Boxing Day fixtures and latest Premier League news
On Boxing Day, you’ll be able to watch some of the Premier League’s top clubs go head to head on Amazon Prime. In total, there are nine exciting games to look forward to, and recent changes in the some of the club’s coaching staff, give these upcoming matches some extra weight. How will teams like Everton, Arsenal and Tottenham end the year after having acquired top-level coaches? And will one of the game’s most promising young strikers move to Manchester United next year?
Read more to catch up on the latest Premier League news.
Is Haaland heading for the Theatre of Dreams?
After Norwegian player, Erling Braut Haaland, was seen signing a Manchester United shirt last week, rumours of him moving to Manchester spread like wildfire.
Haaland’s currently a striker with the Salzburg Red Devils where his performances have caught the attention of many elite clubs. The 19-year-old striker has already scored four goals in the UEFA Champions League and is on his way to become one of the most promising young forwards in the game.
So, is this young prospect heading for the Theatre of Dreams? Well, there’s certainly been a lot of speculation as of late, especially since Norwegian newspaper, Stavanger Aftenblad, reported that Haaland boarded a flight to Manchester last Friday.
Later that day, Samuel Luckhurst, writer for the Manchester Evening News, tweeted that Haaland was nowhere to be seen at the Manchester airport and that “sources said passengers didn’t see the young striker on board the plane”.
Manchester Manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, is perhaps a more credible source. When asked about the rumours, Solskjær initially stated that Haaland was not on his way to Manchester, at least not through him. When he was pressed on the matter further at a press conference, Solskjær stated that Haaland was just on a Christmas break with his friends.
Haaland himself has dismissed the rumours as f*cking boring. And while this young prospect will surely continue to attract the interest of high-profile clubs, the general consensus seems to be that we’re unlikely to see Haaland move anywhere before summer next year.
Tottenham, Mourinho and Boxing Day
Last month, Tottenham Hotspurs announced that they had appointed star-coach Jose Mourinho as Head Coach. The Portuguese coach is on a contract that runs till the end of the 2022/23 season.
For Tottenham, getting Mourinho on board is a big deal as he’s one of the world’s most accomplished managers. So far, Mourinho has won 25 senior trophies and a domestic title in four different countries.
Furthermore, he’s one of only three coaches to win titles in the UEFA Champions League with two different clubs. He’s also won the FIFA Coach of the Year Award, and in recent years Manchester United won the UEFA Europa League and League Cup and FA Community Shield under Mourinho’s leadership.
So far, Tottenham’s investment has paid off reasonably well. Mourinho won his first three matches with Tottenham, moving The Spurs up to fifth place in the Premier League.
However, this month, the Premier League results have been somewhat mixed. Tottenham has come off victorious against Burnley and Wolverhampton but suffered defeat against Manchester United and Chelsea.
On Boxing Day, we’ll see if Mourinho can lead his team to another victory before we wrap up the year.
Ancelotti signs with Everton
Tottenham isn’t the only club to acquire a world-calibre coach this season. Just days before Christmas, Italian coach, Carlo Ancelotti, signed a four and a half-year deal with Everton. Ancelotti will be leading Everton until the end of the 2023/24 season.
Carlo Ancelotti is widely regarded as one of the world’s most prominent coaches, and his career speaks for itself. Just like Mourinho, Ancelotti’s career is paved with remarkable achievements.
For starters, he’s one of only three coaches to have won the UEFA Champions League three times, and one of two to manage teams in four finals. While managing Milan and Real Madrid, he also won the FIFA World Cup twice.
Another interesting fact is that Ancelotti is one of only seven people to have won the Champions League both as a player and as a manager. Ancelotti, who was nicknamed Carletto in his home country of Italy, started as a midfielder with Parma back in 1979. He later moved on to Roma where he won Serie A and four Coppa Italia titles. He then went on to win two league titles and two European Cups with Milan.
As a manager, Carlo Ancelotti has worked with the world’s most high-profile clubs. He’s managed clubs like Reggiana, Parma, Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Napoli. He’s also won domestic titles in Italy, England, France, Spain, and Germany.
Ancelotti’s debut with Everton could have gotten off to a better start. The team played a rather dull draw against Arsenal, who currently holds the eleventh position in the Premier League rankings.
Everton currently holds the 15th position, and hopes are that Ancelotti’s experience and expertise will result in a quick ascend in the Premier League rankings for Everton.
The first step towards this goal is to beat Burnley on Boxing Day. And that’s no small feat if we’re to go by the rankings.
Mikel Arteta’s debut as Head Coach on Boxing Day
One day before the official announcement of Ancelotti’s move to Everton, Arsenal announced former Spanish player and coach Mikel Arteta as its new Head Coach. Having played with Arsenal for five seasons between 2011 and 2016, Arteta is very familiar with the club.
Mikel Arteta has now signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with Arsenal, and his coaching team is to be announced soon.
When comparing it to the careers of star-coaches like Ancelotti and Mourinho, it’s safe to say Mikel Arteta is at the beginning stages of his coaching career.
When he retired in 2016, Arteta had three options. He was offered to lead Arsenal Academy, join Mauricio Pochettino’s backroom staff or join Pep Guardiola’s coaching team at Manchester City. Arteta chose the latter, paving the way for what seems to be a very promising coaching career.
Arteta obviously has a lot to prove in his manager role for one of the world’s largest clubs. The 35-year-old Spaniard has said the position is a huge honour, and that his first task will be to “get to know the players better and get them playing the kind of fast-flowing, attacking football that Arsenal supporters around the world want to see”.
Arteta’s got until 2023 to deliver on this promise, and his career has started with a draw against Everton. Needless to say, Arteta’s goal is set on beating AFC Bournemouth convincingly on the 26 December.