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Sancho might return to United

Jadon Sancho’s excellent form at Borussia Dortmund is being closely monitored at Manchester United. It is still undecided whether to sell him in the summer…

Jadon Sancho’s excellent form at Borussia Dortmund is being closely monitored at Manchester United. It is still undecided whether to sell him in the summer or return him to Old Trafford ending his loan but that very much depends on whether Erik Ten Hag remains at the club. United paid £73million for Sancho which is an expensive outlay because his fallout with the coach has meant United have not benefitted from his talents during the current season. Ten Hag is fighting for his job but new owners INEOS have not made a decision about Sancho. United believe his value has increased particularly since most of the world witnessed his man-of-the-match Champions League performance against Paris Saint-Germain where he outshone Kylian Mbappe.  

Pochettino asks for another year

Chelsea coach Mauricio Pochettino says he does not know what will happen to him at the end of the season but the 5-0 win over West Ham could be the turning point which gives him more time at the Bridge. This followed a 2-0 derby win over Tottenham and suddenly he is flavour of the month again and the management are taking a more positive view of keeping him. Things are never certain in football but as Pochettino said, Chelsea are ticking once again after a largely disappointing season. The Blues were in danger of becoming a one man team based around Cole Palmer, the signing of the season but Conor Gallagher is blossoming and yes, even Nicolas Jackson is scoring goals but obviously still missing a few. Noni Madueke embarrassed Emerson as Chelsea hammered West Ham.

52 year-old Pochettino has a contract which runs out at the end of next year and it would cost approximately £10million to sack him so therefore delaying a decision is being considered and waiting to see how next season progresses. No discussions have taken place about plans for next year with the board or management staff. Pochettino said somewhat philosophically, “If I have one more year on my contract here and no one says anything then I suppose that I am going to be here.”  

Jorginho wanted for another season

Arsenal are confident they can persuade Jorginho to sign a new contract despite interest being shown by several Italian clubs. It was a surprise that Chelsea released him for £12million and many supporters questioned why Mikel Arteta had signed him. However, the 32 year-old has brought experience and confidence into the squad and has played 35 times this season. Jorginho is settled at the Emirates but Juventus, Lazio and Napoli are all watching him. It is important that the Gunners keep him to maintain continuity in the centre of midfield especially as there is uncertainty surrounding the futures of Thomas Partey, Emile Smith Rowe, Mohamed Elneny and Albert Sambi Lokonga.

Postecoglou changing his squad

Angry Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham have hit a downturn at exactly the wrong time of the season. Chasing an Aston Villa team, who fortunately for Spurs also lost at the weekend, has them 7 points behind with a game in hand but their next fixture at home to Burnley should be a winner. Aston Villa have a difficult home match against Liverpool.

Postecoglou has warned his players that not all of them will be around for next season. He said this week, “I have to change this squad. I have to. Because I have to build a squad that can play our style of football. For that to happen there has to be exits. I can’t keep all my players here and also bring in new ones.” He doesn’t think he can win trophies with his current squad and continued, “Will we be ready in 12 months? That’s the challenge I’ve got. I can’t sit here and say we are going to finish fourth, fifth, sixth and then in the third or fourth year we’re going to win something. I’m not built that way. I want to win things all the time. We start next year trying to achieve success. But the underlying thing is growth. We’ve got to have growth.”  

United eye up Tuchel

I feel sorry for Erik Ten Hag. It must give him a horrible feeling in his stomach every time he picks up a newspaper or hears a radio report which mentions a list of candidates queuing up for his job. The latest news coming out of Old Trafford is that outgoing Bayern Munich and ex-Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel has been added to the list. Tuchel agreed with Bayern in February that he would leave and this season the German giants have not won the league for the first time in thirteen years. Bayer Leverkusen, under Xabi Alonso, have won their first Bundesliga title. Bayern supporters have been chanting in support of Tuchel and holding up banners telling the club they want him to stay but I understand this has not influenced the management. The German, who guided Chelsea to Champions League success in 2021 and won the Bundesliga title the following year has said he would welcome a return to the Premier League.

Can I borrow your scissors mum?

I watched Conor Gallagher training last week and his performance in Chelsea’s match at West Ham. I had a good laugh at Conor’s socks which have holes cut into the back. On enquiring why he was vandalising his kit, I was told it is to ease tension on the calf muscles. I then thought of all the young schoolboys playing who idolise their heroes and tend to copy much of what they do. With a complete football kit costing around £120 these days I would imagine there are plenty of parents who might be upset when their children borrow mum’s scissors and start cutting holes in the socks!

***Supporters held up a huge banner pleading with the club not to sell Conor Gallagher at the end of the season. The massive “Chelsea since birth” banner covered two tiers of the shed end.  

Vardy ready to play in the Premier League

Joining Ipswich and winners of the Championship title are Leicester City who are back after only one season out of the PL. Their Thai owners – the Srivaddhanaprabha family – are perhaps one football’s favourite owners given they have gone through a lot of tragedy over the last few years and stuck by the Foxes through thick and thin. Similar to Kieran McKenna at Ipswich, Leicester’s coach, Enzo Maresca, had little experience of big-time coaching but as an assistant to Pep Guardiola the club decided to take a chance on him and it has paid off. Also returning to the PL is the ever young Jamie Vardy. He might be 37 years of age now and not the player he was when Leicester proved they were the best in the elite division in 2016 but coming off the bench these days, Jamie has scored a hatful of goals and can continue to do that next season.

Milner back for another season

James Milner is one of the great players of the last fifteen years and even at the age of 38 years Brighton coach Roberto De Zerbi would like him to sign another one year contract for next season. Midfielder Adam Lallana at 35 years-of-age is in a similar position and De Zerbi would also like to have him in the Seagull’s squad next season. The coach said, “They are both important players to this club and to me.” Both Milner and Lallana are currently injured but hope to make the final games of the season. De Zerbi revealed that England international striker Danny Welbeck is close to agreeing an extended contract.

 

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