‘But they’ve only beaten Cardiff, Huddersfield, Bournemouth and Newcastle. Even Mourinho would have beaten them!’
Yeah, maybe. But what about those matches Mourinho should have won and didn’t, eh? There were plenty of them.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made it four wins from four since becoming interim manager at Manchester United, his fourth win coming with a ground-out 2-0 win against Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle at St James’ Park last night.
Solskjaer made his name as a player with the ability to come off the bench and score game-changing goals. As a manager, he seems to be developing a knack of sending players on to do the same. OK, maybe one player.
Romelu Lukaku scored with his third touch at the weekend and managed to go two touches better last night, opening the scoring with his first having come on as a substitute.
What’s that? We all thought Lukaku had a rubbish first touch?
Solskjaer is that good, my friend. He has even managed to sort that issue out in a matter of weeks.
Marcus Rashford wrapped up the points continuing his great form and Ole Gunnar became the first manager since Sir Matt Busby to win the opening quartet of his tenure.
Newcastle might have felt hard done by, Lukaku’s goal coming from a fumble by their keeper but then on the flip side, that tackle by Jonjo Shelvey probably meant he deserved to be on the losing side.
All that remains for Solskjaer to fix with his genie-like touch is Antonio Valencia. When Christian Atsu makes a prat of you all night you should take a leaf out of Gary Neville’s book and call it a day.
The thing about Sarriball is that when it works it looks great and when it doesn’t it doesn’t. Chelsea had 72% of the possession against Southampton last night and managed to do precisely bugger all with it.
With Olivier Giroud injured scoring the second of two wonderful disallowed goals at the weekend there was a recall for Alvaro Morata. Morata did get the ball in the back of the net but was called offside. It turns out he wasn’t, but the linesman, understandably, probably just assumed he was as he has been for most of the season. Well, when he’s not rolling around on the floor or on the bench, that is.
Yet, Tammy Abraham is about to be sold to Wolves.
The fire brigade had to be called at Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium last night yet, surprisingly, this was before the game and not at half-time to put out the absolute fire of an ending to the first half.
Watford had led 2-0 before Bournemouth scored twice, quickly, to level. The Bournemouth fans hadn’t even stopped cheering the equaliser before Watford went up t’other end and scored again and before the Watford fans had even had a chance to gloat to their rivals Bournemouth scored their third.
The second half was very dull by comparison.
West Ham took some inspiration from Bournemouth’s style, allowing Brighton to get themselves a two-goal lead at the Athletics Stadium before Marco Arnautovic realised that if he is playing alongside Andy Carroll he’d better do it all himself. Arnautovic scored twice, quickly, to bring the game level and earn the Hammers a point.
Why is it Wolves only turn it on against the big teams? They welcomed Crystal Palace to Molineux and barely bothered to show up. Palace went home 2-0 winners and Team Portugal flicked through the fixtures to see when they were next playing a proper team. Ah, Liverpool in the FA Cup.
Binning off Joe Hart is still working well for Burnley. They beat Huddersfield 2-1 last night to move into an almost safe place.
The other key takeaway from last night’s action was Chris Kamara. Surely, at some point the powers-that-be at Sky are going to sit down and muse, ‘I wonder if there is anyone else out there less rubbish at following a game of football than Kammy’. Kamara was looking the wrong way as a Huddersfield player was sent off, leaving the guys in the studio to tell him what was going on.
Ex-Premier League manager Steve Bruce is back in business, this time at Sheffield Wednesday. But, he doesn’t start until February 1st. His assistants do though. Credit to Brucey for negotiating an extra month to recover from a tough Christmas and New Year pie and beer schedule.