On this day: New deal for Walcott, Southampton drama and worst Abramovich start

Walcott New Season

On the 18th January 2013 what were the stories that dominated the football landscape? Including Arsenal, Southampton and Chelsea.

I am casting my eye back to this exact day, the 18th January 2014, but a year earlier.

What were the main tales from that day? What big events were happening in Premier League football?

Here are some of the big scoops from the 18th January 2013…

Signed Da Ting  

Theo Walcott finally signed a new contract at Arsenal. The forward had rejected a new deal in August 2012 and with his current deal expiring it looked as though the England international could be on his way out of the club.

The likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, AC Milan, Southampton and even Spartak Moscow were all credited with an interest in the player but he signed on the dotted line of a new three-and-a-half year deal worth £100k-a-week before anybody else could snap him up on the cheap.

He stated:

"I have made it clear from the start that I wanted to stay at Arsenal so I am pleased we have agreed a deal that everyone is happy with. Thanks to everyone for their continued support, especially the manager, everyone at the club and most importantly the fans."

Trimming on Adkins

Southampton sacked Nigel Adkins - and replaced him immediately with Mauricio Pochettino. Chairman Nicola Cortese came under huge criticism for the decision as the Argentine’s spell with former club Espanyol had ended acrimoniously - and he didn’t speak a word of English.

A year later he has won over the fans - although still speaks in Spanish to the press - but with the recent departure of Cortese his future looks in doubt.

Raf-ing a bad start

Rafa Benitez had officially made the worst start as a Chelsea manager in the Roman Abramovich era. His win rate of 56% gave weight to the argument that the ‘interim one’ should be flogged - as he was never a popular choice anyway.

He did however go on to win the side the Uefa Europa League and secure Champions League qualification - so he didn’t do too badly after all.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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