Category Archives: chelsea

Thomas Tuchel takes blame for Hakim Ziyech’s poor playing time.

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted he has not given winger Hakim Ziyech enough opportunities to strut his stuff since his arrival at Stamford Bridge.

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After starting in Tuchel’s first game, the 0-0 draw with Wolves, Ziyech has not featured at all in the Premier League, instead being forced to settle for an appearance in the FA Cup triumph against Barnsley.

Ziyech struggled to impress against the second-tier side, and Tuchel admitted that it’s tough to find room for the Moroccan in a team which also features Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic.

Hakim Ziyech has struggled under Thomas Tuchel | Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

“It’s my fault, actually. It’s not his fault,” Tuchel said (via Sky Sports News) when asked whether Ziyech’s poor form was to blame for his lack of minutes. “It’s my decisions. It’s the same for some other players – there were some hard decisions to make. This is a good thing – it means we have quality.

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“There are some decisions for other players that means Hakim suffers a little bit. I can absolutely understand and agree with that, so it’s my responsibility and my fault that he cannot show more of his potential. But when I look at the schedule we can be sure that we need all of our players.

“No matter how hard times are for you personally, I cannot say one bad thing for Hakim. He’s working hard and he needs to show that he’s ready because when the moment comes – I cannot tell you when the moment comes – but we expect the best Hakim Ziyech.

“This is not easy, I can admit, but this is how it sometimes is in a club like Chelsea with a squad that keeps winning. Sometimes you have to wait. Things will turn around if he takes care that he is in shape, in the right mood and ready when he’s needed.”

Ziyech wasn’t the only player under scrutiny as Tuchel also defended Pulisic, who is yet to make the kind of impact many had hoped he would under the manager who gave him his breakthrough at Borussia Dortmund.

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“He proved he has the level to be a Chelsea regular and have a big impact in this club,” Tuchel continued. “It’s the challenge now to improve and maintain the level.

“We are not concerned (by his injury struggles), the medical department is on that. The main thing for Christian is to stay positive, keep the head up and be ready, because he can have a big impact. There are absolutely no decisions made for summer – there’s simply no time for that in the moment and today there is no need.”

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Hakim Ziyech ready to exit Chelsea.

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He rarely completed the full 90 minutes even when he did start, and although Tuchel’s arrival was the chance for a fresh opportunity, early indications are that he is not an integral part of the German’s plans.

Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech is ready to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer if he continues to play a peripheral role under Thomas Tuchel, a new report has claimed.

The 27-year-old joined the Blues in the summer of 2020, but injuries have hampered his ability to nail down a regular starting berth. Ziyech has made just 11 Premier League appearances to date, and has not featured in the top flight since he started Tuchel’s first game in charge – the 0-0 draw with Wolves.

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Now, Corriere dello Sport claim that Ziyech is ready to end his disappointing spell in the Premier League, with teams in Italy lining up to make a move for him in the summer.

AS Roma and Milan have both shown interest in the former Ajax star in the past, and could take advantage of his unsettled status to try and get a deal done.

For Ziyech, a departure would end what’s been a fairly miserable time in England so far, where his repeated injuries and inability to fit into certain tactical setups have seen him slide down the pecking order at Chelsea.

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Initially a favourite under Lampard once he’d overcome injury, Ziyech soon slipped out of the side and onto the bench as the Blues strived for consistency.

Ziyech wants to leave Chelsea this summer | James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

He rarely completed the full 90 minutes even when he did start, and although Tuchel’s arrival was the chance for a fresh opportunity, early indications are that he is not an integral part of the German’s plans.

The Moroccan has played just 82 minutes of a possible 360 Premier League minutes under the former PSG boss, which is a far cry from his dominating spell at Ajax – one that yielded a Dutch Footballer of the Year award, four successive nominations for the Eredivisie Team of the Season and four seasons finishing as the player with most assists.

