared Chelsea are set for a summer shopping spree in order to bridge the gap to all-conquering Manchester United.

Chelsea narrowly missed out to United by two points in the Premier League title race and the Blues also suffered penalty shoot-out heartbreak against the same opponents in Wednesday's Champions League final.
The failure to land a trophy this season has heaped pressure on manager Avram Grant and chief executive Kenyon has admitted his disappointment at finishing behind United.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is now expected to make available a £100million transfer kitty and Kenyon has revealed the club are only looking to bring in big names, with the likes of Milan playmaker Kaka and Real Madrid ace Robinho thought to be prime targets.
"We will be bringing in a couple of players," Kenyon said in the Daily Express.
"But we are looking at a very thin market from a quality point of view, and it's realistic to say we're only looking at a small number of players.
"We're looking at players who have the potential to be star names. When you look at what we've already got, are they better than that?
"Manchester United set the benchmark for transfer fees last year. I didn't expect them to go out and spend that much.
"But what this season has proved is that we have a squad of real depth. It's more about tweaking than a rebuild.
"Three months ago, we were involved in four competitions, six weeks ago we were still in two and we got knocked out of the last one.
"It's disappointing from that point of view, but we're going to regroup from that and come back better next season.
"It's been an interesting season, but you don't like finishing second and as runners-up. Given the standards we've set at the club, that's not something we've settled for."
Kenyon is also confident Chelsea will be able to keep hold of their top players this summer, despite speculation that Didier Drogba is heading for Milan and that Internazionale have set their sights on Frank Lampard.
"We're pretty confident that the players we want to keep, we'll keep," Kenyon concluded.

Chelsea offer Terry counselling - May 23, 2008

Chelsea may offer counselling to skipper John Terry after his reaction to missing a penalty in this week's Champions League final.
The Telegraph says Terry was devastated after the match and Chelsea sources say the club are even prepared to offer counselling. There is, however, huge confidence that Terry will overcome the disappointment

Inter Milan president Moratti feels for Chelsea captain Terry - May 23, 2008

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti had great sympathy for Chelsea skipper John Terry after his spotkick nightmare in Moscow on Wednesday.
Moratti was in the stands for the Champions League final and reflected: "Of course, I saw Frank Lampard, Cristiano Ronaldo and other great champions, including Terry, who missed that penalty. I am sorry for him, he has a big heart, but life sometimes is really cruel."

Mourinho - Blues should have won
Last Updated: Fri, 23 May 2008 12:35
Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho feels the Blues deserved to win the Champions League final against Manchester United.
The Portuguese tactician began the season as Chelsea boss but quit after his relationship with owner Roman Abramovich appeared to break down.He was replaced by Avram Grant, who guided his charges to the brink of Premiership success as well as the final of Europe's elite club competition, only to be pipped by United in both competitions.Mourinho, himself a Champions League winner with Porto, suffered heartache in the competition at the semi-final stage on two occasions with the Stamford Bridge side and he felt that it should have been third time lucky for his former side in Moscow on Wednesday night."I'm sad about it," he told sports daily O Jogo. "I think that for the 'Blues family', losing a semi-final of the Champions League to a phantom goal, losing another semi-final on penalties and losing a final on penalties is too tough and unfair."Especially when Chelsea were the team that was closer to winning it. There are marvellous players there and they did not deserve the defeat, but football is like that and life goes on."But the self-appointed 'Special One' did pay tribute to his former rival in the United dug-out."Congratulations to Manchester United, to a great manager who is Alex Ferguson and to all their players, but especially to Cristiano and Nani," he added. "Given that Portuguese teams only win European competitions very occasionally with lots of years in between, it's important that Portuguese players manage to lift these trophies."

Abramovich sticking with Chelsea - and wants Kaka - May 23, 2008

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will stick with the London club - and intends to prise Kaka away from AC Milan, it has been revealed.
DiarioSport says Abramovich has told close friends he will continue to pump his millions into Chelsea, despite Wednesday's glorious Champions League failure. And he sees Kaka as the man to deliver the changes he wants to bring to the Blues next season.
Roberto Mancini, Inter Milan's coach, is the man Abramovich wants to take charge next season. However, football chief Frank Arnesen is under pressure, according to sources.

Chelsea chief Kenyon set for crunch talks with Ten Cate, Clarke - May 26, 2008

Chelsea chief Peter Kenyon will hold crunch talks with coaches Henk ten Cate and Steve Clarke this week.
Both men are expected to leave Stamford Bridge following the sacking of Avram Grant on Saturday. Ten Cate and Clarke are due to meet Kenyon on Wednesday, says The Times.

