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Infighting Escalates at Chelsea
Associated Press, February 26th, 2008 3:45PM

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The Associated Press reports of serious infighting at Chelsea Football Club following the English Premier League giant's loss to Tottenham in the Carling Cup final last weekend. According to the report, the Blues squad was split by "jealousies and unhappiness" over the coaching staff's preparations for the final, which ended in a 2-1 defeat.

Several British papers are reporting that captain John Terry actually fought with assistant coach Hank Ten Cate during Saturday training, riled up by the uncertainty over whether or not he would start in Sunday's final. The same reports claim that club owner Roman Abramovich was present during the fight, which was broken up by the players, lending credence to the rumor that Abramovich is again directly meddling in team affairs.

Among Manager Avram Grant's more bizarre selections for the final were Frank Lampard in center midfield - Lampard had only just returned from injury -- and Nicolas Anelka on the left. Both players were preferred to Michael Ballack and Joe Cole, who had been in good form leading up to Sunday's match. Meanwhile, Ashley Cole, Andriy Shevchenko and Florent Malouda -- not selected for the final -- weren't allowed to stay in the team hotel. There were more bizarre scenes during the final. During the break before overtime, Tottenham manager Juande Ramos was busily instructing his players, while a silent Grant scratched his head and looked distracted as Terry gave Chelsea's team talk.

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