Welcome to the Squeaky Bum Time podcast with your host, Laurent Courtines. In episode #234, we’ll be reviewing the Champions League midweek full of drama and disappointment, and looking ahead to a Premier League weekend full of quirks.
Firstly, Tottenham’s joyless Champions League campaign has come to an end with a historic 0-0 draw against AC Milan at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. But what does this mean for the future of the club? Does Tottenham need a reset, and who is the manager to replace Conte and rebuild the team? We’ll be discussing this in Part 3 of the show.
Meanwhile, Graham Potter and Chelsea have advanced to the next round after a convincing win over Dortmund at Stamford Bridge. Has Potter stumbled upon a winning formula for his starting 11, and can Chelsea keep their hopes of silverware alive? We’ll delve into this in Part 2.
PSG has suffered another last 16 exit after a defeat to Bayern Munich, who demonstrated their quality to advance at the expense of the Parisians. But what went wrong for PSG, and why aren’t Bayern Munich performing as well as they should be? Laurent will share his thoughts on this in Part 4.
Turning our attention to the Premier League, the leaders Arsenal will travel to Craven Cottage to face Fulham, but they may have reason to fear Mitrovic, Solomon, and the rest of the Cottagers. Meanwhile, Man City will be at Selhurst Park, a stadium where they have historically struggled. We’ll provide previews for both matches in Part 5.
In Part 6, we’ll also be previewing the upcoming match between Bournemouth and Liverpool. And in Part 7, we’ll be discussing the rest of the Premier League weekend, including Brighton’s chances of a top-four finish and Evan Ferguson’s chances of a big money move.
But before that, in Part 1, we’ll be discussing the recent sackings of managers Parker and Billic, as well as Club Brugge’s decision to fire Scott Parker after losing 1-5 to Benfica.
Thanks for joining us on the Squeaky Bum Time podcast. Let’s get started.
00:00 – Introduction
01:56 – Time for a Spurs Reboot (80 Seconds)
08:51 – Chelsea’s Defensive DNA (63 Seconds)
13:38 – PSG vs. Bayern Munich (92 Seconds)
19:53 – City, Arsenal Title Race (74 Seconds)
23:48 – Citi’s Improved Performance (91 Seconds)
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Hello, and welcome to the squeaky bum time podcast presented exclusively on the chop sports channel of the premier streaming network. We're recording this a day late on Friday, March tenth. I am your host, Laurent Corteens. In this episode, Chelsea kicks on PSG taking the evangelized PSG z, and we talk to Taro race. But first, I wanna get into our friends at Tata answer and what is getting on there. They are a mess. They are falling apart. But first, why was I late? I was in Vegas at a podcast conference. So this shows around twenty four hours late, but I appreciate you guys sticking around.
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So spurs. Spurs. Spurs. Spurs. Spurs went out of the Champions League on this week against Milan in a turbid terrible nil nil at home never really created anything, never really got anything to Kane and just went out with a whimper. And I think the most damning thing we can say about spurs is they're now in like a late vanger period kind of way where everything is about the top four. Everything is about getting that money to get players and whatever. And then that's the be all and end all of it. They just get there and then don't care. It's it's not even a lack of ambition. It's just an acceptance of playing for the finance of it.
Conte comes back. It's a disaster. He's bored. He doesn't really wanna try. He insists on playing spurs as a very defensive team. Indiana and Romero does end up getting sent off in this game.
And it's really just not working for spurs at all against Milan. They go a hundred and eighty minutes against AC Milan. A not great team and don't score a goal. This is a team with Harry Kane. This is a team with him and son. This is a team with Dayankula Shevsky. This is a team with Richard Allison, and we still can't find anything resembling scoring a goal. Again, defensively minded, Skip and Hoieberg together with three at the back. Parasich being out as a wingback. Okay. Fine. Emerson. Fine. But this team does not play to the teen's strengths. They're still playing in this negative style, afraid to be beaten, afraid to make mistakes, afraid to do anything, and it's just not working. There's no there there for spurs. And I think At this point, they're they're they're set up for a reboot. It's time to go again. It's time to move on.
