18/03/2017 Football Focus


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18/03/2017

Dan Walker is joined by Mark Schwarzer and Leon Osman to look ahead to the weekend's Premier League and EFL action. Plus interviews with Eddie Howe, Pedro and Steve Bruce.


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COMMENTATOR: That's absolutely brilliant! Oh! This is getting

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better and better! Ronaldo! History boys indeed. Dave won

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He's done it! He has done it! STUDIO

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Morning all. A short but perfectly formed Football Focus for you today,

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plenty to keep you glued for the next half an hour. A tough spell for

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Bournemouth. How does Eddie had it? I hate losing and always have done.

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So that does affect my mood, I'm not going to hide from that. We will

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hear from a Spanish winger revitalised under Antonio Conte. How

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about that! Pedro! And we send beyond Dublin back to Villa but he

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fails the dress code. Black-and-white boots?

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LAUGHTER All that to come. This is what the

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Premier League fixture list looks like this weekend. Arsenal at West

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Brom in the early kick-off, team news at that one to come. Chelsea at

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Stoke, they kick off at 3pm, pretty rare for them. Middlesbrough, who

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sacked their manager this week, also play today.

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Steve Agnew in temporary charge. -- they play on Sunday. Ballmer finally

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got their first win of the year last weekend. Eddie Howe's reward? A

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visit from Mark Clemmit. MUSIC

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COMMENTATOR: Bournemouth have been conceding far too many goals of

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late. I think we played with a lack of confidence today. Three priceless

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points for Eddie Howe's team! I think you could say that I took

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the job home with me at times. I hate losing and always have done.

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That does affect my mood, I'm not going to hide from that. I try

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obviously not to let that affect my family life with my kids and my

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interactions from everybody. You live and breathe every moment, so if

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it's not going the way you want to that certainly reflects on how you

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think and how you act. I'm always trying to think of solutions to

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respond positively. That is a lock of the train of thought, geared to

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the next day's training, the next moment you're with the players. Your

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own personal emotions during that game after your first win? They must

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have been all over the place. When that last goal went in, the third

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goal, difficult patrol the elation you feel in that moment. Having the

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players celebrate together and near us, I think that's everything. If

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you still have that at the core of what you're trying to achieve,

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everyone feels like they are in it together and we are all on the same

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page fighting with each other and we have a great chance of achieving

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what we want to. Noticeable how close you all were. Do you feel like

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a friend to the players or do you feel like you're the boss and it's

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my way or the highway? I think you've got to be different things to

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the players. I wouldn't say there is one category. I think sometimes you

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have to be supportive, sometimes you have to be strict, sometimes you

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have to be very much their friend. It depends on the situation. I would

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like to think I can be there if the players need me, on an emotional

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level, if they have problems. Football is not just about what

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happens on the pitch, so much can interfere with a player's

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performance. If they are playing games, I will be very direct in

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terms of what I want. That is important. There is an expectation

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that you deliver, say this is what you want from you as a player. How

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are you someone disagrees with you? I've got to say it's not happened,

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in the sense that I've had no issues with the players in terms of

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disagreeing with my philosophy. I have a clear vision of how I want to

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play and what I want my players to do. We're back to the old Brian

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Clough analogy, "And then we decide that I'm right! " Something like

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that! When you see the carnage in management at the moment, does a

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little part of you think, I wonder whether I could establish a

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decade-long legacy here rather than move on elsewhere? That sounds

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great. You know, that's very much along the lines of how I would think

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for this club. It's about long-term success, it's about stability,

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trying to keep overachieving with the size of the club and the

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infrastructure that we have here. That's what brings me to work here

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everyday, to try to do the very best that I can with the ability I been

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given. And we wait and see. The thing is, you can't plan for that

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because, as you know, when you see the carnage in management, you don't

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know what is around the corner. With us in the Focus studio today, as you

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say, Leon Osman, sorry, Leon, and the world's tallest pundit, Mark

