ZHIRKOV GOING NOWHERE

Carlo Ancelotti has denied reports that Yuri Zhirkov could leave Chelsea in the January transfer Window. The Russia international had previously claimed that he may have to quit the Stamford Bridge club in January in search of regular first team football. A number of free bets have been placed with bookies that Zhirkov will leave in January, on loan.

Yuri Zhirkov, who is comfortable playing at left full-back or on the left-hand-side of midfield, has struggled to make an impression in England since his move from CSKA Moscow back in the summer of 2009, largely due to the impressive form of Ashley Cole and Florent Malouda.

Although despite the Russian’s concerns with regards to his Chelsea future, Ancelotti is adamant that he won’t be allowed to leave the club.

“I don’t need to speak with him about the future,” Ancelotti told reporters. “That is because his future is here with Chelsea. He is a good player. He knows in this club, in the top teams, there is a lot of competition to play and for this reason, he has to improve.

“But I think that he will have the possibility to play a lot of games this year, because we are involved in a lot of competitions. We need to have all the players fit and ready to play.”

ZHIRKOV STRUGGLING WITH INJURY

Chelsea defender Yuri Zhirkov says that he is still struggling with a niggling injury. Zhirkov, 26, joined Chelsea from CSKA Moscow last summer for a fee believed to be in the region of £18 million, but a knee injury restricted his involvement and he did not start in the Premier League until late December. Chelsea’s chances of winning the Champions League are better if Zhirkov is playing.

Yuri Zhirkov was able to play regular football during Ashley Cole’s absence earlier this year and made a positive contribution to the club’s title success, but he has now revealed that he still suffering from the problem and could require further surgery.

“I had to miss a major part of the pre-season preparations,” he told Sport Express. “After my summer holidays, I still had sharp pain in my knees and had to visit Moscow for consultations, and also to consult with a doctor from Germany in London.

“The medical procedures and exercises helped me feel much better than last year, but the pain still bothers me after matches and trainings. In general, though, my health is much better than last year.

“I’ve decided that one month should be enough for me to return to my peak form. If I don’t manage to get rid of my problems, it will be necessary to do something about it. I’m looking optimistically at my future and I’m sure that I will shake off my injury, although I don’t know when it will happen.”

YURI BACK TO FITNESS

Yuri Zhirkov looks set to shake off his injury problems and start training this week. Chelsea are facing a number of injury crisis with a host of star players already out of the season opening match at Wembley for the community shield. It doesn’t look great for Abramovich from his Chelsea Hospitality seat!

Both Drogba and Petr Cech are likely to miss the clash with arch rivals Manchester united at Wembley and might further miss their season opener against West Bromwich Albion at the Bridge. However the good news is that Yossi Benayoun and Yuri Zhirkov are likely to start training this week.

ZHIRKOV GIVES CHELSEA OPTIONS

Chelsea are confident in Yuri Zhirkov’s abilities that they are considering selling Cole. Chelsea could offer Ashley Cole to Real Madrid as makeweight for Kaka because of Yuri Zhirkov.

Rumours are gathering pace over Real Madrid’s interest in Ashley Cole but expect Chelsea to ask for something more exotic than money.

ARSHAVIN HAPPY FOR ZHIRKOV

Andrey Arshavin has admitted his frustration after enduring Arsenal’s ‘pitiful’ trophyless season.

“There was nothing special last season for me to think back about,” Arshavin told The Sun. “The season was normal – even pitiful.”

In contrast, Arshavin heaped praise on league victors Chelsea and compatriot Yuri Zhirkov, admitting their win was well-earned.

“I am happy for Yuri Zhirkov, who won the Premier League with Chelsea,” he added.

“They deserved the trophy, as they were the strongest during the season. We didn’t win much for fans doing football spread betting.

OBI MIKEL BACKS ZHIRKOV

John Obi Mikel is backing Chelsea teammate Yury Zhirkov to fill the void left by Ashley Cole’s injury.

Zhirkov appears the prime candidate to replace Cole at left-back.

“Ashley is going to big a loss for us because he is a very important player for this team,” Nigeria midfielder Mikel told chelseafc.com.

“But we have Yury, who can play in that position as well, and this is football, these things happen.

“We feel really bad that something like that happens to him at this time in the season, we don’t want it to happen to him at any time of the season, but with such important games coming up it’s going to be a big blow.”

VALBUENA JOINS MOSCOW

The French midfielder Mathieu Valbuena has joined Dynamo Moscow after having played for Marseille for over 7 years. The experienced midfielder went on saying during a press conference that Dynamo Moscow have a real project and true ambitions of winning titles, this was one of the main reasons on why he decided to join the Russian club.