Now, I don't wanna get into the pain of where spurs need to go. I don't know the answer. I do know that it should be with Harry Cain as part of the team. I don't buy the narrative that he has to win trophies. I don't think that that's true. I think that there's a lot of value in being the guy on the team that sticks with the team. I think that there's a big there's big value for him, for the club, for his legacy as the Spurs guy. There was talk on my friends from totally football that he pull a teddy sharing him where he leave, get his trophies, and come back. I do think Harry Cain is a type of player who could play for a long time and do a lot of things, leave and come back type thing. But I I think there's so much value in his being where he is, doing what he does, and doing what he needs to do.
I do think about spurs as a club. They aren't a weird space for their supporters where They're happy with their stadium. They love rooting for hurricane. But is this all there is? Is Is it this style of Turgeon negative football and this conte darkness? It's now spreading to his own players We had Rich Allison come out yesterday during the price conference to say he was shit say that he was promised that he would play and then say that I would say he he's had a shit season, excuse me. Say he promised that he was play and then not play You know, we can we can ask questions about whether Hickman's son should be playing or should it be coming off the bench? It's really just all gone horribly wrong for Antonio Containers' spurs. And then I think it starts to be something hierarchical where the Daniel Levy regime I know we have the silent owner who's actually the eighty an owner, but he's never around. Is it that he can only get the team to a certain space?
If we look back at spurs, the moments of hope were on the back of deli popping, Kain becoming the best English striker of a generation, and Pochettino's instilling of belief. Right? You have the sixteen, seventeen, or the seventeen, eighteen season, I can't remember anymore. Where spurs come in second, they have the highest goal difference in the league. They do do some business, but then there's a moment before the Champions League season where they went to the to the final, where they they went a whole transfer window without buying any players. And that's when the team went stagnant. That's when the team went down. And then we went from Pochettino to three straight defensive managers. Chasing this thing when your best players are attacking players.
And I know and I think that they have to restart. They have to look at it again. They have to assess the team have someone look at it and really go, hey, what is this team? What is what are its strengths? What should we be playing like? Where do we need to go? I know, like, when when Potter was at when Potter was at Brighton, I really wanted him to come to spurs. But now that we see Desirby, maybe it's Desirby, maybe he's the inflection point we go from Italian to Italian. I do think that's spurs need to go in an offensive direction. Something positive, something on the front foot, something that can lift that stadium that's super loud and designed for loudness and designed to push this team on, but they've gotta go for it. They've gotta go for it. They've gotta push themselves forward. And, you know, while we have spurs on the way down, We have Chelsea on the way up.
Chelsea coming off their good result in the week against leads. They get the big win versus Dortman in the Champions League, a really, really good performance, frankly, and Chelsea. Who knew? They scored two goals, Rahim Sterling, whipping on a shot, then luckily at bouncing off of him, very Rahim Sterling. Then he put it in. Then they got a very controversial penalty in the second half where, one, the call was semi controversial. We've it was very close, kicked into the hand, it hit the hand, it was out a backwards turn. It's given I understand that, but it was a VAR. To give. And then Howard's takes the same penalty twice. The first one hits the post, but there's encroachment by Bruce Adortman and then Harvard does it again, and Chelsea have their two nil lead. And they were very professional and really controlled the game and finished it out.
What what's interesting about this game though is They did it differently. They did it differently. They did it without possession. It was very much about letting Bruce Dortman have the ball. Now, Is it game states? Is it a a situation where Chelsea are like we're winning? Let's just get our let's just get our our thing going. Let's shut it down. Let's play on a counterattack, which is fine.
I think that goes more into Chelsea's DNA. I talk about this a lot. I talk about the suffering. And I talk about what a club is, Chelsea at its core is a defensive club. Through the timeline, of being the leads of the South in the seventies. Even though they were to the gamer club, they played the same way. A very chop people down.
You have the world famous Chopper Harris who embodied Chelsea from the set from the sixties through to the eighties, known for taking guys down. This team was the team of John Terry, Moreno, It's power, it's force, it's it's physicality. And with the team, I think with Kovacic and Enzo Fernandez. I think they're both really good technical plays, but they they do embody that. Fofana was great. And then they really show up when Reese James and Schiller there. All of a sudden, all that creativity that I always complain about with Chelsea and that's not in the midfield now comes from those two and they do a good job. Chelsea, we're good here. And Potter goes from zero to zero.
