Newslegend.com.ng’s IZUCHUKWU OKOSI here rounds up key issues and Premier League managers’ soundbites, from Claudio Ranieri to Arsene Wenger, Jurgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino, Ronald Koeman, Bob Bradley… during their Thursday’s News Conferences.
Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez returned from injury on Tuesday night to score a magnificent double in a 3-1 Chile win
over Uruguay in their 2018 World Cup qualifier.
The 27-year-old forward played 84 minutes and, unsurprisingly, feels he is in “good shape” to face Manchester United
at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Clearly desperate to play for Arsenal on the weekend, Alexis Sanchez texted Arsene Wenger after Tuesday’s game to
confirm his fitness. On Thursday, Wenger gave the press his thoughts on Alexis’ chances of playing.
“I haven’t heard a lot [about his fitness] because we were in doubt 24 hours before the game against Uruguay,” said
“We didn’t know if he’d play or not. In the end they decided to play him. He texted us to tell us he’s in good shape
after the game. He came off after 84 minutes and now we have to wait. I see him tomorrow [Friday] morning and then I
will see if he can be involved in the squad or not.
“What I will consider is the risk of injury because he played while recovering from a hamstring injury. I’ll
consider the way he feels as well. On that front you depend on the honesty of the player, how they feel and how they
Champions in May, struggling in November. Leicester are down in 14th in the Premier League table and play away at
eighth-placed Watford on Saturday.
“When I look at the table I’m not satisfied,” says Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri during his news conference on
“Only with hard work can we change it. We have to be confident, strong and solid together. Last season has finished.
Striker Jamie Vardy has not scored in 12 games for Leicester, but he did find the back of the net during England’s
2-2 draw with Spain on Tuesday, and Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri is delighted he did.
“It was important for him, important for everybody,” said Ranieri, whose side play Watford away in the Premier
League on Saturday.
“He never spoke about this (his goalless run) but I know the goalscorer wants to score and I think it will be a new
“He always works hard for the team and I watched the England match and the goal was fantastic. It helps me, helps
the team and helps himself,” Ranieri concluded.
Everton have been linked with a January move for Manchester United’s Dutch midfielder Memphis Depay and Toffees boss
Ronald Koeman admits he would be keen on signing him.
“If there is any possibility I would be interested,” said Koeman. “I was interested in the player when I was at
Southampton two years ago and of course we will do some business in January.”
Koeman also responded after newspaper headlines suggested he had told striker Romelu Lukaku to leave Goodison Park
to further his career.
“You had several headlines about what I said and I just need to defend myself as the headline is taken out of
context,” added Koeman.
“We have to show Romelu that we will grow, we will get bigger and will fight for titles. If we stay only at this
level then it is not good if he finishes his career at Everton.”
Swansea have only picked up one point in Bob Bradley’s four games in charge and the Swans face a difficult challenge
on Saturday as they play away at Everton.
Bradley said: “Without a doubt, we need more leadership. We need leadership on the field, and that comes in
different ways. That can be a strong voice, but it can also be someone who makes the right play at the right moment
in a game.
“I understand the supporters feeling passion, emotion and disappointment with where we stand at the moment.
“You have to challenge the players to understand that you don’t get out of these spots unless you show courage and
And there are also some quotes from Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino at his Thursday’s press conference,
talking about Erik Lamela, Dele Alli and Toby Alderweireld, who could all miss Spurs’ match against West Ham on
“Erik is still out for the weekend and we have a doubt about Dele,” said Pochettino.
On Alderweireld, who has not played since 15 October because of a knee injury, Pochettino adds: “From the beginning
we believed it would be a very short process and period before Toby was available, but the recovery was very slow.
“The knock he got affected the nerve, but today he has started to join the group and that is very good news. It is
maybe a few weeks or 10 days for him to be available if all is going well.”
England captain Wayne Rooney faces a Football Association investigation over his role in a late-night hotel party,
chief executive Martin Glenn said on Thursday. Rooney was thrown into the spotlight after The Sun tabloid alleged he
drunkenly gatecrashed a wedding at England’s team hotel in Watford, north of London, on Saturday.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said Rooney’s conduct should not be overexaggerated.
“I know we’re all on the sunny side of life, we earn a lot of money and do the job we love, but at the end maybe it
comes as a surprise that we are also human beings too,” Klopp told a press conference.
“These boys, this generation, is the most professional generation of footballers that there has ever been. “All the
guys, all the legends we love and admire, they drank like devils and smoked like crazy, but they were still good
players. No-one does it any more. I don’t know anyone now.”