Ranieri's Rants: Watford (h)

Last updated : 15 January 2004 By Rich Godden
Claudio moved to deny rumours that Christian Vieri was heading for Chelsea. He said "I don't know how many Italian journalists have called me to tell me that Vieri was coming. Oh yes, I told them, I'm going to the station to pick him up!

"But it's not true. You know me well, you know I don't answer these questions. I have no comment to make about new players, I want to work with these players. I want to build the group, that is very important for me now."

This follows on from the statement issued earlier by Claudio, with regards to Joe Cole and Scott Parker: "He is not for sale and is not being considered as part of any swap arrangement with any other club.

"Joe is a highly valued member of Chelsea's first team squad and is playing an important role in our exciting season."

Claudio was intent on speaking about only players who are at the club, and he got his way in the end! And he decided to speak about the strikers on display today, after all three of them scored! He said "It was important for the strikers to score because goals are like oxygen to them. When they score, they are happy and the manager is happy.

"This is the life of a goalscorer. You try to do everything well and you don't score. Now, in two matches, he has scored twice and can play with a little more confidence.

"Is his best still to come? Yes, of course. The link between Jimmy and Eidur is a little better as they are used to playing together for several years.

"Adrian's only been here a few months but he's an intelligent player and he can achieve this too."