A round-up of stories relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
Daniel Sturridge has been ruled out of the Blues’ trip to play Nordsjaelland tomorrow night. The England international has failed to recover from his hamstring injury, leaving Chelsea with Fernando Torres as their only senior striker once again.
Torres however has insisted he is more than happy to take the strain. He has started all ten games so far this season but, as he has said himself, he had plenty of time on the bench last year that he doesn’t want to replicate: “I’ve been resting last season in too many games, so I’m really fresh now. I’m feeling good and now we have a very important game against a great team.”
However Torres clearly won’t be the only senior striker at Chelsea forever, and news has emerged from Spain that their transfer target Fernando Llorente has walked out of training with his club Athletic Bilbao after a row with manager Bielsa. Llorente wanted out in the summer, and has no doubt been further disappointed by the club’s poor league form.
Juan Mata has been earning plaudits for his performances in recent matches, and Di Matteo has been given credit for letting the Spaniard take two weeks off to allow him to recover from his busy international summer. The talismanic midfielder has also spoken of how he is enjoying playing in an attacking axis with Eden Hazard and Oscar.
Petr Cech has also praised Mata, and said that he hopes that being rested for the Czech Republic’s future friendly matches will help with his elbow problems. The goalkeeper went on to express his happiness with Chelsea’s excellent start to the season. Cech also spoke positively about the win against Arsenal that kept Chelsea on top of the league, though he would have like to have seen the game killed off earlier.
Roberto Di Matteo has spoken out in support of David Luiz who was booked for diving in the match against Arsenal. Luiz is the latest Chelsea player to be accused of diving, after Pulis railed against Ivanovic following Stoke’s narrow loss at Stamford Bridge. Luiz has also been declared fit for tomorrow’s match by the club.
The club has also announced that youth product Jamie Ashton has been farmed out on loan to Yeovil Town for the rest of the season. Ashton turns 20 tomorrow, and can play either as a full back or an attacking midfielder. Ashton joins fellow Chelsea youth players Archange Nkumu and Rohan Ince at Yeovil.
Finally, Jose Mourinho today vowed to return to manage in the Premier League at some point, and also suggested that his friendship with Roman Abramovich was crucial in securing Michael Essien’s services on loan this season.
image: © Ben Sutherland