Ashley Cole Putting His Foot In It

Ashley Cole really doesn’t do himself any favours does he?

As if being caught speeding over 100mph in a 50mph zone isn’t bad enough, he then has the front to actually deny the charge.

Cole didn’t turn up for his trial, although had apparently told police at the time he thought he was only doing 80mph – still, the police being as fickle as they are, decided that wasn’t ok with a 50mph limit. Funny that!

So, Cole might not be getting to take his Lamborghini Gallardo out for many more spins after sentencing is passed at the end of this month, with Richard Lomax, prosecuting, saying “The defendant was stopped and spoken to and the words he said at the time, when it became plain that somebody was pointing a speed camera at him, were: ‘Can’t you do anything about those idiots who keep chasing me?’.  The Crown says there can be no other sensible construction of the words uttered by Mr Cole at the time than that he was conceding he was driving at a speed more than 50mph. It is plain that he found the attention of persons with cameras unwelcome and he was trying to get away from them. The only sensible inference therefore is that he was going too quickly.”

What you might call ‘banged to rights’.

Ivanovic To Force Chelsea’s Hand?

Only days after speculation about one of our defenders handing in a transfer request, we’re hearing another one is about to do the same thing.

Earlier rumours of Alex handing in a request for a move in January were denied by the club although now we’re being informed – by the press naturally – that Branislav Ivanovic wants a move. Quite handy really, seeing as he’d already been linked with a move to 3 Serie A sides last month.

However, this time we’re told it’s Inter Milan the 24 year old could be heading for having become disillusioned with his lack of playing time for Chelsea. With Alex already playing ahead of him and Ricardo Carvalho coming back to fitness, the suggestion seems to be the Serbian is looking for a move sooner rather than later.

Chelsea turned down a move for Ivanovic from Juve earlier in the season, although with Luiz Felipe Scolari making it clear he only wants players who want to be at the club in his squad, and with a lack of funds forthcoming for new recruits, could it be that Ivanovic will get the move after all?

Are Cole Rumours A Concern For Chelsea?

We’ve had rumours about possible moves for Joe Cole before, notably Villa and Liverpool in the summer although fortunately they were no more than that. But somehow the latest rumours worry me a little more.

This time, it’s Spurs with an interest in Joe Cole and that bothers me for a few reasons. Firstly there’s the Redknapp thing. Harry Redknapp is more than a little keen on Cole and they know each other well what with it being Redknapp who gave Cole his debut at West Ham. Then there’s the fact that Cole would be valued highly by his former boss – something he’s always had to fight for at Chelsea.

Add to that the fact that Redknapp knows that come the summer, Joe Cole will have just a year left on his contract thanks to Chelsea’s delay in holding talks, and these reports aren’t weighing heavily in Chelsea’s favour. Not only that, but with Cole apparently only being on around £70,000 a week at Chelsea – hardly an amount comparable with the big earners around him – he could even get a pay rise into the bargain.

And here’s what a Spurs source has to say about the whole thing “Harry loves the way Joe plays and can’t believe Chelsea are running the risk of losing him. It is behind the striker where Harry sees him for Spurs — given a licence to thrill.”

I know Cole has previously said he was happy for the talks to be put on hold because his priority was playing for Chelsea but I can’t help hoping the club get their act together over a contract just in case.

Anelka’s Form Rewarded

Nicolas Anelka has won the Barclays player of the month award for November.

Anelka clearly relished being Chelsea’s first-choice striker in Drogba’s absence and notched up 7 goals in 5 league games. Anelka started the month with a hattrick against Sunderland the bagged a couple against both Blackburn and West Brom. He also became the first player to hit ten league goals this season.

Nice work Nic.

Time For Chelsea To Sell Kalou?

I’ve read a few pieces slating Salomon Kalou lately and I have to admit, even after trying really hard to give him the benefit of the doubt and going as far as hoping I might end up eating a large wedge of humble pie by the end of this campaign, he just ain’t good enough.

He drives me totally insane.

I mean, he either looks a bit of a pussy when he’s brushed off the ball far too easily, or he’s overplaying every bloody ball and doing the SWP style ‘I can walk through players’ routine until he runs headlong into a defender and collapses in a heap.

And whilst I’ve got nothing against him personally – I actually think he seems a really nice lad – watching him play makes me want to hurt him. His lack of effect on the pitch is just so frustrating. Surely 16 goals in 76 appearances has to at least hint to Scolari that Chelsea and Kalou are just not meant to be?

Now I know it’s not usually the done thing to sell players to our rivals, and if his form suddenly had the sort of up-turn Shauny’s did when he went back to City it’d be pretty harsh on us, but £11million – it’s got to be worth the risk surely?

Is Mikel Filling The Makelele Role?

I’ve watched John Obi Mikel with a lot more interest this season – largely because Makelele had to be one of my favourite Chelsea players and having raised the question of whether anyone would fill that role, seeing  even the early signs of Mikel starting to do that has been pretty good stuff to watch.

Makelele was an absolute master in the holding role – hence the name, obviously – but he’d been doing it before he came to Chelsea (albeit fairly late in his career), and to see a 21-year old Mikel showing the first signs of growing into the role is pretty impressive. His contribution to Chelsea this season, in exactly the same way as Maka’s usually was, tends to be overlooked and that’s why I keep an eye out for it.

His mistakes are certainly highlighted and the minute he goes in a little enthusiastically, it’s only natural tongues start clucking given his previous disciplinary record but for the most part, he’s clearly trying to rein that side of his game in.

He certainly got a backlash after the Roma game, and maybe his mistakes warranted it but it’s important to look at what he has done for Chelsea this season.

Filling Makelele’s boots is a big ask for anyone, but for a 21 year old to come in with nowhere near the same level of experience and not only patrol the midfield enough to shield the defence but also to be in the right place at the right time to start counter attacks – and to do this consistently – is an even bigger ask. And yet whilst everyone was busy focusing on what Didier Drogba brought to the game against Cluj, it was exactly this contribution from Mikel that was overlooked.

I genuinely thought we’d be buggered once Makelele left, so maybe I’m just happier than most to see Mikel making such a decent job of it, although his contract negotiations would suggest otherwise.

I can’t help wondering what’ll happen when Essien comes back though….

Admirers Forming A Queue For Chelsea Youngster?

Portsmouth confirmed recently that come January, they’d be sending out of favour forward Ben Sahar back to Stamford Bridge. The 19 year old hasn’t managed to feature for them this season during his six-month loan deal and he probably won’t be any more successful on his return to Chelsea, although he’s got his admirers in the Championship.

However, it seems the Championship won’t necessarily be his next destination because Sunday saw Sahar watching Utrecht’s 2-1 win over NEC, and manager Wim van Hanegem has confirmed the Eredivisie side’s interest in the Chelsea youngster.

The Utrecht boss says “We’re indeed interested in loaning Ben Sahar. We’ll send a scout to England next week to have a final look at him before we make a decision though.”

As I’ve said before, if Sahar hasn’t been given a chance at Pompey, then he must know it’s a cert he won’t feature for Chelsea, which probably explains his presence at Utrecht Sunday.