Chelsea has parted ways with current manager Frank Lampard. The Chelsea Legend took the job in the summer of 2019, on the back of a single season’s experience as a manager at the Championship team Derby County.
Lampard guided Derby to the play-offs but was unable to take the Rams to the promised land. The former Chelsea midfielder also guided Chelsea to an FA cup final and a 4th place finish despite having to deal with a transfer ban.
In the 2020/2021 season, Chelsea’s results have been erratic. After spending £200m on new players in the summer, Chelsea finds themselves ninth in the Premier League after 19 games, 11 points behind leaders Manchester United and five points off Liverpool in fourth.
The club issued a statement by owner Roman Abramovich relieving the English man of his duties after the team’s poor form.
“This was a tough decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank, and I have the utmost respect for him.
“On behalf of everyone at the club, the board, and personally, I would like to thank Frank for his work as head coach and wish him every success in the future. He is an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished. He will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.” said Abramovich
The favorite for the job is former Mainz, Dortmund, and Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel. The German guided PSG to the Champions League final last season and won a DFB-Pokal, the German FA cup in 2016/2017.
Tuchel has established himself as one of the brightest coaches in world football in Germany and France. The German has a chequered past but comes with many good qualities, and Chelsea fans will be hoping his positive footballing philosophy rubs off on the players.
Tuchel’s managerial career began as a youth team coach at VfB Stuttgart, and he would then move to Augsburg FC appointed as their U19 Head Coach.
Tuchel was then invited to take over the U19 side of Mainz 05 – whose first team had just been relegated from the Bundesliga under Jurgen Klopp’s leadership.
At Mainz 05, Tuchel would catch the eye of many after winning the 2009 German Youth Championship. He took his first top-level job at Mainz aged 36 and after just nine years as a coach.
Here is the good, bad, and ugly of Thomas Tuchel and what Chelsea fans should expect.
At Dortmund, Tuchel became tactically flexible. The Germans use the 4-2-3-1/4-1-4-1 formation. As time went on, Tuchel’s side would adopt shapes like the 3-2-5 or 3-2-4-1-shape in possession, which allowed the likes of Piszczek to drop deep to become the third center-back in this formation.
Tuchel adopted a side that had been accustomed to Jürgen Klopp’s gegenpressing and quick counter-attacks. Tuchel set about adding more balance in the middle of the park.
The young coach wanted to incorporate ideas from the Ajax model/Barca with a controlling presence in the middle like Sergio Busquets. His sides like to win the ball high up the pitch and move the ball around with proficiency.
His win percentage at Dortmund was 62.96%, which was better than Jürgen Klopp’s Dortmund record. Tuchel’s record is 68 wins, 23 draws, and 17 defeats in 108 games.
Chelsea fans have been left baffled with Lampard’s decisions, Havertz excelled as a 10, striker or off the right at Bayer Leverkusen. Lampard limited his impact in the box, as a deeper 8, Kante in a defensive midfield position instead of a double pivot, and Giroud left on the bench, etc.
Tuchel will add more flexibility and structure to the Chelsea team. At Paris Saint Germain, he often changed his formation to accommodate superstars like Mbappe, Neymar, and Di Maria.
The German will use a variety of formations to find a solution. His use of 4-2-2-2 brought the best out of Di Maria and Neymar, allowing them to roam as inverted playmakers.
PSG became one of the most creative sides in Europe. Paris Saint-Germain scored 90 goals in all competitions, only bettered by Manchester City, who scored 102 goals in all competitions in 2019.
Thomas Tuchel has a history of falling out with hierarchies at clubs that employ him. His time at Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint Germain have both ended in a sour fashion. He’s never been able to adopt complete control or build a dynasty at clubs due to falling out with people. He requires perfection, and anything less is not acceptable.
At Dortmund, CEO of Borussia Dortmund Hans-Joachim Watzke said he grew tired of Tuchel after they clashed over their Champions League rescheduling with Monaco following an attack on their team bus. On Dortmund’s official website, the CEO wrote:
“There’s some criticism from fans that we have parted ways with Tuchel. We can understand that as a club. BVB was successful with Tuchel for two years in which we have reached our goals.
