Well, I frankly did not expect to be able to write to you today. The message I have gleaned over the latter stages of the last 22 years is that the world was going to end in the days after Spurs finished above Arsenal in the Premier League. I mean, that’s the only reasonable reason any non-Spurs or Arsenal fans should have been even a little bit interested in which way round they end the season, right? Well, it turns out that the world is still spinning exactly the way it should be and Wenger hasn’t exploded, Poch hasn’t been knighted and Kane still knows when to fall over in the penalty area. Who’d have thunk it? Still, it was cracking distraction techniques employed by Arsene in the press, picking on one of the few managers to have been more hapless than him recently. No, not David Moyes – he is not to be mentioned again in this column (until next time) following his relegation. Arsene said some not very nice things about one of his former foot soldiers Remi Garde, apparently. And Remi, well Remi is upset. Not as upset as the majority of the Arsenal fans right now though, I would imagine.
So, will Luke Shaw be able to run off the foot ligament damage that is threatening to rule him out until the beginning of next season? It sounds like the sort of injury I used to get round about the end of a season, just to make sure I could avoid all that running around in preseason. It’s not as if Jose is in anyway suspicious about United players and injuries right now, so I am sure it is all fine. I still believe Ashley Young is going to score the winning goal in the Europa League Final, having cut inside from left back. I mean, he has played pretty much everywhere else this season.
In better news for Jose, and maybe not so much for Marcus Rashford, Zlatan is thought to have made a full recovery from his operation. A full recovery? Already? Even Zlatan cannot have managed that. I suspect they mean the operation went well and that the surgeon now need not fear for his life. Zlatan will play again everyone, the ego does not have to call it a day. Mind you, I suspect that Zlatan’s ego may well retire a good decade or so after he hangs up his mortal boots.
Jurgen Klopp has warned his players of complacency as they home in on a top four finish. If there is any player at Liverpool that can dare be complacent given their ability to drop points at any given moment, they should be sold to Sunderland immediately. In fact not even sold. Given to Sunderland and allowed to play in their last remaining Premier League games for the next decade. If you remember my tongue-in-cheek suggestion that Villa were going to be League One Champions next season, made on the day they were relegated from the Premier League, well I’d go and see if the local bookie will give you odds on Sunderland being League Two Champions in two seasons time. It’s over for them, they are (according to some in the North East press) ruined.
Vincent Kompany has said that Manchester City’s players are taking some time to get used to Pep’s style of play. Yes, Vinny, a 2-2 draw at Middlesbrough does tend to lend some weight to that theory.
I missed this at the weekend, but full marks to Paul Clement for using the word deceit in a post-match interview. You don’t get to hear that too often.