Chelsea are title contenders, but Frank Lampard must keep players happy, says Paul Merson | Football News

first_imgHakim Ziyech has got a left foot that can open a can of wormsPaul Merson If we are going to talk about Tottenham winning the title, then Chelsea are right in the mix. If Spurs can win it, then for sure, Chelsea can win it.- Advertisement – This is where Mourinho is special. He sees things others don’t. He sees what he needs, and he doesn’t just go out and buy players for the sake of it.In Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, they needed that ball-winning midfielder to break things up and then there are the full-backs.I couldn’t believe Wolves let Matt Doherty go. For the price Wolves let him go for, I didn’t get that one at all.That’s where Mourinho is so good, and I as I said earlier, as long as he’s in charge, they’ve got a chance. It’s not impossible at all, but again, we are only seven games in, and you could not write the script of the league so far this season. 2:44 – Advertisement – – Advertisement – 0:44 Is the squad too big? It depends how far they go in certain competitions, but that is where Mourinho was great. If you look at his Chelsea team and the squad he had at Stamford Bridge, you never heard anybody moaning.From the outside, you always thought, ‘wow’! How do you keep all those players happy? There’s got to be an art to it because when you’ve got that quality of player, to keep them all happy when they are not playing is a major skill.It’s alright people saying they get £100,000-a-week, they get paid well or whatever, but they want to play football. As a player, you want to play football and that will be Lampard’s biggest challenge going forward.They also have to play a better quality of opponent in the games coming up, but everything at the moment looks good.Mourinho knows what it takes to get Spurs over the lineIt’s a hard question to answer (can Spurs win the league?). They are going to be very reliant on Harry Kane.But, to be fair, results like the win at West Brom, they win you league titles. You look back on results like that and come what may, you remember it as a difficult game against one of the teams down at the bottom, who couldn’t win a game but turned up on the day, and it turns out to be an important win.That’s what you are up against if you want to win the Premier League. You watched West Brom against Fulham and they were atrocious. You start to think Tottenham have only got to turn up on Sunday morning and as long as they don’t forget their boots, they’ll win the game and move on.But in the end, it was a very hard game and Mourinho is probably sitting there asking himself why they didn’t turn up and play like that against Fulham. That’s how hard the Premier League is.Can Spurs go on and win the title? It’s not impossible and that’s because they’ve got a serial winner as a manager. They’ve got a chance because Mourinho is in charge and has won it before. He knows what it takes to get over the line.Can the players keep producing week in, week out? Only time will tell, but having Mourinho at the club gives them an advantage.Mauricio Pochettino was a good manager, don’t get me wrong. However, they’ve now got more chance of winning the title because of Mourinho. He knows what you have to do week in, week out and then all over again. – Advertisement – It’s coming from everywhere too. Hakim Ziyech has got a left foot that can open a can of worms, Timo Werner scores plenty of goals, Tammy Abraham looks like he’s getting better and then there’s Mason Mount. They’ve just got so much attacking talent.The problem is going to be keeping everyone happy and that’s going to be the hardest job in the world. You are going to have top, top-draw players not playing, and that’s hard.Kai Havertz wasn’t even in the squad because he was unwell and Christian Pulisic is injured too. Mateo Kovacic played on Saturday, but he hasn’t been playing. That’s going to be the problem Chelsea have to contend with going forward. The Football Show’s Stephen Warnock and Sue Smith assess where Tottenham striker Harry Kane will finish in the all-time Premier League top scorers list It’s like having Alan Shearer, who played up front as a No 9 and then there’s Teddy Sheringham as a No 10, and Kane can play both of them. Shearer couldn’t drop off and play as a 10 and I don’t think Sheringham could play the Shearer role.For Kane to be able to do both, and they were special players, is remarkable.Summer signings show Mourinho at his best preview image Mauricio Pochettino and Jose Mourinho embraceImage:Spurs have more chance of winning the title under Jose Mourinho than previous boss Mauricio Pochettino (left), thinks Paul Merson Frank Lampard has now got who he wants in key positions and you can really see the difference.Thiago Silva is world-class. They’ve got two full-backs who are as good as any in the league and for me, they [Reece James and Ben Chilwell] are the two England full-backs, in my opinion. They are outstanding. Silva is also only going to make Kurt Zouma a better player and the goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is solid.I know Sheffield United are down at the bottom at the moment, but they are a hard team to play against. They are organised and when you go 1-0 down, you know it’s going to be a difficult evening.However, they literally dismantled Sheffield United. They made them look like a proper relegation team, which I don’t see that because I think Sheffield United will be okay this season. They made them look distinctly average and that’s a sign of a good team.Lampard does have one problem though…center_img Harry Kane and Jose MourinhoImage:Harry Kane has transformed his game, says Merson 2:51 Harry Kane Frank LampardImage:Frank Lampard will need to somehow keep all his players happy this season Kane is a special player. He’s changed his game a bit now as well. He starts drifting off into the No 10 position and he can spray the ball around the park. He’s showing he’s got vision and it is like he’s the all-round package.There are not many players about who can go up front and be a target man, be strong, put his body in the way, score goals and then in the game, he can drop off and hit a 30-yard ball through the eye of a needle and knit play together.There are not many of those players around, if any. I’m one of Mourinho’s biggest fans, but I have been critical of him.When I was critical, it wasn’t about him as a manager, because you cannot knock someone who has won all those trophies. It doesn’t matter when he won those trophies, he’s won them. They are on the CV.My only question mark was whether Kane would be able to get 30 goals in a season being in a Mourinho team.Mourinho is a winner. He doesn’t mind winning games 1-0. He’s not there to entertain people, he’s there to win football matches. If they entertain and end up winning 3-0, then fair enough, but he is one of those managers that wins a game 1-0, puts it into the back pocket and moves on to the next.Fans will moan that it was only 1-0, but Mourinho won’t care, and that comes with experience.But now, with Kane on fire and the other attacking players they’ve got at their disposal, they’ve got a chance. A real chance, but, for me, I just can’t see past Liverpool.Remarkable Kane has changed his game FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s win over West Brom in the Premier League Chelsea vs Sheffield United highlights Paul Merson insists Chelsea are Premier League title contenders this season, but Frank Lampard has one big challenge: keep the players happy. Don’t rule out Chelsea for the league FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea’s win over Sheffield United in the Premier League You have to be there or thereabouts all the time. You cannot be giving teams six, seven or eight-point head starts, and they are right in the mix at the moment.A word of caution, though. Everyone’s talking about the title and because it is November, people think we’re nearly halfway through the season. Usually we’d have played about 15 games by now and that’s a massive difference, but we’ve only played seven or eight games.But when Mourinho won the title at Chelsea, they always got off to a flyer. He’s the only manager I know who treats every game like it is the last of the season. Every point mounts up and Mourinho always flies out of the stalls in a title-winning year.Jose’s not here to entertain, but to win Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg during Spurs' friendly against IpswichImage:Paul Merson has hailed the signing of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerglast_img read more

