Hazard happy to be at Chelsea

Veteran goalkeeper Brad Friedel says he is ‘very happy’ at

Tottenham following reports he is wanted back at former club

Blackburn Rovers.

Friedel spent almost eight years at Ewood Park earlier in his

career and the Championship club are rumoured to be keen to offer

the 41-year-old a player/coach role.

Andre Villas-Boas wants to retain the American at White Hart

Lane and Friedel insists he is in no hurry to leave the Premier

League club.

“I cannot answer questions (about a potential January move),”

Friedel said. “It’s all hypothetical. Right now I am a Tottenham

player and I am very happy here.

“I have no idea (about Blackburn’s interest). When I was

apparently contemplating doing a medical I was at home having

Thanksgiving dinner with my family.

“What happens between club and club a lot of times players don’t

know. At the end of the day I am contracted to Tottenham and am

concentrating on Tottenham.”

Summer signing Hugo Lloris appears to have usurped Friedel as

Spurs’ No.1 in recent weeks, but the former Liverpool keeper is

happy to have competition for a starting spot.

He added: “There is no rivalry with Hugo, but do I thrive on

competition? Absolutely. I wouldn’t be playing at the age of 41 if

I didn’t.

“At every club I have been at for the last 21 seasons there has

been competition for places.

“When I signed it was a two-year contract. I figured I would

play last year. This year was unknown. They have been on the

look-out for a long-term number one goalkeeper for a couple of


“This club wants to be in the Champions League. They want to be

there every single year and they want to be trying to win trophies

all the time so they continuously have to buy good players in every


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Striker Luis Suarez has carried the side with 13 goals all

season, including 10 in the Premier League, but he will serve a

one-match suspension for Sunday’s match at West Ham.

Shelvey seems most likely to replace him in a ‘false nine’

position manager Brendan Rodgers has played him in before.

But with the likes of defender Daniel Agger and midfielder

Jordan Henderson proving to be the match-winners in their last two

matches – against Southampton and Udinese – Shelvey reckons other

players are now starting to share the burden with Suarez.

“In any team, goals have to come from all angles of the team,

and I think they will,” said Shelvey, who played for West Ham’s

youth team having grown up in Romford as a boyhood fan.

“Daniel scored on Saturday and Hendo scored on Thursday, so they

are starting to come and the more and more we play together the

more it will happen.

“You don’t go out there purposely not trying to score. If you

get a chance you are going to try to score but obviously sometimes

it doesn’t happen.”

Shelvey knows he is neither as equipped or as talented as Suarez

to properly fill the Uruguayan’s boots, but he is determined to do

his best to adapt to an unfamiliar position for the sake of the


“Luis is a world-class striker so everything he touches goes

in,” Shelvey said.

“I played there against Young Boys and thought I did all right.

I did a job for the team.

“It is difficult to adjust because you have your back to your

opponent all the time, whereas in midfield you can see in front of

you, so it is difficult in that respect.

“It is a different type of fitness as well, but I’ll be ready

for it.

“You have to be aware of where other players are each side of

you and in that respect I think I have got to do some work.

“But you play where you are told and it is always an honour to


“I’m excited because it is the team I supported but it is not an

easy player’s boots to fill.

“West Ham are a good team and a different type to play against

as they are a bit more direct that others in the Premier


Contract negotiations are ongoing between the Reds and Sterling,

who on Saturday turned 18, the age at which players are permitted

to sign long-term deals with clubs.

There have been reports the player and club are some distance

from an agreement following Sterling’s meteoric rise this season,

but, despite the apparent interest of other top clubs, Rodgers

believes it would be wrong to cave in to any high wage demands.

Rodgers said in the Daily Telegraph: “I don’t want the club or

the kid being affected by over-the-odds demands.

“I think there’s a value I see in a young player that hasn’t

achieved anything. All the figures that get bandied about for kids

these days can destroy them. I’m in the business of trying to help

nurture these kids, and money distorts the reality. It’s just one

of these things that will get done. I’m confident that it will


“There’s still 18 months left [on his current deal]. He’s a

young kid and we just want to make sure that everything’s right for

him to be nurtured. With young players contracts get handed out

left, right and centre to a kid who’s not done anything, getting a

four-year deal on decent money, and then clubs wonder why in two or

three years it’s gone wrong.

“It’s gone wrong because you’ve taken away his hunger.”

Rodgers added: “There’s good conversations so there’s no worry

or concern. It will be resolved.”

Ferguson himself said recently the former Chelsea boss “could

manage anywhere”, a statement taken by many as backing for Mourinho

as a future United manager.

But the Portuguese is not so popular in all corners of the


Charlton, a director and ambassador at United, has been

unimpressed by some of Mourinho’s antics, such as his outspokenness

and his attack on Tito Vilanova, then the assistant manager at


“A United manager wouldn’t do that,” Charlton said in The

Guardian. “Mourinho is a really good coach but that’s as far as I

would go really. He’s the manager of Real Madrid and we expect to

play them in the Champions League by the end of the season.”

When it was suggested a United manager would not get away with

such behaviour, he added: “You are right. He pontificates too much

for my liking. He’s a good manager, though.”

The 31-year-old suffered the blow, which has left him having to

wear a brace and, for matches, a gum shield, in a challenge with

Fabricio Coloccini.

“The last week has been pretty horrendous,” he told the Daily

Mirror. “My teeth came out in my hand.

“Thankfully there was a dentist in the crowd, a season ticket

holder who works for the club, who came down and acted very

quickly. He saved them.

“I thought I was going to end up looking like Joe Jordan! I’ve

never had to a wear brace before, not even when I was a


Former Scotland forward Jordan lost his two front teeth early in

his career while at Leeds and, though they were replaced by

dentures, he played without them for safety reasons.

The 21-year-old was signed by the European champions and their

boss Roberto Di Matteo in the summer from Lille when he was not

short of options among the continent’s elite.

It has been a turbulent start for the Belgium international as

the Blues have crashed out of the Champions League, while Di Matteo

has been replaced by former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez.

Hazard told The Independent: “Look, I knew before I came here

where I was ‘putting my feet’ and the sort of club I was coming to.

I knew that Chelsea was a club that changed its manager reasonably


“Obviously I didn’t intend it to be that quick because Di Matteo

was the person who signed me and I was looking forward to a

relationship and working with him for some time. But, I don’t have

any regrets.

“We have a new manager now and again it is about stressing we

must try to get as high as we can up the table, go as far as we can

in the cups, play well and win as many trophies as we can.

“I think it’s the first time it has happened to me in my career

when a manager has gone. It’s never easy. It’s something that is

part of football life. We have to put our disappointment to one

side. Although I was sorry because he was the manager who signed