Despite there being no Premier League football last weekend, things did not go to plan for some Premier League footballers over the last 7 days. Stay tuned for a testimonial performance to forget, a bad PR day and an encounter with a Komodo Dragon.
3: Wayne Rooney
The current Manchester United and England captain (for now) was left out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad as Southgate revealed he hadn’t needed to call Rooney to explain why. However, it wasn’t all bad for Rooney, he was now able to play in Michael Carrick’s testimonial on Sunday at Old Trafford. In this game, he started up front for the Manchester United 2008 Champions League winning team and played against two familiar foes in John Terry and Jamie Carragher.
The United number 10 drifted in and out of a slow-paced game and was out-shown by a number of retired players while Terry and Carragher had him kept easily where they could see him. The one time Rooney outpaced either centre-back was when Paul Scholes pinged a ball in behind Terry, directly in the path of Rooney, who could only hoist the ball over the oncoming Shay Given and onto the roof of the net. This game really did epitomise what we had been seeing (or not in Rooney’s case) in a United shirt last season, in fact, I’m not sure if he’ll play in a United team again.
2: Liverpool FC
It is widely known that Liverpool are interested in Southampton centre-back Virgil Van Dijk but reports are emerging that the Saints are reporting Liverpool to the FA about the whole situation. The Reds desperately need a commanding defender and it’s probably why they fell short last season in terms of the Premier League title. Supposedly Liverpool have made an offer of £60m for the Dutchman and have offered him around £200,000 a week.
Now you might say, what’s the problem with all this, it’s normal transfer business, isn’t it? Well, Southampton are complaining on the grounds that Liverpool have been tapping up their captain in an attempt to lure him away from St Mary’s, with manager Jurgen Klopp getting involved in influencing his decision. This has made Liverpool look rather desperate and is making it more likely that Southampton will be even harder to deal with now.
WOTW: Ramadan Sobhi
Now this is something you probably haven’t heard of before reading this. Stoke’s Ramadan Sobhi was in Egypt to take part in an interview for Lebanese TV… or so he thought. He was actually subject of a prank by famous prankster Ramez Galel for his show called Ramadan, funnily enough. Sobhi was sat in a car on his way to the ‘interview’ before it started to sink in quicksand, so he and his comrades climbed up onto the roof to escape.
The Stoke winger then spotted what he thought was a Komodo Dragon (it was actually Galel dressed in an incredibly realistic costume) and started to scream in terror. Galel then removed the head of the costume to reveal himself and Sobhi realised what had happened. Now most people would just laugh this off – not Ramadan Sobhi. The Egyptian chased down Galel in anger and knocked him to the floor and kicked sand in his direction. Sobhi continued to remonstrate with the prankster and that’s how the recording ended. I’m not sure Mark Hughes will be too happy with his wide man’s seemingly short temper.