Champions League Roundup

“Arsenal need to win their group” they said.  Well that worked out well, didn’t it?  Arsenal have seen more of Bayern on the pitch at the Emirates than Jack Wilshere in the last few seasons and Arsene’s men will no doubt valiantly bow out against the German champions once again.  This will, of course, damage their league form and their League Cup Final defeat will no doubt ruin their FA Cup run.  Yes, we’ve been here before haven’t we?  To make Monday worse for Wenger, Mustafi has been ruled out injured which means an unbeaten November might count for nothing as his defence reverts to the mush it was before the big money signing showed how badly Arsenal have needed a big money defender for years.  Wenger has also spoken out against the idea of a football regulator, saying football and politics should not mix, not adding that there are enough corrupt people in football already without needing to get the politicians involved too.

It may not surprise you to learn that José is no fan of Christmas.  People having fun?  Being nice to each other?  Not being asked to track back and defend the Christmas presents?  None of that on Mourinho’s watch.  Rather than follow tradition and let the boys go home after a Christmas morning training session the Portuguese Scrooge is calling them back in for an afternoon session before their Boxing Day match.  According to the resurgent, the not so resurgent Fellaini can cope with the booing from the United fans in the stands.  He simply pulls his hair over his ears.  Makes sense.

Leicester, now back in top form as the Champions League goes away for a couple of months, will play Sevilla in a game they probably fancy winning.  Could you imagine Leicester getting through another round of UCL matches?  The ending to that movie hasn’t been written yet, so who knows.

The Europa League draw will reunite the Pogba brothers on the same pitch for the first time since they used to kick a ball around in the back garden.  That is the only thing that could possibly make United’s fixture with St Etienne on a Thursday night remotely interesting and even then it is not that interesting.

Spurs, whose season is falling apart rather quickly now draws have become defeats, will have been looking at the Champions League draw and remembering what it felt like to be in that competition before being woken up to their new reality, a tie with AA Gent.

Klopp launched a better defence of Karius than Karius demonstrated of his own goal at the weekend, taking on both Neville brothers and anyone else that wanted a piece of the action.  Kloppo went where everyone kind of wanted him to, pointing out that Gary Neville can’t have been that good a judge of a player in his time at Valencia.  Fair point, cuttingly made.  Jurgen only had to mention Iceland and I think Neville would have been on the ropes.

Koeman has said everyone at the club is underperforming, including himself.  He called out Karius, Henderson and Sturridge for not doing enough to help the cause before remembering that he is still manager of Everton and not Liverpool.  Poor Ronald, he really does have football club envy.