Uh oh. Watch out football world. You know what the next five months are going to be about, don’t you?
Liverpool fans, players and the manager talking up their chances of winning the Premier League title.
It’s already started, of course. But it is just going to get worse and worse.
Here’s a novel idea. Win it then talk. Considering you haven’t won it for nearly 30 years, just play football and refuse to answer any questions about whether you can win the title.
Jurgen Klopp has said ‘you haven’t seen the best of us yet’ which is all well and good but considering they’ve had this six-point gap for the length of time it takes people to get round and see all their relatives at Christmas, it’s a bit early to be throwing that out there in my opinion. It suggests that Liverpool will go on and open up even more of a gap, which is brave considering they have Arsenal today and City on Thursday.
Klopp was actually referring to the fact that Liverpool haven’t been playing the same free-flowing, goals galore style that they did last season, but hey. Narratives and all that.
We’ve not had to see Peppy G step into the realm of mind game player since he has been in England and in yesterday’s presser, the Man City boss suggested that Liverpool ‘will start to feel the pressure’ now they are leading the pack. We shall call that a gentle left jab just to get going.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez to copy Paul Pogba and step up to the Manchester United plate. You just know that even if he did do it in a very stern voice the eyes will have been twinkling and the smile beaming in such a way that both Lukaku and Sanchez will have just wanted to get on the field and be brilliant for the guy because, as we are learning, all you need to be a good football manager is a big grin.
Maurizio Sarri has told the Chelsea board to sort out the future of Eden Hazard once and for all so he can start planning the future at Stamford Bridge. That’s a brave move on two counts by Sarri. Firstly, telling the Chelsea board what to do never goes well; just ask Jose or Antonio. Secondly, presuming you have a future at Chelsea? Madness. People win the title and lose their job there.
Unai Emery is now officially fully settled and integrated into life as an Arsenal manager. How so? He told the world yesterday how he had the chance to sign Mo Salah and opted against it. Granted, he was at PSG at the time but stories like that will really help the minority of Arsenal fans missing Arsene Wenger.
Liverpool’s Dominic Solanke is going out on loan in the January transfer window and, given two pretty average options, has chosen Crystal Palace ahead of Brighton as his destination. Clearly, he has seen the path trodden by Christian Benteke and decided that is the life for him.
Rafa Benitez has said there is ‘no chance’ of Newcastle selling Jonjo Shelvey in January. I actually think this might be an incredibly clever double bluff by the Spanish waiter. By saying there is no chance, he must know that Mike Ashley is going to read that and go, ‘What? We can make money and that midfield liability? SELL!’ and Rafa might get rid of a player he may not fancy anymore but it won’t be his fault. It will be Mike Ashley’s. Genius, Rafa. Genius. Or, more likely, Benitez doesn’t want to sell Jonjo Shelvey.
There’s talk of a clear out at Tottenham next month which can only suggest that there’s a few invoices needing paying at the new stadium. Take a deep breath Spurs fans as the following players are believed to being up for auction; Victor Wanyama, Mousa Dembele, Georges-Kévin Nkoudou, Vincent Janssen, Fernando Llorente and Michel Vorm could all be sold to the highest bidder. Will Spurs sign anyone to replace them? Probably not.
Aaron Ramsey is dreaming of a move to PSG where he hopes to get to play in midfield with some of the finest footballers in Europe. In which case, Ramsey will be disappointed to hear that the French giants are also chasing Everton’s Idrissa Gueye.
Oh, and in the most West Ham move you could imagine since they signed Jack Wilshere on a three-year-deal, they are going to give Samir Nasri £80k a week to get back to match fitness before, no doubt, being absolute rubbish.