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Summary

  1. Conte remains as Chelsea manager
  2. Premier League considers winter break
  3. Leeds appoint Heckingbottom as head coach
  4. GET INVOLVED: #bbcfootball

Live Reporting

By Shamoon Hafez

All times stated are UK

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Goodbye

That's it for today.

Join me on Wednesday to see if Antonio Conte is still in a job.

Until then.

Who will be Neville's Englishwomen abroad?

Tom Garry

BBC Sport

Phil Neville (left)
Getty Images / FC Bayern / FFC Frankfurt

New England boss Phil Neville has already attended Women's Super League games at Widnes and Wycombe, but Munich and Melbourne may soon need adding to his list of scouting destinations.

That's because there are now at least 17 senior players who are eligible for the women's national team playing abroad.

In this piece BBC Sport speaks to three players who are at some of Europe's biggest clubs to find out why more and more budding Lionesses are opting to move overseas.

'Time to fight back'

Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta
Getty Images

Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta says the players are "disappointed" with recent results, but will "work hard" to turn it around.

"We are Chelsea, a big club and when we lose one game it’s a bad time for us," said Azpilicueta.

"Obviously to lose two in a row is even worse but I’m sure this team will fight back. We have three targets to go for and we have a massive three or four months ahead of us."

More backing for Conte

Chelsea captain Gary Cahill
EPA

Chelsea captain Gary Cahill has backed manager Antonio Conte and says the players need to "look in the mirror" following their 4-1 loss at Watford.

After the Blues' second straight three-goal defeat, Conte said "the club have to take another decision" if they think he is not doing a good enough job.

The defending champions are now fourth in the Premier League, 19 points behind leaders Manchester City.

"Whatever is decided, the players have to take responsibility," Cahill said.

"The manager has done an absolutely unbelievable job."

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Andy Capontes‏: So basically from that statement it means Conte will get sacked if they lose to Barca. So still in a job until mid March then.

Conte remains as Chelsea boss

Simon Stone

BBC Sport

Antonio Conte will not be sacked as Chelsea manager in the wake of Monday night’s 4-1 defeat at Watford.

Although the Blues are understandably disappointed at a run of just two wins in 10 games during 2018 so far, and in particular suffering successive three goal defeats in the Premier League for the first time since 1995, it will not cost Conte his job.

It is understood his position has not been discussed in the wake of last night’s defeat, since when Conte has given his players three days off.

Sources at Stamford Bridge are pointing to the fact Chelsea remain in the top four, and are still in the Champions League and FA Cup as reasons not to make a change at the present time.

Chelsea entertain West Brom in the Premier League next Monday and Championship side Hull City in the FA Cup fifth round on 16 February before a run of games that includes two European ties against Barcelona, a trip to Manchester United and a visit to league leaders Manchester City.

Right, hold on to your hats.

We have an update on the situation of Chelsea manager Antonio Conte...

Is De Gea Premier League's number one?

David de Gea
Getty Images

One Premier League goalkeeper reached a memorable landmark, while a striker hit a century of his own.

It is too close to call at the bottom of the table, so is this the tightest top-flight relegation scrap of all time?

There is a Welshman among the goals, a South Korean teeing them up and a Czech who just cannot keep them out.

BBC Sport delves into the best stats of the Premier League weekend.

Head here to read the piece

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Why limit winter breaks to footballers, should we not all receive one? I suggest southern Italy.... five weeks

Brisco

Yesss Brisco. I am with you on his one.

Euro Leagues podcast

BBC Radio 5 live

We look at how January signings have settled into their new clubs across the continent. Also on the pod, as Neymar celebrates his Birthday, are Real Madrid losing their aura just ahead of their Champions League clash with PSG?

Hit the play button below.

Chelsea players given extra time off

Simon Stone

BBC Sport

Antonio Conte is still making decisions at Chelsea despite the speculation surrounding his future.

The Blues boss has given his players three days off after their 4-1 defeat at Watford.

It might seem a strange reaction after such a damaging defeat but this is the first time Chelsea have not played a weekend and midweek match since the middle of November.

Chelsea play West Brom at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

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RS: No to the winter break. Watching all the matches on Boxing Day is a holiday tradition.

Moss gets a game

Richard Conway

BBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent

Following his controversial performance at Anfield on Sunday in the draw between Liverpool and Tottenham, Jon Moss is confirmed to officiate at Everton v Crystal Palace on Saturday (kick-off 15:00 GMT).

My last trip to Old Trafford - Gregg

Harry Gregg says the memorial service marking the 60th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster will likely be his final time at Old Trafford.

Munich air disaster remembered

Munich air disaster
Getty Images

Tuesday marks 60 years since the Munich air disaster, which claimed the lives of 23 people including eight Manchester United players after a refuelling stop on the way back from a European Cup tie in Belgrade.

Ken Ramsden was a 12-year-old United fan at the time.

His mother Irene and aunt Joan worked in the laundry room at Old Trafford. Ramsden went on to have a 50-year career at United as programme editor, press officer and club secretary, before he retired in 2010.

But his memories of that time remain vivid and provide a fascinating and very personal insight into the weeks surrounding the crash - and how the club started to rebuild in the aftermath.

Read the full piece

Listen to the podcast

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I think we should have a winter break but after the Christmas period as everyone in the world watches English football over Christmas & we have our worst weather into the new year so helps out the smaller clubs with postponements etc.. maybe after the first set of FA Cup third round games

Leon

West Ham - No decision on Moyes

Frank Keogh

BBC Sport

West Ham have denied newspaper claims that manager David Moyes is unlikely to stay beyond the end of the season,

A spokesman said: "The club would like to place on record that it categorically refutes the claims made by the Daily Telegraph regarding manager David Moyes.

"There is absolutely no truth whatsoever to this story. As previously stated on a number of occasions, the club and David Moyes agreed a deal until the end of the 2017-18 season, at which point both parties will sit down and discuss the future.

"Until then, the board and David Moyes will continue to work closely together with the manager having full responsibility of footballing matters and the full support of the board. Everyone’s sole focus is on trying to achieve results for West Ham United."

David Moyes
Gett

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Why not scrap the League Cup for Prem teams? Let the EFL battle for the trophy and a place in a Europa League qualifier. Would incentivise the competition and make it worth watching.

Neil

Van Dijk not concerned about Saints return

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk
Getty Images

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk says he is not concerned about the prospect of a hot reception when he returns to Southampton on Sunday.

The Dutch centre-back returns to St Mary’s just six weeks after completing a record-breaking £75million switch to Anfield.

“What can you do? Maybe they can boo the whole game,” Van Dijk said in the Liverpool Echo.

“What can you do about it? You can’t do anything about it.

“I made the decision, I have enjoyed every bit of it and I am very grateful for everything that they (Southampton) did for me. I have moved on, they have moved on."

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Winter break wouldn't be great for us fans but would probably do wonders for the players. This mid-season break could help avoid injuries for the players, postponed games and travel problems due to especially bad weather. It could also potentially save a teams season (Arsenal). Perhaps, TV could do a deal to air PL2 or other youth league and cup matches while the senior players rest up.

Hamza

Football Daily

BBC Radio 5 live

Former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton and Andy Brassell join Kelly Cates and Ian Wright for the Monday Night Club to try and unpick the multitude of Liverpool v Spurs controversies, ask if Arsenal are a better side with Aubameyang rather than Sanchez, and discuss Jose Mourinho’s criticism of the atmosphere generated by United’s fans at Old Trafford.

Hit the play button below.

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Ewan: Steve (10:54) may want to recheck the table, as Klopp is not behind Conte.

BreakingLeeds appoint Heckingbottom

Leeds have confirmed the appointment of Paul Heckingbottom as the club's new head coach.

Heckingbottom arrives at Elland Road from fellow Championship outfit Barnsley, having been in charge at Oakwell since February 2016.

The 40-year-old has signed a contract running until the summer of 2019 and succeeds Thomas Christiansen who left the Leeds United on Sunday.

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Winter break, good or bad idea?

Let me know your thoughts on Twitter using #bbcfootball or text in on 81111 (UK only). Names on texts please.

Mixed reaction on winter break

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Getty Images

If the Premier League season does incorporate a winter break, it would be welcomed by some top-flight managers.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said in January that the festive schedule was "killing" the players. Earlier in the season, his Manchester United counterpart. Jose Mourinho said the lack of a break was hampering English clubs' hopes in the Champions League.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger once said he would "cry" if a winter break was introduced, though his side played six games in 19 days during the latest festive schedule.

One of the arguments for a break is that it would benefit the national side, but England boss Gareth Southgate questioned whether it would improve his side's chance of winning a trophy.

Premier League consider winter break

Mohamed Salah
Getty Images

Meanwhile, the Premier League is considering introducing a winter break when the next television rights deal is agreed.

The top leagues in Germany, France, Italy and Spain all take time out in mid-season.

The Football Association has previously said a winter break is not feasible until the end of the current television deal in 2019.

Talks have been ongoing for several months, and are understood to have been constructive.

A January break has been under discussion which, if agreed, would not impact on the traditional festive football schedule.

You can have your vote at the top of this page.

Away from Antonio Conte...

