Thursday, March 25, 2010

Two new additions to Chelsea injury List - Ivanovic and Carvalho


     Lengthening the list of injured players , Chelsea face a new challange as they miss out two key players , Ivanovic and Carvalho .Ivanovic was declared unfit for one month when he got a knee injury during the match against Blackburn Rovers. He used to be a good defensive alternative as Chelsea missed the main right back Bosingwa due to an injury very early in the season.
                                                  Now that  the main centre back Carvalho also got ruled out for one month , Ancelotti is up against a squad that lacks quality in defence. Chelsea will have to show real character to bring the silverware back to Stamfordbridge. Now that the important away match against Manchester United in pending , The blues camp will be under enormous tension.

                                                            This should be a lesson to Chelsea that they should increase the quality of their reserve bench. Hope Chelsea use the next transfer season to full advantage.

The Blues Keeps Title Hopes Alive by Thrashing Pompe's (Chelsea 5-0 Portsmouth)


Chelsea moved into second place in the Premier League and to within one point of leaders Manchester United with an emphatic win at bottom club Portsmouth.
After a low-key start, Didier Drogba rolled the ball into an empty net after David James kicked at thin air.
Florent Malouda slammed in a second before following up Frank Lampard's saved shot to slot in a third.
Drogba outmuscled Steve Finnan and fired in at the near post before Lampard headed in an injury-time fifth.
It took them a while to hit their stride but when once they did, Chelsea imposed themselves on the game in a manner that has eluded them, to costly ends, in recent matches.

Ancelotti 'satisfied' after 5-0 win

The visitors' victory was thoroughly deserved but initially owed to a moment that was part misfortune and part mistake.
James has already demonstrated his generosity this week by reportedly being a leading figure in a group of Pompey players who have agreed to cover the wages of four club staff members, who would otherwise have been laid off as part of the administration-enforced cost-cutting measures at Fratton Park.
Unfortunately for Pompey, their 39-year-old England stopper carried such benevolence into his performance and gifted the visitors the lead in the 32nd minute.
After an uneventful opening, Chelsea launched an innocuous-looking attack with Deco heading on a ball that hugely favoured the home keeper, but when James's kick met air instead of ball due to a large bobble off the turf, Drogba was able to run on and slot into the unguarded net.
Barring a 30-yard drive from Lampard which James tipped past the post it was the only real chance of a first-half which was characterised more by bad blood than free-flowing football.
Not long after the goal, Malouda was involved in an aerial challenge with Ricardo Rocha which saw the Pompey defender stretchered from the field with a suspected fractured cheekbone to a chorus of boos aimed at the Chelsea winger for his perceived aggression.
Not long after, Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge drew blood from the nose of Pompey's Tommy Smith with a trailing arm leading to the withdrawal of the bloodied striker and further anger both on the pitch and off it.
Malouda may have left the field to a chorus of vitriol at half-time but he and his team-mates returned to torment the home side with a superb second-half display.
Five minutes after the break, Lampard's chipped through-ball found the Frenchman, who beat the offside trap on the left and bore down on goal before rifling his shot past James and into the roof of the net from a tight-angle.
Ten minutes later he doubled his tally, following up Lampard's initial shot - well blocked by James - to once again fire a rasping shot high into the net.
James had done his utmost to prevent the visitors extending their lead further with strong saves from shots by Lampard and substitute Joe Cole.
But he was left to rue the fragility of the defence in front of him when Jon Mikel Obi's long ball was chested down by Drogba, who then held off Finnan and fired in at the near post.

