The Magnificent 7

Yet another week in football has passed us by so it is only right to see who the most magnificent pawns in the chess game that is football have been in the last seven days…

#7 Gianluigi Donnarumma

The young Italian is hardly flavour of the month at the San Siro, possibly only hated slightly less than his agent Raiola. So to tweet something along the lines of your undying loyalty to the agent is not going to appease the Milan ultras. Going back and claiming your account has hacked smacks of Samir Nasri. Donnarumma might be good, but he might want to have a chat with Gianluigi Buffon about how to demonstrate a touch of class.

#6 Aidy Boothroyd

Oh yes, Aidy Hoofroyd is about to become a member of an illustrious club which includes the late, great Sir Bobby Robson and Terry Venables. Yes, Aidy is about to become the latest English manager to lose to Germany in a major semi-final. Boothroyd has claimed he has never taught and England player to “knock it in the channels”, a claim that must have led Tammy Abraham to wonder why he has spent most of the tournament chasing down lost causes into the corner.

#5 VAR

It’s not as if there is a lot of money riding on correct decisions in football, right? Don’t get more wrong, I am not a dinosaur saying technology and football should never mix. I am all for it, providing it actually bloody well works. And by IT I mean the process. We all know that we can watch a replay of something and not agree on what actually happened, but the fact is we are not being paid to get it right. I am not blaming the video, I am blaming FIFA for putting the whole thing on show before it is ready and the absolutely incompetent people making the actual decisions and getting them wrong. Christ, just give the whole thing to Robbie Savage to do and be done with it. Maybe add in a bit of Chris Sutton, mic them up and at least we can enjoy it going wrong.

#4 Manchester United fans

If you bought into that whole Cristiano Ronaldo begging his advisors to sort out a return to Old Trafford then you are probably the same kind of person that wears half-and-half scarves and went out and bought a Griezmann7 shirt. Ronaldo was playing you as if you were a La Liga full back. He had and has no intention of leaving Real Madrid, where he is allowed to go and do what he wants, to play for Jose Mourinho where he’ll be expected to track back at least twice a season. This type of transfer talk is purely the opening gambit for a new contract, preferably one that includes a large enough loyalty bonus to clear any unseen bills that may have come in in the last week or so.

#3 Southampton

I am giving massive credit to Southampton today. Somehow it has been painted that Crystal Palace got the better deal and, indeed, first pick of Frank de Boer in their hot-seat. Southampton had to pick up the sloppy seconds of Mauricio Pellegrino. Except it is isn’t really like that at all. Southampton displayed balls of steel waiting for Palace to announce the Dutchman, knowing that they had picked up one of the brightest young coaches in European football, whilst the media told them they had got the bum deal. Superb work by the Saints and watch them finish above Palace next season.

#2 Moise Kean

Young players in Italy, right? What is happening to them? Actually, I am with Kean on this one. The young Juventus star wants to leave the Old Lady as they have not followed through on a promise they made Moise and his family. The trust has gone, a bond has been broken and the relationship can never be the same again. Oh, you want to know the broken promise? Juventus haven’t bought Mr Kean Sr the tractors they promised. And, frankly, that is not on. Get out as soon as you can Moise, you cannot trust these charlatans.

#1 Paulinho

I tell you what, it takes a special kind of crazy to leave Tottenham Hotspur to go and play in China. You may as well admit that you couldn’t give a crap about serious football anymore and you are more interested in earning £500k a week or whatever it is. But no, Paulinho is one step ahead of all of us. Little did he know that a move to China was the best thing you could do to put yourself in the shop window for Barcelona. It all makes sense now. Next week Carlos Tevez is due to be joining PSG and Oscar will get his dream move to Real Madrid, you just watch.