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Monday, December 5, 2011

Newcastle United v Chelsea

 Demba Ba celebrates one of his goals during the victory over Blackburn Rovers. Photograph: Ian Horrocks/Newcastle Utd via Getty ImagesScott will be here shortly with team news and the like. Until then, you can check out the form with our squad sheets and find out why Arsène Wenger thinks André Villas-Boas needs to have Chelsea's senior players on side. Here's a snippet from the latter:

Arsène Wenger has said that André Villas-Boas's mission to instil a new philosophy at Chelsea hinges on his senior players buying into the manager's vision.

Asked how difficult it will be for Villas-Boas to persuade John Terry and his team-mates to accept the Portuguese's vision, Wenger said: "It is not easy, no. But in our job you can only survive if you do how you feel. After, you can get it through or not. That is what I did. So for me it was not too difficult. I was just convinced of what I wanted and I was fortunate to face intelligent players: I had Steve Bould, Tony Adams, Nigel Winterburn, Lee Dixon, Martin Keown – they are all intelligent people. And they thought: 'Maybe this guy is completely mad but we will try and it can work – you never know.'"

As at any successful club Chelsea's previous managers have understood the importance of ensuring Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and company are on board. Wenger said the key to a transformation in philosophy is to get the senior players on board: "It is hard. But I believe as well a manager, when he has strong players in the squad and they share what he thinks, it makes him stronger. If they go against, it is difficult."

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