Portsmouth coach downbeat

Drogba should have made it five himself minutes later but the Ivory Coast striker made a hash of a stretching finish from six yards out following a cross from substitute Patrick Van Aanholt.
In injury time, Lampard did add the fifth, heading in after Drogba had nodded down Cole's high left-wing cross to give Chelsea the added bonus of drawing level on goal difference with Manchester United.
As for the home side, they may be able to sell players following unprecedented permission from the Football Association to undertake transfers outside the window to ease their financial burden, but they could not buy a goal here.
Their night was summed up when Jamie O'Hara's cross was nodded down by Frederic Piquionne to the unmarked Richard Hughes, but he put his header from eight yards inexplicably past the post.
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti:
"We'd lost some confidence in our play in the last few weeks, but we played well here. This performance will improve our confidence.
"We are involved in the Premier League and the FA Cup, so maybe eight or nine games until the end of the season, so we need to maintain this period and this spirit to play.
"We have to prepare for these remaining games like they are finals. It won't be easy, but it's important to stay involved in the Premier League."
Portsmouth assistant manager Perry Groves on Ricardo Rocha:
"Ricardo has gone to hospital to see how bad the damage is and [manager] Avram [Grant] has gone with him.
"Ricardo may not play again this season. I thought the challenge merited a yellow card but I only had half an eye on the incident when it happened.
"There's not too many fit players left in our squad. [But] there's always been a fantastic spirit amongst them and they'll always grind out results for you

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Where has Chelsea gone Wrong?


                          Chelsea began the season with the appoinment of the new manager Ancelotti stating they wanted to win Champion League for their owner "Abramovich" . But even Ancelotti failed to bid the Champions League trophy which remains as a jinx at Stamford. The crashing out of league at an earlier stage with out even making into the final eight is something that Abramovich don't expect from his new manager.And the thing is Abramovich has released and Ultimatum for his staff and players to face serious actions if they didn't prove them selves in EPL.
 The Problem Statement
                    Chelsea were desperate to put their hands on the Champions trophy this season , but injuries caused them to go into the league with a poor line up which lacked creativity and penetrating power.Among  the numerous  injury vows , it was Essien that made a large impact on Chelsea line up. He used to be a powerful face in the Chelsea midfield who created chances as well as brought fluidity into their game. Missing out Bosingwa for the whole season was also a severe blow that Ancelotti faced though he tried to recover his miss using Ivanovic. Then came Ashley Cole , who was the master mind of all the attacks along left wing during the first half of the season. As he was sidelined for rest of the season , Ancelotti missed out another big gun from his armory.
                                                       Chelsea didn't do any major signings this season , the one being Zirkov and Sturridge , both of them didn't made ab impact on the team also.All expected a major signing in the form of a world class striker or attacking midfielder to assist Drogba up in the front. As neither of the signings didn't happen , it left Chelsea as team whom you can beat if you tied Drogba down.
                                                                    Then came scandals.That too about Mr. Chelsea captain John Terry. He was hit by the scandal linking Wein Bridge's former girl friend.  That caused Terry to lose England's captaincy also. After that event , Terry was been just a shadow of his old himself. That left the famous Chelsea defense an easily penetrable one.
                                                                      Now that they are out of Champions League , Chelsea have to concentrate on winning EPL , where they still hold the first place in the table. But with matches pending against Manchester United and Liverpool , The Blues will have to win all the games from now on to bring the EPL trophy back to Stamford once again.
                                                                           What ever may be the turn out at the end of this season , Chelsea will have to cash in next transfer season and bring in some class players to build a strong line up to claim all the trophies.

Chelsea 0 - 1 Inter Milan (agg 1 - 3)


Jose Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge in triumph as Inter Milan sent Chelsea crashing out of the Champions League.
Samuel Eto's clinical strike 11 minutes from time settled a scrappy encounter and sealed a place in the quarter-finals for Mourinho at the expense of the club he left in 2007 after a hugely successful three-and-a-half years.
And the misery for Chelsea and coach Carlo Ancelotti was complete when Didier Drogba was sent off in the closing minutes after a penalty area clash with Thiago Motta.

Mourinho's Inter were able to keep a subdued Chelsea at arm's length for the majority of a tense evening littered with fouls and spells of ill-feeling, with even the self-appointed "Special One" being targeted for abuse by the supporters who once idolised him as frustration spread around Stamford Bridge in the closing moments.
He celebrated in relatively muted fashion when Eto'o capped a spell of Inter pressure with the crucial goal, after Diego Milito had missed the chance to seal Chelsea's fate even earlier.
Chelsea had their moments in a frantic first half, with Michael Ballack shooting just wide and Nicolas Anelka seeing a close-range effort cleared off the line by Motta, while keeper Julio Cesar saved well from Florent Malouda after the break.
And Chelsea were also left claiming they were victims of a clear injustice in the first half when Drogba was dragged to the ground by Walter Samuel as they wrestled to reach a corner.
This apart, Inter were able to restrict Chelsea, who failed to show the wit and guile required to break them down, demonstrating the defensive discipline and resilience that is the trademark of any Mourinho team.
He did not milk Inter's win at the final whistle, but Mourinho may just appreciate the irony of the fact that he has ended Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's dream of bringing the Champions League to Stamford Bridge.
For Ancelotti and Chelsea, the task is now to regroup and refocus their sights on the Premier League and the FA Cup.
Mourinho stated his attacking intent with the presence of Goran Pandev, Milito and Eto'o, but after a positive start the game soon descended into a predictable war of attrition.
Chelsea's Ballack posted the first moment of danger, but he dragged his shot low and wide past Cesar's upright from the edge of the area. Drogba was also denied by a defiant block from Maicon as he closed in on goal.

Mourinho won two league titles in three full seasons at Chelsea
Inter knew that vital away goal would leave Chelsea with a huge task, and Eto'o wasted a wonderful opportunity to provide it for them after 33 minutes.
Maicon's cross deceived John Terry, but Eto'o appeared surprised at getting the chance and directed a poor header down and well over the bar.
In a frantic finale to the first 45 minutes, Walter Samuel threw himself in front of Malouda as he drove into the box, while Motta rescued Inter with a goalline clearance as Anelka forced a shot beyond Cesar.
The tension was robbing the game of any real quality and also resulted in plenty of short tempers. And Chelsea were particularly infuriated when referee Wolfgang Stark ignored penalty appeals as Drogba was clearly dragged to the ground by Samuel as the grappled to reach a corner.
Both teams left the pitch to a frustrated chorus of jeering at the interval, with Chelsea coach Ray Wilkins clearly angry at the events of the first half.

Mourinho's gestures from the sidelines made it clear he wanted Inter to exploit the areas around Chelsea left-back Yuri Zhirkov, but the Russian full-back twice rescued his side with perfect challenges on Eto'o and Pandev as they closed in on keeper Ross Turnbull.
Malouda brought a fine save from Julio Cesar at his near post, but once again Chelsea were having trouble producing the invention needed to break the deadlock.
Ancelotti responded by sending on Joe Cole just after the hour, but this was only the signal for Inter to create, and waste, their best chance as Milito snatched at his effort with only Turnbull to beat, much to Stamford Bridge's relief.
Inter had been the more dangerous team after the break, and the killer away goal they had been threatening duly came with 11 minutes left. Wesley Sneijder's pass cut Chelsea apart and Eto's showed great expertise to guide his finish around Turnbull.
Mourinho indulged in some fairly low-key fist-pumping, but the rest of Inter's backroom staff and players celebrated wildly as Chelsea's players were forced to accept their Champions League hopes were over for another year.
As time ran out and emotions ran high, Drogba appeared to stand on Motta's foot and saw red. It was a moment that summed up Chelsea's miserable night.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chelsea 4 - 1 West Ham


