Tag Archives: lampard

Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez says Blues" fans offer him support when they meet him

'Rafa, we love you really!' Benitez insists he has plenty of support on the street as Chelsea fans finally offer him backing

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

15:41 GMT, 8 April 2013

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UPDATED:

16:23 GMT, 8 April 2013

Unpopular Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez believes Blues supporters do love him really — at least they tell him that when they bump into him in the street.

The interim manager at Stamford Bridge has had to endure almost consistent hostility from the club’s faithful, but he says it isn’t the same in the streets.

Benitez told Spanish newspaper Marca: ‘I spend most of my time here at the Cobham training centre and almost never go into London. And I have to say this – people are very civil to me out on the streets. Many Blues fans stop me and tell me to keep on plugging away and not to listen to the critics. I have a lot more day-to-day support than is shown, and people think.’

Favourite Rafa Benitez says that Chelsea fans tell him they like him when they meet in the streets

Favourite Rafa Benitez says that Chelsea fans tell him they like him when they meet in the streets

Out: Benitez may not have met the majority of Chelsea fans who have been calling for his head

Out: Benitez may not have met the majority of Chelsea fans who have been calling for his head

Soldiering on: Chelsea are still in with a chance of winning both the FA Cup and the Europa League

Soldiering on: Chelsea are still in with a chance of winning both the FA Cup and the Europa League

He also believes this Chelsea side — who are enjoying a run of form under the Spanish manager — are in a period of transition.

He
added: ‘We do have a squad which is a bit thin in some areas. People
still think that this is the Chelsea of Drogba, Essien or Lampard at its
finest. But now it is a side in transition, with Hazard, Mata, Oscar,
Marn and Moses. They are young players who have to adapt. We are moving
away from a physical side like the old one to a team which is much more
technical.’

Meanwhile,
Benitez knows Chelsea’s Champions League fate could hinge on the
Barclays Premier League clash with Tottenham but is relaxed about the
twists and turns in the race for the top four.

Respect: Rafa Benitez embracing new Sunderland's boss Paolo Di Canio before the game on Sunday

Respect: Rafa Benitez embracing new Sunderland's boss Paolo Di Canio before the game on Sunday

Evolution: Benitez says the new era of Chelsea revolves around Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar

Evolution: Benitez says the new era of Chelsea revolves around Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar

A win for Arsenal on Saturday saw last season’s Champions League winners Chelsea in fifth ahead of their match with Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland yesterday.

But the Blues returned to third with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge, moving above Tottenham on goal difference after Spurs were held to a draw by sixth-placed Everton.

'We knew that we had to win and especially because they (Tottenham and Arsenal) will continue winning,' Benitez told Chelsea TV.

'The main thing for me is the big picture, so keep calm. We have a good team, if we perform at our level we can win against anyone.

'You have some bad games and good games but it will be the same for them.

'We have to carry on. We have one game in hand on Tottenham so if we can do well, especially against them, maybe it’s a game that can mean six points.'

A date for the Tottenham fixture is still to be determined after Chelsea’s progress to Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City forced the game to be rearranged.

Should Chelsea confirm their place in the Europa League semi-finals by completing an aggregate victory over Rubin Kazan on Thursday, the window of opportunity for the Spurs fixture will be small and it will likely take place in the first week of May.

John Terry and Frank Lampard pelted with coins and hot dogs during Chelsea versus West Ham match at Stamford Bridge

Coins and hot dog thrown at Terry and Lampard by West Ham fans during London derby at Stamford Bridge

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

20:18 GMT, 17 March 2013

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UPDATED:

22:03 GMT, 17 March 2013

Chelsea were embroiled in yet another police probe last night after John Terry was hit by a missile in the win over West Ham.

Hammers fans launched coins and bottles at Blues players as they celebrated Frank Lampard's 200th goal for the Blues.

Metropolitan Police chiefs confirmed they have opened an investigation after receiving an official complaint regarding the incident.

Incident: Police have launched an investigation after coins were thrown at Chelsea's Frank Lampard as he celebrated in front of West Ham fans in Sunday's derby at Stamford Bridge

Incident: Police have launched an investigation after coins were thrown at Chelsea's Frank Lampard as he celebrated in front of West Ham fans in Sunday's derby at Stamford Bridge

Unsavoury: A hot dog (right of shot) was hurled from the West Ham fans at Chelsea captain John Terry as he warmed up near the corner flag

Unsavoury: A hot dog (right of shot) was hurled from the West Ham fans at Chelsea captain John Terry as he warmed up near the corner flag

The FA are will consider this morning whether to begin their own investigation into the ugly scenes.

Tensions between Terry and visiting
supporters were already boiling point as Hammers fans directed torrid
abuse towards the Blues skipper as he warmed up early in the first-half.

In response, Terry mimicked lifting a number of trophies – a reference to the three Premier League titles, five FA Cups, two League Cups and European Cup he has won at Chelsea.

Silverware: John Terry lifts an imaginary trophy in response to West Ham taunts

Silverware: John Terry lifts an imaginary trophy in response to West Ham taunts

John Terry pretends to lift a trophy in front of the West Ham fans

Take that: Terry responds to the West Ham fans while his Chelsea teammates celebrate Frank Lampard's opening goal

Take that: Terry responds to the West Ham fans while his Chelsea teammates celebrate Frank Lampard's opening goal

There were no arrests or ejections
yesterday, but Chelsea security staff will this morning study CCTV
footage to identify the culprits.

A statement from West Ham read: 'West Ham will be working with Chelsea to investigate reports of missile throwing.

'Any individual found to have acted in
an inappropriate way will have to face the consequences of their
actions, including the possibility of a ban from attending future
matches.'

Confrontation: The hot dog appears to land some way from Terry as he limbered up in front of the away end

Confrontation: The hot dog appears to land some way from Terry as he limbered up in front of the away end

Missiles: The West Ham fans also aimed coins at Terry

Missiles: The West Ham fans also aimed coins at Terry

The incident is the fourth police investigation Chelsea have been involved in this season.

Police opened an investigation into
allegations referee Mark Clattenburg racially abused Jon Obi Mikel
during the now infamous clash against Manchester United on October 28.

The same match spawned another police
probe as a steward sustained a knee injury after he was crushed in the
aftermath of Javier Hernandez's winner.

Likewise, South Wales Police
investigated Eden Hazard kick on a ball boy during the Capital One Cup
semi-final second leg clash against Swansea on January 23.

Angry words: Terry was the subject of taunts from the away fans

Angry words: Terry was the subject of taunts from the away fans

Hammers fans were clearly outraged by Lampard's decision to celebrate his milestone moment in front of them yesterday.

But Lampard said: 'I wasn't hit by anything. I went quite close to the West Ham fans but that was the natural curve of my run.'

On the incident, Blues manager Rafa Benitez said: 'When you score 200 goals, you don't think about where you go. You celebrate.

'Afterwards, he realised it would be better to be in another part (of the ground). I don't think he was hit (by a missile).'

Premier League dog football fans: Chelsea supporter Max the mongrel from Mitcham, Surrey

Hit the paws button… meet Max the mongrel from Mitcham, a barking mad Chelsea fan

By
Lee Bryan

PUBLISHED:

13:15 GMT, 11 March 2013

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UPDATED:

14:11 GMT, 11 March 2013


Barking mad: Chelsea fan Max the mongrel

Barking mad: Chelsea fan Max the mongrel

Chelsea supporter Max the mongrel could receive a prize that most Blues fans would bite your hand off for… a season ticket at Stamford Bridge.

The barking mad Blues supporter was nominated in Britain’s first ever canine footballer supporter competition launched by sports website TVBet.co.uk to find the most devoted dog football fan.

Max is glued to the television every time Chelsea come on and he even predicts the score by barking before kick-off.

Like many other Chelsea fans, Max barks when he sees Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger on screen but he goes crazy when celebrating a goal.

Max’s owner Terri Crockett said: 'Max loves the Blues and his favourite players are Frank Lampard and John Terry.

'He loves watching the game on the telly and even predicts the scores by barking before the kick off.

'He’s not always spot on, he does tend to be a bit optimistic before a game and usually predicts we will win six-nil.'

The competition has already received dozens of entries after promising a season ticket for the winning dog – as well as one human.

A spokesman for TVBet.co.uk said:
'This contest has lifted the lid on the phenomena of the dog football
fan. We knew there were a lot of doggie football supporters out there
but in all honesty we had no idea how many.

'But
if the response to our contest is anything to go by there must be
hundreds if not thousands of dedicated canine football fans out there.
Many of them as devoted to their teams as their owners are.'

Good to be a Gooner: Arsenal supporter Ginny

Good to be a Gooner: Arsenal supporter Ginny

Royals through and through: Reading fan Cassie

Royals through and through: Reading fan Cassie

No 1 fan: Aston Villa supporter Luna

No 1 fan: Aston Villa supporter Luna

He added: 'Our
contest is the first ever to celebrate Britain’s secret army of doggie
football fans. From now on our furry fans no longer have to cower in the
shadows. They can get right out onto the pitch where they belong.

'Everyone
has a Tintin and Snowy story, or maybe a Dorothy and Toto tale. This
contest proves that the love between one man and his dog can only be
strengthened by their shared devotion to a football team. It’s a
beautiful thing to behold.'

Aston Villa fan Luna Davies, whose owner Rob is now based in Holland, is another dog fan entered in the competition.

Luna's owner said: 'She’s got claret and blue running through her veins. It’d mean a lot to her to be able to visit Villa Park. She lives for the Villa.

'I’d love it if they made Luna their lucky mascot. Lord knows they need a bit of luck this year. She’s well trained and wouldn’t foul the hallowed Villa Park turf before a match.'

Arsenal may be enduring a tough season, but six-year-old border terrier Ginny Smith still loves to watch the Gunners play.

Ginny's owner Sharon said: 'Ginny loves her footy and is glued to the telly every time Arsenal are on.

'She has always growled when Alex Ferguson comes on the screen and she also turns her nose up at Tottenham.'

But, unlike Ginny, Arsenal fan Lenny, a five-year-old Dachshund, prefers watching international football.

Lenny's owner James said: 'Lenny loves to sit on the armchair and watch his beloved Arsenal. But when it comes to international matches he reverts back to his ancestral home and supports Germany. He gets very grumpy if they ever lose.'

Armchair fan: Arsenal supporter Lenny gets excited when watching international football

Armchair fan: Arsenal supporter Lenny gets excited when watching international football

To enter the contest send a photo of your football fan dog and their name and age along with contact details to [email protected]

Frank Lampard now set to be offered fresh Chelsea deal in shock U-turn by Roman Abramovich

EXCLUSIVE: Lampard set to be offered fresh Chelsea deal in shock U-turn by Abramovich

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

10:28 GMT, 7 February 2013

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UPDATED:

11:39 GMT, 7 February 2013

Roman Abramovich has made a sensational U-turn over the future of Frank Lampard and opened talks over a new contract.

Lampard, who scored the winner for England in last night’s 2-1 victory over Brazil, had been told he could leave Chelsea at the end of the season.

Incredibly, Chelsea made their move for the fans’ favourite last week and talks about him staying are at a preliminary stage.

VIDEO: Scroll down to watch Lampard's stunning winner for England v Brazil

Still got it: Frank Lampard is mobbed after scoring the winner for England against Brazil last night

Still got it: Frank Lampard is mobbed after scoring the winner for England against Brazil last night

Net gains: Lampard fires past Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar to hand England victory at Wembley

Net gains: Lampard fires past Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar to hand England victory at Wembley

Sources at Stamford Bridge insisted this morning that the talks were ‘positive’ and the club will formalise the fresh talks with a firm offer.

The precise terms of the new deal for Lampard, 34, have yet to be discussed, but the initial meeting with Chelsea has taken place.

Abramovich, who is in Malaga on business, is aware of the fans’ protests against the decision to release the midfielder after 12 years at the club.

Lampard has scored 10 goals in just 17 Barclays Premier League appearances this season after recovering from injury.

Centre of attention: All eyes have been on Lampard's next move as his Chelsea deal winds down

Centre of attention: All eyes have been on Lampard's next move as his Chelsea deal winds down

Goal king: Lampard is on a golden run of goals despite Chelsea's difficult season

Goal king: Lampard is on a golden run of goals despite Chelsea's difficult season

He is now second in the list of all-time leading scorers at the club and is just five goals from equalling Bobby Tambling’s record of 202 in a Chelsea shirt.

The midfielder has been one of the club's most consistent players this season and supporters have begged Abramovich to give him a new deal.

Chelsea’s owners is becoming increasingly sensitive about his popularity at the Bridge and is determined to put his club back at the top of European football.

That process began when he changed his mind about Ashley Cole and gave England’s left back a new one year extension to his contract.

Lampard is next in line and talks are expected to resume within the next week after Chelsea made their shock move to keep him. A Chelsea spokesman declined to comment this morning.

Green light: Roman Abramovich has now given the thumbs up to a new deal for Lampard

Green light: Roman Abramovich has now given the thumbs up to a new deal for Lampard

Although Lampard has consistently told Blues supporters he wants to stay in various interviews, the midfielder believed his career at Stamford Bridge would be over in the summer.

Lampard’s future is time sensitive because he already has a number of offers from other clubs around the world.

Paris Saint-Germain, coached by former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, are the latest club to put down a marker for the midfielder.

LA Galaxy, who have offered Lampard a two-and-a-half year deal, are pushing for an answer. The MLS season starts in March, but the player will have commitments with Chelsea until the end of the season and also with England.

Roy Hodgson’s side play a friendly against the Republic of Ireland on May 29 and then travel to Brazil on June 2.

England 2 Brazil 1: Martin Keown verdict

Martin Keown: I'm convinced Hart and Cesar are the best keepers in England and Wilshere played like a Brazilian!

By
Martin Keown

PUBLISHED:

00:14 GMT, 7 February 2013

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UPDATED:

12:15 GMT, 7 February 2013

There was plenty of talk ahead of the game about the outfield players but it was hard to ignore the goalkeepers once the action started. I saw Joe Hart and Julio Cesar go head to head when Manchester City visited QPR recently and was hugely impressed.

Now I am convinced that they are the two best goalkeepers in the Premier League. Hart did really well to save Ronaldinho’s penalty and then reach the rebound before the Brazilian. Cesar’s stops to defy Wayne Rooney and Gary Cahill were stunning.

The first reminded me of Gordon Banks keeping out Pele. Cesar showed his flexibility and Hart showed fantastic determination. They will be vital for their teams for the remainder of the season.

England goalkeeper Joe Hart and Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar

Joe Hart

Safe hands: Joe Hart and Julio Cesar proved themselves to be the best keepers in the Premier League

Glen kept Neymar in his pocket

Glen Johnson has looked nervy at times for England at Wembley in the past. Last night he looked more confident. He was good with and without the ball and kept Neymar quiet when confronted with him. On the opposite side, Ashley Cole looked a bit nervous as he won his 100th cap.

Kept him quiet: Glen Johnson had no trouble dealing with the threat of Brazil's Neymar

Kept him quiet: Glen Johnson had no trouble dealing with the threat of Brazil's Neymar

Blue is the colour

Six Chelsea players were involved last night — David Luiz, Ramires and Oscar for Brazil, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill for England. They have enough quality to suggest Rafael Benitez’s side should be performing a lot better.

Chelsea connection: Ashley Cole (left) and Oscar were on opposite sides at Wembley

Chelsea connection: Ashley Cole (left) and Oscar were on opposite sides at Wembley

Well done, Frank

To go with some exciting young players,
England have some world-class experienced stalwarts. Frank Lampard’s
goal put him level with David Platt on 27. He’s only three shy of Tom
Finney, Nat Lofthouse and Alan Shearer on 30.

Jumping for joy: Frank Lampard scored England's winner against Brazil at Wembley

Jumping for joy: Frank Lampard scored England's winner against Brazil at Wembley

Game of two halves for Gary

Gary Cahill was exceptional in the first half, sniffing out danger and accomplished on the ball. He looked far better than he has in a Chelsea shirt this season. But the centre back undid that good work by overplaying for the Brazilian equaliser. He wanted to show that English defenders can play. That should be encouraged but there are moments when you can be too adventurous.

Turn for the worse: Gary Cahill was at fault for Brazil's equaliser at the start of the second half

Turn for the worse: Gary Cahill was at fault for Brazil's equaliser at the start of the second half

Jack's like a Brazilian

Jack Wilshere was the best player on the pitch. He looked so full of confidence and carried the game at times. Wilshere always wants to receive the ball, even if he’s under pressure and he is then technically gifted enough to use it in an intelligent way.

Since returning from injury, there was no doubting his ability but he is now fit enough to have the energy to match his technical prowess. The way he has come back from that lay-off to perform at such a level is impressive. We should cherish him.

Running the show: Jack Wilshere controlled the midfield on his first England start since 2011

Wilshere

Running the show: Jack Wilshere was the star of England's midfield as Brazil were overran

Brentford 2 Chelsea 2:

Brentford 2 Chelsea 2: Torres spares Rafa's blushes as holders are taken to replay

PUBLISHED:

13:54 GMT, 27 January 2013

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UPDATED:

14:14 GMT, 27 January 2013

Fernando Torres rescued Chelsea and Rafael Benitez from FA Cup humiliation today as the holders denied Brentford arguably the biggest scalp of all in this season of shocks.

Torres broke his latest miserable run in front of goal with his first of 2013, and one of the most important of his Blues career, to prevent the European champions crashing out of their second competition in five days and sixth in just six months.

It also stopped Brentford becoming the latest lower-league team to upset Barclays Premier League opponents this season, something they were seven minutes away from doing after a magnificent performance at Griffin Park.

Relief: John Terry celebrates as Chelsea earn a replay against Brentford

Relief: John Terry celebrates as Chelsea earn a replay against Brentford

Match facts

Brentford:
Moore, Hodson, Craig, Dean, Logan, Forshaw (Saunders 84), Douglas,
Diagouraga, Donaldson, Trotta (Adeyemi 70), Forrester (Barron 80).

Subs not used: Lee, Dallas, Reeves, Hayes.

Goals: Trotta 43, Forrester pen 73.

Chelsea: Turnbull, Ivanovic (Azpilicueta 79), Cahill, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Marin (Mata 46), Oscar, Bertrand (Ba 82), Torres.

Subs not used: Hilario, Mata, Ferreira, Benayoun, Ake.

Goals: Oscar 55, Torres 83.

Booked: Cahill

Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)

The npower League One high-fliers were one in a line of sides to completely outmuscle Chelsea since Benitez took charge, Marcello Trotta firing them in front moments before half-time and Harry Forrester restoring their lead with a penalty after Oscar had equalised.

They might even have clung on had Ross Turnbull been sent off instead of cautioned for conceding the spot-kick, having already been lucky to escape a booking for holding on to the ball in a bizarre repeat of Wednesday's ball boy incident at Swansea.

As if to drive home the point that their own ball boys had come in peace, Brentford had them form a guard of honour as the European champions took the field, each of them waving a large white flag.

But there was no surrender from the 11 on the field as they tore into a Chelsea side interim manager Benitez admitted may be running on empty.

Over the rainbow: Marcelo Trotta opened the scoring for Brentford at home to Chelsea

Over the rainbow: Marcelo Trotta opened the scoring for Brentford at home to Chelsea

Running on sand was hardly going to
help their energy levels or the passing game Benitez admitted was their
only way of playing, but that was exactly the kind of surface that
awaited them in what was the archetype of the old-fashioned cup tie.

