Blogs & Opinion


David Jones wonders whether Chelsea will attack Shakhtar in Champions League on Wednesday

David Jones - David Jones Posted 7th November 2012 view comments

The FA must act with great haste to limit the potential damage of the Mark Clattenburg affair, so concluded our panel on last week's Footballers' Football Show.

With experience of acting on the FA's independent tribunal, Paul Elliott said lessons had been learned by the long drawn out John Terry saga.

There was confusion over how Chelsea had initially let it be known two players had been verbally abused by Clattenburg while he took charge of their defeat to Manchester United, only for the club to later withdraw their complaint towards Juan Mata.

Di Matteo: the Italian's Chelsea team face a tricky tie with Shakhtar

Di Matteo: the Italian's Chelsea team face a tricky tie with Shakhtar

But Keith Curle, manager of Notts County, told us he would take great exception to referees who thought it acceptable even to swear at his players.

It is little wonder Chelsea dropped points in the Premier League again this weekend, and on this week's show we'll ask Dennis Wise how his former teammate Roberto Di Matteo is coping with life in the VERY hot seat at Stamford Bridge.

Christian Benteke is becoming a growing force and has the skill and strength to test even the best defenders in this division.

David Jones
Quotes of the week

We'll also get the inside track on Ian Holloway's move to Crystal Palace from the man who made it happen, Eagles chairman Steve Parish.

Plus, with Scotland searching for a new boss, their former manager, Alex McLeish, will tell us if anyone can bring glory to the Tartan Army.

Fascinating

I'll be at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening, when Shakhtar Donetsk are the visitors in the Champions League. I love these nights.

They are fantastic programmes to work on, especially when you're hosting from the stadium, the floodlights are on and the atmosphere crackles with excitement.

Chelsea's defeat in Ukraine two weeks ago actually sets this tie up very nicely, especially with Juventus also in their pool and expected to win themselves on Wednesday against Danish side FC Nordsjślland.

Di Matteo's approach will be fascinating: will he risk exposing his full-backs to Shakhtar's obvious counter-attacking threat, by including his trio of ball players behind Fernando Torres, or will he favour a safety-first policy instead?

And then after Thursday's Footballers' Football Show, Saturday sees me in the second city for Manchester United's visit to Aston Villa live on Sky Sports HD.

It's a freebie for Villa, who won at Sunderland last week to ease rising tensions in their camp and they won't be expected to beat a United side approaching top form in the Barclays Premier League; they haven't at home since 1995!

But Christian Benteke is becoming a growing force and has the skill and strength to test even the best defenders in this division, it could be a really good contest.

United's return of 24 points after 10 games is their highest for six seasons, and having seen off Chelsea and Arsenal they won't expect to slip up on Saturday. We will see.

Catch The Footballers' Football Show, 10pm, Thursday, Sky Sports 1 HD.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Niall Quinn

Quinn: Sanchez can be main man

Niall Quinn backed Alexis Sanchez to fill the goalscoring void left by the injured Olvier Giroud at Arsenal....

Kevin Phillips

Phillips: Giants have no excuses

Premier League sides have no excuse for going out to lower-league teams in cup ties, says Kevin Phillips....

Football League Bloggers

Andrews: Dons deserved it

Keith Andrews explains how a strong philosophy and shrewd signings saw MK Dons record their greatest win....

Latest News RSS feeds

Arsenal dig in to qualify

Arsenal survived the final 15 minutes with 10-men to defeat 1-0 Besiktas to reach the Champions League group stages.

Live transfer updates

Milan hold Fernando Torres talks. Bayern land Medhi Benatia while Spurs capture Federico Fazio from Sevilla.

MK Dons handed Bradford tie

MK Dons' reward for knocking Manchester United out of the Capital One Cup is a third-round home tie against Bradford.

England captaincy candidates

Who will be England’s new captain? Former skipper Terry Butcher thinks it is an easy choice.

Giroud out until New Year

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is unlikely to play again this year after having surgery on his injured ankle.

Features

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

When it comes to the art of signing players, few did it better than Brian Clough and Peter Taylor. In the latter’s book With Clough by Taylor he explained some of the science behind it in detailing how Nottingham Forest actively sought to buy players they perceived to have personal problems.

Champions League group draw: Follow it live on Sky Sports on Thursday

Champions League group draw: Follow it live on Sky Sports on Thursday

Sky Sports is the best place to follow Thursday’s draw for the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Sky Sports Fantasy Football: We look at which player you should sign out of Mario Balotelli and Angel Di Maria

Sky Sports Fantasy Football: We look at which player you should sign out of Mario Balotelli and Angel Di Maria

Sky Sports Fantasy Football scout Tim Clement weighs up which big-money signing is most likely to rack up points for your side this season.