Chelsea inquest: Michael Ballack reveals stars held crisis talks over defensive woes
20 October 2009 04:45
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Michael Ballack has admitted that Chelsea's stars have held crisis talks in a bid to solve their defensive woes.
The Blues' fraility at set-pieces was exposed again at Aston Villa on Saturday when Richard Dunne and James Collins were poorly marked for both goals in the 2-1 win.
Skipper John Terry was furious with his team-mates during the defeat at Villa Park. Sloppy defending cost Chelsea dear last season, while they were also at fault during the recent defeat at Wigan.
And veteran German midfielder Ballack has now revealed the players have met to discuss the current problems, while boss Carlo Ancelotti made his squad work overtime on defending set-pieces in training in the build-up to Wednesday's Champions League match with Atletico Madrid.
'We have no problem criticising each other in the dressing room,' said Ballack. 'A good team and strong players must do this and we have. After that we shake hands and go back on the training pitch.
'I think I have to do this, not just because of my age. I have a few years behind me and I have been through a few situations.
'I have to speak to help the team but not just me, everyone has to take responsibility. We trained on set-piece situations but it is all about individual mistakes. It is a little unusual for us to concede two goals in one game the way we did against Aston Villa.'That is why we were all disappointed afterwards. We watched the video of the match and everyone can see who made the mistakes. That is football, somebody has to make the mistakes.
'We have to be aware. Everyone has to improve their movement and defensive organisation. It is a point of personal attitude.'
Terry was raging after Chelsea conceded what turned out to be the winner from James Collins at Villa on Saturday.
Ballack added: 'His reaction on the pitch shows he takes a big responsibility. Not just for himself but for the team. That is what you need in a captain and you need the players to see it can't happen again.'