Ex-Manchester United star Lee Sharpe urges club to sign Chelsea ace N’Golo Kante, but ditch Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic

13 Apr

Former Manchester United midfielder Lee Sharpe has urged the club to sign Chelsea star N’Golo Kante.

Blues boss Maurizio Sarri has opted to play Jorginho in a deep-lying role at the expense of the France international.

Maurizio Sarri is not playing N’Golo Kante in his preferred position

Kante has played further up the pitch in a midfield three – and Sarri has been criticised for ‘wasting’ the two-time Premier League winner.

Sharpe, who made 265 appearances for United in an eight-year spell from 1988, wants his old club to land Kante this summer, while ditching Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic.

He told talkSPORT: “They have to go out and buy ready-made world-class players. They’ve got a few young players who are coming through, (Scott) McTominay looks really good.

Lee Sharpe won three Premier League titles with Manchester United

“There are a few young players in the team so they need ready-made, experienced, world-class players to put them back on that sort of level and stage.

“I’m not sure it’s really worked out for Lukaku, a world-class centre-forward would be great.

“Defensively they look a little bit uncertain so maybe a centre-half. If I was at United, I’d probably look at swapping Matic, he’s been brilliant but he’s probably lost a yard.

“I’d go out and spend some money and get Kante because they don’t seem to fancy him at Chelsea.”

Lee Sharpe wants Manchester United to sell Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic

Manchester United have dropped out of the top four after losing two of their last three Premier League games.

But Sharp expects Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men to comfortably beat West Ham on Saturday, live on talkSPORT.

He said: “It’s a massive game. After the Wolves defeat, they definitely need to win.

“They need to bounce back after Barcelona, although they’d be relatively happy being a goal down (heading into the Champions League quarter-final second leg) and limiting them to very few chances.

“West Ham are a funny side, sometimes they’re great and sometimes they’re totally average.

“I expect United to overrun them and come out comfortable winners. They’re desperate for the win now.”

Chelsea news: Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante may look to leave because of Maurizio Sarri tactics, claims Mario Melchiot

19 Feb

Maurizio Sarri is in danger of forcing Chelsea stars Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante out of the club by not allowing them to play to their strengths.

That’s the verdict from former Blues defender Mario Melchiot, who is fearing for the futures of the club’s two key men after Monday’s FA Cup exit to Manchester United.

Maurizio Sarri reportedly blasted Hazard for his selfishness after Chelsea’s 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth

Sarri has come under fire for his tactics in recent weeks, with Chelsea currently experiencing a startling dip in form.

Supporters have turned on the boss and his signature style of play, with chants of ‘f**k Sarri-ball’ and ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ ringing out at Stamford Bridge during Monday’s 2-0 defeat to United.

MORE: ‘What is Sarri-ball? Chelsea just give the ball to Hazard and stand back…’

The Italian has also faced criticism for moving Kante from the holding midfield role he has excelled in to make way for ex-Napoli favourite Jorginho, and for his treatment of Hazard.

His comments about Hazard’s ‘selfishness’ were particularly galling for supporters, who fear the winger could leave the Blues this summer to join long-term suitors Real Madrid.

And Melchiot concedes that may happen unless Sarri changes his approach.

Speaking on Tuesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the former centre-back said of Kante and Hazard: “If you play players out of their position, you’re taking away their happiness and when their happiness goes, players are going to start looking at somewhere else.

N’Golo Kante won two Premier League titles and the World Cup in the holding role… but Sarri prefers Jorginho

“Kante is happy doing the job he’s good at, but now Sarri is making him go forward.

“His strength is breaking up play and winning the ball back, and that allows other Chelsea players to take more risks because they have that security of Kante being behind them. That security is gone now and if they lose the ball, their opponents come straight at them.

“It’s the same with Hazard – if you want to keep hold of your star players you have to make them feel good about what they’re doing.

“Sarri has started to complain that he dribbles too much with the ball, but what do you want? That’s his ability and there is no player who wants to play against him. When he does that.

“If you do not want him to dribble, if you want him to play one-touch instead, he should not be in your team.”

Former Manchester United star Lee Sharpe, who co-hosted Tuesday’s Sports Breakfast, agrees.

He believes this summer could be the transfer window when Hazard finally leaves the Blues, with Sarri essentially making the decision for him.

