Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Headache for Ancelotti : Drogba could miss start of Premier League


Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has successfully undergone surgery on a groin injury that had troubled him last season, although his recovery and rehabilitation from the operation could make it touch-and-go whether he will be fully fit in time to help the Blues' when they commence their Premier League title defence at home to West Bromwich Albion on 14 August.

Despite the lingering injury the prolific targetman still fired the Blues to a domestic double during 2009-10, contributing 29 Premier League goals in 31 starts.

The decision to perform the operation on Friday, following his return from World Cup 2010 where he performed for the Ivory Coast, was taken in an attempt to speed up his rehabilitation.

A statement today on Chelsea's official website noted: "Didier Drogba successfully underwent minimally invasive surgery yesterday [Friday] on the groin injury that had troubled him for some of last season.

"The decision to perform the procedure after his return from the World Cup was made to optimise his rehabilitation, and he is expected to return to full training in approximately three weeks."

Chelsea are due to face Manchester United in the FA Community Shield on Sunday, 8 August - a game Drogba seems sure to miss.

Ajax 3-1 Chelsea - Youngsters didn't make it for Chelsea


Amsterdam Arena
July 23, 17:00

Ajax 3-1 Chelsea

Goal Scorers
Bruma (og) 5
De Jong 26
Suk 90

Sturridge 24

A young Chelsea side were soundly beaten by Martin Jol's Ajax 3-1 in the Amsterdam Arena, thanks largely to two howlers from defender Jeffrey Bruma and goalkeeper Ross Turnbull.

Bruma's early own goal put the home side ahead before Daniel Sturridge levelled the scores. However, just two minutes later a Turnbull error allowed Siem De Jong to put Ajax back ahead.

Chelsea dominated possession but Ajax always carried the greater goal threat and a late third from the talented Korean substitute Suk, gave them a deserved victory.

The Blues visited the Amsterdam Arena with John Obi Mikel and Michael Essien the only first-team regulars in their starting line-up.

Boss Carlo Ancelotti began with Ross Turnbull in goal, and the youthful duo of Franco Di Santo, who spent last season on loan at Blackburn Rovers, and Sturridge up-front.

Ajax, fresh from the news that Jol wouldn't be leaving the club to take over at Fulham, began with Holland's World Cup keeper Maarten Stekelenburg in goal, and the highly-rated Christien Eriksen in midfield.

The young Chelsea side captained by Essien started the game brightly and had the first meaningful shot on goal inside three minutes as Sturridge drilled a 25-yard volley wide.

However, just two minutes later Ajax were in front. A cross swung over from the right-hand side to the near post should have been comfortably dealt with by Chelsea's young Dutch defender Bruma, however he made a mess of his clearance and headed into his own net past a hapless Turnbull.

The early goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of the young Chelsea side who then struggled to get into any real rhythm as Ajax stroked the ball around, without creating any real chances themselves.

In the 24th minute though, Chelsea were level. Ajax midfielder Jeffrey Sarpong was shrugged off the ball in midfield by 17 year-old Josh McEachran, who fed Di Santo. The Argentine's pass fortuitously found its way to Sturridge who drilled a low first time shot past Stekelenburg from 25-yards.

Within two minutes, though, the hosts were back in front. A long clearance from Stekelenburg saw Turnbull come to the very edge of his penalty area to gather. However, under pressure from De Jong, Turnbull let the ball slip from his grasp, allowing the midfielder to roll the ball into an empty net.

Half Time: Ajax 2-1 Chelsea

Following three changes at half-time Chelsea started the second half by controlling possession, however the Blues were unable to create any meaningful chances, with Sturridge, Di Santo and Sinclair all struggling to get into the game.

And in the 58th minute, despite their possession they should have fallen further behind.

A long ball should have been routine for Bruma, who had continued to look shaky after his early error, but once again he made a rookie mistake allowing the young Ajax striker Zeegelaar a clear run on goal. However, the front-man dragged his shot wide of substitute Hilario's far post.

In the 67th minute, good footwork by De Jong saw him waltz past two challenges and allow the recently arrived Emanuelson a shot on Hilario's goal, but the Dutch international fired his 20-yard effort high over the crossbar.

Five minutes later and a strong run from Sarpong saw him reach the byline from where his cut-back, looking for Zeegelaar, was cut out at the last second by Bruma.

At the other end, Sturridge continued to cut a frustrated figure as he continued to be dominated by the Ajax captain Jan Vertonghen, and continued to lack any real service from his team-mates.

While Chelsea continued to have possession without threatening the Ajax goal, Ajax looked more threatening on the break and Emanuelson had a right-footed effort comfortably saved by Hilario in the 80th minute.

Four minutes later and the lively Emanuelson intercepted a loose pass from Lalkovic and fired another shot over Hilario's goal, this time from fully thirty yards out.

Ajax rounded off their win with an excellent team goal in the 90th minute. A clever pass from Bonevecia fed Blind, the son of Ajax legend Danny Blind, in behind the Chelsea defence and his low centre was turned in by the Korean substitute Suk with what was effectively the last kick of the game.

Ajax Starting Line-Up: Stekelenburg; Oleguer (Blind 64), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Anita (Emanuelson 64);Enoh (Bonevacia 73) , Eriksen (De Zeeuw 71), Lindgren; Sarpong, Siem De Jong (Suk 85), Zeegelaar.

Chelsea Starting Line-Up: Turnbull (Hilario HT), Billy Clifford (Chalobah HT), Bruma, Van Aanholt (Ince 64), Bertrand, Obi Mikel (Connor Clifford 83), Essien (Cork 73), Matic, McEachran (Sinclair HT), Di Santo (Lalkovic 64), Sturridge.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Petr Cech To Miss Start Of Premier League Season With Calf Injury


Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech is set to be sidelined for the start of the Premier League season after tearing a calf muscle in his right leg, the club have confirmed.