Ziyech was also a regular goal getter in the Netherlands, bagging 49 goals for Ajax in 165 appearances.

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For Chelsea, he’s scored just twice in all competitions, and only once in thePremier League.

Chelsea’s mini-revival has coincided with Ziyech’s absence from the team, which may indicate that he’ll have little to no chance of earning a regular place in the team unless things dramatically change in west London.

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Tuchel settles to give Kepa fresh start at Chelsea.

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..circumstances of his transfer are a little bit on his shoulders. That was the impression from far away, from outside.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has insisted he has complete faith in goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who he believes can prove himself as a top shot stopper once again.

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An abysmal 2019/20 campaign, in which Kepa posted a historically low save percentage, saw then-manager Frank Lampard push for the signing of new goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who has impressed since his £22m move from Rennes.

Mendy has been Tuchel’s go-to goalkeeper, but the boss confirmed that Kepa will be given a chance to prove himself with an appearance in Thursday’s FA Cup fifth round tie with Barnsley.

“He will play [against Barnsley],” said Tuchel. “From outside, of course we had a view on his situation and some difficulties on the sporting side. Maybe, also, the circumstances of his transfer are a little bit on his shoulders. That was the impression from far away, from outside.

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“The good thing for him is that we start new, that this is a new start for him because I don’t have a history with him and I hope there will be no difficulties and I don’t see them coming. Today, I absolutely believe [he can turn things around].”

Thomas Tuchel will give Kepa Arrizabalaga a fresh start | Clive Rose/Getty Images

There is a belief that the Chelsea hierarchy would like Tuchel to give Kepa another chance. Lampard’s reluctance to do so contributed to his dismissal from Stamford Bridge in January, but director Marina Granovskaia has personally involved herself to try and keep Kepa happy.

Granovskaia took time out of her summer break to sit down with Kepa to offer her support and to try and find a way back for the Spaniard, who cost a world record £72m when he arrived from Athletic Club in 2018.

“It applies for Kepa because it applies for every player, no matter whether we bought him for crazy money or he came from the academy, or was a free agent,” Tuchel continued. “It is our job to push the guy to the limit.

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“And we are pretty selfish because we want to have them in the best shape on the pitch. Of course, the club want the market value to stay or increase but for me it is pretty selfish, we want the guy in the best shape and we want the best competition in any position.

“From inside, I see a nice guy, a nice personality, an open personality. A hard working guy with, obviously, a lot of quality. He deserves to be here. He’s a sports guy who loves competition, he does everything to impress in training.”

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Rudiger in racial mess over ex-chelsea star dismissal.

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Rudiger received a barrage of racial abuse after Lampard was dismissed, both directly and indirectly…

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has revealed that he suffered ‘immense’ racial abuse in the aftermath of Frank Lampard’s sacking, but believes social media companies will not make any changes to tackle this issue.

The 27-year-old has been blamed by some sections of the Blues fanbase for their former coach’s departure, but he dismissed these rumours as nonsense.

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However, Rudiger received a barrage of racial abuse after Lampard was dismissed, both directly and indirectly on Twitter and Instagram. Chelsea are investigating the matter, and will hand any evidence over to the police.

And, speaking to the club’s website, the German defender has since suggested that social media companies ‘don’t really care’ about the ease in which the public can hurl derogatory insults at people in the spotlight.

Rudiger has admitted he suffered immense racial abuse | James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

“To be very honest, I don’t know about all these social media things but I think the more people who make accounts, they make money off it,” Rudiger said.

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“So me personally, I think they don’t really care because as you know money has power so the rest doesn’t matter so it’s hard to tell if people will make a change on that.”

Rudiger described the level of racism he experienced as ‘immense’, and claimed that his conscience is clear over the sacking of Lampard, despite the suggestions that his attitude led to the Chelsea legend’s demise.

“My conscience is clear. I know I did not do all that nonsense. I am open for every new coach as I was open also for Mr Lampard.