I did listen to Rory Jennings, who has very much been potter out, but then was also very happy with this game. Touting Chelsea as the top team in Europe from London and and you can still be potter he would still potter out, but also very happy for his team to win. Because I think that's how it is for football. You've gotta celebrate when your team wins and can't always be, you know, on the manager, on the manager, on the manager. I think this these two wins, frankly, put Potter in for the rest of the season. You know, he gets the team to the to the quarter finals. He moves the team forward. He gets to sort of say, hey, here's where we are.
It is not unheard of. For a team to win the Champions League in this kind of position. Two thousand five Liverpool, Christian Istanbul. That team had fifty eight points. And won the Champions League, Chelsea in twenty twenty, twenty twelve, the drug won goal against Byron. They got battered for most of those games. The famous bunkering defending against the greatest team of all time at the camp now winning one nil against Barcelona. I think Barcelona took thirty five shots. This is the the the Di Mateo team that won the Champions League. They finished in six that year with sixty five points. So it's not unheard of. For an English team or a team that's down on a season to win a Champions League. It's a knockout tournament. Anything can happen, and it's not a great vintage of teams playing in the Champions League aside from, you know, royals in it. We can't really put them down, but Can they really have that lucky of a run again? Sure. But it is weird. But Potter does get the team moving they're in good shape, they're looking good, and Chelsea fans can breathe a sigh of relief that their season isn't just gonna disappear on them.
I think the secret to Potter and I've got it a little bit salacious in the headline. No big deal. The secret to what Potter's winning formula is The same eleven. Who knew? If you don't change your team all the time, they get connected to each other. So playing the same group up front with Reese James and chill well I think is the path forward and that is what changed for Potter. He's getting a settled eleven. Remember, this team has thirty three first team players. That's so many. When you compare it to Citi who are acknowledged as a top team or arsenal.
Arsenal, I think, only played fifteen, eighteen guys tops, city play, fifteen, eighteen, twenty one guys tops, and grandpa's having to deal with thirty three guys on his roster, like, you know, Obama Yang is still there. Mendy's still there. All those guys are still there. All the players they brought in are still there. So they've got to manage that whole process. Mudrick is on the team. He hasn't played the two games. I'm sure he didn't think when he was coming in Chelsea that he wasn't gonna play. Mason Mount still in the team hasn't played the last two games. So there's a lot of stuff going on.
But I think for Potter, he needs to settle the team down, pick a group. Explain why he's made the decision to the players that he's chosen and say, hey, we weren't working what I was doing. We're winning this way and we're gonna find moments for everyone else. There are five subs in every game and we're gonna subguys in every game to get teams going especially, but I wanna keep the team going and be focused as a group together to start with. Otherwise, they'll have such a hard time moving the team forward. Like that in a nap regard. So we talked the Champions League in this episode because that's the those are the big big week games. But I do wanna go to some teams I don't cover very often.
So PSG, name brand, name brand, PSG, oh versus Byron Munich, And I think that there's a juxtaposition here with PSG and Citi. Both have their sovereign wealth funds, but when about taking over their leagues differently? PSG is in a weaker league. So they were able to go with z baton and Cavani and Silva. Jago Silva now and Chelsea, and lift PSG up to win league on. And I think they got there fairly quickly. But this is where the teams diverged.
City went on a path of creating a team because their group comes from the Barcelona model with Ferrantores and Chiggi Pajera Stone. And they put the team together for PeP to manage. And if you know anything about Royce, and anything about Rina Smiles and anything about you know, about the installation of the bar some model. It was very, very much a team first club. And Citi only have superstar only have really had their first superstar signing in Holland. Aguero was a good player who football people like, but he didn't have big personality. He was a goal scorer. And David Silva was never spoke English. And Yoyatore, you know, these are big players that are big because of what they achieved in moments on the field, but they're not branded players the way that Neymar and Bape and Messi are bigger than the clubs themselves.
And that is what's been hurting PSG. PSG's structure and why they've gone out in the round of sixteen and five of the last seven champions. Now, To be fair, they got to a final. So that that that matters that happened under Tookle, goes to show how good a coach Tookle is. We went to a final with with PSG, and then one eighteen months later with Chelsea.
