Team of the Week: Two hattrick heroes, a Chelsea Loanee and Others

Many were called, few were chosen. In a week of impressive attacking and defensive performances, it was no easy task selecting just eighteen players.

In a 4-4-2 formation, here is the first eleven:

Goalkeeper: Marc Andre Ter Steven (Barcelona)

The performances of the goalkeepers – Ter Stegen for Barcelona and Jan Oblak for Atletico Madrid was a major reason the high profile clash ended goalless. Ter Stegen shades it with some brilliant saves, especially in the first half, to keep Barcelona in the game.

Right-back: Hamani Traore (Rennes)

The Malian hardly put a foot wrong in helping Rennes curtail PSG attackers. The 1-1 draw has thrown spanner in the works of PSG, in their bid to win Ligue 1.

Left-back: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)

The Spaniard scored the winner and put in a solid display in helping Chelsea win 2-1 away at Manchester City.

Center-back: Ben Godfrey (Everton)

The young center-back had an assist for the only goal of the game with a brilliant pass to Dominic Calvert-Lewin. In addition to helping Everton stop West Ham from having a shot on target.

Center-back: Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan)

The Chelsea loanee is enjoying himself at AC Milan. He added the gloss to the scoreline for AC Milan in their impressive away win at Juventus. He was also sturdy in defence throughout.

Midfielder: Bruno Guimaraes (Lyon)

The young midfielder scored two goals in Lyon’s 4-1 win against Lorient. The Brazilian has had 31 appearances in Ligue 1. His brace were were his second and third for the season.

Midfielder: Ricardo Gagliardini (Inter Milan)

The Italian was at the heart of Inter Milan’s trashing of Sampdoria. He also weighed in with a goal and an assist.

Wing-forward: Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)

The young Englishman is getting back in form for Dortmund at the right time. He scored twice as Dortmund put an end to RB Leipzig’s title dreams.

Wing-forward: Alexis Claude (Nice)

Claude weighed in with a hattrick of assists as Nice were not nice in coming from behind to deflate Brest.

Forward: Josip Brekalo (Wolfsburg)

The young Croat scored a hattrick for Wolfsburg in their 3-0 win against Union Berlin. The win keeps Wolfsburg in pole position in their hunt to finish in Champions League places.

Forward: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

It was goals number 37, 38 and 39 for the Polish forward as Bayern Munich celebrated their ninth straight Bundesliga title.

Manager: Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea)

Thomas Tuchel followed defeating Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the FA Cup with another win in the league to delay the Citizens expected Premier League win.

Substitutes: F. Bredlow (Stuttgart), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), E. Elustondo (Real Sociedad), Thiago Alcantara (Liverpool), H. Mkhitaryan (Roma), V. Osimhen (Napoli), B. Yilmaz (Lille)

Boald Codes: La Liga Title Race, Mock Champions League Final and Others

We are neck deep in that time of the season. Some teams are in dire need of points to win the league, qualify to play on the continent or escape relegation. There are also the spoilers, who have nothing to play for.

More than ever, we need to pick our games more carefully. This is probably not a time for long tickets like toilet rolls, most of them will end up in the bin. As we always say, ours is to supply the pass, yours is to finish. It is either you are Harry Kane or you are Yaya Sanogo. As usual, we have the Bankers, the Banana Peels and the Boald Call.

BANKERS

We start from Africa, where table-topping Simba should at least play a draw against Young Africans in the Tanzanian league, 1x comes at around 1.2.

In the NPFL, Rivers United to win at home against Dakkada comes at 1.3, go for it. You could also play home win for Akwa United against struggling Sunshine Stars but that won’t come at good odds, an over 1.5 should come through there also.

Trust Manchester City not to lose at home against Chelsea. Both sides need the maximum three points, it could be cagey. A Manchester City double chance is a safe bet at 1.2.

Manchester City could win the league this weekend

Liverpool have to keep winning to push for a continental slot. Trust them to win at home against Southampton, it comes at around 1.3.

For Barcelona against Atletico Madrid, a draw will not be enough for both sides. Expect both sides to try get goals. An over 1.5 should be a safe bet at 1.3.

