LASESARRE, SPAIN - AUGUST 5: Puma Orbita, the official match ball of LaLiga in detail prior the pre-season friendly match between Athletic Club and Real Sociedad on August 5, 2022 at Lasesarre Stadium in Barakaldo, Spain. Noxthirdxpartyxsales PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxJPN 195228971

I do like looking back at what the Premier League managers have been saying ahead of their weekend matches. Granted, it is usually those at the top of the table who are really grilled into saying something that might create a headline here or there but that’s OK with me. They are the ones I like to point the finger-of-fun at most of the time anyway. I mean, there is only so much mileage you can get out of David Wagner or Sean Dyche at the other end of the table.

Speaking of Sean Dyche, I would love to see this spat with Jurgen Klopp run and run. We need a bit of that. Dyche accused Daniel Sturridge of diving at Turf Moor. Now, I am the first to call out Daniel Sturridge for many things but on this occasion, I cannot blame him one little bit for getting out of the way of a tackle he assumed would be arriving. Given some of the, shall we say robust challenges that were being dished out by the Burnley players, can you blame England’s most injury-prone striker who is clearly made by Basildon Bond for jumping out of the way? No. And Jurgey lad agrees, defending his player.

Jose Mourinho is actually in the process of showing his genius once again, it is just that we are all too stupid to see it. He is actually ‘protecting’ the £50m midfielder he bought in the summer and is not picking. Apparently, until Manchester United stop being so horrible defensively, Fred won’t get a look in. Which is curious to say the least given that Fred is a defensive midfielder who was signed to help United concede fewer goals. Because let us be honest, every player Jose signs is a nod to his desire not to concede goals. Who cares about scoring them? But, just go with Mou on this one otherwise he will start pointing to Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw and making the ‘it worked with those two muppets’ gesture.

Jose is also 100% committed to his contract at Old Trafford. That is not news United fans will really want to hear, of course. Except when you learn that it came from his agent, Jorge Mendes who, if you speak fluent agent, is really saying ‘it will cost the board a LOT of money to sack him and he is not walking away from that pay-off I can assure you’.

Vincent Kompany is happy today. Not for himself, you will understand. But for Eden Hazard, his Belgian teammate. Kompany is likely to be waving to Eden from the bench this weekend but that does not stop him being so happy that Hazard finally has an attacking manager to guide his Chelsea career. I mean, he was due one after having Antonio Conte and Jose, right?

Maurizio Sarri does like to attack, we know this. But Sarri still doesn’t seem to have completely got the inner workings of Chelsea FC given what he said yesterday. The Italian said that Chelsea need to invest a bit of time and not more money to see the fruit of his labour. Maurizio, my dear man. Time is not something often afforded to anyone in the hot seat at Chelsea. You’d be better off getting the cheque-book open.

The Poch claimed that Spurs ‘are the same as Leicester City’ yesterday. He was referring to the size of their budget. When you are trying to justify the fact you haven’t won anything Mauricio, I would steer clear of likening yourselves to the club that went and won the Premier League title on a budget even smaller than they one they operate on now. Oh, and they beat you to it, remember?

Unai Emery has got a few things to sort out before kick off. Firstly, several players were allegedly snapped doing nitrous oxide in a nightclub. Ozil, Yo-Pierre, Lacazette and Guendouzi (clearly giddy at being allowed to hang out with the boys) are all claimed to have inhaled the legal high. Arsenal are expected to remind them of their responsibilities as professional footballers and that is NOT to be seen having fun in public EVER.

Emery also suggested that his young French midfielder should get a haircut so that things like Fellaini pulling his mane do not happen. It’s nice to see the ghost of Brian Clough alive and well.

The Spaniard also lamented the fact that Rob Holding will be out for the rest of the season and the fact that Arsenal are conceding more goals than he would like. Hang on a minute, doesn’t every football club in the world concede more goals than they would like? Just a thought.