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Anorak | Frank Admission

Frank Admission

by | 10th, November 2003

‘CHELSEA midfielder Frank Lampard is telling today’s papers that after yesterday’s 5-0 thrashing of Newcastle the Blues now believe they can win the Premiership this season.

‘I will survive. Oh, as long as I know how to love…’

But England rugby coach Clive Woodward is saying the opposite, namely that his team have no chance of beating France in next week’s semi-final unless they improve dramatically.

The Mail says the team “stumbled from one World Cup crisis to another last night” with a tetchy coach and a growing injury list.

Following their unconvincing 28-17 victory over Wales in Brisbane, Woodward has called up Austin Healey as cover for Josh Lewsey and Iain Balshaw, both of whom are injured.

But there is some good news for the coach, “whose curt and dismissive replies angered French journalists” at the post-match press conference.

Flanker Richard Hill expects to be fit to face France next weekend, although England fans who have heard the same health bulletin every week for the past month may be excused if they are a bit sceptical.

No such scepticism is in evidence at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea became the Premiership’s highest scorers with a 5-0 victory over Newcastle.

And Lampard, who scored the third goal from the penalty spot, tells the Star that belief within the squad is growing.

“For the first time we honestly believe we can win the title,” he says. “That’s what we’re looking to do.”

Manchester United, who beat Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield yesterday, and Arsenal, who scraped through 2-1 at Highbury against Spurs, also believe they can win it.

But Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier concedes to the Mail that his side (currently in eight place) are fighting for fourth.

That doesn’t stop the Frenchman hitting out at referee Graham Poll for not giving his side a penalty that would almost certainly have earned them a draw.

“There was no doubt it was a penalty,” he said. “I spoke to Florent [Sinama-Pongolle] afterwards and he said there was definite contact.

However, TV replays showed that in fact it was a brilliant tackle by Rio Ferdinand and the decision was a correct one.

Let’s hope Houllier’s countrymen have something more substantial to complain about next weekend.’



Posted: 10th, November 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink