TA TA TOMMY T
If Graham Potter is to take the elusive Chelsea job in the next few hours/days, it will be very fashionable to say that his critical faculties must have faded for a while. Brighton, you see, is as optimal an example as you can get of a well-run club. Potter’s team play some very attractive football. Hell, they’ve even recently learned how to make goals. Because of their modest status and limited resources, they have no right to mix it with the big boys. But mix it up with the big boys they do. Life is great on the south coast, and this particular Pottersville is no dystopian nightmare; A seagull-infused Shangri-La. Such a happy place to be.
Chelsea, by contrast, are a roaring skip fire, shotguns of that proportion that make Manchester United appear as a paragon of long-term, holistic strategy. Compare and contrast QED. However, in his self-appointed role as satirical iconoclast, of the lame, idiotic and deeply jaded variety, The Fiver feels obliged to counterargument. So here goes. Chelsea may not be very good at the moment, but they are still world champions. They have reached five of their last eight domestic finals, although they have not won any of them, and were European champions a year ago. They have also spent up to £250m on shiny new players. Brighton, by contrast, have done none of those things, and are unlikely to do so anytime soon. So you can see why the Stamford Bridge gig, for all its faults, will still attract ambitious types. It’s not much warmer, but it’s still there.
Potter – who Brighton have allowed to chat with Chelsea – is seen as the ideal candidate for new owner Todd Boehly’s root and branch restructuring of the club, able and willing to implement a consistent home style in a way that was Thomas Tuchel. no. What’s more, the revived look of Potter’s mod is perfectly suited to nearby Kings Rahd, the fashionable way Tuchel was seen bouncing by the seat of his pants this morning. Boehly is said to have been unimpressed with Tuchel’s adamant refusal to sign Anthony Gordon; terrible losses at Leeds and Southampton; implemented through different tactical formations last night in Zagreb, it seems all at the same time; and their participation in to a cloud of comic book dust by Antonio Conte with fists and boots sticking out of it.
Look, everyone acted surprised at the decision to get rid of him … but throw in the best part of a year’s worth of football, and this can’t be real. to surprising much, is it possible?
LIVE ON A BIG WEBSITE
Join Scott Murray at 8pm BST for Napoli 1-2 Liverpool in the Super Cup, while Barry Glendenning will be around Tottenham 2-0 Marseille at the same time.
STATEMENT OF THE DAY
“This is a very powerful club that could have a bit of a crisis temporarily. And we used it. But we fully deserved such an equal score, because we played with our hearts. When you play with your heart for the country, for Ukraine, then you have a result like [this]. I am proud of the team and I can say that I am the happiest coach in the world now. This is unforgettable” – Igor Jovicevic is overjoyed and a little emotional after his club’s stunning 4-1 thrashing of RB Leipzig, which led to Domenico Tedesco treating Tommy T.
“As Chelsea look out for a new manager, they might want to look at Thomas Tuchel. I believe he is out of work at the moment and won a Big Cup a few years back. Not sure he has the fans of the American owners obsessing over the stats of Everton’s young faces who have only scored six goals in 66 games though…” – Noble Francis.
“I was also sent off as a goalkeeper for ‘unsportsmanlike conduct’ (Five letters passim). Picture the scene: 1984, cold, windy, odd mother rutted of pitch. Section 13 of the Sussex League on Sunday. Only eight opposition players had turned up, and most of them had terrible hangovers. By half time we were 13-0 up, and I missed the ball. Midway through the second half, 21-0 up and still no starter on the ball, I was so bored that I decided to have the traditional full-time fag during the game, not leaning against the post. From 100 yards away an eagle-eyed ref spotted this horrific breach, ran the length of the pitch and sent me to the heat of the dressing rooms. We still won 27-0” – Stevie Ewens.
“I have to disagree with my colleague Jason O’Mahony (Tuesday’s Fiver Letters). The Fiver is, if nothing else, educational. How else are we in the USA! United States of America!! United States of America!!! supposed to learn the UK bank holiday schedule?” – Steve Smith.
Send your letters to [email protected] And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. The winner of our letter without prize today is … Stevie Ewens.
Tune in to today’s Football Weekly podcast, which comes to you after a hastily rearranged second recording thanks to to Chelsea flowing.
NEWS, YEAST AND BOBS
Ryan Giggs will face a second trial next summer over allegations of assault and coercive behavior against his ex-girlfriend. Jurors in the first trial were unable to reach a verdict last week.
The US women’s national team has signed a historic equal pay agreement with their male counterparts. The collective bargaining agreement with US Soccer was originally agreed upon in May.
England midfielder Keira Walsh has joined Barcelona for a world-record fee, after the Catalan club agreed a £350,000 deal with Manchester City.
Antonio Conte is busy with Spurs’ busy fixture list, with games against Marseille, Manchester City and Sporting coming up in the next seven days. “Our schedule is crazy,” Conte said. “One more day, one less day can change your life completely.”
Arsenal’s Bernd Leno has been beaten by USA’s replacement! United States of America!! United States of America!!! keeper Matt Turner. “He saw that it was not about performance, it was about politics,” Leno told Sport Bild. “I had to get out of there.”
England completed their 2023 World Cup qualification campaign with a 10-0 drubbing of Luxembourg, while Wales secured a play-off spot alongside Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.
And in melee news, Leeds and Barnsley were both fined by the FA for their Carabao Cup dust-up, while Middlesbrough and Swansea were also sanctioned for brouhaha in their recent Championship game.
STILL ABOUT MORE?
From Big Cup to Door Marked Do One in 17 months: Ed Aarons looks at how Tommy T’s reign at Chelsea unfolded. And here’s a gallery of his many box office moments at the Bridge.
As Jürgen Klopp looks for answers after Liverpool’s slow start, he could probably do without another Super Cup trip to Napoli, notes Andy Hunter.
With Neymar and Kylian Mbappé in full force, PSG could be the real deal in the Champions League this season, according to Barney Ronay.
What do Milan Pavkov, Marco Etcheverry and Rory Fallon have in common? Answers in this week’s Info.
Ben McAleer looks at how Richarlison gave Tottenham the attacking depth Antonio Conte needed.
Our WSL previews continue, with Liverpool back in the top flight and Manchester City aiming for the title.
And if it’s your thing… you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!