MOSES: THE FIRST INTERVIEW

Victor Moses completed his move on Friday evening, was welcomed by the Stamford Bridge crowd on Saturday and trained with his new team-mates on Monday morning.

The next stop for the 21-year-old was to sit down with the official Chelsea website…

Your possible transfer to Chelsea was in the news throughout the summer. It must be good to have your future settled now.
When I first heard that Chelsea had come in for me I was surprised, but I had a call from my agent saying they were really interested in me and what did I think. I said they are the European champions and anyone would like to play there and now that everything is sorted, I am delighted to be here.

I am happy to come back to London as I grew up here and it is a great honour to play for the club that won the Champions League.

You’ve decided to join a squad with a lot of competition for the attacking places in the side.
There are a lot of world-class players here and I am here to do my best for the team and to help them win more trophies. The club has done well for the past few years, they have achieved a lot, and for me to be able to play with these world-class players, I am delighted to be here.

How did the opening day fixture go for you when Chelsea played up at Wigan?
I thought I did alright. It took me a while to get into the game but in the second half we came at Chelsea – but that is in the past now. I was a Wigan player then and I am a Chelsea player now.

You managed to go past the Chelsea full-backs during the match.
We all know Ashley Cole is one of the best left-backs in the word and he is a consistent player, so if I go past him I am happy because he is a great player.

You arrive with a reputation for being versatile. Please give a short history of the positions you have played.
Growing up I used to play centre-back in a Sunday league team but I had the feeling I could play further forward. When I was scouted by Crystal Palace I started playing in centre-midfield. Then I ended up playing as a striker, left wing, on the right – everywhere really. I went to Wigan to play left wing mainly but then the manager saw the way I was playing and he mostly used me on the right. Last season I played more on the right but sometimes on the left.

I can also play up front or behind the striker, I can play anywhere up front. I’m comfortable wherever the manager wants to play me.

Roberto Di Matteo has highlighted your dribbling ability.
That is one of my strengths, I love getting the ball and going past defenders. You don’t want defenders tackling you all the time when you get the ball, you need to make them work hard, and that is what I love doing.

When you were at Whitgift School in Croydon, you were taught football by Colin Pates, a popular captain of Chelsea in the 1980s. How was that experience?
He is a great man. He always used to talk to me and tell me about when he used to play and how I needed to be more professional about my football. He is a person you can call on and he will advise you in the right way. When we played with the school team he used to teach us all about movement and finishing and he was great to work with. We won a national school tournament when he was our manager.

Growing up around in the Norwood area of south London, the Crystal Palace academy must have been a natural place for you to develop.
It was easy for me after training to go home. It was nice playing for Palace. There were a lot of Chelsea fans around there and Palace were playing in the Championship so all I used to hear when I was little was Chelsea, Chelsea! I didn’t know then that one day I would be playing for them.

You moved to Wigan midway through the 2009/10 season.
When the season first started we were doing pretty well, fighting for a play-off spot for the Championship. Then we heard the club was going into administration, that is when Wigan came in and Palace hadn’t a choice but to sell me.

Do you know anyone at Chelsea already?
I know quite a few. I used to play with Ryan Bertrand and Daniel Sturridge for England Under 19s, Under 20s, Under 21s. I know Ashley Cole and Michael Essien and Mikel I know from playing for Nigeria. It is good to see everyone here and it is a lot easier for me.

For Nigeria I have games coming up against Liberia and I am looking forward to them. They are home and away and whoever wins will qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations in January.

Do you have a message for the Chelsea fans?
I just want to say to the fans to sit tight, there is more to come from Victor Moses and I hope to do my best for the club and that there are more trophies to come in the future.

There will be more from Victor Moses in Chelsea TV’s ‘Weekend Review’ tonight at 6.30pm and 10pm.

REACTION: CONFIDENCE IS KEY

Fernando Torres, who enjoyed one of his finest displays in a Chelsea shirt against Newcastle United at the weekend, believes his recent upturn in fortunes is simply down to playing regular first team football.

The Spanish striker, who scored our second goal in the 2-0 win, after earning the penalty which allowed Eden Hazard to give us the lead, has now netted three goals in four games. He is once again playing with a smile on his face, and there is little doubt that the team as a whole are reaping the rewards.

‘My confidence is back because I’m playing more,’ Torres said. ‘When you play more often you are confident, and with the new players we’ve signed, the team are playing more attacking football.

‘We know how strong we are when we need to defend, as we showed last season, and we now have two competitive ways we can play depending on the opposition.

‘It is great to see players like Eden Hazard come here and it is a privilege to play with him and Juan Mata who are the kind of players who play between the lines.’

Ryan Bertrand, meanwhile, who has started two of our first three games on the left of midfield, has spoken of his enjoyment at playing in a side which, on the evidence thus far, are on the path to become the great entertainers.

The 23-year-old is developing an understanding with Ashley Cole on the left-hand side, and the duo were instrumental in nullifying the threat of Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa.

In what is a more unfamiliar position for Bertrand, though, he is being asked to contribute more going forward than defensively, and while he admitted it’s taking time to adjust, he is clearly relishing his new role.