“But we, sporting director Michael Zorc and I have worn ourselves out in dealing with the coaching staff.”
“Taking your responsibilities is not only about the results, but that’s also not different at Dortmund from any other sporting club. It’s about basic values such as trust, respect, communication, authenticity, identification. It’s about loyalty”.
“In the current situation, we did not see any starting point for a successful work for the future. That’s why we decided not to continue with this coaching staff beyond the season 2016-17.
“For me, it’s important to let you know that it wasn’t a question of whether you could drink a beer together or play cards together or not. If we simplify these things, we would be bad decision-makers. In my opinion, club representatives and the coach don’t need to be close friends”.
“The special relationship that we, Zorc and I, had with Jurgen Klopp wasn’t the standard for the relationship with Thomas Tuchel – and it won’t be for any future Dortmund coach.” Said Watzke.
Former Ajax coach Peter Boaz replaced Tuchel,
Sporting director Leonardo also fell out with Tuchel at PSG after the German hit out at the club’s transfer policy.
Tuchel said: “We lose too many players on free transfers. It is too, too much. We cannot ask this squad the same thing as we did last season.”
Leonardo made his disapproval of Tuchel’s comments known by saying.
“you have to respect the people above you”.
“I didn’t like his comments, the club didn’t like them either,” he said.
“We have to understand the moment we are going through. If someone is not happy, it is easy – we can talk. But if you decide to stay, you have to respect the people above you.
Tuchel was sacked in December and replaced by former player Mauricio Pochettino.
On the 9th of December 2020, Tuchel’s Paris Saint-Germain played Istanbul Basaksehir in a crunch Champions League clash to decide qualification.
The play was initially suspended for almost two hours after a row initiated in the 14th minute when Pierre Webo, Basaksehir’s assistant coach, was sent off.
Video footage emerged which appeared to show Webo, a former Cameroon international, accusing Romanian fourth official Sebastian Coltescu of using racist language. PSG and Basaksehir players walked off the pitch in protest toward the referee.
Thomas Tuchel came under fire for appearing to back the match officials during the incident. A conversation with a Başakşehir player was picked up on the camera.
Başakşehir’s Gulbrandsen: “It’s a racist comment.”
PSG’s Tuchel: “Did you hear him say it?”
Tuchel: “So calm relax.”
Gulbrandsen: “… but he said that he said it!”
Tuchel: “You don’t know that,
The German came under intense criticism for this stance and former Chelsea striker Demba Ba had a few words for the German
In an interview with TRT World, Ba said:
‘Hats off to Basaksehir players because they felt something had to be done.
‘Hats off to the players of PSG because they could have stayed on the pitch and said “we are here to play and they’re not” but they decided to stop.
‘One element of Paris that I wish was in front of the camera and explained is how he (Tuchel) treated us because I don’t accept this.
‘I will never accept this and the next time I see him he will hear about it.
Chelsea are a club that doesn’t give managers time or 100% control, so this could be a disaster waiting to happen if Chelsea is not careful.
He will improve the West London club, but his demand for absolute perfection with a board that chop and change managers like seasons change could hand the German his 3rd sacking at a big club.
Erling Haaland: The Story Behind His Striking Rise
Erling Haaland was always going to become the ultimate striker and probably the best number 9 on the planet. Also, there’s every possibility that one day, he may become a Ballon D’or winner. But, there’s still one mystery, how did he become the cyborg that he is today?
Haaland continues to be a goal machine, becoming the quickest player in history to reach 20 Champions League goals. His goal from the spot in the UCL round-16 second leg tie against Sevilla was his 20th goal in just 14 appearances in the competition, which broke Harry Kane’s previous record of 24 games.
“Of course he’s fast, powerful, good around the goal and he’s got real soccer sense. But it’s more of his energy, it’s his infectious personality that I think is like a magnet; it draws people to him, it makes people want to be around him.” Those are the words of Red Bull Salzburg manager, Jesse Marsch.
Grab a handful of popcorn and sit back as we unfold the story behind the rise of this Norwegian beast, goal machine, and keeper’s nightmare, Erling Braut Haaland.
Haaland’s Salzburg Breakthrough
As at when Jesse Marsch was appointed as Salzburg manager, Haaland had been at the club for about six months and had only played one game. And then he went to the U-20 World Cup where he scored nine goals in one game.
From his Salzburg debut, Haaland, who had already impressed at the Norwegian league with Bryne and Molde left observers with no doubt about the quality he possesses.
He would become one of the best strikers on the planet because the talent in him was very obvious. In a chat with oh-my-goal, Jesse Marsch revealed that Haaland’s personality was the first thing he fell in love with about Haaland.
“The first couple of days I worked with him, what impressed me more than anything else was his personality on the pitch. He was just relentless! He worked harder than anyone.”
But beyond his raw talent in Salzburg, Erling Haaland left his mark on the locker room with his personality. He had a smile on his face and got along incredibly well with his teammates. Therefore, it wasn’t just his talent, it was his overall energy.
Erling in person had a really positive influence on his teammates. Erling the player, was a selfish assassin who scored 29 goals in 27 appearances for the Austrian club.
Meanwhile, he also always talked about making his teammates happy. “The best memory I Had of him was when we were getting penalties in just about every game, and he was giving them to all the other attacking players.“
“And then, after a player missed a penalty, I said Ok, Erling has to take the penalties and I told him he would be taking the penalties”
“It’s incredible to have such a talented player who loves to score goals, be the one that is giving the penalty responsibilities to the others because he wants them to feel the power of success, the power of scoring goals, and the power of confidence. That says a lot to me about the character of Erling.” Marsch revealed.
At 19, when most people think about personal glory, Haaland was already a perfect teammate and a future leader which was unprecedented for a player as good as he was and in his age range.
Without a doubt, Haaland’s personality was great enthusiastic and it did really have a big effect on a lot of people at Salzburg.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Influence
Erling Haaland may owe his incredible rise to his immense talent and his positive leadership qualities. But that’s not all, Cristiano Ronaldo also played a huge role in Haaland’s evolution.
People often say that Erling Haaland is the next Cristiano Ronaldo but is the CR7 comparison justified?
Certainly, Erling is more of a pure striker than Cristiano but from a power football perspective, his ability in the transition to affect games like the Portuguese ace makes the comparison justifiable.
Haaland himself admitted that Cristiano Ronaldo was his role model but if like Cristiano, Erling broke all the goalscoring records, it’s not really the part of football that CR7 has influenced.
Haaland is following in Cristiano Ronaldo’s footsteps in terms of leadership and he even is now a role model to many players just like Ronaldo was to him.
Cristiano Ronaldo has had positive effects on his teammates and in every team, he’s played in which really helped him overtime right from his days at Manchester United and Real Madrid. But for Erling, one could really see that right from his young age that it’s a natural quality he has.
It will be up to Haaland to continue to modify that aspect of himself and mold that in a way that he can become a really strong leader within his teams as he continues to grow older.
Above all, Haaland took inspiration from Cristiano Ronaldo in one essential area, work ethic. Like CR7, he’s always hungry to improve. “He really worked hard a lot. After training, he would stick around to finish, to hit some crosses, to work on his heading.” – Jesse Marsch, RB Salzburg Coach.
Like CR7, Erling Haaland thinks every little detail counts. He would wear special glasses because he felt like when you look at your computer all day long or your cell phone, that your eyes would start to fade and so he had that special glasses he always wears.
And while he has his own personality, Erling is directly inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo especially when it comes to nutrition and work ethic by picking the most hardworking professional football player in history as his role model.
Perfect With BVB
Borussia Dortmund activated his €20 million (£17m/$22m) release clause, beating United and Leipzig to his signature after all three clubs held meetings with the player, his father, and agent Mino Raiola.
