In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Romelu Lukaku and Avram Grant give us some insight into the time they spent at Stamford Bridge.
These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.
Lukaku lauds Di Matteo, criticises Villas-Boas
Romelu Lukaku has spoken about his time at Chelsea, praising the man-management of Roberto Di Matteo but blasting the way he was treated by Andre Villa-Boas, the Evening Standard reports.
The Belgian striker joined the Blues from Anderlecht in 2011 but made only 12 appearances in his first season at Stamford Bridge. However, while he wasn’t used during our Champions League campaign, he was still included by Di Matteo in the group which travelled to Munich for the final.
‘Di Matteo told me that I would stay with the group until after the final,’ he told Het Laatste Nieuws.
‘He thought everyone should come along, including the ones who were suspended and the few boys who were not in the Champions League squad. I am also grateful to him for that.
‘This win is one of the things I’ve always dreamed about. You want to celebrate something like that with the team at that time. That is nice in itself at the age of 19.’
But while he spoke warmly of the Italian, he was less happy with his predecessor, Villas-Boas.
‘I am happy for the whole club, but there is one man who took a lot from me: the previous trainer. I will never forgive him for that,’ Lukaku added.
‘Once I had to play in the front left, another time in the front right. You don't develop that way. Then at some point you have to think about yourself. So I told the club what I thought of it. I know, Villas-Boas was also under pressure but that’s why he didn’t have to treat me like that.
‘Di Matteo approached me completely differently, he immediately involved me in everything. That should have been much earlier. Really, I never forgave the previous coach.’
Grant proud of spell as Chelsea manager
Avram Grant has told The Sun he has no regrets about his time in charge of Chelsea, saying it was a great season for the Blues despite our inability to win silverware.
Grant took over as manager early in the 2007/08 season following the departure of Jose Mourinho and came close to leading the Blues to glory on three fronts as we finished runners-up in the Premier League and reached the finals of the League Cup and Champions League.
‘Reading my notes back made me proud of everything. You see only the result and the result was clear,’ he said.
‘But I consider more what brought us there. The training, the mentality, everything. No doubt, it was a great season.
‘Before I joined, everybody spoke about Chelsea’s ugly football. After one month, nobody mentioned it. If you look back, it was maybe their best football.
‘We were really unlucky, we deserved to win [the Champions League final],’ added the Israeli. ‘But nobody gets trophies because of “deserve”.
‘If Lampard scored when he hit the bar in extra time, it would have been one of the most beautiful team goals in a final. But this is history, huh?’
Zappacosta wants to remain in Rome
According to Goal.com, Davide Zappacosta hopes to remain on loan at Roma after recovering from a bad knee injury which has sidelined him for much of the season.
The Italian joined the Serie A club on loan last August after signing a contract extension with Chelsea but made only one substitute appearance for the Giallorossi before he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in training.
After a lengthy recovery period, Zappacosta hopes to be involved when the 2019-20 season eventually resumes in Italy.
‘On a personal level, I would love to stay in Rome for several reasons,’ he told Sky Sport Italia.
‘The main one is that I want to show the fans, my team-mates and the management who I am and what I can do. I have worked a lot in these months, I have trained and I have made sacrifices to be available at the restart of the championship.
‘I am doing some sessions completely dedicated to the knee, because it takes time to recover better from this injury. But now I feel 90 per cent fit.’