A mere three days since signing for Arsenal, the now former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has aged rapidly.
This was Cech when he joined the Gunners:
And this is Petr Cech now:
Of course it’s Sun computer wizardry that has made Cech appear oplder. But if that’s what he’s going to look like at 40, Petr might want to tighten the chin strap on his helmet.
Are Arsenal fans happy their club is likely to buy Petr Cech from Chelsea? Yes. Very. The Bleacher Report (via Pies) have produced this brilliant vine to illustrate Arsene Wenger’s anointing of Cech as his new number one.
Chelsea’s John Terry says Petr Cech can win Arsenal the Premier League title. Arsenal want to buy Cech for £10 million. His first competitive match for the Gunners could be the Community Shield agsint Chelsea on August 2.
“If they do get him, that will strengthen them for sure. He will save them 12 to 15 points a season. I am sure if he does leave — which nobody wants to see, but we understand he wants to play football — he is going to be sorely missed. He will improve whatever side he goes to.”
Kerry Dixon, 53, the fromer Chelsea striker, is in prison. He’s serving nine months for punching and kicking 38-year-old Ben Scoble in Dunstable’s Nag’s Head pub.
Judge Barbara Mensah told Luton Crown Court:
“It was quite clear from the CCTV footage we have seen that you were. the aggressor. Out of the blue you knocked him from the stool and continued to pummel him on the ground. It was clear to me where you were hitting him was about the head.”
Transfer Balls: is Petr Cech leaving Chelsea for life at Arsenal? The Sun says the player’s goalkeeping coach has “risked a major rift with Chelsea — after indicating the Blues stopper wants a move to Arsenal.”
Christophe Lollichon has coached Cech at Cheslea since 2007. He told French media:
“His family like England. And a player is happy when his family is happy. He wants to stay in England, but I don’t know if there are discussions. The Premier League is his primary objective. But it will also depend on the conditions. The advantage is that Arsenal is a top club, with a philosophy that pleases him and that is in London. Tottenham? I do not think they have the same ambitions as Arsenal. Petr wants to break the record for the most clean sheets in the Premier League.”
“Much has been said about him at PSG but the problem is that when you have evolved in England, Ligue 1 seems light compared to what Petr has now experienced.”
Transfer Balls: The Sun reports that Diego Costa is ‘bidding’ for a ‘Chelsea exit’.
The story runs:
DIEGO COSTA has told friends he wants to QUIT Chelsea this summer and return to Spain.
Which friends we are not told.
Sources close to Costa, 26, have confirmed Chelsea’s £32million top scorer is homesick and prepared to take a massive pay cut to rejoin former club Atletico Madrid.
Transfer Balls hears the Daily Telegraph report that “Radamel Falcao is “desperate to join Chelsea”. How deseperate to join the Premier League champions is the man once nicknamed “El Tigre” and billed by Pep Guardiola as “the best penalty-box forward in the world”?
“Former Manchester United striker willing to take big pay cut to link up with Jose Mourinho”
How much, then, for the man whose end-of-season appraisal was delivered by Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal:
“Falcao is a top professional and a good human being. On behalf of myself and everyone at the club I would like to wish him well for the future.”
A good pro and good bloke. That’s what you get for £1m-a-month. Bargain.
Matt Law adds:
Manchester United have decided not to take up their option to sign Falcao permanently, but the Colombian wants to stay in the Premier League and ideally move to London.
He’s not desperate to play for Chelsea, then. Falcao just wants to live in London.
Arsenal showed an interest in Falcao last August, but are unlikely to pursue the striker this summer – leaving Chelsea as his only hope.
Arsenal didn’t puruse the striker because he cost $265,000-a-week. He then played not all that well for Manchester United, who did agree to pay his nutzoid wages for a season. Manchester City had been interested in the Colombian until they were told that it would cost £29 million to fund the deal.
Chelsea are in the market for a replacement for Didier Drogba, and Jose Mourinho and Falcao share the same agent, Jorge Mendes… Mendes will attempt to broker a move to Stamford Bridge for Falcao.