But I think what's happened at PSG is the players are not accountable to the coach. They can go around him, especially Namar. In the Namar era, I don't know if it's just Namar. They seem if they don't like the coach, they can go to the chairman and get the coach fired. It's much more like an NBA team than a soccer team than a football team, where this team just has no cohesion. It has no desire to play together. It's very much a Stars and Scruggs team, which in football, as I've said, a million times. It is a weak link sport, and any weak links will be exploited. PSG had seventeen year olds coming on to change the game, whereas Byron Munich had Consalo and Leroy Sonic coming off the bench and Serge can operate. PSG never looked at it they never they looked disinterested. They were only down a goal.
But but Bioimmunich again, the stronger institution, the stronger sense of knowledge, the stronger sense of DNA within the club to say, this is Biren Munich, this tournament, the Champions League. Is all that matters. Our will to win. Our understanding of what happens if we lose. Our desire not to lose. Our desire and and constant pressure to put in good performances is gonna overtake PSG's star driven. I'm gonna I'm the man. I'm gonna win this for Paris.
Which is what you get a sense from Nate from Mbappe was trying to do. Win the game by himself. Or, hey, we'll bring in messy. It'll be fine. It doesn't work that way. Football's not like that. If you look I think a good juxtaposition is if you look at what happened with Messi in Argentina, Those players were so connected to him that they did the work as a unit and a cohesion for him. PSG is not set up to do something for Mbappe or for Messi. There's no love. There's no deep bonds in connection for any players to PSG. And it's it's what city's problems are, but city are growing it slowly and slowly. So it's a little bit of that. But that's just the Champions League. Just wanna make sure I get it all summarized. So We all know where we are. We still have this week, next week to find out who the final teams are, but we have Ben Fika going through, Chelsea going through, Byron going through, and AC Milan, going through. And next week, we're gonna have Porto v Inter, CityV LifeSig, Real Madrid Liver Pool, and Napoli versus On Track. Frankfurt.
Do you wanna give a little bit of a shout to Club Brugg, our friend, Scott Parker, who was fired on day eight of the season took the club group job and is fired there too. So he's been fired twice in one season. Can he make it a trifecta hopefully, we'll see his sweaters. Again, I think Scott Parker is just not a good coach. Yes. He did get promoted twice once with Fulham and once with Bournemouth. So maybe the championship is his level. Maybe he'll go and try and go again at the championship, maybe learn from this. He can say he's the furthest English manager in the league. You know, he got booted in a round of sixteen, almost happened to Potter, but he and Potter are the only two English managers who got that far in the Champions League, but he's just not a good manager. Clubroom had been falling apart under his management. And I think this Champions League result was the last straw for them. They were just not having it anymore from him.
So we do have to turn our heads to the Premier League and we go back to our bread and butter and where we last left our championship group. So Let's cover off Manchester City and Arsenal. Arsenal do have to play Fulham at craving college on Sunday with Citi facing Crystal Palace late on Saturday. In Selhurst Park. So both both of our contenders have to go to hostile environments. Against tough teams, historically, tough teams for them and see where they are. So it'll be an opportunity for city to put pressure. On Arsenal so that they have to go to full to full them and at least match the result. Fulham are very, very, very tough. And we have to keep that in mind. And Citi have a historical problem with Palace, not at Sellhurst, at home. I just remember the Andros Tom's Endgame. More than anything against Citi, five points behind.
Every week that ticks off for Arsenal where they don't drop points and they move forward, They completely have the title in their hands. And I said almost it must be a month ago. This was city this is our simplest to bottle when they had an eight point lead. They were way ahead. They had that wobble. City did not go on that run. They also dropped the game in the middle of that run.
And so we we see where we are within this contest, but we do have to comment on a couple of players. Mitrovich and Magnon Salomon who's been scoring goals in five straight games, tricky winger had a difficult time getting to fulham from Shakhtar. He's one of the players who was affected by the war in Ukraine. He there was a fee for ruling that players leaving Ukraine did not have to pay transfer fees, but there was a bit of a a bit of a sort of working out that, oh, you can come back now, but then Fulham wanted to pay. So he had to wait a year before he could play and Salomon has come on and he just comes on the wing, right footed player, just been finding goals like crazy.
And then for Arsenal who have been giving up goals on headers, they've got to be careful with MitraVitch. They have been giving up goals. They give up two goals in midweek to the Europa League. To Bette's. No. Bette's is Manchester City. So they have to worry.
