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The Last Word


The Chelsea tour party landed back in the UK last night at 8pm (UK time) and pre-season continues in earnest with the squad reporting back to the sumptuous surroundings of the training ground at Cobham in Surrey.

The media in the UK has reported alot on Beckhammania in Los Angeles but I wish I was able to be about in LA to witness the over enthusiasm of the American reporting with one example of about 60 photographers fighting for ground whilst Beckham was sitting on the bench watching the game unfold before him.

Reports are that ESPN were cutting match coverage to interview 'A' list celebs whilst the game was in play (and fair play to Drew Carey, he refused to be interviewed during the game itself) and there was a Beckhamcam centred on both David and Victoria LOL!!

Good luck David if you thought you would have a life in LA??? For Victoria - well ain't she gonna love all the attention!!

On the tour itself, I think it was a success. Chelsea and Jose certainly do. Three wins from three matches. No serious injuries to report of (unlike last season when Joe Cole injured his knee and practically missed the whole of last season).

New players like Sidwell, Malouda and Tal Ben-Haim settling in so quickly (like they have been at Chelsea for years) and we look forward to be seeing Peru's Pizzaro wear the Blue shirt for the first-time.

It was pleasing to see Sheva look sharp and all Chelsea fans will hope that he continues to be sharp and the goals start flying in, but don't forget he did score 14 goals in his first season and there were some very important goals too.

It was also pleasing to read that Jose and Mr A had settled their 'differences,' and during the coverage of the Galaxy game there were shots of Jose and Grant sharing a joke or two.

It was also pleasing to read too that John Terry has finally sorted out his contract - all we need now is for Frank to do the same, although if he was going to leave I think he would have gone by now.

The squad looks strong and once Ballack and Ashley Cole sort out their injuiries and fitness and providing the squad keeps injury free, there is no reason why Chelsea cannot have another extremely successful season.

On the tour this is what Jose had to say. He said firstly about the Galaxy game, "The game was difficult. LA Galaxy played the same game with a lot of pride. Maybe they wanted to show David Beckam they have a team and the has the conditions to play in the MLS. Maybe they were enthusiastic because the opponents were a team of Chelsea's level. Maybe it was because the stadium was sold out."

"They were a team highly motivated and they gave us a hard game. The result should be different because we had so many chances to score goals but at this moment in pre-season, I prefer matches with difficulties than easy matches."

"That was the same with the game against Samsung Bluewings. They played against us with big concentration and definsively very well and today they came here and gave a completely different games against Tigres."

It was Tigres who won the WSOF (World Series of Football) Cup after they beat the Bluewings 3-0.

Speaking about Arjen Robbern, Jose said "He is here and goes back with us. He is not flying to Madrid, he is flying the London."

Continuing with the Galaxy game, Jose explained the use of Malouda and Shaunie he said "That was an experience I want my players to have. And we played the last 15 minutes with only three defenders which was another experience I wanted them to have because for sure in the season at some stage we must have a go like this and play with three defenders. This again is a positive."

On the Sidwell 'tackle' Jose said, "I told them nothing special, my team is not especially aggressive. SIdwell is a kid who just arrived and wanted to show me a lot. If it was Lampard or another one, probably not even contact. The game was positive for Beckham because people in the MLS could see he can pass 40 metre balls. His right-foot has eyes."

Finally finishing off on the tour itself, Jose said "I have had three matches against an American team, a Mexican team and a Korean team so different cultures of football. Now I go to Europe and we play three matches there so I think we prepare our pre-season well."

"We finish this part of the pre-season with no major injuries apart from the one to Wayne Bridge. I go to London very happy with these 15 days in LA."

Sidwell managed a few words to the US media to put his side of the story to the Beckham 'tackle.' He said, "I knew it was Becks, but it was just like any other tackle for me. I went into it fully committed but I didn't really touch him. We had a little laugh and a joke afterwards and there are no problems."

Sidwell continued "I don't think I nailed him, it could have been worse. We came out here to win a game and we did that and that means being fully committed in very challenge and every pass."

"Obviously when he went down and stayed down there was a slight skip of the heartbeat but I didn't really touch him so I wasn't too worried."

The last word comes from Beckham himself. He said "First of all it was a good performance from the team. As for my 15 minutes it was nice to get out there and kick a soccer ball again. I had not trained all week and it was nice to be out there with the lads, to get this game over and done with."

"I saw Steve Sidwell coming and I just about jumped in time so my foot wasn't planted. Even in a friendly game he's a competitive player and he's playing for Chelsea now so he's going to want to smash some people along the way. Unfortunately it was me tonight, but that's fine, that's part of being a footballer."

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