Chelsea latest: REAL reason Hazard missed training, scratch-cards, more

Nicolas Anelka

All the latest news and views from Stamford Bridge.

According to the latest reports, disciplined attacker Eden Hazard was punished for absenteeism by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho because of a missed train. Sky Sports reveal that Lille invited Hazard as a guest of honour on Sunday night during their Ligue 1 encounter with Monaco, who they beat 2-0.

Hazard, though, never made it back in time for practice at Cobham the next day after missing a Lille to London train: 'Let's end the story,' Mourinho insisted this week, as reported by Here Is The City. 'He's a kid and kids make mistakes.'

See also: Mourinho's man-management of Hazard strikes comparisons to Sir Alex

Can you remember scratch-gate? When Fernando Torres escaped punishment after clawing Jan Vertonghen's cheek and jugular during a London derby with Tottenham Hotspur? Did anyone in the media make the pun scratch-card? If not, I'm banking it.

Anyway, scratchcards may become commonplace now as the FA have addressed the loophole that Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas described as 'farcical'.

Director of football governance and regulation Darren Bailey told The Mirror that new legislation 'enables the FA to consider acts of violent conduct, like an elbow or a stamp, which have occurred after a challenge for the ball or coming together of players.'

He added: 'Where off-the-ball incidents are concerned, the policy adjustment will allow action to be taken where an act of misconduct could not have been seen by the match officials, even though they may have seen some part of the players coming together.

'This is an important step forward for the game and provides an appropriate level of discretion for the FA to consider action.'

On specific club matters, Frank Lampard has spoken out about how good it is to have a permanent manager, rather than interim coaches. The benefit, he told TalkSport, is that talks concerning two to three year plans can occur:

'After the interim manager thing, it was refreshing to talk about a two or three-year plan and to be able to look to the future. That was a good feeling for everyone at the club – not just for me. After the instability of the past couple of years, it’s nice to be a bit more settled.'

Looking ahead to the weekend and Chelsea play West Bromwich Albion, however, it could be unlikely that two former Blues will return to haunt their own club as both Nicolas Anelka and Scott Sinclair are both struggling with injuries.

Baggies boss Steve Clarke told their official website: 'Scott has done a little bit of training this week [but] this game might come a little bit too early for him to be in the starting XI. Nicolas is doubtful because he has a slight groin strain.'

And finally, is this player Mourinho's favourite? He may have admitted so in this Here Is The City article.

Oh, one more thing, Rafael Nadal is a Blue…

image: © Andrea Sartorati

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