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• Manchester City midfielder has thrived since 2014 sale to Wolfsburg
• ‘There’s no bad feeling at all, it’s part of life. It’s a business’
Kevin De Bruyne did his best to insist all parties had moved on and, in truth, it was hardly an opportune moment to reveal any lingering bitterness. After all it was barely an hour since he had rasped in a glorious winning goal for the current league leaders at the reigning champions and, back in the stadium’s media room, Pep Guardiola was still busy lauding the Belgian’s natural talent and eager work rate, declaring him one of the team’s “captains” who can “do absolutely everything”.
Yet there had to be some mention of that stunted spell as a Chelsea player, a period that yielded as many loans away as Premier League starts – two – before a sale to Wolfsburg in 2014 from which he has never looked back. The sight of De Bruyne dictating occasions such as that on Saturday will always prompt thoughts of what might have been in a corner of south-west London. “But I’ve no regrets over anything that happened,” the playmaker said. “I don’t think they have regrets: they’ve won two league titles since I’ve been gone, so they’ve done fairly well. That’s the way it goes, it’s a business. At that point it was a good decision for me to go and maybe for them it was also good to let me go. There’s no bad feeling at all. It’s just part of life and you need to grow up.”
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/01/kevin-de-bruyne-no-regrets-over-exit-chelsea-manchester-city
The former England manager, now aged 70, is looking forward to the challenge of keeping his new club in the Premier League
Roy Hodgson was as polite as ever and even offered his response through a chuckle but, as his first media conference back in club management stretched beyond the half-hour, it was easy to pinpoint the moment his patience snapped. The drip-feed of references to Nice, Iceland and a night he would rather forget had been incessant. He had already admitted that “careers are defined by small moments and nothing I can say or do will change that”. He had even conceded that he had dared to re-watch the panic gripping in the Allianz Riviera “but not for about 14 months, and I certainly don’t intend to watch it back again now”.
It was only when he was asked what his impressions had been as he re-viewed that ignominious departure from Euro 2016 unfurl on his television screen, his audience pushing for one last glimpse of colour or lingering reflection, that the shutters came down. Enough was enough. “Look, I’m not interested in Iceland,” said Hodgson through a smile that betrayed a hint of underlying exasperation. “We’re going back down a route which I’ve said, reasonably politely, is a past chapter. Who cares? You might. There might be people up in Carlisle who’d like to know that. But at the moment I’m south London. I’m here in Beckenham. A lot of the Crystal Palace fans who will be reading this, the ones who interest me most of all, will want to know what Roy Hodgson is saying about Crystal Palace. What is he saying about the job? About our team? That Iceland game has gone and has no relevance to my work now.”
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/sep/15/roy-hodgson-returns-crystal-palace-roots
• Exiled forward could make trip to London to help with his sale to former club
• Chelsea and Atlético keen on making sure disgruntled player remains fit
Diego Costa may be on the verge of ending his self-imposed exile from Chelsea with suggestions in Spain that he is increasingly inclined to return to London in a bid to speed a transfer to Atlético Madrid.
The forward has been in Brazil all summer after receiving a text message from the Chelsea head coach, Antonio Conte, informing him that he is no longer in the club’s plans. The Premier League champions insist they told Costa and his representative in January that he would be surplus to requirements after Costa agitated mid-season for a lucrative move to the Chinese Super League.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/sep/05/diego-costa-may-return-chelse-atletico-madrid
• Manchester United defender admits abusive language at drug test
• Jones and Blind each fined £4,600 for conduct after Ajax final
Phil Jones has denied directing foul and abusive language at a doping control officer after the Europa League final last season and said the two-game ban imposed by Uefa was harsh, although he opted not to appeal.
The Manchester United defender, an unused substitute in the final against Ajax in May, and Daley Blind had been selected to undergo post-match drug tests in Stockholm, with Jones infuriated at missing a dressing-room squad photograph being taken to pay tribute to those affected by the Manchester terror attack that had taken place two days earlier. Jones was banned for two European matches – the first of which he served in the Uefa Super Cup against Real Madrid in August – and fined £4,600.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/aug/31/phil-jones-two-game-uefa-ban-europa-final-manchester-united
• Victory over Tottenham ‘good for the confidence’, says Blues’ goalkeeper
• Chelsea attempting to buy at least three more players in transfer window
Thibaut Courtois believes the shock of losing on the opening day against Burnley served as a wake-up call for Chelsea in their bid to defend the Premier League title, and the champions duly proved their pedigree with victory at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
The win at Wembley has eased fears of a repeat of Chelsea’s last title defence which unravelled so spectacularly under José Mourinho in 2015. Antonio Conte, while still frustrated at a lack of progress in player recruitment, hailed his side’s spirit and character both in the second half against Burnley – when the hosts recovered to 2-3 despite being reduced to nine men – and with a depleted lineup against Spurs.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/aug/21/chelsea-thibaut-courtois-tottenham-hotspur-wembley
The former captain of many triumphs said the club need to invest heavily in the transfer market to compete in the Champions League
First rewind almost eight years to the day and John Terry had stood confronted by massed ranks of dictaphone wielding media, deep in the bowels of Wembley stadium, contemplating what Chelsea must do next. The names that had tripped off his tongue that afternoon were David Villa and Franck Ribéry, “the kind of players we want to attract, the best out there”, with the senior pros sensing the current crop might fall marginally short when it came to Europe.
A year on and, with the club having recruited only Yuri Zhirkov of note in the interim, the captain’s rhetoric remained steadfast. “The big four need to strengthen next year because everyone’s become closer,” he had said before the successful defence of the FA Cup which would complete Carlo Ancelotti’s Double in his first season in charge. The established quartet were coming to terms with Manchester City’s new financial strength and, this time, Chelsea would react. Ramires, David Luiz and Fernando Torres arrived over the next seven months for a combined £90m, an eye-watering outlay at the time. Two years later the team would lift the European Cup in Munich.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/28/departing-john-terry-urges-chelsea-spend-big-on-squad
• Cahill hospitalised for two days with illness
• Terry, Kurt Zouma and Nathan Ake all in frame for a game
Chelsea fear they could be without their captain, Gary Cahill, for Saturday’s eagerly anticipated FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur, with the England defender struggling to recover from an illness which has affected him all week and saw him hospitalised for two days.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/20/gary-cahill-chelsea-tottenham-fa-cup-semifinal