Big-spending French club Nice have struggled to start the new Ligue 1 season, with only eight points from eight games.

Ambitious Nice are sitting 13th in the table, leading to pressure on head coach Lucien Favre.

The Ligue 1 outfit finished fifth last term and have recently signed Aaron Ramsey, Ross Barkley, Alexis Beka Beka and Kasper Schmeichel.

TOP STORY – NICE KEEN ON PARKER WITH POCHETTINO NOT INTERESTED

Nice are interested in a surprise move for ex-Fulham and Bournemouth boss Scott Parker, claims Foot Mercato.

Favre is under pressure, with ex-Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino reportedly their first choice to replace him.

The Evening Standard claims Pochettino is not interested in the Nice role and instead will wait for a head coaching position with a top club in England, Spain or Italy. 

ROUND-UP

– 90min reports Manchester United will offer fresh deals to Marcus Rashford and Diogo Dalot. The pair's contracts are both due to expire in mid-2023, albeit with the option of one-year extensions, but United want to lock them down beyond that.

– Erik ten Hag will decide on Donny van de Beek's future at United in October, according to the Manchester Evening News. The Dutchman has only managed three appearances this term.

– Fabrizio Romano reports Tottenham target Kim Min-Jae has a release clause in his Napoli contract after joining the Italian club from Fenerbahce in July, but it cannot be triggered in January. Napoli are happy with the centre-back's impact and are not interested in letting him go.

Chelsea target Anthony Gordon is in the midst of contract talks with Everton that are "progressing well", claims inews. Gordon is set for a substantial pay rise.

Leicester City are set to offer manager Brendan Rodgers more time to turn around the side's poor start to the new season, although the reception of fans towards him at their next home game will be a factor for key decision makers, reports The Athletic.

Jurgen Klopp could not believe Scott Parker was sacked by Bournemouth after losing 9-0 to his Liverpool side, suggesting "the right owners" would not have made such a decision.

Saturday's game at Anfield tied the record for the biggest defeat in Premier League history, with Bournemouth completely outclassed.

It was a third defeat in a row for the newly promoted outfit, who had also been comfortably beaten by Manchester City and Arsenal without scoring.

A Bournemouth statement confirming Parker's departure on Tuesday appeared to suggest his dismissal was not based on results alone, as it stated the head coach had to be "aligned in our strategy to run the club sustainably".

"We must also show belief in and respect for one another," it added.

Parker had bemoaned Bournemouth's lack of transfer activity since their promotion from the Championship and even suggested the Liverpool loss had not come as a surprise and could be repeated without action in the market.

Regardless, Klopp felt this call was "really harsh", referring to it as "unbelievable" as a question on Parker was posed to him at a news conference later on Tuesday.

"When I heard it today, that's the moment where you realise how important the right owners are," he said.

"We all know there are different systems in the Premier League, how clubs are led.

"Some rules don't allow them to do exactly what they want. If they could stretch their resources, that would be strange – they could do anything, because they are owned by countries.

"Then other clubs who have other structures, like us or Arsenal or whoever, and then there are clubs like Bournemouth. You saw three teams coming up, Fulham, Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth.

"Nottingham is spending like... they spend. Fulham is doing some stuff. And I can't remember that Bournemouth did a lot.

"That is obviously difficult, if you come up from the Championship and arrive in the Premier League. That is not easy, so I felt for Scott.

"It's not that his team are not good enough, not at all. I'm not sure where you get that idea if the first four games gives you Arsenal, City and Liverpool.

"If you have nervous owners, that's like set up for a new manager: 'Let's see how he can do.'

"That's why I was very surprised, very surprised. I think Scott is an outstanding manager, to be honest – what he did with Fulham, in his first job, and now Bournemouth, in the Championship, getting up.

"This is an outstanding achievement and really difficult, and then you get four games and three of them are Arsenal, City and Liverpool, and your owner tells you, 'see you later'. That's really harsh."

That does not mean Klopp and Liverpool are always on the same page, as he explained there were also sometimes disagreements about the Anfield club's approach, even if he is now accustomed to how they work.

Asked if he had been backed, Klopp replied: "This summer? What does it mean, 'backed'?

"What I don't like is that if I say 'I'm not sure', we make a massive thing of it, but I realised as well it was always like this. Was it always easy? No."

He added: "Let me say it like this: from time to time, I would like to risk a bit more, but I don't decide that. We have a great team, and we will really try to squeeze everything out of this season."

Bournemouth have sacked Scott Parker as head coach after a run of three league defeats.

