Todays Tales

Big Duncan Ferguson’s still got it, eh? Having made a career out of bullying and intimidating anyone that came near him on a football pitch he’s managed to take that skill set into his coaching career. I’m not convinced Kyle Walker has made two tackles in his defensively poor but very good at getting forward career, let alone committed two bad fouls. Big Dunc disagrees with me though and I am grateful he will never find me. Michael Oliver was clearly a touch on the worried side as Ferguson suggested that Manchester City should probably be down to ten men and off Walker went. Wayne Rooney managed to score his 200th Premier League goal which, of course, has led to him expecting a conversation with Gareth Southgate about a return to the England setup. Southgate does strike me as a gaffer keen to take the team backwards, not forwards Wayne, so I wouldn’t be expecting that call anytime soon. Raheem Sterling, and not David Silva annoyingly, got City’s late equaliser and Pep still looks a little flummoxed by the “English” game. City’s bench cost more than Brighton & Hove Albion’s stadium, training complex and squad last night so I think people are right to be expecting just that little bit more from “the greatest coach in the world which had nothing to do with the fact he had Messi in his team”.

Jack Wilshere managed to get himself on the back pages again this morning. No, he’s not injured this time! But he was sent off for Arsenal U23’s in a match against Manchester City U23’s for reacting badly to a tackle. Let’s be honest, any tackle that goes in on the glass-ankles of Wilshere is going to worry him so I can understand his frustration. And he is more likely to catch Wenger’s eye for doing this than his actual playing prowess nowadays, so well done Jack.

Burnley, in their wisdom, have decided to spend most of the money received for Andre Gray on Leeds United frontman Chris Wood, a New Zealander. £15m is the sum to change hands as Sean Dyche chooses to add another big lad to the Burnley squad. Wood averaged a goal every two matches for Leeds, 44 in total, which is almost as many different managers he had at Elland Road.

Who knew Samir Nasri was still on Manchester City’s books? Come on, hands up. Well, he isn’t anymore. He’s been convinced to go and play his football in Turkey now, for Antalyaspor. You might think they are a nobody team, but they do have Samuel Eto’o in their squad, so there.

Harry Redknapp has been wheelin’ and dealin’ like only he can as the transfer window draws to a close. Carl Jenkinson, who must surely know by now he is not wanted at the Emirates any longer, and Cohen Brammal are heading to Birmingham on loan from Arsenal.

Swansea City would really like to add Hull City’s Sam Clucas to their squad as quickly as possible and hope £13m might be enough to do a deal. Jesus, moving from Hull to Swansea. I feel for Sam, it’s difficult to downgrade your lifestyle when you live in Hull but it looks like he is about to.

Lille are looking for someone predatory in the box and Michy Batshuyai impressed them with his prowess at Wembley on Sunday. Antonio Conte is so unimpressed by the Belgian he is happy to practically give him away for £36m and risk having just Alvaro Morata as the only striker willing to play for the club (unless you count the 127 they have out on loan). Conte might test the water with Jamie Vardy, previously so keen to move from Leicester City to London.

Finally, it looks like Liverpool might have actually won the battle for Philippe Coutinho. Barcelona are believed to have given up in the one-club race for the Brazilian, having been totally confused by the add-ons Liverpool were requesting in the contract. They are now happy to market Paulinho as their token man from Brazil as the direct replacement for Neymar, which tells you exactly what state the Catalan club find themselves in right now.