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Antonio Rudiger’s move to Tottenham fell through as he was ‘wary of fan fallout’

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antonio rudigers move to tottenham fell through as he was wary of fan fallout

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger decided against a move to Tottenham because he was ‘wary of a fallout with supporters’.

It was revealed that the German defender had held very positive talks with Spurs boss Jose Mourinho as he looked on his way out at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues were prepared to let Rudiger leave on loan but the defender backed out as he ‘felt wary of the potential fall out from supporters for playing for one of Chelsea’s biggest rivals’, reported the Athletic. 

Antonio Rudiger decided against a move to Tottenham because he was 'wary of a fan fallout'

Antonio Rudiger decided against a move to Tottenham because he was 'wary of a fan fallout'

Antonio Rudiger decided against a move to Tottenham because he was ‘wary of a fan fallout’

The Chelsea defender had held positive talks with Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho

The Chelsea defender had held positive talks with Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho

The Chelsea defender had held positive talks with Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho

The 27-year-old instead opted to remain at Stamford Bridge and fight for his place in Frank Lampard’s side. 

He also attracted interest from across Europe with AC Milan, Roma and Barcelona who all made approaches but were hindered by financial issues. 

PSG manager Thomas Tuchel was interested in Rudiger and wanted to bring him to the Ligue 1 champions but no deal was struck. 

PSG manager Thomas Tuchel was interested in Rudiger but couldn't work out a deal for him

PSG manager Thomas Tuchel was interested in Rudiger but couldn't work out a deal for him

PSG manager Thomas Tuchel was interested in Rudiger but couldn’t work out a deal for him

The PSG board felt as if they could not sanction the deal, leaving Tuchel further frustrated with the club’s incoming throughout the summer transfer window.  

Chelsea also almost shipped off defender Fikayo Tomori following the news that Rudiger would be staying at the club. 

However, with a loan move to West Ham all but wrapped up Tomori decided to pull out of the deal and leave David Moyes without the centre back signing he so desperately wanted.   

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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‘Project Big Picture is NOT dead,’ EFL chairman Rick Parry says

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project big picture is not dead efl chairman rick parry says

EFL chairman Rick Parry insists Project Big Picture is not dead in the water and could yet be revived. 

The controversial proposals put forward predominantly by Liverpool and Manchester United, endorsed by Parry, were shot down in a meeting with all the Premier League clubs. 

‘No no. Absolutely not. I do not believe it is’, Parry told Jamie Carragher for the Telegraph when asked if Project Big Picture was dead.   

Rick Parry, EFL chairman, has insisted that Project Big Picture is not dead in the water

Rick Parry, EFL chairman, has insisted that Project Big Picture is not dead in the water

Rick Parry, EFL chairman, has insisted that Project Big Picture is not dead in the water 

Project Big Picture was to offer more funding for the EFL but big clubs wanted special rights

Project Big Picture was to offer more funding for the EFL but big clubs wanted special rights

Project Big Picture was to offer more funding for the EFL but big clubs wanted special rights

He insisted: ‘There is too much good in it. The debate has to be kept alive. The EFL will not lie down and shut up. 

‘The Premier League has promised a strategic review. They recognise there needs to be change. I hope it happens speedily.

‘It is not complicated. It could be done really quickly. We have EFL clubs finding it challenging to pay wages in November. Others will be struggling around Christmas. Without supporters, by February and March there will be more in that situation.’   

Greg Clarke, FA chairman, was involved in the early talks but then distanced himself

Greg Clarke, FA chairman, was involved in the early talks but then distanced himself

Greg Clarke, FA chairman, was involved in the early talks but then distanced himself

Liverpool owner John W Henry and United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward were two of the main advocates of the plans but Project Big Picture was seen by many as a power grab from the ‘Big Six’ in English football despite the pledge for increased funding for the EFL and scrapping of the Carabao Cup.  

It proposed that the Premier League would be cut from 20 to 18 teams with ‘nine long term shareholders given special power and voting rights. 

