Todays Tales

Let’s just be grateful Pep Guardiola wasn’t a manager back in the 1950’s eh? Pep likes his balls to be heavy, this is the main takeaway from last night’s League Cup ties. That’s right, the reason Manchester City could only get past Wolverhampton Wanderers on penalties was that the ball “was too light for top-level football”. Actually, I do tend to agree. They are too light for kicking around on the sodding beach, let alone the Carabao Cup. I’m not saying we should go back to the need to cross the ball so well the laces are facing away from you when you head it (something Sir Stanley was apparently good enough to do) but I do think that the original Adidas Tango should make a reappearance or even those traditional Mitre’s we all grew up using. I say “we all”, I do of course mean those of us that watched football before it was invented in 1992. If Pep likes his footballs to be nice and heavy, just imagine how good City could have been when it was all about the Busby Babes.

This Michael Appleton fella is taking to management almost as well as that Craig Shakespeare did, and we know how it ended for him. Leicester City sorted themselves out against Leeds and eased through 3-1. A manager who has been around slightly longer than Appleton is Roy Hodgson, and he was beaten by a gaffer over half his age and English in Bristol City’s Lee Johnson. Palace scored (well, it is the League Cup, they do it there) but managed to let in four to the Championship side. Will Roy make it to Christmas? It was a game to be won and you never know, winning does sometimes become a habit.

You didn’t see Bournemouth messing about with it last night, no. They know that they need to get back into winning habits so put Middlesbrough to bed 3-1. How bad are Middlesbrough now? Garry Monk must be looking at Leeds and thinking he is a bit of a prat.

Manchester United learned a few lessons from their shock defeat at Huddersfield. Not all lessons, admittedly, as Jose still picked Victor Lindelof but Swansea City posed no real threat and Jesse Lingard scored, and danced like a twat, twice.

THE SAVIOUR HAS ARRIVED. THE SAVIOUR HAS ARRIVED. Arsenal will officially sell Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil by the weekend now that they have Eddie Nketiah. No, me neither. He came off the bench with Arsenal losing 1-0 at home to Norwich City and he scored twice. Can he be Arsenal’s Marcus Rashford? Christ, can he even be Arsenal’s Paul Merson? For a club that used to bring so many top players through their youth team, it would be nice to see Arsenal add to Alex Iwobi and, er, Jack Wilshere. Norwich were unlucky though, they were denied the clearest of penalties. Funny how Arsene wasn’t as incensed as the one that got given against him at Watford, eh?

David Unsworth has thrown his hat in the ring to be the next Everton manager, following Ronald Koeman “leaving the club” on Monday. Unsworth wants to show he is a “winning manager” which would suggest he has a firm grasp on the basics. However, he probably will do enough to get the job. Equally, he will do OK for the rest of the season. But what odds on him being the first manager sacked next season and ending up leading Bolton back into the Championship for the 2019/20 season? Got to be worth a punt.

West Ham’s owners have screwed up again. Why wait and give Bilic another two games? Everton have moved. Leicester City have moved. That’s two clubs that now have first dibs on the managers out there. Anyone they don’t appoint are basically going to be cast-offs, rejects. So what will West Ham end up appointing when they sack Bilic in early November? They will end up appointing managers that even Everton and Leicester didn’t feel were good enough for them. The board will disagree, they will think they will be shopping at a nicer supermarket, but when it comes down to it Messrs Gold and Sullivan, you can dream Ancelotti but you’ve got no hope at all.