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Premier League : Quelle a été la plus grande déception de votre club cette saison ?

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La bannière One Big Question montre Jesse Lingard et Steven Gerrard avec une ligne indiquant : La plus grande déception de votre club de la saison

Tout dans une saison de football ne se déroule pas comme prévu.

Certaines choses ne fonctionnent pas comme les clubs ou les fans l’envisageaient. Souvent, peu de mal est fait, mais parfois, le coût des erreurs, des mauvais choix ou des erreurs stratégiques peut être important.

Nous nous sommes donc demandé quelle a été la plus grande déception de la saison dans votre club et avons demandé à nos rédacteurs fans de Premier League de donner leur verdict.

Arsenal

Charlène Smith, AFTVlien externe

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Nous avons eu une saison fantastique jusqu’à présent avec de nombreux points positifs, notamment le fait d’être constamment au sommet de la Premier League. Notre plus grande déception est que nous n’avons pas été en mesure d’obtenir une victoire sur nos prétendants au titre Man City lors de nos matches à domicile ou à l’extérieur.

Aston Villa

Richard Sutherland, Le podcast du parc de la villalien externe

Il a tant promis en pré-saison avec des discours haussiers sur la promotion de l’Europe. Cependant, les retombées signalées et les mauvais résultats ont laissé Steven Gerrard dans une position intenable. C’est à la suite d’une défaite 3-0 contre Fulham en octobre que le conseil d’administration a écarté la légende de Liverpool, faisant appel à Unai Emery, ce qui a conduit à un changement remarquable pour Aston Villa.

Bornemouth

Tom Jordan, Le dos du filetlien externe

Notre épouvantable course après la Coupe du monde a été notre plus grande déception de la saison, en perdant six sur le spin, ne marquant qu’en un seul match. Au total, c’était neuf matchs sans victoire, n’en marquant que quatre. Cela soulève la question de savoir où nous aurions pu être, si nous avions évité un patch aussi hideux.

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Brentford

Ian Westbrook, Beesottelien externe

Il est difficile de trouver quoi que ce soit de décevant dans une saison exceptionnelle. Mais comme je dois choisir une chose, je dirai nos sorties anticipées des deux compétitions de coupe. Perdre contre Gillingham aux tirs au but en Carabao Cup, puis West Ham au troisième tour de la FA Cup, c’était comme des occasions gâchées, compte tenu de notre position confortable en championnat.

Brighton et Hove Albion

Stuart Matthews, Mouettes fièreslien externe

Si je devais être poussé là-dessus, ce devait être de perdre la demi-finale de la FA Cup.

Déchirant et déchirant non seulement pour les fans, mais aussi pour l’équipe et surtout Solly March. Je ne le tiens pas pour responsable. Nous avons dominé Manchester United à tant de niveaux, donc perdre aux tirs au but est un coup de pied dans les dents.

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Mais nous avons rebondi et notre campagne continue. L’Europe nous voilà… croisons les doigts !

Chelsea

Ross Mooring, Fancast de Chelsealien externe

Où commencer? Le règne de Graham Potter a été désastreux, plus d’un milliard de livres sterling de talents du football ont été signalés comme “manquants” sur les cartons de lait et les Blues connaissent leur pire saison depuis 1996. En fin de compte, la responsabilité revient aux propriétaires. Heureusement, ils sont déjà au courant de tout cela.

Palais de cristal

Jay Cramé, Le bec des aigleslien externe

Le départ de Patrick Vieira a peut-être été une surprise pour beaucoup et il y avait plusieurs raisons pour lesquelles le conseil a pris cette décision. Mais la plus grande déception a été le manque de soutien que le Français a reçu du conseil d’administration pour les fenêtres de transfert d’été et de janvier.

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Everton

Briony Bragg, Cette fille fanlien externe

Une fenêtre catastrophique de janvier ne nous a laissé aucune nouvelle signature et a fait monter la colère de la base de fans au point d’ébullition. Il est peut-être trop tard six matchs avant la fin de la saison pour qu’un Dominic Calvert-Lewin enfin en forme nous sauve. Nous aurions dû avoir plus d’options.

Fulham

Dan Crawford, Fin Hammylien externe

La seule note aigre de la fabuleuse première saison de Fulham de retour au niveau supérieur est la hausse scandaleuse des abonnements du club pour le prochain mandat, qui s’élève en moyenne à une augmentation de 18%. Le prix des fans à vie pendant une crise du coût de la vie n’est pas ce pour quoi le plus ancien club professionnel de Londres devrait être connu.