Borussia Dortmund already had forward Paco Alcacer on the books, but saw Haaland as such a generational talent, that they were willing to offload the Spain international to give the Norwegian teen an even better chance of success.
CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke says that they had been looking for someone with Haaland’s particular skill set for a long time and could not pass up the opportunity to sign him.
“We always wanted to have a center-forward who has a different way of playing football,” Watzke told Goal and DAZN. “But this guy also had to come onto the market first.
There are not many who are 1.94 meters (6 ft 4 in) tall and that fast. Actually, nobody else comes to mind. It was just an opportunity that you don’t get very often. – Goal.com
Dortmund offered the striker the best chance of regular game time as they promised to make him their first-choice striker, something Alf-Inge Haaland admits is crucial to his development.
Haaland’s Dortmund story got off to the perfect start with the most incredible debut against Augsburg. Trailing 3-1, Lucien Favre sent on the teenager from the bench and was rewarded with a 22-minute hat-trick to help secure a 5-3 win.
Having revealed all the secrets that make Haaland an outstanding striker, in all honesty, the Norwegian striker has no limit because he keeps getting better at Dortmund.
He was incredible at Salzburg. “We were obviously so sad to lose him so quickly because we had a lot of fun and success with him, but we’re also very proud of him and we’re really excited to see him continue to push himself and move forward and show everybody in the world how good he is.”
And today, he’s showing just how good he is in Germany. He used to only be seen as a superpowered and superfast goalscorer. But at Dortmund? He’s also shown his technical advances and his in-game intelligence and influence.
He’s more and more capable of keeping the ball, playing in different positions, taking part in the game, in short, he’s become the ultimate striker.
Giving his unique skill-set and amazing personality, he will definitely sign for a bigger club in years to come. Yes, he may experience some difficulties, but his quality will help him manage whatever challenge that comes his way and in-turn become the best number 9 of not only his generation but in football history.
Top Sure Predictions For This Weekend : Tips, Stats And Analysis
Thomas Tuchel’s first game in charge of Chelsea didn’t quite go as he would have hoped, and the German coach cut a frustrated figure on the sideline as the Blues limped to a largely uninspiring 0-0 draw at home to a determined Wolves team on Wednesday evening.
Tuchel had overseen just one training session with his new charges before their date with Wanderers however, and it will take time for his ideas and tactical philosophy to take hold.
Teething problems are to be expected as Tuchel finds his feet at Stamford Bridge, and Chelsea could endure another nervous moment or two against Burnley on Sunday.
Burnley meanwhile, warmed up for their trip to London with a smash and grab victory at home to Aston Villa in midweek.
The dogged Clarets twice overturned a deficit at Turf Moor to beat the Villains, and the manner of their triumph should add another dollop of self-belief to the confidence they would have gained from beating Liverpool at Anfield last week.
Chelsea ambled to a 3-0 win at Burnley in the teams’ reverse fixture back in October, though we don’t expect it to be similarly smooth sailing when the sides reconvene on Sunday.
Buoyed by excellent results against Liverpool and Aston Villa, Burnley will arrive at Stamford Bridge ready to throw their weight about, and we see them notching against their nervous hosts.
Chelsea has beaten the Clarets in five of their last six league encounters, however, and with eager players hoping to impress their new, notoriously demanding coach, and Tuchel’s compatriots Werner and Havertz keen to make full use of their clean slates, we expect the Blues to eventually force a win.
Predictions: Chelsea Wins
Brighton – Tottenham
Tottenham will be licking their wounds following their midweek chasing by Liverpool, and with Harry Kane out injured, they will have to work hard to bounce back with a win at Brighton on Sunday.
Spurs had been gearing up to launch a title challenge this season, though the manner of their 3-1 reverse at home to current champions Liverpool on Thursday would have been a real wake up call for their supporters.
Jose Mourinho’s troops were thoroughly outclassed in the capital, and their 0.10 xG (Expected Goals) figure for the evening highlights just how ineffective they were.
