Dominic Fifield

Author's details

Name: Dominic Fifield
Date registered: September 27, 2014
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/football/chelsea

Latest posts

  1. Chelsea call off Premier League victory parade after Manchester Arena attack — May 24, 2017
  2. Chelsea can challenge Europe’s elite clubs, says Cesc Fàbregas — May 14, 2017
  3. Chelsea’s Premier League triumph: the key moments that led to the title | Dominic Fifield — May 13, 2017
  4. Antonio Conte refuses to consider his Chelsea future until title is secured — May 11, 2017
  5. Chelsea’s Antonio Conte insists Tottenham held advantage in title race — May 7, 2017

Author's posts listings

May 24

Chelsea call off Premier League victory parade after Manchester Arena attack

• Players will wear black armbands for FA Cup final
• Club will make donation to fund supporting victims

Chelsea have cancelled this weekend’s planned victory parade, designed to celebrate their Premier League title success, after taking security advice in the wake of Monday’s terror attack in Manchester.

The champions, who will wear black armbands when confronting Arsenal in Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley, had intended to conduct an open top bus parade of south-west London on Sunday. But, with the government having raised the terror threat level to “critical” after the attack at the Manchester Arena, they engaged in lengthy consultations with the Metropolitan Police, local councils and other authorities, and have since opted to cancel the event.

Related: A Premier League season of soap opera where football felt like background music | Barney Ronay

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/24/chelsea-call-off-premier-league-victory-parade-after-manchester-arena-attack

May 14

Chelsea can challenge Europe’s elite clubs, says Cesc Fàbregas

• ‘We’ve won the title but that doesn’t mean the team cannot get better’
• Chelsea to spend £200m and give Antonio Conte and Eden Hazard new deals

Cesc Fàbregas expects Chelsea to challenge in the Champions League next season and help restore English clubs’ reputation in Europe’s elite competition, with the title winners ready to build on the success they have enjoyed under Antonio Conte this term.

The Premier League champions, who face Watford on Monday at a Stamford Bridge that is sure to be in celebratory mood, are ready to spend lavishly this summer as they prepare to return to the Champions League after a season’s absence. Conte is seeking reinforcements up and down the team’s spine, from Romelu Lukaku to Virgil van Dijk, Tiemoué Bakayoko to Alexis Sánchez, and will also be offered his own new lucrative contract to stay at the club.

Related: Chelsea win Premier League title again as Michy Batshuayi sinks West Brom

Related: N’Golo Kanté’s relentless drive takes him to historic title double

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/14/chelsea-challenge-europe-elite-cesc-fabregas-champions-league

May 13

Chelsea’s Premier League triumph: the key moments that led to the title | Dominic Fifield

From Antonio Conte’s tone-setting first public words to the dismantling of Everton we outline the most important moments in shaping Chelsea’s triumph

The eighth permanent managerial appointment of Roman Abramovich’s ownership of Chelsea had set the tone early. Antonio Conte had overseen his first training session down at Cobham, albeit with a shadow squad, given summer tournaments in France and the US, less than a week after Italy’s elimination from Euro 2016. He crammed his first public engagement in his new role between gruelling double training sessions, and his buzzword, “work”, would remain consistent all season. He used it or one of its derivatives 32 times in a little under an hour that day. “I’m a worker,” he said. “I like to work and I know only this road for the club to compete, to return to the Champions League, to get back to winning the title.” The tally for the season, mustered from all his press conferences, is comfortably into four figures and his players, after some initial resistance, adjusted to the drill. His coaching staff were accepted, with Gianluca Spinelli’s arrival as goalkeeping coach helping to persuade Thibaut Courtois to stay. No one better personifies the manager’s philosophy than N’Golo Kanté, prised from Leicester City, who has been a blur of energy and industry and is now the Professional Footballers’ Association and the Football Writers’ Association footballer of the year. To this manager, work ethic is everything.

