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Grant Issues Stern Warning....

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Grant issues stern warning to Chelsea stars in the wake of Cole scandal

Avram Grant has delivered a coded warning to his squad about their off the field behaviour in the wake of a raft of lurid stories surrounding the private life of Ashley Cole.

Grant may have insisted Cole is strong enough mentality to play against Reading tonight despite the continued speculation over the state of his marriage to his pop-star wife. But it is clear the Israeli coach is demanding more than just a professional attitude on the pitch from his expensively assembled squad.

Outlining his expectations, Grant said: 'They need to be a professional; a professional is not just what you think. A professional is also a state of mind, it's not just if you drink or you don't drink, that is obvious.

'It is many things about players, how you look at the game, how you look forward, if you live in the past too much. In football you need to choose players, not just based on their quality but on their character.

'I say to my players that I will test them on how they behave on the very good days, whether they still want to learn, whether they still want to focus or if they think they know everything.

'And also on the very difficult days, do they take responsibility or say everyone else is to blame? And do they learn from this? I examine their behaviour when we're winning and losing.'

Cole missed Chelsea's FA Cup victory over Wigan on Saturday having been late for training the previous day after the stories about his marital strife broke, with reports suggesting he spent the day with his lawyers, although Grant insisted his absence was simply a case of him rotating his squad.

Asked whether Cole was mentality ready to return tonight, Grant replied: 'No problem, he's a full professional, he's ready. But I am trying to rotate the players and keep them fresh because we have a lot of games. This is position where we can do that.'

That he can is largely down to the form of Wayne Bridge, who has begun to outshine his Chelsea colleague. But Grant, who revealed he has now spoken to Fabio Capello, claimed England's new boss such include both Cole and Bridge in his squad for his first game in charge against Switzerland next week.

He said: 'I think Capello needs to take Wayne Bridge and Ashley Cole, but this is my opinion, because they are the two English left-backs and the best in the country.'

Chelsea are still competing on four fronts having coped admirably with injuries to the likes of skipper John Terry and Frank Lampard. They have also had to contend with losing Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Michael Essien and Mikel John Obi to the Africa Cup of Nations.

And the normally modest Grant did allow himself a rare moment of self congratulation for the way he has kept his team in the hunt in such trying times, insisting his side will be a force to match anything Jose Mourinho managed once he has his full squad at his disposal.

He said: 'I think if I may say, more than 90 per cent of you and others didn't believe that we will be in the same place, but I always believed that we could do good things. I think if you come to sport and you don't have a strong belief that you can do good things, why are you a coach or a manager?

'With all the squad you didn't give us a chance to be at the top, so now we are at the top and when the whole squad is back, I think we will be much stronger and more there will be more possibilities for me.'

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Hmmm, and his wife drinks piss :mouthclosed:

...on live TV. If Ashley did that I suppose it would be ok.

''Stern Warning'' Grrrrrr. :)


'It is many things about players, how you look at the game, how you look forward, if you live in the past too much.

Hmmm nice dig at Cole there.

and is it just me or is this yet another little dig at Mourinho signing Cole?..........

In football you need to choose players, not just based on their quality but on their character.
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