The Cherries began their first season back in the Premier League with a 2-0 opening day win against Aston Villa.

Comprehensive losses to Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool followed, though, with the 9-0 scoreline at Anfield on Saturday the joint-heaviest defeat in the league's history.

Following that game, Parker said: "There is no denying we are under-equipped at this level".

A statement on Bournemouth's website on Tuesday read: "AFC Bournemouth can announce that the club has parted company with head coach Scott Parker.

"Gary O'Neil will take interim charge of the team, and will be assisted by Shaun Cooper and Tommy Elphick."

Bournemouth co-owner Maxim Demin said on Parker's departure: "I would like to place on record my gratitude to Scott and his team for their efforts during their time with us. Our promotion back to the Premier League last season under his tenure will always be remembered as one of the most successful seasons in our history.

"However, in order for us to keep progressing as a team and a club as a whole, it is unconditional that we are aligned in our strategy to run the club sustainably. We must also show belief in and respect for one another. That is the approach that has brought this club so much success in recent history, and one that we will not veer from now.

"Our search for a new head coach will begin immediately."

Parker left his previous job at Fulham to take charge at the Vitality Stadium in July 2021 and guided Bournemouth to promotion from the Championship in his first season, finishing second behind his former club.

Despite the promising start against Villa, Bournemouth lost their next three league games to City, Arsenal and Liverpool, conceding 16 times and failing to score themselves, though did beat Norwich City on penalties in the EFL Cup second round last week.

Overall, the former Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder took charge of 55 games at Bournemouth, winning 28, drawing 14 and losing 13.

Parker becomes the 10th manager to either be sacked or resign with four games or fewer of a Premier League season played.

Scott Parker was not surprised by Bournemouth's remarkable 9-0 defeat at Liverpool and warned the club they need to "get competitive" to avoid a repeat.

Liverpool, who were winless heading into Saturday's game at Anfield, tied the Premier League record with a hugely one-sided scoreline – the joint-worst loss Bournemouth have suffered in their league history.

Luis Diaz and Roberto Firmino both scored twice, while Harvey Elliott, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Fabio Carvalho also netted, along with a Chris Mepham own goal.

Bournemouth have now lost three consecutive games to Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool, conceding 16 goals without reply. No side have previously shipped as many at this stage of a Premier League season.

Parker was critical of his players against Arsenal but sided with them after this latest rout, repeating his pre-season belief that the squad was short of the required quality following promotion from the Championship.

"I think the bottom line is we were in the arena with massive quality," he explained to Sky Sports. "At this present moment in time, we're probably not equipped to handle where it currently is really.

"So, I'm hugely disappointed, one, because of the result, of course.

"I'm disappointed for the travelling fans, and I'm also bitterly disappointed for the players as well really. It doesn't surprise me, and I probably sensed this.

"Yeah, this is probably where it is at this present moment in time, in terms of the players and everyone needs a little bit of help.

"Today just proved too big a challenge. The levels were far too big, and the quality was there for everyone to see, really.

"A clinical team, and we couldn't bear that, at times the intensity of the stadium as well.

"We've got a decision to make, really – I think that's where it is as a football club. We've got a decision to make. We need to get competitive in this division, really, because there will be days like this."

Crisis, what crisis?

After a winless three-game start to the season, Liverpool responded in style against Bournemouth at Anfield by equalling the record for the biggest win in Premier League history.

It saw them join Manchester United, Leicester City and Tottenham as the only clubs to have scored nine in a match in the competition.

The win also marked the first time Liverpool had hit the nine-goal tally since a 9-0 victory against Crystal Palace in December 1989 in the old First Division.

Here, we look back at times when one-sided encounters in England's top flight have spun wildly out of control.

Liverpool 9-0 Bournemouth - August 27, 2022

Roberto Firmino was star of the show as a thrilling performance saw the Brazilian secure a hat-trick of assists in the first half, setting up Luis Diaz, Harvey Elliott and Trent Alexander-Arnold before adding his own name to the scoresheet. Virgil van Dijk made it 5-0 before the break and the woes for Cherries boss Scott Parker continued, Chris Mepham putting the ball into his own net just a minute into the second half. Firmino got a second after the hour mark and the hosts did not rest on their laurels, Fabio Carvalho and Diaz on the scoresheet in the final 10 minutes.

