Wally of the Week is back and to celebrate the festive period we have a doubleheader for you! Today the focus is on the games from the week just past and I’ll be back again later in the week to look back on all the silliness of the Boxing Day fixtures.
Some of Jose Mourinho’s players are clearly feeling Christmassy as they practically gift-wrapped three points for their West London rivals, Chelsea, on the weekend before Christmas, so we start our look back on the most facepalm incidents of the week with their stand-in keeper.
1. Paulo Gazzaniga
I can’t imagine that there were too many people asking why the Spurs keeper has managed less then 50 appearances in the Premiership since signing for Southampton in 2012, but if there are, they got their answer on Sunday. What was going through the Argentinian’s mind when he raced out of goal and clattered Mikel Alonso to concede a penalty is anyone’s guess but it all but ended the game for Mourinho’s side. Spurs fans will no doubt be counting the days until regular ‘keeper, Hugh Lloris returns from injury.
2. Son Heung-min
Gazzaniga wasn’t the only Spurs player getting into the Christmas spirit yesterday as after the keeper gifted Chelsea their first goal, his teammate Son ended whatever slim hopes his side may have had of getting back into the game. If the South Korean’s red card earlier in the season against Everton was viewed as harsh, this one crossed the boundaries of stupidity as he kicked out at Chelsea defender Antonia Rudiger under the watchful eye of VAR. Bizarrely, Spurs have decided to appeal the decision which seems like a waste of the paper such an argument would be written on.
3. David de Gea
Do you remember when David de Gea signed for Manchester United back on 2011? He was a wimpish 21-year-old who at times looked incapable of catching a cold. Since then de Gea has grown into one of the best, probably even the best, keepers in the world and for all of United’s troubles in recent seasons, he has continued to be a consistent performer.
Unfortunately this week, the de Gea from 2011 raised his head again as when faced with catching Ismaïla Sarr’s weak effort on goal or even pushing it over the bar the United stopper ended up doing neither and watched on in horror as the ball slipped through his hands to put Watford 1-0 up, and the league’s bottom side went on to win 2-0.
4. Dave Jones/Sky Sports
Sky Sports presenter Dave Jones was left red-faced at the weekend when he was accused of shutting down a discussion on racism following incidents that occurred at the Spurs v Chelsea game on Sunday and has been forced to issue an apology on his own Twitter page.
Pundit and former player Gary Neville was discussing recent unfortunate racist events in football and his comments included suggesting more should be done by the Premier League (true), the British Government should be held to a higher standard following allegations of racism in the leading political parties (true), the English FA and footballing authorities being quick to point the finger at other nations such as Bulgaria (true), and players being allowed to walk off the pitch in the event of racism occurring.
Jones was quick to interject and say that Neville’s views were his own opinions and not those of Sky Sports and then seemed rather lost for words when Neville asked him if he did not agree with his points.
In fairness to Jones, I have no doubt he was advised by someone off-camera and/or in his earpiece to make this disclaimer and it was likely directed more at Neville’s comments on the Government than racism as a whole, but the way he worded it made it seem as if racism is up for debate, which simply should not be the case.
There are many more incidents, players and coaches who I am sure could have been included in this article so feel free to contact us on Twitter with your own suggestions (@SackedITM).