Brighton meanwhile, missed a huge chance to establish a buffer between themselves and the drop zone when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Fulham on Wednesday.
That was the third time in six Premier League assignments where a toothless Albion failed to score, and following their stalemate against the Cottagers, Brighton remain the only team in the division yet to win a home game in 2020/21.
Harry Kane has provided an incredible 23 goal contributions (12 goals, 11 assists) in 19 Premier League starts for Tottenham this season, and his absence through injury makes Spurs a less-lethal outfit ahead of their trip to Brighton.
With Tottenham’s talisman missing and Brighton’s general lack of thrust in the final third also a factor, we expect goalmouth action to be sparse on Sunday, and the under 2.5 goals market is favoured as a result.
Westham – Liverpool
West Ham are trying to upset the established order in the Premier League this season, and the high-flying Hammers look capable of giving champions Liverpool are real run for their money in London on Sunday.
A four game-winning surge saw West Ham briefly move into the top four last week, before their weekend opponents Liverpool replace them following the Reds’ superb 3-1 win at Tottenham on Thursday.
David Moyes’s in-form Irons have only been beaten twice in 13 Premier League assignments since early November however, and with Tomas Soucek’s aerial prowess, Declan Rice’s bite in midfield and Michail Antionio’s pace up top, they can cause Liverpool a headache or two in the capital.
Liverpool reminded their Premier League counterparts and challengers just how formidable an outfit they can be in midweek when the Reds ragdolled a strong Spurs side on Thursday.
Goals from Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane allowed the reigning champions to stamp their authority on their hosts, and Liverpool’s dominant display felt like statement of intent and a return to their ominous best.
Injuries pre-game to Fabinho and in-game to Joel Matip took the edge off Liverpool’s high spirits in mid-week, and with options already thin on the ground, Jurgen Klopp could be forced to pair Nat Phillips and Jordan Henderson at center-half on Sunday.
Predictions: Liverpool Wins
Barcelona- Atlethic Bilbao
Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao have served up two five-goal thrillers already this month and the entertainment looks set to continue when the pair renew their rivalry at Camp Nou.
A Lionel Messi-inspired Barca ran out 3-2 winners in the Basque country in La Liga earlier this month before Bilbao exacted their revenge by prevailing by the same scoreline to win the Spanish Super Cup in extra-time in Seville.
Barca, ten points adrift of Atletico Madrid in La Liga having played one game more, can ill afford any more slip-ups and they may take some stopping in their pursuit of a fifth straight win.
But with Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto still sidelined, Barcelona are weakened defensively and that offers hope to a Bilbao side that thrashed Getafe 5-1 at home last weekend.
Both teams have scored in six of Barcelona’s last eight home league matches, with their only two clean sheets coming against lowly pair Levante and Osasuna.
Ronald Koeman’s men have been held to consecutive score draws at Camp Nou by Valencia and Levante and Bilbao are another team with the attacking quality to give them a scare.
Despite their inconsistencies in La Liga this season, Bilbao have failed to score in only one of their last nine games and both teams have scored in each of their last five away league trips which include on their visit to Real Madrid.
Predictions: Barca Wins
Napoli – Parma
Parma are in terrible form having fallen to second-bottom in Serie A. The visitors have lost six of their last seven league games, while they’re rank outsiders for the points in Naples.
Napoli won 4-2 against Spezia in a comfortable night in midweek, with that win making it three victories on the bounce at home. However. Napoli have seen both teams score in five of their last six in Serie A.
With Parma scoring in all but two of their games on the road, they should find the net here. We’re backing Napoli to win and both teams to score, while we’re going with a 3-1 win for the hosts, given they’ve scored 13 across their last three at home.
Predictions: Napoli Wins
Roma – Hellas Verona
A 3-1 victory over Napoli last weekend took Verona into eighth, which is bad news for Roma. The hosts have won all 11 meetings with sides from 10th and below, but they’ve won none against the top nine.
