Chelsea captain John Terry has been subject to considerable criticism in recent times over the racism scandal that erupted after a confrontation with QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. The Blues' captain, who has been officially cleared of all charges in the matter, has stated he wants only put all of that behind him and re-focus on his career.
"I'm delighted to get back to football, concentrate on what I love doing. I'm very pleased to be here with the side (a pre-season tour of the US) and concentrating on getting fit first and foremost - and cracking away early on in the season," Terry was quoted as saying by the Guardian. The England international was acquitted of charges after the Westminster magistrates' court ruled there was lack of evidence. However, he could still be banned and fined by the FA, for the alleged use of racially abusive language.
The FA dropped their original investigation into the Chelsea's captain's conduct in October but is expected to revive their inquiries and deliver their verdict in a few days. Terry, however, remains focused on the new league season with his club and the host of new arrivals over the summer, including high-profile signings like Eden Hazard and Oscar.
Meanwhile, Chelsea vice captain Frank Lampard, who recently expressed a desire to finish his career at Stamford Bridge (and in so doing dismissed talk of him moving to join David Beckham at the Los Angeles Galaxy), has stated he is confident former Lille playmaker Eden Hazard has all the qualities necessary to be an all-time great for the club.
"He could be a very big player in Chelsea's history if he wants," the Independent quoted Lampard as saying.
Finally, Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo admitted he still needs to find the right balance for his side, after watching the reigning European champions slump to a 2-3 defeat to the Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Stars on 25 July. The primary problem seems to be the fact the team has still not replaced power forward Didier Drogba. The strong Ivorian international was a critical part of the Blues' success last season as he could be relied upon to put the ball in the back of the net, regularly. As things stand now, however, the still misfiring Fernando Torres is the only recognised out-and-out striker in a squad full of playmakers.
Chelsea's pre-season tour of the Us finishes on Saturday, after a game against Italian giants AC Milan in Miami, Florida.