“I think he’s got his heart set on going to Real Madrid,” Sharpe added.

“The rumours have been going on that long, I think this could be the season he goes.

“That’s probably why he’s putting in a shift at the moment, he’s got a carrot dangling in front him now that he’s got somewhere decent to go.”

Listen back to Mario Melchiot on Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast IN FULL above

Chelsea news: Loss to Manchester United could see Maurizio Sarri sacked, claim Alan Brazil and Lee Sharpe on talkSPORT

19 Feb

Maurizio Sarri could be sacked as Chelsea manager after the Blues were dumped out of the FA Cup by Manchester United on Monday.

That’s according to talkSPORT host Alan Brazil and former Old Trafford star Lee Sharpe, who believe Roman Abramovich may wield the axe on the Italian after his crisis at Stamford Bridge deepened.

Is Maurizio Sarri’s time up at Chelsea?

Chelsea fans turned on the manager as they were forced to endure another dreadful performance against one of their top rivals.

Chants of ‘f**k Sarri-ball’ and ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ were heard from the home stands, and when United supporters sung ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning’, some Chelsea fans even joined in.

MORE: ‘What is Sarri-ball? Chelsea just give the ball to Hazard and stand back…’

Mr Brazil was in the commentary box for talkSPORT for Monday night’s game, and he said on Tuesday’s Sports Breakfast: “I was there, and fans were howling, they were booing – they wanted to see [Olivier] Giroud or [Callum] Hudson-Odoi, they wanted to see a Plan B.

“The Chelsea players gave their all, in the first half they were very good, but Sarri wouldn’t change it.”

Sharpe said: “I can understand the fans’ frustration when you’ve got Giroud and Hudson-Odoi on the bench. He is trying to get away and Chelsea want to keep him, but they still won’t play him!

“At the moment it looks like if you stop Eden Hazard, you stop Chelsea. They don’t seem to have a Plan B. When you’re 2-0 down and you’re bringing on a full-back for a full-back, it doesn’t show a lot of ambition.”

“He is stubborn, Sarri is very, very stubborn,” Brazil added.

“Is that it, time up? Do you think the owners will decide it’s not working?”

Chelsea next face Malmo in the Europa League before meeting Manchester City in the EFL Cup final, just weeks after being thumped 6-0 by the defending Premier League champions.

Chelsea star Eden Hazard looks dejected against Manchester City – will it be the same story in the EFL Cup final?

And Sharpe replied: “The EFL Cup final could be a big one, after getting beat by City 6-0 they need a reaction from that.

“It seems like the manger is upsetting the fans, he’s a little bit two-dimensional with his formation and the way he wants to stick with it and he’s not exactly endearing himself to people.

“He’s a pretty ruthless boss, Mr Abramovich, and I’m not sure he’ll be putting up with it for much longer.”

Carabao Cup on talkSPORT

Chelsea vs Manchester City in the 2019 Carabao Cup final is live on talkSPORT at 16:30 on Saturday 24 February

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: ‘There is nobody more suited to Manchester United job’, says former Red Devil Lee Sharpe

12 Feb

Lee Sharpe has told talkSPORT Manchester United ‘can’t pick anyone better’ than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the job of manager.

Former United star Sharpe believes the caretaker boss is the perfect man to lead the club forward, and has urged the club to hand him the permanent role.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows all about what it means to play in the Champions League for Manchester United

Solskjaer has revived the Red Devils and has kick started their top-four bid by guiding the side to ten wins and a draw from his first 11 games in charge.

He faces the toughest test of his caretaker reign yet on Tuesday night in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain.

But, with the French champions missing a number of they key players – including star strikers Neymar and Edinson Cavani – many are tipping United to upset the European giants.

It will be another part of the audition for Solskjaer, who has put himself well and truly in the running for the permanent job.

But Sharpe says he is the obvious candidate and MUST be given the role full-time.

Speaking to Max Rushden on talkSPORT, he said: “Ole has done frighteningly well.

“They were talking about bigger names and more experienced coaches, but I don’t think anybody could have come in and done any better.

“He’s been absolutely phenomenal. He’s done exactly what was needed. The club needed a breath of fresh air, needed someone to give the players a big cuddle, tell them they are good players, make them happy and make them play with a smile on their faces and that’s exactly what he has done.