“I cannot control people’s emotions but people should be human beings. I didn’t post anything but the racial abuse was immense. This makes me stronger because I know who I am and I can look in the mirror and smile.

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“Of course if hurts, but in this case I just block it out because I know I didn’t do anything.”

The German international has started all five of Chelsea’s most recent fixtures, and he has impressed under new coach Thomas Tuchel.

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Chelsea gives update on Thiago Silva’s leg injury.

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Silva had been having a fine game before he was forced off, with the interception that caused the injury typical of his disruptive influence on the Spurs attack in the first period.

Chelsea could be left with just two fully fit senior centre-backs when they travel to face Sheffield United on Sunday.

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Thiago Silva hobbled off in the in the first half of the Blues’ 1-0 win at Tottenham on Thursday night with a thigh injury.

The Brazilian veteran had stayed down having stretched to cut out a long ball in 36th minute and was replaced by Andreas Christensen.

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Speaking after the game, Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel said the 36-year-old was a ‘big doubt’ for the trip to Bramall Lane, potentially leaving him with just two fit central defenders in Christensen and Antonio Rüdiger.

Thiago Silva was forced off injured in the first half of Chelsea’s win at Tottenham | NEIL HALL/Getty Images

Kurt Zouma missed the London derby at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium having failed a late fitness test alongside Kai Havertz, so could well be a doubt on Sunday.

Speaking to Chelsea’s official website, Tuchel said: “It will be very tight for Sunday’s game, only two days recovery.

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“It is too early to give a diagnosis because I saw him very briefly with a big strap around his muscle. We will have to wait until tomorrow [Friday] so we can confirm it but I think for Sunday he is a big doubt.”

Silva had been having a fine game before he was forced off, with the interception that caused the injury typical of his disruptive influence on the Spurs attack in the first period.

Chelsea’s back line looked far less confident without the experienced campaigner at the heart of the defence – especially when playing out from the back – although his replacement Christensen did settle into the pace of the game well and was rarely tested.

At the other end of the pitch, the Blues struggled to create chances despite dominating possession, and the German coach added that this was something they would work on.

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“We lacked a little bit of precision in the box and composure to make it 2-0 and to score more goals and decide the match, so the second half was a bit hard,” he said.

“We need to create more clear chances, this is the objective and the job from me. One of the hardest things in football is to score and keep calm, but we have trust in our players and we will work to create more clear chances, and to be more effective, but in general everyone wants to score with every half-chance but it is not like this in the Premier League.”

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Mason Mount continues to underline his status at Chelsea.

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The real victory on the evening goes to Tuchel, with the German boss masterminding the system which Jose Mourinho’s side simply had no answers for.

The first game in any manager’s tenure at a club is often quite telling. Who does he like the look of? Who hasn’t impressed? Who could soon be heading for pastures new?

Having established himself as one of the key men in Frank Lampard’s side, Mason Mount was a surprise inclusion on the Chelsea bench for Thomas Tuchel’s maiden game in charge of the club against Wolves last month.

Whether the decision was made with the fact he’d played the full 90 minutes in all of Chelsea’s last 13 league outings in mind we’ll never quite know, though you’d be forgiven for assuming any new boss would opt to field their strongest team in their first game in charge.

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After all, the longer the wait for a first win goes on the more the pressure begins to…mount.

The youngster’s brief cameo towards the end of the draw with Wolves was enough to earn him a start at home to Burnley the following game, and he was yet again fielded from the off in their 1-0 win over London rivals Spurs on Thursday evening.

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Critics lambasted the Chelsea man’s status as an automatic starter during Lampard’s time at the club – and in truth the former Blues boss did little to dispel the rumours of Mount being the teacher’s pet as he waxed lyrical over him just about every time he was faced with a microphone – but the England international is beginning to prove that Lampard was right. Mount is integral to Chelsea’s progression.

