September 13, 2022 4 min read
Fully 16 months after winning the biggest European competition, Thomas Tuchel has been dismissed as Chelsea manager. He follows Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho (twice!) out of the revolving doors of the manager’s office. The first league game for Graham Potter would have been at home to Liverpool on Sunday afternoon, but circumstances have caused that game, as well as the War of the Roses derby between Manchester United and Leeds United, to be postponed.
Brentford v Arsenal at noon and Everton v West Ham at 2.15pm are both set to go ahead as planned, with fans perhaps wishing to toast the memory of Her Majesty courtesy of Bohemian Brands. This Crystal edition vodka will be perfect for Hammers, who might also be interested in a new book by Daniel Hurley rounding up 50 matches which ‘define the last thirty years’ of West Ham United. The Games That Made Us takes fans ‘from Dicks to Di Canio, Harewood to Antonio’ and would be an ideal book to accompany sips of branded gin or vodka.
There are two games on Friday evening as Southampton go to Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest welcome Fulham in a fixture that took place last season in the Championship. Forest will hope to improve on their 4-0 defeat a year ago when they conceded three of those goals in a ten-minute spell in the second half. Given that the first goal of the game was an own goal, it means Fulham won the game 4-0 with only three attempts at goal. Only four Forest players who started that October 2021 defeat played in the loss to Bournemouth at the beginning of September 2022.
There will only be one Premier League game kicking off on Saturday at 3pm, following the postponement of Brighton v Crystal Palace. Bleary-eyed Bournemouth fans will have set off to Newcastle very early in the morning or hit the Toon on the previous evening. Spurs, meanwhile, play Leicester City and Manchester City go to Wolves either side of that 3pm game.
Spurs play their second group game of their Champions League season in Lisbon on Tuesday, while Chelsea welcome RB Salzburg for their first game of the Potter Era (King Tuchel is dead, long live the new King). It seemed inevitable that Manchester City would draw Borussia Dortmund in the first season after activating Erling Haaland’s release clause. The Etihad is the place to be on Wednesday night.
In Scotland, it’s the turn of Rangers to play at home this weekend: after being trounced 4-0 by Ajax, they host Napoli on Wednesday night in a partisan Ibrox with no away fans present. The Arabs of Dundee United will be in fine voice, however, on Saturday. Celtic, meanwhile, go to St Mirren after a midweek jaunt to Warsaw to play Shakhtar Donetsk, with Ukraine under siege. The two Glasgow sides are already out in front in the SPL: Celtic fans are already crowing thanks to a 100% record of six wins from six, with 25 goals scored and one conceded. Last season’s triumphs inspired Bohemian Brands to produce this limited edition Apple Vodka, which is perfect for autumn where orchards shake off their fruit.
Over in Edinburgh, with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth having left for London a few days previously, Hibs welcome Aberdeen, while Hearts travel west to Motherwell on Sunday having come back from Riga, Latvia after their Conference League tie against RFS. The Hibees have made a symmetrical start to the league season, winning two, drawing two and losing two with six scored and six conceded.
Following the enforced break last weekend, there are two matchdays in the Championship this week, as befits a 46-game season which also has to deal with a long winter break. Midweek fixtures include Luton Town v Coventry, which last year brought a 5-0 win for the Hatters. Rather fascinatingly, this match-up has occurred in four divisions, from the top tier right the way down to League Two in 2017/18. Coventry won 3-0 in 2017 under the management of Mark Robins, who is still in the dugout during a difficult start to the 2022/23 season which has seen several home games postponed.
There are (pending events beyond anyone’s control) two local derbies on Wednesday evening. There’s a Black Country derby at the Hawthorns as West Brom play Birmingham. The Baggies drew six of their first eight games so need a win, although Blues only picked up eight points from their first eight. The other derby involves the London clubs from Bermondsey (Millwall) and Shepherd’s Bush (QPR), who can both order club-branded bottles of Dark Berry vodka from Bohemian Brands. Lions fans can head here, while Hoops fanatics should click here.