See, I told you preseason friendlies don’t mean anything. Real Madrid, having not won any of theirs within 90 minutes, casually rocked up and played Manchester United off the park last night. Make no mistake, this was a real game of football with a real trophy at stake, therefore Jose Mourinho will have been a tad disappointed to have seen his first choice, £75m striker blaze it over the open goal when seven yards out at a crucial point. Jose may also be slightly concerned at the fact £168m of talent (depending on what transfer fees you really believe) missed two gilt-edged chances within seconds of each other.
Also, having spent quite a lot of money in the last couple of seasons, the mere sight of Marouane Fellaini warming up as the obvious Plan B still sends shivers down the spine of many a Red Devil. Still, Nemanja Matic was pretty damn good in his deep role, there to release Pogba on to the world. Well, the first bit worked anyway. As for Victor Lindelof, the less said about his first competitive game the better. I am sure Ray Wilkins was banging the arm of the settee and saying to nobody in particular “that’s why I said they should have bought Michael Keane”.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was so unimpressed that he has immediately stepped up his recovery from the cruciate injury, clearly under the belief that even if his knee doesn’t work he can miss chances just as well as Romelu Lukaku can.
Jose opted to start with Matteo Darmian at left back which was clearly a ruse to convince Ed Woodward to sign Tottenham Hotspur’s Danny Rose. Somehow, Rose has found himself top of both the United and Chelsea shopping lists which makes you wonder if the club uses the same scout.
Also leaving Tottenham is thought to be Moussa Sissoko. By thought to be, many a Tottenham fan probably means “hopefully” even if the Frenchman did boss it against Juventus at the weekend. With not many decent clubs showing an interest in a player that really cannot be arsed to do it more than twice a season, Trabzonspor of Turkey are the most recent suitors.
One of the burning questions of the summer has been “how will Monaco replenish their supermarket shelves and maintain a high level of stock for shoppers to purchase?” The answer, my friends, is to head to Stoke City and nab Gianelli Imbula for about £18m which is, conveniently, about what Stoke paid for him in the first place.
Arsene Wenger knows he needs to shift players on if he is going to be able to use the excuse of not having a big enough squad to finish in the top four this season, therefore Carl Jenkinson is off to Swansea City on loan. Maybe.