There have been no Premier League matches this week due to the international break and attention in Europe has turned to the latest set of qualifiers for next year’s Euro 2020 qualifiers. Despite this, I’m still here with the weekly Wally of the Week column as I look back on some of the lowlights from last week.
It’s not been the greatest start for Steve Clarke as manager of his home country, he started with a win against Cyrpus thanks to a late Oliver Burke goal but the Tartan Army have now lost three on the spin for the first time since March 2013.
In the past week, Scotland have lost twice at Hampden Park and conceded six goals in the process, going down 2-1 to Russia and 4-0 to Belgium with Romelu Lukaku even managing to find his way onto the scoresheet on Monday night.
Scotland now sit nine points behind second-placed Russia in Group I and it would appear that their only chance of qualification for this summer’s tournament is via the Nations League, for which they have reached the semi-final stage after Christmas.
- Roy Keane
Former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland player Roy Keane has certainly been no stranger to controversy during his player, manager and punditry careers and the Irishman is showing no signs of letting up.
Keane’s latest feud is with former Republic of Ireland striker, Jon Walters, who he has criticised for discussing family and personal matters he has gone through in his life on recent media appearances. In a short space of time Walters’ brother passed away, his wife suffered a miscarriage and his daughter was diagnosed with scoliosis and Walters has also opened up about the passing of his mother when he was just 11.
In a time where mental health is a growing concern in football and society in general, Walters should perhaps be commended for being so open about these matters but Keane clearly felt differently in an interview with Gary Neville last week, when he commented, ‘Listen, I know all about Jon Walters. I know all about him. Bluffer. Talks a good game, and does the circuit, says how harshly he was treated by me, he’s crying on the TV about his family situation, as if he’s the only one…do me a favour.’
Keane also had a pop at the lack of trophies Walters won in his career and the fact that he ‘does a lot of talking’ (pot kettle black Roy!!!). As great a player as he was perhaps Keane should practice what he preaches and lay low for a while.
- Danny Drinkwater
Two years ago Danny Drinkwater was hot property with then-Premier League champions, Chelsea paying £35 million for the midfielder’s services, Drinkwater himself had played a big part in Leicester’s Premier League-winning campaign. Since then, his career has spiralled downhill and last season he didn’t kick a ball in the Premier League with his only appearance under Maurizio Sarri coming in the Community Shield against Manchester United.
In the summer Drinkwater was handed a lifeline by fellow Premier League side Burnley, who he joined on loan until January and so far has made one appearance in the League Cup but it now appears the player’s time with Sean Dyche’s side could be over before it begins.
Last week the three-time capped England international was caught up in an incident outside a nightclub where he was attacked by a gang and beaten with a blunt object after allegedly chatting up another player’s girlfriend. While Chelsea have indicated that they will not take any further action against the player he was summoned to Dyche’s office for talks about the situation and will be missing from action for a while now due to the injuries sustained in the incident.
Not the best way to revive your career Danny!!!