Manchester United 9-0 Southampton - February 2, 2021

After Alexandre Jankewitz was dismissed for a shocking studs-up lunge on Scott McTominay, Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl perhaps should have checked the date and feared the worst. February 2 is Groundhog Day and Southampton had been here before. Aaron Wan-Bissaka got United off and running in the 18th minute, with Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani more familiar sights on the scoresheet either side of a Jan Bednarek own goal. Anthony Martial came on at half-time, but even after he scored in the 69th minute and McTominay did shortly afterwards, the game could have meandered towards a conclusion. Instead, the roof fell in on Southampton as they crumpled entirely under late strikes from Martial and Dan James after a Bruno Fernandes penalty and a red card for Bednarek.

Southampton 0-9 Leicester City – October 25, 2019

Ryan Bertrand – one of seven Southampton players to feature in both 9-0s – was the Jankewitz of the piece as he was sent off for a challenge in the build-up to Ben Chilwell's 10th-minute opener. Youri Tielemans was granted ample room to double the lead, then Ayoze Perez began romping towards a hat-trick that he completed a minute before Jamie Vardy's headed second made it 7-0 in the 58th minute. A James Maddison free-kick and a Vardy penalty took this defeat into uncharted territory for a home side in the Premier League.

Manchester United 9-0 Ipswich Town – March 4, 1995

For nearly a quarter of a century, Alex Ferguson's United were out there on their own. Andy Cole scored five after Roy Keane began this rout in the 15th minute. Mark Hughes hit a quickfire second-half double and Paul Ince also got in on the act. Peter Schmeichel watched it all unfold from the other end, just as his son Kasper did in goal for Leicester at St Mary's all those years later.

Tottenham 9-1 Wigan Athletic – November 22, 2009

Wigan had a slither of hope when Paul Scharner pulled a goal back to make it 3-1 before the hour at White Hart Lane. Ultimately, the only significance of that strike was to keep them off the top of this list. Jermain Defoe did his best Cole impression, rattling in five goals from the 51st minute onwards, while Aaron Lennon, David Bentley and Nico Kranjcar piled on the pain. Remarkably, Peter Crouch's ninth-minute header was the only goal of the 10 scored before half-time.

That same season, Wigan lost 8-0 at Chelsea, who beat Aston Villa by the same margin at Stamford Bridge two and a half years later. Newcastle United claimed the Premier League's first 8-0 win at the expense of Sheffield Wednesday in 1999, with Alan Shearer scoring five.

Bournemouth boss Scott Parker said his team's performance was "unacceptable" after they fell to a 3-0 defeat against Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday.

The Cherries, back in the top flight after promotion from the Championship last term, were dominated in their own back yard by a freewheeling showing from Mikel Arteta's side.

The hosts were so off the pace of their opponents that they failed to register a single shot or touch in the opposition penalty area during the first half, just the second time a home side has blanked in such a way since 2008-09 in the Premier League.

That first such occasion saw Bournemouth as the lacklustre team involved too, before Parker's time, against Manchester City in 2019.

Former Fulham boss Parker was stinging in his criticism after the full-time whistle.

"The first half was unacceptable from us in many ways," he told Sky Sports. "We needed to have humility in terms of understanding the dynamics of the game and what we were up against.

"I thought in terms of our body language and our dynamics, we were nowhere near it. Without that, when you're a team like us, there's no disgrace losing to Arsenal, but what is not acceptable is how we went about it in the first half.

"I didn't expect to see what I saw in the first half. I expected them to show a certain ingredient which we didn't show and it was far too easy in terms of recovery runs, getting back into shape and the quality we were playing against.

"There's some big learning to do regarding this game, which is a good thing, but we need to learn from that."

Kevin De Bruyne pulled the strings for Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday as he guided the champions to a 4-0 victory over Bournemouth.

The Belgium international bagged one goal and assisted another as Pep Guardiola's hosts delivered an imperiously composed performance at the Etihad Stadium in their first home match of the season.

Phil Foden matched the playmaker's involvement with a double goal contribution of his own, while Ilkay Gundogan also got in on the act against an outclassed Cherries side, who helped City out with an own goal to complete the scoring.

Scott Parker's men got their first season back in the top flight off to a winning start against Aston Villa last weekend, but this represented a significant step up.

A relentless start from City forced goalkeeper Mark Travers into a clutch of close-range stops, but Gundogan broke through when he played a superb one-two with Erling Haaland to cut into the box and fire a low finish home.

De Bruyne doubled the home side's lead just after the half-hour mark, taking on the Bournemouth defence before shaping a fine effort off the outside of his boot into the far corner.

And two soon became three as Foden's shot evaded Travers following some neat work down the left from De Bruyne.

The half-time whistle brought much-needed respite for the visitors, but they continued to struggle to get to grips with the might of City, who dominated possession throughout.

