Jamie Redknapp admits Mason Mount made a ‘big mistake’ by ignoring Chelsea’s self-isolation guidelines but urged critics to forgive the midfielder after his ‘stupid’ error of judgment.
A member of the public spotted Mount having a casual kickabout with Declan Rice and others in Barnet on Sunday despite Chelsea’s strict instructions to avoid such activities after Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for the coronavirus.
The England international has since apologised to Frank Lampard for his behaviour over the phone and Chelsea’s squad have been reminded of their responsibilities amid the devastating health crisis.
Speaking about Mount’s lapse of judgement on Sky Sports’ The Debate, ex-Liverpool and England star Redknapp said: ‘He’s made a mistake. He’s a great kid, a really nice boy, well educated, he’s got a lovely family behind him.
‘He’s made a mistake, I remember making plenty of mistakes when I was his age and I’m sure with Frank and everybody at the club will stick by him.
‘We’ve all done stupid things in our time. He is a brilliant young man, that’s all I can say.’
Redknapp believes Mount will feel awful about his behaviour considering the seriousness of the current COVID-19 pandemic but hopes fans are able to forget the incident in time.
‘We all want to get back to watching football and not sit here talking about something that’s so serious but that’s life, we just have to get on with it,’ he added.
‘He loves the game and that’s the problem but as I say it was just the wrong time for him to do it.
‘Knowing him, I’ve met him a few times, he’ll feel so bad about what he’s done.
‘He’s made a big mistake but there will be people all around the world who should be self-isolating that are not so let’s just forget about it now, he’s made a mistake and everybody just moves on.’
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has called on the public to take care of one another amid the coronavirus crisis and reassured fans that Callum Hudson-Odoi was recovering well in self-isolation.
‘I’m happy to say that in Callum’s case, he has made great progress and almost feels his usual self, which is obviously the news we all want to hear,’ Lampard said.
‘I am of course aware that not everyone can or will recover from this virus, so I urge all of the football and sporting community to continue to act responsibly and look out for the health of others.
‘I want to make it clear that I am no medical expert when it comes to challenging times such as these but please do take the time to call older relatives and vulnerable people who might be alone, or offer to drop round shopping if they can’t get out. Let’s make sure we all take care of each other.
‘Social distancing can leave us feeling isolated, however we can continue to support each other even if that means doing it remotely.
‘Of course we still don’t know when competitive football will restart, but it isn’t worth worrying about that too much at the moment.
‘We all miss football, but right now it’s about acting responsibly and in the best interests of society. I am sure I wasn’t the only one who found myself in a strange place with no sport this weekend, but ultimately none of that matters when we consider the bigger picture.’
Kovacic will certainly remember the night, with Terry having left his mark on the Croatian as he went to shake hands with the Villa assistant after the match.
The Chelsea midfielder grimaced as he grabbed hands with Terry, shaking his hand in pain as he walked down the tunnel, while Terry held out his hand as an apology as he walked off.
Chelsea uploaded the clip on Instagram and tagged their former skipper, writing: ‘Easy on the handshake, John!’
He obviously found it very amusing, replying with both a laughing face emoji and flexing arm emoji, as well as tagging Kovacic and writing, ‘Sorry mate’.
After almost pulling off Kovacic’s hand, Terry enjoyed a touching moment on the Stamford Bridge pitch as fans applauded a legend of the club, though he admitted it was rather surreal to be back.
Asked about his emotional return to Stamford Bridge, he told ChelseaTV: ‘Really strange actually, obviously being back for the first time since I stopped playing. A great reception from the supporters.
‘It’s a difficult one, because obviously we lost the game and you don’t want to go out but I needed to show my appreciation and the fans done that at the end of the game as well, which was amazing for me.
‘So really humbled to be back and get the reception after a couple of years, so big thank you to all the supporters that sung my name today.’
MORE: Jose Mourinho reacts to Chelsea transfer ban being lifted ahead of January window
MORE: John Terry raves about Chelsea youngsters after Stamford Bridge return
Ederson will be back in goal for Manchester City against Chelsea tomorrow, in the clash between fourth and third at the Etihad. Some good news for Chelsea too, with Christian Pulisic back after a groin problem. However Callum Hudson-Odoi is unlikely to feature after tweaking a hamstring.
Across the city, Steven Gerrard is busy bigging up Glen Kamara. The midfielder has just helped Finland to qualify for Euro 2020, their first-ever major tournament, while his recent displays for Rangers have attracted interest from Leeds.
We haven’t heard of any interest down south, we’ve read tons about it though. But I wouldn’t be surprised if there was interest in Glen Kamara because he’s an outstanding footballer. He’s been outstanding since he walked in the door. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself for how we got him and what we got him for. [He cost £50,000 from Dundee.] He’s in good form and playing well. The message for Glen and the other players is we always reward our players for consistent performances over a long period of time. Glen will be treated no different. All he needs to worry about is bringing success back to the club and I’m sure he will be well looked after.
