Monday, July 27, 2009

It Is Hard To Imagine Milan Without Maldini - Chelsea Striker Shevchenko

The Blues forward says it will be strange facing the Rossoneri in pre-season without their iconic defender...

Chelsea face AC Milan in a friendly on Friday night in Baltimore as part of their ongoing pre-season visit to the United States, and striker Andriy Shevchenko, who spent last season at the San Siro on loan, has claimed that it will be strange to be facing the Italian side now that they are bereft of the great Paulo Maldini, who retired last season.

"It is difficult to imagine Milan without Paolo Maldini," Shevchenko told the Blues' official website.
"Paolo has a fantastic career. He played 25-26 years for Milan, it is incredible, a fantastic job, and he won many titles as a captain. He is a legend but for every player there is a time to retire.

"For Milan it is a time to change many things and the manager has gone, many players have gone, and it is a new generation and we will see.

"I think Andrea Pirlo is the player Chelsea need to think about most in the match. He is a fantastic player. He makes the team work."

There are still lingering doubts over the Ukrainian's future at Stamford Bridge, but they have perhaps been eased by the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti, Milan's coach last season, as Chelsea boss.

Certainly, it looks as though there will be more opportunities for centre-forwards in west London this season, with Ancelotti preferring a 4-4-2 formation with a diamond shaped midfield, as opposed to the 4-3-3 with a single striker that has been the Chelsea way for several seasons now.

'I think this is the Carlo mentality, he can change in the game but normally we play like this," Shevchenko added.

"In England there is a different mentality but we train very well before the games and we have played two very good games."

As for his own fitness ahead of the new season, the striker has felt good in pre-season, and is hopefully anticipating further involvement over the coming campaign.

"I am very good, fitness good, everything okay," he explained.
"I hope I can help the team. The squad is big and we have many good strikers, and for every player we have time to play."

Zack Wilson,