Black and White

Another week of Premier League action has been and gone so I’m here to break down the main talking points. From Man Utd’s latest disaster to more European leagues getting underway, we’ve got it all covered.

No way Jose

Man Utd’s meek surrender at Brighton on Sunday certainly caused some debate, mostly over Jose Mourinho’s future. The gist of the problem is that Mourinho wanted centre-backs this summer and didn’t get them. As if to underline Mourinho’s point, the performances of Bailly and Lindelof were diabolical. Mourinho is taking a lot of the flack for this, which we’ll come on to, but surely if the manager has identified an area they are weak and the board have failed to get the manager what he asked for, the manager can only take so much of the blame.

Now, of course, the counter-argument is that Mourinho has spent a fortune on players, including both Bailly and Lindelof, and he looks no closer to having a cohesive unit. The smart money is that Mourinho will leave in the next 12 months, as despite signing a contract agreement in January, he obviously isn’t being backed by the powers that be. It would be stupid to write Man Utd off after one defeat – after all, they lost at Brighton last season too – but the Paul Pogba issue continues to run on behind the scenes and if it came down to it, who would you rather have in the long term? Clue: It’s isn’t Jose.

Diving Debate

I still find it astonishing that there isn’t more punishment for diving in the Premier League. Even the SPL has it for goodness sake. Mo Salah went to ground very easily on Monday night and whilst you could probably make a case that there was contact, it got me thinking. Surely the threat of a longer ban would deter any sort of cheating? I guess the authorities would argue there is too much of a grey area, but given they decided Kenedy’s kick out on Saturday wasn’t worthy of retrospective action, maybe it’s for the best that they don’t have more decisions to make.

City Slickers

Man City are looking pretty tasty, but crikey Huddersfield didn’t help themselves. I find Ben Hamer’s sudden promotion to number one most odd, given he has been a sub ‘keeper at Leicester for a few years and Jonas Lossl performed pretty well last season. I appreciate he’s been at the World Cup but he didn’t play a minute and everybody else seems to be back without issue. Anyway, the Man City documentary on Amazon Prime has garnered some reaction, obviously negative from Jose, but I find it fascinating. It’s a side of football I have never seen and regardless of how much of it is put up for the cameras, it couldn’t have been better timed as City enjoyed a record-breaking season. I’d like to see more of this sort of thing going forwards, although I suppose the other side of the coin is that Sunderland also signed up to this and they had a rather different season.

La Liga and Serie A Underway

It really saddens me that La Liga & Serie A are no longer on BT or Sky. I know no company has a divine right to all the football rights but the only people being hurt are the consumer. I already pay a small fortune each month for Sky and BT just to watch football (and some other sports every now and again) but my internet connection isn’t the best so why would I pay for a stream only service? I can’t say I watch every La Liga or Serie A game but it was always nice to have the option. I notice neither Sky or BT have lowered their fees despite losing rights, so it’s not as if you are even paying per league. In an ideal world, some sort of regulator would step in, each league would have its own channel and you’d pay for what you want. Never going to happen. But anything has got to be better than the current situation, it’s a far cry from the days of Serie A on Channel 4. But hey, at least we still have the French league to watch.

That’s it from me this week but I’ll be back later in the week with your fantasy football rundown. Toodles for now.