Thomas Tuchels reveals what he intends to do to help Kai Havertz, says “We will not stop doing it”

New Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is hoping Kai Havertz can toughen up to meet the demands of the Premier League.

Havertz, 21, joined Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen in a £71m deal last summer but has struggled in his 17 league appearances for the Blues, scoring just once and notching three assists.

Tuchel said: “What I feel is he’s a very intelligent, friendly, open guy, with a lot of potential.

“He seems to be the guy who needs to be pushed. We will not stop doing it.

“This league is perfect because he cannot rest. He needs to be challenged physically – and that it’s not enough to rely on his endless talent.

“For me, the question is can he show his teeth when it gets tough?”

He believes there is almost no limit to Kai Havertz’s potential.

Tuchel said: “Kai’s potential is almost endless.

“He made a very brave choice. You come from Leverkusen to Chelsea, the culture cannot be more different.

“You come from a club where it’s okay to be second or third best, to a club where they talk about trophies.

“It means Kai steps not only to a different country, not only to a different club, not only to different teammates – but a different culture.

“I love it because he is out far from his comfort zone.”

Aba Warriors seek redemption in Makurdi

Struggling NPFL side Abia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia face a daunting task in the matchday 7 fixture as they make a decisive journey to the Aper Aku stadium, Makurdi to square up against an in-form Lobi stars, a duel that has been billed “a make or mar clash for ultimatum-struck coach Imama Amapakabo led technical crew.

it’s been a turbulent experience so far for the umuahia based outfit as they are yet to record their first win of the season, a distasteful feat that saw club chairman Pst Emeka Iyama handing coach imama and his technical crew a 3-match ultimatum,that got underway at the Nnewi Township Stadium against Eastern rivals FC Ifeanyi Ubah, a game that left both teams with a share of the spoils.

Next challenge was a visit by the defiant MFM team at the recently endorsed Okigwe Township Stadium by the LMC serving as Abia Warrior’s newly found home, expectedly, MFM’s defiance paid off as a seemingly uneventful match ended in a barren stalemate.

The trip to Makurdi could be a lifting or bundling to coach Imama Amapakabo as nothing less than a victory could have him being shown the exit door in Umuahia. It is hard to figure out how a team that has coach Imama Amapakabo’s enviable pedigree alongside a star studded lineup, opening the innings for themselves, can be so ineffective.

Statistically, since Abia Warriors gained promotion in the Nigerian top flight in 2014, there have been 10 matches between both sides with the Warriors winning on 5 occasions and Lobi Stars getting victories on 4 occasions, one ended in a stalemate.

The biggest win in this fixture was Abia Warriors’ 2-0 win in Umuahia in October 2015, and September 2016 respectively, alongside the 4-2 away win in Makurdi in August 2017, not forgetting Lobi Stars’ 2-0 win in June.

In an exclusive chat with Lagos, the Co-ordinator of Abia Warriors FC Elder Godson Eluwa,had this to say with regards the journey to Makurdi; “we are full of optimism amid the ultimatum, we are going to Makurdi to make a clear statement, the spirit in the camp is so high which speaks of possibilities, we are securing the 3 valuable points in Makurdi”

No matter the outlook in both teams, one thing is certain, a nerve-jangling contest is in the offing in Makurdi.

Gospel Lekams

Chelsea ‘push hard’ to beat Juventus, Manchester United to Barcelona star

Chelsea will ‘push hard’ to sign Ousmane Dembele from Barcelona, according to Sport.

The 23-year-old has 18 months left on his current deal at the Camp Nou, meaning the summer window could be cash-strapped Barca’s last chance to see a return on the winger they signed for £90m plus add-ons in 2017.

Dembele is reportedly waiting to see who Barcelona’s new president will be before making a decision on his future.

Barca, who were revealed to have debts of over £1.1billion last week, may see Dembele as a sellable asset but any negotiation leverage disappear if he does not extend before the end of the season.

Juventus and Manchester United are also interested in the Frenchman.

Barca are keen to extend the 23-year-old’s contract, with free transfer merchants Juventus circling.

A move to Chelsea would see Dembele reunite with his former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel, who he views as the best coach he has worked with.

Photo Credit: FCBarcelona_es/Twitter

Chelsea enter contract talks with two Blues stars

Chelsea have entered contract talks with both Thiago Silva and Jorginho, according to SportItalia.

Both players started in new Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel’s first game in charge against Wolves on Wednesday.

Silva, 36, signed a one-year deal at Stamford Bridge with the option of a second when he joined the Blues as a free agent last summer, but could sign until 2023.

Silva captained PSG under Tuchel as they reached the Champions League final last season.

Meanwhile Jorginho, 29, could sign a two-year extension to his current deal, which expires in 2023.

Thomas Tuchel reacts to his first Chelsea win as Blues coast to victory over Burnley

Thomas Tuchel says he is very pleased with his club’s performance after Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso two goal to seal victory for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The Thomas Tuchel’s side posted a performance far more dominant than the scoreline suggests.

The Blues were a class apart against the Clarets, who came closest in the dying seconds when James Tarkowski headed over from a corner.

Tuchel said: “I was very pleased again with the performance, it’s very important to have a win because it gives us a boost and it gives us the most confidence possible.

“It was a very, very good performance. We controlled the match completely, we never lost intensity and we never lost the focus or awareness.

“It should be a signal to our guys up-front that we needed two defensive players to score. We lack in the moment, precision in the last pass, precision in the last touch and the finishing, we will work on this.”

Photo Credit: ChelseaFC/Twitter

Watch the goal on video) Chelsea 2-0 Burnley… Marcos Alonso scores brilliant goal

Chelsea have had such joy down the right all day, but the second goal comes from the left, and this time it’s Marcos Alonso bombing forward that finishes it off.

The Spaniard collects Christian Pulisic’s clip inside on his chest, juggles it up and cracks it in from a tight angle. What a hit!

Photo Credit: ESPNUK/Twitter

(Watch Azpilicueta’s fantastic goal on video) Half-Time Report: Chelsea 1-0 Burnley

Callum Hudson-Odoi was heavily involved after he made another darting run on the flank before picking out the overlapping Azplicueta.

And before you know it, the ball flashed past Nick Pope and whistled in the top corner of the net.

Apart from a minor five minute spell in the game, Chelsea dominated the first half from start to finish.

They created chance after chance but in truth, Pope didn’t have much work to do until Azpiliicueta made him pick the ball out the back of the net.

Dyche will be fuming but he’ll know that his team have the ability to turn it around at only 1-0 down.

Photo Credit: Twitter

Arsenal plot deadline day move for former Chelsea defender

Arsenal are considering a deadline day move for Crystal Palace left-back Patrick van Aanholt, according to the Mirror.

The Dutchman, 30, has been sharing left-back duties at Selhurst Park with academy graduate Tyrick Mitchell, and it is expected he would play a similar role with Kieran Tierney at the Emirates.

The Gunners had also been tracking Mitchell but it is understaff Palace see the 21-year-old as their long-term option on the left.

Van Aanholt is out of contract at the end of the season and the Eagles may be tempted to sell now rather than lose him for nothing in the summer.

The Gunners have left themselves short of options on the left side of defence after Sead Kolasinac joined Schalke on loan, with right-back Cedric Soares filling in in their last three matches.

La Liga president blasts FIFA president, accuses Real Madrid, Liverpool, Man United of plot to DESTROY football

Fifa president Gianni Infantino has been branded the puppet master behind the Super League project which threatens to rip up the fabric of European football.

It is on record that Infantino publicly warned players they will be banned from the World Cup and European Championships if their clubs form the proposed closed shop breakaway.

But LaLiga boss Javier Tebas still insisted that: “It is obvious that Gianni Infantino has been party to meetings and hosted the club organisation to be able to work on the Super League.

“He has been working on it and has even been encouraging them to set it up.

“In the documents that we have related to the Super League there is the mention of a code name W01, which clearly refers to Mr Infantino. That is his code name.

“If I am wrong, I will apologise. But we have information and the facts seem to be there. I think people are telling me the truth.”

Tebas accuses Liverpool and Manchester United of plotting with Fifa and Real Madrid to ‘DESTROY’ football, reports The Sun.

He says the ‘greedy’ Premier League giants have spent months scheming over an ‘obscene’ £4.6billion European Super League.

The Spaniard insists United’s US owner Joel Glazer and Liverpool’s John W Henry have been working with Fifa president Gianni Infantino plus Madrid supremo Florentino Perez on plans that will ‘ruin’ the game.

Tebas stormed: “This would be a disaster for football, it would destroy the ecosystem and balance of the game in Europe.

“This whole underground project started with Infantino and Perez — but the Glazers and Liverpool were active too and held meetings.

“They have all tried to keep it secret, before the stories emerged in October and since.”

Bayern Munich hold secret meeting with Chelsea prime target

Bayern Munich have held a secret meeting with Dayot Upamecano’s representatives, according to reports in Germany.

The highly-rated RB Leipzig defender is said to be a target for several big clubs, including Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

According to German newspaper Bild, Upamecano’s agents were seen entering the underground car park of Bayern’s offices on Thursday.

The club’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has publicly expressed an interest in the defender.

He told Sky Sport in Germany: “Upamecano to Bayern? Of course we are thinking about him. We had a good meeting with his agents yesterday. Let’s see what happens.”