Ahead of the Premier League returning after the international break, BonusCodeBets caught up with Robert Huth. The former Chelsea and Stoke City defender shared his thoughts on Romelu Lukaku being the difference for Chelsea, why Manchester United won’t win the league under Solskjær and Leicester City pushing for silverware this season.
Robert Huth Exclusive: Lukaku can make the difference for Chelsea this season
“The current Chelsea squad is tighter together compared to previous years and Romelu Lukaku will make a huge difference. He suits Thomas Tuchel’s style in the way he brings others into the game and we’ve seen Tuchel do a number on the other managers as well so it’s going to be interesting.
“Liverpool and Manchester City are two ridiculously good teams and can stop Chelsea winning the League but Chelsea are a great side too. It’s great to watch, that’s for sure.”
Robert Huth Exclusive: United won’t win the League under Solskjaer as he is a level below Klopp, Tuchel and Guardiola
“There are three other teams with three other managers that are standing in Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s way of winning the league and he’s not at their level yet. There are games where his decisions to take players off or rest players haven’t always worked out.
“It’s not an easy job at all but Thomas Tuchel, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are just a level above him at the moment and for him to beat them over the season is not impossible, but I wouldn’t put any money on it!”
Robert Huth Exclusive: Jurgen Klopp is one of the best Premier League managers ever
“Jurgen Klopp is one of the best Premier League managers ever. His record in terms of Premier League titles doesn’t stand up to Jose Mourinho’s or Pep Guardiola’s or Sir Alex Ferguson’s, but he’s made the Premier League a lot better. Pep has said that he’s upped his game so much because of Klopp’s team. That season two years ago when City won it by one point, the level of both teams was insane.”
Robert Huth Exclusive: I’m not worried about Timo Werner’s lack of goals
“The arrival of Romelu Lukaku might suit Timo Werner. He scored for Germany a couple of days ago and he’s always scored for Chelsea. I like him and he gets a bit of a hard time. It’s always difficult when a striker misses chances, but I always look at if he works hard for the team and if he’s getting the chances which he does. He’s missed a few, there’s no debating that but at least he’s getting there. When someone has those attributes, he’ll hit a purple patch where he bangs in 15 or 20 a season.
“At the moment, his confidence is picking up and when he does miss a chance it’s not a problem, he just looks for the next one. Hopefully his time with Germany will have helped give him the confidence too.
“He has the beating of most defenders, it’s not like he’s intimidated or that the defenders are getting the better of him. It’s simply the lack of scoring. I would be more worried if he’s not getting the chances and I’m sure he’ll hit a purple patch and all of those missed chances will be forgotten.
Robert Huth Exclusive: Leicester have strengthened their squad and can compete on all fronts
“Leicester City had bolstered their team this year as over the last two years we’ve seen that as they got towards the end of the season, the squad wasn’t quite big enough. The arrivals of Jannik Vestergaard and Ademola Lookman suggest they are planning to go deep in all competitions. FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League. As for whether they can get there or not, it’s difficult to say.
“Their Europa League group is very tough, with Napoli and Legia Warsaw in there. There’s no easy games. Along with a few injuries already this season. It’s tough to say but I don’t think their overall aim will be to win the Europa League.
“Napoli are a Champions League team usually and this is still a transition season for Leicester. They tasted European football last season and it’s not like the other teams are bad, there’s some good teams in there.
“People dismiss it but especially for first or second timers in the Europa League, it’s like a honey pot. They get to travel around Europe, and this is by no means a second-rate competition.”
Robert Huth Exclusive: Brendan Rodgers has everything the top clubs want in a manager
“Every manager is looking up and wants to improve teams and make them better. Brendan Rodgers had success with Leicester winning the FA Cup and if a so-called bigger club was looking at him, he has all the right credentials.
“His signings are good, he improves players, he improves the set–up and the way the team plays, he brings young players through, he speaks well and represents himself well: everything that’s attractive for big football clubs.
“And he’s had success in the past. He won the league with Celtic multiple times, and now the FA Cup and Charity Shield with Leicester so he’s building his credentials up. He was at a big club in Liverpool, but I want him to stay at Leicester because he’s doing a good job with progressing the club.”
Robert Huth Exclusive: Brendan Rodgers is outstanding and trusts his players
“I had Brendan Rodgers when I was at Chelsea when he was the U18s coach. Training was always outstanding. That was 18 years ago though but having spoken to a few of the Leicester lads, they can’t praise him enough. The preparation, the training and how he deals with players, is always impeccable. He’s not a micro-manager, he leaves the players to make their own decisions and trusts them to make the right ones and we can see it’s paying off.”
Robert Huth Exclusive: Defenders nowadays don’t have to defend as much as I had to!
“The game has changed hugely from when I was playing. When I started, it was just balls in the box, you head it and kick it out. The game has evolved for sure. Watching now, the ‘keeper plays in the 6-yard box!
“The role has changed for sure. There’s a lot less defending, in terms of the physical defending, like running channels. Back in the day, they’d lump it forward and you’d have a physical 1-on-1 battle with the striker. Now you have false 9’s, false wingers and so many floating players that are difficult to pick up.
“For sure, the game has changed. Certainly, before his injury, Virgil Van Dijk looked to have all the ingredients to be a top-class defender.”