Related: Chelsea win Premier League title again as Michy Batshuayi sinks West Brom

Related: March to the title: how Chelsea’s season unfolded, game by game

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/13/chelsea-premier-league-key-moments-title-antonio-conte

May 11

Antonio Conte refuses to consider his Chelsea future until title is secured

• Conte says ‘it is normal to have speculation around players and coaches’
• ‘Money is important but it’s not everything,’ says manager

Chelsea will attempt to claim the Premier League title at The Hawthorns on Friday with their manager, Antonio Conte, still heavily coveted by Internazionale and any talks over a contract extension apparently far from his priority.

Victory against West Bromwich Albion would secure the Premier League at the first attempt under Conte’s stewardship, with an appeareance in the FA Cup final still to come. The manager has two years to run on his £6.5m-a-season deal but Chelsea are expected to offer him improved terms following the team’s startling success this term.

Related: Arsène Wenger claims Chelsea win games without much possession

Related: I am the owner of my future, says Chelsea’s striker Diego Costa

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/11/antonio-conte-chelsea-

May 07

Chelsea’s Antonio Conte insists Tottenham held advantage in title race

• Manager says Chelsea in ‘building process’ while Spurs were better positioned
• ‘This is my first season … Pochettino has been working there for three years’

Antonio Conte has offered context to Chelsea’s imminent title success by claiming that their nearest challengers, Tottenham Hotspur, are “more advanced” in their development and would have won the Premier League at a canter if his own players had not produced a remarkable campaign under his management.

The leaders, now four points clear with a game in hand, can claim the championship over the next five days by defeating Middlesbrough and then West Bromwich Albion after Spurs’ pursuit finally stumbled at West Ham United on Friday. It would be the fifth domestic title secured under Roman Abramovich’s ownership, and arguably one of the most impressive given the team’s spluttering mid-table finish last season.

Related: Antonio Conte set to be latest Italian maestro to win the Premier League

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/07/antonio-conte-chelsea-tottenham-mauricio-pochettino-spurs-advantage-ititle

Apr 24

Chelsea’s Antonio Conte says Premier League title would be his ‘greatest’ feat

• Manager wants to build side into a ‘real power’ for the future
• Conte aims dig at Manchester City and United over lavish spending

Antonio Conte would consider winning the Premier League title this season with Chelsea as the greatest achievement of his managerial career to date, with the feat carrying greater weight in the context of the lavish sums spent by both Manchester clubs last summer.

While City and United prepare for the derby at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday with Champions League qualification their priority, Chelsea can move seven points clear at the top of the Premier League with victory against Southampton on Tuesday at Stamford Bridge. Re-establishing that imposing lead would potentially inflict further psychological damage on second-placed Tottenham Hotspur, whom they beat in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday.

Related: Antonio Conte’s new guard maintain Chelsea’s fighting spirit of old | Jacob Steinberg

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/24/antonio-conte-chelsea-southampton

Apr 20

Chelsea may recall John Terry for Cup semi-final if Gary Cahill remains unwell

• 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.

Related: Tottenham hungry but Chelsea are FA Cup semi favourites, says Pochettino

Related: Has José Mourinho reminded Spurs how to beat Chelsea in the Cup at Wembley? | Jonathan Wilson

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/20/gary-cahill-chelsea-tottenham-fa-cup-semifinal

Apr 17

Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois set to return in FA Cup semi-final against Spurs

• Basketball injury ruled Courtois out of defeat at Manchester United
• Antonio Conte unimpressed No1 was hurt on club’s commercial duties

Thibaut Courtois is confident he will be fit enough to feature in the FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on Saturday despite damaging his ankle while playing basketball at a Chelsea promotional shoot last week.

The Belgium international twisted the joint on Tuesday at an event organised by the Premier League leaders, and filmed as part of their commercial duties with the NBA. His team-mates Nemanja Matic, Marcos Alonso, Nathan Ake and Asmir Begovic were also involved at the shoot, with Courtois understood to have landed awkwardly having jumped to catch a basketball.