Scotland! And the champions and league leaders Celtic welcome Leigh Griffiths back to their squad ahead of the visit of Livingston on Saturday. The striker has been out since late August due to personal problems, then niggling injuries and a virus. He’s unlikely to start the match, but boss Neil Lennon is preparing to give him some much-needed game time.
He will be involved with the squad. Slowly but surely. He had an hour on Tuesday, he looked good so he will be in and around it. He is good, he is happy. He needs to stay there now and improve his conditioning. It is bit by bit but we have seen enough now to think he may make a contribution. We have 11 games between now and the end of December and we will be using the squad and Leigh obviously is a part of that. When he is ready and if he is in the groove he will be a real asset for Scotland, there is no doubt about that.
Second-placed Leicester, then, and Brendan Rodgers is certain the international break will have no adverse affect on his side’s momentum. Since the last break in October, the Foxes have won every game they have played, and go to Brighton tomorrow looking to make it six victories on the bounce.
We lost against Liverpool before the last international break and then refocused and have played very well in the games in between up until now. I think it is important that when players come back from international duty to press the reset button again, because lots are coming back from playing different styles and different ways. So when they come back it is important they come back into the Leicester way and how we work, and the players have been excellent in training since they came back and we will be ready for the game on Saturday.
James Maddison has recovered from a calf injury and will be fit to pull on his boots.
Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser has recently been linked with a move to Liverpool. That may or may not explain why the 25-year-old Scotland international is, according to his manager Eddie Howe, “keeping his options open” regarding a new contract with the south-coast club. “In terms of his contract, that’s obviously for him to decide what he wants to do with his future,” said Howe. “We would love him to stay and commit to us but, if not, we need to get the best out of him between now and the end of the season. We’ve had conversations with Ryan to try and persuade him to stay but, at the moment, he’s keeping his options open.”
Howe also addressed a recent interview in which Fraser admitted to being a “loner” ever since his friend Marc Pugh left the club. “I think those comments were probably taken slightly out of context. I think people jump on things like this. He’s got some really good friends in the squad, as he mentioned in the interview, Dan Gosling, Nathan Ake, he’s very close with those guys, always socialising in and around them so I think it’s a story that isn’t entirely accurate. I think Ryan’s just very honest when he speaks and probably he’s given the impression that he’s lonely but I can guarantee you he’s not.”
And here’s a bit more from Norwich boss Daniel Farke. He’s flatly refusing to change his easy-on-the-eye footballing style, despite the Canaries’ current predicament at the bottom of the Premier League.
You have to be convinced by your style. We built the squad in that way, so you can’t expect us to just park the bus or put the balls in the river. We have plans B, C, D and E – so we have to be flexible within our philosophies. We have to adapt to each opponent. You have to remember players are human beings, not just the young lads. They were used to winning games and being praised. We responded to every loss last season with a win, so there was no crisis. On this level, you have difficult periods. We have to learn because we are not experienced in a relegation battle.
Some more words from Roy Hodgson ahead of the visit of his former club Liverpool tomorrow. His mind-games sensor is going haywire, and he’s not convinced that so-called injury doubts Andrew Robertson and Mo Salah will miss the match at all.
We are counting on them playing so until such time when I pick up the team sheet and they are not playing, then I’ll think about it, but I think both will be fit to play. I am presuming we will face what Jurgen Klopp has seen as his strongest team in recent weeks because I believe he has enough respect for us and what we are capable of doing not to make unnecessary changes if it is not forced upon him through injury. I am certainly very anxious that we will make it very difficult for them. We aren’t going to sit back and help them win the title; we want to win the game. We are fully prepared and fully ready for that and if we lose, it will be because they have played exceptionally well and we were unable to match them.
Ah, Roy at Anfield. What a ride that was. This is always worth another read.
As previously mentioned, Granit Xhaka could well return for Arsenal against Southampton tomorrow. With this very much uppermost in mind, his team-mate Hector Bellerin is attempting to engender some positive vibes. Let’s see what happens should Xhaka play, and Ralph Hasenhüttl get the fast start he’s hoping for (12.40pm).
It’s Friday afternoon, you’re just counting the minutes until cocktails o’clock. This should help you run down an hour of your boss’s time: the very latest edition of Football Weekly Extra! Includes a blissed-out soliloquy by Elis James, who appears to have reached a state of higher consciousness in the wake of Wales’ qualification for Euro 2020.
Of course, other podcasts are available. In the old-fashioned collective internet spirit, please allow us to recommend Rock’n’Goal. The edition with Mersey troubadour Pete Wylie is a fine starting point. There, that’s nearly all the afternoon sorted for you now.
