In The News: Smertin, Fergie & Lampard

As another round of Premiership matches kicks off again for the weekend, and with our boys not playing until tomorrow afternoon, here’s what’s being said and written about our beloved blues.

Taken aback by the shock horror of a decent piece on, we start with comments from ex-player Alexey Smertin, with interesting insights about his time at Chelsea.

The former Russian international spoke of his relationship with Roman, stating; “I talked to him probably more than any of our guys because we speak the same language, at every game, even away from home, he would come to the dressing room and would be wide-eyed, like a child.”

“He would want to know what the players were thinking during specific parts of the game and why they made certain decisions.” Smertin added; “That is why I definitely respect him. He loves football. As an owner, he is far from the team, I only ever saw him just after a game. He knows he is not a manager.”

Speaking about Roman’s rumoured interference with the team, he states that it doesn’t happen; “In Russia, it often happens that the chairman comes in to a dressing room saying, ‘Let’s do this’ and makes orders to the players. Roman Abramovich is different. He is a proper owner. He is addicted to Chelsea, I’m sure he will be the owner for many years.”

So from nice words, to the rantings of an increasingly senile United manager. Yes our old Salford Scot; Alex Ferguson is ramping up the mind games a little earlier than normal this season with comments that we’ve had an easy start to the season. We can’t argue that our opponents haven’t been the toughest we’ve faced, but let’s look a little deeper into it.

He said; “They’ve certainly had a very easy early start to the season, there’s no doubt about that, There are big games coming up but they’ve had a good start nonetheless and you can only deal with the games that are in front of you.” Indeed we can, and we have. Unlike United who, to be fair, have had a pretty easy start too. They’ve just buggered it up.

We’ve played West Brom, Wigan, Stoke, and West Ham in the Premiership, all teams in the bottom half, and Zilina in the Champions League, a team we were expected to beat, and did just that.

United have faced Newcastle, Fulham, West Ham and Everton, all teams (Fulham apart) who are also in the bottom half, with Rangers their opponents in the Champions League. They failed to beat both Everton and Fulham, throwing the games away late on, and they couldn’t score at all against Rangers.

So looking at the run of matches side by side, they’re almost identical and as Ferguson said, we can only beat what’s in front of us. Well, we can. United seemingly can’t. Despite this, Ferguson still went on to claim; “Our form, I think, has been very good!”. Not as good as ours, Alex.

Anyway, enough of the United baiting, as fun as it is, and onto our mercurial England mid-fielder and Premiership Player of the Decade; Frank Lampard. As you’ll all probably know by now the hernia operation he had a few weeks ago hasn’t yet fully healed and as such he won’t be lining up against Blackpool.

However it’s not his injury that we’re focusing on here, more a comment from Charlie Adam of newly promoted Blackpool. He said; “When we won at Wembley I got a text message from Frank. He wished me all the best and said it would nice to see me in the Premier League next year. That was when it sunk it with me what we had achieved and it was a magical moment.”

Showing what many of us already know about what a gentleman of the game Lampard is, he added; “The fact he took time out from preparing for a World Cup to send a text like that summed up what we had achieved. He has achieved so much in his career it was amazing to think he was following what we were doing when he had a World Cup on the horizon. I will always have kind words for him.”

Adam went on to explain how he’d met Frank on holiday in Dubai, and how he’d picked his brains on the Premiership for several hours with Frank more than willing to impart him with his knowledge; “I asked him so many questions. It was just great to chat. We just spoke and it was interesting to hear what he had done and what the players at Chelsea were like as well. I wanted to know what he had done in his life to get where he was now. We will probably have a quick catch-up after the game and then it’s on with the rest of the season.”

In other news, Spanish super striker David Villa in an interview with The Guardian about his club, country and more, listed John Terry as the best defender he has ever faced. Villa said our captain was the best; “Not just because of his reputation for being tough, but because he is a great defensive player.”

Considering the defenders the Spaniard has faced in his career, that’s some accolade.