Dominant Chelsea thrashed relegation-threatened West Ham to return to the Premier League summit.
Florent Malouda crossed for Alex to open the scoring for Chelsea with a powerful header from six yards.
The Hammers hit back through Scott Parker who scored with a vicious half-volley from outside the area.
But Didier Drogba headed home a Malouda cross to regain the lead, before Malouda coolly slotted a third and Drogba tapped in a late fourth.
From the start, West Ham defended deep against title-chasing Chelsea - perhaps unsurprisingly considering they started the day only three points outside of the bottom three, yet it was the Hammers who had the first chance to take the lead.
Jonathan Spector outmuscled Paulo Ferreira on the byeline and the loose ball fell to Mido who squared to Ilan, unmarked on the edge of the six yard box, but the Brazilian hammered his effort over the bar.
Chelsea might have seen their formidable Stamford Bridge record dented by a loss to Manchester City in their previous league match, but they were in no mood for a second setback and took the lead just two minutes after Ilan's miss.
Malouda, in space on the left, produced an inch-perfect cross which defender Alex powered past Robert Green to open the scoring.
Carlo Ancelotti's side almost made it 2-0 moments later courtesy of another cross from the lively Malouda, but the ball clipped the bar after taking a deflection off Matthew Upson's thigh.

Ancelotti praises 'improving' Chelsea

But if Chelsea thought the game would go all their way they were mistaken as Gianfranco Zola's well organised side harried and their tenacity was rewarded when Parker struck in spectacular style.
Kieron Dyer's throw in, which television replays suggested was a foul throw, was flicked on by Jon Mikel Obi and bounced kindly for Parker.
The former Chelsea man, who left Stamford Bridge for Newcastle in 2005, took one touch before launching a looping right-footed half-volley beyond Turnbull and into the top right corner - for the midfielder's first goal of the season.
That was to be as good as it got for West Ham who, despite no lack of effort, were overpowered by Chelsea.
The main source of danger for the home side was France winger Malouda, who continued to torment Spector, but Chelsea's second goal owed more to a piece of John Terry-inspired attacking play.

Second Chelsea goal was cruicial - Zola

The former England skipper dribbled the ball into West Ham's half before finding Drogba who slipped the ball out to Malouda, the winger returning the compliment with a perfect cross for Drogba to score.
As Chelsea threatened to add another, Green, playing his 116th successive league game, at least had the opportunity to impress watching England boss Fabio Capello.
And Green did exactly that when another Chelsea cross found Alex who saw the England goalkeeper palm the ball around the post at full stretch.
Malouda finally added the goal his endeavour deserved when Drogba controlled a long ball and laid it off to the winger, who coolly passed his finish beyond Green.
Frank Lampard hit the post from Malouda's cross as Chelsea threatened to give the score a slightly unfair edge but West Ham could not hold out for long.
After finding space Lampard struck another fierce effort, this time spilled by Green, and Drogba was perfectly placed to score his 27th goal of the season.
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti:
"I think Malouda was the best player in this game.
"He was always giving us ideas on the left hand side, putting in crosses and when he scored that was a good moment.
"We maintained a good balance in the second half. We had a bit of a problem but we are improving and are confident for Tuesday [against Inter Milan]."
On goalkeeper Ross Turnbull, Ancelotti added:
"He did well, he played with confidence and good personality and he is a good goalkeeper.
"I think he will be in goal on Tuesday, we have confidence in Turnbull."
West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola:
"It was very good for 65 minutes but as soon as we conceded the second goal it was too hard for us.
"I saw the boys go flat because they had used so much energy trying to contain them.
"It is vital that you keep it on the positive side. That doesn't mean you turn your back on the problems, we will be dealing with those in the week.
"The attitude that we put forward against team like Chelsea can make the difference when we play against teams around us.
"I am not going to give up anything. We have another tough game against Arsenal next week and I'm not going to go there already beaten."

