Mock the Moment

Arsenal in ‘taking cheap option’ shock

Good morning – I am feeling quite smug right now although that feeling could be ripped out of my heart very quickly. Mikel Arteta (cheap) appears to have beaten Max Allegri (expensive) in the race to the Arsenal hot seat.

According to Sky Sports, who still haven’t got their heads around the fact it is ‘MLS’ and not ‘the MLS’ despite having the broadcasting rights, Patrick Vieira got a call from Arsenal in the last 24 hours but felt it was a “token gesture” and was left feeling “disappointed”. Well, Patrick. It is a big step to go from managing an MLS side to Arsenal, you know. Much better to give it to someone who hasn’t even taken an under 11s game yet.

Eden Hazard has made it very, very clear that “he wants players, good players” to join Chelsea before he even puts ink in his pen to sign a new deal. Real Madrid still want the Belgian who didn’t even mention the small matter of who his boss might be next season. Talk on the street (OK, OK, it was on Sky again) is that Chelsea will make a ‘sensational’ move for the Poch when they sack Antonio Conte moments after the final whistle at Wembley on Saturday. For once, ‘sensational’ might be the right word.

There is likely to be an exodus of those oh so few talented players at the relegated clubs. Stoke City are already making up ‘bon voyage’ banners for Shaqiri, Jack Butland and Joe Allen whilst Swansea City are reluctantly sitting by the fax machine waiting for bids to come in for Alfie Mawson and Lukas Fabianski. West Bromwich Albion are not expected to use Jay Rodriguez for any new kit release photos, either. West Ham, obviously, are interested in Mawson because they have such a great track record in signing central defenders in recent seasons. Butland is off to Liverpool, mark my words and Joe Allen will be playing Premier League football somewhere for sure. As for Shaqiri, who knows?

West Ham United are playing a chicken and egg game right now and nobody knows which comes first. Are they interviewing potential new managers because they want rid of David Moyes or because they think David Moyes might leave? Either way, it has been reported that talks with Paulo Fonseca ‘went well’ though he’d still prefer Everton. But that’s fine as West Ham would really prefer Rafa Benitez, Manuel Pellegrini or former PSG man Unai Emery. David Moyes seems quite far down this list, I have to say – but then that’s OK too as he really wants a top 8 side. Moyseh, seriously? Who the hell in the top 8 wants you? The only way you are going to have a top 8 job is to suddenly become a good manager again and lead West Ham to some kind of revival.

Everton will tell Big Sham where to go and stuff £6m in his pocket, tap it twice and tell him to take care by the end of the week. That’s not a bad gig for Sam, all things told, is it? Mind you, Everton could have given that very same £6m to Watford for Marco Silva in the first place and not pissed off their entire fanbase for 6 months. Either way, the Portuguese manager will end up costing the same.

Finally, today is the day that Gareth Southgate gets lots of cheers for not picking Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere and many, many more quizzical looks for including Jake Livermore in his World Cup squad. Go on Gareth!