Todays Tales

Another working week in football has passed us by, and what have we learned? Well, we know what Arsenal won’t be making the 0630 Friday morning piece for the foreseeable thanks to their participation in the Europa League. And as I like to have this all tidied up well in time for my evening game of Scrabble there is absolutely no chance I’ll be covering Arsenal’s match against Koln.

The Champions League though? All over it. It’s not enough for Pep Guardiola to have two strikers that are scoring for fun, now John Stones is getting in on the act. The England international centre back netted twice in City’s comfortable 4-0 win against Feyenoord. A clean sheet for City in Europe? Surely that means they are going to win it this time.

Has anyone located Dejan Lovren’s right foot yet? It seemed to have disappeared off his leg as that cross came in against Sevilla. It was another one of those frustrating nights if you were a Liverpool fan where logic completely dictated that the Reds should have won the match with a bit to spare. But hell no, why do that when you can lead, miss a penalty and then grab a point when three were on offer? Liverpool are back where they belong folks, struggling in the Champions League.

The monkey so lovingly employed by Tottenham Hotspur appears to be looking for new employment. The win over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley kind of suggests that the curse might be over for Spurs. Of course, people like me will try and string it out a bit longer until they win there in the Premier League but that wasn’t a bad way to set the record straight. Toby Alderweireld put the result down to playing “like adults, not children” which is incredibly harsh to a lot of under 10 sides out there who would have been able to defend a 2-1 lead at home to Burnley.

Paul Pogba might be out of an action for a month, but fear not United fans. Mauraune Fellaini is willing and able to step into that Manchester United midfield and do whatever is asked of him, yet again. In fairness to the big fuzzball, Fellaini has shown incredible mental strength to keep coming on as sub and killing games for Jose Mourinho, so it was quite nice to see him come on earlier than usual and head United into the lead against Basel. Mourinho has said it was nice to be back “in his natural habitat” which meant, I presume, the Premier League and not bitching and moaning about everything and anything around him.

Chelsea became the first ever team from England to hammer a team from Azerbaijan 6-0 in the Champions League. That little paid-for-by-oil dream didn’t last long did it, eh? And who needs Diego Costa when you have Frank Zappa Costa scoring from the touchline?

Elsewhere, a Celtic fan confronted Kylian Mbappe on the pitch during PSG’s 5-0 win over Celtic at Parkhead. One can only guess that the Celtic fan was interested in how PSG had really got that deal past FIFA.

Given the option of playing Europa League football once in a while for Arsene Wenger or five games before breaking down for the one manager out there who still thinks he is worth a punt, it looks like Jack Wilshere might actually consider heading into the loving arms of Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace. Obviously, Roy needs to surround himself by players who he can trust, who have been there with him when the shit hits the fan. I’m just surprised Roy is choosing a walking injury and the fan that was Iceland.

Harry Redknapp’s dream of retiring a Birmingham City legend maybe curtailed as his intake of journeymen, friends and anyone else some agents said were good seem to be taking Birmingham City in the opposite direction to what was expected. Who’d have thought a man previously thought to be the second best manager England had never had could be a defeat to Preston away from being sacked by a club like Birmingham. Whatever happens though folks, let us pray that he doesn’t end up doing punditry on our TV screens. We are suffering enough with his son right now.