Clement Named EPL Manager Of The Month

Premier League, Arsenal, Man City, LeicesterSwansea City boss, Paul Clement, has been named English Premier League (EPL) manager for January.

Clement replaced Bob Bradley as manager on January 3rd, and his first month in charge has proven to be a memorable one.

The Swans claimed a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, on his first day in charge, although his first game at home proved to be a tough one as Swansea lost by 4 goals to nil to Arsenal.

However, the rest of the month was positive for Swansea as they claimed six points out of six, to climb out of the bottom three.

Chelsea Extend EPL Lead With Crystal Palace Win

Chelsea, Liverpool, EPLChelsea are sitting confidently at the top of the English Premier League (EPL) table as they move nine points clear.

The Blues also equalled a club record on Saturday as they beat Crystal Palace 1-0 to secure their 11th successive win at the Selhurst Park.

Diego Costa netted the lone goal with the visitors’ first attempt on target as he headed in from Azpilicueta’s drifted cross.

Jason Puncheon would have levelled the score for Palace but headed wide and fired a free-kick narrowly over.

Chelsea had earlier won 11 matches between April and September 2009.

Third-placed Arsenal will host Manchester City on Sunday, before Liverpool visit Everton in the Merseyside derby on Monday.

Hiddink Hails Mikel, Other Stars In Chelsea Victory

ChelseaGuus Hiddink was pleased to see the work ethic of his Chelsea side rewarded at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

After resisting some early Palace pressure, the Blues got a foothold in the game and went ahead with a well-worked goal finished off by Oscar.

A stunning Willian strike doubled the advantage in the 60th minute – his eighth goal in all competitions this season.

Diego Costa soon made it three to cap off another fine individual performance from the striker.

Hiddink acknowledged his team’s ability on the ball as well as the hard work they displayed in south London, stressing the team would only continue to pick up wins if they continue to complement their abilities with hard work.

“I have been here for three games plus a game I was in the stand,” began Hiddink.

“We have started working and of course there is a lot of quality in this squad – not just the first 11 but from one to 22 with some youngsters.

“If the team hasn’t been doing well for a long period then it is important to look for security. That’s why we emphasised on good, hard work in a tactical defensive way. I don’t like to see a team drop back very far and seek false security but to look forward and get the ball forward as soon as possible. When they get the ball they know how to play.

“We don’t need to add a lot to the quality of the players. They are blessed by nature with a big quality but they have to know that when things are not going well, you have to look for the causes.

“That’s why the very talented players started working on the dirty work and not just the beautiful game – because this league is very demanding and if you think you can do it just on your natural quality this league will kill you.

“The attitude is okay and automatically their quality comes through. The efficiency of this quality in the past half-year has been very low. We talked about that, we did it in training – small conversations – but if they have this quality and the team is well organised they must produce and then we can enjoy how they play.”

Midfield Balance

Nigeria’s John Mikel Obi was also singled out for praise for his star performance in central midfield.

“He played very well as he also did in the previous games. He’s the ideal player in my option to bring balance to the team.

“If the team is not willing to defend well or have the right balance then you concede a lot of goals. I thought John Obi can be one of the key figures in getting the balance back. On top of that the talented players can then explore their qualities.

“He can recover the radar. He knows the game very well. He knows where the strength of the opponent is and he knows exactly how to cope with that. He has a very good eye, a very good nose, and a very good sense of where to recover.

“He doesn’t do it in a very brutal way – he’s very, very elegant. What I like to see very much is not just a quality player but a player who can defend so smoothly. It’s beautiful to see. He doesn’t lose many balls, he’s good in short passing. I don’t expect and I don’t ask him to make the decisive final pass. He can but no, we let the other players do that.”

Hiddink’s opposite number Alan Pardew was full of praise for the Blues.

“We’ve been involved in every game until the last moments this season but not today,” the Palace manager said.

“Chelsea were very good. A lot of their stars turned up. Their mentality has changed – you can see that.”

Chelsea Has Improved Since Mourinho’s Departure – Mikel Obi

milek-obi--chelseaSuper Eagles and Chelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi, believes the defending champions have improved since Jose Mourinho’s departure from Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho was sacked by the club earlier in December following a dismal run of form which saw the champions lose nine of their 16 Premier League matches.

Obi says: “It was a collective thing the players and the manager were not performing. Jose Mourinho led the blues to title glory last season but left the Bridge with the club 16th in the league.

“we have moved on from that and the atmosphere has improved since the change of manager”.

Chelsea will travel to Selhurst Park for the weekend clash against Crystal Palace.

Iheanacho Scores Last-Gasp Winner As City Beat Palace

iheanachoNigerian youth international, Kelechi Iheanacho, scored a last-gasp winner as Manchester City edged Crystal Palace on Saturday to maintain their 100 per cent start to the 2015/2016 premier league season.

Iheanacho’s late goal helped Manchester City beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in their English Premier League match at Selhurst Park.

Super Eagles forward, Odion Ighalo also scored the winner for Watford in their 1-nil win over Swansea City.

Premier League Champions, Chelsea lost for the 3rd time this season with Stephen Naismith inspiring Everton to a 3-1 win at Goodison Park.

In other results, Arsenal beat Stoke City 2-0, Norwich City beat Bournemouth 3-1, West Brom and Southampton battled to a goalless draw, while Manchester United beat Liverpool 3-1 in the day’s last game.

Aguero, Toure Can Strike A Chord At Old Trafford – Rosler

ToureUwe Rosler believes Manuel Pellegrini should bring in a change in system for his former club to gain a positive result in their visit to local rivals Manchester United on Sunday.

The former Manchester City striker watched City’s 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace on Monday, which left Pellegrini’s side a point behind their Manchester rivals in the Barclays Premier League going into this weekend’s encounter at Old Trafford.

City kept 75% of possession and created 14 chances in their defeat at Selhurst Park, leaving Rosler heartened by their performance, but the defending Barclays Premier League champions have slipped to fourth after losing three of their last five league matches.

Speaking on Premier League TV, Rosler said deploying Yaya Toure behind Sergio Aguero as a lone striker could help combat the possession football played by United.

“[Against Crystal Palace] They gave everything,” Rosler said. “David Silva, in my opinion, was outstanding. They lacked a bit of belief after the second goal for 20 minutes, but then Samir Nasri came on and gave them new momentum. But that is done now and you have a good week of preparation before the derby.

“With Dzeko not in the best form, maybe play with one striker and have Yaya Toure as the second one in behind and give him a little bit more of a free role.

“Fernandinho was good [against Palace] and Milner can play in the centre of the park, very disciplined, very solid. Then you have a team to attack as well as being solid in defence.

“His [Manuel Pellegrini’s] strength is he believes in his system, in the way he’s playing. It gave him success, he won titles with that. But sometimes you don’t go away from your philosophy but sometimes you can’t take everyone on with two strikers. Sometimes it’s good to adjust a bit to your opposition without adjusting your beliefs.”

Dropping Dzeko would be a surprise because the Bosnian has enjoyed good form at Old Trafford, scoring four goals there over the past three seasons but Rosler stressed the importance of avoiding defeat in the derby for City, who can return to second this weekend if they win and Arsenal slip up at Burnley on Saturday.

“Manchester City can’t afford to lose that game,” Rosler, who scored 29 goals in 78 BPL matches for City, said.

“It’s very important for the whole club, the manager, to finish the season on a positive note, with the positive momentum, and that means going to Old Trafford and getting a result.”


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