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Schwarzer! And open and honest assessment from Eddie Howe. That win

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last week was an important one but as Eddie Howe has been saying, there

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are underlying issues which he knows they have to address. You been

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looking at some recent games of theirs. I have. With Bournemouth,

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the problem has been at times they will overplay was not they are a

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team that loved to play football. Francis is on the ball and the first

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thing he's thinking if I want to play it to my fellow team-mate. The

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problem is, his fellow team-mate is not in the right position. He is out

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-- he wants him out to the right but he doesn't and he plays it first

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time. It's easy to be intercepted. The guy who intercepts it takes it

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on the outside and goes to whip in a good cross. He's not looking behind

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him and he does have a glimpse over his shoulder to see Benteke. The

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question is, does he move and try and get in position to put him off?

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He doesn't, he continued his run and it becomes a simple tap in for

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Benteke. When you're losing the ball in such bad areas of the pitch, it

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is difficult to stop goals going in. They were never -- never easy to

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recover. No matter how money people you've got back at times, you will

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lose the ball in bad areas. If you lose the ball in bad areas of the

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pitch, no matter how many players you got back you're going to

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struggle to stop a goal going in. The players are there but they're

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not set, not ready. You're left-back is too far out, as we move this on

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here, areata ends up at centre-half and you're right back is not in the

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right position and they are always playing catch up to try to stop that

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goal going in. It's down to giving the ball away sloppily in bad areas

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of the pitch and they continue to do that. Give your opposition a golden

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head start and you're going to struggle to win games. You look at

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it and you think, a lot of power on the ball, you're asking questions,

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but I've been in that situation before, a crowded area and it goes

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between players's legs and it's very difficult for the goalkeeper to make

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that save. They have tried a lot of centre-back partnerships since

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Nathan Ake went back to Chelsea and it doesn't allow you to have that

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consistency that they have struggled with? Absolutely not, the best

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defences are the ones playing readily together. Since they've lost

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Nathan Ake, they've really struggle to establish a good combination of

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centre-backs and you can see that in the results. They've got Swansea, as

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we say, this weekend. We see where Swansea are and they are three

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points behind Bournemouth at the moment and their recent results will

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tell you they've won three and lost three. But they are a very different

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prospect now in the Clement era, aren't they? They certainly are,

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Sigurdsson coming into form and Lorenzo scoring goals is a massive

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part for them. Llorente Clement has gone in there and just built up

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their confidence again, given them more stability, and they are playing

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some really good football and given themselves have a chance of staying

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up in the allegation fight. To stay up you've got to win games when

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you're down there. Swansea have started to find their way to win

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games. A change of manager helps. Leicester, Swansea, Palace, Hull

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have all changed manager and this week one of the bottom two joined

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them. COMMENTATOR: Aitor Karanka prides

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himself and his team on the ability to keep clean sheets. Time running

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out for Aitor Karanka in his attempts to keep Middlesbrough above

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the relegation zone. Aitor Karanka insists he won't walk away. The

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ultimate decision rests with Steve Gibson. Three points from safety in

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the Premier League with Manchester United at home next weekend. They're

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in trouble, I think. Premier League Middlesbrough have parted company

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with manager Aitor Karanka. So, Aitor Karanka gone. These are the

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people on the list for being the next manager. Either Agnew who is in

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charge tomorrow is the favourite. I can't believe you're not on it at

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20-1! What do you think about Middlesbrough, have they left it too

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late to make a change, Leon? I think they possibly have. You look at the

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running of games they have and they have some really tough games with a

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lot of points to make up. They play all the bottom teams in the next

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three or four weeks and that is probably the reason they have made

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the decision now and not any later, because they have really got to

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start picking up points soon. The sides above them, going back to the

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table, they have all made changes and Dean that bounce. Do you think

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that is some of the pressure that has been Middlesbrough, thinking it

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has worked for them and we need something to get us up the table.

