Chelsea winger Willian has hailed the
extraordinary qualities of Frank Lampard and said that he will be very welcome
to take over as the Blues next head coach. The west London side are without a
manager after the departure of Maurizio Sarri but they have been fancied to
seal the appointment of Lampard from Derby County.
Speaking to Football.London, Willian was
full of praise for the former Blues star and said that he would have the full
backing of the club, should he take over the managerial reigns, he quipped: “He
is a legend. He was an extraordinary player for the club, winning every
possible title. He deserves so much respect and backing for what he has already
achieved at the club. If Chelsea do bring him in, he will be very welcome. Is
he definitely going to be the next manager? I don’t know. But I think he would
be up to the task. He was a great player, and he is a great person. He’s only
starting his managerial career now, but he has everything it takes to be a
The Blues are currently under a transfer ban for the next 12 months and that means that they cannot register any players during the summer transfer window. Despite this, widespread report indicate that Lampard has given the green light for the project, considering the club are prepared to give him with the added time to cope with the embargo.
No official confirmation has been made
regarding the appointment but the same only remains a formality with the Blues
sorting out the compensation package with Derby. The Blues may not be able to
pursue new players but they have begun the work of extending the contracts of
players at the club. Ruben Loftus-Cheek has recently agreed on a bumper
five-year deal and reports suggest that he could be presented alongside
Derby County chairman Mel Morris has said
that the Rams are keen on keeping hold of manager Frank Lampard amid the
speculated interest from former side Chelsea. The Blues recently witnessed the
departure of Maurizio Sarri to Juventus and reports have since associated
Lampard with an emotional comeback to Stamford Bridge in a coaching capacity.
Speaking to Goal.com, Morris said that the
Blues may be without a head coach at the current point of time but there has
been no contact whatsoever from the side with regards to Lampard. He added that
the club are determined to keep the 40-year-old for the long-term and have
stated their ambition to the former England international.
He said: “There is no change except that Chelsea no longer have a manager. We’ve made it clear to everyone but most importantly to Frank, that we want to retain him for the long term. If Chelsea want to hire him, then it is in their gift to make an offer in pursuit of that. In the meantime, we’ll continue to put our best foot forward to continue with our plans for the coming season and work with Frank, (and) for him to know how much he’s wanted by everyone associated with the club.”
The Blues are currently not permitted to
make any signings for the next two transfer windows as they are serving a
transfer ban. Owing to this, there are likely to rely on the academy and
reserve players to enhance the squad performance next term and Lampard may find
success, considering he got the best out of some of the young players at Pride
Park. Chelsea have already placed an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for
Sport for the embargo and they are now awaiting a potential date for the
hearing before deciding whether to apply for a freeze.
USA international Christian Pulisic has
said that he is focusing on himself as he embarks on a fresh challenge with
Chelsea next season. The young attacker joined the Blues on a permanent basis
from Borussia Dortmund last winter and he was therefore loaned out to the
Bundesliga side for the remainder of the season.
During this period, there has been increasing speculation regarding the future of Eden Hazard, who has been the Blues’ star performer but Pulisic has indicated that he is not looking to replicate the Belgium international at the Bridge, he said: “Eden’s a fantastic player, we all know that. If I can get anywhere close to him, I’ll be more than happy. But I’m coming in to be my own player. I expect a lot from myself, for me that’s enough. Obviously there’s pressure from outside – that’s to be expected. I want to be successful, be part of this team and make an impact. They are my goals and to become the best player I can be.”
Hazard has just 13 months remaining on his
current contract with the Blues and reports indicate that he has a good chance
of joining Real Madrid this summer irrespective of the club’s ongoing transfer
ban. As such, Pulisic could be the player to take up the mantle from the
Belgian footballer and it remains to be seen whether he can make an instant
impression with the Blues.
Pulisic is currently in London to finalise the
necessary introductory formalities with the Blues and he is thereafter expected
to join the United States team for the Gold Cup. Chelsea, on the other hand,
can end the season on a high, should they overcome Arsenal to the Europa League
crown. The west London side have already sealed Champions League football for
next season after securing the third spot in the Premier League.
Chelsea defender David Luiz has said that
he has been impressed with Maurizio Sarri’s philosophy during the course of the
current campaign. The Blues have endured a mixed season by their standards in
the Premier League but they are still on course to make the top four, provided
they win their remaining two games of the season.
Speaking to Metro, Luiz said that he has
been amazed with the tactical nous of Sarri, who has opted to play more possession
of the ball. He added that some of the Blues players are still adapting to the
new brand of football and it may take a bit longer before the club are
completing in sync with the manager’s demands.
