Before we really get going today, I noticed when reading the business pages of “Inflatable Snakes News” that business was booming in Hertfordshire this December. At first, I thought that what was somewhat random until I remembered that Watford were travelling to Everton last night and it would be their first reunion with their former manager, Marco Silva.
For those who had forgotten, Silva made a great start at Watford and caught the eye of his now bosses almost immediately. Watford didn’t let him go, Silva pretty much sulked his way to the sack and Everton had to endure eight months of Sam Allardyce before Marco Silva took up his seat in the dugout.
Watford fans haven’t, and probably never will, forgive the Portuguese manager and whoever came up with the idea of taking inflatable snakes to Goodison is a genius.
The Hornets arrived with humour and left with a point which was almost all three. Richarlison, of course, scored against his former club but then Watford found themselves clinging on to all three points until Lucas Digne scored a free kick so late into injury time it was nearly Tuesday Morning Football.
As the Premier League closes for the next few days, the Champions League opens for business and that means Jurgen Klopp talking up Liverpool’s hopes of remaining in the competition. Firstly, Kloppo was never worried about Mo Salah’s ‘form‘ and was more interested in reminding the Anfield punters of their responsibilities once Napoli arrive. Jurgey lad wants another one of those ‘special Anfield nights’ which basically means they are a bit desperate and need all the help they can get at home because they have failed to win away.
Klopp also applauded Raheem Sterling‘s response to the alleged racist abuse over the weekend calling him ‘brilliant’.
Mauricio Pochettino knows the pressure is on for Tottenham to actually win something so correctly chose to claim ‘Arry’s jungle trophy as one for the club. To be fair, the Poch has won as much for Spurs as Redknapp. Tottenham have to beat Barcelona to stay in the competition and even without Luis Suarez, the Poch knows the odds are against his side.
David Luiz could be leaving Chelsea at the end of his contract because he is over 30 and not because he is absolutely shocking a bit too frequently for Sarri to feel confident with him at the back. Luiz wants more than the one-year that could be put on the table but Chelsea are unlikely to change their policy to suit a player who they would happily see off their books.
Romelu Lukaku is regretting bulking up so much he looks like he’d be a dead cert to win any of the boxing heavyweight titles on offer. Lukaku felt he needed to be a bit bigger to do well in the World Cup so worked hard to add muscle. Now he needs to lose it again, which means staying away from those weights. At least he is fitting in with the majority of his fanbase, avoiding working out yet believing they’ll be able to lose weight.
Manchester City have tied Phil Foden down to a new long-term deal which might even include an extra-padded seat for him on matchdays. Foden will be with City for the next five-and-a-half years by which time you’d fully expect him to have started at least ten Premier League matches.
Barcelona are thought to be in two minds over the next striker they want to spend big on. On one hand, they like Harry Kane. On the other, Everton’s Richarlison has once again shown he is an excellent player between August and early December. One is a traditional 9, the other is completely makeshift yet useful. And they say Barcelona are lacking a clear strategy nowadays?
It’s nearly January which means it is time to start linking Manchester United to any half-decent central defender playing professional football in a top flight near you. Jose Mourinho just won’t let go of the idea of Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld heading north where the club might actually be persuaded to spend a large portion of cash on Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly.
Over the road, City are looking at West Ham’s Reece Oxford who was once included in that bracket of fine young English players that might change the world. Oxford has admirers in Germany still and Hoffenheim would like to claim him as theirs.
Victor Moses will look back on Chelsea’s title win two seasons ago as the pinnacle of his career, especially given that he is about to be sold to either Palace or Fulham for £12m.