BREAKING NEWS: Frank Lampard will not take over as manager of Tottenham Hotspur in 2029. The current Chelsea boss has been asked if he could ever envisage managing Spurs, and he replied in the categorical style: “I can firmly say no, and you can replay that again in 10 years. It wouldn’t happen but I think things are different for me.”
That firm stance hasn’t stopped him wishing his old boss all the best in his new role across town. “We had a couple of messages just to wish him well in his new role as he has always done for me. I think history and results speak for themselves; the trophies, titles he’s managed to win at clubs, they are not surprises, they are for the hard work he’s put in. He’s done that consistently. People will hold up his record and expect big things from him.”
Thanks Luke. Harry Maguire returns to Sheffield United on Sunday afternoon with his new club Manchester United. Blades boss Chris Wilder is already excited.
I usually say it’s just the next game but perhaps this one does have a little more to it. It’s Manchester United – one of the most iconic and powerful clubs in the world, and one of our former players will be playing for them. I’m sure Harry will get a great reception, he’s already been back once with Leicester, but I don’t want it to be ‘the Harry Maguire Show’. I want it to be the Sheffield United show. I want us to show how good we are. I’m sure when his name gets called out before the game he will get a round of applause but make no mistake about it he’s an opposition player, along with the other 10, and he is in the enemy camp for an hour and a half.
The Blades will have to do without keeper Dean Henderson, on loan from Old Trafford and barred from playing against his parent club. Simon Moore will deputise. Meanwhile John Egan will require a check-up after the centre-half suffered a head injury while on Republic of Ireland duty.
As for my earlier trivia question – who scored Tottenham’s injury-time winner in the 4-3 victory against West Ham in 2007? None of you got it right, because none of you responded. Regardless, the answer is Paul Stalteri, which of course we all knew anyway.
Scott is back now to take you through the rest of the press conference news, and other Friday afternoon footballing delights. Over to you Scott.
Marco Silva’s full press conference is available to watch on Everton’s Twitter feed.
On injuries: “Fabian Delph is not in condition for tomorrow’s match, he’s still a big doubt. Bernard is in the same situation, he has started working with the team. Cenk Tosun is OK. [Jean-Philippe] Gbamin is long-term, I don’t know [when he’ll be back], I don’t have a date. Andre Gomes, we must take it step-by-step … he is doing his rehabilitation but it will be a slow recovery … Possibly he will play this season. We have to be patient and supportive with him.”
On Mourinho’s return at Tottenham: “It was longer than I expected, to be honest [Mourinho’s spell out of work]. It’s really good for him to be back, it’s really good for the Premier League for him to be back in charge … and for sure one manager, to achieve what he’s achieved, it’s really good to have him back. He’s my friend as well. Mauricio Pochettino should be really proud of what he achieved at Tottenham.”
Lampard on tomorrow evening’s test against the champions: “Tomorrow’s game at Man City is a great test to see where my team are at, but I won’t be making big judgements based on the result, given how early it is in the team’s development.
Chelsea FC on Twitter: “Lampard reports that Christian Pulisic returned to training this midweek and is in contention for a place tomorrow. Callum Hudson-Odoi has a hamstring issue picked up with England so there is a question mark over his participation.”
And a little more about Mou from Lampard: “Mourinho is taking on a team with quality players and will be working at a club with good structure, so Spurs are a threat and in the top-four race.”
Quotes from Man City manager Pep Guardiola right here:
What will Mourinho bring in his new role at Tottenham? “I think you know him better than me. He was here many years with different clubs. He is an incredible manager and I am pretty sure he will do a good job.”
On Pochettino: “I was a little surprised [Spurs sacked him] because Mauricio has done an incredible job … but the decisions are made, and nothing else to say.”
On Raheem Sterling’s recent clash with Liverpool’s Joe Gomez while on England duty: “We are good. I spoke with him, he’s fine, Joe Gomez is an excellent guy and they have a good relationship.
On Bernardo Silva’s one-match suspension for a racially aggravated tweet: “He has been accused for something he’s not … He will be careful to use social media [in future]. But if this can help to do a better society, OK, I am pretty sure Bernardo can accept this punishment, but he is not what he’s been accused of.”
On Lampard’s early success at Chelsea: “I am happy for him, I don’t know him quite well … he’s an excellent person and I think for English football it’s so nice, it’s perfect for English football.”
Lampard coming right up when my keyboard stops smoking.
Meanwhile, ahead of a trip to Everton, Norwich manager Daniel Farke has bad news about the fitness of striker Josip Drmic:
“He was injured in our last game. It’s a serious muscle fibre injury. Physios think he’ll be out for eight weeks,” Farke said.
“Grant Hanley hasn’t been able to train with us. I hope he can return to team training soon. Jamal Lewis is not available for tomorrow. He came back injured from the national team. He doesn’t feel comfortable so we’ll have to do without him.”