Related: Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino fires early shot at ‘artificial’ Chelsea | Sachin Nakrani

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/17/chelsea-thibaut-courtois-fa-cup-semi-final-spurs-conte

Mar 13

Tottenham will pass video to FA and police after racist chanting at Millwall tie

• FA opens inquiry after Millwall fans target Son Heung-min
• Spurs chants referred to visiting supporters as ‘pikey boys’

Millwall and Tottenham Hotspur are assisting the Football Association and police with their investigations into the racist and discriminatory chanting which marred the FA Cup quarter-final between the clubs at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Sections of the visiting support directed chants of “DVD” and “He’s selling three for a fiver” at the Spurs forward Son Heung-min, who scored a hat-trick in the hosts’ 6-0 win. Although both managers said they had not heard the songs, the Tottenham substitute Kyle Walker appeared to acknowledge the tone of the chants by pointing angrily towards the Millwall fans after Son scored the first of his goals.

Related: Son’s hat-trick for Tottenham the perfect response to Millwall’s idiot minority | Dominic Fifield

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/13/tottenham-video-fa-racist-chanting-millwall

Mar 11

N’Golo Kanté was a champion already but Antonio Conte has made him better | Dominic Fifield

N’Golo Kanté was already a Premier League winner with Leicester City but when Chelsea face Manchester United in the FA Cup they will field someone who has plainly improved

There was no fumbling for the right words, or even the slightest of pauses to contemplate how best to elaborate, in his second language, on all things N’Golo Kanté. Instead, Antonio Conte snapped right back with the kind of compliment that carries proper weight. “He is an example to all,” said the Chelsea manager of a player making the difference. “N’Golo is a fantastic guy, a fantastic player, with great commitment and great behaviour. Yes, a great example.”

Almost nine months into Kanté’s career at Chelsea and the temptation is already there to take him for granted. The Frenchman is setting new standards in Chelsea’s midfield, just as he did at Leicester City, but the world has grown used to his lung-busting efforts.

Related: José Mourinho left trailing by calmed-down Antonio Conte | Daniel Taylor

Related: Chelsea have the look of an unstoppable force thanks to N’Golo Kanté | Dominic Fifield

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/mar/11/ngolo-kante-antonio-conte-chelsea

Mar 11

Millwall’s Tony Craig: ‘All those scars show the sort of player I am’

The Millwall captain has gone under the knife six times and been sold twice by his boyhood club but is back living the dream as Tottenham await in the FA Cup quarter-final at White Hart Lane

Tony Craig wears the scars as a badge of honour. There is the seven-inch track of a surgeon’s knife that snakes round the outside of his left knee from thigh to calf, a legacy of his attempt to block a shot from Bradford’s James Hanson in the autumn of last season. “He must have caught it quite well because it bent the joint back and took the hamstring tendon and lateral ligament completely away,” he says as if relishing a chance to relay every gruesome detail. “Proper trauma. I knew I was in trouble when I hit the ground that time.”

That detail is worth clarifying not least because, rewinding to the autumn of 2009, the defender had been unconscious even before landing back on the turf after a kick in the head from Gareth Ainsworth that left him with a depressed fracture of the cheekbone and eye socket. The operations that followed inserted a titanium plate into Craig’s face, though he was still badgering his manager at Millwall at the time, Kenny Jackett, to pick him for a league fixture against MK Dons a little over a week later wearing a custom-made carbon fibre protective mask. Jackett refused while a merciless squad delighted in christening their rugged left-back “the Phantom”.

Related: How Harry Kane’s loan saved Millwall from relegation and made him a man

Related: Neil Harris proud of putting blood and thunder back in Millwall’s boots

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/11/millwall-tony-craig-scars-tottenham-fa-cup

Mar 07

Premier League players to be told: stand back and let medics treat head trauma

• Doctors’ group will remind footballers that non-expert help can be dangerous
• ‘The best thing players can do is to let the professionals do their jobs’

Premier League footballers are to be reminded to leave on-field emergency procedures to trained medical staff after cases where players have intervened in the belief they are assisting colleagues knocked unconscious on the turf.

