We take a look at the key news stories surrounding Chelsea from the day
Gary Cahill reflects on 5 successful years at Chelsea
Gary Cahill has talked to Chelsea’s official website extensively about his 5 successful years at the club. The 31-year old joined Chelsea for a fee of £7 million back in 2011 and given the exorbitant prices paid for players these days, that fee seems like an absolute pittance given what he has contributed to the club.
Cahill has already a vast array of trophies with Chelsea, including the Premier League in 2014-15 and the Champions League in his first season with the club back in 2011-12. Cahill has made 220 appearances thus far with the club and shows no signs of slowing down.
In the interview, he reveals a lot of interesting things during his time at Stamford Bridge including his favourite goal, his favourite victory, his toughest opponent and of course the question asked in almost every interview about teammates – who the hardest trainer is. The entire interview can be read here.
Thibaut Courtois says Costa is replaceable
Thibaout Courtois feels Chelsea have enough quality to cope with Diego Costa’s absence if required. Costa’s future is mired in confusion at the moment after reports surfaced about a fall-out with Antonio Conte as a result of an offer from China.
Despite Conte denying those reports, Tianjin Quanjian’s owner Shu Yuhui confirmed that they had bid for Costa, although he admitted Chelsea refused to sell the striker in January. Courtois feels Chelsea proved they have enough quality to replace Costa against Leicester City.
“We have enough quality to replace Diego. He is important for us but if he is not there for one game we know we can handle it,” he said, according to the club’s official website. “It’s obviously a different way of playing because against Huth and Morgan, who are tall, there’s no point playing long balls up to Eden, Willian or Pedro.”
Costa has been central to Chelsea’s brilliant form this season but the Blues did indeed prove that they did not need him in order to win games in a convincing manner. If the reports about Costa’s mindset are to be believed, that is probably a good sign as he seems likely to leave at the end of the season.
Robbie Keane feels Harry Kane is Costa’s equal
Another man who has been talking about Diego Costa is former Tottenham striker Robbie Keane. Keane – who scored 122 goals in 306 appearances for Tottenham – might be a little biased but he feels that Kane is Diego Costa’s equal.
Keane says that Costa’s “world-class” tag should also apply to Kane, given their similar goalscoring returns. Costa has scored 14 goals in 19 appearances in the league for Chelsea this season, while Harry Kane has scored 13 goals in 16 appearances. That is actually a better strike rate than the Spaniard, and Keane feels it is time the Englishman gets recognition for it.
“Harry Kane is a proper striker. He can play high up, he can come deep and get on the ball. Ultimately, you are judged on scoring goals and he is scoring a lot of goals,” he said, according to talkSPORT. “If you say Diego Costa is world class, what is the difference between him and Harry? They score a similar amount of goals”
While they are very different players, it is a little difficult to argue with Keane’s logic. If Harry Kane continues scoring the way he is, he is sure to challenge Costa for the Golden Boot come the end of the season.
Club legend highlights Chelsea’s weaknesses
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink feels that despite Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 system working wonders for Chelsea, the Italian’s setup still has some defensive weaknesses. Hasselbaink spent 4 years with Chelsea scoring 70 goals in 136 appearances, and knows a thing or two about the English Premier League.
Despite Conte’s side rocketing to the top of the league with some stunning performances, the Dutchman feels that with the right tactics Chelsea can still be beaten. In particular, he feels Tottenham exposed exactly what those weaknesses are.
“I think Tottenham exploited their weaknesses,” Hasselbaink told Sky Sports, according to the Daily Star. “They changed their system on the day to mess them up. They stopped them being able to counter attack, they couldn’t get out. When you let them do that, it’s a big weapon for Chelsea.
“Tottenham dragged one of the centre-halves out and crossed to the far post where you have a smaller, more attacking full-back.”
It might be worth a try for Premier League managers to take heed of Hasselbaink’s words, given Chelsea’s nearly unstoppable form this season.