“However, we have some positive news,” Farke goes on. “Kenny McLean is okay and Christoph Zimmermann is back in team training and available. Teemu Pukki is also fine to play.”
Hot off the press from Liverpool’s website, and following his earlier quotes about José Mourinho’s return and other things, Jürgen Klopp has been talking about the Premier League leaders’ sports psychologist, former Chesterfield manager Lee Richardson:
“I think around about 20, 25 years ago there were no goalie coaches in football and the head coach did the goalie training by himself. You had no athletic coaches, it was all our job pretty much. So, the teams around the team became bigger,” Klopp said.
“The next thing was, of course, with psychology … With Lee Richardson especially, the good thing is he was a player himself, a manager himself and then he decided to become a sports psychologist. It is a really interesting career, he’s a fantastic person, which is important because then I don’t have to convince the boys to talk to him.”
The Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Flamengo will be televised live on the BBC tomorrow evening. It’ll be the first one-off decider in the competition’s history, and it’s had a troubled birth …
Southampton have lost their last three matches, a run of misery that began with that 9-0 humiliation against Leicester. But they impressed in defeat at champions Manchester City, and Ralph Hasenhuttl is hoping that performance will stand them in good stead at Arsenal tomorrow.
A fast start always helps against every opponent, because then you feel more comfortable. We had a good start against Manchester City and then you saw how difficult it was against us to turn the table for them. We were only a few minutes from taking something there. We know in away games we can start fast and score, then we are not easy to beat. Especially against big opponents, you have nothing to lose. If you go in the game and be brave, believe in yourself, then you have a big chance to get something and this is what we have to do to at the weekend.
Mourinho will be hoping for a fast start to his Tottenham reign at West Ham tomorrow lunchtime. But opposite number Manuel Pellegrini has his own urgent agenda, his side having failed to win since swatting aside Manchester United back in September.
I trust a lot in the players because I know they have demonstrated a lot of times they can do it against big teams. I think that this international break was good for us, maybe we had time to talk a lot of things. So I hope that especially in a derby game – we know that for our fans it’s the most important game of the season playing against Tottenham at home – so I hope that tomorrow we see the West Ham that we saw at the beginning of the season. The table is very tight, we must try to recover our performance as individuals and as a team and I hope this will be a good game to return to winning ways.
Pellegrini has also called on fans to show mercy to the hapless Roberto, who has struggled badly in goal while standing in for the injured Lukasz Fabianski. “Every player when they are in bad moments needs the support of the fans behind them, especially in a special position like goalkeeper. Roberto has a lot of experience, in different countries. He knows maybe he is not playing his best performance but all of us, the fans, the staff and players, must trust in him.”
We haven’t mentioned Jose Mourinho for 29 minutes. Many apologies. Here’s the man himself, upon being asked whether this new Spurs gig would be his last in England. “I would love that to be the case. I would love to stay for many years. I say many years but I know realistically how football is. If I could do a Mauricio for five-and-a-half years, it would be amazing. I would be 61 – then 10 more years. Vitoria Setubal in Portugal maybe the last job.” Current Vitoria boss Julio Velázquez is permitted a quick shudder. And Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thinks he’s got problems dealing with an out-of-work Poch.
EFL v Bolton Wanderers. The EFL has appealed against Bolton’s “too lenient” suspended five-point penalty for failing to fulfil two fixtures. The Trotters cancelled a game against Brentford towards the end of last season, and another against Doncaster in August. An independent disciplinary commission penalised them two points for the first transgression and three for the second, with deductions only to be made should the club cancel any more matches in the next 18 months.
However the EFL is “disappointed … and it is the firm view of the League that the sanction imposed is too lenient when consideration is given to all the circumstances of the case. Given the potential for postponements to have a significant impact on competition integrity and, following receipt of advice overnight on the reasons provided, the League will appeal the outcome in the strongest possible sense.” Bolton – who have already been whacked with a 12-point deduction for entering administration – will “vehemently defend” any appeal.
Scotland boss Steve Clarke has delivered his verdict on the Euro 2020 play-off draw. Talking to Sky Sports, he said: “The draw is what it is. I never get too carried away about who we’re going to get. We will be familiar with Israel because we played them in the Nations League group stage, and hopefully we can get a positive outcome. We had two close games, lost away and won at Hampden. It would be nice to repeat that. We’re not disappointed that the final is away from home. You have to take what you get.”
Klopp had less interest in discussing the recent stramash between England pals Joe Gomez and Raheem Sterling. “Joe is good, better than good. The people involved were fine pretty quick. Things like this happen in football. Absolutely nothing to say about it. The FA dealt with it how they saw right and I cannot judge that as I was not aware of the circumstances.”