Of course he will. But even the most ambitious agent must agree that the chances on Chelsea paying Falcao £65,000-a-week more than they invest in Eden Hazard are thinner than Brendan Rodger’s excuses.
As ever the Metro pipes up. It says that the deal is on and Falcao could take a £100,000-a-week pay cut to realise his dream of playing for [insert name of London club here] come true.
Just £165,000-a-week to hire Falcao, then. The man’s a dreamer…
Transfer Balls spots this pile of steaming matter in the Daily Star. Tomas Rosicky is surely on his way out of Arsenal. He’s a terrific player but at 34 years of age and no longer near the starting XI he’s looking very replaceable.
But wait a moment! In the Daily Star, Dave Woods has an “EXCLUSIVE”.
Tomas Rosicky to stay if Arsenal sign Chelsea star Petr Cech
Why? Is Cech insisting that Rosicky stays at Arsenal?
…with the pair being so close, the Frenchman knows keeping Rosicky at The Emirates can help convince Cech that Arsenal are the right team for him.
Because Rosicky and Cech are both Czech nationals it means that having the square-cheeked midfielder around the Emirates will help Cech settle into life in London, the city he’s lived in for a decade? That’s the “exclusive”?
Rosicky will be delighted to learn that his primary function will be to operate as – and this with apologies – Cech’s Czech mate. And at £85,000-a-week, he might well be the capital’s most expensive babysitter. Something to put on his CV, there.
How much is Paul Pogba worth to Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and any other club keen on the Juventus and France midfielder? This month the Daily Express has been filling its readers in with the facts.
Pogba is worth £80m to Manchester City:
Pogba is worth £70m to Chelsea.
Pogba is now going to cost Manchester City £43m.
According to the Express, Pogba’s value has halved in just over a week. And to think way back in March Pogba was worth £100m.
Give it a few weeks and Pogba will be free.
Such are the facts.
Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas has been sent off for kicking the ball at West Bromwich Albion’ Chris Brunt.
— amadí (@amadoit) May 18, 2015
Kevin Kilbane says Fabregas meant it, telling BBC Radio 5 live listeners:
“Cesc Fabregas knew exactly what he was doing there. He was 10, 15 yards away, and he just boots the ball into the melee of players. Absolutely mindless from Fabregas, he didn’t need to get involved.”
Mindless or deliberate – can it be both? And will kids who see Cesc as their ‘role model’ spend the summer copying the Spaniard’s precise strike with a beach ball aimed at the head of a sunbed-prone dad?
Chelsea were by far this season’s best Premier League team. Roman Abramovich, the club’s owner, must be chuffed with his side’s success. But was it worth it? Fordstam, the company vehicle in control of Chelsea, has announced that Roman’s loan to the Blues has surged past the £1bn mark.
In the year to June 2014, Abramovich’s loan rose from £984m to £1,041,243,000, reports Private Eye.
The good news for Chelsea is that the loan is interest free. And should Abramovich need the money back, he would have to serve notice 18 months before making a demand.
Transfer Balls: a look at players linked to Chelsea FC in today’s tabloids.
The Daily Mirror says Jose Mourinho is considering buying Liverpool’s Rickie Lambert. The paper adds that Spurs’ Emmanual Adebayor is also at the “top” of Jose’s list.
Facts to support the stories: zero. But the Mirror says Lambert was watched as Liverpool took on QPR. So, presumably, the Chelsea scout was also watching every other player on show, particularly QPR’s Charlie Austin or the much-coveted Raheem Sterling?
The Daily Mail says Mourinho wants Roman Abramovich to “bankroll another summer trasnfger spree”. The Mail says Chelsea are looking to sign QPR’s Robert Green (see above). Also, Oscar is looking to leave the club so Chelsea will consider moving for Raheem Sterling. Other players namechecked in the Mail’s story are:
Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane
Atletico Marid’s Antoine Griezmann
Shakhtar Donetsk’s Douglas Costa
The Daily Express says Chelsea are in talks to sigs Atletico Madris’s Spain midfielder Koke for £30m. The Blues also want Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi and West Ham United’s Aaron Cresswell.
That’s just 10 new players, then.
