Plenty to talk about this week. Jose Mourinho is gone, Man Utd loan Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from Molde until the summer, and Christmas miracle happens at Selhurst Park.
Rest assured, any Manchester United supporters who haven’t a clue what style of football OGS intends to implement, I can guarantee there will be a strong emphasis on attack, although that will be to the detriment of the already hopeless four at the back protecting the goalkeeper. To give you an idea about how poorly his time at Cardiff really was, he:
- Joined Cardiff when they were not in the relegation zone
- Failed to get the best out of Wilfried Zaha
- Relegated Cardiff
- Signed 10 players – Five of these were first-team strikers yet he just picked the two he already had, playing new signing Adam Le Fondre on the wing in a 4-4-2
- Set us back years financially
- Despite having arguably the best squad in the Championship, he was sacked with Cardiff 17th in the Championship.
Basically, he couldn’t manage a fart.
David Morrisey’s first home match in charge of his new club could scarcely have been tougher than a match against the unbeaten Arsenal. But Southampton had Danny Ings, while Arsenal’s defensive crisis has seen them play Granit Xhaka in the back four recently. The on-loan Liverpool striker had the freedom of St. Mary’s to head home his side’s first two goals before Charlie Austin popped home the winner.
(Edit: I have just been informed that the Southampton manager is named Ralph Hassenhuttl, and actually just looks like the bloke who played the Governor on The Walking Dead).
The League Cup provided Spurs with the chance to exact revenge on their North London rivals and actually made light work of them this time. While Marc Albrighton may be the most underrated player in the Premier League, Dele Alli is probably the most overrated underrated player. He delivered on Wednesday night, though.
So to recap. When Arsenal destroyed Spurs in the league a few weeks ago, the players celebrated by doing a lap of honour and posting selfies. That win came at a time they were on a long unbeaten streak. Since then, not only have they lost their unbeaten run, but they are now five points behind Spurs and have just had the rivals knock them out of a cup competition.
And let’s face it, who could be bothered to check how Arsenal’s Europa League reserves fared in their unbeaten trips to places that sound like they belong in the Lord of the Rings?
This week, Gianfranco Zola confirmed his interest in signing Callum Wilson. Not exactly the world-class striker they need but if it boils down to forking out £40m for Wilson or keep plugging away with Morata, you could see the sense in it. Chelsea’s Europa League commitments meant their 2-1 at Brighton had to be played on Sunday. Dancing feet Eden Hazard scored and assisted at the ground where he always performs.
In the League Cup, Bournemouth kept Chelsea at bay for the majority of the game before Hazard scored the winner. It wasn’t exactly a goal Sarri’s Napoli were known for scoring, instead, it was a good old-fashioned scruff.
Crystal Palace did the impossible last weekend when they won a home league match game without Wilfred Zaha. The Eagles win came courtesy of a bobby-dazzler (never thought that I would be able to use that word) from Luka Milivojevic. Give Roy Hodgson the manager of the year award now.
This week, Fulham’s Alfie Mawson said he felt “embarrassed” for his side’s pathetic defensive displays so far. And he should be. In-form West Ham defeated their hosts 2-0 in comfortable fashion, and the second goal from Michail Antonio summed up Fulham’s season to a tee. When Antonio was afforded 20 yards of space, in Fulham’s own penalty area, you know that Claudio Ranieri has his work cut out here.
And in other news, former Arsenal attacker Andrei Arshavin became known in England for his four goals at Anfield in 2009. Nearly ten years later, and he has now become a prominent figure in the media once again after a picture was unearthed of him riding a horse outside a strip club with two women.
Have a great weekend and Christmas everyone.