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Old 05-03-2005, 01:29 AM  
|Zach| |Zach| is offline
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New English Premiere League Champions



After all the praise for Jose Mourinho's razor-sharp mind, it was his acid tongue that finally won Chelsea the title. After watching the first-half struggle against Bolton Wanderers, Mourinho ripped into his listless players at the break, castigating all and sundry, including his dynamic English duo, John Terry and Frank Lampard. The Portuguese hair-drier was on full blast.

Roman Abramovich
Roman's empire: Abramovich celebrates Chelsea's title

"Give me the shirt," Mourinho screamed at his players. "Give Steve Clarke the shirt - and we'll go out and work harder than you lot. You are 45 minutes from the Premiership. Liven up. Go out and show how much you want this championship." Mourinho was "fuming", Terry revealed later.

And once again, Mourinho's loyal charges responded to their master's bidding, scoring twice through the remarkable Lampard to launch a brace of parties. One gripped the Bolton arena where players danced like happy-hour revellers. Joe Cole and Didier Drogba even continued their jigs of joy on the roof of the team bus. Terry appeared through the skylight, filming the wild scenes.

Simultaneous carousing gripped the south-west of London, where festivities 50 years in the making swept the streets, and even the famous pensioners shook their legs in delight. From north to south, the Blues were united in one song, a chant their rivals cannot mock them with any more. "Have you ever seen Chelsea win the league?" came the question, followed by the ecstatic answer: "Yes we have!"

Lampard had a strong retort for Chelsea's detractors. "There have been some harsh words spoken about us not being entertaining and that the best two teams in the Premiership are in the final of the FA Cup [Arsenal and Manchester United]," Lampard said, "but the best team wins the league and we have done that. You look at Arsenal, who lost here, and United, who drew, and we have come and won."

All around Lampard, those others responsible for Chelsea's journey to nirvana were making and taking congratulatory calls. Mourinho phoned his wife and children in Portugal. Then the mobile of Gary Straker, Chelsea's player-liaison officer, rang. "It's Franco," came a familiar Italian voice, "What's the score?" Zola was on from Cagliari, craving good news of his beloved Blues. "We won, here's Roman," said Straker, handing the phone to Abramovich, whose elegant suit glistened with champagne after a visit to a raucous dressing room. "Thank you, thank you," the oligarch kept saying to Zola before signing off with a cheery, "See you next year".

The Russian's usual shy smile was replaced with a beam as wide as the mighty Volga. "For Roman it is not just a hobby," explained Eidur Gudjohnsen, Chelsea's Iceland international. "It's something he puts his heart into."

Abramovich's first task now will be to recruit a better finisher than Drogba - Inter Milan's Adriano is being mentioned. "What is important for Chelsea now is their next two or three signings," said the Bolton manager, Sam Allardyce. "That will be a key factor on whether they will go onwards and upwards."

In dipping into his bottomless barrel of petrol-dollars, Abramovich will formalise an extended, improved contract for Mourinho. "I want to stay with these players the maximum time I can, maybe even more years now," said Chelsea's Portuguese catalyst.

After emerging from a lengthy hug with Mourinho that shattered previous records for captain-coach victory embraces, Terry declared: "It feels very emotional. I just want to break down and I probably will when I get back to my hotel room on my own, when I sit back and watch it on TV. We've made a lot of sacrifices this year, trained hard and worked hard, and it's paid off.

"Everybody in training demanded 110 per cent from each other, never letting anybody have an easy day. The manager doesn't like anybody being sloppy in training and he hates conceding a goal even in training. When you are training with that intensity and at your best every day, you take it out into games."

In his right hand, Terry clutched a plastic bag containing his sweat-soaked No 26 top. "I've kept every shirt and every armband this season and I'll put them in one big frame," he smiled. "I'll overlap them a bit to fit them all in!" When critics carp about the money Abramovich has lavished on Chelsea, they forget that Terry is home-grown, a former Bridge ball-boy whose appetite has been sharpened by every barren season.

"The lads who've been here two, three, four years were desperate for silverware," Terry added. "Thankfully we've got it but that's by bringing in players and management who had the taste for it. With the youth and hunger from the other lads it was a great mix.

