Benitez plans to raid former Premier League clubs

Napoli boss Rafael Benitez isn’t resting on his laurels following his side’s superb start to the Serie A season. The Spaniard is planning to raid two of his former clubs in the Premier League to bolster his squad, with Liverpool midfielder Lucas and Chelsea left-back Cesar Azpilicueta both on his radar. Click here for more of the UK’s best gossip in Thursday’s edition of Paper Chase.


Trecker’s Travels, Day Eleven: Where’s the love?


Photo: FOX Soccer

By: Jamie Trecker


The conductor called the train: “Lille, Calais…and Chelsea FC.” The platform gave off a small roar of approval. Chelsea fans were headed home with another piece of silverware in their tuck. They seemed underwhelmed.

They should not have been. The Europa League final marked a number of firsts for the denizens of the Bridge: they became the first English team to have won all three major European titles (including the now-defunct Cup Winners’ Cup); the first European team to hold both European titles on offer simultaneously, and surely the first team to win back to back titles with, ahem, “interim” managers.

But as warmly as Roberto Di Matteo was regarded by the fans, his replacement, Rafa Benitez, is despised. Last night the ArenA and the arena of social media alike were filled with the moaning that has characterized Chelsea’s season.

Commentators made passing reference to the plastic flags that littered the away ends and a comment Benitez had once made about despising them. Unforgivable! The team started slowly – perhaps a reflection of the fact that they have now played more games in a season than any other English side since the Arsenal of 1970-71. So what! Chelsea’s now secured European play and won a major title under Rafa and erased a dangerous mid-season swoon. He was greeted by bedsheets and cardboard with the same message: “WE WANT MOURINHO.”


Photo: FOX Soccer

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The fight for Premier League top four


Remaining fixtures:

Chelsea - at Aston Villa, vs. Everton
Arsenal - vs. Wigan, at Newcastle
Spurs - at Stoke, vs. Sunderland

Chelsea have the chance to pull themselves clear quickly with a win on Saturday against Villa. If they win, Spurs can only hope to tie them on points, and with a gigantic goal difference, the Blues would realistically be guaranteed to finish ahead of the Tottenham.

That would leave Spurs and Arsenal to hash it out. The Gunners have a bit of luck, getting Wigan right after their FA Cup final. That leaves Spurs rooting for Newcastle to remain in the relegation battle on the final day when the Magpies play Arsenal.


Rafa Benitez has turned on Chelsea supporters and confirmed he will not be at the club next season.

Benitez, who was once again targeted by a section of his own club’s support during their 2-0 FA Cup fifth round victory at Middlesbrough, was in defiant mood after the game.

He said: “I have been in charge in football for 26 years. I have won the Champions League, won the FIFA Club World Cup, the FA Cup, the Italian Super Cup, the Spanish league twice, nine trophies, all the trophies you can win at club level.

"A group of fans, they are not doing any favors for the team when they are singing and wasting time preparing banners. It’s because someone made a mistake. They put my title (as) ‘interim manager’, and I will leave at the end of the season, so they don’t need to waste time with me.

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