He said: “It’s a philosophy to have a lot
of possession, create a lot of opportunities and he has tried to introduce that
to us. I think he has already done amazing as in the past people were saying Chelsea
don’t control the game, Chelsea don’t play with a lot of the ball, Chelsea just
plays counter-attacks’ everyone was criticising Chelsea. Now we control the
games and sometimes they criticise us because we don’t win the game with a lot
of possession. I think his philosophy is amazing, it’s trying to play football.
This takes time and we are trying to improve as soon as possible.”
Chelsea have been in-and-out of the Champions League places over the course of the season but they are currently placed fourth on the table. Nonetheless, they are just two points ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal and they need to secure victories during their final two matches against Watford and Leicester City to ensure qualification to the Champions League next term.
The west London giants can attain the same
by winning the Europa League title, but that remains far off at the moment,
considering they first need to overcome Eintracht Frankfurt at the last four of
the competition. If they are successful, they could face either Valencia or
Arsenal during the final in Baku.
Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has
said that the club cannot dwell on the recent Premier League defeat to
Liverpool and must concentrate on the games ahead. The west London side suffered
a 2-0 loss at the hands of the Reds at the weekend and this has somewhat
hampered their prospects of making the top four of the Premier League.
Speaking after the game, Loftus-Cheek
admitted that the defeat has been a tough one on the squad, who have been on a
winning run since the international break. He added that the Blues must negate
any negativity and concentrate on the positives for the rest of the season, he
said: “It’s a really tough result to take. When you have a game like this — and
with the negative press — it’s a skill to be able to deal with it and move on
very quickly and take the positives out of it. I think that’s what we have to
do as a team and as individuals, to keep a positive mind-frame. We can’t dwell
on this, we’ve got games coming that are really important. So we have to move
Despite the defeat, Chelsea are occupying the fourth position on the table but they could be leapfrogged by Arsenal before the end of the gameweek. The Gunners have two games in hand when compared to the Blues and they can recover the three-point deficit when they face Watford on the road on Monday night.
Elsewhere, the Blues are regarded as
favourites to win the Europa League and they are scheduled to host Sparta Praha
during the second leg on the quarter-final on Thursday night. The west London
side secured a slender 1-0 advantage from the opening leg on the road and they
remain the front-runners to progress, barring a shocking performance at the
Chelsea boffins are already thinking about
the next season and there is a strong likelihood that Maurizio Sarri may not be
in charge of the team for the 2019-20 campaign. After a disappointing set of
results throughout the campaign, Chelsea find themselves once again in a top
four race and not in the title race. Sarri may have started out extremely well
but he has been hit by a number of critics in the last few months. The
Italian’s stubbornness to stick with the same starting lineup and tactics have
been a major disappointment in a division where managers are tactically astute.
The Blues had a strong look at Zinedine
Zidane and the likelihood of signing the Frenchman as the next Chelsea manager.
This would have been a great move for the club, who are fighting to keep Eden
Hazard from the sight of Real Madrid. However,Zidane’s decision to join Real
Madrid is a major blow for the team. Now, Chelsea are looking at two major
candidates who can potentially lead the club back to successful days – Frank
Lampard and Nuno Espiritu Santo. The former is a fan’s favourite and will
command a huge deal of respect, while the latter has been able to make a strong
impression in the Premier league with Wolves.
Both managers lack a significant amount of experience at the top level. Lampard has just begun his managerial career with Derby County, while Nuno is experiencing a taste in the Premier League only for the first time. Sarri appears to have fallen out with most of the players with striker Olivier Giroud claiming that the favouritism in the squad is starting to affect him. Chelsea are no stranger to changing managers, but it remains to be seen if Roman Abramovich will sanction a move for two inexperienced managers.
BBC pundit Garth Crooks has praised the
performance of midfielder Jorginho in the aftermath of Chelsea’s 2-1 win over
Fulham on Sunday. The Blues managed to secure a second-straight league win
during the recent London derby at Craven Cottage and Jorginho managed to earn
the plaudits after scoring the winning goal for the team.
In a report covered by BBC Sport, Crooks
was impressed by the performance of the Italy international, who has struggled
for form during the course of the campaign, he quipped: “I think Jorginho has
struggled since his arrival at Stamford Bridge. Against Fulham, however, he
suddenly looked like he was beginning to find some form.
“His goal was a touch of class in a Chelsea
performance that looked competent without being outstanding. Maurizio Sarri may
have managed to get through some difficult weeks but there is still much to do.
He is a ditherer, he has an errant goalkeeper and a weak captain. Apart from
that they are not doing badly.”
Jorginho has been one of the Premier League most-consistent players in terms of the passing https://www.premierleague.com/news/861114attribute but that has not been converted in the form of goals or assists. Despite this, the former Verona man produced an effective performance against Fulham and the long-range goal should give him the confidence heading into the final stages of the campaign.