Dortmund vs RB Leipzig should be a goals game. Both teams need to go for it. Both to score comes at 1.5, go for it.

Bayern Munich need to wrap up the Bundesliga as soon as possible. Robert Lewandowski is back. They should win at home against Borussia Mochengladbach, it comes at around 1.3.

Juventus can’t win the league but they can’t afford to miss out of the Champions League. They should at least avoid defeat against AC Milan. 1x comes at around 1.2, go for it.

Atalanta should win at already relegated Parma. It comes at around 1.2.

BANANA PEELS

Spezia need the points to avoid relegation and have shown some intent lately, including a draw against Inter Milan. They also won the first leg against Napoli. Be careful with Spezia vs Napoli.

You are not sure of the Inter Milan you will get. They are already champions and they play against ba Sampdoria side that have virtually nothing to play for. Be careful with this tie.

Already relegated Sheffield United take on inconsistent Crystal Palace. As we saw in their last home match, Sheffield might want to go down in a high. With nothing to play for, anything can happen.

Be careful with Real Madrid against Sevilla. Sevilla are outsiders in the title race and could be spoilers for a Real Madrid side that may have yet to recover from their Champions League exit.

Real Madrid might still be wounded.

BOALD CALL

In Ligue 1, Nantes are giving their quest to escape relegation a good push. After back-to-back impressive away wins, they should win at home against fellow strugglers Bordeaux. It comes at over 2.0. If you are bold go for it.

At this point, we wish you the best of luck. Terms and conditions apply. Hold the players and managers responsible if anything goes wrong but send your tithes here if you win.

Have a green weekend.

follow Goaldball on Twitter @goaldbal

How Chelsea destroyed Real Madrid in 11 Pictures

When Real Madrid saw Chelsea as their next opponents

These ones are a walkway to the final

Madrid, when Chelsea said they could pull off an upset

No be your type, one Champions League winner

Tuchel preparing Chelsea for the tie like

Na die there, I will show them no be only bald people sabi

How Madrid saw Chelsea at the beginning of the tie

We should enjoy these nights, where should we start from?

When Chelsea scored first

What’s going on?

Madrid when they equalised

Una go hear am today

Madrid to Chelsea at the end of the first leg

Una don die for una house, we just played with you here

Madrid going into the second leg

Hazard, Ramos, Mendy are back, we are here to destroy Stamford bridge

Hazard, when Zidane told him he is looking to forward to see him help knock Chelsea out

You don’t mean it

Hazard in the match

It is a win-win

Real Madrid at the end of the tie

Thoughts of a Lunatic: ‘Whooligans’ United, El Cashico and Other Talking Points

Lunatic things happening in football lately, like some ‘whooligans’ preventing a match from going on to Juventus failing to win the Serie A.

Idiotism is not synonymous to drinking a bottle of Elliot alone, drinking a cup of zobo is enough to make some Desmond, Garuba and Dino think they own a multi million dollars project, even when their landlord must not know their whereabouts. Bringing us to some of the matters the Lunatic wants to talk about today.

Whooligans United

Till now, I don’t really know why some people disrupted the Manchester United vs Liverpool match from going on. I have heard all sorts. From, Adidas making a zebra design jersey, to too much red pigment in the home jersey, to David Beckham joining Real Madrid bla bla bla. Maybe I do not really have a head for the economic side of football but who dictates to a business owner how to run his business? Who really owns most of these clubs? The highest share owner who invested his money in the business or the man who loves the club and buys some Aba-made merchandises?

Glazers out?

I really do not get the protest against the Glazers. Manchester United have the most expensive defender and midfielder in the Premier League. They spend money to buy players and manage the club resources, which is what fans (including Arsenal fans) expect of their owners. The protest by the whooligans appears more like an attempt to postpone Manchester City’s league-title party. Manchester City will win the league, Manchester United are simply accompanying them to the title like they did in 2018. City are in the final of the Champions League while United are on the brink of the Europa League final. United are wishing they are City right now. The noise is coming from the red side these days.

