During his initial media discussions when appointed as the manager of Chelsea, Antonio Conte made it a point to emphasize on the fact that he intended using more youth players in his side. Given that Jose Mourinho said the same thing when he returned, it was natural to see some skepticism regarding Conte’s claim.
However, the Italian has slowly but surely been integrating a few young players into the squad. One of the beneficiaries of this youth movement was Nathan Ake, whose progress during his loan move to Bournemouth was impressive enough to earn a mid-season recall into Chelsea’s first team.
Despite that, his involvement has been limited and understandably so; Chelsea’s back three is set in stone at this point. He did, however, show a glimpse of his immense capabilities during a 5-a-side match in Chelsea training. Looking to score from near his own goal, he rifled a fierce shot past the goalkeeper.
See the video of the goal, posted by Ake on his own Twitter account, here:
Manchester United have looked like a changed side in recent times, showing more of the “Mourinho style” of play during their games. And whilst their squad isn’t exactly an ideal one right now, they have done pretty well for themselves despite that, having already bagged the EFL Cup.
One of their major problem areas is the lack of a game-changer, particularly in the forward department. When Zlatan fails to deliver, there is a lack of a plan B in terms of where the goals will come from. As it turns out, an ex-United star seems all too keen to return to the side, if his social media activity is any indicator.
Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has been doing well at Bayer Leverkusen. However, the Mexican hitman recently liked a tweet that was a picture of him along with a caption that stated he never should have been sold and should be brought back.
Check out the tweet he liked below:
Being in the Europa League might not be an ideal option for Manchester United due to the pressure of Thursday night games at away venues that aren’t easy to travel to. However, Jose Mourinho has been determined to do well in the competition and it reflects in the results of their games.
After beating Rostov 2-1 on aggregate, the Red Devils are now in the quarter-finals of the tournament. The score-line is one that isn’t too flattering for United but it does showcase just how much the Russian side pushed them to the limit, despite not being a top side by any stretch.
This is something that even Mourinho has acknowledged. The Portuguese boss sent Rostov FC a nice little present after their exit from the Europa League: a replica Europa League trophy with Manchester United’s logo and Rostov’s name emblazoned on it.
See the souvenir below:
Liverpool’s slow but steady progress this season under Jurgen Klopp has been evident for all to see, even if their recent form has wavered somewhat. And although their style of play favours the team over individuals, Philippe Coutinho’s influence when they’re playing well isn’t hard to see.
The Brazilian has been playing a better overall game this season. Previously known for scoring the occasional worldie and little else, he’s worked hard on becoming a better rounded player for the team. However, that didn’t stop him from going back to working on his strengths this week whilst on national team duty.
A video tweeted by @BrazilStats shows the attacker practicing his shooting. Of the three shots he launched at goal, two hit the back of the net whilst the other hit the bar, giving the poor goalkeeper tasked with trying to save those shots an impossible task.
See Coutinho sharpening his already potent shooting skills here:
Whilst many knew that N’Golo Kante was a key part of the Leicester City side that won the Premier League last season, it has become all the more obvious this year.
The French midfielder has proven his worth at a top club like Chelsea, instantly becoming a key part of their side and is poised to win another League title.
As is expected, his amazing ability to run around and work relentlessly for the team has made him the target of some internet memes. Perhaps the most notorious Kante fact on the internet is that whilst 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, the rest of it is covered by Kante himself.
Recently, the French midfielder was speaking in a press conference and was quizzed about the viral sensation that he’s become. He said that he was honoured to get the recognition he’s gotten for his work and he’s happy that he gets praise; however, the meme was something good for a laugh and little else.
See exactly what he said here:
It is true that I receive a lot of praise and that is flattering. But I try not to let it affect me. The important thing is to end the season well.
My team-mates at Chelsea have told me about the ‘Kante-facts’. It is just a bit of fun. I obviously do not cover 30 per cent of the surface of the earth.
Having surprised most people with their amazing form this season, Tottenham Hotspur are looking to graduate from being just another club with Champions League ambitions to a side that are regularly counted amongst Europe’s top names. To that end, preparation has already begun.
Spurs seem likely to make the Champions League again this season, currently being the closest side to League leaders Chelsea.
The North London side are in the process of building a new stadium and a new kit deal with Nike is also in the works.
Leaks for next season’s kits have already started to hit the internet and we can now lay on our eyes what could possibly be Spurs’ third kit for next season.
Via Ruptergraphic, check out the picture here:
Liverpool’s season might not be at its highest point right now, but the Reds have plenty to be proud about this time around. Aside from Jurgen Klopp setting a nice little record for himself and the club, they are building with a purpose for the long term and have done well for themselves this season.
However, if Liverpool are to compete for trophies next season, they will require some quality additions. The Reds may have a decent talent pool right now but depth will be key next season.
The Merseyside outfit have been heavily linked with Timo Werner, the talented young forward who plies his trade for German side RB Leipzig.
The youngster recently spoke to SportBild and did note that he was perfectly happy at Leipzig, stating he felt “at home” in the club.
However, he did make an interesting statement that seems to hint at a desire to move to the side sooner rather than later.
Check out what he had to say below:
I feel at home here at RB right now. Leipzig can continue to grow, and if I could be a part of it I’d be delighted.
If you were to play at Anfield and hear the fans sing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone,’ it would certainly be something special. England has a different feel, but I am also still young player.
It’s been a season of two halves for Liverpool. The Reds started the season in a promising manner and were seen by many as dark horses for the title.
However, a slump in form in the beginning of 2017 has seen them all but bow out of the title race; currently a top 4 finish seems their best bet.
However, no matter what happens at the end of the season, there are still some positives to be taken from this season.
Klopp, in his first full season at the club, has managed to garner a pretty good record against the big guns of the Premier League, something that hasn’t been done by the side since 1996.
Check out his amazing achievement below:
Needless to say Spurs are enjoying another high flying season under Mauricio Pochettino. Currently sitting in 2nd place, the North Londoners are ahead of luminaries like Liverpool, the Manchester clubs and even Arsenal.
And it seems unlikely their ascent will stop anytime soon. Long-term plans call for a new stadium with better seating to be built, pictures of which have already hit the internet. Should they consistently remain in the CL spots, the sky is pretty much the limit for them.
A recent leak has given an idea of what their short-term plans will be, after this season ends. In preparation for next season, they will be a part of the International Champions Cup tournament in the USA. Their opponents are all top class ones: AS Roma, Manchester City and PSG.
See the leaked graphic below:
The quarter-final clash between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge had more drama in it than goals. Whether it be Herrera’s sending off or the number of chances both teams missed in each, it wasn’t a boring game by any stretch of the imagination, even if the score-line suggests otherwise.
Perhaps the best drama came on the sidelines. Both Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho had a loud exchange of words on a few occasions, and apparently had to be separated by players in the tunnel after the game was over. One person who saw the funny side of it was Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
Chelsea’s second-choice ‘keeper recently spoke out on the touchline altercations between the two, and it was clear that he was highly amused by the whole thing, perhaps even in need of some popcorn. He did also note that he thinks neither of them actually like each other very much, something that is by now fairly obvious.
Quite hilarious, see what Begovic had to say on the matter below! Graphic via Breathe Chelsea on Twitter.