Cech, 28, suffered the blow in training yesterday and is expected to be missing for the next month. This has ruled him out of the remaining pre-season friendlies, the Charity Shield clash against Manchester United on August 8 and at least the opening fixture in the defence of their league crown against West Bromwich Albion on August 14.

The Czech Republic international endured a similar knock in the last campaign against Inter in the Champions League and missed several weeks of action between February and March. Reserve shot-stoppers Henrique Hilario and Ross Turnbull will now compete to fill in between the posts at Stamford Bridge.

Drogba is not for SALE


English champions Chelsea have released a statement indicating that star striker Didier Drogba is staying put at Stamford Bridge. This follows media speculation on Tuesday suggesting that Manchester City were lining up a bid for the player.

Drogba's agent, Thierno Seydi, said in a radio interview that he had had contact with City. However, this claim was refuted by the Citizens on Tuesday and now Chelsea themselves have stated that 'the Drog' is not for sale.

"It is all irrelevant, Didier Drogba is not for sale," said a Chelsea spokesman, according to Sky Sports.

Drogba was a key player in the Blues' Premier League success last season.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Liverpool Sign England International Joe Cole


Premier League giants Liverpool have confirmed the capture of England international Joe Cole on a free transfer. The attacking midfielder was available on a free transfer after leaving Chelsea earlier this summer.

The Reds have announced on their official website that they've agreed personal terms with Cole and that the gifted midfielder will undergo a medical in the next 48 hours. The highly rated winger will sign a four-year deal with his new club upon completion of the medical.

Cole is Liverpool's second signing of the summer transfer window. The Reds previously secured the services of Serbian international Milan Jovanovic from Belgian outfit Standard Liege on a free transfer.

Joe Cole

Date of Birth: 8 Nov 1981
Place of Birth: London, England
Nationality: England
Height: 176cm
Position: Attacking Midfielder/Winger
Ex-Clubs: West Ham United, Chelsea

The 28-year-old Cole is a product of the West Ham youth system, but left the Hammers for a spell at Chelsea in the summer of 2003. He won three league titles and two FA Cups during a seven-year stay at Stamford Bridge. Additionally, he has represented his country 56 times, scoring 10 goals in the process.

The England international initially appeared to be on his way to Arsenal, while Tottenham Hotspur and Milan were also believed to be interested in signing Cole. The versatile midfielder will ply his trade at Anfield Road instead though in the 2010-'11 campaign.

Cole will be wearing the number 7 jersey at Liverpool, a number previously worn by Robbie Keane, who left the club for Tottenham Hotspur in January 2009.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Chelsea Prepare £30m Offer For Liverpool Star Fernando Torres - Report


Chelsea are set to open the bidding for Liverpool striker Fernando Torres by offering the Reds £30 million, according to a report from The Daily Star.

Blues owner Roman Abramovich has taken a strong personal interest in the deal, the report claims, and is currently in South Africa where he plans to attend Sunday's World Cup final.

The Russian was also at Spain's semi-final victory over Germany, when Torres played the concluding nine minutes of the game after coming on as a substitute.

The Spaniard has insisted that he will not discuss his future until after the World Cup, when new Reds boss Roy Hodgson has indicated that he will have serious discussions with the player about whether or not his future lies aqt Anfield.

Thursday, July 8, 2010



Carlo Ancelotti has been discussing the training schedule for the next few weeks as he welcomes his players back in for pre-season training.
The last time we saw the manager he was atop a double-decker bus singing his heart out having just won the Barclays Premier League and FA Cup in his first season.
Now after a few weeks off it is back to work again as he aims to build on those successes, and although he is without his full complement of players for the commencement of pre-season preparations, the manager's mood is extremely positive.
'We started on Monday, last year we started at the same time and we need maybe five weeks to prepare the team, to do the best physical preparation,' the Italian explained. 'We will have the other players on July 22 and 26, but for the first games of pre-season they will not be involved.'
That means our first fixture with Crystal Palace on July 17 will see us without 11 first-teamers still on holiday, though coming into the group will be Yossi Benayoun, who joined up with the squad yesterday, as well as a number of youngsters who have either been enjoying loan spells away from Chelsea, or partaking in FA Youth Cup successes.
'It could be a little different this year, a little difficult because we don't have all the players to start the season but we can still do a good job,' Ancelotti said.
'Benayoun I think is a good player, we need to have a player with quality who can play in the midfield.
'He can play in every position in midfield and for this I think he will be a very good player for us for next season.'
It may be just over a month away, but like pre-season, the start of the new campaign will be here before we know it. Ancelotti will be sure to have his men ready.

Saturday, July 3, 2010



Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of Yossi Benayoun from Liverpool.
The 30-year-old will link up with his new team-mates at Cobham for the beginning of pre-season on Monday (July 5).
'I am very excited to come to a club like Chelsea, it is a big club and I think it is a dream for every player. Hopefully we will be successful,' said the Israeli international, who has signed a three-year contract.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti added: 'We are happy to have this new player. Yossi has a lot of quality in midfield and can play in lots of positions. I like his behaviour on the pitch and he will do a great job for us next season.'
Benayoun spent three seasons at Liverpool having first moved to the Premier League in 2005 when he joined West Ham from Spanish club Racing Santander.
The 5ft 8in midfielder captains his national team, and is comfortable either on the wing or behind the forward line.
The first chance to see Benayoun in a Chelsea shirt could come at Crystal Palace on July 17, in our first pre-season friendly of the summer.