Dear reader, what a month we are in for, right? We are just five days into March and the Premier League title race has become more interesting, we have more European Champions League football than we can shake a stick at and managers are losing their jobs left, right and centre.
There’s bound to be more, there always is.
Liverpool are soon to welcome the Ox back into the fold. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has spent a year recovering from a nasty knee injury and is now oh-so-close to being available for first-team action. The question is, can he force himself further up the food chain than Adam Lallana or James Milner? The other question is, does this mean Shaqiri falls further out of favour when it comes to unpicking a stubborn lock like Everton’s on Sunday? The biggest question has to be, surely, will the Ox be able to cope in the wind?
Sometimes a player returning from injury is good news and strengthens the team. Bizarrely, sometimes a player getting injured is good news and strengthens the team. And this is how everyone must be feeling at Old Trafford this morning given that Alexis Sanchez is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Manchester United to qualify for the Champions League? I’d say their chances have just improved.
What I love about that story is that the news came from Chile’s national team physio, not United’s.
The Poch is worried, very worried. Yes, yes Borussia Dortmund are in a bad moment, throwing away a lead at the top of their league as if they are a team from Merseyside. Yes, yes Tottenham have a three-goal lead. But Dortmund have had an extra 24 hours to prepare for their second leg and Pochettino is furious with the FA and the Premier League for allowing this to happen.
The current-but-probably-for-not-much-longer Spurs boss feels that the authorities should be doing more to help English clubs do well in Europe. Hang on there, Poch. Let me just check. Does English success in Europe line the pockets of the FA or Premier League in any direct way? No? I think you might be blowing the wrong trumpet there my friend. Save your energy for a battle you might have a chance of winning.
Manuel Pellegrini has had a quick look at the highlights of Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson and concluded, with reason, that Declan Rice is the best defensive midfielder available to England right now.
If Luis Suarez suggests you go and buy a striker you would do well to listen even if the striker is with a team struggling in La Liga and the last striker to come from the same club returned to Spain a laughing stock. Celta Vigo’s Maxi Gomez is being talked about in the canteens of Tottenham, Liverpool and West Ham and they can have him for a mere £35m.
Liverpool also want RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner so that they can have a viable option off the bench when Mohamed Salah is having one of those days. Leipzig are expecting Bayern Munich to make a bid at some point, saying ‘nobody from Bayern has contacted us, yet’ whilst tapping their watches and thumbing a photo of Jurgen Klopp.
Isco has had enough of life at Real Madrid and could also be on his way to the Premier League in the summer with Liverpool (yawn) and United keen on him. If he really wants out then he’d do well to ask his agent to tell all Real Madrid fans to kiss his feet or something.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remembers the day when two slightly unknown players from the same country rocked up at United and changed the course of their history. Hell, one of them even went on to become interim manager. So, looking to repeat said history, he is after Benfica’s Portuguese duo of defender Ruben Dias and attacking midfielder Joao Felix. £155m needs to change hands.
United can offset some of that spend by finally ridding themselves of Matteo Darmian whom Inter are still keen on. Apparently, the Serie A side think he might be better than Southampton loanee Cedric Soares, just.