Massimiliano Allegri Reveals Why He Is Not in the Running for Chelsea Manager Role

Massimiliano Allegri has ended speculation that he might be appointed Chelsea manager, or any other vacant post in the near future, by revealing that he plans to take a year away from football. 

With Maurizio Sarri’s announcement as Juventus manager expected imminently, Allegri had been tentatively linked with a move to Stamford Bridge – although ?Frank Lampard remains the strong favourite.

Allegri, who left Juventus at the end of the 2018/19 season, has now dismissed any notion that he could take over at Chelsea, professing his desire to take a sabbatical from football management to focus on his family and friends.

Maurizio Sarri

Speaking at an event on leadership in Milan, as quoted by ?Football Italia, Allegri said: ”I am going to take a year off to recharge my batteries and take my personal life back in hand, rediscover after many years the affection of my family, children and friends.  

”The last 16 years have felt like being in a blender. You have to take time away from what you usually spend with family and friends. 

”I’ll use this year to recharge my batteries ahead of next season.” 

Allegri left ?Juventus as one of the most successful coaches in the club’s history, having won five consecutive Serie A titles, alongside four Coppa Italia titles, two Supercoppa Italiana titles and reaching the Champions League final twice.

Massimiliano Allegri


The Italian, who also won the Scudetto with Milan, has also been a regular feature on bookmakers’ lists for the next possible Manchester United and Real Madrid managers.

Meanwhile at Chelsea, Lampard is the firm favourite to take over the reigns at Stamford Bridge. The ?Chelsea legend guided ?Derby to the Championship playoff final, and, with Chelsea’s transfer ban preventing them from signing players in the next two windows, the 40-year-old has been identified as somebody who can oversee the transition of youth players into the first team.

It is reported that Chelsea will have to pay £4m in compensation to release him from his Derby contract. 

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Chelsea Face Compensation Charge for Frank Lampard as Maurizio Sarri Nears Juventus Deal

Chelsea will have to pay £4m in compensation to release the Frank Lampard from his contract at Derby County.

As current Blues manager ?Maurizio Sarri edges ever closer to officially completing his move to Juventus after only a season at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea are believed to be holding the deal up until they have assurances over their former midfielder Lampard’s availability to replace the Italian.

Sarri has been Juve’s main target since they announced the surprise departure of Max Allegri last month, and the word coming out of Stamford Bridge is that he is keen to return to Italy despite a reasonably successful first season in England.

FBL-ENG-PR-LEICESTER-CHELSEA

Having joined ?Chelsea from ?Napoli at the beginning of last season, Sarri led Chelsea to a third-placed finish in the ?Premier League, and ended the season on a high as they conquered London rivals Arsenal to lift the Europa League in Baku, but regardless, he has come under fire from the club’s supporters on several occasions – with the 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth in January sticking in the memory. 

Italian outlet ?Gianluca di Marzio now report that there is ‘little missing’ before the move can be confirmed, adding that Sarri’s legal team has already met with Chelsea to discuss the specifics of his departure. He is expected to sign a two-year deal, with an option for a third.

The hold-up is believed to come from Chelsea’s end, as ?Sky Sports? claim they want assurances from Derby over the availability of Frank Lampard before they will sign off on any potential move.

??Lampard spent 13 years at Chelsea, writing himself into the history books as a club legend, and has proved successful in his first venture into management, leading Derby to the Championship playoff final in his first season in charge. 

He is favourite to take over at Stamford Bridge in the event of the vacancy opening, and while Deby reportedly want £4m to let him go (as per a separate report by Sky) he is believed to have a clause in his contract that could make sure of his availability.

With all that in mind, then, it does seem as if there are a few moving parts yet to come together, but the weight of the reports suggest it is a deal which is likely to be done before too long. 

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Frank Lampard: On This Day the Legendary Midfielder Signed for Chelsea

?“I’m telling you now – and I didn’t want to say this in front of him – but he will go right to the very top. He’s got everything that’s needed to become a top class midfield player.

“His attitude is first class, he’s got strength, he can play, he can pass it and he can score goals.“ (Harry Redknapp)


Right to the very top indeed. 18 years to the day, Chelsea signed arguably their greatest ever player, Frank Lampard. 

With 640 appearances for the Blues, along with 211 goals to his name, Lampard goes down in history as a club legend. Three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, one Champions League, one Europa League and two League Cups. The ex Blue certainly has an impressive trophy cabinet. 

