Why Guus Hiddink deserves to be the next permanent Chelsea manager

Mar 17, 2016 Posted Under: News

In December, Chelsea were in complete disarray. The defending champions were languishing towards the bottom of the Premier League table, had already been knocked out of the Capital One Cup and were on the verge of elimination from the Champions League.

Ultimately, something had to happen – and it did. Guus Hiddink happened. As was the case midway through the 2008-09 season, the Dutchman stepped in as interim manager to help the Blues in their time of need and Chelsea have benefited considerably in the aftermath of his appointment. Chelsea have continued to climb up the Premier League table throughout the campaign and are currently unbeaten during Hiddink’s tenure. Chelsea now stand an outside chance of finishing in the top four this season whilst a top-six finish remains a genuine possibility.

Although they were recently eliminated from the FA Cup at the hands of Everton, Chelsea remain confident of snatching a Europa League spot and Hiddink’s influx of positivity and confidence has been a key reason for their sudden resurgence. At the time of writing, Chelsea are 5/1 in the Bet365 football betting markets to secure a top-six finish this season. On current form, it would be hard to argue against them continuing their assault on the Premier League, especially if the likes of Cesc Fabregas continue to shine.

If nothing else, Hiddink has helped Chelsea’s star players to regain confidence. At the beginning of the season, Costa was struggling to score goals and seemed lost under Jose Mourinho. But he has gone on to score 11 goals in 15 games under the Dutchman. In addition, Fabregas and Oscar have also flourished and are much more prominent in Chelsea’s attack.

Hiddink has given their flair players the opportunity to prove their worth and Chelsea are now playing with a lot more freedom than they did under Mourinho. They aren’t quite the complete package but Hiddink has certainly got Chelsea back towards their best. Despite this, it’s unlikely that Hiddink will stay at Chelsea past the end of the season. The Dutchman himself has admitted that he wouldn’t necessarily want the permanent position at Stamford Bridge and owner Roman Abramovich is probably going to look elsewhere.

diego-costa

Chelsea FC (and Spain) striker Diego Cos” (CC BY 2.0) by  Ben Sutherland 

According to reports, Antonio Conte is top of Roman’s hit-list and, while the Italy manager would be welcomed at Chelsea, the supporters do have a soft spot for Hiddink – especially after this second spell at the helm. Hiddink didn’t have to take this job but he did it because he admires Chelsea and the club will always have a special place in his heart.

Hiddink has done a fantastic job since taking over in December and the Dutchman will be more than satisfied with his campaign so far. If Chelsea can secure an unlikely top-six finish, many fans will want Abramovich to offer him a permanent contract. But unfortunately, it doesn’t look as though Hiddink will be at Stamford Bridge next season. However, if the potential deal for Conte falls through, Hiddink might be given another year to try and mount a Premier League title challenge.

Read More

David Luiz bites back at Neville's 'Playstation' jibe: He lacked respect… he's still learning

Sep 04, 2015 Posted Under: News

The former Chelsea defender insists he holds no grudge against the England coach and indicated that the departure from the Blues was his decision

Paris Saint-Germain defender David Luiz has suggested that former Manchester United full-back Gary Neville lacked respect when likening the Brazil international to a 10-year-old on a PlayStation.

The former Chelsea player formed part of Laurent Blanc’s 2014/15 Ligue 1 winning side, after leaving Stamford Bridge following the 2014 World Cup.

But Luiz, who was singled out for criticism following Brazil’s 7-1 defeat to Germany in the World Cup semi-final, indicated that though Neville’s comments were wrong, he does not hold a grudge.

“I think that respect is imperative,” Luiz told Bleacher Report.

“I’m not saying that people have to like me or that nobody can criticise me. Do it with reason and balance, though, with responsibility. Not lacking respect.

“You can criticise someone, say they didn’t play well. That’s fine. When Gary Neville talked about me being like something out of a video game, that’s the sort of thing that lacks respect, especially because he was a player.

“But I reacted in a positive way because I know that he’s learning, and he’s growing into a new profession. I think he realised that he’d made a mistake, and he spoke well of me later on. These things happen.”

The 28-year-old also commented on his departure from Chelsea and his relationship with manager Jose Mourinho during and after the 2014 World Cup, with the defender insisting that the move to PSG was his choice.

“I’d had four happy years at Chelsea, and they offered me a new contract, but I preferred to go. It was my decision,” Luiz added.

