Martinez does not believe Chelsea’s decline is terminal

first_img The defending champions arrive at Goodison Park on Saturday on the back of a rare home defeat to Crystal Palace before the international break which has left them with just four points from as many matches. There has been much debate about how a number of Jose Mourinho’s key players are under-performing but Martinez insists it is only a matter of time before they kick into gear again – he just hopes it is not against his side. “It is only four games into the season so if you want to make an assessment it will not have a lot of substance,” he said. “They have not lost any of their top performers from last season, they won the league by a clear distance, and I expect to see this side competing for every trophy they were competing for last season. “What you can say about this team is that they haven’t reached that winning momentum they had last season – that is obvious. “You can have the same players and same way of playing but you need to develop that momentum and that comes with good results. “Their four games this season – apart from Manchester City away from home – it has been about small margins. “I expect a very strong Chelsea team with the right approach hitting the heights that they had last season when they won the league comfortably. “I don’t think there is a big difference – we just need to make sure they don’t develop momentum against us.” A little more than 12 months ago Chelsea won 6-3 in a game full of attacking intent but Martinez does not envisage a repeat performance. Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes talk of a Chelsea crisis has been over-hyped. Press Association “I do expect for it to be a bit of a different encounter,” he added. “Off the back of an international break it will be less of an open game but the make-up of the two sides is the same.” One new face from last season’s encounter will be Aaron Lennon, who joined Everton on a three-year deal on transfer deadline day after a successful loan spell from January. He has not even played a pre-season game since his last appearance for the Toffees in mid-May after being frozen out at Tottenham but he is raring to go and is likely to get his chance against Chelsea. “Just to be back playing is something I can’t wait to do,” said the England winger. “I’ve trained the last six or seven weeks now and not played games. “I’ve not played any pre-season friendlies. You train all week to play a game at the end of it but that’s how it’s gone. “I’ve done extra training but there is not much more I could have done.” last_img read more

Football: Well, you can’t win ’em all

first_imgI usually wake up on Saturday mornings with low expectations for our Badgers.“Maybe they win, maybe they lose,” I tell myself without a care in the world.Though, every week, as it gets closer and closer to kick off, my attitude takes a sharp turn.By 10 a.m., I was getting jittery.It’s gameday baby! May the power of Chryst compel you!— Badger Herald Sports (@BHeraldSports) October 13, 2018The mind begins to reel with possibilities for the night ahead.Gosh, just the thought of all the action punter Anthony Lotti was going to get was giving me chills.As gametime rapidly approaches, what do we think for tonight’s showdown in Ann Arbor?— Badger Herald Sports (@BHeraldSports) October 13, 2018Well, at least I was right on that one.Soon, I had my mind made up, my heart was primed to be shattered — this Badger team had a date with destiny.After all, we do have the best quarterback in the Big Ten, I thought foolishly. Quarterback Alex Hornibrook has been lights out all year! Did you see that game-winning drive in Iowa? Boy, has that fella turned a corner!The more pictures I see of 6 foot 8 Michigan Tight End Zach Gentry looking huge, the more I doubt this will be the one the Badger secondary finally figures it out. pic.twitter.com/Skj8Yr3Tw4— Badger Herald Sports (@BHeraldSports) October 13, 2018D’Cota Dixon was ruled out for the game.As the old expression goes, “You don’t want to start a game in Ann Arbor with two inexperienced safeties who haven’t started a game in their life.”The game began, and things looked promising. Running back Jonathan Taylor was doing his thing, finding daylight and exploding through it, carrying Wolverine defenders in tow as he shuffled for more yardage.The offensive line was doing their part.Then Hornibrook dropped back to pass — the ball was headed straight for a Michigan defender, oh no! Then, a fortuitous bounce! Wisconsin ball! Things will be fine!Things would not be fine.If those are the kinds of throws Hornibrook is going to be making it’s gonna be a long night— Badger Herald Sports (@BHeraldSports) October 13, 2018Then, the rest was history, which is my way of saying I’d rather not relive it.Please email wstern@badgerherald.com to explain why roughing the snapper is all of a sudden a thingSure, we hung on in the first half. But teams that allow an 81-yard rush to the opposing quarterback generally don’t win that football game.Waking up this morning after a Badger loss pic.twitter.com/7VC94d09LP— Badger Herald Sports (@BHeraldSports) October 14, 2018It was a rough weekend … at least Taylor rushed for 101 yards.Though suddenly, my mood shifted.Hey! At least the red & white scrimmage is coming up!— Badger Herald Sports (@BHeraldSports) October 14, 2018It’s almost that time of year again!Badger basketball! It’s like Badger football except for this time the heartbreak is on the hardwood.Brad Davison, year two — revenge of the collarbone.Ethan Happ’s final go-round, will he learn to shoot from 15 feet?Can Aleem Ford, Brevin Pritzel, D’Mitrick Trice and co. take that next step?So many questions, so little time.I’m ready to be hurt again.last_img read more