Transfer Balls: it’s going to be busy summer of chatter for Juventus star Paul Pogba, 22.
The Mirror says Manchester City and Manchester United will have to create a new British transfer record if they want to sign Pogba. This isn’t simply Pogba’s agent talking up his client; it’s a a fact because the Mirror says Paris St-Germain have offered £60m for the France international. And that’s more than the £59.7m Manchester United paid for Angel di Maria.
And then there are the wages. The Mirror says PSG have offered Pogba £320,000-a-week.
The Mirror then says that Manchester United don’t want Pogba. They’re after Gareth Bale and “ready to tempt Real Madrid with a £100m offer”.
Can Arsenal win the Premier League next season? In short: can they beat Chelsea, this season’s best?
Jose Mourinho, never one to miss a chance to salute his own genius, says:
“The titles at Chelsea [in his first tenure in charge] were fantastic, becasue it was the beginning of the Mr Abramovich era, no title before that.”
Well, not quite. Chelsea had been champions of the old first division in 1983–84, 1988–89. They had last won the top tier in 1954–55 – the only time they had done so until Roman arrived.
So. Money won it? No, says Jose:
“But now it’s a great feeling because it’s my club, because of the [strength] of the league, because we are not the any more the rich club.”
Chelsea’s finances are sound. Sure, Chelsea’s parent company owes Abramovich £958million, but he’s not sent any final demands yet.
But Chelsea are rich.
Chelsea are within a whisker of winning the Premier League. Mourinho’s masters are just three 0-0 draws away from the title. In the Times, Steve Clarke recalls what it was like winning the Premier League in 2005 – Chelsea’s first top tier championship in 50 years.
The aftermath was quite strange really. It had been such a long time and we’d been engaged in a relentless pursuit, but there were no real celebrations. Normally after winning the league for the first time in 50 years you’d party for a week, but we had to play Liverpool a few days later. It was absolute madness for an hour, but then we just went back to the hotel for a quiet dinner and the players had a massage. It was very, very José, whose attitude was “Win it, enjoy it for an hour, that’s the job done and move on to the next game.” It summed him up perfectly.
It’s all about next season. As Mourinho says:
“In relation to the Premier League, when the season starts if you want to be champions you also have the risk to finish fifth. Next season will be the same.”
It might be that Jose Mourinho doesn’t get the credit he deserves. After all, next season Chelsea retained the title…
Chelsea goalkeeper Peter Cech is heading out of Stamford Bridge. Arsenal are keen to land him; and Cech would be happy to remain in London.
But according to the Daily Mirror, Arsenal should be wary. The paper says that Chech “hopes Mourinho’s Chelsea…rule England football for a decade.”
But is that really what he said? No. What he said was:
“The last title we won was in 2010, so it has been a long time. This one is hopefully the start of a new era, another generation of players. There is only me, Didier and JT who have been here for the last decade. You can say this is a new generation of Chelsea, hopefully we will confirm the title on Sunday and this team will continue on. You can be a great player, but these moments to play difficult games under pressure, being champions, gives you another step, another dimension. You can see in difficult moments this season, this team has a lot of experience to overcome them. That is why we are in the position we are. The new players came in already with experience, winning the title elsewhere, which is important and why everything clicked quite quickly.”
Pretty clear. But to the Mirror’s Mike Waters, this is Cech saysing Cheslea are at “the dawn of another dynasty swathed in triumph”.
Unless he heads to Arsenal and helps them win…
Transfer Balls: Is Barcelona’s Pedro heading to Arsenal? The Daily Express says he is. It’s an “exclusive”:
Pedro’s a top player. Arsenal fans will be happy he’ll be playing for them next season. Of course, this is the Daily Express, which told its readers Pedro had agreed to play for Inter Milan:
Arsenal had best hurry up because early this week, Pedro was worth £22m to Chelsea…
Uttrer balls everyday in the newspapers…
Chelsea captain John Terry is a great footballer. Saying that is hardly going out on a limb. He has been terrific for Chelsea.
But in the Sun, Steven Howard sees Terry as a victim:
“Here was another immense performance. One of the many that a lot of us feel should have earned him and not player Hazard the PFA Player of The Year award. That he was not even nominated by his fellow players shows there are other reasons behind his ommission.”
What reasons? Howard does not say.
The PFA player of the season featured these six contenders: Diego Costa, Philippe Coutinho, David De Gea, Eden Hazard, Harry Kane and Alexis Sánchez. Are they all better than Terry? No. They’re not. If you want to win prizes, you’d pick Terry over Countinho every time.
So. Does Howard have a point? Yes say some other journalists.
In the build up to Arsenal’s Premier League match with Chelsea, the tabloids are focusing on the Blues’ Cesc Fabregas. The match will be the first time the Chelsea player has faced his old club on their home pitch.
The Daily Star leads with news that Fabregas “snubbed” Arsenal. The paper says Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has “muddied the water” by saying his former captain had no intention of returning to the Gunners:
“I believe his decision was already made. I personally believe that deal was done a long time ago, in early 2014… I was intriguded that he might go to Chelsea, but when I was informed I thought the deal was already done.”
Football Balls looks at reporting on the Chelsea forward line going into the weekend’s match with Arsenal.
The Daily Express leads with news that Didier Drogba is not fit to face Arsenal. That injury is compounded by Diego Costa being “10 days away from recovering” from his hamstring injury. Arsenal play Chelsea in four days. So. Costa has no chance of playing in the match.
Yesterday the Mirror agreed, saying Chelsea were facing a “striker crisis”.
But one day on, the Mirror says Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is confident all his strikers will be fit for the Arsenal match. The Mirror agrees. It says Costa should train fully before the match, and Loic Remy and Didier Drogba “should also be fit”.
Such are the facts in the tabloid press…
Transfer Balls spots the Daily Star’s news that Sami Khedira has delived a “blow to Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United”.
Jonathan Green reports:
The 28-year-old has become one of the most sought after players in European football with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Dortmund and Schalke all looking to secure the German’s signature.
This is the Daily Star that told readers that Khedira had agreede to join Arsenla and Bayern Munich:
Such are the facts in the Daily Star…
The World Cup winner is out of contract in the summer and has confirmed he will leave the Bernabeu after five years.
The 28-year-old has become one of the most sought after players in European football with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Dortmund and Schalke all looking to secure the German’s signature.
And reports in Spain claim Dortmund are in the process of drawing up an offer for Khedira as they look to move ahead of their rivals.
Borussia Dortmund want Sami Khedira
INTEREST: Borussia Dortmund want Sami Khedira [GETTY]
They say Dortmund officials are prepared to offer Khedira a deal worth €11m (£8m) a year to bring him to the Westfalenstadion.
The Bundesliga club are set for a major overhaul this summer following Jurgen Klopp’s announcement that he will step down as manager at the end of the season.
Mats Hummels looks set to follow Klopp out of the exit door while doubts remain over the futures of Ilkay Gundogan, Marco Reus, Ciro Immobile and Neven Subotic.
A study into the levels of abuse targeted at Premier League clubs and players online has revealed that more than 130,000 abusive posts have been made via social media so far this season.
The research, carried out by anti-discrimination body Kick It Out, found that Chelsea were the most targeted club, with – surprise surprise – Mario Balotelli suffering more abuse than any other player.
Far more in fact: Balotelli received well over 8,000 discriminatory posts. Second on the list was Danny Welbeck with 1,700 posts. Over half of the abuse received by both players was of a racist nature.
*Sigh* Some people really are terrible.
BBC Sport have published Kick It Out’s findings today, with the results making for depressing viewing…
The numbers (taken from Twitter, Facebook, forums and blogs) equate to 16,800 discriminatory posts a month, 551 per day, one message every 2.6 minutes.
Remember, this is just a football season’s worth (August 2014 to March 2015) of Premier League abuse we’re talking about. We’re certain we’re not even close to seeing the full extent of the problem here.
The Kick It Out study found that over 50% of the abuse was race and gender related, though sexual orientation, disability and anti-semitic abuse also made up a depressingly large slice of the pie…
“The level of abuse is truly staggering,” Kick It Out director Roisin Wood said.
“We must do all we can as a collective to protect those who are on the receiving end of discriminatory abuse.”
The group are now exploring the possibility of forming a dedicated task force to tackle “head on” the level of football-related racist, sexist and homophobic abuse online.
Good luck with that chaps. Something tells us it’ll be like trying to plait smoke.
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has a blog. He wrote on it following United’s 4-2 win over city rivals Manchester City.
His article is entitled ‘Outstanding Atmosphere at the Theatre of Dreams‘:
So much for the start. We’ll fast forward to the bit where Mata talks about Manchester United’s trip to Chelsea.
From this Monday we are already thinking about our next ‘final’, a visit to the leader of the Premiership… going back to Stamford Bridge for the first time will bring me plenty of good memories, for sure. The day I arrived to this great club I wrote: “Gratitude is the memory of the heart”. And I keep thinking the same. At that time I had the chance to thank everybody who helped me in London during those two and a half years, and next Saturday it will be nice to meet former team-mates, fans and friends. I keep good memories of them and I wish them the best…
Call me old-fashioned but I like it when my team’s players don’t declare their love for the opposition. I sympathise with the Newcastle United fan who spotted his side’s goalkeeper Tim Krul wait at half-time to congratulate Sunderland’s Jermain Defoe on scoring what turned out to be the game’s only goal and noted:
“It’s f**ing derby… you don’t laugh with some scum in the tunnel, you either ignore him or kick the sh*t out of him. Nothing else is acceptable.”
A friend is a highly intelligent, sane and respected individual. Whenever a team other than his beloved Manchester United is playing his wishes only destruction on their houses. Unreasonable, inhumane, bigoted and unhinged, of course he is. He’s a fan.
Mata’s cameraderie and admiration for the team that sold him is not what any Manchester United supporter wants to hear. If Mata has to say anything, then wish ill on Chelsea.
Mata’s blog is the verbal equivalent of the player who refuses to celebrate his goal against a former club. The player – let’s call him Cristiano – scores. His teamates celebrate. And he stands, head bowed in respect, alone in the frenzy. It is utterly pathetic.
In the right world, any footballer failing to wildly celebrate a goal – famously described as an act better than sex – should be red-carded and banned for six matches. And that goes for you, too, Juan Mata. If you score against Chelsea, Manchester United fans will not respect your open-palmed apology to the opposition, and I’d wager Chelsea fans won’t either. They want you to slide across the turf and pump your fists like Mike Tyson on speed.
The United fans will love you. The Chelsea fans will regret losing you. You win. Anything else is just sad…
Transfer Balls: the Times says Chelsea are ready to make a move for Arsenal’s Theo Walcott.
Matt Hughes says Walcott, 26, wants to stay at Arsenal. But at the end of this season Walcott’s current contract will have just one year to run.
There is no guantratee Arsenal and Walcott will agree on a new contract. So. He could be off.
But Arsene Wenger says there has been progress:
“The first contacts have been established with the embassy! We will see how that progresses politically. Walcott was difficult to convince (last time) and that’s why it took us much time.”
The Daily Star is reporting in an “EXCLUSIVE” that Manchester City and Chelsea want on sign Everton’s Ross Barkley. The Star adds that the two clubs can have Barkley for £50m.
That is, of course, a ludicrous sum for a promising player. But if Everton can get that much for a young player whose form has dipped, then good luck to them.
The Star’s report contains not a single quote from either Manchester City or Chelsea. It just tells readers that – incredible as it sounds – both clubs would prefer to spend less to buy Barkely.
In the frenzied world of bullshit.com football reporting, The Metro reads the Star’s story and tells its readers:
Chelsea transfer news: Chelsea line up £50million signing of Everton star Ross Barkley
No. They are not. Everton apparently want £50m for their rising star. We’ve read that Chelsea would like to buy him. But any talk of a bid is nonsense.
Over in the Sunday People news is that City will offer £35m Everton for Ross Barkley.
That’s a £10m drop on the £45m the Telegraph said Manchester City were going to bid.
The People’s story also contains not a single fact to support its scoop.
Such are the facts…