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Chelsea vs West Ham Prematch review


Barclays Premier League
Venue: Stamford Bridge Date: Saturday, 13 March 2010 Kick-off: 1500 GMT

Goalkeeper Ross Turnbull will make his league debut for Chelsea as Hilario is sidelined with an abductor muscle injury.
Juliano Belletti and Michael Ballack return after one-match bans, while Yuri Zhirkov has recovered from a calf strain.
West Ham welcome back Benni McCarthy and Danny Gabbidon after injuries.
But full backs Julien Faubert and Herita Ilunga are not fit for the trip across London.
Injured: Bosingwa & Essien (both knee), Carvalho (hamstring), Cech (calf), A Cole (ankle)

West Ham
Suspended: Da Costa
Injured: Boa Morte & Hines (both knee), Davenport (leg), Faubert (hamstring), Ilunga (tendon), Noble (arm)
In 1996, new Parma manager Carlo Ancelotti decided that the unique talents of Gianfranco Zola did not fit into his system and sold the diminutive striker to Chelsea, thus setting in motion the process that led to Zola becoming a Blues legend.

Last year we got a point in both games, so you never know what is going to happen... We are not going there already beaten, because I know that football can give you a surprise
West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola
On Saturday the Italian returns to Stamford Bridge desperate for a result that would seriously damage his former club's title ambitions, and boost his own side's stuttering survival bid.
Zola's side hover just three points outside the drop zone and suffered a morale-sapping defeat at home to relegation rivals Bolton last time out. They follow up Saturday's trip to Chelsea with another London derby at Arsenal - a daunting prospect for a side who haven't won away from home since the opening day of the season.
Chelsea's hopes of a first Premier League title since 2006 have been hit by two defeats in their last three league outings amid question marks over team-morale in the wake of several high-profile scandals.
Ancelotti's side go into Saturday's game trailing leaders Manchester United by two points, but will take heart from a 10-match unbeaten run against their east London rivals.
• West Ham have not beaten Chelsea in any of their last 10 meetings in all competitions (D2, L8). Their last win came in May 2003, with their last victory at Stamford Bridge coming a year earlier in September 2002.
• In the last 10 Premier League meetings with the Blues, West Ham have failed to score more than one goal.
• Chelsea have not lost back-to-back Premier League games since May 2006.
• Didier Drogba has scored 10 goals in his last 11 Premier League appearances.
• If the Blues concede a goal, they will have shipped more goals already than in any full season since 2003-04.
• Nicolas Anelka turns 31 on Sunday.
West Ham
• The Hammers have not won any of their last eight Premier League London derbies.
• They have only earned one point after conceding the first goal this season, losing 12 times and drawing once. They last came from behind to win a league match in December 2008, beating Stoke 2-1.
• Along with Bolton, West Ham and Chelsea have scored the most goals from set pieces this season (20).

Drogba: 25 goals (19 league); Lampard: 16 goals (12 league)

West Ham
Cole: 9 goals (9 league); Diamanti: 8 goals (7 league)
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Assistant referees: Stephen Child & Rob Lewis
Fourth official: Stuart Attwell
Chelsea (L2-4 v Man City, h): Hilario, Ivanovic, Carvalho (Kalou 69), Terry, Lampard, J Cole (Sturridge 60), Mikel (Belletti), Ballack, Malouda, Drogba, Anelka. Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Ferreira, Alex, Matic.
West Ham (L1-2 v Bolton, h): Green, Faubert (Dyer 47), Tomkins, Upson, Spector, Behrami, Parker, Kovac (Stanislas 75), Diamanti, Cole, Franco (Mido 67). Subs Not Used: Stech, Ilan, Da Costa, Daprela.
West Ham 1-1 Chelsea (20 December 2009)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Turnbull is going to make his Premier League Debut for Chelsea


Stand-in Chelsea FC goalkeeper Henrique Hilário has been ruled out of Saturday's Premier League game against West Ham United FC – meaning 25-year-old Ross Turnbull will make his debut and may also be between the posts for Tuesday's UEFA Champions League first knockout round decider against FC Internazionale Milano.

