Written by James Wallin
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Thursday, 30 November 2006

image for Shevchenko "confidence slump" after failure in barn-door training

Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, is reported to be sticking with troubled striker Adriy Shevchenko despite the £30 million man's inability to hit a barn-door even once during his hour-long training session at a Staffordshire stable earlier this week. Critics are beginning to round on the ex-Milan striker who has scored only 3 goals in 14 games for Chelsea, in stark contrast to his average of 17 goals per game during his time in Serie A .

The barn-door policy has been a regular fixture during Mourinho's tenure but no player has ever done quite as bad as the Ukrainian. Carlton Cole hit the door a respectable 9 times during his session after returning from a loan spell at Aston Villa, Didier Drogba managed a surprising 11 strikes despite his poor league form last season, while even Shaun Wright-Phillips was on target twice.

Mourinho has consistently stated his admiration for "Shevva" and believes that his player just needs time to adapt to the English game. "The Premiership is much more physical and has a quicker pace than Serie A. Once Andriy learns to concentrate on hoofing long balls about and chopping people down instead of flailing over in the penalty area and complaining to the ref he'll do just fine."

Meanwhile, Shevchenko is said to be receiving advice from a player who successfully managed the switch from Italian to English football, and back again. Former West Ham and Lazio fascist, Paolo Di Canio has urged the Ukrainian to try to include more violence in his game play. "Push a few referees over and pick up a red card every couple of games and the tabloids will soon forget all about the fact that you're not scoring goals, and concentrate on that instead."

Reports that Mourinho has lined up his player for extra training involving a cow's arse and a banjo have been strongly denied by Chelsea's press department.

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