In his exclusive column for CaughtOffside, former Liverpool attacker Stan Collymore discusses some of football’s biggest talking points, including Anthony Gordon and Frank Lampard’s Everton futures, Erik Ten Hag’s plans to replace Casemiro against Arsenal, and why Man City’s fans should not have booed the team at half-time against Spurs, plus much more…
Newcastle United will be in for Anthony Gordon, but they won’t be alone…
Anthony Gordon could move this January.
You’ve only got to look at how much Chelsea are spending this window to see that clubs are willing to spend. Newcastle United certainly have the money to get him as well. I think there would be a handful of clubs wanting to take him if Everton hinted they will sell him actually.
He’s young, and he’s promising, but it’s very difficult for him to progress at Goodison Park given the club’s problems at the moment. I think they probably will be willing to listen to offers to help bring in some funds. Surely £30-40m, plus some add ons would be enough to get him out of there now?
As for the Magpies, I think Eddie Howe should certainly be testing Everton’s resolve, but if they do, I don’t think they’ll be the only ones.
Gordon is young enough that he still has time to develop, so if I were the technical director at the likes of Arsenal and Man United, I’d definitely have him on my list purely because you can never have enough players, especially homegrown, Premier League-proven ones, who are attack-minded and good at getting in the box – they’re like gold dust.
I think any top club in the country, except maybe Man City, should be in for him because for the next decade, Everton’s Gordon has the potential to be an excellent Premier League player.
Frank Lampard should consider quitting Everton even if the Toffees beat West Ham…
I mentioned the other week how Frank Lampard should have gone through an FA-led manager’s course at St George’s Park, and I stood by that because I really feel for him at Everton.
I wonder if he’s thinking about getting a third job in the Premier League at some point in the future, would he consider resigning from Everton?
Even if the Toffees beat West Ham on the weekend, I think Lampard should give serious consideration to resigning from his position. He should come out and say ‘look, there are problems here that I can’t solve, they go far beyond the squad’ and walk away.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he wouldn’t want to do that, but from a career perspective, it’d probably be a wise move. Otherwise, he runs the risk of becoming the man who gets Everton relegated, or if he were to be sacked even before that happened – to receive back-to-back Premier League dismissals is an awful look and would massively limit his future options.
What Premier League club in their right mind would offer him a job after he’s been sacked by Chelsea and then possibly Everton? The same applies to clubs in the Championship – that potential scenario would make it really hard for Lampard to come back from, so I think he should consider saving himself and throw the towel in at Everton.
It might be an idea for him to take a few months away from the game, maybe do some TV punditry and then chuck his name back into the mix for whatever jobs may be available ahead of next season.
Mykhailo Mudryk set for Chelsea debut…
Start him against Liverpool on the weekend? – Absolutely!
He’s got to get up to speed and that is difficult when you come to the Premier League from somewhere like Ukraine, but he has pace, directness and trickery, and that is exactly what Chelsea need right now.
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I actually think Liverpool will win the game on the weekend and if they do, it could be the start of a turnaround for Jurgen Klopp.
I expect more questions to be asked of Graham Potter in the coming weeks, but as he develops the squad and puts his own stamp on the club, things will improve and Chelsea will still be in with a chance of getting into the top-four come the end of the season – it’ll be touch-and-go though. Let’s not forget as well, Potter has had awful luck with injuries so things haven’t been easy but they’ll find their rhythm, but as for Mudryk making his debut at Anfield, let’s see it!
Erik Ten Hag made right decision to start Casemiro against Crystal Palace…
Erik Ten Hag wasn’t wrong to start Casemiro against Crystal Palace and anyone suggesting otherwise is just going off hindsight because he picked up a late booking and is now suspended for the Arsenal game on the weekend.
United could have lost to Palace and then gone on to lose against the Gunners, and if Ten Hag didn’t play Casemiro midweek, that’d have been questioned too, so the decision was an easy one – start him and hope he doesn’ t get carded. Unfortunately for the Red Devils, it didn’t quite go to plan and they must now work out a way to get a good result away to the league’s leaders on Sunday.
Fred over Scott McTominay on Sunday…
United beat Arsenal back in September with Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen at the base of their midfield, and although their 3-1 win flattered them a bit because Arsenal were good in that game, it was the Red Devils who took all three points and that’s a fact – so whether or not Ten Hag will tell McTominay to go and do his job again, I’m not sure, but the way Fred played against Man City last weekend will certainly be on his manager’s mind.
The Brazilian was tenacious, he ran his socks off and tracked back really well. He really helped stop City’s midfield from functioning.
Personally, I’d start Fred alongside Eriksen. I don’t think Ten Hag will want to drop the Dane. Eriksen’s ball retention, calmness in possession and creative ability could be vital to unlocking Arsenal’s defence.
Ultimately though, whoever does play in place of Casemiro on the weekend will give Ten Hag a better understanding of exactly where the club are in terms of a title challenge.
Whoever it may be that plays, if they drop an 8 or 9 performance, the Dutchman will be buzzing with the fact he obviously has good squad options, but if they drop a 5 or a 6 performance, it’ll prove they’re still some way off the top sides, who continually prove that they can cope without their best players.
To the booing Man City fans… you’re a disgrace!
Man City fans booing the team at halftime on Thursday night against Tottenham Hotspur – what a disgrace!
I’m not sure if there’s a new generation of champagne City fans who have only ever experienced top-quality football and win after win, or not, but on what planet are those fans who booed living?
They’ve got arguably the best squad in the world and are managed by arguably the best manager in the world. Yes, they were down 2-0 at halftime, but with a whole second half still to play, get behind the team – don’t boo them off the pitch. Let’s be honest – it wasn’t like Spurs had dominated them for 45 minutes.
I have played against City when they were at Maine Road and back in those days, the crowd were raucous. It was really intimate at times, so historically, they’ve had great fans, so I don’t know what happened last night, but it was way too reactionary. They’re supporters of the defending champions and of a team who are still very much in this season’s title race. Madness!