You see, I did say yesterday that suggesting Manchester City have ‘the best players in the world’ was not a good move by stand-in Pep, Mikel Arteta.
The bookies had made City favourites for this season’s Champions League, weirdly given that they’ve never got to a final, and they hardly backed up that claim with their opening night performance at the Etihad against Lyon.
Pep, hiding under a flat cap whilst banned from the sideline, will have been even angrier than post-Fulham at watching his side lose to a team that only finished third in France. Yes, France. I mean, that league is rubbish apparently and if PSG are the best team in France, given their show at Anfield earlier this week the rest must be borderline amateurs.
If we were to do some of those cool ‘Three Things we learned From the Etihad’ type things right now we’d probably suggest the following;
#1 Fabian Delph is still not a left-back
#2 Arsenal might have dodged a bullet not choosing Arteta
#3 Liverpool fans are right to still be looking at Fekir and wondering what-if
City will probably get out of the group but they can bet their bottom dollar Pep is getting them in for training today.
That other team from Manchester looked border-line clinical in their trip to Switzerland to play on a bit of astroturf. Paul Pogba decided he’d put in his monthly performance and led United to a comfortable 3-0 against Young Boys. Even Anthony Martial got on the scoresheet and Jose was actually happy at the end of a game of football for once. Not pretending to be happy, actually happy.
Virgil van Dijk has made it clear that Liverpool ‘want to win it all’ this season which will be a surprise to Liverpool fans as they’ve been under the impression they’ve already won it all. Top of the Premier League and beating PSG in Europe? They may as well hand the trophies over now, no?
Eden Hazard has talked himself out of a trip to Greece today, claiming ‘tiredness’. I can empathise with Eden, he carried Belgium to a World Cup Semi-Final in the summer and he’s been pretty much a one-man show for Chelsea since getting back in the starting XI having been, er hang on, rested for the first few games. Sod it, Eden – take the rest of the year off and we will see you in January.
Hands up if you have heard of Brazil’s Lucas Paqueta? Jose Mourinho claims to have done. Or, more realistically, an agent is pushing Flamengo’s young star towards Old Trafford, though there could well be competition from the likes of Barcelona and Liverpool. But really, why a Brazilian would want to go and play for two clubs that play open, attacking football when he could become fully versed in the art of tracking back is beyond me.
Yesterday we let you know that Ivan Gazidis is off to AC Milan to be their new CEO and it looks like he’s going to spend the last month of his time at Arsenal trying to persuade Aaron Ramsey to come and join him in January. Arsenal might want to look up the term ‘gardening leave’.