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Name Tony Cascarino
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Club as Player Chelsea FC

2016 03 21 Retrieve

[on Harry Kane] Kane has matured into a top quality striker. I can’t think of too many strikers in Europe better than him at the moment

2019 08 15 Retrieve

[Tony Cascarino says Christian Pulisic has an air of Arjen Robben about him with the American being tipped to fill the void created by Eden Hazard’s departure from Chelsea] Christian Pulisic looks like he will be a very dangerous player for Chelsea. Jurgen Klopp had been interested in the young forward and you could tell he was wary of his threat as he changed his defence to counter him, selecting Joe Gomez at right back instead of Trent Alexander-Arnold. Gomez is a better defender than his team-mate but it still wasn’t enough to stop the United States international at times. I don’t remember a young Eden Hazard being as quick and direct and there’s no reason Pulisic can’t develop into a player of Hazard’s standing. Pulisic reminds me of Arjen Robben, you cannot stop him one-on-one because you don’t know which way he’s going to go and his pace is devastating. He will be a massive asset for Frank Lampard this season

2019 08 15b Retrieve

[Tony Cascarino hails Kante is like an empty crisp packet in the park] [N’Golo Kante](n-golo-kante.html)’s energy is extraordinary but he offers so much more than fitness. It’s the way he darts around the pitch, he’s like an empty crisp packet in the park, flying around all over the place. Lampard hasn’t moved him back into a solely defensive role, Kante was still pushing up the pitch and pinched the ball on the halfway line for Chelsea’s opening goal. Yes he’s brilliant when your team is camped on the edge of their box but he’s great higher up the pitch too, as his ability to read an opponent is superb. People don’t realise how important tackling is in attack as well as defence

2019 08 16 Retrieve

[Tony Cascarino says Chelsea youngsters including Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount are not ready to playing a starring role in Frank Lampard’s starting XI] The younger elements of the Chelsea team are not ready and last night proved that. Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham can play their part under Frank Lampard this season but when facing the best teams you need not only talent but experience. Chelsea looked more threatening, effective and composed against Liverpool than they did against Manchester United and that is a startling comment. They were beaten 4-0 by an inconsistent United and last night they were, at times, better than the European champions. Olivier Giroud should be leading the line, Pedro is such a clever little player and their midfield had far better balance. Everyone is excited about Lampard giving kids a chance, but they ignore the established stars they’ve still got

2019 08 21 Retrieve

[Tony Cascarino recently declared Christian Pulisic could one day match Eden Hazard’s quality] Christian Pulisic looks like he will be a very dangerous player for Chelsea. I don’t remember a young Eden Hazard being as quick and direct and there’s no reason Pulisic can’t develop into a player of Hazard’s standing. Pulisic reminds me of Arjen Robben, you cannot stop him one-on-one because you don’t know which way he’s going to go and his pace is devastating. He will be a massive asset for Frank Lampard this season

2019 09 08 Retrieve

[Tony Cascarino says Raheem Sterling is one of the top five players in the world, better than Neymar, and should be targeting winning the Ballon d’Or in his career] Who would you rather have: Neymar or Sterling? I’d have Sterling as a player. Try to ignore the antics that have gone on with Neymar off the field, I actually think Sterling’s better on the field. His numbers are better and he’s playing in a better team. I’ve seen Neymar do things that no other footballer can do in the game, like a ‘Harlem Globetrotter’ footballer. But if you want a player to be brilliant for the team and score goals at the rate Neymar can, Sterling’s your

[Three years Neymar’s junior at 24, Sterling’s improvement in recent seasons has been remarkable] I would definitely argue he’s in the top five players in the world. What excites me about Sterling is the improvement. The improvement has been dramatic. If you were to put him on the market tomorrow, Man City wouldn’t take £150 million for him. If he continues to improve, he’ll become the first or second [best player in the world] and probably win the Ballon d’Or along the way. If he wins the Champions League with Man City and plays a big part in that, and he scores a lot of goals over the course of the season, he’ll have a great chance of winning it [the Ballon d’Or]

2019 09 16 Retrieve

[Tony Cascarino believes the likes of Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount would not have got a look in had those at Stamford Bridge been able to sign players] When we had the ‘Class of ‘92’ at Manchester United we applauded them for bringing all these young players through. Fergie (Sir Alex Ferguson) was very fortunate to have such a group of players coming through at the same time.

I’ve always been frustrated of Chelsea having so much success in the youth system but never having that conveyor belt of bringing those players through into the first team. Tammy was one of a good number of players who probably wouldn’t have been in the team if Chelsea had a transfer budget. They probably wouldn’t have been anywhere near the first team, Tammy would have gone on loan somewhere else.

So let’s give Lampard some credit here because he has got choices at Chelsea, their squad is big enough not to play these young players. Olivier Giroud could easily have played at centre-forward [against Wolves]. At the start of the season it probably would have been Giroud first choice, Michy Batshuayi second and Tammy third, but Tammy has become the number one choice in a matter of three games. That’s credit to him but also the manager, because Frank has chosen to make that decision. Then you’ve got Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi waiting in the wings and Ruben Loftus-Cheek who is older than the others but you’d like to think he’ll play a lot this season.

I’ve always thought it would have been such a mistake to have had all these great academy players and them not to have some sort of say in Chelsea’s future in the next five years, so I’m delighted.

2019 09 26 Retrieve

[Tony Cascarino has questioned why it has taken the Blues so long to find their own Class of ‘92] You hear so much about Frank Lampard being forced to play the kids, but they still have a hell of a lot of good players that other clubs would love to have, especially at the younger end of the scale. So there’s a match of experience with talented young players. I think it is an exciting time for Frank to have taken over

[Cascarino added on suggestions that Lampard has found it easier to change tack with a transfer ban in place] I don’t think there is such a thing as a ‘free hit’ at Chelsea. They have proven that over the years. But he is getting a free hit from the fans, which doesn’t happen very often. Rumblings against a manager usually start from the fans but they are not going to be like that this season. And I think they want to see the youngsters play. Remember the class of ‘92 at Manchester United? I always question why Chelsea haven’t had a class of 2013, or 2014, or 2017.

In seven out of eight years they have won the FA Youth Cup. Why hasn’t one of those groups come through to the first team? Chelsea fans feel like that too. They don’t want another big signing. They want to see some of their own talented youngsters and they will be prepared to give them a chance. Fans love to see a local boy come through or at least a player who has come through their club’s system. So I think the timing has been very fortunate, almost convenient. Frank will be given a lot of leeway, even if he has a difficult season. The difficulty for him will come after that

2019 11 29 Retrieve

[Tony Cascarino says Chelsea have been warned that they cannot expect to outscore everybody] I get why Chelsea fans are excited about the team’s attacking flair, they always look like getting goals. But I cannot see them winning the Champions League if they defend the way they did. This has been a problem since Frank has taken over. He’s got a very young and naive team defensively.

He’s had [Kurt] Zouma and [Fikayo] Tomori playing at centre-half, with [Andreas] Christensen and Reece James at full-back. James, in the 94th minute, is literally on the 18 yard box, Chelsea have been countered and they nearly lost the game!

I think they will be punished if they defend in that manner where they are playing so aggressively. Look, Kepa saved a penalty, conceded twice and Valencia still missed four sitters. Chelsea cannot win the Champions League if they think they’re just going to outscore everybody. Can they win games? Yeah, they can beat anyone on their day, but I can’t see them putting in a really mundane and professional defensive performance, like the one that won Liverpool the final last season against Tottenham. I think there’s a lot more to come from this Chelsea team, but I think it might be too early for them

2019 11 25 Retrieve

[Tony Cascarino says Antonio Rudiger is Chelsea’s best natural defender] I think there’s a lot of learning to be done with Tomori and Zouma. They’re a partnership that Frank trusts, but there are mistakes there too regularly. They’re both young men in the early part of their career, but big clubs don’t allow you to go through this period of indifference. They miss Rudiger enormously, because he is their best natural defender

We’ve competed in the game. They’re always going to give you problems here in an attacking sense. But we contributed really well, especially in those first 25 minutes. We arrived in their box a lot and looked so dangerous on the counter. The biggest disappointment was our final third quality, that last pass and that last cross. Those important things win you games and we fell short, hence the result

2019 12 02 Retrieve

[Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino says Southampton winger Moussa Djenepo has a similar instinct to Liverpool forward Sadio Mane] One player I mentioned, Djenepo, the lad in midfield for [Southampton]. He’s a handful and he did brilliantly for the equaliser for Danny Ings. He’s got that Mane in him where you just don’t know what way he’s going to go. He’s going to run at you, he’s going to do this little jinking movement and it’s very hard for a defender to know where he’s going to go, which side, left or right

2019 12 09 Retrieve

[Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino has described Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as ‘out of order’ for reacting angrily towards Joe Willock in the Gunners 2-1 defeat at home to Brighton last Thursday] There was an incident with Willock on Thursday night where he takes a bit of stick from Aubameyang, which I thought was totally out of order. Aubameyang berated him. Willock’s a young kid coming into the game. It was totally out of order

2019 12 11 Retrieve

[Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the ‘laziest player’ at Arsenal] Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored last night but he really hurts Arsenal with his poor attitude. People talk about his goalscoring record - and it is indeed very good - but he needs to be a team player. Last night he was just letting opposing defenders head the ball away without even making a challenge. Along with Mesut Özil, he is the laziest player in the side. His work ethic for a senior player is bordering on disgusting

Last week against Brighton & Hove Albion he remonstrated with Joe Willock, his young colleague when he should be encouraging him. He would be the first one out of the club if it was up to me

2019 12 19 Retrieve

[Former Chelsea player Tony Cascarino advices Arteta should sell Aubameyang] The biggest challenge he will face is dealing with the senior players. I remember when Ron Atkinson came into Aston Villa, he said to me immediately: ‘I have agreed a fee with Celtic for you’.That is how Arteta should approach it, starting with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, David Luiz, Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi.

2019 12 28 Retrieve

[Tony Cascarino says Chelsea couldn’t believe that Arsenal were so eager to sign David Luiz in the last transfer window] When Arsenal bought the Brazil defender in the summer for £8m I know that Chelsea’s reaction was: ‘Wow, they’ve taken our poorest defender’. You have that familiar image of him chasing after a forward who has got behind him: opponents always know that the 32-year-old will give them space by wandering out of position. He is a fine footballer who sprays the ball around well but for a player with so much experience his defending is not good enough

2020 01 08 Retrieve

[Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino also recently declared Henderson was Liverpool’s best player of the past decade] Okay he might not have been as good as Steven Gerrard. Luis Suarez had his brilliance for a year – two years probably. And you’ve had some great players play for the club; [Mohamed] Salah has been brilliant for two years, like [Sadio] Mane, and there are a huge amount of players. But if you’re talking about 2010 to 2020, Jordan Henderson has done nine years there and he has ended up being part of of that side under every manager. So I can’t see how it can be anybody but Jordan Henderson

2020 01 20 Retrieve

[Tony Cascarino says Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard is not yet certain what his strongest starting line up is] I’m not convinced he totally knows who is his best XI. [Callum] Hudson-Odoi’s been in, Willian’s come in, [Christian] Pulisic has come in. Mason Mount has been in and out the team, Reece James has played…

If you look at the centre-halves, he’s had [Kurt] Zouma and [Fikayo] Tomori. But [Andreas] Christensen played alongside [Antonio] Rudiger yesterday? There are four centre-halves and it could be any two! And you’re not really sure that they’re his best two.

And Christensen – you were not really sure if he was going to play a part at all because a couple of weeks ago Frank Lampard said he might actually go and play elsewhere. So it’s a really weird scenario where Lampard does not know his best XI

2020 01 23 Retrieve

[Former Blues striker Tony Cascarino admits that the PSG frontman has the pedigree, but is aware that there are no guarantees in the transfer market] If you can get him, he’s available and he can come at the right price, yes. Cavani has scored unbelievable goals for PSG, he always gets chances, every time I’ve watched him he gets chances to score. You don’t want to bring in people who are going to unsettle it slightly, but, if it works for the club, yes it’s a really good deal. What we’re seeing in this market is that loan deals are more realistic than buying players at the moment

It would be a gamble [to sign Cavani]. I think they can just move it around slightly. I’ve never quite understood why [Olivier] Giroud has been cast aside so quickly. He did brilliantly for Arsenal and he came to Chelsea, and he wasn’t the no.1 choice but then became the no.1 choice – and he leads the line for France. I think it’s strange that he’s been pushed aside. Tammy [Abraham] did really well and has become the No.1, but he’s now had the dip every young player has, and Chelsea should have always prepared for that

2020 02 13 Retrieve

[Tony Cascarino says Ziyech like Mahrez & will be fantastic for Chelsea] He has got everything. He is a great set-piece taker. A bit like Mahrez, he can go at people, he can dribble. He can just go at you and go past you. Fantastic assist record, a hell of a talent and I think Chelsea are very lucky to get him. What people don’t know about Ziyech is that when he got to Ajax he was bought for €11m. Now Ajax don’t spend money, they always bring in the kids. He was bought for €11m, which was big money for a side like Ajax at that particular time. He is a real talent and I think will be a fantastic addition to Chelsea Football Club