The Red Devils are thriving in Solskjaer’s system

“The forward players at the club are immensely talented and if you give them a bit of a free rein and a bit of organisation they’ll score goals and win you games.

“With the way he’s started, it would be very difficult not to give it to him. I don’t see anybody else you could bring in.

“He knows the club inside out. Somebody else would have to be given time to settle in and understand the club and get their message across to the players – but he’s already done that.

“I don’t think you could pick anybody better for the job.”

Manchester United legends Roy Keane and Eric Cantona are both misunderstood, claims Lee Sharpe

11 Jan

Former Manchester United star Lee Sharpe has revealed that, while Roy Keane was a ‘psychopath’ on the pitch, he was actually a lot less serious than people might think.

The pair were team-mates at Old Trafford under Sir Alex Ferguson in the 1990s and enjoyed great success together.

And despite Keane’s reputation as an uncompromising, no-nonsense character – Sharpe claims there is a side to the Irishman not many people are aware of.

“I went out drinking with him from time to time, sat next to him at the training ground, and a lot of people don’t realise Keane was one of the funniest players in the dressing room,” Sharpe told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.

Roy Keane has a reputation for taking no nonsense

“He loved a laugh and a joke. Some of his jokes were a little bit cutting to some people, but that was by-the-by.

“Then once he crossed the white line, he was an absolute psychopath. His nickname in the dressing room was ‘schizo’, which probably sums him up.

“I’ve never had a fall out with him. I love him to bits. He was just a monster to have in your team.”

And Keane isn’t the only misunderstood character in United folk law – Sharpe’s experiences of the iconic Eric Cantona are not what you might expect either.

The Frenchman often journeyed between the brilliant and the bizarre, scoring magical goals but never shying away from controversy.

He infamously kung-foo kicked a Crystal Palace fan at Selhurst Park, but Sharpe insists the incident was out-of-character.

Lee Sharpe claims Eric Cantona was ‘one of the lads’

He added: “Eric came to the club with the reputation of being a bit of a troublesome soul.

“We didn’t see a lot of that. He was one of the boys, came on lads’ days out, laughed and joked in the dressing room.

“He never caused any problems until we got to Selhurst Park and the Crystal Palace day. That was a pretty special one.

“We used to say he was Fergie’s long-lost love child.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must prove himself against big teams like Tottenham to remain manager, says Manchester United legend Lee Sharpe

11 Jan

Manchester United legend Lee Sharpe believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must prove he can beat the big teams before he becomes a genuine candidate for the permanent job at Old Trafford.

The interim boss has recorded the best start by a Red Devils manager since Matt Busby after winning all five of his opening games in charge.

But the fixtures have been undoubtedly kind, and United’s trip to Tottenham on Sunday will present the first big test of Solskjaer’s managerial credentials.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made an excellent start to his interim reign

Nonetheless, former United winger Sharpe, who spent eight years with the Red Devils, believes there is no reason why Solskjaer should not get the permanent job if these results continue against the top six.

When asked whether the Norwegian has a chance of staying in the hot seat, Sharpe told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “I think he has.

“The game’s he’s played already, you would expect the club to win. This is his first big test.

“I think it’s games like Sunday that will define whether he gets it or not.

Lee Sharpe during his Manchester United days

“If he can be tactically aware, get good performances and results against the big boys, I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t get the job.”

United’s season was in tatters when Solskjaer took over, but after such a remarkable recovery, their hopes of at least finishing in the Champions League spots have been reignited.

Six points currently separates them from Chelsea in fourth, and Sharpe says United have a genuine chance of overtaking their rivals.

“It’s going to be very difficult because I think the teams above them are quite consistent.

“But these gaps have been made up before by Manchester United.

“There’s a long, long way to go and when they get on a roll and start moving, anything can happen.

“I think it will be very difficult, but I think they can.”

Jose Mourinho sacked by Manchester United: ‘Things became TOXIC, he had to go’, says former Red Devil Lee Sharpe

18 Dec

Jose Mourinho simply had to be sacked by Manchester United as things had become too ‘toxic’ at the club during his reign.

That’s the opinion of former Red Devils winger Lee Sharpe, who joined talkSPORT on Tuesday to react to the news of the Special One’s departure.

