‘He’s looking fit, fresh and strong’ – Lampard assesses Loftus-Cheek’s progress at Fulham

That was the first time he had played three consecutive 90 minutes since his 2017/18 loan at Crystal Palace and among the impressed observers was the Chelsea head coach, who also provided an insight on why he sanctioned the temporary switch across the capital and his future plans for the man who turns 25 next week.

‘He played well and I was really pleased to see that,’ said Lampard, reflecting on Loftus-Cheek’s individual performance against Spurs. 

‘I felt we missed Ruben last year. When he was getting fit, I was excited because I know the attributes he has and I wanted those attributes at the club.

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January transfer window signings – Parker the pioneer

On 30 January 2004, a short chapter of Chelsea history was written when the club signed Scott Parker from fellow London side Charlton Athletic.

The previous season the Premier League had joined the rest of Europe’s top divisions in adhering to a transfer window which opened for two months in the summer and then again midway through the campaign in January.

Considering the amount of activity which takes place nowadays during what has become a huge event in the calendar, the first January window came and went without Chelsea signing anyone – and the same thing almost happened again in 2004.

However, the Addicks finally succumbed to Parker’s wish to join a club which was competing for the Premier League title and in the Champions League, and so he became our first-ever signing in the January transfer window.

At the end of that season he achieved another Blues first when he was named PFA Young Player of the Year, an award which had never before been lifted by one of our players.

Since then, our January transfer window signings have, by and large, been relatively successful, with players going on to win silverware and, in some instances, establishing themselves as Blues favourites in the process.

Although Jiri Jarosik and Maniche, two understated but apparently necessary midfield additions in 2005 and 2006 respectively, both did the former without achieving the latter, it was not until the 2008 window that we truly cracked it.

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Emma Hayes previews big WSL clash vs Man Utd

‘The pair of them were marvellous and have a brilliant natural relationship. My job is merely to keep guiding them, do little bits of analysis but for the most part when you’ve top players it’s just about shaping little things here and there to keep them in the right place.

‘I’ve always been about finding the right combination to win the game and I value what the players do at training as one part of it but the other part is what is going to hurt the opposition.

‘Having that many different options means I have the ability to change things from week to week, it doesn’t have to look the same and I don’t like things to look the same, it’s too dull.’

Lastly, Hayes praised the rise in competitiveness within the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.

‘I like winning, I like competing and I’ll do everything I can to do that. But what I’ve wanted more than anything else is a competitive league and we’ve got it.

‘Whether it’s Manchester United this season, these games are tough week in week out. You prepare knowing that if you’re not at your best, you’re in trouble and the fact that there is a different rival this year and that there is another one, adds excitement to the women’s game. I just hope it’s a cracker for the fans at home.’


The game, which kicks off at 2.30pm on Sunday, will be broadcast live on BT Sport.

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Live training sessions with Chelsea coaches launch online this weekend

Led by Chelsea Academy and Foundation Coach Andrew Ottley, each session will provide players with opportunities to develop their technical skills, from agility and dribbling to passing, shooting and ball mastery. This will be done through a series of demonstrations, challenges and drills that can be followed from home, whether in the garden or somewhere appropriate indoors.

The best part is that all you need to get involved is a pair of boots, a ball and some markers, although these can be replicated with any safe household objects such as shoes, jumpers or plastic water bottles.

Sessions will be broadcast live on our official Facebook channel at 11am every Saturday throughout the remainder of this lockdown.

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Chelsea vs Luton FA Cup date set

The match between Chelsea and our opponents from the Championship, Luton Town, will kick off at 12 noon and will be shown on BBC One in the UK. 

All 16 ties are to be screened live with this the full schedule:

FRIDAY 22 JANUARY
Chorley v Wolverhampton Wanderers (19:45 KO) – Live on BT Sport 1

SATURDAY 23 JANUARY
Southampton or Shrewsbury Town v Arsenal (12:15 KO) – Live on BT Sport 1
Cheltenham Town v Manchester City (17:30 KO) – Live on BBC One
Sheffield United v Plymouth Argyle (15:00 KO) – Live on BBC Digital Platforms 
West Ham United v Doncaster Rovers (15:00 KO) – Live on BBC Digital Platforms 
AFC Bournemouth v Crawley Town (15:00 KO) – Live on BT Sport Extra 2 
Brighton & Hove Albion v Blackpool (15:00 KO) – Live on BT Sport Extra 3 
Swansea City v Nottingham Forest (15:00 KO) – Live on BT Sport Extra 4 
Barnsley v Norwich City (15:00 KO) – Live on BT Sport Extra 5
Millwall v Bristol City (15:00 KO) – Live on BT Sport Extra 6

SUNDAY 24 JANUARY
Chelsea v Luton Town (12:00 KO) – Live on BBC One
Brentford v Leicester City (14:30 KO) – Live on BT Sport 1
Manchester United v Liverpool (17:00 KO) – Live on BBC One
Everton v Sheffield Wednesday (20:00 KO) – Live on BT Sport 1
Fulham v Burnley (14:30 KO) – Live on BT Sport Extra 2

MONDAY 25 JANUARY
Wycombe Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur (19:45 KO) – Live on BT Sport 1

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Lampard reveals plan for Tomori and how Werner is coping centrally

Tomori has played in four games this season, the most recent and first since September when he came on during last weekend’s FA Cup win over Morecambe. It was also the game when Timo Werner put his wait for a goal behind him by netting the second in the 4-0 win, and having played the German as the central striker in the last two games, Lampard shared his thoughts on how that is working out.

‘With Timo through the middle, it is an area of the pitch that he clearly likes to start from,’ he said.

‘In Leipzig and for Germany he has played centrally. He has played on the left, he has played as a lone striker and he has played as one of two strikers, so I certainly see how there is room for manoeuvre in terms of how you can use Timo.

‘When he plays centrally, we pride ourselves on being a hard-working team off the ball which means sometimes a lot of pressure high up the pitch and it is very normal for Timo and others who have come into this team in forward areas to take some time to get used to what my idea is, and what team-mates’ ideas are, because they haven’t had working time on the pitch, no doubt about that.  

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Reece James trains ahead of Fulham

The right-back missed our FA Cup win over Morecambe as he continued his recovery from injury, but has since returned to training and will hope to feature for the Blues at Craven Cottage on Saturday teatime.

Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi were also involved in the session, while fellow wideman Christian Pulisic looked sharp.

Fresh from scoring at the weekend, German duo Timo Werner and Kai Havertz were pictured in action while youngster Tino Anjorin was also involved.

Take a look at the best images from today’s session below!

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Double celebration – Chelsea’s birthday scorers

In finding the net from 25 yards at Stamford Bridge against the League Two side, the England midfielder joined these other Chelsea players who in recent times have marked their special days with goals for the Blues

John Spencer 1995

John Spencer had a day to remember on 11 September 1995 when he marked his 25th birthday with a brace for Chelsea in a Premier League derby victory over West Ham United at Upton Park.

The Scot netted our second goal in the 33rd minute, finding the bottom corner with a sweetly struck effort from long range.

He required heavy bandaging on his head after a clash with Julian Dicks shortly afterwards but stayed on the pitch and was set up by Ruud Gullit to fire in his second of the game late on to seal a 3-1 victory.

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Foundation launch ‘Check-in with Chelsea’ programme

With the country in lockdown due to recent Covid-19 developments, most school children and their families have had to adapt again to learning remotely.

In response to this, the Foundation’s Education team have created a new ‘Check-in with Chelsea’ programme and have started delivering in schools this week.

The programme has been created to provide a check-in point for pupils, enabling them to join via our own virtual classrooms, with challenges themed around English, Maths, PSHE, STEM and Physical Activity and will be linked to a Chelsea FC men or women’s player along with a manager’s challenge!

Head of education Sam Gaskin-Kemp said: ‘We are delighted to have launched our new ‘Check-In with Chelsea’ programme which allows us to continue to support children and families during the current lockdown period in school or at home.

‘It is really important for us to be able to provide support where we can and continue to work with our communities through this fun and engaging programme.’

First up on the ‘Check-in with Chelsea’ programme this week was ‘Eriksson’s English Challenge’ with the task based around Chelsea Women’s captain Magda Eriksson.

Pupils were tasked with completing a match report and Blues defender Eriksson was on hand to deliver a personal message to those who had completed the challenge.

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Giroud’s hat-trick header named Chelsea’s December Goal of the Month

With Giroud’s perfect hat-trick against Sevilla taking more than half of all the votes cast, the Goal of the Month award was almost as comfortable a victory as the one in Spain.

As well as that second header by the Frenchman against Aston Villa, Giroud was also selected ahead of Christian Pulisic finishing off a lightning-quick counter-attack by Mateo Kovacic and Timo Werner to complete the scoring in our 3-1 win over Leeds United.

Our Women’s and Academy sides were also represented in the nominations, by Sam Kerr’s strike against Benfica following a pinpoint through-ball from Guro Reiten, and Jude Soonsup-Bell’s impressive solo effort against Manchester United in the Premier League 2.

Giroud is the fourth different player to win a Chelsea Goal of the Month award this season, joining Reece James (September, v Brighton), Timo Werner (October, v Southampton) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (November, v Rennes).

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