“There is a lot of emotion. I promised myself not to cry but I spent eight years here, I experienced fantastic things, titles, and league cups. I’m proud of that, but the page turns today. I did so much here and everything OM has given me has been positive. All of my coaches have mattered to me but I don’t forget Jose Anigo and Pape Diouf who trusted in me when I was coming from a small club. My greatest pride is to have succeeded here’’

‘’But it was time to move on. Dynamo showed a lot of interest in me. The coach, Stanislav Cherchesov wanted me since 2008 when I played against Spartak Moscow. I liked what he had to say. And the club has a real project. They want to win everything. I want to help them progress.”

Valbuena joined Dynamo Moscow on August 1st and he will be eager to help his new club in their journey of not only competing in the Russian League but also in their upcoming games of the Europa League.

Dynamo Moscow is also being linked with Jean Armel Kana Biyik of Rennes. Biyik is a 25 year old Cameroonian defender who has lured the attention of not only Dynamo Moscow but also Palermo, West Ham United and the Scottish champions Celtic.

Palermo is believed to be on the verge of signing Biyik although no official news has been released by either the Italian club or the player.

DIFFICULT LIFE

Anzhi Makhachkala manager Gadzhi Gadzhiev has stated that the club are more likely to be relegated at the end of the season. This stunning admission comes in the wake of several financial problems at the club. After being funded by Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov for the last few years, the club splashed out heavily on players like Samuel Eto’o. Even more than the transfer fees, the wages paid to some of the players made them the best paid in the world. However, after running into problems in his personal and professional life, Kerimov has been faced with severe financial difficulties.

This has translated into Anzhi Makhachkala being pulled out of Kerimov’s purse. This has left the club stranded and they have had to sell star names like Willian for massive fees to clubs abroad. In the case of Willian, the Brazilian midfielder joined Chelsea for a fee believed to be worth around £ 30 million. After the sale of such important players, the club has been managing through with youth team players.

This has consequently resulted in a massive drop in form, as they have managed just one win in the last 22 matches. They are now bottom of the Russian league table and Gadzhiev says that they have only a 20% chance of being in the Russian top division next season. The club were in the lower leagues of Russian football before Kerimov arrived. He funded the club with several new players along with top class infrastructure to go along with it.

“Our chances of staying in the PL are 20 to 30 percent,” said the manager about their survival chances. Anzhi Makhachkala were knocked out of Europe after suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar earlier in the campaign. It looks highly unlikely that they will be in Europe in the near future.

ANZHI BLOW

Anzhi Makhachkala’s season suffered a huge blow and started going down since the moment when Samuel Eto’o and Willian were offloaded to Chelsea and the financial support from the billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov appeared to have diminished compared to previous seasons.

The Russian club is currently located at the very bottom of the Russian Premier League having only secured 12 points so far and victory at this advanced stage of the league.

Gadzhi Gadzhiyev is the head coach of Anzhi Makhachkala and he has already stated his concerns about being relegated as he is almost certain that there is little which can be done at this point in time in order to avoid getting relegated.

“Our chances of staying in the PL are 20 to 30 percent,” Gadzhiev said in comments posted on Anzhi’s Twitter feed.

They are already are making plans of boosting their squad for the upcoming seasons with the Spanish forward of Swansea City, Michu on their watch-list. Michu has been suffering from a series of injuries that have kept him out of action for the majority of the season.

Even with his consistent number of setbacks that Michu is prone to be facing in recent times, the Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala is interested in securing his services when the transfer window opens in the summer.

Suleyman Kerimov and the rest of the staff members have already noticed the mistake it was to sell some of their biggest stars such as Eto’o and Lacina Traore which is why they will be attempting to bring back quality players to the team starting off with the Spanish forward of Swansea City.

CHELSEA STEP IT UP

Chelsea’s current campaign has been given a significant boost as they have sealed crucial victories against Manchester City and Manchester United, not only that but the recently closed transfer window saw them securing the services of Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah as well as seeing Juan Mata making his way out of the club and into Manchester United.

According to the Portuguese coach, he stated that Matic and Salah are the future of the club as they have the abilities and ambition to make an impact with the club.

“Matic has grown as a player during his time in Portugal and he has come back to this club as a fantastic all-round midfielder,” Mourinho told Chelsea magazine, the club’s official monthly title. As for Salah, he is a young, enthusiastic player with great pace and we have seen that he can score goals and create chances for his team-mates’’.

Chelsea’s victory against Manchester United was an important accomplishment not only for the club as they keep on piling the pressure against the other top teams of the Premier League but it’s a more significant and meaningful event for Mourinho as he became the fastest manager on securing 100 victories in the English League.

“My first thought after the Manchester United game was not for my 100 wins but that it was a good win for Chelsea, because that is what matters at the end,” Mourinho added.
“Of course I am pleased mainly because it means that Chelsea have picked up 300 points from those 100 games we have won together.”

Samuel Eto’o was awarded with the man of the match award during Chelsea’s match against Manchester United as the former Barcelona player scored all 3 goals that helped his team defeat the side of David Moyes.