I don't think Arsenal are in the best form, specifically in terms of defending. They have been giving up goals almost every single game. They played sporting and Drew two two. They were pegged back. No. They pulled on an own goal, they they pulled this one out. A little bit tougher. Sporting was in the Champions League. And did drop in. So they're pretty good.
Arsenal, I wouldn't say, dominated this game, but they also did not completely control it either. Supporting gave him a hard time. A two two draw away is fine. They'll feel good about going to the Emirates. But I think one of the issues for arsenal is they don't have depth. And when they try and go away from their normal eleven, they have a hard time. Georgina was in this one. And I believe party had to come on to solidify that thing. Tommy Aso had to come on for Zinchenko to get that defensive solidity. Q War had to come on, and Gabrielle had to come on. So some of the things anytime they try and play different lineups, they get into trouble. And this is by no means, are they good in Europa League? A two two. Sporting will feel good about going to the Emirates and trying to get something out of this. Very difficult tie there, and Arsenal now have Thursday, Sunday.
Really difficult to go through all these games and fight through especially city not having the extra game the way Arsenal did. For city it's all about kicking on and cruising on. One of the things I noticed that there was a statistical thing about the number of runs that Arling Holland has made and had the ball played to him? City fans could have told you that a million times. They are not making passes to Holland because of the three three game early in the season against Newcastle. Pep guardiola admonished the team to control games. City can't wanna go up and down.
The last couple games have been better. There's been a bit more balanced. There's been other players looking for Holland. I think the Foden coming into the side has been better. Essentially, the only player who had any guts to try and play the ball to Holland was Kevin De Bruin and all the other players were afraid to make mistakes. But De Bruin has slipped in the last five or six games since the World Cup. He's not been good. He's been getting pulled off early. His body language is bad. His hair looks bad. Just not looking good right now. He's at a form. He has twelve assists on the season, but he's at a form. And, you know, Citi had been playing without him or having to haven't come off after sixty five minutes. So he might be feeling jaded, he might be feeling tired, but Citi have been better. Their performance ever been better. And again, like we said, we're about Chris, the past have been terrible.
Windless in since the World Cup. Windless since I gotta look it up right now. I'm I'm doing it right now. Windless since eleven twelve, so match each sixteen. No, sorry. The late last win was against Bournemouth. On New Year's Eve. So they have not one since really bad run of form, so that's one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, ten games without a win. But to be fair, They do have five draws in there. Their best draw was probably the United draw. They'll feel good about that one, but or or the Liverpool draw also really good. For for them, but, you know, they need to get wins and they're not scoring. Since Zaheed's been out, they really ever had a hard time doing anything around that.
We have to check-in on our friends in Liverpool. They've got to capitalize. They are the early game. They play Bournemouth. We know how good Bournemouth can be. They almost got that fucking win against arsenal. Goddamn it ten more seconds. And more seconds, Gary O'Neil. So we'll see where Bournemouth and Liverpool are. Can Liverpool put two performances together? We know their scoring has been better. Sorry. Their defensive numbers have been better. Two clean sheets in a row. And they won't feel good about their real Madrid game, but they will feel good about playing Bournemouth. Their last game against Bournemouth was the nine mil. But that was Scott Parker who basically said every anyone who would listen that their team was shit. So we'll go there. But interesting about where they are and how they wanna play.
I do wanna give another big shout out to Some of our other friends, you know we have fallen, we know we have Brentford. But, Brighton, I haven't talked about them in a while. Brighton are real top four chances. They have been incredible, and Desirby is now getting more plotted, more of everything, right night right now sitting in eighth, plus fourteen goal difference. What? They now have a striker in Ferguson who I think will end up moving on. I mean, Evan Ferguson eighteen years old Three goals, two assists, seems to all have connected. We've got Matoma and Ferguson and McAllister. And deserve his unlocked solid march and Pascal Gross and my boy, Lewis Thunk. Just incredible stuff. I've been in Vegas. My voice is going. So I'm gonna end it here. I'm gonna end it here.
That was the squeaky one time podcast. With the wrong fourteen's, we had a football wing of the chops sports channel, redented exclusively by the premier's premier network. We record on Mondays and Thursdays, so be sure to subscribe. We already get your podcast, so you never miss an episode. And if you're listening on Apple, please rate and review the show. Sorry, I did not mention Manchester. United. Today, my growth just went after a weekend in weeks.