The 22-year-old played as a false nine at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, picking up little pockets of space between the Spurs backline and midfield.

His movement and guile proved too much for Spurs all evening, with Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld too cautious to step out of defence to pick him up and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg unable to track his runs.

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Far from content with sitting between the Spurs centre-back pairing all evening, Mount dropped back into midfield whenever his team were without the ball – something which really didn’t happen very often if truth be known – with Timo Werner pulling in from the left hand-side to occupy Dier and Alderweireld.

Throughout the evening, Mount engaged in numerous tussles with the man mountain that is Tanguy Ndombele, refusing to be shoved off the ball by the Spurs man.

Meanwhile, whenever he pushed further forward he was just too quick, too sharp and too cunning for Alderweireld, with the Belgian chasing shadows at times in his bid to curtail the youngster’s progress.

The real victory on the evening goes to Tuchel, with the German boss masterminding the system which Jose Mourinho’s side simply had no answers for.

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But for said system to work it required a lynchpin, a player integral to the team who the rest of the side could feed and work off – that man was Mason Mount.

All in all it was an absolutely superb performance from the former Derby man. It was a showing full of guts, energy and quality, and he’s undoubtedly the most important player at the club.

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Timo Werner ‘not making’ excuses – Thomas Tuchel

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Tuchel is hoping a return to a ground where Werner has had happy memories will be the catalyst for his rediscovering his appetite for goals.

Timo Werner is “working hard with a smile” as he tries to end his scoring drought in the Premier League dating back to last November said Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.

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The 24-year-old German international has failed as of yet to justify the £52 million ($71 million) former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard persuaded the board to spend on him in the close season.

He has scored nine goals across all competitions with just four in the Premier League.

However, fellow German Tuchel says Werner is “not looking for excuses”.

“With every player we try to create a relationship,” said Tuchel at his press conference on the eve of their game with Tottenham Hotspur.

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“Every guy is different.

“Some need to be close and some need to be alone.

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“We find out what suits him and allows him to open up and feel comfortable again on the pitch.

“It is our responsibility to create moments where he can bring out his best, which means attacking the space in behind to use his speed.

“We create situations with the whole team to use his strengths.”

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Tuchel is hoping a return to a ground where Werner has had happy memories will be the catalyst for his rediscovering his appetite for goals.

“He has good memories at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium,” said Tuchel.

“He has scored for Chelsea and RB Leipzig there and he is not looking for excuses.

“He is working hard with a smile.”

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‘Role model’
Tuchel’s first two games in charge since replacing Lampard last week have yielded four points, leaving them 11 points off the top two Manchester City and Manchester United.

His chances of securing a second successive win will be enhanced by the absence of Spurs’s injured talismanic striker Harry Kane.

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Kane has scored or created 23 of Tottenham’s 34 Premier League goals this season.

“It is always easier when Harry Kane is not playing,” said Tuchel.

“He is one of the best number nines in the world and when he is in shape, he is maybe the role model number nine that every coach wishes for, in terms of work rate and ability.

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“His goalscoring is outstanding. We assume he will not play but we will prepare for all cases.”

Tottenham’s form, like Chelsea’s, has dropped away after a bright start.

They topped the table in December, but have won just two of their past nine league games and lag behind in the race for Champions League spots as they are six points adrift of the top four.

Tuchel, though laid to rest any thought that he might feel sentimental towards his opponents having been rumoured to be a Spurs supporter when he was a boy.

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“When I was a boy and I was Tottenham in the garden, it was to show off with my friends,” said Tuchel.

“I did not know they were a club in London, it was just a name we heard on the television.”

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#Newsworthy

Grealish signing would’ve made ‘the difference’, and Lampard wouldn’t be sacked – Hudson

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Both can drive forward from midfield with real purpose and are quiet often central to an attacking move.

Alan Hudson claimed that Frank Lampard would not have faced the sack had he signed Jack Grealish for Chelsea from Aston Villa.

