Oh, the decisions an international break brings you. No, not whether you should throw in all the kids to the UEFA Nations League match (if you are Gareth Southgate, not me). But whether you use up all the week’s likely content in one go in your Tuesday column rather than drip feed it to you, dear reader, over the course of the next few days.
You’ll be delighted to know, or possibly not, that I have opted for the former. So, strap yourself in as I round up the last 24 hours of Premier League hilarity in the name of giving you something to read over your coffee. Or tea. Or, hey, a glass of wine if you are reading this post-10:30.
Sometimes an international break can give you too much time to think and this is a major concern for Chelsea fans right now. Eden Hazard is away from his Chelsea family and spending time with Belgium and it has got him thinking. He is thinking about being a child back in the land of chocolate truffles. He is remembering the night before Christmas, the excitement he would feel about what presents he might get the following day. (I admit right now, I can’t remember whether Belgium does this on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day but hey, go with me). Hazard gets excited at the thought of the one football shirt he has dreamt of wearing all his life being wrapped up in lovely paper.
Was it a Chelsea one? Was it balls – they weren’t even formed when Hazard was five years old (pre-2003 in case you were wondering). It was, of course, a Real Madrid shirt Hazard dreamed of putting on and it seems like not a lot has changed.
To his credit, Hazard is coming across as very genuine in the interview where he talks about not wanting to leave Chelsea for the sake of leaving but how, at nearly 29, he is thinking that if Real Madrid came knocking he might like to try it out and fulfil that dream. And who can blame him? Especially if he doesn’t act like an idiot ala Courtois.
Virgil van Dijk looked at how Manchester City lined up against Liverpool on Sunday and took that as a massive sign of respect. With City appearing more cautious then if they were playing someone lesser, like United, for example, that told VVD that Liverpool are contenders. Mind you, Virgil, that foul to give City the chance to win the game wasn’t that bright, was it?
Gabby Jesus is still chewing on the fact that Pep didn’t let him take that penalty. He did the usual modern day football media routine of making his point that he was not happy, without actually saying he was unhappy, before saying something that suggests he is still very much a team player without acting like being a team player.
Life just keeps getting better for Arsenal, right? Nine wins in a row, something only Herbert Chapman, Arsene Wenger and George Graham have achieved as Arsenal managers and now a brand spanking new deal with Adidas that will give them a lot of money. £300m is the figure being touted starting from next season and the Gunners last worse Adidas back in 1994. Well, there you go. Puma, the ones being replaced, don’t appear to be that fussed though as they are expected to announce the fact they are Man City’s new suppliers in the not too distant.
Down the road at Tottenham (or, currently, get on the tube and head to Wembley) they have announced that their new stadium has a revolutionary new lighting structure that is going to change the way pitch maintenance happens forever and ever. That’s great lads, that really is. When is it going to be ready? Oh.
Jordan Pickford was up in front of the press yesterday whilst on England duty ‘taking the positives from the World Cup’ whilst appearing to conveniently forget he has been a bit rubbish since returning to Everton.
Shall we do some transfer news too? Oh, go on then.
Ever Banega, currently lauding it top of La Liga with Sevilla, is still believed to be heading to the Emirates next season, especially given that Unai Emery is booting Aaron Ramsey out of the Arsenal exit. They might also bring in a player from MLS which, frankly, is completely the wrong way round. Atlanta’s Miguel Almiron is the boy in question.
Tottenham are believed to be planning next summer’s transfer business nice and early, mainly so they don’t forget this time. PSV’s Mexican winger Hirving Lozano could well be playing his football in an unannounced venue this time next year.