The Hard Tackle brings you a roundup of some of the popular stories regarding Chelsea FC.
Jack Wilshere: ‘Chelsea Look Like Champions’
The 24-year-old went into the match against the league leaders hoping to do Arsenal a favour, but not even he could stop a rampant Chelsea side as they swept aside Bournemouth with a 3-0 victory, even without the likes of Costa and Kante.
According to ESPN, Wilshere said, “They look like champions at the minute. For me at the moment they’re the best team in the league. There’s still a long way to go of course, you can’t say they’re definitely going to win the league, but at the minute they look like the strongest.”
He said that the introduction of Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 formation works for them. The England international went on to recall the clashes he’s had at Stamford Bridge when he was with Arsenal and how he only won once, before adding that the Blues were more ‘ruthless’.
“They know what the job in hand is, they go out there and week in week out they change their game plan depending on who they are playing. I think that’s the sign of a top team,” he said. “They’ve got a structure with [Nemanja] Matic and [Cesc] Fabregas holding in there and players like Hazard and Willian who were both different class, and they’ve got the freedom to roam across the pitch. They caused us problems and they’ve been causing most teams problems this year.”
Hazard Says Chelsea Want To Make History
The Belgian international was once again on target from the penalty spot as he scored his side’s 2nd goal of the night in Chelsea’s 3-0 victory against Bournemouth. It was Chelsea’s 12th consecutive Premier League victory and it helped maintain their 6 point lead at the top.
The Blues are one victory away from equalling the 13 game win streak set by Arsenal in the 2001/02 season. Should they beat Stoke and then Tottenham Hotspur in their first game of the New Year, they would hold the record for the most consecutive wins in a league season.
Speaking after the game, according to ESPN Hazard said, “We feel good. We are full of confidence. We take game after game and try to win every one. We don’t look at records but if we can make history in this club we will. Let’s keep it going and we will try to win every game if we can.”
Oscar Departure Due To Lack Of Game Time
The Brazilian was subject to a massive €60 million move from Chelsea to Chinese side Shanghai SIPG a few days ago, becoming one of the highest paid footballers in the world.
After starting the first few games of this season, the 25-year-old was dropped from the starting XI altogether after Antonio Conte introduced the 3-4-3 formation. Conte’s usage of Matic and Kante proved to be a huge success and it spelt the beginning of the end for the Brazilian.
He had failed to register a single goal this season and managed only a single assist in a total of 11 appearances prior to his massive move, and Shanghai SIPG General Manager Sui Goyang confirmed recently confirmed that Oscar left only due to the lack of game time at the club.
According to Sky Sports, he said, “Oscar has fallen out of favour with Conte because he has no place in Chelsea’s 3-4-3 formation. It played a key part in his desire to leave. He felt terrible to sit on the bench and not be involved. He is so young.”
He further added that his desire to get back into the Brazilian national team also played a factor in him making the move, given that his compatriots in the Chinese league feature regularly for their country. The appointment of the former Chelsea boss was an added bonus.
He said, “Some of his compatriots play in the CSL and they still get called up to the national team. So it helped him to make the decision to move to China. And of course, the appointment of Andre Villas Boas is a plus. Oscar knows we are an ambitious club.”
Rio Mavuba Reveals Hazard’s ‘Drunken’ Hattrick
Speaking to the Independent, Hazard’s former Lille team mate Rio Mavuba revealed how the Belgian International scored a hattrick within the first 30 minutes against AS Nancy Lorraine in his final game for Lille in 2012 and that he did this whilst he was drunk after partying the whole night.
Mavuba said, “It was Eden Hazard’s last match with Lille and he wanted to organise a little something. We decided to go have a little drink. A little drink that dragged on somewhat. The following morning, Eden was still drunk.”
“That evening against Nancy, not even with 30 minutes played, Eden had already bagged a hat-trick. The guy had not even slept, he drank for the entire night and he put away a hat-trick in 30 minutes. We all looked at each other, we told ourselves that this guy was the real deal.”
Atalanta Reject Frank Kessie Bid
According to The Guardian, Chelsea’s bid for Atalanta star Franck Kessie has been rejected. It was reported yesterday that the Blues had gotten a head-start in the race against Barcelona, Liverpool and Manchester United for his signature and lodged a €25 million bid for him.
However, Kessie’s agent George Atangana confirmed that the bid was rejected outright by the Italian outfit, who reportedly value their prized asset at around €40m. He said that even though Chelsea were interested, they had to take time and consider all of their options.
Atangana said that he couldn’t estimate the fee required and insisted that the most important thing was to make sure that the technical project was right for Kessie to ensure his development, given his young age. Atangana is also set to meet with Chelsea officials in London next week.
He went on to say, “Chelsea are very interested and it is a great club but we must take our time to consider all the options. Now we are in January so he has to play at the African Cup of Nations for Ivory Coast so I am not going to rush anything.”
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