ATP to consider CEO’s future as dividend tax scandal unfolds

first_imgChristian HyldahlHe said the pension fund’s supervisory board had continuously reviewed the CEO’s statements and discussed the situation at a business committee meeting, and that the same would happen on the board. “As the next ordinary meeting is not scheduled until the middle of December, I have convened an extraordinary meeting. I am looking forward to it,” Andersen told the newspaper.An ATP spokesman confirmed Andersen’s comments to IPE and said the meeting would take place on Monday.Hyldahl has made several statements on the issue in the Danish press since the matter erupted.In one report in Børsen, he said: “I can’t remember why a fund structure via Nykredit was chosen, but I would like to emphasise that I would not want to approve anything along those lines today.“First and foremost, because it is not the intention of double-tax treaties to be used in connection with short-sighted trades. In this regard, I have changed the opinion I held at that time.”An ATP spokesman confirmed these quotes.Fallout from scandal spreads ATP, Denmark’s giant statutory pension fund, is to hold an extraordinary meeting of its full supervisory board on Monday after its CEO was dragged into a wide-ranging dividend tax scandal.Christian Hyldahl, ATP’s chief executive, has come under political pressure in recent days since revelations earlier this year linked him to the so-called ‘Cum-Ex’ scandal, related to dividend tax speculation by financial institutions and investors in several countries.In his previous job at Nordea, Hyldahl was in charge of a division within the bank that engaged in a legal but now hotly debated practice involving dividend tax, according to Danish business newspaper Børsen. Several political parties in Denmark – the Liberal Alliance, the Danish People’s Party, the Conservatives, the SF and the Alternatives – have questioned whether Hyldahl should continue at the helm of ATP. Some parties have also said that they needed more information on the case. The chairman of the DKK779bn (€104bn) pension fund, Torben Andersen, told Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende that he had called the special meeting to discuss the implications on Hyldahl’s role.“As I have said before, we take the matter very seriously on the board,” Andersen said.center_img Source: ATPATP’s office in Hillerød, DenmarkSeveral other Danish pension funds have been dragged into the Cum-Ex scandal. ATP, along with PFA and PKA, last month said they had out their future relationships with Australian investment bank Macquarie under review after it ws implicated in the case.The three funds collaborated with Macquarie earlier this year on a deal to buy former national telecoms company TDC in a consortium alongside Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.Danish public broadcaster DR has named a long list of foreign banks and other investment firms as allegedly being involved in the Cum-Ex withholding tax fraud.According to an investigation by a collaboration of media outlets, those perpetrating the so-called Cum-Ex fraud traded shares rapidly to allow multiple claims to claw back dividend taxes – even though the tax had not been paid.In a separate comment, Torsten Fels, chief executive of labour market scheme PenSam, has described the scandal as “the expression of a sick culture and business ethic in a broad swathe of the international financial sector, to which we are deeply opposed”. He promised to step up his fund’s due diligence and screening of investments and partners.last_img read more