Chelsea door ‘not shut’ for Terry
LONDON — Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger acknowledged his side are playing catch-up in the Premier League title race after their goalless home draw with Southampton on Tuesday night.
The Gunners are without a win in four league games and have failed to score in the past three.
They are fourth in table, five points behind leaders Leicester.
“We have to catch that back and we have a difficult programme, especially away from home,” Wenger told the club’s official website.
“We need to respond quickly away from home now.”
Arsenal have only won once in the league this year, drawing 3-3 at Liverpool and 0-0 at Stoke, and losing 1-0 at home to Chelsea prior to Tuesday’s match.
Asked if he was worried his team’s season would tail off, Wenger said: “It’s too early to say that. It’s true that we’ve had a stuttering start in 2016.
“Our January was bad, starting from the last minute at Liverpool, and then at Stoke.
“Where we especially have a big deficit is in our two home games. We played with 10 men for the whole game against Chelsea and today we created 10 chances and didn’t score.”
Leicester’s 2-0 win over Liverpool means they retain top spot, while Arsenal have dropped below Manchester City and Tottenham, who won at Sunderland and Norwich respectively on Tuesday.
“Leicester won again and now I am sure that everybody will take them very seriously, especially in the media, so they will be under pressure as well,” said Wenger.
“But we don’t have to look too much at Leicester or Man City. We have to win football games. We have to focus on how to respond quickly and win our next game, that’s all we can do.”
The Gunners created a number of good chances against Southampton but were unable to convert them, with Saints goalkeeper COBHAM — Interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink believes there is still a chance captain John Terry could remain at the club beyond this season despite announcing his departure, he said on Tuesday.
Terry, 35, said that he would be moving on at the end of the current campaign after Sunday’s FA Cup win at Milton Keynes Dons, while making it clear he would prefer to finish his career at Stamford Bridge.
The club responded by saying that Terry, who has made 696 appearances for Chelsea over 21 years, could yet be offered a new deal, which Hiddink echoed.
“It was said by John and he’s entitled to make up his mind, that’s true, given his contract expires at the end of the season,” Hiddink said.
“But on the other hand, the club still want to have the dialogue and to have an open door still. It was a bit surprising, but he’s entitled to do so. No specific decision was made yet. You have to see what’s coming up with the transition of the manager as well. That’s all I can say about this.”
Terry has made it clear he would not seek to join another Premier League club and he is expected to receive offers to play in China, the Middle East and the United States.
And Hiddink believes the centre-back’s general fitness suggests he can maintain his current level for some time yet.
“I like him very much, the way he’s playing and that he’s committed to the team,” the Dutchman told a press conference at Chelsea’s Cobham training base southwest of London. He will be (committed), I can assure you, because we’ve had some conversations in the last few days about all kinds of things in football.”
He added: “The door is not shut. Dialogue is always possible. But John’s statistics -not just that, but also the view we have on him, I have on him — he’s very fit.
“He’s not what you normally see in a 35-year-old or 36-year-old player, that you feel you are getting a bit slower and cannot accept you’re in a danger zone for red cards etc. But none of that for John. He is fit and performing as he has been while I’ve been here. And he will do. We’ve spoken about that, and he will be very professional, but also work hard as well.” — AFP
Chelsea captain John Terry.
arsenal’s Mesut Ozil fails to beat Fraser Forster once again on Tuesday night.