Ironically, the European champions'
millions helped pay for the pitch, as part of an agreement for them to
play under-21 games at Griffin Park.

Torres, whose 50million transfer fee could probably buy Brentford Football Club, was recalled today.

Mob rule: Brentford celebrate their shock goal against Chelsea in the FA Cup

Mob rule: Brentford celebrate their shock goal against Chelsea in the FA Cup

Fit-again John Terry also started his first game under Benitez but it was almost a nightmare return when Turnbull was penalised for clutching his captain's backpass.

Turnbull's refusal to release the ball for a quick indirect free-kick could hardly have been more ironic in the wake of the Eden Hazard saga, Forrester eventually blazing over the crossbar.

Terry and Turnbull continued to look like strangers, with Chelsea knocked out of their stride by relentless Brentford pressing and lightning breaks.

Spot kick: Tom Adeyemi is fouled by Ross Turnbull to earn Brentford a penalty which Harry Forrester scored

Spot kick: Tom Adeyemi is fouled by Ross Turnbull to earn Brentford a penalty which Harry Forrester scored

It almost led to a goal on the half-hour mark when Shaleum Logan won the ball and squared for Adam Forshaw, who drove narrowly wide.

There seemed only one outcome if Brentford could add incision to their industry, and they did just that three minutes from half-time.

Forshaw's sliding tackle robbed Frank Lampard and Forrester unleashed a shot Turbull needlessly parried straight to Trotta, who fired in the rebound.

The Italian delayed his own celebration in fear of an offside flag but the stadium was already in raptures.

Gary Cahill was booked for upending Logan before the break, which saw Marko Marin hauled off and Juan Mata tasked with orchestrating a comeback.

There was plenty of time for Chelsea to get their act together and it took them only 10 minutes to do so, Oscar pouncing on a loose clearance and bamboozling the Brentford defence before drilling into the top corner.

Mata almost finished off a sweeping move and Lampard's header from a corner was kept out by Simon Moore as the visitors began to show the kind of fight completely lacking in the first half.

But Brentford refused to panic, drawing Chelsea's sting before withdrawing Trotta for Tom Adeyemi with 20 minutes remaining.

It was inspired, the substitute winning a penalty almost immediately after being upended by Turnbull racing on to Clayton Donaldson's brilliant through ball.

Turnbull might have seen red but escaped with a booking before Forrester buried the spot-kick right in the bottom-left corner.

Chelsea briefly laid siege to the home goal, Branislav Ivanovic denied by Moore before being taken off for Cesar Azpilicueta.

Forrester followed for Scott Barron with Demba Ba finally arriving for Ryan Bertrand, who had just wasted a glorious headed chance to equalise.

Ba made the difference, challenging for an 83rd-minute ball that fell to Torres, who instinctively curled it into the top corner from 18 yards.

Lampard went close to a winner and Mata appealed furiously for handball in the box against Harlee Dean but that would have been a travesty of justice.

Chelsea ace Frank Lampard snubs 20m offer from Chinese club Guizhou Renhe

Lampard snubs 20m offer to join Drogba and Anelka in China

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

09:19 GMT, 15 January 2013

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UPDATED:

09:23 GMT, 15 January 2013

Frank Lampard has turned his back on a 20million offer to join former Chelsea team-mates Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka in China.

Mega-rich Chinese Super League club
Guizhou Renhe were prepared to break the bank to land the 34-year-old, who will
be a free agent in the summer when his contract runs out at Stamford
Bridge.

Bargain buy: Chelsea's Frank Lampard will be free agent in the summer

Bargain buy: Chelsea's Frank Lampard will be free agent in the summer

Guizhou Renhe were ready to offer the England midfielder a 250,000-a-week, two-year deal starting in March.

But Lampard could not be tempted to move to China despite Guizhou Renhe stating on their website that Lampard had agreed to the switch and would be team captain.

