Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 14th 2015 Contents A59
Friday, August 14, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
LONDON---How Jose Mourinho must long for the
days last season when Chelsea was being goaded
for being "boring." The start to the new campaign
has been anything but mundane at Stamford Bridge.
Tumult has replaced apparent tranquility after
losing the Community Shield to Arsenal and starting
the Premier League title defense with a draw to
A victory over Manchester City on Sunday, though,
would quickly transform the mood surrounding the
Perhaps that is why Mourinho has shielded his
players from criticism even though goalkeeper Thibaut
Courtois will miss the trip to Manchester after being
sent off against Swansea, with new signing Asmir
Begovic taking his place.
Instead, it s the Chelsea medical staff in Mourinho s
firing line. By publicly criticising his medical staff
and removing doctor Eva Carneiro from her match-
day role, Mourinho has generated a new wave of
damaging headlines for the club.
But Mourinho s failure to strengthen the squad is
now biting, with a couple of weeks remaining in the
summer transfer window.
First-choice striker Diego Costa is not fully fit and
new back-up Radamel Falcao has much to prove
after a lackluster season at Manchester United. Mour-
inho wants to strengthen a defense that was exposed
against Swansea with the addition of John Stones
but Everton is rebuffing Chelsea s pursuit of the
Manchester City, meanwhile, faces Chelsea on a
high after starting its quest to regain the trophy from
the London club with a victory at West Bromwich
Unlike Chelsea, City made a high-profile addition
to its squad by signing Raheem Sterling from Liverpool
for 49 million ($76 million).
"It s going to be a really tough season," Sterling
said. "With it being our first home game of the
season, we want to get off on the right foot."
Here are a look at the other talking points this
weekend in the Premier League:
There s an early opening to the second round of
Premier League with Manchester United facing Aston
Although Friday night games will feature more
regularly from next season, this is a one-off due to
a march by the far-right English Defence League
group in the Birmingham area on Saturday and United
being unable to play the following day due to its
Champions League playoff against Bruges on Tues-
David de Gea was dropped from United s open-
ing-day win over Tottenham and the goalkeeper will
be left out of the team again. Manager Louis van
Gaal is concerned that the Spaniard is not mentally
fit as he continues to be linked with a move to Real
Madrid. Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero will
instead seek another clean sheet at the start of his
Cech in spotlight
The pre-season optimism at Arsenal was quickly
deflated by losing to West Ham at the start of its
search for a first league title since 2004. There s
another London derby for Arsenal on Sunday against
Crystal Palace and goalkeeper Petr Cech will want
to avoid a repeat of the mistakes that contributed to
2-0 collapse to West Ham.
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy will not be sacked
over a racial slur captured on camera at a casino,
manager Claudio Ranieri said yesterday.
"Jamie apologised to everyone, it was a mistake,"
Ranieri said. "The club has said it is OK."
The promoted teams failed to win on the opening
weekend, with Watford the only one to avoid defeat
by drawing at Everton.
Watford hosts West Brom on Saturday when Nor-
wich travels to Sunderland. Bournemouth is at Liv-
erpool in the Monday night game.
FRANKFURT---Bayern Munich kicks
off the Bundesliga season in the familiar
role of favorite for a historic fourth
consecutive title despite questions
hanging over the future of coach Pep
No Bundesliga team has won four
straight titles and if any team can do it,
it s the current Bayern side. Guardiola s
team has bolstered its already loaded
squad and few expect anything but
another title. In a poll conducted by
Kicker magazine, 16 of 18 Bundesliga
coaches saw Bayern as champion again,
with two undecided.
Bayern finished last season 10 points
ahead of Wolfsburg, which again is likely
to be the nearest challenger. Borussia
Dortmund could return to the group of
pursuers again after struggling last sea-
The season kicks off Friday in Munich,
when Bayern hosts Hamburger SV, a
team that barely escaped relegation in
a playoff and that got eliminated from
the German Cup by fourth-tier Jena last
weekend. Not to mention that Hamburg
lost 8-0 the last time it visited Munich.
Bayern captain Philipp Lahm thinks
his team is unstoppable. "If the team is
hungry and willing, and has enough
energy, there can be no other German
champion," he said ahead of the opening
Here are some things to know about
the upcoming season:
Should I stay or should I go?
Coach Pep Guardiola has left fans and
Bayern officials second-guessing about
his future. Guardiola is in the final season
of his three-year deal and raised eye-
brows recently by saying that he wasn t
fully convinced of being the "right man"
in charge and that three years at a club
are a "long time." Bayern is keen to keep
Guardiola but director Matthias Sammer
has said the club would not fall apart
if the coach leaves.
Guardiola won the domestic double
in his first season and the Bundesliga
title last season, while his team was
eliminated in the semifinals of the
Champions League both seasons.
Bayern has added muscle and speed
to its squad. With Arturo Vidal in its
midfield, Bayern will become more
robust, while the speed of winger Dou-
glas Costa could be a major asset. Franck
Ribery is still nursing an ankle season
and Costa will see plenty of action, at
least at the start of the season.
The two should compensate for the
departure of Bastian Schweinsteiger for
Manchester United. Mario Goetze is
reportedly not entirely happy with his
limited role but he is likely to stay.
Wolfsburg enjoyed its best season
since its surprise run to the 2009 title.
It beat Bayern 4-1 and finished second,
while lifting the German Cup. Sponsored
by Germany s biggest car maker, Wolfs-
burg has been able to assemble a strong
squad and is likely to remain the No. 2
club, especially if midfielder Kevin de
Bruyne stays. De Bruyne was voted Bun-
desliga s top player last season but has
been linked with a move to English Pre-
mier League side Manchester City.
Wolfsburg has brought in German striker
Wolfsburg angered Bayern again by
lifting the domestic Super Cup on penal-
ties two weeks ago.
Dortmund has turned a new page
with the departure of seven-year coach
Jurgen Klopp. His successor is Thomas
Tuchel, was one of the most sought-
after coaches following a successful stint
in Mainz, his only Bundesliga job.
Unsettled striker Ciro Immobile has
been loaned away, but Pierre-Emerick
Aubameyang will be a speedy partner
for Marco Reus, if the latter can shake
Darmstadt returns to the Bundesliga
after 33 years and will be an unknown
quantity. It has progressed from third
to first division in successive seasons
but its limited budget and a squad of
castoffs from other clubs make Darm-
stadt the top candidate for relegation.
Ingolstadt also will be hard-pressed
to remain in the Bundesliga longer than
And goal-line technology is also mak-
ing its debut.
LEICESTER---Leicester has fined
striker Jamie Vardy after he was
filmed using racist language toward
a Japanese man in a casino.
Footage published by The Sun
newspaper appeared to show Vardy
using a derogatory word for a Japanese
person three times to a fellow gambler
in a Leicester casino last month.
Vardy has already issued an apology
and Leicester says it has now handed
him a "substantial fine and prescribed
a programme of diversity awareness
The Premier League club also says
Vardy has "been reminded of his
responsibilities to the club, his pro-
fession and the community."
Leicester says the fine will be donat-
ed to local charities.
Japan international Shinji Okazaki
joined Leicester in the offseason.
Bayern favoured again
as Bundesliga starts
Munich's coach Pep Guardiola
Vardy fined over racist term
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho shouts across the pitch as Chelsea's Eden Hazard lies apparently injured
following a foul during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Swansea City at
Stamford Bridge, London, Saturday. AP PHOTO
Chelsea goes to City
embroiled in doc row
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