Frank Lampard X

Cast your mind back to 14th June 2001 if you can, Claudio Ranieri has just signed his first player for the club. A baby faced Lampard signs for a mere £11m from ?West Ham, and I think we can all agree that would be an absolute bargain in today’s market (considering Danny Drinkwater was signed by Chelsea for £35m 16 years later). 

Many questioned whether Lampard had it in him to deliver on the big stage for a club as big as Chelsea. It took some time for him to score his first, with it coming in a 5-1 romping of Bolton in December 2001. 

Throughout his tenure at ?Chelsea, Lampard consistently delivered goals in big games, which resulted in him being recognised as one of the most prolific goal scoring midfielders of his era. One of his most prestigious records being 20+ goals scored for five successive seasons, which was unrivalled by other top midfielders of the same generation. 


“Frank is the best midfield player that I played with, the most intelligent and efficient.”


Lampard had a knack of arriving in the box to finish off his chances, which led to him claiming the honour of Chelsea’s all time leading goalscorer with 211 goals in all competitions – a figure no other midfielder in English football history has matched. 

However, Lampard didn’t exactly win the hearts of all football fans out there during his career, with the midfielder being branded as ‘Fat Frank’ by some of his detractors. 

The constant debate regarding Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard or Paul Scholes is still an ongoing discussion to this day, and let’s be honest, one that will never have a concrete answer to it. But to Chelsea fans at least, Lampard is the best of the best. 

And the voters at the 2005 Ballon d’Or clearly thought the same, as Lampard finished runner-up behind the then best player in the world, Ronaldinho, and ahead of Steven Gerrard…*cough cough.*

As a Chelsea fan myself, there are particular moments – mostly goals – that stick with you forever. The goal against Bolton in 2005 (that won Chelsea their first league title in 50-years), that outrageous volley against Bayern Munich, the audacious lob away to Hull, or THAT goal away at Villa, Lampard just had a natural eye for goal. 

Perhaps the greatest testament to Lampard’s career under the ownership of Roman Abramovich is how valuable he was to the Chelsea side season after season. 

With managers and players alike coming and going at the club, Lampard managed to play 164 consecutive league games between 2001 and 2005; a stat which highlights his quality of performances and commitment to the cause. He would go on to make a further 381 appearances for the club, with one of those standing out amongst the rest. 


“One of my best players ever, one of my best professionals ever, a Chelsea legend and a legend in the Premier League”


That appearance came on May 19th 2012 – an unforgettable night for Chelsea Football Club in which they beat the mighty Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena to win their first European title.  

The Champions League is a trophy all players want to get their hands on. And with the defeat to Manchester United on penalties in 2008 still haunting fans and players alike, no one could picture that the Blues would get their hands on the ‘trophy with the big ears’ in Bayern’s own backyard. But they did, as Chelsea would go on to win the game in the most dramatic of fashions, beating Die Roten 4-3 on penalties, with Lampard scoring the third. 

The rest as they say, is history. 

Frank Lampard

Renowned for his attitude on and off the pitch, and coaches admiring his work ethic, Lampard is often referred to as the consummate professional. Former Blue John Terry ?stating: “Any young player striving to be at the top should look no further than Frank Lampard.”

Lampard left Chelsea after spending 13 years at the club. With all the accolades the domestic career has to offer, and with an impressive 106 English caps to his name, Frank Lampard certainly goes down as not only a Chelsea legend, but a legend of the beautiful game. 


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England vs Argentina: Phil Neville’s Best Available Lionesses Lineup

England manager Phil Neville was left wanting more from his player after an opening 2-1 win over Scotland in the Women’s World Cup, giving an impassioned speech to his players on the pitch at the final whistle and later declaring the Lionesses still have a ‘long way to go’.

With Argentina next up in Group D, Neville will  be hoping that starts now.

Here’s a look at the potential Lionesses XI the England boss could pick…


?Goalkeeper & Defenders

Lucy Bronze

Karen Bardsley (GK) – Will be expecting a quiet day. Argentina only managed one shot on target against Japan and it didn’t come until the 73rd minute.

Lucy Bronze (RB) – Formed an exquisite partnership down the right flank with Nikita Parris against Scotland and fans will be hoping to see more of the same.

Steph Houghton (CB) – At fault for the Scotland goal after giving the ball away in a dangerous area. She will know that was a mistake and will be harder on herself more than anyone.

Millie Bright (CB) – The Chelsea defender is expected to be available despite the heavy fall on her shoulder that ended her participation against Scotland prematurely.

Alex Greenwood (LB) – Was likely to start ahead of Demi Stokes even before the Manchester City left-back was ruled out of the first game and should keep her place now.


Midfielders

Georgia Stanway,Kim Little

Jade Moore (CM) – Neville has been tipped to make changes to his team and one of those could see veteran midfielder Jill Scott rested.

Keira Walsh (CM) – England will have the majority of possession in this game, which means that the Manchester City midfield shield and deep lying play-maker will see a lot of the ball.

Georgia Stanway (AM) – Fran Kirby was disappointing against Scotland, perhaps lacking full match fitness after a stop-start 2019, and could make way for the PFA Young Player of the Year.


Forwards

Ellen White

Nikita Parris (RW) – Scored England’s first goal of the tournament and her first in a World Cup from the penalty spot against Scotland. Will be eyeing another, or, several here.

Ellen White (ST) – Proved just why she has been in the international fold since 2010 after a calm and composed finish that proved to be the winner against Scotland.

Beth Mead (LW) – Quieter than expected against Scotland, but if Argentina look to close the space in central areas it will leave space out wide and that will suit the Arsenal star.


?For a full preview of England vs Argentina, click here.

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Ali Riley Column: Netherlands Loss Was Frustrating, But We’re Full Speed Ahead for Canada

?New Zealand captain Ali Riley is a columnist for 90min at the Women’s World Cup in France this summer, as the Football Ferns look to secure the country’s first World Cup win.


Let’s start with the obvious one. Everyone’s disappointed with the last minute loss to the Netherlands, but I think we all feel that we gave everything we could – and we haven’t felt that way in any of our World Cup games before. 

It’s frustrating, but everyone who watched has been so complimentary, and we really showed that this team should be taken seriously and that we’ve come a long way. 


What we want to avoid – and sometimes it’s hard – when the result is like that is people who don’t watch back in New Zealand saying ‘Oh they still haven’t won a game in the World Cup’ and blah blah blah. I mean, the Netherlands is ranked eighth in the world; but it still sucks that it ended like that. 

We’ve showed now for a few games how well we can defend and that we can keep some of the best players in the world from doing what they want to do. Obviously we needed the last game to be two minutes shorter, but we had our chances, three really good chances that could have changed everything completely. 

The first game is a tough one, there’s a lot of nerves, and it was basically like we were playing in the Netherlands. Just this sea of orange. We’ll be in a similar place in the next game; Canada has some great players, they’re ranked higher than us, top team, top players. 

We’ve had so much less preparation than all these other teams, so every time we play together we get better and that’s something we know from experience. Of course we’re looking for our first win and get out of the group, but for all our senior players, and those of us at our fourth World Cup, we want a feeling that we did everything we could. After that, football is football.

New Zealand v Netherlands: Group E - 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France

We travelled yesterday and had a pool recovery session, but we’re back training and preparing for Canada today. One of the big things is coming out of the Netherlands game with no injuries, and everyone’s feeling good. This team is really fit and physically really strong and everyone’s healthy the mindset is just we were given today to kind of regroup but I think everyone’s ready. 

We’re all getting along so well off the pitch, too. There’s a huge coffee culture, similar to England – the girls love their coffee and we’re always looking to cafes and just places to chill. We’ve got Hannah Wilkinson who’s amazing on the guitar, and CJ Bott is our resident beautician so she’s always braiding everyone’s hair into cornbraids, doing eyebrows, tinting lashes, painting nails and that kind of thing. 

I think it’s a really good group because we are so close and everyone knows each other. Some people really like to be social, whereas I can kind of get into just tour mode where I’m happy to lounge around in my room and do nothing but rest and train.

We’re in Grenoble now, and there’s a lot more going on than in Le Havre. That was a pretty sleepy town and a lot of things were closed – there were a couple of holidays while we were there – and it is hard, but obviously training breaks it up.


The sun is out here, and we’ve had a few birthdays too! It was Rosie White’s birthday and she wanted us to…I don’t know if we actually looked French, but we had a French vibe going. We all had the stripy tees and got some cheese, so we’re really getting into the spirit here…even if our French is horrible in terms of the language.

All of our families and friends are here now too, so that’s really nice. I had some family and friends at the Netherlands game, and my aunt and uncle and cousin and his wife are on their way to the Canada game. 

Oh, and one last thing. We’re trying to get my roommate Rosie White to 10,000 followers in Instagram – she’s got 8,000 now so we’re doing a big push. You can follow her ?here! 

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