The Premier League Doctors’ Group will discuss players’ reaction to injuries, however well-intentioned, at their routine meeting later this month and members will return to their clubs to reiterate the dangers of moving players who have suffered head trauma.

Related: Francis Koné, the footballer who has now saved the lives of four opponents

Related: Fernando Torres released from hospital following sickening head injury

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/07/premier-league-head-injuries-football-players-doctors

Feb 28

Brighton promotion would be bigger feat than taking Newcastle up, says Hughton

• Chris Hughton’s team host the club he won promotion with in 2010
• Brighton have conceded only nine goals at home all season

Chris Hughton would consider gaining promotion to the Premier League with Brighton & Hove Albion this season a more eye-catching achievement than the elevation to the top flight he oversaw at Newcastle United as he prepares to confront his former club at the Amex Stadium.

The two top sides in the Championship meet on Tuesday with each eager to open further distance from third-placed Huddersfield Town as they pursue automatic promotion. While Newcastle arrive on the south coast still infuriated to have dropped points against struggling Bristol City on Saturday, Brighton have emerged from a relatively stodgy period with successive wins and clean sheets, with the impressive win against Reading on Saturday having restored them to the top of the division.

Related: Brighton go top after Anthony Knockaert seals points against Reading

Related: Football League your thoughts: Newcastle come back to save a point

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/28/brighton-hove-albion-newcastle-united-championship-chris-hughton

Feb 20

Tottenham fit enough to stay in running on three fronts, says Jan Vertonghen

• ‘It’s good we take the Europa League and FA Cup very seriously’
• Defender confident Spurs can overturn first-leg deficit against Gent

Jan Vertonghen is convinced Tottenham Hotspur’s squad has the depth in quality to compete on three fronts as the club seeks to prolong interest in the Premier League, Europa League and FA Cup.

Related: Spurs load big guns and find firepower to get the better of Fulham | Nick Ames

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/20/tottenham-fit-enough-stay-in-running-three-fronts-jan-vertonghen-europa-league-fa-cup-premier-league

Feb 20

Mark Clattenburg to continue as Premier League referee until end of season

• England’s leading match official will be in charge of at least four matches
• The 41-year-old is to take up new role as head of referees in Saudi Arabia

Mark Clattenburg is to remain a Premier League referee for the rest of the season, and will be in charge for West Bromwich Albion’s game against Bournemouth this weekend, before taking up his new position as head of referees in Saudi Arabia.

England’s leading match official announced last week that he was to leave his position on the panel of elite referees to succeed Howard Webb in the role in the Middle East but will serve out his notice period. The 41-year-old, who was recently voted the best referee in the world at Dubai’s Globe Soccer Awards, had announced his intention to help “improve refereeing and the education of officials” with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation.

Related: Preparing for life without a foremost national asset, Mark Clattenburg | Marina Hyde

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/20/mark-clattenburg-continue-premier-league-referee-till-end-of-season

Feb 18

Vincent Janssen must prove worth on Spurs training ground, says Pochettino

  • £17m Tottenham signing was not even on bench for defeat at Gent
  • Mauricio Pochettino: ‘He needs to show more, and then we’ll see’

Mauricio Pochettino has suggested Vincent Janssen needs to offer more intensity in training to justify a recall to the Tottenham Hotspur first team, with the Holland international far from certain to start in Sunday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie at Fulham.

Spurs will offer fringe players their opportunity at Craven Cottage as they seek to freshen up a side involved in the Europa League and the pursuit of Chelsea at the top of the Premier League. Harry Kane is expected to sit out the game having suffered a kick to a knee in Thursday’s 1-0 loss to KAA Gent yet Janssen, a £17m signing from AZ Alkmaar last summer, may have to make do with a place on the bench having apparently failed to impress the management over recent weeks.

Related: Tottenham underestimated Gent and must wake up, says Mousa Dembélé

Related: Jérémy Perbet fires Gent to first-leg victory over lethargic Tottenham

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/18/vincent-janssen-must-prove-worth-on-spurs-training-ground-says-pochettino

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