With first-choice keeper Petr Čech recovering from a torn thigh muscle, coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that Hilário was out of contention for West Ham's visit with an unspecified injury along with defender Ricardo Carvalho. Ancelotti said: "Hilário is not able to play tomorrow, so in goal will play Turnbull. We don't know if Hilário or Petr will be able to play Tuesday, but Carvalho I think will have no problem."

Turnbull came to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2009, joining as a free agent after leaving his first club, Middlesbrough FC. His only competitive appearances for Chelsea so far have been as a substitute in a 4-0 English League Cup win against Bolton Wanderers FC and all 90 minutes of the 2-2 draw with APOEL FC in the UEFA Champions League group stage. Chelsea trail Inter 2-1 from the first leg in Milan.

Didier Drogba Wins Glo-CAF African Best Player Award


Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba has been named the 2009 Glo-CAF African Footballer of the Year.

Les Elephants captain lifts the coveted award for the second time since 2006. He edged out Inter and Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o to deny the latter a record fourth win.

The 32-year-old is leading Les Elephants to the 2010 summer World Cup in South Africa and was at the helm of affairs when they dropped out in the quarters of the recently concluded African Cup of Nations.

Chelsea midfield ace Michael Essien who could not grab the ultimate award made it to the Africa finest eleven alongside Eto’o and national team-mate John Pantsil.

The three shortlisted players for the ultimate award were not in attendance due to club commitments.

AC Milan’s new signing Dominic Adiyiah was voted the Young Player of the Year while coach Sellas Tetteh grabbed the Coach of the Year award. Adiyiah fended off challenges from South Africa's Kermit Erasmus (Feyenoord and South Africa U-20) and Sani Emmanuel (Bodens BK and Nigeria U-17).

Adiyiah won the Goal King and was voted player of the tournament in the FIFA World U-20 tourney in Egypt.

The National Team of the Year went to Algeria for their stupendous performance, beating rivals Egypt for their group's single slot for the World Cup.

Mputu Mabi of TP Mazembe snatched the Best African Player on the Continent while his club TP Mazembe emerged the Club of the Year. The Supporters Club of the Year went to South Africa Supporters Club.

The Fair Play Award went to Al Haly supporters for cheering on even when they lost to Mazembe.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Chelsea 2-0 Stoke City


Chelsea cruised into semi finals of FA cup by defeating Stoke City 2-0 with an energetised performance by captain John Terry.
John Terry will grab the headlines for all the right reasons after scoring Chelsea's second goal to help them sink Stoke and reach the FA Cup semi-finals.
The home skipper has been the subject of a host of allegations about his private life of late, but headed in a Frank Lampard corner to seal the win.
Lampard himself opened the scoring when his 20-yard drive was deflected in.
Stoke rarely threatened, and only then from set pieces, as holders Chelsea set up a last-four clash with Aston Villa.
And it was perhaps fitting that Terry - so revered by the Chelsea supporters - should have grabbed the hosts' all important second goal as the 29-year-old ended another difficult week on a high.
The centre-half has undoubtedly been off colour in recent weeks during the fallout of the newspaper revelations, but this was a determined return to his best from the Chelsea captain, both in defence and attack.

And while he may have been barracked by a small section of England fans during the midweek friendly defeat of Egypt, there is no doubting the regard he is held in by the Stamford Bridge faithful.
There is little argument that recent weeks have seen Chelsea endure the most difficult period of their season so far.
The Terry saga has been well documented, injuries to Petr Cech and Ashley Cole, among others, have uncovered something of a soft centre to their squad, and consecutive defeats to Inter Milan and Manchester City have all seen their campaign stutter of late.
But this might prove something of a turning point for the Londoners following a performance that saw them grow in stature and confidence the longer the game went on.
This was always likely to be a match-up of Chelsea's guile and Stoke's physicality - and so it proved.
Cech's absence has meant a run in the Blues goal for Hilario, but the Portuguese keeper is simply not in the Czech's class and he looked vulnerable throughout against the visitors' barrage at set pieces.
As early as the fifth minute Stoke could have made the most of a Rory Delap throw, Mamady Sidibe flicking over from Robert Huth's header, before the same player forced a good close-range block from Alex.

