Absolute credit to Arsene Wenger and Mesut Ozil. What a marvellous ruse. I’ve not seen a con job this convincing since I watched Ocean’s 11 or that thing that used to be on the BBC called Hustle. So Mesut won’t sign a new deal unless Arsene stays. It is clear what is happened. Arsene has suggested that he cannot bare the thought of retirement with the never-seen-in-public Mrs Wenger and is craving that new contract. He is a wily old fox, Arsene. He knows that Mesut has to stay otherwise Arsenal will lose even more credibility. So he has asked the German to read from a specially prepared statement in a press conference, whilst promising he will authorise that pay rise Ozil is hanging out for. All this, of course, is on the proviso that the Arsenal board give Arsene a new deal. Genius. If only they could both be that consistently creative on the pitch, right Arsenal fans?
Apparently Manchester United will not be signing another centre back in the January window, despite the fact that they have Marcos Rojo. Sorry, I misread the copy. Despite the fact they have an injured Marcos Rojo. This strikes me as a risky decision for United for a few reasons. What if Phil Jones reverts to type and picks a six month knock? Eric Bailly has a full African Cup of Nations ahead of him and anything could happen out there. Then any further issues could mean José has a choice between dropping Carrick into the back four, playing Blind there, choosing Smalling, sticking Zlatan at the back or even putting Sergio Romero in the defence before looking at any of the academy kids who might be quite good.
Antonio Conte knows he needs a fairly happy John Terry in the dressing room at Chelsea if he is going to keep their title charge on track. Therefore he has promised JT that he will “appeal the red card” even though there is more chance of JT winning the next Ballon D’Or than getting off that proposed suspension. It is fine work from Conte, making Terry feel valued even though he is possibly not going to start another game in his career.
Gabriel Jesus joined Manchester City for one reason and one reason only. No, not to play for Pep. Not to pick up the crazy wages that are in his contract. Not even to play for the club he is bound to have grown up supporting. No, Jesus came to Manchester to make his mother proud and conquer the world in the way she predicted. If he succeeds it will be the first reported case of anyone conquering the world whilst representing Manchester City, so we wish him luck.
Jose Fonte is risking his relationship with the Southampton fans. It’s all very well wanting a move to a bigger club, or more likely China at the rate they are hoovering up D-rate players, but to turn down the chance to captain the team you are club captain of in a League Cup semi final is an unwise move. If I was a manager thinking of buying him, he would not be the kind of character I would want in my dressing room. Turning down a cup semi final for Southampton indeed. Matt Le Tissier would be turning in his grave if he wasn’t alive and well.
Big Sam wants players. Big Sam needs players. What players you ask? He is running the rule over Leicester’s Jeff Schlupp and Arsenal’s Carl Jenkinson. Why Schlupp would want to trade one relegation battle for another is not too clear and I guess Carl Jenkinson needs another spell away from Arsenal to rebuild his confidence.
Robert Firmino has had his house burgled whilst at training. Well, if you do move to Merseyside and make it pretty clear when you are out at the weekends. Tempting fate really, wasn’t it?