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Possibly. I was a bit surprised by the decision because Steve Gibson is

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normally someone who sticks with a manager for a long time and to make

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the decision this late in the season, considering the run-in

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they've got, I was a little bit surprised. But he has obviously

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looked at it and thought, we need a change, a lift. And that is one way

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to do that. The team that really does need a change in Sunderland,

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they have been at the bottom of the table for 125 days now. Guy Mowbray

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is that the Stadium Of Light. 19 points from 27 games and recent

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history is not on their side, is it? It's not. Only four teams have ever

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stayed up from that sort of position, but this is Sunderland. I

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don't think that sounds like a particularly strong statistic to

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smash as far as they are concerned! They have beaten longer odds than

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that and they are well versed in beating the drop every season. Can

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they do it again? Yes. Will they do it again? I'm inclined to say no and

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that would be a stronger know if they don't win today against a team

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that has only got two points away from home all season. Going into the

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in and -- international break, they have got successive away games and

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then Manchester United to come here. They will certainly see this as

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their big chance game. For Burnley, a big chance to finally end that

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hoodoo, coming to the Stadium Of Light. A time, they have never won

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on this particular ground and they have not won away at Sunderland

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since 1979. In the week that Leicester City became the 14th team

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to reach the quarterfinals of the European Cup or Champions League, we

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should tip our hats to the Clarets because they became the third Europe

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English side to reach the last eight of a European competition against

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Hamburg and if you can answer on a postcard, who were the first two?

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We've only got half an hour! I wanted a dog about this guy, back in

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the England squad at the age of 34, Jermain Defoe. You can't argue with

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the fact that he is one of the best strikers in the Premier League at

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the moment. You look at the amount of goals he has got and how vital he

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has been for Sunderland. With all the players fit, you would say there

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is a great case to say he should be in the national team anyway. Is that

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cab was at 21. Leon, you had to wait until 31 to be an England

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international. Don't take this the wrong way but there must be a stage

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in your career when you think that call is not going to come? Yeah, for

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me it did. Having had an international career like he had so

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far, he probably thought his international days were behind him.

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But the way he is performing at the moment, he's keeping Sunderland in

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there with a chance almost single-handedly. You look at the

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inexperience of the England strikers we've got in the squad at the moment

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and it's great to see him in and around it again. Sunderland at the

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bottom of the table and at the other end we have got Chelsea. Pedro has

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been an integral part of what they've done this season and

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Caroline has been to see the Spanish star this week.

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COMMENTATOR: Here is Pedro! And Pedro scores. Pedro in a good

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position. Brilliant girl! So, Pedro, you been in London for a

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while now and there's a lot of Spanish players at Chelsea and in

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the Premier League, who are you close to? Here there are a lot of

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players, Diego Palma Azpi. It is good for players to play here. --

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Diego and Azpi. It is for me more competitive than Spain and more

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players like to play here. You said it's more competitive than Spain, La

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Liga. What are the biggest differences? It's different, Spain.

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Spain is more controlling the game but here it's crazy, more

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competitive, more strong. It was Jose Mourinho who brought you here

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but how has life changed under Antonio Conte? The last year, it is

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a difficult situation for the team, the players, the club. With Antonio,

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it was a difficult challenge for him to come here and to prepare the

:14:25.:14:32.

team, strong, confident and going game by game. Now is a very good

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moment for the team. He shows a lot of passion and enthusiasm on the

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sidelines. Does that help motivate the team during the game? Yeah,

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always. He's a very strong character, good mentality. This is

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good for the team. COMMENTATOR: Chelsea go 13 games in

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succession. How have the team managed to win 13

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games? It's amazing. It's very difficult in the Premier League to

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win 13 games in a row. All the players, very strong. If we continue

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in this way we fight for the title. You have won so many trophies, do

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you think that this year maybe you can add a Premier League and

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possibly an FA Cup? This is very difficult to win this

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title. This Premier League is probably the best league in the

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world. For me it is a dream. STUDIO: He has had a great season, you spoke

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to Pedro this week. I spoke to Cahill and Kante, there seems to be

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a real bond this season with the manager. That has been important

:15:47.:15:51.

this season. There is a real bond like he said. Players playing with a

:15:52.:15:55.

lot more joy on their face and Conte has done that. He has brought that

:15:56.:16:00.

enjoyment back. Sometimes in football you lose that. It is clear

:16:01.:16:09.