Leeds United

Jess Fourness, Son jeu aussilien externe

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La plus grande déception de Leeds United cette saison a été… cette saison ! Nous nous battons actuellement pour rester en Premier League, avons été sous quatre managers différents au cours des trois derniers mois et le football n’a généralement pas été un plaisir à regarder. Du tout. Cela a été très décevant, c’est le moins qu’on puisse dire.

La ville de Leicester

Sam Holloway, LeicesterFanTVlien externe

Je pense que le coupable évident cette saison est Brendan Rodgers lui-même. Son entêtement est la raison pour laquelle nous combattons la relégation. Lorsque Dean Smith est arrivé, nous avons pris cinq points sur un total de 12 jusqu’au match d’Everton et, si nous avions eu une telle régularité il y a six mois, je pense que nous aurions eu une saison en milieu de tableau.

Liverpool

Harriet Prieur, L’enveloppe d’Anfieldlien externe

Une victoire 7-0 contre Manchester United suivie d’une défaite 1-0 contre Bournemouth – juste un exemple de l’incapacité de Liverpool à prendre des virages et à construire à partir d’une position de force cette saison. Un manque de cohérence jusqu’à récemment a laissé Liverpool faire une charge tardive pour une place en Ligue des champions plutôt que de se battre pour le titre.

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Manchester City

Ger Degan, anciennement de Maine Road Ramblelien externe

La situation de la billetterie a déconcerté les supporters les plus fidèles. Non seulement le club a gâché les critères des billets pour le match retour de la demi-finale de la Ligue des champions contre le Real Madrid, mais il a également fait un hachage complet des ventes pour le dernier match de la saison à Brentford.

En l’espace d’une semaine, le club a réussi à frustrer les détenteurs d’abonnements, les membres du matchday, l’ensemble de la population des 18-25 ans et aussi ceux qui avaient le plus de points de fidélité.

Tout un exploit pour un club qui fait bien des choses à bien des égards.

Manchester United

Dale O’Donnell, Actualitéslien externe

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La plus grande déception de Manchester United cette saison a été la défaite 7-0 à Anfield. C’était un résultat anormal et bien que les fans s’en remettent, la manière dont nous avons capitulé contre nos rivaux les plus féroces était inexcusable. Je pense que le fait que nous ayons encaissé six buts en deuxième mi-temps me hantera à jamais.

Newcastle United

Pete Davey, LoadedMag NUFClien externe

Les fans de Newcastle n’ont pas eu beaucoup de raisons d’être déçus cette saison. Cependant, si je devais être hyper-critique, ce serait le nombre de tirages que nous avons accumulés. Onze nuls jusqu’à présent, y compris contre Crystal Palace, Bournemouth et Leeds à domicile. Ceux-ci auraient pu confirmer le football de la Ligue des champions si les choses s’étaient passées différemment.

Forêt de Nottingham

Ben Doré, Doré en tournéelien externe

La plus grande déception doit être Jesse Lingard.

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Tous les fans de Forest étaient ravis après la signature de Jesse en raison de ses réalisations avec d’autres clubs. Les blessures et sa forme dans la ligue ont été médiocres et il n’a pas atteint ses sommets habituels.

Un joueur fantastique mais pas assez bon cette saison pour Forest.

Southampton

Ray Hunt, Dans ce numérolien externe

La plus grande déception de cette saison revient au directeur du football Rasmus Ankersen. Il a échoué avec sa politique de transfert obstinée consistant à acheter des joueurs jeunes et inexpérimentés sans nous fournir une menace de but solide. Ses nominations à la direction ont été coûteuses. Faire confiance à un manager inexpérimenté pour régler le problème dans lequel Nathan Jones nous a mis est inexcusable.

Tottenham Hotspur

John Wenham, Lysblanc Roselien externe

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En quittant le Tottenham Hotspur Stadium le 6 août, après une victoire 4-1 contre Southampton lors de la première journée, je me suis vanté avec confiance que Dejan Kulusevski marquerait 15 buts en championnat cette saison. Il a marqué deux buts à trois matchs de la fin. Un mélange de blessures, de mauvaise forme et, sans doute, de mauvaise gestion a conduit l’attaquant droit à être largement inefficace.

West Ham United

Mia Claydon, Marteaux de rue vertslien externe

Cette année n’a pas été une année à crier pour West Ham. La plus grande déception est de savoir comment nous sommes passés du bord d’une finale de la Ligue Europa en mai dernier à la lutte contre la relégation cette saison. Notre recrutement ultérieur a semblé nous préparer pour une troisième campagne consécutive en faveur de l’Europe, mais nous avons été tellement décevants

Les vagabonds de Wolverhampton

Dave éblouissant, Toujours les loups Fan TVlien externe

Goncalo Guedes était une signature qui n’a pas répondu aux attentes. Après seulement 12 titularisations, six apparitions en tant que remplaçant, deux buts et une passe décisive, la carrière des Wolves de 26 ans semble terminée. Son échec à régler était si important que le club lui a permis – un joueur de 27 millions de livres sterling – de rejoindre Benfica en janvier sans frais de prêt.

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Roy Hodgson: Crystal Palace manager ‘bitterly regrets’ remarks about fans

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Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson on the touchline during their Premier League match against Bournemouth
Former England boss Roy Hodgson is in his second spell as Crystal Palace boss having previously managed the club between 2017 and 2021

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson regrets calling the club’s supporters “spoiled” after they jeered his players off the pitch in midweek.

Palace were booed after Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat by Bournemouth at Selhurst Park in the Premier League.

Hodgson said fans had been “spoiled here in recent times”, but apologised before Saturday’s visit of Liverpool.

“I am distressed by my comments and choice of word, which I bitterly regret,” he said.

Palace suffered a third consecutive loss at Selhurst Park as they were beaten by Bournemouth, and they have not won on home turf since a 3-2 victory over Wolves on 3 September.

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An object was also thrown at Hodgson from the crowd as he made his way towards the tunnel after the defeat to Andoni Iraola’s side.

The 76-year-old added of the fans: “I would be devastated if they didn’t think I appreciated them.

“I can understand their frustration so I owe them an apology because they’ve been so good to me during my five years at the club.

“Everyone came to the game thinking we’d get some points on the board, so to have that hope taken away by a combination of things is hard.

“We didn’t play nearly as close as we wanted to do, but it’s gone now and we have to get over it.”

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Juventus 1-0 Napoli: Federico Gatti scores as hosts win to move top of Serie A

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Federico Gatti scores Juventus' goal against Napoli
Federico Gatti got his second goal in as many games

Federico Gatti scored the only goal as Juventus edged defending champions Napoli to move top of Serie A.

The defender scored a late winner last Friday against Monza and followed that up with another decisive strike, heading home in the 51st minute.

Napoli had the better of the first half but couldn’t make their chances count.

Victor Osimhen had the opportunity to equalise but was unable to capitalise on Wojciech Szczesny’s poor kick.

The win moves Juventus one point clear of Inter Milan at the top of the table.

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Napoli, meanwhile, remain fifth.

Line-ups

Juventus

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Szczesny
  • 4Gatti
  • 3BremerBooked at 58mins
  • 6Danilo
  • 27CambiasoSubstituted forRuganiat 90+2′minutes
  • 16McKennieSubstituted forIling-Juniorat 90+2′minutes
  • 5LocatelliBooked at 90mins
  • 25Rabiot
  • 11KosticSubstituted forAlex Sandroat 83′minutes
  • 9VlahovicSubstituted forMilikat 70′minutes
  • 7ChiesaSubstituted forKeanat 83′minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Alex Sandro
  • 13Huijsen
  • 14Milik
  • 15Yildiz
  • 17Iling-Junior
  • 18Kean
  • 20Miretti
  • 23Pinsoglio
  • 24Rugani
  • 36Perin
  • 41Nicolussi Caviglia
  • 47Nonge

Napoli

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Meret
  • 22Di Lorenzo
  • 13Rrahmani
  • 5Nunes JesusBooked at 63mins
  • 3Bernardo de SouzaSubstituted forZanoliat 72′minutes
  • 99Zambo Anguissa
  • 68LobotkaSubstituted forCajusteat 86′minutes
  • 20ZielinskiSubstituted forElmasat 65′minutes
  • 21PolitanoSubstituted forRaspadoriat 72′minutes
  • 9OsimhenBooked at 90mins
  • 77KvaratskheliaBooked at 45minsSubstituted forSimeoneat 87′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Demme
  • 7Elmas
  • 14Contini
  • 18Simeone
  • 23Zerbin
  • 24Cajuste
  • 29Lindstrøm
  • 55Østigård
  • 59Zanoli
  • 70Gaetano
  • 81Raspadori
  • 95Gollini

