Tis the season to be jolly unless you are one of many Premier League managers right now.
December brings football madness as the games come on average every 2.6 days meaning rotation, tired legs, grumpy press conferences and if we are really lucky, even more things to make fun of.
Take poor old Peppy G, for example. He had to rotate his side for last night’s trip to Hertfordshire replacing one internationally capped back four with another internationally capped back four. And not just any old internationally capped back four, oh no. Three England internationals and Belgium’s captain lined up to shackle Troy Deeney. Poor Pep. And he had to suffer watching City only beat Watford 2-1. Ben Foster was as heroic for the Hornets as City were wasteful. After the game, Guardiola said he had ‘trust’ in the club as the FFP chat refuses to die down and ‘faith’ in Jesus which means things must be getting very bad if he is turning to religion. Oh, he means Gabby Jesus who’s performances each week almost guarantee Sergio Aguero will get another new contract soon.
Jose Mourinho, who you just know loves Christmas, insists Manchester United’s poor/inconsistent/downright terrible form is not to do with the relationships with his players. He absolutely insists that OK? And, any ex-professional players who happen to now be stealing a living as pundits that suggest otherwise are hypocrites. I mean, if they think that Jose has players not trying their best for him then that definitely means that they will have thrown the towel in on some of their managers during their own playing careers, right? Well, not exactly Jose, no. Considering the pundits you are calling out include Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand who all happened to play for the greatest manager in Premier League history I think we can all safely agree they were too busy winning titles to worry about downing tools.
Jose has ten players injured for tonight’s match against Arsenal and I am sure all ten are doing everything they can to be fit again ASAP to help their gaffer out.
Unai Emery believes that Yo-Pierre can be the league’s top scorer this season. In 2018 (and I hate it when people call out stats in calendar years), Auba has scored 20 Premier League goals. That’s not bad considering he did half a year with Wenger and he doesn’t even start every week for Emery.
One player who won’t be scoring 20 Premier League goals for Arsenal ever again is Danny Welbeck. Welbz broke his ankle in a recent Europa League match and his contract is up in the summer and it is thought that Arsenal could well let him go. If only there was another London club stupid enough to take on injured Arsenal players.
Hi, West Ham. Yesterday Pellegrini was saying that Wilshere could have cost £100m and then Wilshere missed last night’s win over Cardiff with another ankle injury. Clearly what Mauricio really meant was £100m in medical bills.
The Hammers won two Premier League games in a row for the first time in years last night but, being West Ham, took the long way round as Cardiff should have taken the lead from the penalty spot. Joe Ralls, who has spent most of his season putting in knee-high challenges on his opponents wrestled a teammate for the right to take the kick and you know what happened next. Well, of course, you do. I have already told you. Ralls’ pen was so lame that Fabianski actually caught it.
Lucas Perez, remember him? Well, he was off the bench and scoring a brace for the Hammers condemning Neil Warnock to his first, and certainly not his last, defeat as a 70-year-old.
‘Win a trophy, then celebrate’ exclaimed the Poch, possibly explaining why you so rarely see Tottenham celebrating. He was referring to the post-match selfies posted by the Arsenal players following their win in the North London Derby. The Poch isn’t a fan. Of the selfies that is, not of winning the NLD. He does have a point but I cannot help feeling that all he has done is remind Arsenal that 4th place kinda counts as a trophy in this day and age and there is every chance the red half of North London could be celebrating come May.
It all went off in Brighton last night. Fans ejected for throwing pies, players sent off for throwing headbutts and Romanians scampering down the line as fast as they can. Brighton beat Crystal Palace in a weird, in the fact that there are quite a few miles between the two clubs, yet passionate derby. Palace are, as we already know, in trouble this season and if someone could take Wilf Zaha back to the time before he asked for more protection from referees then they might have a chance of staying up.
Along the South Coast Eddie Howe was feeling ‘uncomfortable’ and was full of ‘relief’ having watched Huddersfield absolutely batter Bournemouth for 90 minutes. Bournemouth won, of course, and Callum Wilson scored again, of course. He and Ryan Fraser really are quite the duo.
Everton’s Marco Silva would really like to get on-loan midfielder Andre Silva tied down to a permanent deal. Silva then kindly explained to us how transfers actually work.
‘There are three factors in this deal; Everton, Andre and Barcelona’.
Thanks, Andre. You also forgot to mention the big bucket of cash and the agent, but hey.
Jurgy lad has ‘no regrets’ over his mad dash on to the Anfield turf on Sunday night even though it has cost him an £8k fine by the FA. That’s not exactly throwing the book at him now, is it? Mind you, tell me the last time the FA correctly pulled the appropriate punishment out of their ‘random punishment generator’.
Back tomorrow, loads of football on. I think I will be saying that a lot this month.