Pep has been in place for a few weeks now and City’s head honcho has managed to work out exactly why the team under achieved last season.
Yes, you can assume that City will not be announcing Pizza Express as their official Pizza Partner anytime soon as Pep has banned all City players from eating the traditional Italian treat. Defender Gael Clichy has spoken on how the Spaniard is revolutionary in the fact that he wants his players to “not be overweight” and “fit.” Big Sam, I hope you are taking notes. This is how those foreign managers roll. That said, pizza did not seem to stop Leicester from winning the title last season. But Ranieri is Italian and is, probably, a big pizza fan. Maybe Pep would allow players to eat paella? It is possible each manager favours food from his native country, though it is unconfirmed that Fergie used to force feed the Class of 92 deep-fried Mars bars.
Football has gone a little crazy in the last year or so with Leicester winning the title but there are some things in the Premier League that remain truly consistent. Life still has a feeling of normal around it when Arsenal approach a new season with their key centre halves out injured. Per Mertersacker has suffered a knee injury that is likely to keep him out for several months and rid him of that final yard of pace. With Gabriel down with poorly tonsils too Arsene’s decision to let Koscielny have a long holiday after Euro 2016 seems inspired. No matter, there is always Callum Chambers and Rob Holding to ensure the Gunners top the table by the end of August.
Arsene is far more interested in pretending he is going to sign a striker. He has a piece of paper in his office that had Vardy, Higuain and Lacazette written in beautiful Gallic handwriting. Now they are firmly scribbled out and the next name on the list is Wissam Ben Yedder of Toulouse shortly followed by Jese of Real Madrid. Don’t hold your breath Gooners, Walcott will hold the fort whilst Giroud recovers from running around a lot over the summer.
Jose is still convinced he has a French shaped hole in his midfield. Schneiderlein is not the man to fill it and Pogba will not be joining unless United and Juve can agree who is to pay his agent something in the region of £25m. Actually, my money is on Ed Woodward to fold first and pay him £30m for the inconvenience. Still, if the obvious does not happen and Pogba remains in Italy then Jose will be looking to add Blaise to his squad, meaning that idiots like me can start working on Blaisin Squad gags.
Martin Glenn has less of a clue than many who have gone before him. Clearly flapping around to justify his position and show that the FA do have some powers he has come up with a corker to add some mystery and intrigue to the FA Cup. Make Premier League teams play all their matches away up until the quarter finals? Nope. Revert back to semi finals at grounds other than Wembley? Don’t be daft. Bring back replays? Never. No, Glenn thinks allowing a 4th sub in extra time will give the competition a much-needed shot in the arm. Again, if I have not said this already his salary is money very well spent.
Zlatan is finally getting down to some training with United. He is back following his extended post-Euro 2016 break, though having watched him do two-tenths of very little I am still unclear why he needed a rest. Anyway, he will be delighted to hear his manager, Jose, talk of him like a tailored suit. “The best suits are suits by measure. You go for a size that fits you,” said the Manchester United manager. I think someone needs to explain to Jose how the “tailored suit” process works. I am pretty sure they measure you, then make you a suit to fit. Choosing one that is a size that fits you is called “buying a suit.” He doesn’t know everything after all.