“When I left [the Chelsea squad at the end of the 2013/14 season], I was with Brazil, and I didn’t really have any contact with [Mourinho].

“I was in Brazil on holiday first, then preparing for the World Cup. Everything was presented to me, I accepted, and he sent me a little message saying ‘good luck.’

“Afterwards, I went straight to Paris. I didn’t go back to London.”

Read More

Azpilicueta on De Gea: Man Utd fans love him… they'll welcome him back

Sep 04, 2015 Posted Under: News

The Chelsea defender is convinced that his compatriot will be have no trouble being accepted by supporters at Old Trafford, despite his aborted move to Real Madrid


Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta says that Spanish national team-mate goalkeeper David de Gea is loved by Manchester United fans, and will be welcomed back by them.

De Gea was all set to move to Spanish giants Real Madrid until a problem with paperwork halted the move, with both clubs laying the blame at each other’s door.

But despite the goalkeeper’s attempted move away from Old Trafford, Azpilicueta says that De Gea will have no problem with the United fans upon his return to Manchester.

“As a rival, I’ve experienced the affection the United fans have for De Gea,” Azpilicueta told reporters. “They always respect him and they will continue to do so.

“He is very loved there, and the United fans will welcome him with respect.”

De Gea has one year left on his current contract at Old Trafford, but is said to have been in contact with his agent, Jorge Mendes, to discuss the possibility of signing a new long-term deal with the club, such is his dismay at the collapse of his proposed move to Madrid.

But De Gea has yet to feature for United this season, with manager Louis van Gaal insisting that he was not focused with on-pitch matters.

Read More

Pedro: Valdes gave me Van Gaal warning prior to Man Utd snub

Sep 03, 2015 Posted Under: News

The winger has admitted his former team-mate told him his only “problem” at Old Trafford was with the coach but insists it did not influence his decision to choose Chelsea


Pedro has revealed his Spain team-mate Victor Valdes warned him of his “problem” of playing under Louis van Gaal at Manchester United before he joined Chelsea.

The winger was linked with a move to Old Trafford for much of the summer before Chelsea took advantage of their rivals’ indecision by completing a late deal.

And while United goalkeeper Valdes spoke highly of the club and its supporters, Pedro admits he did not recommend life under Van Gaal.

“He told me it was a very good club with great supporters and the only problem was with the coach,” Pedro told Marca.

Valdes has been left out of United’s Champions League squad following the collapse of David de Gea’s move to Real Madrid and Pedro believes his former Barcelona team-mate is being treated unfairly.

“It is true that I do not like the treatment of my [Spain] team-mates, especially Victor, who has been a reference for me and is a model professional,” he added.

“I don’t think it’s fair, but that did not influence my decision [to join Chelsea].

“I just saw Man Utd wasn’t convinced to take the step of signing me, they were delaying a lot and I needed a team with which to start the new season. Chelsea acted more decisively.”

Read More

Hazard: I'll never be a true scorer like Messi or Ronaldo

Sep 02, 2015 Posted Under: News

The Chelsea forward accepts that he does not have the predatory instinct to push and push for as many goals as possible, admitting that he tends to ease off when the job is done


Chelsea forward Eden Hazard admits that he “will never be a true scorer” as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are.

Having been crowned Player of the Year after driving the Blues to the Premier League title last term, the Belgian has been talked up as having the potential to rival the Barcelona and Real Madrid stars.

With 19 goals to his name in all competitions last season, manager Jose Mourinho and team-mate Cesc Fabreas were among those to hail Hazard’s potential.

However, the 24-year-old says that he is not convinced of rivalling Ronaldo or Messi – who have been crowned the world’s best player five times between them – in terms of goals.

“I often ask myself what I can do to become like Messi and Ronaldo and score 50 or 60 goals in a season,” Hazard told Sport/Foot Magazine.

“I try of course but I realise that I will never be a true scorer. It’s not in me. It is mainly mental – at 2-0, not thinking that is enough, for example. Sometimes I still think, after a goal, ‘that’s enough’.

“I’m not in search of records like some other players… if I can score between 15 and 20 goals each season, I will be very happy.

“I’m at a peak of my career but I want to become even better every day. I’m not there yet.”

Hazard has endured a sluggish start to the season and is yet to score from four Premier League outings, with Chelsea surprisingly languishing in 13th.

Read More