Chelsea players are doing that. The formation with Pedro clearly

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contrasted with last season, he is flying. As Mark said he is like he's

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enjoying himself. Looks like they didn't quite hit the ground running.

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That couldn't be any different this season. This is the type of thing we

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were seeing in Barcelona regularly. It has taken until this season to

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see it. All credit to him and to the manager. Ten points clear,, can

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either of you see a scenario where they give anybody else a chance. The

:16:47.:16:56.

other teams have got to win every game. And with them all playing each

:16:57.:17:00.

other and taking points from each other I cannot see how anyone can

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catch Chelsea. I cannot see it either. Even when they don't play

:17:06.:17:08.

well they don't get results because they are still so well drilled. In

:17:09.:17:17.

the lunchtime game West Brom against Arsenal.

:17:18.:17:24.

Terms of Arsenal, Arsene Wenger brings in Welbeck for the television

:17:25.:17:30.

room and Monreal for Kieran Gibbs. Ozil missing today. I think we saw

:17:31.:17:38.

Arsene Wenger saying this week, he says they cannot afford to lose

:17:39.:17:41.

another one if they want to finish in the top four. Is he right or is

:17:42.:17:46.

it just pressure for the place? I think is right, and also good to put

:17:47.:17:50.

pressure on the face. If he loses this game it is a real uphill

:17:51.:17:55.

struggle. Absolutely, they have already lost some big games. Man

:17:56.:18:01.

United have got games in hand as well. Arsenal really need to get

:18:02.:18:07.

their season up and running again. Do you think that is it for Wenger

:18:08.:18:13.

if they do not finish in the top four. I think it is anyway, to be

:18:14.:18:20.

honest. His service has been fantastic that there has been a

:18:21.:18:23.

steady decline in the last ten years or so. I think regardless it might

:18:24.:18:30.

be time for him. The battle for the Champions League spot continues this

:18:31.:18:35.

weekend. Jurgen Klopp's lot will be hoping for more recent history

:18:36.:18:37.

repeating. What a goal Conor Henderson to

:18:38.:18:52.

shoot! Coutinho, it is another belter from Philippe Coutinho.

:18:53.:19:01.

Firmino, 3-0, Liverpool. Absolute beauty. Lallana. It is in from

:19:02.:19:10.

Firmino. Liverpool running away with it. What a blow to their hopes of

:19:11.:19:16.

winning the title this is. Lots of claims in the papers this

:19:17.:19:41.

week about the number of players on the way out this summer. There was a

:19:42.:19:46.

rebuilding job. And I think purely because players are running out of

:19:47.:19:50.

contract. It is an opportunity to bring in players who really wants to

:19:51.:19:55.

have. Clearly he said it also in the first half against Monaco that they

:19:56.:20:00.

didn't play the way he wanted them to play. Why is that, opportunity to

:20:01.:20:06.

get into the quarterfinals. You cannot say they are not experienced

:20:07.:20:11.

because they are. Clearly an unhappy camper van. They are not playing how

:20:12.:20:14.

they should be. They are good players, there is no doubting they

:20:15.:20:19.

have the talent for some reason it is not Gelling. He has to make

:20:20.:20:22.

changes at the back especially. Maybe some depth in defensive

:20:23.:20:30.

midfield. Is impossible to make some changes in one window. I think he

:20:31.:20:35.