El Cashico

Manchester City are in the final of the Champions League because Neymar is still alive. Neymar was so bent on being the star of the day while his teammates tried to overturn the first leg deficit against City that he ran about like an headless chicken. The Citizens won because they were the better team (emphasis on team), not because the referee told Paredes and Herrera to f*ck off. In truth, the referee could have called some of the PSG players pussy (as in, pussy cat) because they behaved like one. I can’t totally blame them, I am also a proponent of ‘when you lose the match, don’t lose the fight’. However, I hope the referee was able to get Fernandinho’s shirt and autograph after the match, the only thing Fernandinho had to do to get a yellow card was to headbutt Neymar for being an annoying compatriot but he didn’t.

Neymar was in his own circus, joking

Congratulations to City, billions of dollars after, they are in the Champions League final. One must also salute the genius of Guardiola for taking an expensive assemblage of players to the final. Afterall, it is not necessarily the richest kid that has all the books and facilities that comes first in class. Chelsea or Real Madrid awaits them in the final. We dey here.

Bottlelona FC

Beat Granada at home and go top of the table, Barcelona did not draw, they lost. Bottling is becoming very synonymous with Barcelona. Remember Rome, remember Anfield, I mean they allowed Divock Origi have the best night of his life. If he will ever have such a night again, it will never be on a football pitch, it will be on the bed.

The title race in La Liga is still a three-horse or a two-horse and a Chihuahua race. Barcelona must prove they are not the Chihuahua by winning what looks like a play-off against Atletico Madrid next weekend. They seems to have mastered the art of bottling better than a certain club in North London.

Juve and Pirlo

Juve and Pirlo sounds like Duvet and Pillow. A perfect match on a cold morning but this Juve and Pirlo do not look like a perfect match.

Apart from being a lookalike of the pictorial representation of Jesus, the only reason Juventus must have hired Pirlo as coach is because he is Andrea Pirlo. I mean, it is not like he did apprenticeship under Pep Guardiola, like someone else we know. Juventus must have felt being a good passer of the ball is synonymous to passing tactical information.

Having Ronaldo is not enough

Well, when you have done something consecutively for nine years, there is everything tendency to get bored and want to do something else. I mean from winning the title to contesting for top four trophy, variety is the spice of life. Anyway, congratulations to Inter Milan.

Jose Mourinho finds himself in Rome. When you are in Rome, act like a Roman but trust Mourinho won’t. The same way he acted like a Mancunian while he was in North London, expect no difference.

I always said Sam Allardyce’s jazz was going to fail this time. It is looking like I am a prophet? No. It is simple, everyday no be Christmas. Every lunatic knows that. It is high time clubs stop that sh*t of going into the season with flamboyant coaches only to sack them for Allardyce to try escape relegation. Appoint Allardyce from the beginning if you trust him to do the job.

I am tired of writing, I have to go face other hustles. If you see a guy talking to himself on your street, that’s me, holler, I won’t bite you.

Follow Goaldball on Twitter @goaldbal

Boald Codes: FA Cup, Copa Del Rey and Other Betting Tips

If you banked on our bankers last week you must have smiled to the bank. We were on point like decimal. That’s how stars do. We go again today, threading with caution as usual.

We have selected our bankers we believe will definitely happen, going by permutations. We have the Banana Peels – the matches you should try to avoid and the Boald Call for the bold to stake on.

BANKERS

In La Liga, Atletico Madrid are due a win, there is no better place to start than a home win against Eibar. Atletico are valued at around 1.5 for a win. Eibar are bottom of the table and have not won any of their last nine matches.

In the Copa Del Rey, Athletic Bilbao take on Barcelona. Bilbao are always tricky opponents. They defeated Barcelona in the Super Cup and lost out narrowly in last year’s final played recently. However, Barcelona should be up for this. They were in good form before losing the El Clasico last week. Barcelona should win this, it comes at around 1.6.

Messi and his teammates should be up for this

Crotone will play Udinese in Serie A. A common feature of Crotone’s matches is goals. They score in abundance and concede in abundance. Over 1.5 comes at around 1.2. You could go for more and do an over 2.5.

Still in Serie A, Lazio are in good form and have won their last four. They take on Benevento, who have just one win in nine – interestingly against Juventus. At around 1.4, Lazio should get a win. They also have a good record against Benevento.

PSG knows a win can take them to the top of Ligue 1, they should win at home against St Etienne, it comes at around 1.3.

Atalanta vs Juventus should produce goals. You can go for over 1.5 or over 2.5, or a BTS, which we are recommending. It comes at around 1.4.

Marseille vs Lorient in Ligue 1 should produce a home side double-chance. Marseille have a better home record, just as Lorient do not have a good away record. Marseille double chance is around 1.2.

BANANA PEELS

Like last week, still avoid Bayern Munich for now. They go away to Wolfsburg with lots of their top players out injured. Wolfsburg are in good form. They have lost just two of their last nine. It will be a tricky one.

Chelsea against Manchester City in the FA Cup is tricky. Chelsea are more solid defensively under Thomas Tuchel and it could be a bedrock for a cup success. A safe bet might be a Manchester City double chance as this match might not produce goals. Stay away, if you can.

Expect a keenly contested tie

BOALD CALL

Norwich are on the verge of gaining promotion back to the Premier League. They have tough opponents in fellow promotion contenders Bournemouth this weekend. Norwich are unbeaten in nine, seven wins in those. In that time, Bournemouth have lost just once, seven wins. With promotion very close, Norwich should be poised for a win. It comes at over 2.0. If you are Boald, go for it.

That’s all for today. We have supplied the assists, the finishing skills is yours.

We will always advise you to bet responsibly. Don’t stake a money that will affect you. We wish you the luck of the green.

Follow goaldball on Twitter @goaldbal

Thought of a Lunatic: Arsenal in their Tent, Farmer’s League Revolt and Other Talking Points

The final bend of the season is here. No more international breaks this season. It is sprint to finish from now. The race is most likely for the swiftest. While some are staying permanently in their new found ‘tent’, some are grasping with trying to return to the top or Continental positions. Some are trying to swim out of the murky waters of relegation.

The Lunatic took some lessons from the world of football last weekend and here are his thoughts.

Arsenal’s Permanent Tent

Arsenal and their Youth Corper coach seems to have found home in tenth. They used to complain about going ‘forth’, so they have found a permanent ‘tent’. At a point under Arsene Wenger, finishing fourth was the standard till they started falling below. With Arsenal in it, it used to be a top-four in the Premier League. When Arsenal and Liverpool fell off, it was expanded to top six. If Arsenal are thinking it will be further expanded to top ten, they better wake up.

The most consisTENTH team in the Premier League

They have consistently held on to tenth this season. When it seems they have started to crawl up the table, they always find a way back to their tent. Against Liverpool last weekend, it was men against toddlers. With their Travis Scott captain, they were completely played out of the park.

The bad news for the Gunners with their empty riffles is they may miss out on Europe entirely next season except they win the Europa League. Let’s start welcoming Arsenal to the midtable club.

Pochettino in the farmer’s league

PSG winning the Ligue One is a giving or supposed to be. The ‘havesters’ have always been head and shoulders above the others in the farmer’s league. But it seems the farmers have revolted against the havesters this season. PSG also have a manager that is not used to harvesting and it seems the farmers have noticed it.

While PSG have made some headway in the Champions League, their poor performance in the Ligue One was highlighted by another home defeat against a top side. They had a chance of going top but blew it at home defeat against Lille. They have now lost five times at home this season. As usual, the returning Neymar gets so competitive in this sort of matches that he gets sent off. Just like he got sent off against Marseille earlier in the season, he got another red card against Lille. Anything to show he is committed to the cause.

PSG have been better in the Champions League

At the other place where Pochettino left in England, chaos is brewing. Jose Mourinho as usual throws his players under the bus in public. Questioned about his team conceding a late goal, something not always attributed to a Mourinho team in the past. ‘Same coach, different players’ he said. Maybe a coach is as good as his players after all. No coach be genius.

Atletico Bottlers

Talking about ‘monkey no get skills, na tree near tree’. Atletico Madrid are close to completing a bottling, even Arsenal will be envious of. At the beginning of the year, Atletico Madrid were 10 points away, with a game in hand. With both Barcelona and Real Madrid struggling, it looked like Atletico Madrid winning their second league title under Diego Simeone was a giving.

Barcelona and Real Madrid are back in form and are breathing down Atletico’s neck. They are both one and three points away from Atletico respectively.

In addition to their tepid display against Chelsea in the Champions League. Someone’s sit should start becoming hot. Passion is not enough for the world’s most expensive manager anymore. He must earn his money by ensuring Atletico see this through.

The Lunatic will rest his pen here. Enjoy the midweek Champions League and Europa League matches. Someone said Chelsea were in good form till a President went to London and they got hit for five at home against West Brom. Porto are waiting.

Follow goaldball on Twitter @goaldball

Thoughts of a Lunatic: The Ex One, Blood on Lampard’s Hands and Other Talking Points

In the world of football these days, be careful of what you say or do because what you say or do shall be used to drag you in the court of banter.

The UEFA Champions League and Europa League quarterfinal draws must have been made while you are reading this. We already know those that were booted out. Some GOATs were pulled out with their horns, no one confused their bleatings for the roaring of lions. One of the GOATs even promised to deliver a Champions League trophy, just as a Nigerian musician promised to deliver the Grammy. To be nice to him, he was one of those that inspired those that have finally delivered it. Back to the GOAT, the matter is about even keeping him in his barn right now before there can be talks of delivering another Champions League trophy.

The Ex One

Jose Mourinho has had many monikers in his managerial career. The first and the most popular one being The Special One. He was indeed special, he delivered trophies wherever he went to. The name Mourinho became synonymous with success. He called fellow managers names and dragged many of them in the mud.

Once a special one

On joining Tottenham, he gave himself a new moniker – the Experienced One. According to him, he had seen it all. The highs and the lows, getting fired and getting hired. After the disapointment of Manchester United, he appears to have seen it all, there is barely any top club that will want to take the risk on Mourinho any longer. He however made a mistake, the moniker should start with ‘Ex’ but should be the Expired One. Taking over at Tottenham was seen as a sign of his fallen stocks and it wouldn’t have gotten worse than losing a 2-0 first leg lead against Dynamo Zagreb. By the way, Dynamo Zagreb’s manager left his post on the eve of the second leg as he is set to go to jail. This is win should have been his get out of jail card but his imprisonment has nothing to do with football.

Blood on Lampard’s Hands

Since Thomas Tuchel took over at Chelsea, there has been a complete turn around from the Frank Lampard years. Chelsea seems to be enjoying more than a new managers bounce under Tuchel. They have not lost in 13 and have kept 11 clean sheets in that time. Chelsea and clean sheets were hardly in the same sentence during Lampard’s reign. They drank goals like 33 Lager beer. Though Kepa ‘Aribisagba’ had his own shortcomings, he was largely a scapegoat of a poor system. The team looks very solid under Tuchel, with the same set of players.

Chelsea could barely defend under Lampard

Many of the players looked bad bar Lampard’s beloved son – Mason Mount. Lampard has blood on his hands for how bad he made Chelsea look.

It is not absolute fun saying positives about Chelsea or anyone as far as the Lunatic is concerned. I hope Roman Abramovich feels bored very soon, sacks Tuchel and brings in maybe Didier Drogba, so we have more fun things to say.

In other matters. So Arsenal does a clear out that involves Sokratis Papastho… whatever. He plays against Arsenal with Olympiakos Piraeus at the Emirates stadium and he leaves with a clean sheet. Luckily for Arsenal, they had done the job in the first leg. And also luckily for them, they won’t be playing against Schalke 04 anytime soon.

That’s all that came to the mind of the Lunatic today. See you some other time.

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Boald Code: Chelsea vs Manchester United and other fixtures

Another weekend, pools of games like sands in Bar Beach. Tempting as they are, there is always need to thread cautiously. It is also a tricky week and there is every need to avoid over-analysis.

In our picks this week we will be as direct as possible. We have our bankers, the banana peels and the Boald call, we hope our choices brings you the luck of the green.

Banker

We start with the Nigeria Professional Football League. The Saturday fixture sees in-form Abia Warriors host Wikki Tourist. Go for an Abia win, it comes at around 1.50.