Hot shot: Lampard scores against Stoke at the weekend

Hot shot: Lampard scores against Stoke at the weekend

A Chinese source said: 'The contract offered to Lampard was amazing and
he would have been treated like a God out there. It would have been a
great adventure for him.

'But although there were a lot of talks, he would never give a definite
‘yes’ and a couple of weeks ago Guizhou Renhe finally gave up.'

LA Galaxy, Manchester United, Juventus, Lazio, Monaco and Fiorentina have all been linked with Lampard.

Germany plan England friendly and USA tour in build-up to 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Going global: Germany plan England friendly and USA tour ahead of World Cup in Brazil

World Cup when Frank Lampard's effort was deemed not to have crossed the line” class=”blkBorder” />

Thrashed: England's last match with Germany was a 4-1 loss in the 2012 World Cup when Frank Lampard's effort was deemed not to have crossed the line

Bierhoff was unveiling Germany's agenda for 2013 in an interview on the website of the German Football Association (DFB), and those plans include a trip to the United States at the end of the Bundesliga season.

Undertaking such a long trip at the end of the domestic season is a subject of debate in Germany, but Bierhoff has defended the decision.

'It has been the case that even the players have not been fully convinced about the sense of these kinds of trip, yet afterwards, they are all so enthusiastic because they realised how much they benefited from it,' he said.

'That will be the case again this time. Miami and Washington are two beautiful cities and we can have a good time there as a team, get to know ourselves better and grow.'

Strong: Most of Germany's side come from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund

Strong: Most of Germany's side come from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund

Strong: Most of Germany's side come from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund

However, Bierhoff is not sure a first-choice squad will be able to make the trip.

Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, who account for the lion's share of Joachim Low's current squad, meet in the quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal, which means one of their season could be over in time for the players to make the trip.

However, the Champions League final falls just days before Germany's planned first game stateside and Bierhoff expects that to interfere with his plans.

'I am fully convinced that we are going to have at least one German side in the final of the Champions League,' he said.

'I would be pleased if that were the case, even if we would then take a squad with a few fresh faces to the USA with us.'

Gary Cahill"s partner gives birth to baby boy

Yeah baby! Cahill misses Stoke win as partner gives birth to boy… but what will they call it

By
Martha Kelner

PUBLISHED:

23:45 GMT, 12 January 2013

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UPDATED:

23:59 GMT, 12 January 2013

Gary Cahill was allowed to skip the match at Stoke as his girlfriend Gemma gave birth to a baby boy, and had double cause for celebration as Chelsea got back on track with a 4-0 victory.

'We were training with Gary Cahill yesterday and had worked out the shape of the team with him,' said Rafael Benitez, 'but he had to go because his partner had a baby.

'The baby's fine, he's happy, she's happy, and we are happy, so everything has gone well.'

In training: Gary Cahill was with the squad this week but missed the trip to Stoke

In training: Gary Cahill was with the squad this week but missed the trip to Stoke

Some obvious options arise for the baby's name. First, 'Frank' – in honour of Lampard, who became Chelsea's second all-time top scorer with his 194th goal, a well-executed penalty greeted by the travelling fans with a chorus of 'Sign him up'.

Second, 'John' – after Terry, who came off the bench for his first appearance for Chelsea since suffering a knee injury in November.

Or 'Eden' – after Hazard, who scored a screamer to cap a fantastic win.

Super 8: Frank Lampard scored again from the spot for Chelsea

Super 8: Frank Lampard scored again from the spot for Chelsea

Bad day at the office: Jonathan Walters scored two own goals and missed a penalty

Bad day at the office: Jonathan Walters scored two own goals and missed a penalty

More controversial, 'Rafael' and 'Fernando', after Benitez and Torres.

The manager, much maligned by fans, insisted his squad are still happy in training despite the reported discontent of his 50m out-of-form striker.

Finally, 'Jonathan', in recognition of the calamitous match for Stoke's Walters, who scored two fantastic own-goals and missed a penalty to complete a disastrous day at the office for Tony Pulis's team.

