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Mourinho Patient with Shevchenko
Times Online, September 26th, 2006 3:44PM



Since his $57 million move to Chelsea, striker Andriy Shevchenko has looked a shadow of the player who netted 127 goals in 207 appearances for AC Milan. But as the Independent's Glenn Moore points out, many of the EPL's foreign legends started out their Premierships stumbling. Among them, Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires of Arsenal, and Chelsea's Gianfranco Zola. The Premiership, as they would testify, is very different from Italy or Spain. It's a more physical game, to be sure, played at a frenetic pace that leaves players with very little time on the ball. It's way too soon to dismiss Shevchenko's chances of acclimating to the English game, but it's worth noting that many great players tried and failed to modify for their games there. Fernando Morientes and Jose Antonio Reyes, formerly of Liverpool and Arsenal, respectively, both stand out as the most notable recent examples, perhaps more for the emphatic way they've responded to returning to Spain than for any particularly bad performances in England. This may not prove to be the case for Shevchenko, who has said on several occasions that he will end his career with Chelsea. In seven appearances for the Stamford Bridge club, Sheva has only one goal. Usually that's enough to bench a striker at Chelsea, but Mourinho has been moved to defend him, as he's been forced to with many of his top players already this season. "Sheva is such a top player, he has nothing to prove," Chelsea's manager said. "If he is one month, two months or three months without scoring goals, he is still one of the best strikers in the world, so the goal will come. He knows that I trust him." Read the original story...

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