LITESPORT 50 Monday, 28 September 2009 London Lite CRAIG IS THEZola hails Bellamy: He could have been superstar BY GEOFF TEATHER Drogbas Wigan blast after Chelsea fall off pier DIDIER DROGBA today described Chelseas performance in the 3-1 defeat at Wigan as the worst in his five years at the club and told his team-mates they must improve if they are to win the title. It was Chelseas first loss of the season and ended an unbeaten run stretching 23 games. It also allowed rivals Manchester United to take over top spot on goal difference after they won at Stoke. Drogba scored his 100th goal for Chelsea at the DW Stadium but it was not enough as they fell apart minutes later when goalkeeper Petr Cech was sent off and Hugo Rodallega scored from the penalty spot. Cech complained bitterly after the match that it wasnt a penalty and that he shouldnt have been shown the red card, yet Drogba insisted the incident was not to blame for the defeat. He said: We didnt play very well. We lost all the battles, all the duels. We didnt win anything. We were poor. This is the worst game I have played in since I have been at Chelsea. We need to think about it, correct what was wrong and try to go again. We equalised just after half- time and we were trying to improve our game, but then there was the penalty and a red card, which I think was a bit harsh. Still with 10 players we had the chance to make it 2-2, but we didnt do it. There was a lot of space and they used the pitch very well, they deserved to win. BY GEOFF TEATHER Did and buried: Didier Drogba stunned after defeat Inbrief Liverpool pair miss Euro clash JAVIER MASCHERANO and Yossi Benayoun are out of Liverpools Champions League squad against Fiorentina tomorrow in the Group E clash in Italy. Midfielder Mascherano, who only came on as a late substitute for Steven Gerrard in Saturdays 6-1 hammering of Hull, is suffering from sickness, while Benayoun picked up a leg injury in the same match. Neither travelled today with the party. Hull boss not Brown and out HULL chairman Paul Duffen has dismissed speculation surrounding the future of manager Phil Brown. Browns side suffered a 6-1 hammering at Liverpool on Saturday to leave the Tigers one place off the foot of the Barclays Premier League with just four points from seven games. Duffen said: There is no speculation at the football club about the managers position. Thats just mischief making. Imps spring big Sutton surprise FORMER Chelsea flop Chris Sutton has been appointed as manager of League Two club Lincoln City. The striker, who won the Premier League title while at Blackburn, never played at such a low level during his career and will be taking on his first managerial role with the Imps. Sutton will bring in former West Ham defender Ian Pearce as his assistant at Sincil Bank. Real bad start for Submarines VILLARREAL have made their worst ever start to a season after losing 1-0 against Deportivo La Coruna yesterday. The Yellow Submarines have now taken just two points from their opening five league games and are just one place off the bottom of the table. Real Madrid and Barcelona both won at the weekend to stay joint- top after five straight victories each at the start of the season. Paul could be a Jewell for Darlo PAUL JEWELL has been linked with a return to management at League Two strugglers Darlington. The former Wigan and Derby boss has been out of work since leaving the Rams at the very end of 2008. But according to newspaper reports, he is the leading candidate to take over at Darlington following the departure of Colin Todd at the weekend. Sheffield United player-coach Gary Speed has also been linked. GIANFRANCO ZOLA believes Craig Bellamycouldhavebeenoneof footballs top superstars but for a spate of inju- ries. The West Ham boss must find a way to cope with Bellamys pace in tonights Barclays Premier League clash against Manchester City at Eastlands. And while he respects the threat of the controversial Welsh striker, who left Upton Park last January and scored twice in the Manchester derby last week before being involved in an altercation withafanonthepitch,heinsistshecould have been even greater. Zola said: Injuries have been the downside of his career, otherwise he would have playing for top teams with more consistency. Thefragilityhehasgotinthemuscles has stopped him from being a higher player. But he is a devastating player. Against Manchester United he nearly changed the game. Zola has struggled to replace 30-year- oldBellamys(right, withZola)paceand verve. He could hand 32- year-old Mexican striker Guillermo Franco his debut against City in a bid to kick-startaseasonwhich has struggled to ignite since beating Wolves at Molineux on the first day of the season. WhileWestHamhavegleanedjustfour points from five matches and been knocked out of the Carling Cup by Bolton, Zola believes he is building a side capable of qualifying for a Europeanplace,adding:Iamgetting close to getting the right combination. If City do the same then Zola believes MarkHughes,hisoldChelseateam-mate and training partner, can break the Pre- mier Leagues top-four cartel. He said: Player-wise Manchester City have everything to be up there with the topfourteams.Thequestionishowgood as a team they will become. Having 11 wonderful individuals does not make a strong team. But I trust the manager, he is going to do a good job. Zolaalsoinsistsitisnocoincidencehis Italian compatriots such as Fabio Capello, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto di Matteo are proving to be accomplished managers in the English game. Hesaid:TheItalianshavealwaysbeen well-known as good managers. We have always been known for being good tacti- cally and tactics are more important in player.devastatingaisheBut UnitedManchesterAgainst thechangednearlyhe struggledhasZola 30-year-replaceto (right, Guillermostriker debuthisFranco tobidainCityagainst whichseasonakick-start ignitetostruggledhas atWolvesbeatingsince matchesvefifrompoints ofoutknockedbeenand Bolton,byCupCarlingthe abuildingishebelievesZola aforqualifyingofcapableside gettingamIadding:place,European Welsh wonder: Bellamy hammers home the first of his two superb goals against Manchester United last weekend. index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html48.html49.html50.html51.html52.html53.html54.html55.html