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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Scolari: Lampard on his way to becoming one of the best in the world

Scolari: Lampard on his way to becoming one of the best in the world

Luiz-Felipe Scolari believes Frank Lampard is on his way to becoming the best player in the world after scoring his 100th Premier League goal in the 5-0 drubbing of Sunderland. Lampard headed home a Joe Cole cross at Stamford Bridge to complete his century and left his manager purring.Nicolas Anelka scored a hat-trick for the Blues and defender Alex also hit the net. But once again it was Lampard who won the headlines.

Scolari said: "One hundred goals is very good. For a midfielder it's fantastic. I think in this season or next season we need to think about who is the best in the world. Maybe it's Frank in this form.

"If he plays more games maybe he'll arrive in 150 in the league during his because he scores every two or three games."

Scolari was also pleased with the performance of Frenchman Anelka who now has nine goals for Chelsea this season.

He said: "Anelka has played more than previous season, ehe has more confidence now. He knows he's a player that I give the number nine shirt. to and he tries every game his best."

And he reserved extra praise for England midfielder Joe Cole who played despite carrying an ankle injury and set up three of Chelsea's goals.

The Blues boss said: "Joe had for me the best game because he helped us when we didn't have the ball and tried to build something for us when he received the ball. It's very good.

"He was not only on the wing, sometimes inside and as a midfielder. It's important for us and it's what I want from my players in other positions - don't stay in the same position every time because that's easy to mark."

The only bad news for Chelsea was that defender Ashley Cole went off with a calf injury and will definitely miss his team's trip to Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday.

"He won't go to Rome, that is for sure," said Scolari. "It is only two days away and is too soon for him."

Keane praises Chelsea after hammering

Roy Keane refused to criticise his players and chose instead to praise Chelsea after Sunderland were beaten 5-0 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Keane was asked by referee Martin Atkinson to watch the second half of the match from the stands but insisted he wasn't sent off and did not lose his temper.Keane said: "I don't think I was sent off, you'll have to ask the referee. I was disappointed with Chelsea's third goal because it was a foul and that goal was a hammer blow. And when you come to one of the big teams all you want is a bit of fairness.

"But, look, I don't want to take anything away from Chelsea. They were outstanding today and there's no shame inlosing to a team like that."

Keane insisted he didn't shout at his players at the final whistle and instead concentrated on praising Chelsea's performance.

He added: "I'm very relaxed after the game because our players kept going and you can't ask more than that. In the second half I just wanted someone to fast-forward that clock and it's been a tough week for us.

"Chelsea had just lost their unbeaten home record and we knew there would be a reaction. But I'm not too disappointed.

"Could we have played better? Could we have avoided one or two of the goals? Yes, but that's football. When you're chasing the ball all match you get mentally tired. But my players kept going."

Steven Sidwell: Frank Lampard lit up my career

Steve Sidwell insists his year on the bench at Chelsea could be the most vital of his career after getting a midfield masterclass from Frank Lampard.

Aston Villa newboy Sidwell, 25, only made 13 starts for Chelsea last term following a free transfer from Reading in May 2007.

But the attacking midfielder, who came through the ranks at Arsenal, reckons his brief spell at Stamford Bridge has improved his game hugely after studying Lampard.

And fit-again Sidwell is now desperate to make an impact in the Premier League as he seeks to emulate England ace Lampard, who has scored 117 goals for Chelsea.

"A lot of fans tell me I am a Chelsea reject but the year I had there I wouldn't change for the world," said Sidwell, who signed for Villa in a £5million deal.

"Although it didn't work out how I wanted it to, I have gained in other areas surrounded by leading players which can go a long way to help my career.

"I knew Frank was a fantastic player but being that close to him for a year, I have to say he is the best professional I have worked with by an absolute mile.

"The day I left I spoke to him and said: 'It has been a pleasure to be with you this year' as I picked up a lot of stuff off him.

"I learnt a lot from him like his positional play - where he is around the pitch, his passing, his vision and his fitness. He was great at timing his runs, which is the most important thing because if you time your run to perfection you have a golden opportunity to score.

"Every day in training you got 110 per cent out of Frank which is impressive. You look at players on extraordinary amounts of money and some ease off.

"But even now Frank has signed his new deal he is still putting in extra performances which is what makes him a top player."

Sidwell joined Villa in July but says his brief time with new Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari convinced him they will regain the title.

He added: "I trained under Phil Scolari for a week and what I saw of him in that week was mind-blowing.

"The players really took to his training methods and they have got off with a bang and I can't see them dropping many points.

"They lost to Liverpool but I know they are going to win the league this year - I am that certain of that."

But Sidwell believes his new club Villa, who finished sixth last term and are now fourth, are capable of securing Champions League football.

Man Utd boss Ferguson: Chelsea home form will be their undoing

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson believes Chelsea's home form will wreck their title chances this season.

“That home record that they had has been a great advantage to them over the years,” Ferguson said yesterday. “That impregnable home record was becoming a big thing for opponents, a big task to go to that kind of venue. We were ten minutes away from ending it when we went there a few weeks ago.

"I would have been happier if we had done it, of course, but I think that Liverpool winning there makes it a different picture for everyone altogether. They have lost seven points at home already this season, Chelsea.”