Neither came as close as Whitehead, though, who latched on to a tame Hilario punch clear to lash goalwards, forcing Jon Obi Mikel into a fine clearance on the line.
However, that was about as close to a goal as Stoke came to a goal, although Ricardo Fuller forced a smart stop from Hilario in injury time with the game all but done and dusted.
In between, Chelsea were in complete control.
Nicolas Anelka should have opened the scoring when he forced an error from Whitehead on the edge of the area only to lash wide of the far post.
But five minutes later, the hosts were ahead. A Florent Malouda corner caused problems in the Stoke defence, Terry laid it back to Lampard and the England midfielder lashed in from 20 yards via a deflection off Abdoulaye Faye.
It could have been 2-0 before the break but Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen got down well to keep out Didier Drogba's volley, while the visitors then had Andy Wilkinson to thank for two fantastic blocks in quick succession, from an Anelka header and then an Alex header.
Chelsea's deserved second was not too long in coming, though, with Terry muscling his way among the Stoke defence to head in Lampard's corner.
Only a string of saves from Sorensen kept the score down thereafter, Lampard denied from range and Salomon Kalou and Anelka both stinging the Stoke keeper's palms from inside the area.
As it was those misses did not prove crucial and Chelsea, clear favourites to win the tournament for a sixth time now, eased their way into the last four for the fourth time in the last five years
Stoke, on the other hand, will turn their attention back to the Premier League as their wait to reach a first FA Cup final goes on.
Chelsea assistant coach Ray Wilkins:
"(The barracking from away supporters) is happening and John's just getting on with the situation.
"I'm not too happy about it, but there's nothing I can do. He's dealing with the situation in the only way he can - committing himself to the cause, and that was another superb performance from him.
"He's an exceptional captain and we're delighted to have him on board. He leads these players on the pitch in fantastic fashion and scored a great second goal."
Stoke manager Tony Pulis:
"Our fans are brilliant, different class. John will have to accept he'll take stick. He took stick from England supporters the other night.
"If John does well in the World Cup and wins it, he'll come back a hero.
"As for the game, we've knocked Arsenal and Man City out of the FA Cup and to pull Chelsea out of the hat at Stamford Bridge was a difficult tie.
"The players were first class, though, we gave everything and had a right go."

Monday, March 1, 2010

Chelsea Manager Urges Players to Look Forward


Carlo Ancelotti believes Chelsea must forget about Saturday's defeat immediately and concentrate on the FA Cup challenge ahead.
Manchester City's 4-2 victory is hard to swallow for both the squad and fans. It is made more frustrating by the fact Chelsea conceded two goals from counter-attacks, something the Blues are normally adept at dealing with and was added to by our previous record over City, which saw them fail to score in the previous seven meetings at Stamford Bridge.
But Ancelotti insists we must put the loss behind us as we face an FA Cup fixture on Sunday against the side who knocked Manchester City out of the competition.
'There is no time for being angry now,' says the Italian. 'We did a bad performance but we have to look forward.
'It is a difficult moment when you lose a game but we have the possibility to prepare well for the next game and have a good direction. Now we want to show good direction against Stoke in the FA Cup.
'We have confidence in our play and we want to maintain this. It is better to forget immediately.'
The manager blamed our conceding from counter attacks on over-hasty attacking as the Blues strove to salvage the fixture.
'We lost balance when we were on goal down and we conceded two goals from counter-attacks. Usually this team never concedes a goal from counter-attacks.
'But sometimes this can happen. We put too many players up front but it was not a necessity because we had 45 minutes to win this game.'
With balance suffering, numbers on the pitch did too as both Juliano Belletti and Michael Ballack received red cards.
'Discipline went after we lost balance and concentration. We made some mistakes but the red card of Belletti was a situation of play. Ballack could have avoided that foul.'