A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
Chelsea seem to have missed out on Willian, who looks likely be heading to Anzhi for a monster fee around £30 million. Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur had been reported as leading the chase for the want-away playmaker, but Anzhi might have blown them out of the water with their bid.
It’s been a quiet day all round for Chelsea in the transfer market so far, with the only move being Patrick Bamford heading back to MK Dons on loan.
The FA have decided not to extend Eden Hazard’s three match ban for kicking out at a ball boy. Chelsea reportedly successfully argued to a panel that the existing ban was sufficient punishment.
After surrendering a two goal lead to draw 2-2 at Reading last night, Cesar Azpilicueta is worried that teams no longer fear playing against Chelsea. The Blues have won only three of their last nine matches, and Azpilicueta believes that this has led to teams playing with more confidence against them:
“Teams are scared when you win games in a row. It’s true when you win [regularly] you get more respect.”
That draw means that Rafa Benitez has taken fewer points from 12 Premier League matches than Roberto Di Matteo did in his 12 games in charge this season, and Jamie Redknapp has said that sacking Di Matteo was a massive mistake.
Ryan Bertrand has dismissed suggestions that the Chelsea squad is not united as “laughable” and insisted the team will always stand together whatever is suggested in the newspapers.
Lukas Podolski believes his Arsenal side can still catch Chelsea. Speaking after Arsenal came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home to Liverpool, the German striker said that third place was still the aim for the season, despite Arsenal currently being eight points behind Chelsea.
Ashley Cole is set to win his 100th cap for England after being named in the squad for the upcoming friendly with Brazil. Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill have both also been included in the squad which takes place at Wembley next Wednesday.
image: © Ben Sutherland