He’s like Mahrez physique wise, he will go past you, he will see passes, he’s quite direct, he’s just got a great array of set-pieces that he will take and get on the ball. He has got everything in the game. He destroyed Real Madrid last year, he really played a big part in them getting the better of Madrid. He had a few issues, people questioned a few issues in his personal life but he’s obviously overcome them. He has got everything

2020 02 26 Retrieve

[Tony Cascarino has criticised Lampard in the wake of a damaging Champions League defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich] It’s an awkward one with Frank, because we have had words before. Not bad, but I had a phone call and things were said. If I’m being brutally honest, I’ve always found Frank to be a little bit spiky with some of the things that you say, and you can be complimentary but Frank takes it slightly the wrong way. I’m not convinced by his management at times this year, because I do think it’s an easy excuse just to go youngster, youngster – he’s changed that team a hell of a lot.

[Cascarino also weighed in on Lampard’s decision to drop £72 million ($93m) goalkeeper Kepa in favour of Caballero, insisting the Spaniard hasn’t been shown enough ‘loyalty’] I don’t like the Kepa issue. He deserved to get dropped, but keeping him out of the team – I’m not so sure that’s a good decision. You have to show loyalty to players sometimes, even after a bad game. But it’s happening all over the pitch, everywhere has been changed, everybody has been changed around. It’s really hard to guess Chelsea’s XI and that tells you in some way that Frank is spinning plates around his team

[Cascarino went on to express his belief that the Blues will have to spend in order to start improving again] We’re giving him the benefit of the doubt because he’s new to this role of a Premier League manager and Chelsea have been in a very difficult situation where there’s been a lot of change and no buying power. But what I see, just look at the games they’ve lost, the amount of games they’ve lost and the goals against column – that tells you a big story, that they can’t defend very well. I can’t see [how that can improve] unless you buy new players, but you’ve also got to look at your system

2020 03 04 Retrieve

[Tony Cascarino sees similarities between a Stamford Bridge prospect and a Premier League great who enjoyed a stellar career at Old Trafford] He was thrown in the deep end and absolutely swam, he didn’t have an issue at all. In the first 15 minutes, he just set the standard for the game, just getting on it, having that inner belief and dictating the pace of the midfield. Without wanting to go over the top, because I’m as guilty as everybody of doing this and getting excited about what you see, but I remember Keane being very similar at this age.

Roy Keane demanded the ball, he was a fearless footballer. When I first saw him at Nottingham Forest and then when he got in the Ireland squad, Roy just enjoyed having the ball, he demanded it, ‘give me it’. Billy Gilmour did that. Roy was tenacious and Billy Gilmour showed that as well last night

Keane was a little bit older when he first came over from Ireland, but if I’m comparing that to what I’m seeing from an 18-year-old, Roy had that tenacity in his game where he just wanted the ball and never shirked anything. That’s what Gilmour did last night

2020 06 08 Retrieve

[Tony Cascarino says Chelsea are getting a Michael Owen-like frontman in Timo Werner] He predominantly likes to play on the left, but he’s quite versatile. His outstanding feature is his pace; his pace over 10 yards is extraordinary, lightning quick […] Michael Owen-like. He tries to get on the back of defenders all the time and comes in off the left to try and get the goals in. He gets a lot of one-on-ones and he’s a real handful. But there is a lot of improvement to be made; I don’t think he’s the most technically gifted. When I’ve watched him I’ve always thought his touch is a bit off for someone who has so many goals. But there is a real danger player in there, and I think Lampard wants goals from more areas in his team.

[Cascarino added on Werner edging away from long-standing links to Liverpool] Most players want to be guaranteed a starting place and Timo Werner probably got that guarantee from Frank Lampard where he is going to play, and he’s going to play a lot of games. I think that’s very important for Werner because I’m not sure he’d get in front of [Sadio] Mane, [Mohamed] Salah or [Roberto] Firmino [at Liverpool]. We don’t know if one of those will be sold, but obviously Klopp wouldn’t want that to happen; he’d want to keep all three. And I think it’s a case he’d have to fight for a place just to get in that team

2020 06 20 Retrieve

[Tony Cascarino says Arsenal would be better off with Southampton striker Danny Ings leading the line than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] When you look at Aubameyang’s numbers, they’re extraordinary. But when you compare him to a player like Roberto Firmino for Liverpool, has hasn’t got the goals say the likes of Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres did, but he does far more for the team. Danny Ings is like that, too, for me. He’s done this all season. Let’s not forget, Ings’ career has been wrecked by injury and he’s come back and looks so good, he just leads the line brilliantly. He’s a consistent threat, even when the team isn’t playing well he’s still trying his socks off