Manchester City and West Ham are two in-form sides in the Premier League. Go for a Manchester City win at around 1.30.

In Germany, Borussia Dortmund should win against struggling Arminia Bielefeld. It comes at around 1.20.

Expect Haaland among the goals for Dortmund

Bayern Munich should do the business against Cologne or at least score goals. Over 2.5 comes at around 1.33.

Tottenham should put their struggles behind them to win at home against Burnley. Tottenham win comes at around 1.50.

Napoli have struggled lately but can now solely concentrate on the league. At around 1.48, you can back them for a home win against Benevento.

In the CAF Champions League, Wydad Casablanca are backed at 1.73 for a home win against Kaizer Chiefs. Wydad are recent winners of the Champions League and will have too much for the South Africans. Go for a Wydad win.

Banana Peels

Leeds host Aston Villa at Elland Road. Aston Villa who will likely be without captain Jack Grealish are likely to deploy a defensive approach. Avoid playing the goals game. A Boald Call is a Leeds win, it comes at over 2.0.

Avoid a Juventus win, they go away to Hellas Verona. Juventus have a must-win Champions League match in focus, that may affect them. The last time they played at Hellas Verona, they lost and Hellas Verona are a good side at home, they have won all their last three at home.

Boald Call

Our Boald Call comes from the match of the weekend, Chelsea vs Manchester United. Chelsea have not won any of their last six league matches against Manchester United, three of which have ended in draws. Since losing against Tottenham, Manchester United have drawn against all of the traditional big six. Expect a cagey affair that may end in a draw and or low-scoring match. If you are bold, go for a draw, at around 3.39.

Chelsea vs Manchester United should be cagey

Those are our picks for today. As doctors will say, ‘we treat, God heals’. We will also say, ‘we predict, teams play’. So, if you win, pay your tithes here, if you don’t, hold the teams responsible.

What next for Frank Lampard?

It is perhaps too early to put Super Frankie in the bracket of ‘Super player – mediocre manager’.

The illustrious club that has the likes of Gary Neville, Roy Keane, Tony Adams etc. cannot admit Frank Lampard yet. His reign at Chelsea can be best termed – ‘arrived early, left early’.

Lampard back in the labour market

We thought Roman Abramovich had turned a new leaf when he appointed Lampard in the first place. We thought Chelsea had found their ‘ride and die’ until Monday morning when the news hit like Dustin Poirier punches on Connor McGregor. Well, we were not supposed to be surprised, firing and hiring managers has become a culture at Chelsea. But as stated earlier, Lampard was not in the ilk of their type of managers when he was appointed. However, it had the potential of a Cinderella story. Lampard, a legend at the club, taking over the club and leading them to glory. It appeared like Lampard could be to Chelsea what Pep Guardiola was to Barcelona and Zinedine Zidane was to Real Madrid. It was also Chelsea joining the tradition of having former players at the helms. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is at Manchester United and Arsenal have also gone for Mikel Arteta. It also seemed like a marriage of convenience, at a time Chelsea were under a transfer ban and they needed someone that was their own to help them through the period.

Lampard joined a trend of young former players managing their former clubs

All those said, Lampard never looked like a well thought out plan at the outset. Though there were some glimpses at Derby County, it was not enough to trust him with a job as demanding and unforgiving like the Chelsea job. The safest option could have been keeping Maurizio Sarri on the job. Now that it is all done, what next for Lampard?

Lampard was always going to manage Chelsea at a point but it came too early. Even at that, never rule out a second coming. However, it could be a long and rough road to his second coming. Now is the time for Lampard to pay the dues he could have avoided paying if Chelsea had stuck with him. Reality is, Lampard will not get a top job in England, at least not anytime soon. He has to probably return to the Championship and work his way back to the top. Another option is to get a job outside England where he can prove that he has what it takes to be a top coach.

Lampard at Chelsea was a manager that didn’t instill any noticeable identity. It was difficult to define his style and notice his imprint on the team. Lampard has to work on that, almost all top coaches are synonymous with a style. Even when results are not going their way there is always the tendency to see the process and trust them. That did not happen with Lampard in his 18 months at Chelsea, probably the reason why he was sacked.

Lampard’s first sack might be a minor setback

Another option is to admit that he might not be cut out for coaching. Becoming a Pundit has become quite lucrative for retired footballers. Lampard could swap the dugout for the studio were he gets the job done on touch screens rather than on the field of play. The likes of Neville, Adams, Tim Sherwood etc. are making waves, winning matches on touch screens.

However, it will be too early for Lampard to give up on coaching, there are signs he could have something to offer. Lampard might have taken a bite at the cherry too early, hindering his chance for a second bite. But as stated earlier, he will have to earn his second bite. He will have to work for it, it will not be given on a platter. The disappointment at Chelsea could be just a blip but only he (Lampard) can prove that.

Written by Babatomiwa Ojo

@10qmedia on Twitter

Thoughts of a Lunatic: Pressure Mounts on Lampard, Record Breaker Messi and other Talking Points

This is football! Anything can happen. This is where heroes turn to villains and villains turn to heroes before you say Mesut Ozil. Arsenal finally got the back of Ozil. Frank Lampard is running out of legendary bias at Chelsea, just as Lionel Messi is bent on leaving Barcelona with no records left. On this edition of Thoughts of a Lunatic, we take a look at some of these talking points in the ever crazy world of football.

Goner Ozil

Mesut Ozil arrived at Arsenal in 2013 to fan fair but has left like a villain. Arsenal fans are divided, some are happy he is finally gone while some chastise the club for treating him badly. While the Lunatic is not taking sides, who gets badly treated by getting paid £350,000 every week for doing nothing? Who gets paid £350,000 for sitting in the stands with an umbrella protecting his delicate skin from the sunlight? Ozil should swap position with an average Nigerian graduate working in a factory in Nigeria owned by a Lebanese and know what ill treatment is.

Arsenal’s g-boy has gone.

There were some moments of brilliance, some assists and some impressive stats but Ozil at Arsenal did not turn out as expected. While he cannot be said to have been an outright flop, he did not have the desired effect either. Luckily for Arsenal, it is at a point when a certain Emile Smith-Rowe has started doing well in the number ten role, it helped the club take attention away from a ‘chasm’ Ozil’s departure might have created.

Like he said, he is happy to be at Fenerbahçe, maybe there is a little left to see or it is just another payday while engaging fans on Twitter, time will tell.

Messi’s Passion

In the past few months, we are beginning to see the side of Lionel Messi we didn’t see in the past. The Argentine showcased the Keane in him with a punch to the face of an opponent – the first time he gets sent off for Barcelona. It is no news Messi wanted to leave at the summer, Barcelona held on, so Messi can help win matches like the Super Cup final. Lo and behold Barcelona lost to Athletico Bilbao and also lost Messi to a two-match ban.

Messi is still breaking records

It is becoming clear that Messi may not belong to the Nou Camp anymore. At a time it seemed the goals scoring numbers has started getting better and we are not only limited to a Penalnel Messi, the man showed his other side. However, it seems Messi is bent on breaking all records before he leaves.

Pressure Mounts on Lampard

Not even Mason Mount will save Frank Lampard when the hammer falls on him. Mount seems to be Lampard’s greatest achievement as a football manager but if results don’t get better, Mount might be following Lampard back to the Championship soon.

Pressure continues to mount on Lampard.

The results and the performances are getting worse. Supposed title challengers are getting sucked into mid-table after splashing the cash on summer arrivals. Many Chelsea fans have brought out their daggers and are calling for Lampard’s head, they don’t even want to remember that he is a club legend. However, Chelsea fans should look at the positives, they longer concede 3 regularly like they used to do. It has been a while since they were bantered with their jersey. On a more serious note, Manchester United fans used to shout #oleout too before but they are top of the table now (not to say things can’t change again) but it is prove that stories can change very quickly in football.

Chelsea fans are not used to this, they don’t make agitations before their managers get fired, things seemed to have changed. They may be stuck to Lampard as Ugandans are stuck with their president, even invading the Stamford Bridge like the Capitol may not change anything.

That is all I wrote on this edition of Thoughts of a Lunatic, till next time, stay blessed.