The prize-fighters settle by swinging grazers at each other

<span>Mauricio Pochettino, the Timmy Mallett of nos jours.</span>Photo: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC/Getty Images</span>” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng–/″ data- src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng–/″/></div>
<p><figcaption class=Mauricio Pochettino, the Timmy Mallett of nos jours.Photo: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC/Getty Images


Chelsea welcome Manchester United to Stamford Bridge on Thursday night for a football match, like last Sunday’s match between Manchester City and Arsenal, which is almost impossible to predict – albeit for completely different reasons. With the benefit of hindsight we can probably predict that it will be more entertaining, a bit like meeting two drunken, washed-up prize-runners swinging grass at each other in a pub car park. At the start of this season the notion that an April league match between Chelsea and Manchester United would be between a struggling fifth place side and a team struggling to break into the top half of the table would have been unlikely but no it was all incredible. It’s a measure of how far and how fast these two once-powerful clubs have fallen that less than a decade ago would have been unimaginable.

Champions League winners three years ago, Chelsea are currently in 12th place in the table behind, in no particular order … five of the traditional Big Six, Aston Villa, three different teams who were stranded before the ball was kicked this season, such a team There has been constant speculation in recent months that his beloved Monty the Magpie could get a game against Fulham this Saturday, and a club whose manager is not popular at least half the fans because his team is too defensive and boring. Of course, if anything adds to the chaotic way in which Chelsea have been run since Clearlake Capital took over, it’s that they are also in a worse league position than their feeder club Brighton, from whom they have recruited several overpriced and underperforming players, a manager and most of his coaching staff who have since left the building, not to mention two members of the south coast club’s recruitment team. Indeed, the number of millions that Chelsea’s owners have piped towards the Amex Stadium is so high that one suspects it might be more financially prudent for them to buy Brighton instead.

They have also put a lot of dough into Mauricio Pochettino’s bank account and for a man whose team is so relaxed the Argentinian seems to be getting a very easy ride. This is certainly the case compared to other top managers who are not delivering the goods, one of whom he will face on Thursday. Chelsea go into their latest game on the back of a dreadful and unlucky draw with bottom-dwelling Burnley who played over half a game last weekend at Stamford Bridge with just 10 men. After seeing his players sleep through yet another 90 minutes, an exasperated Pochettino has resorted to the fresh solution – notes Football Daily checks – which suggests they wake up earlier.

After telling reporters that even after 15 years as a coach, he still comes to training at or before sunrise because he wants to keep pushing himself, he believes his players should approach take a similar rather than thinking they can make it easy. because they have hit the big time by signing for Chelsea. “What does [the players] need to do? It is coming soon. He has to work more. It has passed more. It is to be more focused. It is not now to come to Chelsea and [think] I’m so good because people believe I’m so good but I try the least. No, he has more responsibility now. For us, we feel the responsibility. Never be in a comfort zone. If you’re in a comfort zone, you drop your level, you drop your standards.” And in the case of Chelsea, you fall down the Premier League table like a ton of bricks.


Join Will Unwin from 7.30pm BST for hot minute-by-minute coverage of Liverpool 4-0 Sheffield United, while Tim de Lisle will be on deck at 8.15pm for updates from Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United.


“It was something terrible and I couldn’t stop myself. What they were saying was very sad and ugly. I caught him and asked him why he was making fun of me. My attitude was not aggressive, I just wanted to ask him why” – Spanish football’s commitment to fighting racism is under fire again after Rayo Majadahonda keeper Cheikh Sarr was banned for two matches from entering the stands to face to call a man alleged to have. he was racially abused during a third-tier match at Sestao River Club, which was then abandoned. “It looks like the offender gets off scot-free … the message seems to be that anything goes,” said Rayo skipper Jorge Casado.


