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Benni: Chelsea Talk Unsettled Me

Benni: Chelsea Talk Unsettled Me

Blackburn Rovers striker Benni McCarthy has admitted that the speculation linking him with a move to Chelsea last summer unsettled him, but he has promised he will be back to his best again next season.

Benni, who never makes a secret of his desire to play Champions League football again, was heavily linked with a move to Chelsea last summer with his former Porto manager (and then Chelsea manager) Jose Mourinho understood to be interested, however, any move (even if Mourinho did make a move) didn't come off and he remained at Ewood Park, but he has visibly struggled this season.

McCarthy told the Lancashire Telegraph: "It is a bit unsettling for any player when there are rumours and the possibilities that you might go, especially when it comes from clubs who are playing in the Champions League or fighting for trophies.

"You are flattered by that because it could be a step up, and then it starts to create a bit of tension between your team-mates and the manager.

"It can go to your head and unsettle you, and it's not been a great season because of that, but I've still scored a few goals."

"When there was talk of Jose Mourinho (being after me), who is a coach I know and everyone knows the relationship that we have, I was talking to him a lot and there was this idea that I might join him.

"But I would have liked it if our relationship had just remained as it was, and there was no talk of me joining him at Chelsea.

"That way I could have fully concentrated on Blackburn, and my season might have been better as a result

McCarthy finished second only to Didier Drogba in last seasons race for the Premier League Golden Boot, but has found goals a lot harder to come by this season (however, he has still scored a creditable 12 in all competitions) and has had to live in the shadow of Roque Santa Cruz. However, Benni insists that with himself, the likes of Santa Cruz, Jason Roberts and Matt Derbyshire around next season will be a VERY good one for himself and Rovers, and the future is VERY bright for the club.

He added: "Next season if I step up my game then with me, Roque, Jason Roberts, and Matt Derbyshire coming through, we'll have no problems in the striking department.

"I'm 30 years old and I still hope, over the next two or three years, there may be the possibility of a sniff of the Champions League with this club.

"The players here are good enough to play in the Champions League so if, for one season, we can concentrate from the word go we have the strength and the possibility to challenge the Manchester United's and Arsenal's

Benni LOVES his Champions League football doesn't he!!!


Date:Friday May 2 2008
Time: 11:57AM


We ALL know the potential that Rovers have so as long as EVERYONE is fully focused and committed to the club then we could have a superb season next year. I still believe personally that this season has been a success and we have again continued moving in the right direction. Regarding Benni, I think it was pretty clear he wasn't fully focused or committed for large periods this season but I do believe that he can return and be back to his VERY best next season as he says he can.
Hughes Da Man
02/05/2008 11:59:00
At least he admitted that chelsea talk affected him. Lets hope hes put that behind him and fully focused next season
02/05/2008 12:19:00
I agree HDM. Had things panned out differently with the domestic cups this year we would be in a very strong position. I agree we are moving in the right direction. There is quality in this squad and Benni is at the forefront of that. He seems happier these days and hopefully this will rub off on the pitch and he can find his goalscoring touch. 11 this season isn't terrible guys!
02/05/2008 12:32:00
pathetic. Boo bloody hoo. Modern players are such wimps. All they have to do is get on the pitch and give 100% for 90 minutes ffs! He needs a dose of reality, send him to a factory for a week to work, see how that unsettles him.
The Fear
02/05/2008 14:15:00
oh, sorry, rant over! :o)
The Fear
02/05/2008 14:16:00
rant or not, your right in my opinion, its a rubbish excuse. Chelsea declared an interest in him a year ago, did it really unsettle him to the point where he could barely put in a decent performance for a whole season? Try again Benni!
02/05/2008 19:29:00
Hope what he is saying is true. I cant imagine too many defenders who would be looking forward to try and play against Benni and Santa Cruz at the top of their game. Frightening prospect
02/05/2008 19:34:00
He is a class playerbut he has visibly been shaken this season no matter how silly the excuse. Lets see him hit the ground running next season as you cant get away with 80% nowadays. Not with 3 terrific strikers like Matty, Roque and Jason about.
03/05/2008 07:06:00
I might have known it would be our fault :-)
03/05/2008 21:10:00
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