In scorching conditions, Guardiola's men turned in a more leisurely display after the interval, although a fourth goal eventually followed when the irrepressible Joao Cancelo saw a square ball diverted into the net by Jefferson Lerma.

The Premier League's big-money clubs are circling for Aston Villa's Jack Grealish.

The England midfielder is drawing interest from multiple suitors keen to lure him away from Villa Park.

Could a move be on the cards after the Euros? 

 

TOP STORY – BLUES WANT GREALISH

Chelsea are strong contenders to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa, Football Insider reports. 

The England international has also drawn interest from Manchester City, but the Blues' involvement could change the dynamic. 

Football Insider claims owner Roman Abramovich has approved the type of expenditures that would be necessary to land players like Grealish, and winning the Champions League will only loosen the reins on Chelsea's spending. 

 

ROUND-UP

- Kylian Mbappe wants to move on from Paris Saint-Germain, according to RMC Sport, which says the France international will depart on a free transfer when his contract expires next year if he does not move during this window. 

- Lionel Messi's long-anticipated new contract with Barcelona could be announced as soon as Thursday, according to Le 10 Sport. 

- If Man City are to complete a deal to land Harry Kane from Tottenham, they will need to do it without using Raheem Sterling in a swap deal. Sterling has no interested in joining Spurs as part of the reported £100million move for Kane, ESPN said. 

- Sergio Ramos plans to join PSG, AS reports, spurning interest from City and Manchester United

- Chelsea see Villarreal's Gerard Moreno as a fall-back option if they cannot sign Erling Haaland, according to Fichajes. 

- Milan are looking at Rafinha of PSG as a potential addition as Hakan Calhanoglu moves on, Calciomercato reports. 

- England defender James Tarkowski is drawing interest from Wolves and West Ham, the Telegraph reports, while the Mail says Leicester City also are eyeing the Burnley man. 

- Scott Parker is set to depart Fulham and become Bournemouth's new manager, The Athletic reports. 

Pep Guardiola has admitted Manchester City have a worrying pitch problem as they attempt to land an unprecedented quadruple this season.

The City manager has been impressed by playing surfaces at stadiums his team have visited recently, pointing to Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United as clubs who have pristine grass.

However, the boss of the Premier League leaders says his team are playing on a pitch that is ill-suited to players of their prowess, and he wants a solution to be found.

Guardiola revealed his turf torment when assessing that the pitch at Fulham's Craven Cottage, where City play on Saturday, is also not one of the best around.

"I know the stadium is always difficult, the grass is not in good condition, quite similar to our grass that is not good," Guardiola said.

When asked how much of a problem it was to City that their Etihad Stadium conditions were not ideal, Guardiola replied: "A lot. They're working a lot trying to find a solution, but the grass is not good.

"All the players know how good the grass is and sometimes is not. I know the weather conditions here are tough, but there are stadiums where the grass is good. We were in London against Arsenal, we were in Anfield and Old Trafford and the grass was better.

"We were in Budapest in the Champions League and the grass was a red carpet, it was amazing, but the grass here is not good."

Such an inconvenience did not prevent City recently running up a 28-game unbeaten streak, which ended on home soil against United last weekend.

Guardiola's star-studded team thumped Southampton 5-2 at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, restoring a 14-point lead over second-placed United.

With the end of City's unbeaten run coming so recently, Fulham may fancy causing a shock on Saturday evening, despite losing their past six games against City across all competitions by an 18-0 aggregate.

City have lost just one of their 13 Premier League away games against Fulham (W7 D5), going down 2-1 in November 2005 under Stuart Pearce.

Guardiola spoke passionately about Fulham's qualities, and he ranks Cottagers boss Scott Parker highly in the group of forward-thinking young managers who are emerging across Europe.

On the style front, Guardiola admits he will struggle to compete against the sharply dressed Parker, saying: "He's younger, he has hair, he's better than me, definitely. I accept a draw against him."

On the pitch, however that pitch may look under his close scrutiny, Guardiola will not want to settle for a point in west London.

He namechecked Brighton's Graham Potter - "Mr Potter" - as another bright young coach, and said he admired young managers who compelled their teams to play football with bravado, even if results are slow in coming.

"They are the ones I admire the most," Guardiola said. "They're doing this in the beginning and it's not going well, they continue to do it and in the end the results come.

"Both teams want to attack, both teams want to create, not just speculate, not just wait for one mistake or wait for one action to do it. I have a feeling the new generation of managers, all of them, have this quality.

"Just take a look in Spain, Germany, Italy. All the new managers, they play like they are managers of Bayern Munich. So go forward and try to do it. Sometimes they can do it."

