Hello children and readers, I’m Martin Samuel yeah? YES.
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Samuel Johnson: A Biography


MARTIN SAMUEL: Ronald Koeman is adamant Romelu Lukaku is staying at Everton and, with that announcement, many think Chelsea have avoided professional embarrassment. Postponed, probably. Not avoided. It will come around again, this costly reassessment, as it already has in the case of Nemanja Matic. There will be another player that Chelsea buy, sell, and then re-evaluate at great cost, because that is the way of modern football. In 2011, Chelsea made Matic an inexpensive makeweight in the transfer that brought David Luiz from Benfica, only to recruit him again for £21million three years later. That is what happens when clubs change managers as frequently as Chelsea: there is inconsistency of opinion. Matic was sold under Carlo Ancelotti; Jose Mourinho decided he was exactly what he needed. Mourinho has then gone to Manchester United and done the same with Paul Pogba, a player let go to Juventus for £800,000 compensation, returning for a fee of £89m.

MARTIN SAMUEL: Size matters. At least it may do in the Premier League this season. Much has been made of the cost of Jose Mourinho’s revamp of Manchester United but not its sheer physical dimensions. Much like Professor Simon Peach, played by Benny Hill in The Italian Job, Mourinho likes them big.


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MARTIN SAMUEL - THE DEBATE: One minute we are boasting that we have dominated the games, the next whining because teams are sitting back against us. That will not stop against Iceland.