BROWN ON BLUE – A LOOK BACK
I’ve been trawling through the archives at CFCnet towers and stumbled across some old Brown on Blue articles from a few years back. Looking over the stories became quite amusing; Jose was quitting, Wenger still moaning, and Fergie was still a beetroot. What with recycling and the like being the in thing, I felt this would be a good way for us to do our bit to save the planet, and of course save money on writers fees. We’re so poor even the bugs in the site are starving…
So here it is anyway, a look back at the quotes and stories from this week, three years ago. Enjoy.
Mourinho to quit? Will he or won’t he? Not what I’d expected to write this week or indeed for quite a while, but what started as a suspected April fools joke on Friday has steamrollered into yet another media spotlight shining brightly on Chelsea, again not for the football but for matters off it, and again mainly focused on Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho is understood to have demanded talks with Peter Kenyon and Bruce Buck over the club’s reluctance to appeal against the two match touchline ban imposed at the UEFA hearing last week. According to a source close to Mourinho, he’s furious with the club’s unwillingness to appeal over the ban and feels he has not been given the backing he deserves.
He also feels that this isn’t the first time their silence has appeared damaging to him, the stories of Cole-gate and blood spinning still hanging over the club and Jose seem to be painted as the bad guy each time, not helped by the clubs lack of public backing. Chelsea confirmed last night that it won’t be appealing the UEFA decision, which also included a fine of around £9,000 for Mourinho, a fine of £33,000 for Chelsea and reprimands for assistant manger Steve Clarke and security official Les Miles.
Roman Abramovich came to London earlier than planned for crucial talks with Jose Mourinho and Peter Kenyon about the future of Chelsea Football Club. Mourinho has grudgingly accepted that the club are acting in his best interests but is still considering taking personal legal action against UEFA, having taken advice from the Bosman lawyer Jean-Louis Dupont. A source close to the manager said: “Jose understands the position of the club and doesn’t want to make matters worse. He only wants the best for the club and the team. Everything is peaceful, as the club have clarified certain situations. Jose is happier now but still doesn’t understand certain aspects of club policy. We’ll see what happens when Abramovich arrives.”
Mourinho is known to be a hands on manager, and wants to control all aspects of the club he manages. This doesn’t just mean the teams and transfers; it also includes the club’s media and communications policy. William Hill are offering odds of 9/2 that Jose Mourinho has ceased to be Chelsea boss by the first game of next Premiership, and 1/8 that he is still there. Chelsea are now 1/150 favourites for the Premiership, have already secured the Carling Cup and are 100/30 joint favourites for the Champions League.
Jose Mourinho is also reported to have been offered the chance to star in his own chat show on Portuguese television. The 50-minute live show, to be carried on Portuguese broadcaster SIC, will be shown once a month, with the first programme scheduled for 18th April. Martim Cabral – SIC’s managing editor for news said; “The new show will be on at prime time. He’s willing to talk about everything except politics. We expect huge interest.” Also, it’s been revealed that Jose Mourinho’s famous grey trench coat is the work of Italian designer Giorgio Armani and NOT discount clothes chain Matalan. Did we really expect anything else?
Chelsea club doctor Bryan English is to have talks with UK Sport, the organisation which administers drug testing in this country, in an effort to establish if blood spinning is a legal way of treating injured players. The method has been criticised by the World Anti-Doping Agency since it emerged that the Chelsea were using it to treat players to speed up rehabilitation after injury. Now it has contacted English, the former doctor for UK Athletics who is credited with helping Kelly Holmes overcome her injury problems, for talks. “This is such a new technique that we feel we have to talk to people about how it works and what the effects are” said a UK Sport spokesman. “The more we know about this method the better informed we will be to make a judgment on whether it is illegal or not.” UK Sport has advised players not to undergo the treatment because of fears it may be banned by Wada, leading to a possible two-year suspension for anyone found guilty of using the technique. It is expected that English will meet senior officials at UK Sport, including John Scott, the head of the anti-doping unit, within the next month.
Roman Abramovich has dropped to second place in The Times rich list but he is still thought to be worth at least £7.5bn. Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal comes out on top with a fortune estimated to be £14.8bn. The Rich List says the pair are now among 40 billionaires living in Britain – the biggest number yet recorded. Abramovich, Chelsea and Deportivo La Coruna are reported to be getting close to sealing an informal working relationship. Depor president Augusto Caesar Lendoiro is believed to have held talks with ’super agent’ Pini Zahavi, who is thought to be representing the Global Soccer Agency (GSA) about investment in Depor.
It’s suggested that negotiations have also focused on loan players arriving from clubs linked to GSA, which is also thought to have links with Roman Abramovich. Lendoiro revealed; “We have been considering our options for some time and indeed we spoke in London with that group (GSA), but just as we did so with them, also we have spoken with many other groups.”
Arsene Wenger incredulously called on Roman Abramovich earlier in the week to instil some ‘moral values’ on the club. “I think it would be helpful to hear from Abramovich. He sets the tone at that club. Of course, he is very powerful and they have the advantage of having rules which only they have,” he declared. “That’s why I think that the way he wants to lead the club is important for English football and the Premier League.” All this from the manager of a team with such renowned indiscipline and players with a bad attitude, remember the mass brawl at Old Trafford last season? Him calling Van Nistelrooy a cheat? His refusal to shake Sir Alex’s hand? Wenger – preaching about moral leadership? Don’t make me laugh Arsene!