The Chelsea icon told Caught Offside that Lampard could’ve kept his seat in the dugout had he made a move for Villa’s talisman.

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 28: Jack Grealish of Aston Villa in action during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on December 28, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

“I know Frank, used to know him well until becoming manager, and had I been his adviser I would have told him to buy Jack Grealish,” Hudson said.

“And I mention this because Jack has just learned the ins out outs of top-level football, and he’s 25-year-of-age – that’s how long it takes today, not eighteen months.

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“Had Frank had signed Jack he’d still be the Chelsea manager.”

Lampard lost his job after Chelsea underwent a poor run of results that included a home draw against Grealish’s Villa.

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Hudson was also critical of the youthful contingent who made such an impact under their previous manager.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – JUNE 21: Mason Mount of Chelsea heads the ball as Jack Grealish of Aston Villa looks on during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Chelsea FC at Villa Park on June 21, 2020 in Birmingham, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

“That’s the difference – Jack makes things happen, he knows the game, not like these kids, who are players-in-waiting.”

It was not long ago that Grealish was a young gun trying to prove himself in the Premier League. He has since flourished into an exceptional talent and many at Chelsea are on a similar track.

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One name that stands out is Mason Mount. The 22-year-old has easily been Chelsea’s best player this season and has a comparable influence on his team as Grealish does at Villa.

The pair have parallels in their respective styles of play.

Both can drive forward from midfield with real purpose and are quiet often central to an attacking move.

Mount and Grealish have been pitted against each other as rivals not just at club level, but the international set up as well.

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Plenty was made about which one would make it into Gareth Southgate’s starting line-up.

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 12: Mason Mount of England(L), Jadon Sancho of England(C) and Jack Grealish of England(R) look on during the national anthems during the international friendly match between England and the Republic of Ireland at Wembley Stadium on November 12, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Mike Egerton – Pool/Getty Images)

This obsession caused Grealish to call the whole debate ‘annoying’ and that ‘they weren’t even fighting for the same spot’ (Sky Sports).

Story Source: The Chelsea Chronicle

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Thomas Tuchel admits Chelsea contract length uncertainty

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has confessed he had to talk himself into accepting the Blues’ offer of an 18-month contract.

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The former Paris Saint-Germain boss was earmarked as a preferred replacement for Frank Lampard, who was sacked after leading Chelsea on a run of four wins in 11 games in all competitions, and he was flown in to take charge in the 0-0 draw with Wolves last time out.

During negotiations with Tuchel, reports on the length of his contract varied wildly. Some said four-and-a-half years, but those who said 18 months were eventually proven correct, and Tuchel confessed that he was taken aback by the proposal initially.

“I want to be very honest with you, at first it was a concern, I was a little like ‘oh, why 18 months?’” Tuchel confessed (via Goal). “And after one minute I thought ‘what does it change?’

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“What does it change? If they give me four-and-a-half years, they [could] sack me anyway. If they are not happy with me, they will sack me anyway. And if they gave me four-and-a-half years they would put in a clause that when they sack me, they’ll pay me.

“So where can I be sure that I’ll be there for four-and-a-half years? You cannot. That is the truth at this level. What is the role right now of the coaches? Are we in charge of the whole team and the transfers as well, or not, are we totally free in everything we do or not? Are we only responsible for bad results or also good results? What is this role and where do we find ourselves in that?”

Recently, Chelsea have made a habit of offering their managers short-term contract, with Roman Abramovich seemingly growing tired of shelling out enormous compensation fees to part ways with his staff.

While the Russian’s ruthless, trigger-happy approach to managers has left many concerned in the past, Tuchel insisted that he is not focused on the risks of such a perilous position.

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“I decided not to worry too much, be brave enough to take on this adventure, because it was absolutely clear that I want to do it and I don’t want to miss the chance,” the German added.

“It’s also my character to believe more in the chances than the risks. There is absolutely, for me personally, nothing to be afraid of. I’m very grateful to do this job at this level and I don’t want to waste my time thinking about risks.”

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Chelsea defender, Reece ‘faces’ Racial Abuse on Instagram

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There has been a concerning spike in racist abuse online in recent days, with Chelsea team-mate Antonio Rudiger and Manchester United duo Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe other high-profile targets of online racism.

Chelsea right-back Reece James has become the latest Premier League star to be targeted by racist abuse on social media.

Unfortunately, there’s no sign of the abuse stopping just yet as James took to Instagram to reveal his own flurry of abuse.

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“Something needs to change,” James wrote over the message, which featured insults and slurs relating to the colour of the right-back’s skin.

The abuse came just hours after West Bromwich Albion contacted police over alleged racist abuse directed towards midfielder Romaine Sawyers following the recent loss to Manchester City. The Baggies hope to ban the person responsible from The Hawthorns for life and have called on the police to inflict a strong punishment.

“I am appalled to see the racial abuse received by players this week,” Premier League executive Richard Masters said in a statement. “Racist behaviour of any form is unacceptable and nobody should have to deal with it. Tackling online hate is a priority for football, and I believe social media companies need to do more.

“We at the Premier League will continue to support players, managers and their families who receive discriminatory online abuse. Through our central reporting system we have been able to take immediate action on cases like this and we investigate every report received, with legal action taken where possible.

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“We are in regular dialogue with social media companies, challenging them to do more against discriminatory abuse on their platforms. We want to see swifter removal of offensive messages and improved identification and banning of offenders.”

The Premier League have vowed to continue working with relevant authorities and social media companies to try and find a way to rid the platforms of racist abuse, including urging the likes of Twitter and Instagram to provide more support identifying their users.

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Chelsea confirms Thomas Tuchel as new Manager.

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Chelsea went on to confirm that Tuchel would lead his first training session on Tuesday evening, before taking charge of his first match against Wolves a day later.

Chelsea have confirmed Thomas Tuchel as their new head coach, replacing Frank Lampard who departed the club on Monday.

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Tuchel was most recently in charge of Paris Saint-Germain. During his time there, PSG dominated domestically, as well as reaching last year’s Champions League final which they lost to Bayern Munich. Prior to taking over in Paris, he was Jurgen Klopp’s successor at Borussia Dortmund.

Tuchel has signed an 18-month contract at Stamford Bridge, and revealed his delight in an interview with the club’s website.

“I would like to thank Chelsea FC for their confidence in me and my staff,” he said.

“We all have the greatest respect for Frank Lampard’s work and the legacy he created at Chelsea. At the same time, I cannot wait to meet my new team and compete in the most exciting league in football. I am grateful to now be part of the Chelsea family – it feels amazing!”

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Director Marina Granovskaia added: “It is never easy to change head coach in the middle of the season but we are very happy to secure one of Europe’s best coaches in Thomas Tuchel. There is still much to play for and much to achieve, this season and beyond. We welcome Thomas to the club.”

Chelsea currently sit ninth in the Premier League having won just one of their last eight games. Tuchel’s first task will be to get the club back on track domestically, while his predecessor had safely guided the Blues to the last 16 of the Champions League, where they will face Atlético Madrid in February.

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Chelsea’s 4-1 win against Sheffield United: Ratings

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The Blues continued to dominate the game in the second half, and had several opportunities to put the game to bed.

Chelsea picked up a vital three points on Saturday evening, as they defeated winless Sheffield United by four goals to one at Stamford Bridge in a hard-fought encounter in west London.

The Blades took a shock lead on nine minutes, when a well-worked corner kick routine landed at the feet of David McGoldrick, and the forward cutely flicked the ball into the net with his back to goal. But the Blues were not behind long, as Tammy Abraham pulled the hosts level with a neat finish on 23 minutes.