Man United announced they had sacked Mourinho as manager on Tuesday morning, after a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool confirmed the club’s worst ever start to a Premier League season.

The 20-time league champions currently sit sixth in the table, 19 points adrift of Liverpool at top of the table and 11 off the top four.

It’s been a disastrous season for Jose Mourinho at Man United

The Portuguese’s exit is of little surprise given the drama surrounding Old Trafford this season, with poor performances, the boss publicly criticising a number of his players and reports of numerous bust-ups in the dressing room.

THE FACTS: Worse than David Moyes – The unwanted history Man United made under Mourinho

And Sharpe admits the majority of the playing squad are probably glad to see the back of the boss.

“It doesn’t really surprise me,” the former United winger told talkSPORT on Tuesday.

“I thought they were going to wait until the end of the season, but things have become a little bit toxic and the performances have not improved.

“Mourinho has looked like a man who didn’t want to be in the job, he hasn’t enjoyed himself this season and he had to be shown the door.

“I think the dressing room will be half-and-half. Some of the players probably like him and are a bit gutted he’s gone, but other players who have not got on with him and have had ruckuses with him are probably glad to see the back of him.

Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba have endured a turbulent relationship this season

“I don’t think Mourinho is the best manager in the world to play for, he likes to kill games before he likes to go out and win them.

“He’s slated a number of players in public, so there are probably more who are pleased to see him go than not.”

Listen back to former Manchester United winger Lee Sharpe on talkSPORT above!

‘Jose Mourinho has been left behind by Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp’, claims former Manchester United star Lee Sharpe

1 Oct

Former Manchester United winger Lee Sharpe believes Jose Mourinho’s style of football is outdated and ineffective, suggesting the ‘Special One’ has been left behind by rival coaches Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.

Mourinho is under huge pressure at Old Trafford after a shock 3-1 defeat to West Ham on Saturday meant United have suffered their worst start to a season in 29 years.

The Red Devils currently sit tenth in the Premier League table, a full nine points adrift of joint-leaders Liverpool and Manchester City, and reports claim his immediate future is in doubt.

Many have pointed the finger at United’s players for their poor start to the campaign, but Sharpe believes the manager is struggling to get the best out of the wealth of creative talent at his disposal at the club, and that his trademark defensive style just isn’t suited to the modern game anymore.

“The thing with Mourinho is his football has always been on the defensive side,” the ex-United star said on Monday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.

“When he was at Chelsea he was very defensive and he liked to play two holding midfielders, and it was good in the era that he was successful at Chelsea.

“But now Guardiola and Klopp have come in and shown that high-tempo, high-pressing, quick-passing and quick-moving football is more successful, and I think Mourinho is struggling with his creativeness.

Mourinho looked at his wits end during Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to West Ham

“He’s got some unbelievable forward-thinking, attacking players in his team and he doesn’t seem to get the best out of them.

“They’re not creating enough chances, they’re not scoring enough goals and they’re giving too many goals away – that’s never going to win you anything.

“Alexis Sanchez was unbelievable at Arsenal, Marcus Rashford has been fantastic but only plays bit parts of games and comes in and out. Anthony Martial is the same, he’ll play a couple of games and then get left out for a couple and that makes it really hard to get any consistency going.

“He’s not getting the best out of his players, there’s a lack of confidence in the squad and there’s an upset in there because of the Pogba situation.

“It’s just a bit messy and unsavoury at the moment.”

Rumours of rift deepened after Manchester United star Paul Pogba was substituted against West Ham

Sharpe has also suggested that ‘unsavoury’ mood in the Old Trafford camp would have been avoided under former boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

The former England international admitted his surprise and concern at how public Mourinho has been with some of his criticism of certain players during his tenure.

He added: “Everything has always been done in-house there. If there was a problem between the manager and the player it would have been done in the manager’s office.

“Players being called out for individual poor performances and things that are going wrong off the pitch, that’s a big thing. That’s never happened before at the club.

Sharpe believes Fergie would have kept a lid on the Pogba situation and more if he was still manager

“I’m sure Sir Alex Ferguson went through spells where results weren’t going well and players weren’t happy, that sort of thing goes on at every football club, but it’s how it’s dealt with and how it’s managed.

“One of the things all the players respected Sir Alex Ferguson for was that everything was kept in house. Nothing was leaked to the press or came out in the public, it was all dealt with in his office or in the dressing room.