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Saturday’s gossip: Sancho, Eriksen, Richarlison, Lenglet, Ndidi

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Jadon Sancho

Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund are working on a swap deal which would see England winger Jadon Sancho, 23, return to the Bundesliga club – with 24-year-old Netherlands forward Donyell Malen heading in the opposite direction. (Sport Bild – in German)external-link

Chelsea are prepared to pay whatever it takes to sign striker 24-year-old Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen from Napoli in January. (Football Transfers)external-link

Manchester United are willing to sell 31-year-old Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen in the January transfer window. (Football Insider)external-link

United and Liverpool have joined a host of top clubs who are targeting Fulham’s Portugal midfielder Joao Palhinha. (TeamTalk)external-link

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However, Bayern Munich are unlikely to make another approach for the 28-year-old Palhinha in January. (Sky Sports Germany – in German)external-link.

Tottenham will consider selling Brazil forward Richarlison, 26, in January amid interest from Saudi Arabia. (Football Insider)external-link

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has played down suggestions that the club will look to replace injured defender Joel Matip in the January transfer window. (Mirror)external-link

Former Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui is open to replacing under-pressure Steve Cooper as Nottingham Forest manager having recently rejected a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad. (Talksport)external-link

Aston Villa’s French midfielder Morgan Sanson, 29, wants to make his loan move to OGC Nice a permanent one. (Get France Football News)external-link

Barcelona want £12.8m (15m euros) from Bayern Munich for France defender Clement Lenglet, with the 28-year-old interested in a move to Germany if Aston Villa are willing to cut short his loan deal given his lack of game time for the West Midlands club. (Sport – in Spanish)external-link

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West Ham are open to offers for Maxwel Cornet, 27, with the club ready to cut their losses on the Ivory Coast winger 15 months into his five-year contract. (Talksport)external-link

AC Milan and Napoli face competition from several Premier League clubs for the signature of Monza’s Italian goalkeeper Michele di Gregorio, 26. (Tuttomercatoweb – in Italian)external-link

Manchester United are set to battle Manchester City for the signature of Lille’s French defender Leny Yoro, 18. (Mirror)external-link

Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth is a target for Manchester United to head up their new footballing department under Sir Jim Ratcliffe. (90min)external-link

Barcelona are keen to sign Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, 26, in January with the Nigerian international’s Foxes contract set to expire next summer. (Sport – in Spanish)external-link

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Cristiano Ronaldo: Al-Nassr forward marks 1,200th career game with goal and assist

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Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring for Al-Nassr
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more than 850 career goals for club and country

Cristiano Ronaldo marked the 1,200th professional match of his career by scoring one goal and assisting another for Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr.

The 38-year-old tapped in Sadio Mane’s cross and later set up team-mate Otavio in a 4-1 win over Al-Riyadh.

Ronaldo thanked all those who have helped him reach the landmark – but added that he was “not done yet”.

The Portugal forward is the Saudi Pro League’s top scorer with 16 goals in 15 games this season.

Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton is acknowledged as holding the record for the most competitive professional appearances in the men’s game with 1,387.

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The Saudi Pro League confirmed on social media that Ronaldo had reached the milestone and the player later posted on Instagram: “Three more points! Thankful to all my team-mates who helped me reach my 1,200th match. What a ride, but we’re not done yet.”

Ronaldo also marked his 1,000th senior appearance with a goal in February 2020, scoring for Juventus in Serie A.

In June, he became the first men’s player to make 200 international appearances when he featured for Portugal against Iceland, and he is also the top international goal scorer with 128 goals.

Among his club career appearance records, Ronaldo tops the list for all-time appearances in the Champions League (183), in which he represented Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus.

He also became the first player in history to score 800 top-level career goals when he surpassed that total playing for Manchester United in December 2021 and has since breached the 850-goal mark.

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Al-Nassr remain second in the table, seven points behind leaders Al-Hilal.

How Ronaldo reached 1,200 games

  • Sporting – 31 games
  • Manchester United – 346 games
  • Real Madrid – 438 games
  • Juventus – 134 games
  • Al Nassr – 46 games
  • Portugal – 205 games

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Jadon Sancho: Man Utd winger’s return to first team ‘up to him’ says boss Erik ten Hag

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Manchester United winger Jadon Sancho next to the club's crest at Old Trafford
Jadon Sancho joined Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund in July 2021

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said the onus is on Jadon Sancho to do what is required to facilitate his return to the club’s first-team squad.

