TOSHACKS TAKE IN TRAINING
With the sun shining, there was plenty going on at Cobham on Friday, aside from Guus Hiddink's pre-match press conference.
As the temporary coach prepared his side for Wigan Athletic tomorrow, he did so under the watchful gaze of Wales coach John Toshack, who was hoping to pick up some training tips not for himself, but eldest son Cameron.
'Cameron (pictured lives here in Cobham and is doing some work on a Uefa 'A' Licence coaching course, so we have come across to have a look,' he explained.
'I know Guus a lot, the first time we met I think was about 25 years ago, when he was at PSV Eindhoven and I was at Real Sociedad and we played in a summer tournament in La Coruna. Then of course during the 14 years I worked in Spain, Guus was at Valencia first of all, and then Betis and I took over from him at Real Madrid in 1999 I think it was, leaving Besiktas.
'We have come across each other a lot, and more recently of course, the Wales v Russia international matches.'
Like many visitors to the Chelsea training ground, the former Liverpool man was impressed with what he saw.
'They are fantastic facilities, they really are, and you can see how much the game has moved on, as Guus can tell you, from when we started off. The players can have no excuses, and these days the big clubs are all working towards this,' he said, as he observed Didier Drogba, Ashley Cole and Ricardo Quaresma testing Hilario with some extra free-kick practice.
With experience on the continent, Toshack seems well-placed to offer an opinion on the recent Champions League ties.
'I think once again the Premier League sides are very much to the fore, and have all had positive results in the first leg, although I think Fergie might be a little bit concerned because they did enough to have at least a goal advantage,' he said.
'This away goals rule plays tricks in people's minds and it is so important not to concede at home. Very often when you get back in the dressing room after a 0-0 away from home and you are delighted, but as the home game draws closer it must condition your outlook on the game.
'From Mourinho's point of view, he will say it won't make a difference, we have to score and if United do it doesn't make any difference. All things being equal you would be reasonably optimistic about all four English sides being in the quarter-final.'
There is only one Chelsea man the 59-year-old will be interested in from an international angle, and that is reserve team goalkeeper Rhys Taylor, a regular Under 21 call-up.
'Rhys is obviously here at the right place and hopefully he will make decent strides. He is still very young of course, and we at the moment have a very good young goalkeeper in Wayne Hennessey at Wolves, and Boaz Myhill who is playing regularly at Hull,' Toshack explained. 'Rhys is one who will be involved with the Under 21s and they are a decent group of players, so obviously we monitor his progress and it is nice to know he is here at the right place with the right people.'
After the session, Salomon Kalou was quick to dismiss speculation in some channels linking him with a move away from Stamford Bridge to our north London neighbours Arsenal.
'I am very happy at Chelsea, playing well at the moment, so there is no reason for me to go anywhere. I have two years left on my contract and I am very happy,' he told the club's official station.
'I have support from everybody, the supporters, my team-mates and I feel there is no reason to be worried about this speculation.'
You can see more from the training ground exclusively on Chelsea TV this evening, with Cobham on Friday from 6.30pm.