So near…yet so far
YES! 14 minutes into Newcastle’s game against Man Utd at the weekend and we take an early lead to a Dwight Gayle goal (finally). Surely with our solid defence, this is going to be a famous victory? Nope, we ended up losing all shape entirely and succumbing to a 4-1 defeat. Most people expected that kind of result before the game, but after taking the lead it was a disappointing evening. Joselu, already one of my least favourite players of all time, had yet another invisible performance and the usually solid back four really missed the presence of the injured Jamaal Lascelles, probably our best player and destined for greater things.
Good news though, the potential takeover may be moving slightly closer. A bid of £300 million came in over the past week, which probably will not be enough for Mike Ashley to sell but at least it shows there is serious interest and they might get something sorted out in time for January so we can buy some much-needed reinforcements. Also, Sunderland are still bottom of the Championship, can’t leave that out, although I’m hoping the appointment of Chris Coleman doesn’t give them the boost they expect.
After years of moaning about how it is time for Arsene Wenger to move on and let somebody else take the reins at Arsenal, some fans are siding with him for a change after their win over Tottenham in the North London derby. The build-up to the game was dominated by pundits and fans giving combined XI’s dominated by Spurs players, only for Mesut Ozil to turn everything on its head with a mesmerising performance. Often criticised during his Arsenal career for not working hard enough, he gave glimpses of his Real Madrid and Germany form to show all of his potential suitors what they can get if they gamble on him when his Arsenal contract expires at the end of the season.
Sean Dyche continues to work miracles on a small budget at Burnley, masterminding their move into Europa League qualification contention with another hard-fought win. Dyche, who recently celebrated his fifth anniversary at Burnley, doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his achievements. He is continually linked with big clubs but it doesn’t seem like he will get a chance in the near future, most likely due to the big clubs’ snobbery with his direct style of football.
Regardless of how entertaining the style is, it gets results and it fits the personnel he currently has to work with. If he was to get a chance at a bigger club with more skillful players, no disrespect to Burnley meant, he would most likely change his style of play to suit those players. To me that is a sign of good management, playing to the style of the players available rather than forcing a set of players to adapt to your style, which usually ends up in the manager being unsuccessful and then losing his job.