I know nothing else is written about non-league football teams, but the heartbreaking news of the year so far is that Luke Garrard, the sainted manager of Boreham Wood FC, the team that beat Bournemouth in the fourth round of The FA Cup a few seasons ago, he is leaving the club after eight and a half years in charge (and he is still only 38). This link is the club statement and a testament to how the departure of certain managers should be announced – with dignity” – Geoff Hall.

Andrew Pechey makes an excellent point (Football Daily letters yesterday). He notes that Noble Francis was ignored due to a lackadaisical letter the previous day in the week, only to receive the recommendation for a slightly smaller submission yesterday. With that in mind, may I direct you to my work published on March 12th and 19th. If readers are going to find this metro, so am I.” – Mike Wilner.

The Great monitor Sir Jim Ratcliffe (Football in the day passim) doesn’t feel right to me. Surely he’s been big for quite some time, probably throughout his adult life and almost certainly before his knighthood? Ergo, Big Jim was a knight rather than Sir Jim came Big, former gong? Sir Big Jim works better in my opinion. A pedantic point but certainly an important one?” – Máirtín Fisher.

Send letters to The winner of our unique letter today is … Martin Fisher.


Fantastic Foden, Arsenal’s easy night and just why the Swedish league is so interesting. It’s all in the latest Football Weekly Extra pod.


Former South African youth international Luke Fleurs, who played for Kaizer Chiefs, was killed in a carjacking in Johannesburg. The 24-year-old man was shot in the chest at a petrol station and the attackers drove off in his vehicle.

Around 50 people were arrested and several injured in fan riots after Dinamo Zagreb’s 1-0 win at Hajduk Split in the Croatian Cup semi-final. “There is no justification for violence and I strongly condemn the riots and destruction of property that took place in and around the stadium after the match,” said Ivica Puljak, the mayor of Split. “I’m sorry for scenes like this and I hope we don’t see them again in our city.”

Tests carried out on Arsenal and Norway midfielder Frida Maanum showed “no obvious heart causes” after she collapsed in the Conti Cup final, but she will be fitted with a device to monitor her heart function.

Waiting for Liverpool to defeat the Blades, it’s like you were in the Premier League, Arsenal are on top – for now – after a 2-0 win over Luton, and Manchester City hot on their heels after Aston Villa 4-1 put aside. “He has goals and he has to use this,” gushed Pep Guardiola of Phil Foden’s match-winning hat-trick.

Jürgen Klopp reckons Liverpool will not focus on improving their goal difference against Sheffield United. “I want to win the game first – the result I’m not worried about,” he said. “Sheffield have been at their best in the last two games and they were a bit unlucky with the results perhaps. They have an idea.”

Lucy Bronze challenged the Lionesses to become the first England team to win the same major competition twice in a row as they kick off their Euro 2025 qualifying campaign against Sweden on Friday. “It’s difficult in any competition, whether it’s the WSL [or Big Cup]but to do that on the international stage would be an achievement at the next level,” she said.

Burnley’s £27.9m loss for the year ending 31 July 2023 means boss Vincent Kompany is in no position to talk about cash. “You’re asking me this question – it’s a three-game week and in 48 hours we have one of the most important games of the season,” he said. “What good is it for me to start talking to you about the club’s accounts?”

And Carlisle United have launched an inquiry into the basement of League Two following an incident involving a number of first-team players on Saturday night. “We take these issues seriously and the club is dealing with them internally,” said manager Paul Simpson. “Our focus is on working professionally as we look towards another important game at the weekend.”


After Morocco staged the best organized Wafcon in 2022, this year’s edition, set for the same country, was expected to further raise the profile of the women’s game on the continent. But now it may not be worth going on at all. Osasu Obayiuwana has more in this extract from the latest edition of our sister email.


Even at the age of 37, with a visible paunch and a chronic knee knock, Luis Suárez is ahead of Leo Messi in Miami. Ryan Baldi reports.


May 1974 and Rod Stewart celebrating his Scottish roots the day they found him against England 2-0 at Hampden in the Home Championship. Mike Pejic and Colin Todd scored a pair of own goals for the visitors that day. Cue the gladrags.


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