A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
John Obi Mikel has backed Rafa Benitez and said that sometimes it does not help the team when the fans attack the manager at matches. Mikel said that the fans had every right to voice any discontent, but that he hoped they would be behind the team in the rest of the season:
“This is when we need them the most. Let’s hope we can all go through the rest of the season together. “
Benitez has said that Alex Ferguson refused to shake hands with him before the start of the 2-2 draw at Old Trafford on Sunday. Benitez then didn’t seek out Ferguson to shake his hand after the game because he was celebrating Chelsea’s come back.
Ferguson also said that fatigue was a factor in Manchester United allowing Chelsea back into the match, but Michael Carrick has said today that tiredness was no excuse for his team not seeing out the victory.
Cech believes that the comeback can give Chelsea a major boost as they come to the business end of the season, and that the result feels like a win.
On HITC today we argue that Benitez deserves a huge amount of credit for the turnaround in the match, and look at the young Arsenal hotshot who is in awe of Juan Mata. We also look at the different weekends of Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech and ask if the young Belgian could be used at Stamford Bridge next season.
Former Chelsea player and coach Ray Wilkins has backed Brighton manager Gus Poyet to succeed Benitez when he leaves the Blues in the summer. Wilkins also said that he thought Jose Mourinho, who is the favourite to take over at Stamford Bridge, is more likely to go to Manchester United.
West Ham player Mohamed Diame is already looking forward to playing Chelsea this Sunday, having been influential in West Ham’s 3-1 win over the Blues earlier in the season. West Ham won their last league game away at Stoke 1-0, a result which Diame says will give them confidence going to Stamford Bridge.
Jack Butland has said he did not even need to speak to Chelsea before he turned them down in January, as he knew he would not get the playing time he desires if the joined the European Champions. Butland, who also turned down Manchester City last year, eventually agreed to join Stoke this summer.
image: © Daniel Coomber