“He kept things as private as he could, and that doesn’t seem to be happening at the club at the moment.”

Listen back to Lee Sharpe on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast IN FULL above!

Manchester United risk missing out on top four if they stick with Joe Mourinho, says former Red Devils star

1 Oct

Jose Mourinho MUST be sacked as Manchester United manager if the club’s disastrous start to the season continues this week, according to former winger Lee Sharpe.

Mourinho is under huge pressure at the Old Trafford helm following back-to-back shock defeats against Derby County in the EFL Cup and West Ham in the Premier League.

The Red Devils now face a home double header this week against Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday and Newcastle United in the league at the weekend.

Sharpe says a change, if needed, must be made sooner rather than later to keep their top-four hopes alive.

Zinedine Zidane has been strongly linked with a move to replace Mourinho in the Man United dugout

And he believes Mourinho should go if United fail to get good results in their next two games at Old Trafford.

“You can’t have performances and results like they are getting,” said the former Red Devil on Monday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.

“If you’re out of that top four it’s so massive for these clubs these days that you just can’t afford to let it happen.

“If they don’t do anything this week and the results keep going the way they have been going, then a change has to be made sooner rather than later.

“Their performances, although they have won a couple, they haven’t been that great going forward and they haven’t looked that impressive.

The 3-1 defeat at West Ham meant United have made their worst start to a season for 29 years

“When you look at the likes of City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea, all their rivals are playing quick, high-tempo football and scoring goals, but United are just struggling over the line with results.

“With the Derby result in the week and this one now [against West Ham], plus the thing with Pogba going on, it just heaps pressure on the manager.

“It will be interesting to see what happens over the next couple of weeks.”

Listen back to Lee Sharpe on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast IN FULL above!

Zinedine Zidane ‘would be the ideal candidate’ to replace Jose Mourinho as Manchester United manager, former Red Devil Lee Sharpe tells talkSPORT

21 Aug

Zinedine Zidane would be ‘the ideal candidate’ to replace Jose Mourinho, should Manchester United decide to sack the manager this season, believes Lee Sharpe.

The former Red Devils star believes ‘The Special One’ will be gone by Christmas, and has backed three-time Champions League winning boss Zidane to take over at Old Trafford.

We’re just two games into the Premier League season, and Mourinho is already under immense pressure in the United hotseat after a summer of discontent.

Moan-inho has been vocal in his displeasure at the club’s failure to sign his top transfer targets – bringing in just three new players this summer – and has also clashed with a number of his players, most notably Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba.

A difficult few weeks then took a turn for the worse on Sunday, when United were beaten 3-2 at Brighton in the Premier League, which prompted rumours his third season curse could be about to strike again.

Jose Mourinho endured a frustrating summer transfer window

Sharpe is expecting this season to be Mourinho’s last at Old Trafford.

The former United winger revealed he has been told there is no direction from the manager within the dressing room, and said he would be keen for World Cup-winning legend Zidane to take charge of the club.

“Mourinho is on trial again,” Sharpe said on Tuesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.

“He’s never looked happy since he’s been at the club.

“There just seems to be no plan at Man United. Nobody seems to know where they should be going and what they should be doing.

Mourinho tries to get a point across to his players during the 3-2 defeat at Brighton

“I’ve heard a little whisper to say the manager is not really giving them a lot of instruction before games. He’s just picking the team and letting them get on with it.

“It seems to me that he hasn’t got the players in that he wanted this summner, and he’s gone into a bit of a sulk. He’s just let the players crack on and do their own thing.

“When you’re moping around, moaning about who you haven’t been able to sign and about the lack of players you have, instead of bigging up the players you already have and filling them with confidence, I don’t think it’s good for team morale.”

Zidane led Real Madrid to three consecutive Champions League titles as manager

Zidane has been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford, with recent reports claiming the former France star is keen to take his career to the Premier League after leaving Real Madrid at the end of last season.

Asked about the links, Sharpe added: “I think Zidane would be the ideal candidate.

“He’s played at the highest level, managed at the highest level and has been successful at both.

“He’s a big enough name who could cope with the pressure and the questions asked of managing a club of that size so I think he would be ideal.”

Listen back to Lee Sharpe on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast IN FULL above!