Parry denies that those pushing the big picture agenda are not doing so covertly in an underhand manner. 

He also expressed his disappointment that the FA did not endorse aspects of the proposals that they liked. Greg Clarke, FA chairman, distanced himself from the talks having initially been involved. 

Parry thinks there is enough good in the proposals for them to be tweaked and approved

Parry thinks there is enough good in the proposals for them to be tweaked and approved

Parry thinks there is enough good in the proposals for them to be tweaked and approved

Parry lamented the fact that the radical proposals were ‘leaked to kill’ Project Big Picture in his opinion but he is optimistic and believes it ‘is too good to die’.  

The EFL chairman thinks the fact that Championship clubs back a reduced Premier League for a more sustainable funding model indicates the will to make some of the serious changes he advocates. 

He noted the widespread support from EFL clubs for the proposals and remains optimistic that a consensus can be reached despite vehement opposition wanting to keep additional powers out of reach for the Big Six  

PROJECT BIG PICTURE PROPOSALS

  • The Premier League will be cut from 20 to 18 teams, with the Championship, League One and League Two all keeping their usual 24 clubs.
  • Nine ‘long term shareholders’ will be given the power and have special voting rights on all sorts of issues in the Premier League, including rule changes, who becomes chief executive, and even if a new owner can take over at another club.
  • A £350million rescue fund will be made immediately available to the EFL and Football Association for lost revenues for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.
  • The League Cup and the Community Shield will be completely abolished.
  • Parachute payments will be scrapped and instead, 25 per cent of Premier League revenue will be distributed to the EFL.
  • Promotion play-offs brought in, involving 16th-placed team in the Premier League, and 3rd, 4th and 5th in the Championship.
  • Funding will be provided to set up a new and independent women’s league.
  • Season to start later and pre-season friendlies extended.
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This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Kai Havertz is the obvious contender to replace Jorginho as Chelsea’s penalty taker

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kai havertz is the obvious contender to replace jorginho as chelseas penalty taker

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard revealed he will talk to his players before deciding who will be the man with the responsibility to take penalties. 

The Blues boss could make Timo Werner his new spot-kick taker after the £53million summer signing rifled in his effort from 12 yards in their 4-0 win against Krasnodar in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Werner stepped up in the absence of regular penalty taker Jorginho, who had been substituted, although the midfielder had also missed from the spot with the game goalless.

Jorginho, who deploys a hop-skip technique when standing over the ball, has now missed two penalties in his last four attempts.

Here, Sportsmail looks at the other contenders who could step up for Chelsea and whether it is time for one of them to take penalty duties off Jorginho. 

Will Frank Lampard choose Timo Werner (R) to replace Jorginho as Chelsea's penalty taker?

Will Frank Lampard choose Timo Werner (R) to replace Jorginho as Chelsea's penalty taker?

Will Frank Lampard choose Timo Werner (R) to replace Jorginho as Chelsea’s penalty taker?

Jorginho

The Italy international has been trusted with the responsibility of being Chelsea’s go-to guy when it comes to penalties since Eden Hazard’s departure to Real Madrid.

And he has largely been successful at Stamford Bridge, with just two misses in games coming in recent weeks. Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson saved his effort in the Blues’ 2-0 defeat while Jorginho found the woodwork this week.

The midfielder has a conversion rate of 81 per cent after scoring 22 penalties out of 27 and has provided a cool head in a pressure situation. His other miss for Chelsea came in the League Cup final shootout defeat by Manchester City in 2018-19.

Chelsea midfielder Jorginho missed his second spot-kick in four attempts on Wednesday night

Chelsea midfielder Jorginho missed his second spot-kick in four attempts on Wednesday night

Chelsea midfielder Jorginho missed his second spot-kick in four attempts on Wednesday night

His unusual tactic sometimes relies on goalkeepers making the first move and Jorginho scored two from the spot in their 4-0 win over Crystal Palace at the start of the month, outwitting Vicente Guaita on both occasions.  

Striker Tammy Abraham wanted to take the second penalty but captain Cesar Azpilicueta showed faith in the club’s penalty taker and gave the ball to Jorginho.

After two misses in his last four attempts, Jorginho may be lacking in confidence from the spot so it could be the ideal time for Lampard to take him out of the spotlight. 

But the Chelsea boss defended the midfielder, saying: ‘If you take penalties as regularly as he does, and I did, you are going to miss some.’

Timo Werner 

Former RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner appears to be the most suitable candidate to step up to the responsibility due to his devastating clinical touch in front of goal. But do the stats back that up?

After scoring from 12 yards on Wednesday Werner has scored 11 penalties out of a possible 14, giving him a conversion rate just less than Jorginho’s at 79 per cent. 

The Germany international was RB Leipzig’s trusted spot-kick taker and he scored an important penalty against Tottenham en route to the Champions League semi-finals.

Werner is therefore used to the intense situation of taking a penalty and his prolific form in recent seasons shows he knows how to finish.

The 24-year-old could shoulder the responsibility and become Chelsea’s long-term man from the spot.

Chelsea striker Timo Werner scored from the penalty spot later in the match against Krasnodar

Chelsea striker Timo Werner scored from the penalty spot later in the match against Krasnodar

Chelsea striker Timo Werner scored from the penalty spot later in the match against Krasnodar

Tammy Abraham

The English striker has had to be patient this season following several attacking summer recruits, playing just two full 90 minutes.

Abraham flourished under Lampard last season as the manager opted for youth and the 23-year-old has been keen to prove his worth this season when he’s been given the chance.

He has fallen behind Werner in the pecking order but scored on his first Premier League start this campaign at West Brom.

Tammy Abraham has a 75 per cent conversion rate from the penalty spot, scoring nine from 12

Tammy Abraham has a 75 per cent conversion rate from the penalty spot, scoring nine from 12

Tammy Abraham has a 75 per cent conversion rate from the penalty spot, scoring nine from 12

Abraham showed that he does not shy away from responsibility by wanting to take the second penalty against Palace. He has a 75 per cent conversion rate from the spot, scoring nine from 12.

He missed the crucial spot-kick in Chelsea’s shootout defeat by Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup in August last year but he scored the winning penalty in the Championship play-off semi finals for Aston Villa the season before.

Backing your own ability is an important trait but he is very unlikely to be the permanent penalty taker in west London.

Hakim Ziyech

The £37m new arrival from Ajax netted his first goal for Chelsea against Krasnodar after being sidelined through injury.

However out of the possible options available to Lampard he has the worse conversion rate – 67 per cent – from the penalty spot.

He has scored six from nine but was not a regular penalty taker in four seasons at Ajax.

The 27-year-old is a tricky and pacy winger but he won’t be near the penalty spot anytime soon. 

Lampard has better options to choose from when it comes to selecting a penalty specialist. 

Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech was not a regular penalty taker for his previous club Ajax

Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech was not a regular penalty taker for his previous club Ajax

Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech was not a regular penalty taker for his previous club Ajax

Kai Havertz

The Chelsea playmaker, who joined for a whopping £89m from Bayer Leverkusen this summer, is still settling in at Stamford Bridge but has shown glimpses of why big money was spent.

The 21-year-old has a 100 per cent record from the spot and so is very much a strong contender to be handed the responsibility by Lampard.

Havertz was trusted with penalty duties at the Bundesliga outfit and scored all seven he was required to take between 2018 and this year.  

Chelsea's £89million playmaker Kai Havertz has a 100 per cent record from the spot

Chelsea's £89million playmaker Kai Havertz has a 100 per cent record from the spot

Chelsea’s £89million playmaker Kai Havertz has a 100 per cent record from the spot

He is a skilful, classy and composed player on the ball and is calmness personified when standing over a dead ball 12 yards from goal.

Havertz is an obvious contender to take over the reins from Jorginho and giving him the responsibility could propel his Chelsea career in an instant.

Mason Mount

Lampard has plenty of faith in the young English midfielder but Mount has only taken penalties in a shootout in the past.

