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THE TELEGRAPH

Chelsea form ominous for League rivals

By John Ley

Last Updated: 1:39am GMT 30/11/2007

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.j ... che130.xml

As Chelsea's players waited for the snow and ice to be defrosted from the wings of their flight to Gatwick from Trondheim in the early hours of yesterday morning, they had time to contemplate the new conviction in a team that could still challenge Arsenal and Manchester United for the Premier League title.

Certainly, the way the players spoke after confirming Chelsea's place in the knockout stages of the Champions League, with a 4-0 win over Rosenborg, the rest of the division should be concerned.

"We wouldn't settle for finishing third or fourth, where we are at the moment," warned Joe Cole, one of the goalscorers in Scandinavia. "We want to climb right back up the league.

"This game and the Man City game was when it really clicked," Cole added, referring to the 6-0 thrashing of Sven-Goran Eriksson's side, who are a place above Chelsea. "There's been parts of all games this season when we've really flowed and played some good stuff. That's credit to the players and the management."

Chelsea are unbeaten in 13 games - scoring 30 goals - since Avram Grant lost his first match after succeeding Jose Mourinho. The addition of former Ajax coach Henk ten Cate, as Grant's assistant, has clearly enhanced Chelsea and Cole added: "We're all coming together - the new guys have got new ideas and it's up to us to make it happen on the pitch.

"The win in Rosenborg was a good performance. We started really well and we want to keep that form going. We got a good result at the weekend and another in Norway.

"We've been accused of taking our foot off the pedal at times. I don't think it was anything conscious - I don't know what it was. But we seem to be putting games to bed now when we go one or two up.

"There's a new regime and things change. There's lots of things that are different but we still hold the same the qualities and the aims are always the same, we always go to win every game."

The next few games could prove crucial in the race for the title. Arsenal face an improving Aston Villa at Villa Park tomorrow, while Manchester United will be well rested by the time they entertain Fulham on Monday. Then, next Wednesday, Arsenal play their game in hand over their rivals, at Newcastle.

Having qualified for the latter stages of Europe, Chelsea can rest easy when they entertain Valencia. Interestingly, nine of Grant's 14 games so far have been away but he now faces three games at Stamford Bridge: against West Ham tomorrow, Sunderland a week later and then Valencia. That Chelsea have not lost at home in the Premier League since February 2004, augurs well.

Just thought I would post this as Joey seems to have seen what I feel I have icon_wink.gif

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Do you think he cried a lot when Jose left? icon_eek.gif

To be honest me and Joe could have shared the same Hankie and he wouldn't have caught my Flu icon_wink.gif

Regardless of how Joe thought of Jose (and Jose definately helped Joe in a lot of ways) I still notice he sounds optimistic and thinks the team is going in the right direction.

surprised no one picked up on that 844.gif

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