Spanish journalist Guillem Balague has confirmed that Barcelona were interested in appointing Mauricio Pochettino as their new head coach earlier this year. The Catalan giants parted ways with Ernesto Valverde after a winless run of games in January and they thereafter appointed Quique Setien as their manager on a two-and-a-half year contract.
Speaking ahead of the Manchester United game, Lampard said that he did not necessarily axe Arrizabalaga from the goalkeeping role and he wanted to try out something different at the King Power Stadium. He added that he has been impressed with the attitude of Arrizabalaga in training during the winter break and hinted that the Spaniard could start between the sticks on Monday.
He told: “I think I spoke around the Leicester game, and have to pick it as I see it. It was just a selection on the day. Obviously there’s a bit more to it with goalkeepers, but I want everyone’s reaction all the time to be spot-on. Every player has it. I had it in my career many a time. You have to show character in those little moments. And I’ve been pleased with his reaction. The reaction has been good as I’d expect. He’s been training hard and has had his head down. So there’s a decision for me to make.”
The Blues are currently on a three-match winless run and they have accumulated just four points from the previous five matches. Despite this, they continue to hold onto the fourth spot by the slenderest of margins and have recently been boosted by the fact that the fifth position could guarantee them with Champions League football as well.
With Manchester City’s two-year European competition ban, the Blues have been offered with a better chance of qualifying for the elite competition but they must find ways of winning again with sixth-placed Tottenham Hotspur only four points behind them. The Blues have a tough schedule after the winter break with successive home games against Manchester United and Spurs.
Arsenal legend Paul Merson has said that Chelsea have become easy to play against, given they are not able to create much with the possession at hand. The west London giants were regarded as the favourites to pick up a victory against Bournemouth, who were missing several key players through injury but that was not the case as the Cherries registered a 1-0 triumph.
Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin is of the opinion that defender Recce James can become the next Branislav Ivanovic at the club. The potential shown by the young right back has been immense and he was recently able to get his first Champions League goal in the 4-4 stalemate with Ajax.
Former Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic thinks that the blues can be dominant in Europe only when Roman Abramovich makes a return to Stamford Bridge. The Chelsea owner has not been seen at the home of the blues for a while, as he has been denied a visa by the UK government.Abramovich was a constant feature in the hospitality box and his absence from the top has been conspicuous. Even though day-to-day running of the club has not been affected since the likes of Marina Granovskaia have been doing extremely well, Ivanovic appears to be hinting at the lack of passion without the owner in the stands.
boss Frank Lampard has said that the Blues need to qualify from their Champions
League group before thinking about the knockout phase. The west London giants
have been pitted in a group of death with Ajax, Lille and Valencia, and Lampard
is aware that his team need to play at their best to reach the round of 16
stage of the elite competition.
winger Pedro has spoken fondly about the qualities of Tammy Abraham and
believes the young strike has the credentials to become a top performer for the
side. The one-time England international was handed with his maiden Premier
League start for the Blues during the season opener against Manchester United
and he put up a decent performance despite the heavy 4-0 loss.
Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley has indicated that manager Frank Lampard has urged the players to express themselves and take more risks on the playing field. The Blues adapted a passing style of football under the guidance of former boss Maurizio Sarri but things have changed under Lampard, who has preferred a more attacking formation.
Speaking to reporters, Barkley said: “In training the manager has been saying, ‘Express yourself on the pitch, take risks, don’t be too safe, shoot, try and create chances’. It is something I can do and it is what he has been putting into me in training and the pre-season games. I have seen what he was capable of as a player when I played with him for England a few years ago. He has brought the work ethic that he had as a player and as a manager into the squad.”
Chelsea winger Pedro has spoken fondly about the qualities of Tammy Abraham and believes the young strike has the credentials to become a top performer for the side. The one-time England international was handed with his maiden Premier League start for the Blues during the season opener against Manchester United and he put up a decent performance despite the heavy 4-0 loss.
Speaking to reporters, Pedro said that he has a good knowledge over the abilities of Abraham, given he has watched his progress through the academy as well as the various loan spells. He added that the marksman has worked hard during the pre-season campaign and he is confident that 21-year-old can lead the line with success this term.
TalkSPORT pundit Micky Gray believes Callum Hudson-Odoi is a much better footballer when compared to new Chelsea signing Christian Pulisic. The teenager made his breakthrough with the Blues during the previous campaign but he made a good impression with five goals and five assists from 24 appearances for the club.
Speaking to Sports Bar, Gray said that the teenager has better qualities than Pulisic on the playing field. Despite this, he added that the 18-year-old may not be ready to take the field for every game, given he is at the beginning of his professional career, he told: “Hudson-Odoi, if he stays at Chelsea. Personally, at the moment, I think he’s a better player than Pulisic. I’ve seen him play six or seven times, and, yes, he’s got some nice ability.I think he’s raw, and I don’t think he’s ready to play every single week in the Premier League.”