There is a very loud adage in some climes which holds that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. This is actually applicable in the debacle that is playing out between the managers of the two newest comers to the group of big names in English football.
In the English league title race, every other team was viewed as a pretender when these four teams held sway, until Abu Dhabi United Group purchased Manchester City football club, in the same way the Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea.
Within the past two years, Tottenham Hotspur, who were hitherto a perennial average team, has also come to occupy a prominent position at the top. They ended the last two seasons as runners up in the English top flight.
One man has been integral to their impressive performances within the last two seasons. That man is Harry Kane. Serious tips for online football betting will always back the Englishman to do great things for the Lily White and, after a bad August, he has found himself in sublime form.
This term, Kane has scored about 11 goals in just seven games, and these strikes have helped to bring Spurs back to the third position in the table. However, while Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is thanking his stars that his clinical forward is back to his best, rival manager Pep Guardiola has been critical of the London side.
The Manchester City manager, apparently afraid of the threat posed by a Tottenham with an inform Harry Kane, has dubbed the Lilywhites a one-man team.
In an interview before the weekend’s fixtures, Guardiola talked about Chelsea’s wonderful form last season and their problem this time around, as they have a busier fixture list to negotiate.
The Spaniard also went ahead to talk about the threat that Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho will always pose, before throwing a mild jibe a Tottenham by referring to them as the ‘Harry Kane team’.
However, when this is coming from a man who built the best team of his career around one outstanding player, then the adage comes to mind. Spanish giants Barcelona, under Pep Guardiola, were heavily reliant on Lionel Messi, after all.
In response to his jibe, as predicted by all at football betting tips, the Tottenham manager labeled his counterpart as ‘disrespectful’.
Pochettino said the criticism will not change anything and will have no effect on him or his side, but that the disrespectful statement came because Guardiola was too excited after beating Chelsea at home before the international break.
Ones to Watch: Giorgian De Arrascaeta makes World Cup debut for Uruguay
Giorgian De Arrascaeta started for Uruguay against Egypt in Moscow today. Here’s how he fared…
The attacking midfielder has spent his entire career in South America, joining Cruzeiro from Defensor Sporting in his homeland of Uruguay back in 2015.
But the 14-time international, who is renowned for his mesmeric dribbling ability and his tendency to leave opposition defenders red-faced, is being tipped to make a serious name for himself this tournament.
De Arrascaeta is a prime representation of the current shift from pragmatic football, to a more progressive and attacking style this World Cup, spearheading the midfield in a fresh faced Uruguay team.
The 24-year-old garnered a reputation for being one of South America’s most promising prodigies after helping Cruzeiro lift the Campeonato Mineiro in 2018 – currently boasting 40 goals in 159 appearances for the club.
Strengths and weaknesses:
The Cruzeiro no 10 was expected to cause problems for the Egypt rearguard using his dribbling ability and low-centre of gravity to breeze through the lines. While his delivery from set pieces is also considered dangerous weapon.
However, his lack of experience means he isn’t too adaptable and tactically flexible in multiple systems – meaning he could have to sit out games against tough opposition, where the club aren’t expected to be on the front-foot.
It was a hit-and-miss performance for De Arrascaeta, as he started on the left flank in a flat 4-4-2, with Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani spearheading the attack. He soon decided to drift in-field to see more of the ball, interchanging with Rodrigo Betancur, where his talents became more obvious – but a lack of width from Uruguay led to a dull first-half.
As expected De Arrascaeta was on corner duty on the day and his delivery was typically good. Though touches were rare for him, he showed a few glimpses which suggest he is capable of becoming the creative catalyst in his preferred position, behind the striker/strikers in future games.
Unfortunately, his key moment was a negative one. Diego Godin charged through the midfield, after picking the ball up in defence and laid in De Arrascaeta on the left side of the penalty area, but his touch was a awful and a rare opportunity for Uruguay to take the lead was squandered. He was eventually substituted in the 58th minute.
Sunderland set to lose £7.2m on their N’Golo Kante project
Didier N’Dong now looks set to leave Sunderland this summer.
After Leicester City won the Premier League every team wanted their very own N’Golo Kante.
The Frenchman had stunned top flight fans with his performances as the Foxes won a shock title. Sunderland decided to try and bring in a Kante for themselves. The player in question was Didier N’Dong.
Like Kante, he was schooled in French football and the Gabon midfielder played a very similar style of football to that of Kante. Sunderland paid a fee in the region of £13.8 million to sign the player, making him the club’s record signing.
At the time, Sunderland manager David Moyes even stated to The Chronicle:
“We like the look of him, he has good energy, he is young, he will improve with time.
“I think he has a personality to his play.
“I’m not saying he is another N’Golo Kante, but there is a bit of that in his makeup.”
However, two years on and it is clear that Ndong is not the second coming of Kante.
He struggled to find good form in his first season at the Stadium of Light and was again not up to scratch after Sunderland dropped to the Championship. After an unsuccessful stint on loan at Watford the Black Cats, now relegated to League One, are to let him go.
The 23-year-old is set to join Torino in a deal worth around £6.6 million, as reported by The Chronicle. A deal, according to the report, is still in the early stages as they try to agree on personal terms.
Sunderland are therefore set to make a £7.2 million loss on the player, who simply never lived up to the Kante reputation.
Will Ademola Lookman friendship help or hinder Everton’s Ezri Konsa chase?
Everton target Ezri Konsa played with current blue Ademola Lookman at Charlton Athletic.
Everton have found themselves linked with a move for Charlton Athletic defender Ezri Konsa this summer. The talented centre-back, who can also operate in holding midfield, is attracting plenty of interest including from Goodison Park. As reported by The Sun, Everton are fighting Brighton for his £5 million signature. The club sees him as a potential long-term replacement for club captain Phil Jagielka. With the Addicks falling agonisingly short of promotion from League One, they are likely to face a fight keeping hold of their star player.
Everton would no doubt love to bring him into the club this summer. The report from The Sun suggests that Silva wanted Konsa previously with Watford. So he is clearly hoping to finally get his hands on a long-term target.
Of course, it would not be the first time that Everton raided Charlton for their star talent. In January 2017 the Toffees secured a £11 million deal to bring Ademola Lookman from The Valley to Goodison.
So is this good news or bad news for Everton?
The pair knows each other well. They came through the ranks together at Charlton and are also international team-mates. The pair both won the Under-20 World Cup last summer. So surely, if Everton comes calling, Konsa will be giving his old pal Lookman a call for some advice.
Which is where things get tricky. Whilst it could easily be seen as a positive to have a friend already at the club, Lookman has not exactly enjoyed his best time at Everton.
He has struggled to make a sustained breakthrough into the first-team since his arrival. This January he headed out on loan abroad, much to the disappointment of Everton fans who rate him so highly.
He has since thrived in Germany and looked a far happier player away from Everton.
So whilst Konsa might feel a move to Everton will be a good way to get reacquainted with his old buddy, who knows if Lookman will have kind words to say about his parent club?