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Old guard help restore Chelsea's confidence

Chelsea got an unbelievable result against Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday after seemingly being down and out. And it is something that they needed to restore confidence.

After being 3-1 down in Italy, it was impossible to think they could fight back. What they did was simply fantastic.

However, you would have thought the Italians would have had enough savvy to hold onto their lead.

On the day, Chelsea got everything right and it came down to vigour, a new coach and the fact that they wanted to show that they can still play.

Sometimes you lose form or don't feel right under the coach in terms of playing his system but it was more to do with the older players buying into a system and everyone had to be on board.

If you can get the senior players to lead the way you should be fine. Some of them on Wednesday looked as if they were 23, running all over the pitch.

I just don't think that the coach that they had before could relate to the older players and that was his downfall. On top of that the new guy had played for the club and knows the tradition.

The idea of player power is nonsense. In my day the boss was in charge and if you didn't like it then you knew you weren't going to play much.

I don't think it is so much player power at the professional level. You are part of the puzzle, if you can't hold your own then you aren't useful to the cause. Maybe this happens at the amateur level but certainly not at the pro level.

The Champions League draw yesterday saw AC Milan get Barcelona again. And they can get a result because they have a lot of experience.

At this stage of competition you are going to play the best and if you can't compete then you will get thrashed. These two sides were in the same group this time around and it should be interesting.

Marseille got Bayern Munich in what should also be interesting and Benfica will clash with Chelsea, so it's all set up for the big boys to pave the way to what everyone wants to see.

Real Madrid got the easiest of the ties. They meet minnows Apoel from Cyprus who have nothing to lose. They'll put up a good fight in both matches.

You can't say any of the teams left are vulnerable. It will come down to the day and if you think it is a stroll in the park, you'll get a rude awakening.


Tottenham are continuing to fall down the ladder in the English Premier League. They were having a fantastic season up until their latest run of bad results and they have had some injuries, so it will interesting to see if they can get back on track.

If you don't come with your gameface on every week you'll be in trouble in this league.


The cricket team isn't doing well in Dubai and I will say what Donald Dane told me years ago the five Ps, Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performances, and that seems to be the case with these guys.

If you're not prepared you won't be able to perform. I wouldn't say they weren't prepared because I wasn't there but you are only as good as you train and if you don't have enough players turning up to practise then you are going to be in trouble.

In the modern day you have to be at your best, if not you will be put to the sword. The cricketers have a lot of soul searching when they come back from this tour, and it is about time that we put all the cards on the table. This goes for all our sports.

All the countries that used to look up to us are passing us by. We are standing still.

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Published March 17, 2012 at 2:00 am (Updated March 17, 2012 at 8:24 am)

Old guard help restore Chelsea's confidence

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