For the past 3 seasons, Tottenham Hotspur has managed to secure a position in the top 5 spots of the English Premier League. Despite making so many consistent performances in every single season, they have struggled to actually emerge as the champions of England.
The last time that Tottenham Hotspur emerged as the best team in England was during the season of 1960-61 which is proof of just how difficult it has been for them to repeat that accomplishment.
Mauricio Pochettino believes that one thing which can significantly help Tottenham Hotspur in their task of snatching back the English Premier League is by giving more pressure and competition for all of the players in his own squad.
“When you play in the Premier League and Champions League, you need quality and numbers. To create a winning team and try to win trophies, you need to feel the pressure. If I’m Harry Kane, Dele Alli or Christian Eriksen, if there’s no competition behind, it’s normal to drop your motivation, it’s normal to drop everything that you do’’ Mauricio Pochettino said.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has provided a disappointing news for his team’s supporters after admitting that summer signing Diafra Sakho is a doubt for the weekend’s match against Stoke City. West Ham will be making the trip to Stoke looking to continue their good run of form, which has seen them win three matches on the bounce. The latest of their victories came against reigning champions Manchester city at Upton Park. Allardyce labelled this is the best performance of West Ham this season, but they would be aware that those three points would be meaningless if they lose against Stoke.
Many feared for West Ham at the start of the season after star striker Andy Carroll was ruled out for several months with a long-term injury. Allardyce was also under immense pressure to deliver attacking and beautiful football. Despite spending a huge sum of money, not many were positive about West Ham’s chances. Sakho was one of the names to come to Upton Park in the summer. Along with Valencia, has set the league on fire. He was one of the scorers against City last weekend, but Allardyce says that the player is struggling with a shoulder injury suffered against City.
West Ham recently got Carroll back from the sidelines, but he is still far away from full fitness. “Sakho is touch and go for Saturday. We will see what he’s like on Friday and make a decision from there. Andy has to go through what for him is the final part of a pre-season after recovery, and ease himself slowly into games. I’ve sensed the joy around the camp and the buzz that hits the day to day work around the team when you’re doing well. I think we’re surprised at how well we’ve hit the level of performance consistently,” said Allardyce.
Newcastle United are not expected to start the manager Alan Pardew despite a poor start to the season. Owner Mike Ashley is aware of the huge payoff that the club will have to give the manager in order to release him from his duties. Newcastle offered Pardew an eight-year contract two years ago. Since the contract still has six years to run, it will take a huge sum of money to part company with the former West Ham boss. Newcastle have been on a poor run of form throughout 2014. They suffered a 4-0 defeat against Southampton during the weekend that appeared to be the final straw for the manager.
Newcastle find themselves bottom of the Premier League after four matches in the season. They are still searching for their first victory, although they came extremely close to getting the same in the 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace had it not been for Wilfried Zaha’s injury time equaliser. Pardew admitted after the Southampton defeat the performances have not been good enough. However, Newcastle have undergone massive changes in terms of transfer policy over the last few years. After failing to sign any permanent player in the last few transfer windows, the club lavished on a number of new signings this summer.
Steve Bruce has been rumoured as the replacement for Pardew, but the Hull City manager refused to entertain such claims saying that it would be disrespectful. “It isn’t nice – it’s horrible for him and I find it very, very disrespectful that I’m linked with somebody else’s job when he’s still in a job. After what happened to me at Sunderland, which was similar to what Alan Pardew is going through now, I know how difficult the north-east is,” said Bruce, who comes from Newcastle but has managed Sunderland in the past.
Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who is the second-biggest shareholder at Arsenal, says that the club are set for a trophy laden decade after finally ending the trophy drought by winning the FA Cup last season. Arsenal went without a trophy for a period of nine years from 2005 to 2014. The drought that started with the FA Cup was eventually brought to an end by the same trophy. Usmanov has been trying to gain control of Arsenal for the last few years. American billionaire Stan Kroenke owns the biggest portion and as a result directly controls the club.
Kroenke and Usmanov have not spoken to each other until now despite being the two biggest shareholders at the club. The cold war between the duo, though, has not prevented Arsenal from finally lifting a major title. Arsene Wenger was extremely prudent during the last 10 years, as he attempted to establish the club financially following their move to the Emirates stadium. Even though main sponsor Emirates paid £ 150 million to the construction of the stadium, it put Arsenal under a lot of pressure. After having finally secured self-sufficiency, Arsenal have been spending big money in the last few years.
This has ultimately led them to a title and Usmanov believes that could be more in the future.
“I think we begin a new era for Arsenal where we win trophies. That is most important for football. The club is very well placed to succeed. The board and main shareholders chose the debt option at the time, which led to Arsenal going almost 10 years without winning a domestic title or the Champions League. The acquisition was financed with debt, which would be repaid through match-day revenues among other sources. I have not had any contact with Mr Kroenke,” said the Russian billionaire.
Aston Villa and the Belgian national team have suffered a major blow with the news that striker Christian Benteke has been ruled out for the next six months due to a ruptured Achilles tendon. He has now been ruled out of the World Cup, where he was expected to compete with Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea for a first-team spot. Benteke has been one of the enormous success stories for Villa’s recruitment division, as he was signed for just £ 7 million from Genk. He was last valued at £ 25 million with clubs like Tottenham and Chelsea showing interest.
Even though an official offer did not come for him last summer, it was expected that both Chelsea and Tottenham were expected to make huge money offers for the player who still has four years left on his contract. He scored 23 goals in all competitions in his debut season. This current campaign has seen much more struggles from the player, as he has gone through drought spells that have extended to several matches. Still, he has scored significantly better than the likes of Roberto Soldado and Fernando Torres, who struggle for form at Tottenham and Chelsea respectively.
Villa manager Paul Lambert lamented this injury to the star striker, which could end the positive season for Villa.
“It’s a terrible blow both for Christian and for the club. But he’ll work hard because that’s what he does and he’ll come back for us stronger than ever next season,” said Lambert. Benteke’s international teammate Vincent Kompany expressed his support through a message on Twitter. “Wishing you all the strength you need Christian Benteke and I hope you will recover quickly! We’re all with you together!” said Kompany. Despite this supposed poor form, Benteke has scored 10 league goals and remains as one of the top strikers in the league.
Borussia Dortmund will be seeing their player Robert Lewandowski leaving the club in the summer with Bayern Munich being his next football destination after the player agreed a pre-contract agreement with the club of Pep Guardiola.
Jurgen Klopp will need to reinforce the squad by bringing in new players if he wants his squad to continue fighting for the Bundesliga and the Champions League of the upcoming seasons. Inter Milan’s Mateo Kovacic and Ricky Alvarez are some of the players that Borussia Dortmund are keeping close tabs on and are preparing themselves to make bids for the duo of Inter Milan.
Celtic’s major shareholder Dermot Desmond says that the Scottish champions have been the best performing club in England. His controversial statement comes after the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City recently revealed their financial results. Apart from Arsenal, all major English clubs have made huge losses in the last financial year with Liverpool especially coming under heavy criticism after their £ 50 million loss. Celtic, meanwhile, have done extremely well to stay within their means, although it has come at a cost by selling key players like Gary Hooper this summer.
Celtic have also been able to compete with most of the clubs in the Champions League and it in itself is a major achievement according to Desmond. This is because the Scottish league has far lower TV money than the likes of the Premier league. Desmond has said that the lower income from the TV has made Celtic concentrate on other avenues like developing the youth system and scouting. This has allowed them to make considerable profits from the sale of players like Victor Wanyama, who bought for very low sums of money.
Celtic are once again expected to comfortably win the Premier league this campaign, although criticism has come in the wreck of poor performances in the cup competitions.
“If you look at the financial metrics between Celtic and other clubs in the UK, our performance, the balance-sheet performance and the performance on the field, I think, exceeds any other club, recognising that we are shackled by lack of revenues we have from TV and other comparable income that Premier League and Championship clubs get. We have got financial stability, good organisational structures as far as scouting, development squad and coaching go,” he told Celtic TV.
Celtic receive around £ 30 million from the Champions League it may make it to the group stages.
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville is of the opinion that the club needs to give manager David Moyes more time in order to get the results that will once again make the club champions.
After winning the title last season, United went through a big change after their manager for 26 years, Sir Alex Ferguson, decided to step down. While almost every other club in England has experienced a managerial change more often than not, United have been kept stable by Ferguson.
The manager of Sunderland, Gus Poyet, has denied the reports that Vito Mannone might be making a move to Old Trafford soon.
Mannone has joined Sunderland just a few months back after leaving Arsenal. But, he hasn’t been the first choice shot stopper at the Stadium of Light so far. Keiren Westwood has been preferred ahead of him and that led to the speculations that the 25 years old goalie is willing for a transfer.
But, according to Poyet, that’s not the case. Mannone is not getting impatient.
However, now that Westwood is going to be on the sidelines till the end of this season because of his injury, Mannone can expect to get more playing time as there is no other experienced goalkeeper in the Sunderland squad at the moment.
The Black Cats are having a horrifying time this season and they would definitely not want to make things even tougher for themselves by selling one of their experienced players.
Last week, the reports had come through that the Manchester United boss David Moyes is looking for an experienced understudy for David de Gea and he has his eyes on Mannone.
Talking to the reporters about Mannone being on the radar of the defending league champions United, Poyet said, “Vito is quite composed at the moment and so am I. When you have got two quality players for the same position, it’s always difficult to pick one of them. With Westy there, I couldn’t give Vito that much playing time, but, he understands the situation. He is one of those blokes who are very easy to talk to.”
Sunderland which was right at the bottom of the league table a few days ago has moved a place up now and is at no. 19 at the moment.