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The Thursday Interview


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One of hte best articles I've seen :)


<h3 class="headline" id="headline">THE THURSDAY INTERVIEW: GUUS HIDDINK </h3>Posted on: Thu 10 Sep 2009 Waitingfor the players when they returned from their international travels onThursday afternoon was not just one but two Chelsea managers.Admittedly one is now an ex-Chelsea manager but it wouldn't have been atotal surprise if one of the players, a little weary after last night'sefforts, had passed Guus Hiddink in the corridor at Cobham andasked,'What time do we start training boss?'

That didn't happen but needless to say there were plenty of warmgreetings and catch-up conversations as they noticed who was visiting,as well as a lengthy chat between the Dutch coach and his successorfrom Italy.

Even as Chelseafc.com spent a few minutes talking to Guus on thebalcony overlooking the training ground car park, the arrival of theEngland players down below meant some lengthy interruptions to theinterview.

Appropriately Guus was clothed all in blue, including a brand newpair of blue suede blues, and it was clear he was enjoying his shorttime back at the club he had charmed and led to silverware success lastseason.

It is good to see you. Is this a surprise visit?

Yes, Icame from Cardiff last night after Russia's good win in Wales, a veryimportant game for us although it doesn't seem to be very importantpublicity-wise. But it was important to still be in with a chance whenwe play against Germany in October. So we didn't have to lose in Walesso that was good.

So I popped in here because of course I worked here with a lot ofjoy and I like to see the people who I worked with in the recentmonths. It was thrilling to see those people and also new people herelike Carlo [Ancelotti] - and Ray Wilkins of course.

You had a good chat with the new manager.

I knew Carlofrom before so it was not new to me and I know what kind of person heis, he fits very well in Chelsea I think. His English is getting verygood but also considering that, Ray is very important because of hislanguages, Italian and English. He is of huge help.

Have you caught up with everyone you wanted to see and considering Russia's big game with Germany to come, has Michael Ballack avoided you?

Ihaven't seen all the English yet, I think they are celebrating thevictory over Croatia. On the contrary with Michael, he was one of thefirst who saw me and came to me and said, 'Ah, we have a clash inOctober.'

That is good, it is what it is all about in sport. They are in thedriver's seat and we have to challenge them as a new team. It is goodfor the Russian team to be there at the moment with a new young teamand to face Michael Ballack in October will be a nice challenge.

With Russia just one point behind the Germans and they to visityou in the next game, it is shaping up to be one of the most exitinggroups.

We are both doing very well and we just conceded onedefeat and they just one draw which means the rest of the teams areout, but it is very challenging. We must try to go through the frontdoor by beating them or the back door by winning the play-offs.

Unfortunately we have yet to see Yury Zhirkov in a competitive game although he was in training with you and is in full training today. What can he bring to Chelsea?

Althoughhe had a difficult pre-season because of his injury, I have heard thecomments already from the players and staff that he is very skilful andvery fast. It is a pity he has had this pre-season but when he adaptshimself, and he will adapt, and learns the new language as soon aspossible which I challenge him to do, then he will be of great use toChelsea because he is a skilful player.

He has to adapt to another culture but all the players are always keen on new players to help them out.

With the system Carlo plays he will have to play differently to the way you utilise him for Russia. Will he find that easy?

Hecan play in some different spots. He can play at left full-back but hecan also play on the left of the midfield diamond. He is multi-useful.

Carlo has changed the formation from the one mostly played overthe past five seasons. You are not surprised the players can adapt sosmoothly?

There have not been many, many changes in what we haveplayed the last four months of last season. It is the same playersalmost and they know what to do and Carlo has a lot of experience. Heknows how to use the players and it is smoothly changing and the teamis giving a very strong impression.


Have you been watching Chelsea this season?

Not all games,but I saw various flashes and it was good to see. They look powerfuland they have this appearance of - hey, it is difficult to play us -and they are doing well. The midfield is working very well and thedefence know what to do.

Winning that trophy at the end of last season was a good boost for the club?

Itwas already growing in the previous months with what they did in thePremier League and the Champions League. In the Champions League it wasoutstanding with difficult games against Liverpool and Barcelona, butthey managed to do very well.

Have you noticed Chelsea is an even bigger story in Russia since your stay?

Chelseais very popular in Russia and also other places where I go. Of coursewe made a lot of impression the last months and when I am in Moscowpeople come to me and talk about the Russian team which is doing wellbut also about Chelsea.

Finally, everyone in England is now getting excited about theWorld Cup. As a very experienced coach on the international scene, canyou see them doing well in South Africa?

They know what theyhave to do and they did well in qualification. In the previous times itwas a little shaky but now it is stable. They are a very competitiveteam, very strong in midfield, up front they are strong also and it isa complete team with experience. They have a good chance to dobeautiful things in South Africa.

absolute LEGEND !!! :yes:

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