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

Unai Emery ‘respects’ Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s decision to miss Arsenal’s Europa League final against Chelsea over safety fears

first_img Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 21 May 2019 2:55 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Unai Emery says Arsenal will respect Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s decision (AFP/Getty Images)Unai Emery insists he respects Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s decision to miss Arsenal’s Europe League final against Chelsea in Baku next week.Mkhitaryan will not travel with the rest of his Arsenal teammates to Azerbaijan as the Armenian is concerned about his safety.UEFA has subsequently hit back at Arsenal’s decision to leave Mkhitaryan out of their Europa League final squad, claiming that the Gunners received assurances regarding the midfielder’s safety.But Emery admits he understands Mkhitaryan’s decision.ADVERTISEMENT‘It is bad news but we cannot do anything for these issues,’ said Emery.[…] It‘s the kind of game that doesn’t come along very often for us players and I must admit, it hurts me a lot to miss it.I will be cheering my teammates on! Let’s bring it home @Arsenal 🏆💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼 #uel #final #arsenal #chelsea #AFC #COYG pic.twitter.com/gnDA6oyolw— Henrikh Mkhitaryan (@HenrikhMkh) May 21, 2019 ‘It is a very, very personal decision and we need to respect him.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘We have to understand the political problems.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘I spoke to him. I came from the Basque country and we had also a big political problem in our country, finishing five, six years ago and I can understand this decision is very, very personal.‘I cannot push him to come with us.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Advertisement Unai Emery ‘respects’ Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s decision to miss Arsenal’s Europa League final against Chelsea over safety fears Comment Advertisementlast_img read more

Man Utd lead chase for £100m-rated Napoli defender

first_img The Star claims he is unhappy at Napoli following Carlo Ancelotti’s exit and wants to escape this month. The news has apparently prompted United to start preparing an offer after they lost Harry Maguire with a hip injury.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had been exploring the possibility of signing a centre-back on loan until the end of the season, with Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe and Marcos Rojo also unavailable.But the Norwegian could be tempted to swoop for 28-year-old Koulibaly instead after the Senegal international reportedly declared his intention to leave Naples.The defender is said to be fuming after Ancelotti was replaced by Gennaro Gattuso in December.Koulibaly is also believed to have fallen out with Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis.And the ace is now said to be on the market for £100million.United have the funds necessary to complete a deal and it now remains to be seen if Solskjaer takes the plunge by splashing out on another big-money signing. Promoted ContentTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The WorldWho’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?8 Most Interesting Sylvester Stallone Movies7 Facts About Black Holes That Will Blow Your MindNothing Compares To Stargazing Places Around The World7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Better7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Better6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A Drone10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoPretty Awesome Shows That Just Got Canceled8 Things That Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits Earth5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks Manchester United are reportedly leading the race to sign Kalidou Koulibaly – with the defender said to angling for a move away from Serie A.Advertisementcenter_img Loading… Read Also: Man United get injury boost ahead of Norwich clashHowever, there are other Premier League clubs interested in Koulibaly, with Chelsea and Spurs both rumoured to be in contact.Everton have also been linked after they Ancelotti in the wake of his Napoli exit.And even West Ham are said to be monitoring Koulibaly’s situation.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

Tipp overcome Cavan in do-or-die qualifier game

first_imgA penalty scored by Conor Sweeney in the latter stages of the second half put Tipp 3 points into the lead.A goal from centre back Robbie Kiely put Tipp 6 points into the lead with 7 minutes to go, and it was swiftly followed by a point from Quinlivan.It finished up 2-15 to 18 points. Tipp have just overcome Cavan in their must-win qualifier game in Kingspan Breffni.Despite being down 12 points to 6 at half time the Premier fought back with 4 unanswered points to begin the second half.And Tipp sharpshooter Michael Quinlivan was brought on in place of George Hannigan about 15 minutes into the second half.last_img read more