Tag Archive: Fernando Torres

Chelsea Football Club took the decision on Wednesday to remove manager Roberto Di Matteo from his post after eight months in charge, a period in which the Blues won the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history.

Axed | Roberto Di Matteo looks on as Chelsea slump to a 3-0 defeat by Juventus in midweek, which brought about his sacking as Blues manager. (Image | The Guardian)

Having made a strong start to the season and recruited exciting new players such as Oscar, Victor Moses and Eden Hazard, Chelsea’s form dipped over the past few weeks and following the 3-0 defeat to Juventus in midweek, the club now stands on the brink of becoming the first European Cup winners to be knocked out of the competition at the group stages the following year.

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Dangerman | Eden Hazard scored his first goal for Chelsea against Newcastle United last weekend. (Image | The Telegraph)

Kevin McCarra‘s frank assessment of the peaks and troughs of the gambler’s “last throw”, otherwise known as transfer deadline day, was an excellent read on The Guardian earlier today. Seizing upon the arrival of Eden Hazard at Chelsea for £32m earlier this summer, McCarra pointed out that sometimes the inflated and frenetic nature of 31 August – in particular – leads clubs to take on players at tremendous cost with almost an “assurance” that they will turn out to fulfil, not only their inflated price tags, but the immense weight of expectation that putting pen to paper on a deal with a Premier League outfit carries with it.

The Blues have hardly been backwards in coming forwards since picking up their maiden Champions League trophy last season, but the 21-year-old Belgian is the club’s poster boy, its marquee signing among a parade of fledgling European superstars. With three Premier League games having been played thus far, Hazard hasn’t even appeared to be slightly daunted by the amount of faith placed in him by manager Roberto Di Matteo and Russian benefactor Roman Abramovich, both in a footballing and monetary sense.

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A long road | As the Olympic torch has been transported up and down the country, Olympic fever has slowly begun to take hold, despite the negative press surrounding the Games. (Image | The Sun)

It really has been a vintage summer of sport. The superb entertainment offered by the 2012 European Championships, England notwithstanding, Andy Murray reaching the Wimbledon final and Bradley Wiggins‘ dominance of the Tour de France will live long in the memory of sports fans everywhere.

Not only this, but arguably the most prestigious, and potentially exhilarating sporting event of the summer, is yet to even begin. It is the London 2012 Olympic Games to which that reference pertains, which unofficially begin tonight (with Women’s Football group games) and have already been hitting the headlines, albeit for all the wrong reasons.

Away from transport dilemmas, the issue of packing an extra 10 million visitors into London and the G4S debacle, the Olympic Games celebrate the greatest sporting talents of athletes from across the world. If you claim to be a sports fan, yet this somehow fails to excite you, may I suggest a quick examination of your pulse.

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Narrow victory | Spain have hardly set Euro 2012 alight, and many have poured scorn on their relatively painless route to the final. (Image | The Guardian)

It is quite shocking that current world and European champions, Spain, have been criticised for adopting a boring playing style. Despite reaching their third final in as many tournaments and continuing with their famous tiki-taka football, critics have unleashed a wave of attacks that has seen the tide of opinion go against Spain. A team that are one game away from a record third successive tournament win, who were once admired and celebrated among football critics and fans alike, face increased pressure to not only emerge victorious over Italy on Sunday evening, but to do so in a manner that will silence the critics.

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Many of England manager Roy Hodgson’s selections have raised eyebrows, but it won’t stop the whole nation getting behing the side come Monday (Images | Action, PA, Getty)

So another major tournament has come around, and for once the pressure isn’t quite as high on the Three Lions. It makes sense really, when you consider England didn’t even qualify last time, and the squad is at it’s most abysmal in 20 years. Some of the selection decisions made by Roy Hodgson – both in his initial squad and then in replacing a succession of injury casualties – have done little to assure the manager’s doubters of his ability.

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Mourinho’s master plan comes together in style

The script was written for Fernando Torres to achieve the ultimate redemption and put Chelsea through to the final of the Champions League.

It is hard to ignore the possibility that Jose Mourinho may well be in charge of European football at this very moment. From his grand mansion in Madrid, the former Chelsea manager was probably grinning from ear-to-ear as Barcelona, the “greatest” team in Europe, succumbed to a display of defensive solidity unparalleled all season from Chelsea, and with ten men to boot. After John Terry’s brainless sending off for an “accidental” foul on Alexis Sanchez, and Gary Cahill’s injury, which split up the visitors’ defence, they held firm against the home side’s onslaught, and emerged from the Nou Camp with a 2-2 draw. It all worked out perfectly for Mourinho. As the undisputed king of Stamford Bridge, one can only presume Chelsea fans still maintain shrines to the “Special One” in their living rooms. To approach the final in Munich against the man who made the club what it is today will either inspire the Blues or scare the life out of them.

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Andre Villas-Boas was sacked as Chelsea manager Sunday after a 1-0 away loss to West Brom

Well, the inevitable happened again. Chelsea fired a manager. Big deal.

Andre Villas-Boas has looked ready for the chop since Christmas. The youngest manager in the Premier League, in his third season as a manager, sitting in the hottest seat in world football? Working for the most trigger-happy owner in top-class sport with a record of three wins in 12 games? Fighting a losing battle in seemingly trying coerce a group of veteran superstars into his new-age training and tactical methods? It could never last.

And yet, after casting aside numerous more successful managers without a second blink, that trigger-happy owner didn’t want to fire this one.

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