If any of you were on Tales yesterday hitting refresh, wondering where your Monday dose of Magnificent 7 was, I apologise. That said, I can’t imagine any of my readers are that loyal so you have probably only just realised I am a day late. See, I am an honest fellow despite rumours to the contrary. Anyway, I’ve had an extra day to plot so what have I done with it?
We all know preseason tours are (a) a good opportunity for the fans to see players that will never, ever, not even in a million years get near the first team this season and (b) a cracking PR opportunity to get even more fans on board from overseas. The Chinese market is huge, especially when their football league keeps expressing interest in buying players that clubs are looking to offload. Kenedy didn’t exactly toe the corporate line this week, expressing certain things towards China on social media that resulted in the club sending him home. Poor Kenedy, he’ll now be paid a fortune for doing less than normal before being loaned out somewhere I am sure.
#2 Ronald McDonald
I could lazily suggest that the USA have never really got football. My earliest memory of football and the USA clashing was Diana Ross taking that penalty in the World Cup ’94 opening ceremony. So to see Ronald McDonald (and not Fellaini having died his hair red as some have suggested) leading out the two biggest names in world football was interesting, to say the least. If I was to close my eyes and imagine a scene that would sum up modern football, this probably would have been it. That said, it was actually nice to see Ronald still doing well for himself as I hadn’t clapped eyes on him since Paul Penman’s 6th birthday party at Aldershot McDonald’s.
#3 Naby Keita
Nothing says “I want to leave” like crunching one of your teammates so hard in training that the session has to be called off. That’s how Naby rolls folks. He has his heart set on a move to Liverpool, despite RB Leipzig maintaining that their midfielder is not for sale. Naby’s response? Clean out Diego Demme in cynical fashion. Liverpool haven’t had that kind of attitude in midfield since Javier Mascherano departed for Barcelona.
#4 Swansea City
This is quite a high stakes game of poker face, no? EVERYBODY knows that Gylfi Sigurdsson isn’t worth the £50m that Swansea City are holding out for. Everton have raised their offer to £45m and still Swansea are saying no. Who will fold first? Well, Everton. Obviously. £50m for a guy that has already failed once at a moderately sized Premier League club. Stay in Wales Gylfi lad!
#5 Pep Guardiola
The managerial genius that is Pep Guardiola has realised that if Manchester City are to win something soon, they need fullbacks that are half decent. OK, that’s not the genius element – we could all have told him that. The genius in it is that Pep managed to convince the Manchester City board that he needed at least £150m to right this wrong. And he has only bought three so far!!
Is Pedro bionic or something? News reports yesterday informed me that Pedro had multiple fractures following his rough-and-tumble with David Ospina the other day. Multiple fractures. Sounds serious, doesn’t it? Not to Pedro. He’ll be back in training next week. Yeah, because he is hard as.
#7 Manchester United and Real Madrid
As I mentioned earlier, the USA has previous with shambolic penalties. If you hadn’t seen who was taking the meaningless spot kicks at the end of the match between United and Real, you’d have assumed that Ronald McDonald was really getting his money’s worth.