Verona have already avoided defeat at Lazio, Atalanta, Juventus and Milan this season. They were also awarded a 3-0 win over Roma after the Giallorossi played an unregistered player in a 0-0 draw earlier this term.
We expect Verona to cause more headaches for Roma, especially considering how the hosts have struggled against any half-decent side so far.
Prediction: Home Wins Or Draw & U 4.5
Lorient – PSG
Lorient ended their winless run in midweek, beating fellow strugglers Dijon 3-2. PSG hit Montpellier for four last time out, making it three clean sheets on the run in Ligue 1. Lorient remains in the relegation places despite that win, while PSG held onto the top spot, but Lille are on the same points tally and continues to breathe down the necks of the title-favorites.
Lorient have not played well against PSG for a long time now, losing each of the pair’s last 12 matches. Lorient have also failed to score in four of their last five games against PSG and will need the visitors to have an off day if they are to claim even a point on Sunday.
PSG are in great form right now, winning five of their last six matches, and have looked really strong at the back. The visitors have kept clean sheets in four of their last six fixtures and Lorient have failed to score in two of their last six matches, one of which was against PSG in December.
Prediction: PSG & O 1.5
AZ Alkmaar – Ajax
AZ Alkmaar pulled off a remarkable Eredivisie double over Ajax last season but Pascal Jansen’s men have their work cut out to topple the table-toppers this time around.
Ajax are unbeaten in ten games in all competitions, winning eight of those fixtures which includes a 1-0 away victory at Alkmaar in the KNVB Beker just 11 days ago.
Four consecutive league wins have seen Ajax move four points clear of PSV at the Eredivisie summit and they have in a formidable form on their travels, dropping just two points across their last seven away games.
Erik ten Hag’s side have been scoring goals freely and we predict them to net at least twice on their trip to the Alkmaar.
Ajax have scored 63 goals in 19 league games, an average of 3.3 per game, and they have failed to score only once this season.
AZ Alkmaar have conceded in each of their last 14 matches in all competitions and, despite sitting fourth in the Eredivisie, their defense has been breached more than any other side in the division’s top-half with them leaking 28 goals across their 19 games.
Predictions: Ajax Wins Either Half
Lille – Dijon
A solitary goal proved enough for Lille to secure all 3pts away at fellow European hopefuls Rennes last week. Dijon played out a 5-goal thriller against Lorient in midweek but ended up coming out on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline. Those results mean that the gap between these two clubs has increased to 30pts and is expected to grow again on Sunday.
Lille have a great record against Dijon, winning nine, drawing one and losing just two of the pair’s last 12 encounters in all competitions. Lille’s last three wins against Dijon have all arrived in Ligue 1 and have been accompanied by clean sheets.
The hosts not only have the home advantage, but they are also the form favourites heading into this weekend’s clash. Lille have won four of their last six league games, while Dijon have only managed to win once during that same period of matches. The fact that Lille have kept three clean sheets in their last six attempts and that Dijon have failed to score in three of their last six outings points towards a clean sheet for the home side this weekend.
Predictions: Lille Wins
Cadiz- Athletico Madrid
It’s impossible to oppose leaders Atletico Madrid this weekend as they bid to rack up an eighth consecutive league victory, although hosts Cadiz could get themselves on the scoresheet to boost the returns for an away win.
Just three sides have taken points from Atleti this season, and despite their shock 2-1 success over Barcelona here in early December, we don’t envisage Cadiz causing Diego Simeone’s men too many problems here.
The hosts have won just one of their last eight league matches (D3, L4), and their 3-0 hammering at Sevilla last time out epitomized the limitations of Alvaro Cervera’s side.
Nonetheless, the Yellow Submarine netted six goals in their three previous league games including five in their last two starts at Estadio Ramon de Carranza, so it’s quite possible that the hosts can register again this Sunday against an Atleti backline that has conceded in four of their last five outings in all competitions.
Backing Cadiz to net markedly increases the odds about another Atleti victory and while the 4/9 for an away win is perfectly reasonable for the weekend multiples, this looks the best value option for single wagers.
Predictions: Home To Score