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Benitez's defensive delight

Rafa Benitez admits he is delighted with how Chelsea have have emerged as a defensive force since he took charge, even without John Terry.

Last Updated: 30/12/12 at 12:06 Post Comment

Rafa Benitez: Pleased with Chelsea performances

Rafa Benitez: Pleased with Chelsea performances

Benitez has been unable to call upon his skipper for all of his 10

matches in charge, but they have conceded just eight goals in his reign thus far.

Their last two matches have also seen them combine back-to-back victories and clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time in more than a year.

Benitez said: "Everyone knows they are good players and the key is the understanding between them is better now and, a little bit, we are adjusting movement and positions.

"You can see that the team is improving in defence but also it is creating chances in attack and this balance is the key for a top side - so you have to have more clean sheets but still score goals.

"The main thing for me is that if you have a clean sheet and can score goals,

that is perfect.

"To be strong in defence is part of the game and, after, you try to play football and go forward and create but you cannot avoid being a proper team in defence.

"Since I have arrived, we have been working with different defenders. Obviously, JT was not here and we have used Cahill, Ivanovic and David and all of them have done a great job.

"Working with these players and trying to change their movements is just a question of spending hours on the pitch at the training ground and you can see the difference.

"If we continue working hard and he continues working as hard as he is doing now and is keen to learn, he will improve.

"How much, we will see. He is good in the air, can play the ball and is quick

so he is just has to adjust some movements and he will be even better.

"I think he has to learn from everyone around. JT obviously has experience but Ivanovic is very strong as a defender and David Luiz has good positioning and good movement so he is learning from everyone and hopefully he can improve a little bit every game or every week."

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C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

hump3.
Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

H

e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

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urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

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Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

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