So moving the focus from Tweedledum to Tweedledee, after the goalless draw with Blackburn, Sir Alex has now conceded the title to Chelsea (again?) “You can forget Chelsea, that’s for sure” said Ferguson. “You do not win league titles with performances like that. It is going to be very difficult for us now and second spot is the real priority for us now.”
Yet another milestone has been reached this season, the victory over Southampton took us to the 80-point mark for the first time our 100-year history and it’s been rumoured that Chelsea have done very well in the nominations for the PFA player of the year award, with four of the six nominees Chelsea players. If this turns out to be true then it will be a first in the history of the awards.
The nominees are rumoured to be JT, Lampard, Petr Cech and Arjen Robben, with Andrew Johnson of Crystal Palace and the goons’ Thierry Henry completing the six. The rumour suggests that Terry has finished first with Lampard narrowly second. Cech is reported to have taken third to give Chelsea an unprecedented one-two-three clean sweep. If true, John Terry will become the first Englishman since Teddy Sheringham to win what is considered a major accolade as its people within the game who cast the votes.
Terry has said recently that Gianluca Vialli is one of the main reasons he has become the player we all know and love. “When I started training with the Chelsea senior team I was there with the likes of Dennis Wise, Marcel Desailly and Mark Hughes. In the first training session with Gianluca Vialli, who had just been made manager, I came in and kicked him from behind. The lads said ‘You can’t do that’. But Vialli came over and shook my hand and said ‘That’s what I want to see’. He wanted the other lads to know that no matter who the players are, he wanted them kicked. That’s something I’ve always done.”
Ottmar Hitzfeld has branded Jose Mourinho “arrogant” ahead of the match against his former club Bayern Munich. “Jose Mourinho is an arrogant coach,” Hitzfeld said. “He is cool but he is not a sportsman. I have met him but we are not going to be friends. In comparison to Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger, Jose was a disappointment on a personal level. However, he is among the best managers in the world.”
Roy Makaay also felt the need to have his say before the match; “I know Mourinho from my time in Spain when he was Bobby Robson’s assistant. Now he is the coach and things are going well for him, but the good results are perhaps going to his head. I don’t like it that he takes it for granted that they will knock us out “They say that Chelsea have the best defence in Europe, but they still haven’t played against Bayern.” He added; “It will be very intense. It will be like the European Cup Final.”
Mourinho has played down his Champions League touchline ban for the ties with Bayern Munich, saying his players know exactly what they must do. “The team is ready and the staff is ready, we went through all the things we had to study, I cannot communicate with them during the game but because of the time we work together, they understand the way I think, the way I feel.” He added; “The players have a good enthusiasm and confidence and we are very together.”
Jose has also revealed striker Mikael Forssell would make his return from injury to be on the bench against Bayern on Wednesday, however Robben is definitely out of the first leg at least. Mourinho said: “Mikael will be on the bench. We don’t have Robben, who is injured, and Kezman is suspended. We need strikers for the game and his work is absolutely fantastic. Credit to him because his mentality is fantastic. He is a big help because of his strong mentality.”
So with Ferreira now on the injured list our defence is down to the are bones, we already knew a left back would be a priority this summer and the stories have come thick and fast. Zambrotta moved to end speculation on a move to Chelsea when he said; “I have a contract with Juve until 2008, being followed by big teams can only flatter, but I hope to stay for a long time at Juve and in Italy.” Chelsea are believed to be watching Asier Del Horno of Athletic Bilbao and Bilbao will not stand in his way should he decide to leave. Athletic President Fernando Lamikiz stated; “I will speak clearly with Del Horno and from his response the club will decide. We do not want to keep him at Bilbao if he is unhappy.” If Bilbao are ultimately pressured into a sale, they will look to bank the majority of his release clause which, under the terms of his contract, stands at €20 million.
Arsene Wenger is “convinced” Ashley Cole wants to stay at Arsenal. “I am convinced he will stay and I will try everything to keep him here. To extend his contract is the next step, at the right salary. We have to maybe wait until this case goes through, because his agent is involved as well, so we have to see that all goes on. I know we want to keep him, the board wants to keep him and we want him to stay here and happy.” Never missing an opportunity to have a dig at Chelsea, he added; What Chelsea spend is not linked with their income and that makes it difficult, not for Arsenal only but also for everybody, when we are in there, the competition is not linked with any reasonable numbers that you can spend so the competition is a little bit artificial.”
It seems Carlo Cudicini’s experience at Chelsea is slowly coming to an end as the keeper understandably wants first team football, something which he is not getting with Petr Cech in front of him. Chelsea will have a big say in where Carlo goes as his contract doesn’t expire until 2008, probably ruling out a move to an English club. Carlo said; “My destiny is decided by Chelsea. Roma is an idea which I like, just like all those which will allow me to play. I don’t even exclude an adventure in the Spanish league.” Carlo has also recently been linked with Milan.
Meanwhile, with one foot already in the San Siro, Hernan Crespo is hoping to make his move permanent and is even willing to take a pay cut to get the move; “My agent is working on the situation,” said Crespo. “I have faith in him and in Milan. I am confident because there is a definite and positive will from both parties. We will have to see what Chelsea ask in exchange, but I’ve been happy to start talks with Milan from the start. As for myself – I have already made a financial sacrifice this season to make my loan move to Milan. It’s clear you have to take sacrifices in order to obtain something and I am ready to do that.”