Callum Hudson-Odoi

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What we love about Chelsea

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Chelsea is one of the most polarizing teams in the English top flight.

[ MORE: What we love about each Premier League club ]

The cash-rich club in West London is a lightning rod, especially with infamous billionaire Roman Abramovich at the helm. The Blues have won a lot, with five Premier League titles to their name.

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Chelsea, like it or not, is one of the most popular teams in Europe, and they can always be counted on to compete at the highest level. Well, unless Jose Mourinho is about finished with his time in charge. Here are some things we love about Chelsea.


Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount celebrate a goal against Arsenal (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images).

Youth infusion: Chelsea has been a tough out for the last two decades, but this season has been different from a number of Chelsea’s top-four challenges of the recent past.  Forced by a transfer ban over the summer and a host of injuries through the middle of the season, Frank Lampard has had to dig deep into his squad for starters, and that has brought a number of young players to the forefront.

For the past decade, Chelsea’s youth system was lauded by Premier League fans as one of the best in Europe, but it never seemed to benefit the team at the top level. Instead, many of the exciting young players were seen shipped off elsewhere to provide an influx of cash while the senior squad purchased expensive players to play for the Blues in the biggest competitions. This season, however, the likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Reece James, Fikayo Tomori, and Billy Gilmour have joined Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi as Chelsea youth products to contribute significantly on the field of late. This has resulted in a fabulously entertaining brand of football that has made the Blues a must-watch.

As a biproduct, being more fun has also made the Blues much harder to hate. More on that in a moment.

Midfield brilliance: It’s certainly possible to argue that Chelsea’s midfield is the best of the Premier League this season. Although Liverpool has dominated the league table this season, their front and back lines have done the bulk of the work. For the Blues, everything starts and finishes with their midfield.

Mateo Kovacic has proven to be an exceptional purchase from the Real Madrid Bargain Bin, and the partnership he has developed with Jorginho has been rock solid. N’Golo Kante has struggled with injuries for much of the season, but when he is available, he provides a top-tier rotational option with the aforementioned duo. Add in Ross Barkley and a healthy Loftus-Cheek as a fourth and fifth option off the bench, plus the recent emergence of Gilmour, and the collection of players is tough to top.

Christian Pulisic celebrates scoring against Valencia in the Champions League (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images).

Christian Pulisic: You didn’t think you were getting out of here without seeing this man highlighted, did you?

Christian Pulisic’s presence at Chelsea has obviously been incredibly entertaining for USMNT fans, but it goes beyond that. The American brings an exciting mindset to the field every time he steps on the pitch, and that had been evident at Chelsea until a nagging adductor injury robbed him of months of playing time.

It had taken some time after arriving this past summer from Borussia Dortmund, but Pulisic eventually forced his way into the starting lineup with electric attacking contributions and a creative flair. From late October through mid-December, Pulisic had a stretch where he started eight straight games, starting with his hat-trick against Burnley. Here’s to hoping that injury recoveries prove to be a silver lining from this coronavirus shutdown, with Pulisic top of that list.

Hateability: If you don’t love Chelsea, chances are you hate them, and that’s a thing to love about the Blues too. From Roman Abramovich on down, there have been plenty of villainous characters at Stamford Bridge over the last decade or two. That’s great for the sport and great for the club, because hated teams are usually have two things in common: 1) they win a lot, and 2) they draw well.

For Chelsea, that is certainly the case. A poll by The Mirror back in 2019 listed Chelsea as the most hated Premier League club. Hating a particular club is actually a fun way for league fans of other teams to stay engaged…imagine there was no team to project your hatred upon? How boring would that be? It wouldn’t be sports without equal parts loyalty and loathing, and you can thank the Blues for providing both services.

Chelsea: Hudson-Odoi ‘feeling fine and back to his usual self’

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Callum Hudson-Odoi “is now feeling fine and back to his usual self” after undergoing a period of self-isolation in response to his positive test for coronavirus, according to the latest update from Chelsea.

[ MORE: Transfer rumors: Aubameyang to Man United, Skriniar to Man City ]

The 19-year-old winger was revealed to have tested positive for the virus 10 days ago. Last week, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard relayed a positive update on Hudson-Odoi’s recovery. Now, he’s feeling like his usual self and back to training at home with an eye toward the resumption of soccer, whenever that may be — excerpts from Chelsea’s statement which can be read in full here:

In addition to feeling good, the young winger is hard at work training at home to build and maintain his fitness, as are the rest of the Chelsea squad.