Sancho, 23, has been training away from the first team after claims he was made a “scapegoat” following his omission for September’s defeat at Arsenal.

Ten Hag said at the time he had been excluded because his training performances were below standard.

“He knows what he has to do, it is up to him,” Ten Hag said.

Ten Hag said Sancho, who joined United from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund for £73m in July 2021, must buy into the ethos he has created at the club.

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The Dutchman has been determined to improve discipline at United since his arrival in Old Trafford 18 months ago.

When asked at news conference if Sancho’s time was up amid talk of a move away in January, Ten Hag said: “What will happen there, he knows what he has to do, if he wants to return it is up to him.

“It is about a culture and every player has to match certain standards and it was about that.”

United said in a statement in September that Sancho would be on a “personal training programme away from the first team”.

The statement added that the decision was made “pending resolution of a squad discipline issue”.

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Last season, Sancho spent three months battling physical and mental issues, with Ten Hag at one point saying the England international was not fit enough to play.

Sancho has scored 24 goals in 92 appearances for United but has not featured since 3-2 home win over Nottingham Forest on 26 August.

Sixth-placed United host Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday.

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Coventry City 2-0 Birmingham City: Callum O’Hare double wins Midlands derby for Sky Blues

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Callum O'Hare scored his first goal for Coventry City since April 2022 - also against Birmingham City
Callum O’Hare scored his first goal for Coventry City since April 2022 – also against Birmingham City

Callum O’Hare scored his first Coventry City goals in more than 19 months as the Sky Blues comfortably beat Wayne Rooney’s Birmingham City at the CBS Arena.

The former Aston Villa midfielder cut in from the right to fire past John Ruddy on the half hour.

He then dribbled his way sideways across the box before slamming home the clinching second goal on 77 minutes.

It was a fifth successive away defeat for Blues boss Rooney, whose side have picked up just five points from his nine games in charge – and have not earned a single point on their travels since 19 August, two months prior to his appointment.

Although Blues were weakened at the back by injuries, it could have been worse but for a string of saves by keeper John Ruddy.

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Line-ups

Coventry

Formation 4-3-3

  • 40Collins
  • 27van Ewijk
  • 4Thomas
  • 15Kitching
  • 21Bidwell
  • 14Sheaf
  • 10O’Hare
  • 8Allen
  • 7Sakamoto
  • 9Simms
  • 11Wright

Substitutes

  • 2Binks
  • 3Dasilva
  • 5McFadzean
  • 6Kelly
  • 13Wilson
  • 22Latibeaudiere
  • 26Ayari
  • 28Eccles
  • 45Palmer

Birmingham

Formation 4-4-2

  • 21Ruddy
  • 7BacunaBooked at 9mins
  • 4Roberts
  • 44AiwuBooked at 70mins
  • 3Buchanan
  • 11MiyoshiSubstituted forBurkeat 70′minutes
  • 19JamesBooked at 81mins
  • 6BielikSubstituted forSunjicat 83′minutes
  • 28StansfieldSubstituted forHoganat 70′minutes
  • 10JutkiewiczBooked at 75minsSubstituted forDonovanat 83′minutes
  • 17DembéléBooked at 56mins

Substitutes

  • 1Etheridge
  • 9Hogan
  • 20Gardner
  • 23Longelo
  • 24Oakley
  • 27Khela
  • 34Sunjic
  • 45Burke
  • 49Donovan

Referee:
Sam Allison

Attendance:
26,729

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Football Focus: Harry Maguire on his comeback to winning Premier League player of the month

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Football Focus’ Alex Scott sits down with Harry Maguire to discuss his recent form for Manchester United and what it means to be named November’s Premier League player of the month.

Watch Football Focus at 12:00 GMT on Saturday, 8 December on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website & app.

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Emma Hayes: Chelsea manager says women are used to ‘systemic misogyny’

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Chelsea women’s manager Emma Hayes says women are used to “systemic misogyny”, following comments made by ex-footballer Joey Barton on X criticising women working in the men’s game.

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WSL: Will Chelsea open gap? One at the back for Everton? Things to look out for this weekend

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Arsenal's Cailtin Foord and Chelsea's Lauren James
Arsenal beat Chelsea in the Continental Cup final in March
Venue: Emirates Stadium, London Date: Sunday, 10 December Time: 12:30 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website & app; live text commentary on BBC Sport website & app

The Women’s Super League returns following the international break as the league’s top two sides face off on Sunday.

