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The man in whom Maurizio Sarri has placed his faith to revive Chelsea’s season and ensure he keeps his job is also a man who divides opinion in Argentina perhaps more than any player. Gonzalo Higuain, who is likely to make his debut on Sunday in the FA Cup against Sheffield Wednesday, is an enigma. Sarri himself branded him ‘lazy’ when he first met him and said it was hard to take when he left Napoli for Juventus. But the Chelsea manager also described Higuain as ‘like a son’. And now, with his own position inevitably in question if Chelsea don’t make the top four, he is the player on whom he has staked the next four crucial months of his professional career.

Chelsea rely on Father and son relationship to help the blues regain form 9028250 6635935 image m 23 1548545460992

The former River Plate, Real Madrid, Napoli, Juventus and AC Milan centre-forward comes with a phenomenal CV and goal-scoring record and yet still remains a mass of contradictions. No one should doubt his credentials but in Argentina he has become a caricature, reduced to being a comic meme as the man always in the wrong place at the wrong time and mocked as a player who puts on weight easily. ‘Gonzalo has been the only true quality centre-forward we had,’ said Gabriel Batistuta. ‘But now his time in Argentina is definitely over. If you are a goal-scorer, you just have to score, as simple as that. He had his chances. Now he must leave his place for a younger generation, like Mauro Icardi (of Inter).’

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Yet Higuain will always be the man who scuffed his shot when through on goal in the 2014 World Cup final against Germany. Even the disallowed goal he did score was largely due to the fact that he mistimed his run to be offside. That was bad enough but then against Chile in the 2015 Copa America final he missed a chance in the last minute to win the game and then sent his penalty in the shoot-out (Argentina lost) into the stands; in the 2016 final, also against Chile, he again missed a great early chance.A man who has scored 122 in 264 games for Real, 92 in 147 for Napoli and 55 in 105 for Juventus ought to be a national treasure. He has won five league titles (in Italy and Spain) and four cups as well as scoring the most goals in a single Serie A season in 2015-16 with 36.

The Argentine forward has won five league titles (in Italy and Spain) and four cups   Chelsea rely on Father and son relationship to help the blues regain form 9025572 6635935 image a 19 1548537689293

A coach who worked with him at Napoli said: ‘He did sometimes get anxious in big games, but could be phenomenal. There was a Europa League quarter-final against Wolfsburg in 2015 in which he scored and was unbelievable. But in the semi against Dnipro, he missed three in five minutes.’ Yet Sarri trusts him. In his system, wide players are expected to do the bulk of the work pressing the opposition.

Image result for higuain chelsea  Chelsea rely on Father and son relationship to help the blues regain form higuain2501

Higuain’s role is as a channel, to hold the ball up, link play and, of course, finish. To thrive it seems Higuain needs love and reassurance. He lost that at Juventus when they moved him on to make room for Cristiano Ronaldo, who also overshadowed him at Real. It’s as if he is judged by impossible standards, having been a foil to Ronaldo and Messi and never quite up to the task. But who is? As Sarri said: ‘If he doesn’t win the Ballon d’Or, he’s a d**khead.’  Chelsea will be banking on the special relationship with Sarri and a dose of love and attention to revitalise a centre-forward who, at his best, is phenomenal.

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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Transfer: Solskjaer, Woodward clash over Pogba’s move to Real Madrid

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Transfer: Solskjaer, Woodward clash over Pogba’s move to Real Madrid Pogba Solskjaer 1143342567

Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, is prepared to let Paul Pogba join Real Madrid this summer in a £120million move, the UK Sun reports.

Pogba was seen as key to Solskjaer’s rebuilding project at Old Trafford, when he took over last December.

The France midfielder was keen on joining Barcelona last summer and, despite a mid-season upturn in performances, he remains keen on leaving the club and is said to have informed Solskjaer of his desire to join Real Madrid.

United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, believes losing Pogba to the Spanish giants would be a major blow to United’s image and reputation across the world.

However, Solskjaer feels he can’t afford to carry passengers, as he looks to rebuild the club and is willing to let Pogba leave.

The Norwegian coach knows the pressure will be on during his first full season in charge and he wants players that he can rely on and that are fully focused on his project.

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EPL: Premier League introduces new rules on penalty kick, substitution, handball, cards for managers, others

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EPL: Premier League introduces new rules on penalty kick, substitution, handball, cards for managers, others Premier League Rebrands DesignStudio

The International Football Association Board, IFAB, has approved new rules and changes ahead of the 2019/2020 season.

The 2018/19 Premier League campaign finished last Sunday with Manchester City claiming the title.

The new rules affect Freekicks, substitution, handball, dropball, and cards for managers.

It is already established that video assistant referee, VAR, will be used in the league next season.

These alterations will have a huge impact on the Premier League sides.

The IFAB has clarified the situation in regards to handball decisions ahead of next season

Handballs:

The new rule state that goals will be disallowed if the ball accidentally strikes a player’s hand in the build-up.

A free-kick will also be awarded outside of the penalty box if a player has accidentally created an advantage by handling the ball.

The IFAB has also had its say on drop balls and is aiming to get rid of ‘manufactured’ restarts.

IFAB explained that, “The current dropped ball procedure often leads to a ‘manufactured’ restart which is ‘exploited’ unfairly or an aggressive confrontation.

“Returning the ball to the team that last played it restores what was ‘lost’ when play was stopped, except in the penalty area where it is simpler to return the ball to the goalkeeper.

“To prevent that team gaining an unfair advantage, all players of both teams, except the player receiving the ball, must be at least 4m (4.5 yds) away.”

Substitution:

Another rule which has been introduced for next season sees some major alterations to substitutions.

Now players will have to leave the pitch at the nearest point rather than walk slowly across the field late in games and waste time.

Penalty kicks

This has certainly been overdue with goalkeepers taking advantage on penalty situations for a while now.

But from next season they will have to have one foot on the line.

Not only must keepers be touching the line, they will not be allowed to touch the goalposts before the ball is kicked.

Cards for coaches.

Referees will now be able to show them a yellow card or a red card in the same way they do with players on the pitch.

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