Jose Mourinho cited "individual mistakes" as the reason for Tottenham's tendency to drop points from winning positions.

Spurs looked set to be heading to third place in the Premier League thanks to Harry Kane's header against Fulham, but Mourinho's team were pegged back by Ivan Cavaleiro's brilliant 74th-minute effort.

After winning their opening three games of 2021 in all competitions by an aggregate score of 10-0, it was a reminder to Tottenham of their fragility when defending leads.

Tottenham have now dropped 10 points from winning positions in league games this season, and Mourinho blamed individual errors, while also rueing some glaring opportunities which were missed, with Son Heung-min twice failing to beat Alphonse Areola from close range prior to Kane's opener, before the South Korea forward hit the post in the second half.

"Three or four big chances in the first half to have a different result, the biggest chance of the second half would have killed the game and then again we concede a goal that is completely avoidable," a frustrated Mourinho told Amazon Prime Sport.

"We could have killed the game and again we lose a man in the box. That happens the majority of time in set-pieces, this time it was in open play.

"Of course it is costing points, especially away we are winning and then we don't show that ambition to kill the game and many times it happens that in the last part of the game we concede.

"There are things that are individual, that are down to individual qualities and individual mistakes. Basically I cannot say much more than that.

"It's good that we play [soon]. It's not good that after that game on Sunday we have 10 days. At this moment though we just have to accept that."

Tottenham are at least unbeaten in their past eight London derbies in the Premier League (W3 D5), since a defeat to Mourinho's former club Chelsea last February.

Spurs managed just five attempts in the second half, compared to eight from Fulham, and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg sees vast room for improvement.

"Very disappointing. I think we have to do better, in a couple of aspects of the game, it's difficult to speak right now because of the emotions," the midfielder told Amazon Prime Sport.

"More bravery, more focus in terms of organising the team and being solid as a team.

"It doesn't mean you have to stand in your own box and defend, it means that the team is compact, closes the lines. Executing the chances, I had a chance and had to score. Many details that we have to do better."

Fulham, meanwhile, have drawn five consecutive Premier League games, their longest such run since January 2007 (six games).

Scott Parker was angered by the Premier League rearranging this fixture in the wake of Aston Villa's coronavirus outbreak, but was delighted with the performance his team put in.

"Very impressed, I thought it was outstanding, everything about us," Parker said.

"Nobody knows what we've been through in the last couple of weeks, players in the squad who have had one day of training, to prepare and play like we did is what I'm pleased the most with.

"I'm proud of the team because of how we played in the circumstances but I'm even more proud of them because they showed some real quality."

Jose Mourinho welcomed the Premier League's decision to have Tottenham play Fulham on Wednesday as Aston Villa attempt to recover from a coronavirus outbreak.

Spurs will host Fulham when they were scheduled to instead take on Villa, who had to field an academy side against Liverpool in the FA Cup after COVID-19 wiped out their first team.

The Fulham fixture had been postponed from December due to their own problems with the virus, a short-notice call that frustrated Mourinho.

The Tottenham coach was rather more enthused by the league's resolution this week, hailing it as a crucial step in order to keep the season going.

"The biggest impact is to have matches postponed. That is the biggest impact," Mourinho said.

"The changing of the order of the matches, the impact is minimal because, in the end, you have to play 19 matches at home and 19 matches away, you have to play two matches against every team.

"If it is to help the Premier League to go and to end properly, I think it is a solution we all have to accept as a positive solution."

But Fulham see the change rather differently, with the move only confirmed on Monday when Scott Parker's side otherwise expected a week off.

Given the last-minute nature of the initial postponement, the relegation battlers received little sympathy from Mourinho, however.

Asked if the switch was fair on Fulham, Mourinho replied: "Are you serious?

"They had 48 hours to prepare for this game? You think so? I had the news I was not going to play them two hours before the game started."

Parker, a former player of Mourinho's at Chelsea, was not impressed by the shake-up.

"It was a possibility on Saturday afternoon," said Parker. "I didn't think it was realistic.

"We were then told on Monday at 0930 we had to fill in for Villa. I realise we live in unpredictable times. We have to move things and it is not ideal.

"I am normally the last one to moan or whine. To confirm a Premier League game at 0930 on Monday morning is scandalous.

"It's not about the fixture. I accept we have to play but it's the notice. The people making these decisions don't understand."

Fulham have not played since Boxing Day, with a second fixture - against Burnley - also postponed, although Parker's men are unbeaten in five in all competitions.

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