‘It definitely is enjoyable playing with the likes of [Juan] Mata, Fernando and Eden [Hazard],’ said Bertrand. ‘The boys at the back and the midfield are giving us that structure and platform to play, so it’s very enjoyable.

‘I find I’m getting used to it as each game goes by, developing that relationship with Ash and telling my mind that I’m playing as a left midfielder rather than dropping too deep, but hopefully it’s getting better with each game.

‘We’re just going to take each game as it comes and, at the end of the season, if we do well enough, I’m sure we’ll be in amongst it.’

COLE: WINNING SMILES

Ashley Cole discussed changes to the method of Chelsea’s play this season following his part in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle at Stamford Bridge.

Roberto Di Matteo previously spoke of a degree of alteration with new players coming in rather than a complete revolution and the left-back, following three league wins out of three, confirmed some differences which appear to be working smoothly.

‘We have lost Didier Drogba who was a big powerhouse up front for us so sometimes we used to knock the ball up to him,’ said Cole, ‘but now we have signed a few smaller players so we have to get the ball down and play a bit more, and the second goal against Newcastle was a fantastic team goal.

‘We had maybe 10 or 15 passes and we stayed patient and in the end it was a great finish by Fernando.

‘It was hard for Fernando last season to get many games,’ he added, ‘but when he did play he worked hard for the team and now he is the main man he is full of confidence after the European Championships, and he scored great goal.’

Key to the nine-point opening to the league campaign has been Eden Hazard who now has six assists to his name as well as scoring his first Chelsea goal from the penalty spot against Newcastle.

‘I had to mark Eden when England played Belgium and I saw how dangerous he was,’ said Cole.

‘I said to the boys after the game this player is going to do well in the Premier League and so far he has. There is still a long season to go but the effort and the commitment and what he has done for the team so far has been brilliant. He deserves a lot of credit for the great start we have had and hopefully he can keep doing it throughout the season.

‘Before the game we were aware that we had not beaten Newcastle since 2007 at home so that was something we wanted to rectify and it was a great team performance. People like Eden, Juan Mata and Fernando worked non-stop for the team and it was a great result for us.

‘It is not just winning, we are playing some good football with it as well and the way we are doing it is very enjoyable to play in.’

CHELSEA TV EXCLUSIVE: TORRES ON WINNING START

Fernando Torres spoke to Chelsea TV following his goal and the team’s three points against Newcastle and reported on the mood in the camp.

A clip can be viewed here with the full interview available to watch via Chelsea TV’s online access where Roberto Di Matteo also talks to the channel about the game.

FINAL WHISTLE THOUGHTS: IN CONTROL

Having watched his side turn the table on Newcastle from last season’s home game – his only Stamford Bridge defeat so far – Roberto Di Matteo spread praise equally between his attacking and his defensive players.

May’s 2-0 defeat against the Tynesiders seems even further way now following the third victory of the new league campaign. Fernando Torres won a penalty which was converted by Eden Hazard in the absence of Frank Lampard for his first Chelsea goal. Then Hazard returned the compliment for Torres to net with a fine shot.

Unlike against Reading midweek, once Chelsea got ahead there was no slipping up at the back so a comfortable victory was ensured.

On the collective contribution
‘People will talk about the goalscorers but I was very pleased with our performance considering it was our third game in six days and we were playing against probably our toughest opposition,’ said Di Matteo. ‘In the first half we saw some good football again and we tailed off a little bit in the second half but probably because it was our third game in six days.’

On that man Hazard again
‘Hazard has quite a lot of assists and it was good for him to get his first goal, and the second goal from Torres was terrific play by us.

‘But it is not just Torres linking with Hazard. He has a very good link up and understanding with Mata and the other midfield players, and the whole team. Thanks to his team members he has been able to slide into our team and play very comfortably with the others.

‘We watched him a lot last season but it is a different league so you are never sure how quick he can adapt, but he seems to have found his feet very quickly and he is a wonderful player for us.’

On Torres’s bright start to the season
‘Torres was very important for us last season, maybe not scoring as much but providing and working hard for the team. He is a great team player as well. I know we ask strikers to score but not only that.’

On Chelsea’s defensive play and fielding a third centre-back pairing in three games
‘We controlled the Newcastle threats very well and we didn’t concede much to them because if you give a little bit of time and space to Ba, Cisse, Ben Arfa or Cabaye they can hurt you. Ryan Bertrand and Ashley Cole on the left-hand side did a wonderful job in keeping that side quiet and two clean sheets in the first three games, we can be happy with that.

‘We have three internationals we are using in the central defence position and we will need all three to be that strong, so it is great that the partnerships are working whichever two are playing. For us to be successful it is what we need. And we are playing Ivanovic on the right who is another who can centre-back.’

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew somewhat understandably highlighted the fact several of his team played in Greece on Thursday night but also had complements for the victors.

‘First half I thought we lacked a bit of spark but Chelsea were good. We had a go second half and didn’t shut up shop.

‘Hazard is a difficult player because he travels with the ball and buys time and when you have that, you can time your runs off him. He has that kind of nonchalance that marks him out as a great player. He made a difference to Chelsea from last year.

‘They are still an organised team and defend well. A lot of our attacks today would have opened up a lot of teams.’