✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters

Changes at Chelsea

Several Premier League managers are under intense pressure to deliver results including Everton’s Frank Lampard, West Ham’s David Moyes and Nottingham Forest’s Steve Cooper. However,…

Several Premier League managers are under intense pressure to deliver results including Everton’s Frank Lampard, West Ham’s David Moyes and Nottingham Forest’s Steve Cooper.

However, it is Chelsea’s coach Graham Potter who is surrounded by the most controversy. After a terrible run of results, culminating in a 0-4 thrashing by Manchester City in the FA Cup at the weekend, Potter has been under attack from his own fans. It was never owner Todd Boehly’s plan to remain as Sporting Director and after enduring the chants and singing which focused on support for previous owner Roman Abramovich and manager Thomas Tuchel, Boehly has stepped down from his controversial role. After sacking popular manager Tuchel, with only seven games played this season, Boehly elected himself to replace the excellent and experienced transfer boss Marina Granovskaia and has spent £350million which has produced very limited success. The new Technical Director Christopher Vivell and Blue’s director Paul Winstanley were photographed next to new signing Benoit Badiashile last week when he signed his contract. Boehly remained in the background so perhaps he has learned a valuable lesson. Boehly has voiced his support for coach Graham Potter but there is no doubt that if the current run of defeats is not rectified then Potter will be under serious threat. Boehly’s problem is that when Potter resigned from Brighton to join the Blues, he bought out a £35million clause in Potter’s contract and agreed a £60million wage salary over five years.

To sack him would see that investment wasted and cost a fortune. In a secret meeting at Stamford Bridge, club executives have already discussed possibly replacing Potter with Mauricio Pochettino. He has made it clear that he is on standby if called by the board of Chelsea and has been out of work since leaving Paris Saint-Germain at the end of last season. Much depends on Chelsea’s next two results starting with the home match against Crystal Palace on Sunday. Pep Guardiola has spoken of his support for Potter and said it is much too early to consider changing the coach again and changing things at any club takes time.

Newcastle need more players

Statistics show that Liverpool have been hit by more injuries than any other club in the Premier League. The Red’s players have missed a total of 160 matches through injuries which is 40 more than second club Chelsea. Manchester City are third with Newcastle fourth. Newcastle coach Eddie Howe has told his board of directors that the club needs to bring in new players if they are to continue their success to secure a top four place this season. Howe needs to cover injuries sustained by Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Target and he admitted that losing the two players had caused him problems. Leicester’s Youri Tielmans is on Howe’s list as his contract with the Foxes expires at the end of the season. 

Tottenham versus Arsenal 

On Sunday Arsenal line up against their deadly north London rivals Tottenham. It is a match neither coach Antonio Conte or Mikel Arteta can afford to lose. The Gunners look to cement their position at the top of the league and Tottenham fight to get into the top four and earn a Champions League qualification place next season. Only a few weeks ago it seemed that Tottenham winger Bryan Gil was on his way out of the club. Conte felt he was not strong enough to compete, rather like Fabio at Arsenal and Gil had played only 72 minutes of football. During the last few months the coach has been looking for a new winger and planned to return Gil to Sevilla who have shown interest in a deal. However, due to squad injuries, Gil has started the last two games and performed excellently and even won man of the match when he had three assists in Tottenham’s 4-0 win against Crystal Palace. Conte admitted he has changed his mind and Gil, like Fabio at Arsenal, took advantage of the World Cup break to improve his physical strength. He also gained 2kg in weight and worked through Conte’s famous tough training sessions. Gil is likely to start again against Arsenal and could hold on to his place when Richarlison, Kulusevski and Moura return from injury. He has worked well with both Kane and Son which makes him even more valuable. Antonio Conte poured praise on the Spaniard after his outing against Palace. Harry Kane has regained his confidence and scoring ability after a shocking penalty miss in the World Cup. Son is back in the scoring mood again after a misfiring couple of months and both will start against the Gunners. Mikel Arteta has praised Eddie Nketiah for grasping his opportunity following the injury to Gabriel Jesus. Nketiah is determined to outshoot and outscore Harry Kane in the derby. Arteta said this week, “Obviously he has been waiting for this moment. He has been patient and had the right mindset to prepare himself. He is ready and is performing very well.” Emile Smith Rowe said, “We trained very hard and the pain of last season’s 3-0 defeat will give us that extra push to get a result at Tottenham. I think it would be massive for us and it couldn’t come at a better time.” Smith Rowe will be in Sunday’s squad after coming off the bench in mid-week. 

Update on Sterling, Pulisic and Aubameyang 

I checked in with Chelsea this week for an update on the injuries to Raheem Sterling, Christian Pulisic and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. I learned that Raheem felt a twinge in his hamstring in their game against Manchester City. Club medics have been working on him this week and they are confident of a swift return but were unable to give a definite date. Not such good news regarding Pulisic I fear. He opened up a knee injury and the club say they are still analysing the extent of the damage but it is likely to be a few weeks before he returns to the side. Pierre-Emerik Aubameyang did not travel to the Manchester City game because he had a tight muscle problem in his back however I understand this is not serious. 

Liverpool seek investors 

I have been told that Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp is concerned about the ownership of the club. Fenway Sports announced their intention to sell a few months ago but I told you at the time my inside information was that a full sale was unlikely. That has now come true and in November Fenway began talking to representatives from Saudi Arabia and Qatar about a £2billion investment. Despite their interest in taking over the club they were told that a partial sale was more desirable with Fenway retaining a majority shareholding. Each week Klopp has a discussion with the owners regarding players, matches, results and other issues but he is now considering who he might be dealing with later this year as talks continue with prospective investors.

Goodbye Bale…hello Bale?

I was sad to learn of Gareth Bale’s retirement. Despite agreeing a 12-month contract with LAFC in the American league he has decided to quit after 14 appearances. I won’t go into his many achievements other than to say he was one of the most exciting and skilful players I have ever seen. A colleague came up with an interesting thought…what if Gareth was influenced by the huge £170million a year contract secured by Cristiano Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia? We might see him come out of retirement in a few months and head off to play in the Middle East for another huge payday. Yes, that might be a cynical view however Gareth is still only 32 years-of-age and he can’t play golf every day for the rest of his life. Interesting thought. Gareth clearly hasn’t lost his appetite for football and intends to visit all his old clubs, including Tottenham and Real Madrid to watch some games during this season.

Nigerians can now earn US Dollars by acquiring premium domain names, most clients earn about $7,000 to $10,000, all paid in US Dollars. Click here to learn how to start.

%d bloggers like this: