Connect with us

English Premier League

Linked with West Brom job in November, Oscar Garcia is available again

The Spaniard has left Olympiakos after a tumultuous stay at the club.

Mathew Nash

Published

on

Olympiakos have had something of a troubled week. After a draw with Levadiakos last weekend the Greek Superleague title looks out of reach. AEK Athens or PAOK Salonika now look likely to break the 24-year long Olympiakos-Panathinaikos power struggle.

After the result, the club’s owner Evangelos Marinakis, who also owns Championship side Nottingham Forest, decided to fine the entire first-team squad and send them all on holiday.

It was a drastic move and now Olympiakos have also parted way with their manager. Oscar Garcia left the club yesterday by mutual consent.

Olympiakos’ Spanish coach Oscar Garcia Junyent (C) reacts after being hit in the face by a toilet roll, thrown by a Paok fan prior to the Greek Superleague match Olympiakos versus Paok on February 25, 2018 at the Toumba Stadium in Thessaloniki. The Greek Superleague match Olympiakos versus Paok on February 25 was postponed after Olympiakos’ Spanish coach Oscar Garcia was hit by a roll of toilet paper. / AFP PHOTO / SAKIS MITROLIDIS (Photo credit should read SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images)

So will West Brom take this news well?

When West Brom sacked Tony Pulis in November the series of events that followed were probably not predicted at The Hawthorns. West Brom eventually appointed Alan Pardew but the former Crystal Palace and Newcastle United manager could not turn things around and the Baggies look destined for the Championship.

Prior to hiring Pardew, Garcia was heavily linked with the role. TalkSPORT reported that the Spaniard wanted the job after Spanish paper Sport reported that he was on the shortlist for the role.

Garcia had just left French side Saint-Etienne after a poor run of results and a return to England would have been a great move for the Spaniard.

It never happened and in January he took over at chaos club Olympiakos, which has clearly not worked out.

Despite his recent struggles in both France and Greece, the 44-year-old should be considered a serious option by West Brom this summer – as they seek a new manager to replace the recently departed Pardew.

Garcia could be perfect for the role. Not because of his success with Austrian outfit Red Bull Salzburg or Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv. Instead, West Brom should look at his time in England.

In his one season at Brighton and Hove Albion, he took the Seagulls to the Championship play-offs, where they lost in the semi-final to Derby County.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – MAY 08: The Brighton & Hove Albion manager Oscar Garcia before the Sky Bet Championship Play Off semi final first leg match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Derby County at Amex Stadium on May 8, 2014 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

He then got the job at Watford, but never had the chance to impress after a minor health scare saw him step down and take a year out of the game.

Winning the double two years running with Salzburg was his next step and West Brom would be wrong to discount him in the summer based on his last two jobs.

With his Championship experience and exciting brand of football, he could be the change West Brom need to start afresh in the second-tier from next season.

Tottenham Hotspur

Harry Winks’ return to fitness is just what Tottenham need right now

Tottenham have been handed some much-needed good news.

Liam Thomas

Published

on

Harry Winks
Photo: Getty Images

Tottenham were handed some much-needed good news this week with midfielder Harry Winks returning to training after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Pochettino’s current options in midfield are extremely limited, due to injuries and the clubs’ lack of transfer activity during this summer’s window.

Therefore, Winks’ return couldn’t have come at a better time.

Although, it is unlikely that he will feature this weekend against Fulham, his return to full-time training suggests he will play a part in Spurs’ opening run of fixtures.

The return to action of Argentine Eric Lamela also brings some creativity and attacking flair to the Spurs midfield, which it seemed to be lacking in their opening day win at St. James’ Park against Newcastle.

However, the form Harry Winks displayed last season during his stint in Pochettino’s starting XI bodes well for the new campaign and, in a turbulent period for Tottenham and Pochettino, this news is refreshing, to say the least.

Winks’ return to the pitch is perhaps the best news Spurs fans have had in weeks, with the midfielder providing the ideal competition for Mousa Dembele, whose physical attributes are indeed on the decline.

The midfielder’s return will be a significant boost to the Spurs squad, and one that will lift some of the pressure off of Mauricio Pochettino‘s shoulders if the 22-year-old can come in and pick up where he left off last season.

Continue Reading

Fulham

One to watch: Ryan Sessegnon under the spotlight as Tottenham host Fulham

The teenager could be forced to play at left-back this weekend.

Max Cohen

Published

on

Sessegnon
Photo: Getty Images

Ryan Sessegnon’s Premier League debut did not go quite as planned.

The highly-rated 18-year-old, who took the Championship by storm the past two seasons was largely neutralised by Crystal Palace‘s Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and was denied space in the attacking areas where he is usually so dangerous.

It is still early days and it was by no means a poor performance, but revealed how the youngster must quickly adapt to the higher level of the top flight.

Sessegnon’s second ever Premier League match will come away at Tottenham Hotspur this Saturday and his performance at Wembley could go a long way in determining his success this season and later in his career.

Playing against the club he has so often been linked with will undoubtedly be difficult, providing a mental challenge that he is unlikely to have faced before.

However, perhaps the more challenging proposition will be in the footballing department. Fulham’s new left back Joe Bryan was forced off against Palace on the weekend with an injury, and is expected to be a doubt for Saturday’s fixture.

Without any true left back back-ups, Sessegnon will most likely be tasked with filling in at the left side of defence, instead of his preferred left wing position.

Against a fearsome attacking team such as Spurs, boasting the likes of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, and Dele Alli, the 18-year-old could endure a baptism of fire in his first ever top flight start as a defender.

Sessegnon’s performance will also be illuminating as it could provide a glimpse into his future as an attacking left back– not as an out-and-out left winger.

“He is an incredible player project, with a fantastic physical capacity. People compare him to Bale, for me it’s a mix between Marcelo and Bale. I’ve used him lately in a more offensive role, but he’s ready to be left-back of a big team that constantly attacks.”

Slavisa Jokanovic speaking to Marca this summer on Sessegnon’s future position

According to his manager, Sessegnon could develop into an attack-minded defender for a ‘big-team.’

On Saturday at Wembley, Spurs supporters could catch a first glimpse of the youngster in that role in the Premier League – a role they will be hoping he can perform for the club in north London one day.

Continue Reading

English Premier League

Mark Lawrenson believes West Ham could struggle this season

The Hammers will need to improve significantly on last week’s performance.

Published

on

Photo: Getty Images

West Ham‘s tenure under Manuel Pellegrini did not get off to the best of starts last weekend as the Hammers were dismantled by Liverpool at Anfield.

The Hammers host Bournemouth at the London Stadium this weekend, Pellegrini’s first home match in charge, and a much more positive result is expected despite the fact the Cherries won 2-0 against Cardiff City on the opening weekend.

Despite being carved apart by Jurgen Klopp’s side, the general consensus from pundits Paul Merson, Michael Owen and Mark Lawrenson is that West Ham will enjoy much better fortunes this weekend and will pick up points.

However, Lawrenson did not hold back in his predictions for the BBC and warned the Hammers they could be set for another tough season if they do not improve their game defensively after being ‘far too open’ against the Reds last time out.

“I was at Anfield on Sunday to see West Ham’s 4-0 defeat by Liverpool, and they were far too open. If they are going to keep leaving the back door open like that all season, they are going to be in trouble.”

– Lawrenson is the only of the three pundits predicting a draw.

While West Ham fans may not like to admit it after an exciting summer, Lawrenson does have a point as the Hammers business caught the eye in attacking recruits but defensively the business has felt rather sub-par.

Pellegrini is relying on Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena to immediately adjust to the rigours of Premier League football, which is never an easy task, while there is a lack of depth in defensive midfield for the Hammers to choose from.

It seems that West Ham’s approach to this season will be to play attacking football and hope to be a high-scoring side that manages to edge their opponents but that could be a costly decision, particularly in matches where the Hammers are away from home.

A team that had the joint-worst defensive record in the Premier League last season, alongside relegated Stoke City, should certainly have placed more focus on restructuring that defensive line and it could come back to haunt Pellegrini in the coming months.

(Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Former Arsenal defender Paul Merson was also critical of West Ham’s defence last week, stating to Sky Sports they were ‘all over the place’, but supporters will be thrilled by the superb observational skills shown by Merson as he rightly said they will not face Liverpool every week. Cheers Paul.

There are more positive angles to West Ham though as last weekend was never really going to be a game where Pellegrini could show what his side are truly going to be about this season as Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool stripped the Hammers of any signs of displaying their attacking edge.

Michael Owen also made a very wise point in his predictions for BetVictor, correctly stating it would be extremely unwise to write the Hammers off after just one match – despite the performance being incredibly mediocre.

A home match against Bournemouth is the ideal opportunity for West Ham’s newly-assembled side to click into rhythm before a gruelling campaign that lies ahead, although the early signs suggest a return to European football could be too much to ask for in Pellegrini’s first year with the club.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2018 The Boot Room.