Frank Lampard’s side took an advantage ten minutes later, after Hakim Ziyech’s deep searching cross fell into the path of Ben Chilwell, who simply couldn’t miss from all of a yard out.

Sheffield United tried desperately to get back on level terms, but Chelsea ultimately clinched the game through a Thiago Silva header and a Timo Werner strike to lift themselves back into the top four of the Premier League table.

Let’s have a look at the player ratings from Saturday evening’s action at Stamford Bridge.

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CHELSEA

  1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
    Edouard Mendy (GK) – 7/10 – Finally beaten in the Premier League by a cheeky flick. Realistically given no chance. Commanded his penalty area with dominance and kept the visitors at bay throughout. Confident.

Reece James (RB) – 8/10 – Set Chelsea moving with a great ball over the top for the equaliser. Solid defensively and pulled off a crucial interception to kill a Sheffield United counter attack in the second half.

Thiago Silva (CB) – 9/10 – Continued his impressive transition into Premier League football. A visible leader in the backline, and offered his experience and calm head when the hosts fell behind. Capped off a super performance with a goal.

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Kurt Zouma (CB) – 8/10 – Growing as a player with a proper winner by his side. Won plenty of headers, cleared everything from the box and looked very composed in possession. Becoming the player Chelsea have hoped he could be.

Ben Chilwell (LB) – 9/10 – Spent huge chunks of the game in Sheffield United’s final third. Had a good shot saved early on. Put the Blues ahead with a strike off of his thigh. Had to be in the right place to score it, though.

  1. Midfielders
    Mateo Kovacic (CM) – 8/10 – Provided the killer cut-back to Abraham for Chelsea’s first strike of the evening. Drove the Blues forward in the second half. Almost got an assist with a delicious back-heel.

N’Golo Kante (CM) – 7/10 – Darted around the pitch, making himself available and breaking up the Sheffield United counter-attacks with his usual expert timing.

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Mason Mount (CM) – 7/10 – Pushed up onto the left side of the midfield to try and invent openings for his teammates. Made some nice runs to get in behind and bring his colleagues into play. Typically busy.

  1. Forwards
    Hakim Ziyech (RW) – 9/10 – Always working the ball onto that deadly left foot to whip dangerous crosses into the penalty area. Got his reward with a perfect ball onto Chilhwell’s thigh and Silva’s head for the second and third goals.

Tammy Abraham (ST) – 8/10 – Tucked away his chance on 23 minutes clinically, sweeping the ball into the bottom corner. Constantly searching to supply his fellow forwards, even if his buildup play didn’t always find the right man. Solid.

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Timo Werner (LW) – 8/10 – Looked less comfortable than he has centrally in recent weeks, but the guy is a natural all over the pitch. Finally got on the scoresheet with a goal late on.

  1. Substitutes

Jorginho (CM) – 7/10

Olivier Giroud (ST) – N/A

SHEFFIELD UNITED

  1. Goalkeeper & Centre-Backs
    Aaron Ramsdale (GK) – 5/10 – Beaten by the bounce of Abraham’s effort, and should have been braver at the far post for Chelsea’s second. Instead, he stayed rooted to his line, and Chilwell did the rest. Beaten and beaten again.
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Chris Basham (CB) – 6/10 – Defended on the front foot, gave Werner little time on the ball and space in which to operate. Denied Kovacic with a great last-ditch tackle. Never going to be an easy game and caught out chasing the match.

John Egan (CB) – 6/10 – Great header off the line in the second half to deny Ziyech what surely would have been the decisive goal. Did his best to handle the strength and movement of Abraham.

Enda Stevens (CB) – 5/10 – Not a good performance. Struggled to cope with the trickery of Ziyech. Almost handed the game to Chelsea in the second half with some sleepy defending.

Wing-Backs & Midfielders

  1. George Baldock (RWB) – 6/10 – Switched on to take the corner quickly for the opening goal, and pulled it back accurately for the waiting Berge.
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Sander Berge (CM) – 6/10 – Got the assist with his pass into the box which landed at the feet of the deadly McGoldrick. Offered his usual bustle, using his size and physique effectively.

Oliver Norwood (CM) – 5/10 – Nothing seemed to flow through Norwood, who should have been dictating the game for the Blades. Couldn’t get his foot on the ball, and his teammates couldn’t find him. A bad combo.

John Lundstram (CM) – 5/10 – Not quite the impactful player he was last season. Whatever he did to get into goalscoring positions so often in the past, is evidently lacking from his game at the moment. Out of form.

Max Lowe (LWB) – 5/10 – Put some nice, dangerous crosses into the Chelsea box from the left flank, but failed to deliver on his defensive duties. Appeared off the pace and out-thought by his opponents.

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  1. Forwards
    David McGoldrick (ST) – 7/10 – CHEEKAYYY! Provided a lovely little flick to open the scoring, showing 100 composure. Won so many high balls through his physical presence and experience in the air. A classy operator.

Rhian Brewster (ST) – 5/10 – Fed off McGoldrick’s flick ons and knock downs, constantly dipping in behind the Chelsea defence. Never really looked like scoring, though – which is a problem, as a striker.

  1. Substitutes

Oli McBurnie (ST) – 6/10

Ben Osborn (CM) – 6/10


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Breaking: Thiago Silva completes first training as Chelsea’s Player

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There was a new face at Cobham on Wednesday as Thiago Silva finally joined up with his Chelsea team-mates for the first time.


The 35-year-old Brazilian defender has signed a one-year deal at Stamford Bridge after calling time on his time at Paris Saint-Germain.

Silva made 315 appearances for the French champions over an eight-year stay in the capital.

He appeared in training with his new colleagues, taking part in small-sided matches and other drills

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Alongside him was Ben Chilwell, who has missed the start of Chelsea’s season with injury.

The full back joined from Leicester City in the summer in a £50million deal but has struggled with a heel injury he picked up towards the back-end of last season.


He is now back in training, and could be in line for his debut in the coming weeks.

Chelsea began their season with a 3-1 victory over Brighton on Monday evening.

Frank Lampard’s men take on Liverpool at Stamford Bridge this Sunday at 4.30pm.


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Havertz praises Frank Lampard

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Chelsea’s new record signing Kai Havertz says the opportunity to work with Frank Lampard had a ‘big impact’ in his decision to move to Stamford Bridge.

The 21-year-old finally completed a sensational £89m move to the Blues on Friday, after months of speculation about a transfer from Bayer Leverkusen.

Havertz becomes the club’s sixth major signing of an incredible transfer window, taking their total spending to an enormous £230m, and the man himself spoke glowingly about his new manager – both as a player and as a coach.

‘Of course he had a big impact on my decision because I loved him as a player and watched him very often, and I think I can learn from him now he is a manager as well,’ Havertz told the official club website.

‘I think he is a very humble person and a great guy and I can’t wait to play with him and learn from him.

‘He was very offensive like me and he loves to score goals, and I love to score goals as well so I think he will help me a lot in my position. Also maybe on the things that I can improve and I can’t wait to work with him.’

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Havertz’s move makes the 21-year-old the joint most expensive player ever signed by a British club, along with Paul Pogba, who joined Manchester United in 2016.

The Premier League transfer record is £145m, which Liverpool received from Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho.

Havertz, who is in the current squad with the German national team, will also join up with compatriots Antonio Rudiger and fellow summer signing Timo Werner in west London.

‘I think it is very exciting because Chelsea has very young players and I know some of the players like Timo [Werner] and Toni [Rudiger],’ Havertz added.

‘I have played with them in the national team and they are good friends of mine and so I think this is very good for me.

‘Also that Chelsea have very young players and English players and that is very nice and a big project. Hopefully we can have many successes.’

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Liverpool still links up with Bayern’s Thiago Alcantara

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