It was first announced on Friday, March 13 that having been tested for the virus, Hudson-Odoi had tested positive, a result that meant as well as self-isolation, the men’s first-team building at Cobham was initially closed while it underwent a deep-cleaning procedure.

Following the deep-cleaning procedure at Cobham, the building has reopened for anyone working there who is not self-isolating.

Portsmouth players test positive for coronavirus

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Four players from English side Portsmouth have tested positive for coronavirus, Pompey have announced.

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The entire Pompey squad and staff were tested after their FA Cup last 16 defeat at home to Arsenal on March 2, as Arsenal’s manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus 10 days later and the entire Gunners playing squad and staff were placed into self-isolation.

In a statement released by the League One club they confirmed James Bolton, Andy Cannon, Sean Raggett and Haji Mnoga have coronavirus.

“They are all self-isolating in accordance with government guidelines and will continue to follow medical advice. The club have also notified Public Health England. All players and first team staff were tested earlier in the week and we are still awaiting approximately half of the results of these tests.

“Chief executive Mark Catlin said: ‘I received the news last night and immediately spoke to Kenny [Jackett] and head physio Bobby Bacic. Kenny and I then spoke to all three players. Football is not immune from this virus and I can assure you that it only really hits home when those that you know contract it. All three players were in good spirits and perfectly calm – showing mild or no symptoms – and are looking forward to overcoming it as quickly as possible.’

Bolton, Cannon and Raggett were in the squad to play against Arsenal in the FA Cup but there is no suggestion that that is when they caught the virus. The same trip have all played in Portsmouth’s two league games since their defeat against Arsenal, as they lost at Peterborough and drew with Fleetwood Town at home.

Portsmouth are the latest team to be hit by the spread of coronavirus as Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi has tested positive, plus multiple players from Alaves in Spain, plus Sampdoria and Juventus in Italy have also tested positive for COVID-19.

West Brom’s Austin warns others about seriousness of COVID-19

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Charlie Austin said he wants to warn young people about the dangers of COVID-19, the disease caused by a new coronavirus rapidly spreading across the world.

In an interview with the Telegraph Charlie Austin, currently of Championship side West Bromwich Albion and formerly of Southampton and Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League, said he’s experienced symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19. In a separate tweet, he clarified that he hasn’t been tested for the disease, but once he started feeling symptoms and spoke with West Bromwich Albion’s doctor Kevin Conrad, he immediately self-isolated in his home. His family were advised to do the same for the standard 14-day period.

[ MORE: Update: Which soccer leagues are still playing? ]

The 30-year-old striker stated he thought that he may have been infected while attending the Cheltenham Festival, an annual horse racing event that draws crowds of 250,000 and more. Austin said that he is going public with his diagnosis as a warning that despite rumors and reports that young people can easily battle the virus, his situation was proof that it’s a very serious health concern.

“Before I started feeling the symptoms on Saturday I was on the phone to my wife Bianca’s mother and I said to her that I hoped if anyone in our family got it that it would be me,” Austin said. “I felt like I was fit and healthy and I could handle it. A week later and I would say to anyone, even those in their 20s and 30s – ‘Don’t take it lightly – it’s serious’. I get that people who haven’t got it are going about their lives. Last week, I was living my life. Not that I didn’t take coronavirus seriously. But this is extremely serious and we should take it that way.”

Austin detailed how his temperature spiked over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, he developed a cough, and later had common symptoms associated with a fever. Austin’s point is to show that despite being in shape and a professional athlete, even he could suffer from the disease.

In his first season at West Bromwich after four years with Southampton, Austin has scored eight league goals in 26 matches. Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi is the only soccer player in England’s top two leagues who has publicly revealed that he’s tested positive for the virus, along with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.

Reaction to extended Premier League suspension

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The news of the extended suspension to the 2019-20 Premier League season until at least April 30 is the big talking point on Thursday as the league season in England has been ‘extended indefinitely’ past June 1.

Following a meeting of Premier League clubs who were assessing the best path forward due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was agreed that the main aim is to finish the current campaigns across English football.

Key figures have been responding to the statement released by the Premier League, Football Association, the English Football League and the women’s professional game in the UK.

Arsenal have said they are “fully supportive of this decision which was endorsed at Thursday morning’s Premier League shareholder meeting. Of course, we all want to be back playing football as soon as we possibly can, but only when it is safe to be doing so.”

Here’s what people are saying about the Premier League suspension and the new dates which could well change in the coming weeks:



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