Sarri welcomes Chelsea’s Loftus-Cheek ‘problem’

first_imgChelsea boss Maurizio Sarri admits he is happy to have a “problem” like Ruben Loftus-Cheek after the England man laid down a claim for regular first-team football with a brilliant Europa League hat-trick. Loftus-Cheek, 22, has been a bit-part player so far under the Italian, with Thursday’s start just his fourth appearance of the season. But he took full advantage of his opportunity, smashing a memorable hat-trick as BATE Borisov were put to the sword in a 3-1 victory for the Blues .  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! And Sarri stated that he welcomed more competition for places in Chelsea’s star-studded first team. “I like very much this type of problem,” the former Napoli man joked when asked about Loftus-Cheek’s sterling audition for a regular spot. “He played very, very well. In the offensive phase wonderful. I told him at the beginning of the season I thought he was really a very good player. Now I think the same, but now he’s now more suitable to my football.”He’s improving. He needs to improve in the defensive phase, but it’s not only Loftus.”At the moment we have four midfielders for two positions. Three of them with the same characteristics. Only Kante is a defensive midfielder. It’s very difficult for me to put in the starting XI two so offensive midfielders at the same time. I hope to be able to do it in the future.”I need the cooperation of the players of course. I need an improvement in the defensive phase.”A graduate of the Chelsea academy, Loftus-Cheek is a favourite of the Blues support, who are eager to see more local heroes make a mark at a club which has historically leaned heavily on imported talent. But Sarri recognised that it was hard to offer him regular football with such competition in the midfield. “He’s a very good player. I have a little problem as I have to put 11 players in the starting XI and I have 28 players. It’s a little problem and I don’t know how to solve it,” he added.”As I said before, I have a tactical problem with the midfielders. We need to work and they have to improve in the defensive phase. In the future I may be able to put [Ross] Barkley and Loftus in the same starting XI.”I know that the fans love him, of course. He was in the academy so that’s normal. My problem remains the same. It’s very difficult to solve the tactical problem without an improvement in the defensive phase with these three midfielders. We can try and we will work, but I need the cooperation of the players.”Chelsea will be back in action on Sunday, when they visit Burnley in the Premier League.last_img read more

Less than 50 days to the Touch World Cup

first_imgBy BEN HARRISThere is less than 50 days until the eyes of the touch football world are fixed on Australia.Touch Football Australia CEO Colm Maguire, NRL Head of Football and TFA board member Todd Greenberg, Federation of International Touch secretary general Bill Ker, Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser and mayor of Coffs Harbour City Council Denise Knight were on hand to countdown the final few weeks before the 2015 Touch World Cup begins on April 29 at the C.ex Coffs International Stadium.Teams from 25 countries will participate over the five-day tournament led by the host nation Australia, who is looking for an unprecedented eighth consecutive World Cup Champions Trophy victory.“We are purely excited about the month ahead with the Touch World Cup,” Mr Maguire said.“There will be 93 teams across nine divisions and from 25 countries participating. “We are looking forward to bringing the world to Coffs Harbour.”Mr Fraser was excited to have another international event in his region.“To have the [touch] world here, will be unbelievable. Coffs Harbour is already on the international stage, this is just an addition,” Mr Fraser said.Councillor Knight described Coffs Harbour as the “touch capital of Australia”, and few could argue with her as the National Touch League is being played in Coffs Harbour this week.Federation of International Touch secretary general Bill Ker said half of the member nations will be playing at the World Cup.“The sprinkling of the countries that are coming are widespread. They’re coming from Europe, the Americas, Asia, pacific area, and right across from Africa and the UAE,” Mr Ker said.“We are on an express train and it’ll be here before we know it.“We are thrilled to put on the best international show touch has to offer.”Mr Greenberg was looking forward to the tournament.“There is a place on the field for everyone; it’s one of our [NRL’s] catchphrases. As we walk around the field you can see that. Whether you want to play at the elite level in the NRL Premiership or touch football with men and women across the country, there is an opportunity to be involved.”You can keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information about the 2015 Touch World Cup in the following ways: Websites Social Media Facebook – Twitter –  Instagram – YouTube – LinksTouch World Cuplast_img read more