Chelsea to bid £50M for Liverpool's Torres - May 25, 2008

Chelsea are ready to offer Liverpool a staggering £50 MILLION for striker Fernando Torres.
The Mail on Sunday says Stamford Bridge owner Roman Abramovich is ready to smash the world transfer record to land the 24-year-old Spaniard.
Abramovich was prepared to pay that much for Thierry Henry when he first took over at Chelsea and he has given chief executive Peter Kenyon permission to offer the same amount for a brilliant marksman who scored 33 goals in his debut season at Anfield.
"There is a desire among certain people at Liverpool to sell at the right price," said an insider last night. "It's just a case of whether they have the nerve to incur the wrath of the Liverpool fans."
Disruption reigns at Anfield, with the ownership of the club as well as the future of manager Rafa Benitez and chief executive Rick Parry uncertain.
Tom Hicks says he is desperate to raise funds to take sole control and the sale of Torres only a year after he arrived from Atletico Madrid for £23m could be good business.

Chelsea teammates fear losing Drogba "leadership" - May 26, 2008

Chelsea teammates fear losing the influence of Didier Drogba should the Ivorian be sold in the summer.
A senior Chelsea insider told the Sunday Mirror: "Drogba is a real leader in the dressing-room."
That may come as a shock to those who see him as a moody prima donna.
"Not true," said the source. "If he is that bad, how come the club want £24million for him?
And if there's one person who wants to buy him that's Jose Mourinho when he lands his next job.
"When Jose had money available, Drogba was first on his list. That must tell you something. Didier keeps the French-speaking players as a unit in the dressing-room. A real leader. He would be very hard to replace."

John Terry Is A Courageous Man - Capello
England boss Fabio Capello has paid tribute to Chelsea captain John Terry following his miss in the penalty shootout against Manchester United in the Champions League final last Wednesday...

The Blues skipper stepped up to take the final penalty of the shootout, and following Cristiano Ronaldo's surprise miss for Manchester United, had Terry converted, Chelsea would have won their first ever Champions League title, in their first ever final.However, having slipped as he struck the penalty, he saw it clip the post and go wide, and United now famously went on to win the shootout in sudden death after Nicolas Anelka's effort was saved by Edwin van der Sar.Added to this allegations that the battling defender spat at Carlos Tevez during the course of the game and rumours he would lose the captaincy permanently to Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand - who, as if to add insult to injury, captained the Red Devils in Moscow - it has been a miserable week for John Terry.He has issued an open letter via the club website to the fans, apologising to all those he felt he let down with his miss. But Capello, crucially for Terry's captaincy hopes, had nothing but good things to say about the 27-year-old."It takes courage to take a penalty in those circumstances and once you have the courage to take a penalty then of course you can make a mistake. That's the lottery of penalties," Capello told the Daily Mirror.“There's nothing dramatic with that, but John Terry is a courageous man."Capello, appointed as a Sven-like foreign saviour to bring success to English football, is confident that he can lead the side to the final of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, of course being unable to compete in Euro 2008 due to his predecessor, Steve McClaren's failure to qualify.With the Italian's record for almost instant success being second to none at every club he has coached, he has every right to be confident.He continued: “I think I can take England further than Bobby Robson in 1990 [the semi-finals of the World Cup], why not? I have always worked to arrive at the top, why should I think differently? “I have been with Roma, Juventus, Milan, Real Madrid and always wanted to go to the very top. I don’t understand why people feel differently. We need to be ambitious.“We have good material here and have been competitive against every team. My ambition is to arrive at the top. You have to work to change the mentality.“I believe we can do that but the players must also believe. By September I will have the full picture.”Chet Winter,

Chelsea chiefs push three big names to Abramovich - May 27, 2008

Three big-name coaches are being pushed by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's closest allies as they consider their options after the dismissal of Avram Grant.

The Times says Eugene Tenenbaum has told the owner that Chelsea need a strong manager to regain control of the dressing-room, leading him to champion the cause of Guus Hiddink, the Dutch coach of Russia. As well as an impeccable CV, Hiddink has a reputation as a disciplinarian and enjoys a good relationship with Abramovich.
Eugene Shvidler, another of Abramovich's key aides, has mentioned Dick Advocaat, another Dutchman, whose stock is high after leading Zenit St Petersburg to victory in the Uefa Cup final.
Blues chief executive Peter Kenyon is talking up the credentials of Mark Hughes. As well as being impressed with Hughes's work at Blackburn Rovers, the chief executive is also acutely aware of the need to appease the fans and Hughes was a popular player during his three-year stay at the club in the 1990s.

Chelsea No2 Ten Cate: I know I'm safe - May 27, 2008

Henk ten Cate is convinced he is safe from the sack at Chelsea as he prepares to meet with chief executive Peter Kenyon tomorrow.
"A half hour before the message about Chelsea dismissing Grant was officially known, I was called by the chief executive, Peter Kenyon," Ten Cate told Voetbal International. "He informed me that the departure of Grant would have no impact on me. So I'd rather go by that than all those newspaper reports."
On the scheduled meeting with Kenyon, Ten Cate shrugged: "I have already had one such evaluation in January and when we spoke, we said we would do it again after the season. For me it is simple. I have a contract until 2010 and I am at Chelsea as their No1 assistant manager."