TUESDAY’S BIG STORIES
Same glaring weaknesses as Chelsea stumble to Brighton win
Chelsea began their season with a 3-1 win over Brighton on Monday, but their limitations last season have - rather incredibly - not been addressed by an eye-watering summer transfer spend.
The Blues attack with abandon. Lovely. The Blues defend with abandon. Not so lovely. It was a problem that undermined their efforts last season and by the looks of things it may very well undermine things this season too.
Frank Lampard has spent heavily this summer, but have they addressed their issues? Well, a 38-year-old centre-half and an attacking full-back hardly seem remedies to a porous defence. It seems like Chelsea have improved in areas they were already very good in and, well, have not addressed their glaring weaknesses.
Kai Havertz being stationed on the right during his debut was illustrative of a summer spend that was to this observer a little frantic rather than considered.
Havertz is a magnificent footballer despite a subdued debut. He is capable of playing anywhere across the frontline, but wide ride is the position he excels in least. So it should be of concern that when Lampard was without a host of players, he still played his marquee summer signing as close to out of position as can be for a player that talented.
Structurally last season Chelsea were a bit of a mess. And they have done little to address that over the summer - in fact signing excellent players, but players for positions in which they were already well-stocked may only compound their structural issues.
Yes, they won their opening game of the season, but sizable questions remain over this side's suitability for a title push. Having spent the bones of £200 million such questions should not exist.
'Timo Werner is going to be a real threat' - Frank Lampard
PSG release statement 'strongly backing' Neymar
PSG have released a statement to back their star player Neymar who has accused Marseille defender Alvaro Gonzalez of racially abusing him during PSG's 1-0 loss to Marseille on Sunday. It is a charge that Gonzalez has refuted.
Here is the PSG statement in full.
"Paris Saint-Germain strongly supports Neymar Jr who told the club he had been the victim of racist insults by an opposing player," it reads.
"The club reminds that there is no place for racism in society, football or our lives and calls on everyone to speak out against all its manifestations all over the world.
"For more than 15 years, the club has been strongly committed to the fight against all forms of discrimination alongside its partners such as SOS Racisme, Licra or Sportitude.
"Paris Saint-Germain are counting on the Disciplinary Commission of the LFP to investigate and shed light on these facts. The club remains at its disposal to collaborate in the progress of the investigations."
The statement has firmly put the focus on the LFP to investigate the matter in full. It is an investigation that must take priority.
It should go without saying that any footballer found guilty of racially abusing another footballer should have the full weight of the disciplinary system thrown at them.
IN OTHER NEWS
Parma look set to be the latest club who will have billionaire backers.
- 2015: Parma fell into insolvency
- 2020: On the cusp of billionaire buyout
Is it a good thing? No, as it encourages teams to live outside their means.
HEROES AND ZEROES
Presumably this would not be what Jose Mourinho would class as the work of a football philosopher. This is not the one, Richard Keys.
Dennis Bergkamp. What. A. Player.
Thought the League Cup would be cancelled in this condensed season? It isn't. We've a feast of ties on this evening, including those Premier League teams without European football this term. Our pick? Burton 1-0 Aston Villa at 19:45 - which you can, of course, follow live (in text form) on Eurosport.
Benjamin Snowball. Who will advise on why a structurally sham team such as Chelsea will win the quadruple. There will also be chat about Burton's shock defeat of Aston Villa.