|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||Chelsea FC|
2020 01 07 Retrieve
[Chelsea legend Pat Nevin has revealed he nearly killed the club’s owner Roman Abramovich while on holiday in Scotland] About three years ago I was on holiday in Arran and I was driving up the north side of Arran. Every time you go on holiday there, you drive round the whole island. I came round a corner at the top just before Lochranza and I nearly hit a guy on a bike. I just got out the way at the last moment, I could have killed the guy. It was Roman Abramovich.
What a story that would have been if I had killed Roman Abramovich. I just missed him. His yacht was off the coast and he was cycling round. He doesn’t know to this day that it was me.
[He revealed Abramovich, who became owner of Chelsea in 2003, was a ‘shy’ man, who generally didn’t communicate with people unless approached first] I have met him quite a few times. He is phenomenally shy, he is an incredibly shy person. I was down DJing in London about two years ago. I was sitting in a sports place at the back of Stamford Bridge and he caught my eye.
People come over to him, he never walks over to them, it’s a bit like royalty. But I was sitting talking to this wee guy who is a DJ, a scruffy wee indie kid, and Roman starts walking right behind him towards me. I said ‘hi’ and shook his hand and the kid got the fright of his life. He nearly jumped out his skin
2020 03 14 Retrieve
[Billy Gilmour has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence, but Chelsea legend Pat Nevin says a midfielder being branded Billyesta by a new-found fan base is no overnight success] An entire nation seems to have woken up to the talent that our young Scottish midfielder has, since then that rise has been nothing short of meteoric. The plaudits are coming in not only from the pundits but from everywhere else. Chelsea fans, writers, former players and admirers from other clubs have not been slow to come forward. As with all overnight successes, it isn’t really overnight, Billy has been working a lifetime, albeit a pretty short one so far, building up to this moment
He never looked like fluffing his lines in front of a surprised, then intrigued and finally hugely impressed audience. He was Man of the Match against Liverpool and then carried on in precisely the same vein against Everton six days later. The Chelsea fan base is gobsmacked at this arrival and that is saying something considering we have enjoyed recent breakthroughs from Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James and well, you know the rest of the list. Billy has got a new nickname already in Billyesta, the chants have started with his name, some of us are already suggesting he should be added to the full Scotland national team squad, me included. Every newspaper, football website and commentator has been purring over his performances. This is just one week after many football fans outside Chelsea might have reasonably said, Billy who?
The good news is that Billy will get huge amounts of backing from everyone if and when there is a little dip or an injury. I know this because listening to Frank [Lampard] he totally understands everything all the youngsters are going through and is hugely supportive. Talking to Billy, he feels confident that not only the gaffer and the back room staff have his back but the players are incredibly supportive to
2020 03 27 Retrieve
[Pat Nevin says there are few positives to take from the current situation] We in the UK are only entering the first days of the lockdown and nobody is sure how long this planetary pandemic will paralyse the Premier League, but when it finishes it is certain that most of the players who have been injured will be fully fit by then and ready to start up again. Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Christian Pulisic, Tammy Abraham and N’Golo Kante will each have had a very long period to let their various problems clear up. There are very few benefits for anyone during the current crisis and you wouldn’t crassly celebrate them anyway, but not only will these players be ready, willing and able when football starts again, they will also not have the huge disadvantage of having to catch up with match fitness to everyone else’s level. Absolutely no-one will have that mid-season match fitness right off the bat when a Premier League referee finally blows a whistle in anger once again, so they will all be on a proverbial, as well as literal, level playing field. Everyone on the planet is looking forward to and hoping for a clean bill of health, and players will be feeling the same be it virus or injury
2020 05 26 Retrieve
[Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin says Extended break could prolong Willian’s career] We always used to say that five or six weeks was around the minimum to get back after a big break in the summer, but in reality that rarely ever happens for many of the players now. With World Cups, Euros, Copa America and so on, how often do you really get that entire summer off now? This has been the kind of break a modern player only ever gets after a long-term injury. How strange that at a time when we are surrounded by the dreadful news of the terrible consequences of Covid-19 for so many people, this break in some ways might turn out to be a great help to the fitness and health of some players in long term. I look at someone like Willian and think, at his age and with the miles he has already put on the clock, a prolonged break will have done him the world of good. It might even prolong his and quite a few other careers. He and the rest will still have to go through the pain of what is essentially a pre-season regime which is never easy but the next question is, will they really be match fit in time for the big restart? Maybe a better question would be, does it matter? That might sound odd, but if every player at every club has the same limited time to get near to their peak, what difference does it make if they are all at 85 per cent instead of 95 per cent? Surely no one then has gained an unfair advantage in these circumstances. The games may be a bit slower to start with, as I think they have been in the Bundesliga, but surely that is fine if they are all in the same boat. There is of course the possibility of injury to players if they have not got themselves in absolutely perfect shape and I would not argue against that for a second. Yes, there is some increased risk there, but it might be worth it in extreme times and it has been slightly mitigated anyway by the slower pace, the possibility of using five subs and of course the larger size of the squads these days. Players also must use their match intelligence in a different way too, conserving energy when you can is an art, it is still used well be many players, especially those in the over-30 category. The team might have to play a lot of games in a short period of time, but all the players will not have to play in all the games. It is up to those at the clubs to intelligently use the bigger squads that are available to them these days. They have larger squads now than they have had at any time in history.
2020 06 25 Retrieve
[Azpilicueta having difficultly remembering his role!] Cesar Azpilicueta has great difficulty in remembering where a right full-back is supposed to play! And I mean that in the most positive way possible. Dave was brilliant throughout, with a whole bunch of quality crosses, and he spent more time positioned as a right winger than he did as a right full-back
My thinking before the game was that he would have his hands and head full keeping Jack Grealish quiet, but he decided he would be even more creative than one of the Premier League’s most exciting and creative players. If you are playing number 10 and you get two assists, one from the right wing and one from the left wing in open play, you would be very happy, but doing that from right-back was amazing. I did some analysis just before the shutdown saying I thought he was becoming one of our most dangerous attackers and it got a few raised eyebrows in response. It doesn’t seem in the slightest bit weird now. He even had a near-post header at Villa Park that was unlucky to miss
2020 06 30 Retrieve
[Chelsea starlet Billy Gilmour is being backed to play his way through a first form dip of his senior career, with Pat Nevin pointing out to a fellow Scot that nobody cruises through a career without difficult times] It may be that some of the younger players will have a dip in form, that is not something to be too concerned about, that has happened since the dawn of history in the game. It is part of the learning curve and they will be fine. Billy Gilmour had a tough afternoon at the King Power Stadium, but will that have a lasting effect? Yes it will, but in a good way. No one in the history of the game cruises through a career from day one without difficult times. You have to learn how to cope with it. He will be fine not only because of his talent and personality but also because of the management team and the kind of team-mates he has around him. He will be back on the pitch soon enough with their support and of course ours