Blogs & Opinion


Ray Wilkins:

Most Popular Posts:

Opinion Archive:

Mission possible

Two-goal deficit not beyond Blues, says former coach

Ray Wilkins - Ray Wilkins Posted 13th March 2012 view comments

I see this game coming at the right time for Chelsea and therefore at the right time for Roberto Di Matteo.

They are 3-1 down from the first leg of this Champions League last 16 tie and it's an extremely tough ask for them because Napoli are up and are a real attacking force and you can always see them nicking one.

Terry: vitally important at heart of defence, says Ray

Terry: vitally important at heart of defence, says Ray

Having said that, the momentum is with Chelsea at the moment with two straight wins so it could be a fabulous night at Stamford Bridge, but there's always the fear of Napoli scoring.

I coached Roberto when I was with Gianluca Vialli at Stamford Bridge so I do know him quite well - I don't know his qualities as a coach or as a manager but he's a pretty forthright young man, I have to say. He'll get across what he wants to get across in the best possible fashion and there seems to be a slight change in the tides - long may it continue.

The momentum is with Chelsea at the moment with two straight wins, so it could be a fabulous night at Stamford Bridge.

Ray Wilkins
Quotes of the week

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
Champions League live

Bayern v Basel
7pm, Tue, Sky Sports 2 HD
Inter v Marseille
7.30pm, Tue, Sky Sports 4 HD
Real Madrid v CSKA Moscow
7pm, Wed, Sky Sports 2 HD
Watch on the move with Sky Go
How to remote record

If you'd have asked me a month ago if they could pull off a result in a similar situation, I'd have said they had no chance. But after these last couple of weeks, with a bit of confidence creeping back in, a few laughs on the training pitch, I can see them pulling it off. The danger of course is Edison Cavani and co up front for the visitors.

I think to shun the likes of Frank Lampard on an occasion like this would be folly. They need as many experienced heads as possible. This might be the last time some of these men have the opportunity to qualify for the latter stages of the Champions League. I'm sure that if they hit a bit of form, this is not an impossible task.

I've been championing David Luiz to play right full-back and they did that in the second half on Saturday because you need stability through the centre of your defence. John Terry returned and they kept a clean sheet straight away so it's vitally important.

I'm not too concerned whether it's Gary Cahill or Branislav Ivanovic alongside him but John Terry must play because he's the stalwart of this team and whenever he plays, there's a good chance a clean sheet can be obtained.

When you're chasing, I sincerely hope the crowd play their part because the boys are going to need the crowd on their side. They're going to need them from the first minute, right in the faces of Napoli. I'm sure that'll be the case.

I don't think Napoli are good enough defensively to go all the way to the final. I think when you get into the latter stages, you have to be able to defend as well - unless you're Barcelona of course. But Napoli are very good, they've got pace and power, are undefeated in six and are on a little bit of a flyer at the moment.

I saw them play at the Etihad Stadium with their 3-4-3 formation and their organisation was absolutely superb, but I expect the pace and power of Chelsea to cause them more problems than the City boys did.

Nothing's impossible, it only takes a second to score a goal. They've just got to get momentum - momentum at the start and keep the momentum right up until the finish.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Guillem Balague

Choose van Gaal

Louis van Gaal is ideal to replace David Moyes at Manchester United, says Guillem Balague....

Martin Tyler

Champs minus blanks

Martin Tyler has stats on David Moyes' final game, Liverpool's clean sheets and perfect penalty-takers....

0 comments

Chris Kamara

An undignified exit

Chris Kamara says Man Utd have lacked dignity in their handling of David Moyes' departure....

Latest News RSS feeds

Liverpool vow to strengthen

Ian Ayre is confident Liverpool will be able to attract their top targets in what promises to be a busy summer.

Mourinho to rest key players

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is ready to make wholesale changes to his starting XI for Sunday's encounter with Liverpool.

Pearson surprised by campaign

Nigel Pearson admitted he didn't expect Leicester's dominance after his side took the title with a 1-0 win at Bolton.

Chelsea suffer double blow

Petr Cech will miss the remainder of Chelsea's season after suffering a shoulder injury in the draw at Atletico Madrid.

Wilkins: Ancelotti for United

Ray Wilkins believes Carlo Ancelotti would be the perfect man to replace David Moyes as Manchester United manager.

Features

Ten reasons why David Moyes had to go

Ten reasons why David Moyes had to go

Only 10 reasons? The fact that this will be the reaction of many Manchester United fans goes some way to illustrating just how disastrous David Moyes’ time in charge of the club has been. Here’s a discussion of some of the problems that have led to his exit…

Runners and riders

Runners and riders

With Man United searching for a new manager for the second time in a year, we examine the candidates.

Football Podcast

Football Podcast

The sacking of Manchester United boss David Moyes dominates the latest Football Podcast.