Chelsea tighten their belt as Roman’s riches are put on display

Comment & analysis round-up

Quote of the day: “I was not happy with the football that Dowie was producing, simple as that. I know what I am doing. I have won World Championships in Formula One. I have not come from the steel business or the finance business, I am from the sport business. The coach is important but the money is coming from us. If we had not made the decision about Dowie, the season could have been a big disaster. I’m not scared to make a decision. Not making a decision is often a bad decision.” – Flavio Briatore.

Runner-up: “He is definitely a player I’d like to bring here if he was available. I will be speaking to Inter Milan manager Jose Mourinho and asking about him. With Patrick [Vieira] you know what you are getting – he is a proven winner and a great character… Without good players, you can’t do anything. I told them at the club if you sell my players, I will walk. That would be cutting my throat. There would be every chance we would be relegated.” – Tony Adams.

Today’s overview: With Lewis Hamilton stealing all the headlines, football is shunted to second place on England’s sporting radar this Monday. Nevertheless, there are a wealth of articles, from underdogs, “poor” Chelsea and lucky Tottenham to chew over while we settle back in for another week at work.

Udinese, Napoli,Toulouse, Rubin Kazan and so on) ometimes things just happen at random. Sometimes they happen because – contrary to what transfer fees and wage packets tell us – the difference between superstars and average top-flight players is not that big.”

With Chelsea cleaning house in the current economic slump and firing 15 scouts at the weekend, Dominic Fifield reports “the Chelsea hierarchy have been disappointed at the relatively small number of youngsters recruited from abroad by [Frank] Arnesen who have gone on to make a proper impact at the club.” Arnesen is likely to hold on until the end of the season because paying him off would represent more waste at a time of retrenchment.” Yet the belt-tightening at the Blues seems somewhat of a folly, as Matthew Taylor reports on the findings of the court who publicised the extent of Roman Abramovich’s wealth following a trial into the Chelsea’s chairman fortune.

On the footballing side of Chelsea, Phil Brown argues that Frank Lampard “will be the first player to be worth £100 million, or at least he should be. He can get hold of a football match and turn it on its head.”

David Pleat looks at how Spurs overcame Liverpool, noting “directness and determination turned a near certain defeat into an unexpected victory. Stay lucky, Harry.” After singing the praises of Redknapp, Alan Hansen turns on Tottenham’s goalie by sarcastically commenting “without wanting to be too critical of Heurelho Gomes, he’s probably one of the worst I’ve ever seen.”

The standout article on the Lilywhites is served by Aidan O’Hara, who mocks reaction to Harry Redknapp’s start at Tottenham with a fictional article claiming ‘Arry has joined the European Central Bank in order to sort out the recession gripping the continent. “‘It’s seems there’s nothing he can’t do,’ gushed one source close to the ECB. ‘To come back from two goals behind at the Emirates with a few minutes left shows his man-management skills. If he can make David Bentley look as good a player as he seems to think he is, solving the recession should be easy,’ added the source.”

In other news, Russell Kempson announces that the “FA’s much-vaunted Respect campaign stands on the brink of disintegration” citing Paul Ince’s accusation that ref Keith Hackett talked “crap” in a preseason discussion about the improved fitness of referees. Sam Wallace vents his anger at Sepp Blatter over plans for the Fifa Club World Cup, “the epitome of Fifa tokenism.”

Finally, in an offbeat article,

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