Get Involved - Your worst cameos

#bbcfootball, 81111 (UK only)

Made one appearance for the school cricket team. Dropped 2 catches in one over and my batting was even worse as I was run out without facing a ball.

Dylan

Di Biagio in at Italy...for now

Luigi di Biagio
Getty Images

To add to the intrigue...

Italy's Under-21 coach Luigi di Biagio will be in temporary charge of the senior side for next month's friendlies against England and Argentina.

Gian Piero Ventura was sacked in November after failing to guide Italy to this summer's World Cup.

The Italian football federation (FIGC) is still searching for a full-time replacement.

I wonder who that could be.

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Steve: I can't believe you have a dedicated page for this? Do Pochettino (0 trophies) and Klopp (0 trophies), who are both behind Conte in the league have a page too?

Are Pochettino and Klopp clinging to their jobs by their fingernails?

Chelsea players given time off

Willian
Reuters

What do we make of this?

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has given his players three days off following the defeat by Watford on Monday, report the Evening Standard.

The Italian had originally pencilled in Tuesday to be their only break before resuming training on Wednesday.

However, after seeing his side capitulate in the final 10 minutes against the Hornets, where they conceded three goals after Eden Hazard equalised, he has had a change of heart and granted his squad another 48 hours leave.

Hanging by a thread

Simon Stone

BBC Sport

On Monday afternoon, I was told very forcibly that stories Antonio Conte would lose his job if Chelsea lost at Watford last night were nonsense.

It was pointed out Chelsea were still in the top four, remained in the Champions League and were in the last-16 of the FA Cup.

Yet such is the knee-jerk nature of decisions owner Roman Abramovich is capable of making that it cannot be ruled out what was certain 24 hours ago is now hanging by the slenderest of threads.

Luis Felipe Scolari, Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas, Jose Mourinho. Abramovich has never been scared to take decisive action.

The one thing we can be sure of is the Chelsea owner will not be putting himself forward to explain his thinking.

Get Involved - Your worst cameos

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I once played in goal on a Sunday morning after our keeper didn't turn up. I was sent off for deliberate handball after 15 minutes, and we went on to lose 8-0! Safe to say I've never been asked to go in goal since!

Will

Chelsea shellshocked

John Southall

BBC Radio 5 live football reporter at Stamford Bridge

Antonio Conte
Getty Images

Just over eight months after winning the Premier League title is this the end of the road for Antonio Conte? I said after the defeat against Bournemouth that the atmosphere and performance resembled the final days of Jose Mourinho's reign and the way the side capitulated last night re-emphasised that.

It was the manner of the defeat that was so alarming it was a woefully sub standard performance from start to finish, as it was against Bournemouth and it leaves Conte on the brink. Gary Cahill said after the game that the players need to take a good look in mirror and he, like his manager, looked shell shocked in the post match interview.

The facts are Chelsea have won three of their last 10 games in all competitions, including a penalty shoot out victory against Norwich and have lost the last two games against Bournemouth and Watford, conceding seven goals in the process. Conte has not held back in his comments over the last few weeks and that will not be lost on the Chelsea hierarchy.

The club are not shy in making changes when the situation begins to deteriorate and Conte, as his comments last night proved, is well aware of that. He will now prepare for West Brom on Monday night but whether the very likeable manager will be in charge for that game is now looking increasing doubtful.

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Tom Wallin‏: Once came on for my school team after we'd conceded a goal. From kick off, I went to run up the wing, stepped in a rabbit hole, twisted my ankle, came straight back off. Was on the pitch for about 2 seconds of play.

Stat attack

Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola
Getty Images

Opta tell us at 70.3%, Antonio Conte has the joint-best win rate of any manager in Premier League history (minimum five games), level with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

Get Involved - Your worst cameos

#bbcfootball, 81111 (UK only)

Once started as sub for a 5-a-side game. We went 3-0 up quite quickly, and I thought this was my chance to massage my goalscoring stats for the season. I'm brought on, running around like a headless chicken for about 45 seconds before attempting to chase down a ball and snapping my cruciate ligament. Two years before my next game...

Isaac

Luis In-rique?

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Get him in.

Enrique a 'step away'

Luis Enrique
Getty Images

Chelsea are set to dismiss boss Antonio Conte and replace him with former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique on Tuesday, say reports in Spain.

Enrique, who has also previously managed both Celta Vigo and Roma, is said to be the London club’s desired managerial replacement with the position becoming vacant imminently.

Get Involved - Your worst cameos

#bbcfootball, 81111 (UK only)

In first rugby league game back from an ACL injury I took the kickoff and ruptured it again. My comeback lasted two seconds.

Keith