‘Somebody needs to go’ – Pundits disagree over ageing Chelsea star and question transfer priorities
Jamie Redknapp says that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang “is not the answer” to Chelsea’s scoring problems, but fellow pundit Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink thinks that other people are to blame for Chelsea’s lack of goals.
On Sunday, the West Londoners drew Nottingham Forest 1-1, leaving the Blues seven points behind the top four. Raheem Sterling gave the West Londoners the lead, but a volley from Serge Aurier leveled the score in the second half.
Aubameyang, who has scored one league goal this season, missed a great chance to score late on, and Chelsea has now scored 20 times in 16 games, which is half as many goals as Arsenal, who lead the Premier League.
Sky Sports pundits Redknapp and Graeme Souness are of the opinion that Chelsea’s lack of firepower following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, in addition to the 33-year-old Aubameyang, is to blame for the issue.
Redknapp slammed the Gabon international, saying: “He wasn’t the answer at Arsenal so he’s not going to be the answer now at Chelsea.
“He’s getting older now. He’s not the player that he was. They’re trying to get [Christopher] Nkunku, that’s the player they’re after, whether they are going to get him I’m not sure.”
Yet, Hasselbaink feels it is excessively simple to just fault the fizzling Aubameyang and says the remainder of the group need to offer more, with Authentic and Kai Havertz the club’s joint top scorers on only four objectives each.
“It’s not only the strikers who can score goals, it’s also midfielders that score goals and provide goals, and defenders even,’ Hasselbaink argued back.
“How many goals have the midfielders got? It’s not only the strikers. Somebody needs to go beyond [the opposition defence], somebody needs to make runs without the ball.
“Nothing would have changed if [Lukaku and Werner] were here. They had a player in Lukaku who didn’t want to be here – who still doesn’t want to be here – so you’re not going to get anything out of him.
“They had Werner who is scared of the ball when it comes in the box, so they’re not going to be better with them!
“The problem is not the number nine, it’s more, it’s several positions. The midfielders are also not scoring goals, they are not providing, they are not creating enough chances. It’s not only the number nine.”
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Tottenham director Fabio Paratici banned from football worldwide by FIFA
Tottenham managing director of football Fabio Paratici has been banned from football worldwide after FIFA extended the punishment imposed in Italy following his involvement in Juventus’ penalised accounting practices.
In January, the Italian giants suffered a shock 15-point deduction after the club was deemed to have inflated player transfer values in swap deals among other financial offences.
Paratici joined the Juventus hierarchy in 2010 and was the club’s sporting director between November 2018 and the summer of 2021, before he took up a similar role at Tottenham. The investigation into Juve’s accounts scrutinised transactions between 2019 and 2021 – when Paratici was at the heart of the club’s dealings.
At the start of the year, Paratici was one of several former Juventus board members that were banned from football following the conclusion of the investigation by the Italian Football Federation. Initially, Paratici was handed a 30-month ban from just Italian football, although the threat of extending the scope of that punishment internationally always loomed.
On Wednesday, FIFA released a statement confirming that they had indeed taken up that option, extending the ban handed out to Paratici and the other Juventus board members – including former owner Andrea Agnelli – worldwide.
The statement read: “FIFA can confirm that following a request by the Italian FA (FIGC), the chairperson of FIFA disciplinary committee has decided to extend the sanctions imposed by FIGC on several football officials to have worldwide effect.”
Paratici was due to be in court this week for a a preliminary committal hearing regarding a portion of the charges levelled at Juve, but the date for those proceedings have been shunted back to 10 May. Juve appealed their 15-point penalty – which the prosecution only recommended as a nine-point punishment – and will hear the ruling of which on 19 April.
On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth discuss Julian Nagelsmann’s future and links to the vacant Tottenham head coach role, Barcelona’s ambition to bring Lionel Messi ‘home’, Brighton teenager Evan Ferguson, Florian Wirtz, Kalvin Phillips and more!
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Sir Alex Ferguson & Arsene Wenger inducted into Premier League Hall of Fame
Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have become the first managers to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
The duo won 16 Premier League titles between them across respective long-term spells with Manchester United and Arsenal.
With 13 of those championships, Ferguson is the most decorated manager in the history of the competition. He is the only coach to have won the Premier League three times in a row, doing so on two different occasions.
Ferguson said: “I’m truly delighted to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame. It’s an honour when you receive recognition like this. However, it’s not just about me as a person. It’s about the job at Manchester United and the bond we had over many years, so I’m also proud for the club, the staff and my players.
“My job was to send the fans home happy. United’s history and my own expectations were the things that drove me, and I then had to try and develop all my players with the same expectations and make sure we could go out and achieve them.
“I feel Arsene is a very worthy inductee as he transformed Arsenal Football Club fantastically. They became a tough team to compete with and we both wanted to win, which motivated us further. Through the years since retirement, we’d go for dinner together in a little restaurant he knows well in Switzerland. He is a really interesting man and I enjoy his company, but it is still my job to pick the wine!”
Wenger arrived in England in 1996 as one of the Premier League’s first foreign coaches, and quickly proved sceptics wrong, transforming Arsenal into title winners and changing English football’s culture with his scouting and dietary expertise.
The Frenchman won three Premier League titles with Arsenal, including an unbeaten ‘Invincibles’ season in 2003/04.
Wenger said: “I am very grateful to have been selected for the Premier League Hall of Fame. We always wanted to give something special to the fans and when you have players capable of remarkable things, the most important thing for me is the obligation of perfection.
“I’d like to be known as someone who loved Arsenal, who respected the values of the club and left it in a position where it can grow and become even bigger.
“To share this with Sir Alex is a great honour for me. It’s like two boxers, you fight like mad and go the distance together. At the end of the day, you have respect and it will be a great opportunity to meet with him, share a good bottle of wine and memories of our old battles.”
In addition to Ferguson and Wenger, there are 16 other inductees in the Premier League Hall of Fame.
Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry were the first two people inducted when the Hall of Fame was created in 2021. They were followed later that year by Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Frank Lampard, Dennis Bergkamp, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham.
In 2022, Wayne Rooney, Patrick Vieira, Sergio Aguero, Didier Drogba, Vincent Kompany, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes and Ian Wright were inducted.
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