Chelsea latest: Italy hero link, £25m CM tug-o-war, ex boss chimes in

All the latest news and views from Stamford Bridge.

The manner in which Chelsea a: failed to close out an underwhelming draw last night, b: performed throughout the match and c: lost without even registering a shot on target, was always going to attract censure throughout the press, both printed and online, today.

Much was documented here and even highlighted here but more players and alumni have had their say. For instance, while at the post-match press conference manager Jose Mourinho excused the 1-0 loss to FC Basel on account of their tiredness, full back Cesar Azpilicueta has summarised the situation in even simpler terms.

He is quoted by Sky Sports to have said: 'The reason why we… lost a lot of games this season is because we don't keep the level to win every game. For Chelsea that can't be possible. Sometimes you can lose, for sure, but we can play better and do better games.'

Noting their paltry one effort on goal, which Ramires fizzed wide of the frame, Cesar added: 'Offensively we didn't have our best game or create a lot of chances. Basel played really well and pushed a lot but for a team like Chelsea we need to create chances to score goals. If you want to win you need to shoot.'

Chelsea yo-yo Ray Wilkins, who has been employed by the Blues as a player, assistant first-team coach and caretaker manager (twice), implied that the problem may be down to Juan Mata's continual omission from the first team.

'Mata gives you great creativity going forward but he is a tremendous retainer of the ball as well and they didn’t have that [last night],' he told TalkSport. 'I thought we would have seen Juan Mata play in the second half, but it wasn’t the case. They have got so many creative players in that area that it is obviously a personal preference of Jose’s to use the other guys.'

Onto transfer speculation and the club have been linked - like they seemingly are every transfer window - to Calcio legend Andrea Pirlo, 34, who is out of contract with Juventus in the summer and has been urged by Marco Tardelli to close his career in the Premier League.

'Andrea is a special player,' he said, as quoted by TalkSport. 'I would advise him to try to play in the Premier League. It would be a sight to see him play in England.'

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail linked Chelsea with a transfer-tug-of-war with Manchester United over 21-year-old left back maestro Alberto Moreno, presumably because of the ambiguous nature of Ashley Cole's future.

The defender has a buy-out clause of £25m.

image: © Jan S0L0

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