"We've got a great squad, a young side that wants to win and do things together. I certainly hope we can dominate English football. If we can keep the squad together and keep the manager here for a few years we've got a very good chance."

Chelsea's Premiership title is a triumph for Mourinho's man-management and tactical nous, his thoroughness highlighted by Terry's observation that "we knew everything Bolton would try". He is a manager who reacts cannily and boldly to a game's development, whether through inspired substitutions or changing the shape.

Stamford Bridge's second ever championship is also a victory for their English heartbeat, for leaders such as Terry and Lampard, whose sustained brilliance from midfield had Allardyce hailing him as "one of the best players in the world". Reflecting the mood of Bolton's fans with his generous applause for Chelsea, Allardyce added: "There's only Paul Scholes in his heyday who did a similar job in midfield to Lampard and went on to score 15 or 20 goals in a season."

The Blues' blend of determination and assured technique was encapsulated in Lampard's goals, confidently cutting into the box and twice beating Jussi Jaaskelainen, one of the Premiership's better keepers. Silk runs through the imposing tapestry of Chelsea's centenary season, an artwork encased in steel. Both Lampard and Terry played through injuries, refusing to let anyone down. "We are all brothers out there," Gudjohnsen said.

And so to Anfield, in pursuit of a treble. A baying Kop await tomorrow, an epic date with destiny in an evenly poised Champions League semi-final, second leg. "I can't see why we can't go on from this to win the Champions League," Cole said. "Why not? We'll be flying now."

Cole was rested for all but five minutes at Bolton, along with Arjen Robben, the wide players Mourinho intends unleashing on Rafa Benitez's defence. "I'm not 100 per cent fit but I will try," Robben said. Damien Duff also signalled he would be ready for a rousing night on Merseyside.

"Liverpool have great support and their players will be right up for it, as hungry as we are," Terry said. "When we get there and see our fans, any bit of tiredness will go out of the window. We've shown by beating Barcelona and Bayern Munich that we can mix it with the best."

Chelsea have proved they are the best in England. Now for Europe.
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Old 05-03-2005, 01:42 AM   #2
Logical Logical is offline
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Quote:
"Give me the shirt," Mourinho screamed at his players. "Give Steve Clarke the shirt - and we'll go out and work harder than you lot. You are 45 minutes from the Premiership. Liven up. Go out and show how much you want this championship." Mourinho was "fuming", Terry revealed later.
Even Soccer's inspirational half time speeches are lame. But then again these are just soccer players.
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Old 05-03-2005, 01:52 AM   #3
|Zach| |Zach| is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad Logicslav
Even Soccer's inspirational half time speeches are lame. But then again these are just soccer players.
You and Kotter have quite the hard on for soccer.

Closet fans maybe?
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Old 05-03-2005, 02:27 AM   #4
Logical Logical is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachKC
You and Kotter have quite the hard on for soccer.

Closet fans maybe?
I don't mind watching World Cup but thats about it. Take away the spectacle of Nationalism and I have no interest in it.
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Old 05-03-2005, 02:28 AM   #5
|Zach| |Zach| is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad Logicslav
I don't mind watching World Cup but thats about it. Take away the spectacle of Nationalism and I have no interest in it.
You sure? Your posting activity on soccer threads seem other wise.
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Old 05-03-2005, 02:40 AM   #6
Logical Logical is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachKC
You sure? Your posting activity on soccer threads seem other wise.
I post on a lot of topics that I am not

1) a fan of (example MLB, Stock Car racing, etc) I like the interaction, part of my evil persona.

or

2) I have very little real interest in, again interacting with others and see how they react is always of interest.
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Old 05-03-2005, 03:14 AM   #7
Rausch Rausch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad Logicslav
I don't mind watching World Cup but thats about it. Take away the spectacle of Nationalism and I have no interest in it.
That pretty much sums it up for me.

Wake me up when cup play starts (even though we'll get our $3it pushed in.)
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Old 05-03-2005, 03:23 AM   #8
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so what was the score zach? i am not a big soccer fan but i occasionally watch. I saw when they played liverpool last week and it ended in a 0-0 tie.
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