Welcome to November, the month where Arsenal and Liverpool traditionally screw up any remaining hope of the winning the Premier League and managers start making alternative plans for Christmas as they are quite often free from the inconvenience of employment.
What better way was there to end October with lots and lots and, yes, lots of pictures of footballers in Hallowe’en costumes? Well, I can think of at least 2063 better ways to end October than that bollocks, and I will walk you through some of them now. Seriously, social media has a lot to ask for if Alexis Sanchez in what can only be described (by the guys on our Talk From the Top Flight podcast I am sure) as a gimp mask is “trending”.
Jose Mourinho was full of the Hallowe’en spirit, though that is kinda Jose’s default setting for the rest of the year. For some reason, he must be bored at work, as he is starting to pick fights where a fight does not to be picked. This week it is United’s fans, and Mou called them out in his programme notes saying,
“I hope you enjoy the game, at least more than some of you enjoyed the Tottenham match”.
What I want to know is, if Romelu Lukaku is getting such a hard time from United fans (which he isn’t) what is Jose going to achieve through this tactic? What’s that you say? A new bumper payrise contract? Huzzah, of course! Also, if Romelu is “untouchable” in Jose’s team why did he take him off penalties last night in their win over Benfica? You are a contradiction to yourself Jose, you really are. Anyway, kudos to the Benfica goalkeeper for a novel approach to getting himself noticed. A clanger at Estadio de Luz and then an own goal last night is certainly a different way to get a move to one of Europe’s super clubs.
Antonio Conte is also in full Hallowe’en monster munch mode. Conte suggested the current crop of English youth is some of the finest in the whole side world. So Antonio, riddle me this. Why the hell don’t you pick any of it then? At some point, Chelsea have owned most of it and a fair sack full is currently out on loan somewhere. That said, given Chelsea’s shambolic performance in Rome last night they may well be getting a message in their WhatsApp group telling them to return to Cobham immediately. Antonio also resorted to the Mourinho Method of calling his players shit in public. That’s going to spark a flurry of texts to Carlo Ancelotti, that is.
Liverpool are in action tonight, and Dejan Lovren has opened up about the death threats he and his family have received following his recent form. I like seeing professional footballers looking like Sunday League amateurs more than most, but for it to go as far as a death threat or ten just because Dejan couldn’t spot Harry Kane when he was two yards away is just insane. If fans are going to start killing Liverpool players for defending like idiots then the rest of them might want to hire some security.
Speaking of insane, King Klopp has said that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s form since signing from Arsenal has been “dynamite”. It’s almost as if Jurgen is encouraging fans to have a pop at the players! The only suggestion involving dynamite I can think of in relation to the Ox is sticking some up his backside next time he moans “I’m a central midfielder”.
Speaking of massively irritating things in the modern football world – Arsenal and Christmas jumpers. It’s the 1st of November for crying out loud, pack it in. That time spent organising that photo shoot? That could have been spent doing something actually proactive, like working out how to stop the rot of complete, total and unfathomable inconsistency that exists at the Emirates. Wear a fucking Christmas jumper if you win the league, and not before. Christ alive. Oh, and to top it off, Arsene Wenger has suggested that Matthieu Debuchy can play centre back. That noise you can hear is Gary Neville absolutely pissing himself with laughter that Wenger thinks he can qualify for the Champions League playing a right back and a left back in a back three that already has more holes in it than a piece of mouldy cheddar. Another thing that is false about modern football is statistics. Don’t get me wrong, I am not going all Real Football Man on you but if there is a stat in the world that suggest Mesut Ozil is better than Kevin de Bruyne because Ozil has created more chances this season than De Bruyne in 300 fewer minutes then burn it. Seriously. It makes me sick.
Real Madrid’s Marcelo has suggested Tottenham Hotspur are more than just Harry Kane. Methinks Marcelo got confused yesterday, mixing up Hallowe’en with April Fools Day.
Everton are looking to replace one big lad with another and will offer Big Sam Allardyce “top dollar” to take the reigns at Goodison Park. If this happens, Crystal Palace will be due £2m apparently or, to give it a true context when it comes to the stupidity of the game, the cost of Gylfi Sigurdsson’s left eyebrow.
News has been breaking from the Bet365 Stadium that Charlie Adam might leave Stoke City. I can’t be the only one that didn’t realise he was still there?
Stepping away from the top flight momentarily, Simon Grayson was not superman it turns out. Grayson took on the impossible job of Sunderland and was sacked yesterday. I blame the FA personally, if they hadn’t appointed Big Sam in the first place none of this would have happened. Guess who is being lined up to replace Grayson? Peter Reid or Ryan Giggs. Oh give it to Giggsy, please give it to Giggsy. Just as punishment for this attitude he seems to have that he deserves a top job having done precisely nothing as a coach to deserve one. Hull City’s Leonid Slutsky says “he would understand” if Hull sacked him after his less than inspiring start to life in England. Normally I’d say that Slutsky was hoping to get away from the hell that is Hull, but the guy is from Russia. Either way, he won’t get sacked until Roman Abramovich says so.