With the win over Fulham, Chelsea have
closed the gap to fourth-placed Manchester United to just two points with an
extra game in hand. Next up, they are scheduled to host Dynamo Kiev in the
first leg of the Europa League round of 16 on Thursday night. Thereafter, the
Blues have another home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier
League. Sarri’s team will be keen to take revenge on the Wolves after the 2-1
defeat at the Molineux.
Former Chelsea manager Ruud Gullit has said
that Maurizio Sarri has made a mistake with the signing of Jorginho during last
summer’s transfer window. The Italy international was reunited with Sarri
during the summer following their stint together at Napoli but the move has not
worked out with the midfielder lacking the positional awareness on numerous
Speaking to BeIN Sports, Gullit has been
far from impressed with the performances of Jorginho and has suggested that
Sarri made a mistake, given he already had N’GoloKante, who had excelled in the
holding midfield role over the past few years. He added that the Blues have
also been found out at the back and this has equally contributed to the
downtrend in league form since the turn of the year.
“I think the first mistake he made was
Jorginho, to bring him in. You had already the best holding midfielder, Kante –
world champion. Now he wants to play them both. Kante’s not scoring goals for
you. So he has a huge problem in midfield and he has a huge problem at the back
as well,” he said following the Blues’ FA Cup exit.
Chelsea were fancied to come up with a good performance against Manchester United during the FA Cup fifth round, given they had recently received a boost with both Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard on the treatment room. Despite this, they struggled to outsmart the Red Devils in front of their supporters and they eventually suffered a 2-0 defeat with Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba on the scoresheet.
With that, they won’t be able to defend
their FA Cup crown but they still have the chance to secure silverware with a
League Cup final against Manchester City this weekend. They are certain to
start on the backfoot after the 6-0 league hammering at the Etihad earlier this
month and it remains to be seen whether they can contain the Citizens’ attack
to register what can be deemed a shock triumph.
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has leaped
into the defence of Gonzalo Higuain amid his struggles during the opening two
matches for the club. The Argentine joined the Blues on a temporary deal from
Juventus during the backend of the January transfer window and he has since
started against Sheffield Wednesday and Bournemouth without any success.
As such, a section of the Blues faithful
have already questioned the signing of the Argentine but Sarri, who has
previously managed the striker at Napoli, has urged for patience with the
marksman, he said: “He is still not at top fitness and it shows, coming
back from injury last month and the market meant he did not train well. He has
to find his best condition.”
The Blues have had a genuine weakness in
the striking department this term with neither Alvaro Morata nor Olivier Giroud
sufficiently impressing during the first half of the campaign. Due to this, the
west London giants were recommended by Sarri personally to recruit Higuain but
so far, the move has not borne fruit with the 31-year-old yet to adjust to the
demands of English football.
Still, the Italian tactician remains confident that the striker can find his scoring boots and he has the perfect chance to do when a struggling Huddersfield Town make the west London trip this weekend. The Terriers are winless since beating Wolverhampton Wanderers during the month of November and they are widely fancied to succumb another defeat with the Blues expected to provide a strong response after the midweek embarrassment at Bournemouth.
The Capital outfit suffered a shock and
unexpected 4-0 loss at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday night and the outcome
has dropped them from the fourth position on the table on the goals scored to
Arsenal. The margin of defeat was the Blues’ worst of the Premier League era.
Chelsea have confirmed their first signing
of the winter transfer window with Christian Pulisic arriving from Borussia
Dortmund for a reported fee of £58m. The United States international has,
however, rejoined the Bundesliga club on a temporary basis for the season
before reporting for pre-season duty with the Blues next summer.
Pulisic’s future had been a regular
discussion topic over the past few months with Chelsea and Liverpool among
those linked with his signature. However, it is the former, who have managed to
prise him away from the Bundesliga leaders and Pulisic has revealed his
privilege after signing for the west London giants.
“In summer of 2019, I move on to
Chelsea and a new competition, the English Premier League. It’s a privilege to
have signed for such a legendary club and I look forward to working hard
towards being a contributor to their team of world class players. Looking
forward to working with Maurizio Sarri and his technical team,” the
20-year-old told the club’s official website.
Chelsea have been hampered with injuries to Pedro and Olivier Giroud over the past few games and based on that, the manager would have preferred having Pulisic on board for the second half of the campaign. However, Dortmund were seemingly reluctant to part ways with the attacker at the midway stage and the proposal of loaning him back has helped the Blues secure the transfer agreement nonetheless.
The Blues are currently just two points ahead of Arsenal for the final Champions League qualification spot but they could extend the gap further with the additional game on hand against Southampton on Wednesday night. The west London side have been largely dependent on Eden Hazard to produce the goods of late but the Belgian may need additional help from others, if the Blues are to eventually finish in the top four this season.