will try and reinforce and move people on but the wholesale changes

:20:36.:20:39.

people are talking about I think are unreasonable. Big win for Liverpool

:20:40.:20:43.

last week, against Burnley but strength in depth has been an issue

:20:44.:20:48.

for Liverpool. Lots of people are made that point and it is

:20:49.:20:52.

highlighted by their bench last week. Four teenagers, not the sort

:20:53.:20:56.

of things you would expect from a team challenging for a title or the

:20:57.:20:59.

finish in the Champions League places. That has been the butt of

:21:00.:21:03.

the frustration for Jurgen Klopp and he does not have the depth. There

:21:04.:21:10.

have been three transfer windows. So the question is why there has not

:21:11.:21:13.

been more quality bought in. Everybody knows it is not easy, you

:21:14.:21:17.

are in competition with other clubs as well. The way young clock wants

:21:18.:21:23.

to play it is a huge burden on his players as well. He was on the bench

:21:24.:21:32.

against Burnley over Jurgen Klopp is not particular happy about the fact

:21:33.:21:35.

he has been called up, huge game against the Republic of Ireland next

:21:36.:21:40.

week. Talking about Manchester City going out that Leicester are into

:21:41.:21:44.

the quarterfinals. It is interesting that because we still think it is

:21:45.:21:49.

Leicester you worry about them not getting Barcelona or Real Madrid or

:21:50.:21:53.

Bayern Munich but surely this post will be thinking, why not, let's get

:21:54.:21:58.

to the last four. Absolutely, when they were in the Champion Lake

:21:59.:22:02.

everybody was thinking wouldn't it be great if they played the big

:22:03.:22:04.

teams, but they are into the quarterfinals now. They want to

:22:05.:22:09.

avoid them now, hope they knock each other out. They have got a team in

:22:10.:22:15.

Atletico who they can potentially beat. Atletico like to sit and

:22:16.:22:21.

defend. The onus will be on Atletico to come and beat Leicester because

:22:22.:22:24.

they are the underdogs. That will play into their hands. I agree they

:22:25.:22:32.

want to have the easiest draw but let's be honest Atletico Madrid are

:22:33.:22:35.

a very good side. They know how to get to the final and arguably they

:22:36.:22:38.

are better away from home than Diarra home. Quick shout for

:22:39.:22:46.

Manchester United who take on Anderlecht in the quarterfinals of

:22:47.:22:49.

Europa League. We have all the football covered this weekend. Final

:22:50.:22:55.

score from for that again. Because of the rugby.

:22:56.:23:07.

This week we thought we would get two old friends back together,

:23:08.:23:13.

former Manchester United team-mate both recently under the hammer we

:23:14.:23:21.

thought Dion Dublin reserved abusive owners. This is where the players

:23:22.:23:25.

were coming, and that is where we used to train. Would you let the

:23:26.:23:30.

please? Ankergren much. As easy as that, good service. -- thank you

:23:31.:23:38.

very much. Everything changes when you come through the gates, you go

:23:39.:23:41.

into professional mode and you start to think yourself, turn it on,

:23:42.:23:48.

Dublin. But CFI have still got it. How are you? Nice to see you. Then

:23:49.:23:54.

boots, by the way, nobody wears black ones any more. Black and

:23:55.:23:58.

white? They have to be yellow or Green. I'm glad you have come to

:23:59.:24:07.

rest. The tracksuit, would've been hard to get you into one. Four five

:24:08.:24:17.

months in, how has it been? We had a really good start, fortunately the

:24:18.:24:23.

first game against Wolves I thought there was work to be done, but of

:24:24.:24:29.

course clubs of vulnerable when they get Welegedera. We had an awful

:24:30.:24:33.

general, if it had been an average generally we might have been in with

:24:34.:24:37.

a realistic chance but it looks as if we have given ourselves too much

:24:38.:24:45.

to do. What are you doing today? Little box, of course. "Keep The

:24:46.:24:51.

ball away. I do not know what it is like in the middle. Constantly in

:24:52.:24:57.

the middle. John Michael you have come from the blue side of

:24:58.:25:01.