John Terry makes Chelsea return and gives away a penalty

Terry makes top flight return after two month absence… and concedes a penalty!

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

17:44 GMT, 12 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:16 GMT, 12 January 2013

Chelsea captain John Terry made his return to Barclays Premier League action on Saturday afternoon against Stoke.

It wasn't quite the return he would have envisaged, his foul on Jon Walters seeing the Potters awarded a late penalty.

On other days this may have been disastrous for Chelsea, but thanks to two Walters' own goals, a Frank Lampard spot kick and an Eden Hazard belter, the Blues were already 4-0 up.

Back to business: John Terry enters the fray with 10 minutes to go against Stoke

Back to business: John Terry enters the fray with 10 minutes to go against Stoke

Leader: Terry takes the armband from Juan Mata and resumed his role as Chelsea skipper

Leader: Terry takes the armband from Juan Mata and resumed his role as Chelsea skipper

Not making amends: Walters smashed his penalty high over the bar to compound a terrible afternoon

Not making amends: Walters smashed his penalty high over the bar to compound a terrible afternoon

Regardless, Walters saved Terry's blushes anyway by thumping the spot kick over the bar.

Terry was brought on as a substitute for Juan Mata in the 79th minute and instantly took the armband, ignoring the now-traditional abuse from the opposition fans.

The skipper's return capped a superb afternoon for Rafa Benitez, who has not been able to deploy the defender during his time as interim Chelsea manager because of a knee injury.

Terry sustained the problem after a clash
with Liverpool's Luis Suarez on November 11 and although initially he
seemed set for a quick return, only appeared on Thursday night the the
Chelsea U21s.

Benitez said: 'I was trying to give
him some minutes to see how he was. I watched him in the reserve team
but this is totally different, so we played five at the back and tried
to protect him a bit.

'We will see how he trains and if he has no problems, it is a question of fitness now.'

Terry's team-mate for club and
country, Gary Cahill, missed the game against Stoke because his partner
was giving birth to his son.

Benitez
explained: 'We had trained with Cahill but he had to go. The baby is
fine and they are happy, and we are happy, so everything is going well.'

David Luiz retreated from the midfield
position he has been deployed in of late and impressed at the back, with
Lampard stepping in alongside Ramires in the centre.

Warm up: Terry has been out since November

Rafa Benitez has not been able to call on the defender

At long last: Rafa Benitez (right) had not been able to use Terry so far during his time at Chelsea

Terry will now be aiming to start in Chelsea's match on Wednesday at home against Southampton, but the manager admitted he would have to monitor his fitness.

Benitez will be delighted with his
side's show of strength, seeing as no side had been able to turn Stoke
over at the Britannia since February last year.

After
a pitiful defeat against Swansea in midweek in the first leg of his
side's Capital One Cup semi-final stoking the ire of Chelsea supporters,
Benitez needed a result today.

He dropped striker Fernando Torres
after he was booed off against Swansea, but introduced him in place of
Demba Ba with 20 minutes to go.

Benitez
was encouraged and said: 'The attitude of Torres pleased me. He is
fighting for his position, so we had a lot of positives.'

Bench boy: Fernando Torres (centre), sitting alongside Terry, was dropped after a poor midweek showing

Bench boy: Fernando Torres (centre), sitting alongside Terry, was dropped after a poor midweek showing

Stoke boss Tony Pulis was obviously far less happy with proceedings at the Britannia.

'The second goal killed us. The goals we conceded were poor and I'm disappointed with the penalty, Mata's legs collapse and I think it's a soft penalty, but it was a wonder goal from Hazard. I don't think that was a 4-0 today.

'We're disappointed,' he said. 'It just didn't go for us. The referee gives a penalty at 1-0 and it was offside, it was a good call, but if that goes for you it's one each and we have the impetus.

'We didn't deserve to be losing at half-time and until the second goal I felt we were the better team, although Chelsea have some fantastic players.'