Jamie Carragher highlights issue with Raheem Sterling as new Chelsea captain option emerges


Jamie Carragher was disappointed to see Raheem Sterling confront Cole Palmer over who should take the penalty in the clash against Arsenal. Chris Kavanagh, the on-field referee, pointed to the spot in the first-half after a header from Mykhailo Mudryk struck the arm of William Saliba.

After consulting the Video Assistant Referee, the Gunners defender was adjudged to have committed a handball offence inside his own box. As Kavanagh pointed to the spot, Palmer picked up the ball – but before he could put it down he was confronted by Sterling, who also wanted the chance to put the Blues ahead.

The England international, momentarily, grabbed the ball but Enzo Fernandez stepped in and defused the situation, handing the honour back to the youngster. Palmer proceeded to score from 12-yards for the second consecutive match to give Chelsea the lead over Arsenal.

Speaking on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football show, Carragher wasn't impressed by Sterling's reaction and heaped Fernandez with praise. The former Liverpool defender said: "I don’t really like that. I think people should know the penalty taker before the game.

"The one thing I did like was the actual authority shown by Enzo Fernandez. For a young player, he’s saying to a seasoned professional, Raheem Sterling, ‘listen, Cole Palmer is taking it’. Almost in that cool manner. He almost came across captain-like, maybe in his early 30s. I thought it was really interesting."

In the post-match press conference, Pochettino was delighted with Palmer, who operated as a false-nine in the absence of Nicolas Jackson and Armando Broja. The Chelsea boss said: "Broja wasn't available and to decide to play with Nico after the surgery on his wrist, it was to find a different way to play in our principles but I think to change the strategy to attack.

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"It was a little bit both – I have been so happy with the performance of him (Conor Gallagher) and Palmer," Pochettino added. The Blues boss managed the expectations of his young squad earlier in the press conference, insisting that 'football is about mistakes'.

"It happens in all of the teams," said the Blues manager. "Too many games that we watch every week and always mistakes. Football is about mistakes. If you want to score, the opponent made a mistake. I think 90% of goals are because the opponent made a mistake when you score. Football is about mistakes.

"I think only we can criticise a little to read the situation better, the tempo, the timing. 77 minutes, sometimes take some risk. Okay, we can, because it's our philosophy but maybe have better decisions. Maybe we can criticise a little bit this situation."

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