Second-place Arsenal welcome league leaders Chelsea to Emirates Stadium at 12:30 GMT with the chance to bridge the gap to their London rivals and you can watch live on the BBC.

Meanwhile, managers juggle the return of players from representing their respective nations and could Everton be forced to play with one defender?

Here are the key talking points before the weekend’s fixtures.

‘You don’t want to miss this game’

Jonas Eidevall’s Arsenal take on six-time WSL winners Chelsea on Sunday in what could ultimately be a crucial match in the title race.

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Should Emma Hayes’ side secure victory they will have created a six-point gap between themselves and closest rivals Arsenal.

But a win for the Gunners at an almost sold-out Emirates could peg back Chelsea’s charge for a fifth consecutive title.

“We’re 2,000 tickets short of being sold out so let’s push – you don’t want to miss this game,” said Eidevall.

Both managers were keen to downplay the significance of the contest with Eidevall saying “the performance is always the focus” and Hayes said it is “business as usual” for her side.

“You can’t approach any game as bigger or smaller than another, you have to approach everything in exactly the same way,” said Hayes.

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“Arsenal are an unbelievable counter attacking team. They are a team that have been together for a long period of time. They are a top team.”

Chelsea will be boosted by the return of Norway midfielder Guro Reiten, who was last season’s top assist-maker but has been out since October with an ankle injury.

Quick turnaround for England players after ‘difficult’ few days

England's Alex Greenwood is consoled by team-mate Rachel Day after England were knocked out of the Nations League
Rachel Daly (left) and Alex Greenwood (right) are among the England players that need to recover from the disappointment of failing to reach the Nations League semi-finals and therefore missing out on the 2024 Paris Olympics with Team GB

It is a tight turnaround for players returning from international duty and getting back to club football, with England failing to reach the Nations League semi-final and, in turn, missing out on qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympics on behalf of Team GB on Tuesday.

England beat Scotland 6-0 in their final group match but it was not by a sufficient goal margin to progress to the finals ahead of the Netherlands, who beat Belgium 4-0.

Manchester City host Aston Villa on Saturday at 12:30 GMT and manager Gareth Taylor said it had been a “difficult couple of days” for the England players.

“It impacted a lot of our players one way or the other,” said Taylor.

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“I spoke to them about the experience and what they were feeling because it was really tough to watch.

“It’s obviously really disappointing that the players won’t be making the Olympics. That’s football and it’s really fine margins.”

Aston Villa manager Carla Ward said she had spoken to England and Villa striker Rachel Daly who was “gutted” about the result.

“Rach is a passionate person that takes a lot of pride in playing for her country,” said Ward.

“Of course it’s going to hurt but it’s not just Rach – if you forget the Olympics we’ve had an awful lot of players away playing for their countries and it’s different emotions you always have to manage when they come back in.”

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One at the back?

Football managers like to try new things to get the best out of their team but when injury strikes it can be difficult to come up with solutions.

Everton boss Brian Sorensen was already dealing with injury problems before the international break with midfielder Lucy Hope and defender Elise Stenevik out with long-term injuries.

Now, several players have returned from representing their countries with fresh injury concerns, leaving the Danish boss questioning what formation he will have to play on Sunday when his side face West Ham.

“We have one defender basically,” said Sorensen. “It’s very frustrating. You’ll probably see a new formation – maybe a 1-6-3 formation and we’ll see how that goes,” he joked.

Denmark defender Katrine Veje rolled her ankle while playing in the Nations League while experienced midfielder Justine Vanhaevermaet came off with a foot injury while playing for Belgium, with both set to be out until after Christmas.

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“It’s a significant amount of players we don’t have available. It is what it is. We have to deal with it,” said Sorensen.

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Women’s Super League: BBC to show Chelsea v Man Utd & Everton v Leicester live in January

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Manchester United's Leah Galton and Chelsea's Erin Cuthbert and Naimh Charles
Chelsea finished two points clear of Manchester United last season to win the title

Defending champions Chelsea host Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in the Women’s Super League in January – and you can watch the match live on the BBC.

Chelsea, chasing an unprecedented fifth consecutive title, host United on Sunday 21 January at 12:30 GMT.

The BBC will also show Everton’s home match with Leicester City on Sunday, 28 January at 12:30.

Both games will also be available on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website.

Manchester United, currently fourth in the WSL, pushed leaders Chelsea to the final day in last season’s title race, before the Blues eventually won a sixth trophy by a two-point margin.

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Leicester and Everton are level on points in seventh and eighth, respectively.

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