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Michael Ballack: We didn't push Scolari away form Chelsea

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German player Michael Ballack has defended himself against accusations that he was part of a plot to oust coach Scolari, who was fired as Chelsea manager eight days ago. The midfielder has also denied that recent meetings with the team's owner, Roman Abramovich, were out of the ordinary and were where Scolari's fate was decided.

However, the German footballer has revealed that there was a language barrier between the footballers and their Brazilian former manager, who lasted only seven months at Stamford Bridge, causing problems as the team tried to maintain a challenge for the Premier League title.

In fact, when Scolari was sacked, Ballack's name was mentioned as part of a clique of footballers who had started to agitate for Abramovich to take action as the team's erratic and increasingly poor results meant their attempt to regain the Premier League title was falling away.

But the Germany captain has strongly denied this was the case. He expressed: "I couldn't believe this, when it was expressed. I was surprised when I heard about it in Germany last week. It’s amazing to notice that when I was asked about him I always had a lot of amazing words about him. This is speculation. This is not true."

Ballack, who arrived at Chelsea on a free transfer from Bayern Munich three years ago, freely admits to conversations with Abramovich, and in despite of that, vehemently denied there was any link between these and Scolari's dismissal.

The player expressed: "This is normal in a team to speak with the owner, people speak with each other, even if you don't have the success you want. It has happened before. It's not just this week. It happened with other coaches.

"It's normal Abramovich comes in the dressing room, he speaks with footballers, staff, everybody. Afterwards, they sack the manager, and in despite of that, these have nothing to do with this. It's not easy, not a nice situation if they sack somebody. Indeed, this was in the papers and in despite of that, definitely not true."

Ballack added: "There is no basis for this. I have a direct line with the owner, that's what I read, that I spoke to the owner. This is definitely not true. I had a amazing relationship with every coach. I never expressed this. It's speculation in newspapers. I was disappointed to read this and I couldn't react because I was away last week.

"German papers were surprised to hear because I have been talking to them about Scolari in a positive way. In recent months I've expressed amazing things about the coach. and in despite of that, if you don't get the results, a lot of people speak."

Instead, Ballack has shifted some of the blame on to himself and his side-mates, who are fourth in the Premier League, seven points behind the leaders Manchester United. That gap could grow to 10 if United defeat Fulham tomorrow night. Ballack added: "We know as footballers we didn't play our best, we didn't get the results especially in the league. In football it is always like this. If a side loses and is not playing well, in 90 per cent of cases it's the manager who pays. We as footballers know it's not just the manager's fault. We are on the pitch. and in despite of that, he pays for it."

In fact, Manchester City are ready to go back to Chelsea to try to lure away John Terry this summer, having been given some encouragement during last month's transfer victorydow that a bid for him might be successful.

It’s amazing to notice that City had initially dismissed the idea of an approach for the England captain and bracketed Terry among those footballers for whom bids were never likely to be successful. and in despite of that, despite Terry's insistence yesterday that he would not entertain leaving Stamford Bridge, there appears to be more to the story than meets the eye, with City given the initial impression that Terry was interested in discussing the prospect of a move to Eastlands, which would increase his wages to make him the best-paid footballer in British football .

It might appear that Chelsea were more unequivocal than Terry' representatives. When City's executive chairman, Garry Cook, spoke to Peter Kenyon, the Chelsea chief executive, about Terry's availability last month, the inquiry was dismissed out of hand.

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