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English players running Chelsea: Szczesny

THE English players at Chelsea run the club, according to Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, WRITES JACK PITT-BROOKE.

With yet another Chelsea manager sacked last weekend having fallen out with senior players, Szczesny suggested the power was misplaced at Stamford Bridge.

"I think some of the English lads at Chelsea run the club, pretty much," Szczesny said. "You know, they've had 10 different managers in the last few years." The situation, Szczesny said, was "a little different" from that at Arsenal, where the players were all behind Arsene Wenger.

The Arsenal manager, however, was yesterday charged by UEFA with 'improper conduct' for comments he made about referee Damir Skomina after Tuesday's Champions League exit to Milan.

Szczesny believes that Chelsea will recover and hopes that they will relegate Tottenham Hotspur into the Europa League positions: "I'm sure Chelsea will pick themselves up sooner or later, but, hopefully, not soon enough to get in front of Arsenal. It's all in our hands now. We don't really look at any other teams. We're three points clear of Chelsea, if we don't drop any points, we'll keep the fourth spot and hopefully challenge Tottenham for the third spot. Ideally, we'd finish third and Chelsea would finish fourth."

Szczesny has put down Arsenal's recent improved form -- they have won four consecutive league games -- to their faith in Wenger. "All the players believe in what he's doing. Sometimes things don't go our way, but we believe in the way the manager runs the club, the way we want to play football, and we know that even if things are wrong we're going to turn it around, and that's what we've done in the last few weeks."

After describing the dressing-room mood as "heartbroken" after their Champions League exit to Milan, Szczesny said that Arsenal would flourish in the league if they could replicate that performance. "I think we should look at the positives from the game," he said of the 3-0 second-leg win.

Arsenal's next match is a league game at home to Newcastle United on Monday, and Szczesny was confident about their last 11 matches. "We are in a spot that gives us Champions League football next season. We shouldn't really look at the form of other teams. We should just try to win every game." (©Independent News Service)

- Reports in Germany last night claimed that Arsenal were poised to sign German international Lukas Podolski on a four-year deal for a fee of £10.5million from Cologne.

Irish Independent