More On The “Hazard To Madrid” Saga, City’s Goalkeeper Conundrum And Martial’s About-Turn

Posted: August 23, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur, Transfers
Tags: , , , ,

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Can Chelsea really afford to sell Eden Hazard? Can they afford not to? It’s the age old question of whether the player wants to leave and if he should be kept against his will.

Hazard has recently expressed a desire to play Champion’s League football which, having only missed two seasons during his time at the club, is a little selfish.

Now, with Maurizio Sarri in charge, Manchester United and Arsenal looking nothing more than average and only Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City to concern them, Chelsea should be fairly confident of a top four finish this season meaning that he would return to Europe’s top competition next time out.

So, next question. Does he just want to compete in the Champion’s League regularly or feel he is with a team who can win it?

If the answer is the latter then he needs to leave, particularly if he can get a move to Real Madrid, who seem keen. If he isn’t that bothered about winning and just likes the competition then he should stay where he is. As everybody is well aware there is more rivalry and excitement in the Premier League than there is in La Liga.

Hazard strikes us as being somebody who wants to win and it is this which is fuelling his desire to move to Spain. He knows he will win trophies with Real Madrid whilst his current club is less likely to supply his demand.

The question than becomes one of ambition. Does he want to be challenged or is he just looking for an easier route to medals? To be fair to the player, he doesn’t seem to be agitating for a move which suggests that he may have had a chat with the new manager and agreed to stay for another season, rather than jump ship with his, now former, team mate Thibaut Courtois.

If Chelsea are challenging for the top in January Hazard can be expected to see the season out. If not, then he may well leave for Madrid in that window. Time will tell.

In Manchester…..

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Possibly City’s new second choice goalkeeper until Claudio Bravo is fit

And City have a mini-crisis involving the goalkeeping position. Claudio Bravo, Manchester’s answer to Loris Karius, has only gone and got himself injured and is out for the long term. Joyful Joe Hart has been given a lift up the road to Burnley, (where he is currently sniggering at Guardiola’s plight), Angus Gunn has been sold to Souithampton and last season’s third choice, Aro Muric, has been sent on loan to NEC Breda in Holland.

That leaves local lad Daniel Grimshaw as the one to step up to the number two plate. He was the under-23 keeper last term and is progressing well enough so it is the logical move for Guardiola to promote him although an emergency loan signing is another option.

A third option would be for Ederson not to get injured but, the way he plays the game, there is no guarantee on that one.

Across town…..

Anthony Martial has, reportedly, performed a u-turn on his desire to leave United, now preferring to stay and fight for his place.

This, very coincidentally, comes at a time when there is enormous pressure on the current manager.

Martial may very well be laying the groundwork, or so he thinks, in preparation for a new manager’s arrival when he would expect to be given a clean slate.

He may well have a point because Mourinho, who is now beginning his third season at United, is entering unknown territory. Unknown, that is, in relation to potential success. It is actually very well known what happened to him in the third season at Chelsea.

If you remember, as we are sure you do, he had a disastrous season, falling out with some of his best players and it all resulted in him being fired. Sound familiar? Well this season has started in very much the same way although Mourinho himself has reassured everyone, (himself included?), that lightning isn’t going to strike twice and he will be trying to challenge for the title this season.

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Anthony Martial will be not-so-secretly hoping that José Mourinho gets the boot so that he can continue to wear his for United

Good on him, after all, it won’t be easy what with that nasty board refusing to buy him another centre back to go along with the 47 he already has and him only having spent a measly £350+million since his arrival.

Who’d be a football manager?

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