Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Restless Forssell's Caught in Dilemma

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Restless Forssell's Caught in Dilemma

Article excerpt

Byline: KEN DYER

APART from earning a reputation as a Premiership substitute of superlative quality, Mikael Forssell is also no mean linguist.

Proficient in English, Swedish and German as well as his own language, Chelsea's Finnish striker has no intention of stopping there.

"I would like to learn Spanish and Italian," Forssell said, "but right now the football is taking up all my energies."

Forssell could, of course, merely be determined to widen his linguistic horizons, and thoroughly laudable that would be.

Could not the bright young Finn, though, perhaps be reminding his coach at Chelsea, Claudio Ranieri, that there are other football options out there if his future is confined to the Stamford Bridge dugout?

It is easy to understand Forssell's frustrations, but it is also difficult to see what else Ranieri could do.

On the one hand he has arguably the best striking partnership in the Premiership this season, in Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen, who have 40 goals between them and are still going strong.

On the other, he has a young man of fair hair and pasty face whose speciality is rampaging off the subs' bench and sticking the ball in the back of the net.

Ranieri knows when he is on a winner and though Forssell desperately wants to prove he would be even more prolific over the full 90 minutes, the truth is the bench is where he will remain while the Dutchman and the Icelander are fit and well.

Forssell has started just three of Chelsea's 41 domestic Premiership and cup matches this season. He neither scored in nor finished any of them.

By contrast, he has been substitute 27 times, made it onto the pitch each time and has scored nine goals, including three in Chelsea's last six matches.

"It's always nice to score," says the striker who celebrated his 21st birthday last week. "I'm happy if I can help the team. I am frustrated, though. I am not satisfied with being on the bench. …

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