Todays Tales

In the famous words of 2 Unlimited, Sergio Aguero believes “no no, no no no no, no no no no, no no there’s no limit” to what he can achieve at Manchester City. Well, Sergio. Getting 178 goals is very, very good and well done to you. I’ll even be pleased to see you get to 200. I’ll raise a glass of mineral water to you if you score the winner in this season’s Champions League final, I promise. But there are limits mate, aren’t there? Don’t get me wrong, Pep has you playing beautifully but you’re not going to achieve world peace, are you? Or fix this whole Brexit shambles? What about poverty in your home country? Is that within your limits? No, didn’t think so. Well done though, keep scoring them goals.

If Premier League points were handed out for talking a good game, West Ham United would be top of the table I reckon. Every time I see Slaven Bilic on TV or hear him speak I am impressed. He seems to know what he is doing. He tells us Liverpool are “vulnerable” but we know Liverpool will win be two or three at the weekend. Why? Because the whole world knows how to stop Liverpool playing, but nobody has told Slaven. Or, if they have, he won’t play that way for a reason. One thing Bilic has cottoned on to though, he is “low” on defenders. And goalkeepers. Oh, and midfielders. Still, he talks a good game and that is really important.

“SEE! SEE! I TOLD YOU, I TOLD YOU” was the noise you could hear from wherever Jose Mourinho was shouting. He was, of course, referring to the fact that Manchester United had beaten the newly anointed “greatest team in the world” Tottenham last weekend and had kept a clean sheet, meaning that his “dreary style of anti-football” actually does have its uses. Hell, Jose almost has a point. In fact, he has three!

Liverpool Football Club have become the first Football Club to sign up to the “real living wage” concept. Don’t get too excited folks, have you seen parts of Liverpool? I believe this means they are now able to get away with paying less than the minimum wage, so don’t praise them too much. I am joking, of course. Liverpool are actually doing a very good thing, and it is nice to see that they are happy to spend their money on decent things rather wasting, say, £30m on central defenders that they then sell to Crystal Palace.

Everton players are pulling out all the stops to get David Unsworth employed at the club. The Toffees crashed hilariously in Lyon last night, 3-0 being the final score. What was more amusing than the actual scoreline was the extra effort players put in to make sure they cannot be picked too often. Cuco Martina gets extra points for initiative by poleaxing himself headfirst into the turf and ending up in hospital, whereas Morgan Schneiderlin gets penalised six points for being very predictable in picking up a lazy second yellow. Everton are bad, very, very bad.

Arsenal are experimenting, as always. They’ve already managed to put off a lot of fans from turning up to watch matches by generally being not very good, but now they are trying out the “let’s make the football painful to watch” approach as well. The 0-0 draw with Red Star Belgrade was absolutely dire but the Gunners have qualified. Woop.

Gareth Southgate is another gaffer that comes across very well in the press room. He seems confident, mean, prepared to make the big calls. He talks like a manager that has actually won stuff in the game, as opposed to being a manager that got sacked by Middlesbrough and sought refuge in the safe house of the FA. I am impressed that he is being pretty ruthless with the England squad, but I cannot imagine he has a great deal of respect coming his way from the players. Especially when he has dropped some underperformers and still classes Joe Hart as England’s numero uno. Are we really that short of goalkeepers?

Manchester United are considering sending Luke Shaw back to Southampton as they kept the receipt, and asking for a Ryan Bertrand in exchange. That is if Pep Guardiola doesn’t fancy adding to his collection of players that are perfectly capable of playing left back on those rare occasions he decides to use them.

Real Madrid, somewhat predictably, are considering Zinedine Zidane’s future after they got whooped by Tottenham Hotspur and have been working frantically to come up with a replacement. I can imagine the meeting. “What’s the name of the guy who just beat us?” A quick bit of Googling follows, and then “Pochettino. Yes, he’ll do”. And that is really how Real Madrid work, I promise you. They’ll probably look to take Dele Alli and Harry Kane as well, because they played well.