Welcome folks, and I’m tired and grumpy today. Never fear, it might make a decent column for once!
These clubs in the North East don’t fancy Premier League football then. Middlesbrough crashed their coach on the way to their relegation confirming defeat to champions Chelsea. I am still trying to work out if a one-off coach crash is better or worse than one long car-crash of a season ala Sunderland. Newcastle will no doubt be sticking two fingers up at them as they swap places over the summer.
Chelsea are all but home and dry, needing another three points to lift the trophy. They are away to WBA on Friday night have sent WBA some flip-flops to help them start thinking summer holiday thoughts.
In shocking news, Arsene Wenger isn’t keen on working with a Director of Football. Who saw that coming? “Arsene, we know you’ve run this club from top to bottom for the last quarter of a century, but we thought we’d ask you to report into someone that will either (a) never have played the game to even the level you did, or (b) wants your job when you either die or we sack you. What do you say to that?” It’s hardly a shock that Wenger, still basking in the glow of beating Jose, wasn’t up for it. A struggle for power will now ensue, between the manager and Gazidis. Who will win? Well, Arsene doesn’t win too much nowadays so will probably be happy with coming 4th.
Steve McClaren says English managers have an image problem abroad. Really, Steve? You mean you didn’t singlehandedly repair that on your jaunts across Europe? A cynic might say the brolly and the Dutch accent might have not helped your own image, as well as being, frankly, pretty rubbish at your job. Don’t worry about the other managers Steve, just try and find a job you can keep until the end of a season, hey?
James Milner has said he will feel sick if Liverpool fail to qualify for the Champions League. I am hoping this isn’t a Joey Barton type situation where Boring Milner has actually bet his entire fortune on Liverpool being top four. More likely he is blaming himself for missing that penalty. Yeah, that would make more sense.
Diego Costa claims he owns his own future, and is willing to sell that ownership to the highest Chinese bidder he can find. Antonio Conte isn’t that bothered, he’ll be heading back to Italy to spend some of the Chinese money that is infiltrating Serie A as soon as the confetti has settled on Chelsea’s Premier League win.
Big Mama Sahko has been nominated as Palace’s player of the year despite playing a mere eight times for Allardyce. I have a question. How bad were the rest of the Palace team that a player that is still learning the names of the canteen staff can be nominated for such a highly regarded award after eight games? Actually, don’t answer that. Still, I bet Benteke is delighted.
Finally, FIFA have struck with a double whammy today. They’ve sacked off the guys heading up their ethics committee who were, apparently, investigating “hundreds” of cases. With that out of the way, the powers that be are now investigating United over “botched paperwork” in the Pogba transfer. That could be serious for United, no? Docked points? Kicked out of Europe? Transfer ban? No, the maximum penalty will be £11,750 which Pogba just earned in the time it took me to type all that rubbish. Nice one FIFA.