Nevertheless, he still has a solid record scoring three from the four spot-kicks he has taken, a conversion rate of 75 per cent.

He was successful during his loan spell at Derby in a shootout victory over Southampton in the FA Cup and also scored the first penalty in the club’s momentous night at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup in the 2018-19 campaign.

The 21-year-old scored in the shootout against Liverpool in the Super Cup but he missed with his most recent opportunity. 

Mount’s effort in the Carabao Cup fourth-round defeat by Spurs last month clipped the outside of the post and that proved to be the decider.

Mount is unlikely to be given the sole responsibility for penalties in games but he can be relied upon if needed, which is good news for Chelsea… and England.

Mason Mount has scored three out of four penalties in shootouts for Derby and Chelsea

Mason Mount has scored three out of four penalties in shootouts for Derby and Chelsea

Mason Mount has scored three out of four penalties in shootouts for Derby and Chelsea

CHELSEA PENALTY RECORDS
All Comps Penalties Taken   Goals (penalties)   Scored %
Jorginho 27 22 81%
Timo Werner 14 11 79%
Tammy Abraham 12 9 75%
Hakim Ziyech 9 6 67%
Kai Havertz 7 7 100%
Mason Mount 4 3 75%

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Today’s free horse racing tips: Best bets for Saturday’s ITV racing at Ascot

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todays free horse racing tips best bets for saturdays itv racing at ascot scaled

WE’VE been spoiled with some top-class racing over the last couple of weeks.

And this weekend’s offering is no exception, with cracking action at Ascot, Wetherby and Down Royal.

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Credit: PA:Press Association

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It’s great to have the jumps back and the action steps up a gear on Saturday with some mouthwatering racing on ITV.

But it’s also a treacherous time of year for punters as it often takes a few weeks for things to settle down as horses return from their holidays. So tread carefully and don’t go OTT.

I can’t wait to see Cyrname in the Charlie Hall and I think he is the likeliest winner. But I’ll just take a watching brief this time with a few niggling doubts (trip, going left-handed) enough to put me off getting involved financially.

There are a couple of proper races at Down Royal, too. The Champion Chase is ultra-competitive and it’s a race I want to enjoy without having a bet. If you put a gun to my head, I’d probably side with Chris’s Dream.

But it’s at Ascot where I will be putting my money where my mouth is.

My main fancy is KID COMMANDO (3.05 Ascot) for the excellent Anthony Honeyball.

This is a horse with a huge engine, as he showed in bumpers in the first half of last season, before a facile win over timber at Plumpton and a decent third in a Kempton Grade 2.

A winning pointer, he almost certainly found two miles on good ground too sharp a test in the Dovecote, while the winner Highway One O Two looks very exciting.

This stiff 2m is the ideal starting point and there is a bit of rain around which will be right up his street as he is a strong stayer at the trip.

He goes well fresh and his trainer holds him in very high regard. He’s a fair unit so there ought to be more to come this year, and if he isn’t better than a 136 horse I’ll eat my hat.

I’ll also have a couple of quid each-way on CAID DU LIN (1.55 Ascot) in the Listed Tote Chase.

He is another who goes well fresh and he likes it around here – he won a hugely valuable race over C&D off 7lb lower in 2018.

He has been competitive off 146 in the past, but the invaluable 3lb claim of the talented Charlie Hammond is a nice bonus.

The eight-year-old likes to be ridden patiently and attack a strong pace, something he should get here with Molineaux, Ibleo and Flaminger likely to get on with things.

He returns with his stable in flying form and he goes on anything so he won’t mind if the ground eases a touch.

Saturday selections and advised odds

Saturday

1.55 Ascot – Caid Du Lin 0.5pts EW @ 8-1

3.05 Ascot – Kid Commando 1pt WIN @ 7-2

  • (Started August 6) rolling P&L: +26.6pts

SEE ALL FREE BETS HERE

Ruby Walsh gets emotional paying tribute to Pat Smullen after jockey’s death

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