Birmingham. It was vitally important that was Time, ten years since I

:25:02.:25:09.

left. Was it that long? There has been water under the bridge. Yes I

:25:10.:25:13.

have been down the road but I did a decent job. Villa fans now saying

:25:14.:25:20.

let's hope you can, do a job like that. I'm quietly confident. You can

:25:21.:25:27.

appreciate it, you have the cake you realise when you walk through the

:25:28.:25:30.

door how difficult it is. There is a big demand. We are the fifth most

:25:31.:25:39.

successful club in this country. Your Liverpools, Tottenhams and

:25:40.:25:47.

Astles. I have waited 20 years from Earth. -- Anya Astles. I

:25:48.:25:51.

illusion that it is up in the air. , it is not fat head any more. Tell us

:25:52.:26:06.

about the German. He has let me manage and get on with it. At the

:26:07.:26:12.

moment we are getting an OK. He is a fan. He is highly successful. He

:26:13.:26:22.

wants to bring Aston Villa back to where it was before. A club like

:26:23.:26:26.

ours at the stature it has got you cannot be satisfied where we are.

:26:27.:26:33.

Awful couple of years, few years, we have to try and get that back. If

:26:34.:26:38.

you could stand in the centre of Villa Park with a microphone what

:26:39.:26:42.

would you say to the fans? I think they realise how the club has had a

:26:43.:26:49.

tough time. Shoots of recovery. All we will say to them is give me time

:26:50.:26:56.

and I will get it right. Next year? That has to be the aim. What I like

:26:57.:27:06.

is not only are they friendly but Steve Bruce is honest saying he has

:27:07.:27:12.

to deliver. Have been hugely successful club in this country. I

:27:13.:27:18.

think he is under no illusions at all how big a job visit his and I

:27:19.:27:23.

was there earlier in season to interview by former Australian

:27:24.:27:26.

team-mate Mile Jedinak and he knows the job is huge. He knows there has

:27:27.:27:31.

been a lot of mistakes in the past but now he has come in and he has to

:27:32.:27:38.

change things around. Also attention on Forrest and Weir, new managers,

:27:39.:27:42.

Mark Warburton and Gary Rowett, who left Birmingham and has been linked

:27:43.:27:46.

with every club since then. Both clubs needed to make a change. Both

:27:47.:27:50.

big things that should be in the Premier League and hopefully these

:27:51.:27:53.

managers will do that. Thank you both, lovely to spend the money. If

:27:54.:27:57.

you have just switched on you missed it. You can find is on my plate. Six

:27:58.:28:02.

Nations coming up after the news, we are back at midday. Keep an eye out

:28:03.:28:06.

for Celtic who could win the Premiership as we will leave you

:28:07.:28:09.

with Premier League predictions from Anthony Anthony Crolla. Goodbye.

:28:10.:28:19.

My favourite goal for Manchester noted, so many. King Eric in the FA

:28:20.:28:29.

Cup final. As for being there as a fan. Mata at Anfield, there was

:28:30.:28:35.

carnage in the away end, that was brilliant to be there. After a

:28:36.:28:40.

difficult start it is starting to come together. There is a new belief

:28:41.:28:49.

that has been missing. Being leaky in defence in recent times but I

:28:50.:28:55.

think Manchester City win that game. Never easy at the Riverside but I

:28:56.:29:00.

think they need to bounce back after dropping points. I fancy us to win.

:29:01.:29:02.

Dan Walker is joined by Mark Schwarzer and Leon Osman to look ahead to the weekend's Premier League and EFL action.

Meanwhile, Eddie Howe speaks candidly about the tough times at Bournemouth, Pedro discusses Antonio Conte, and Dion Dublin hooks up with his old teammate, Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce.