What else will you be doing on the night of June 14th next year besides watching the start of the World Cup between Russia and Saudi Arabia? The draw for the World Cup was made on Friday afternoon, and our only British Isle representative England were drawn alongside Belgium, Panama, and Tunisia. Easy, i hear you say? The latter two should be a walk in the park. The group has raised expectations in the media even further, so what could go wrong? USA 2010 and Iceland in the Euro’s were also supposed to be a walk in the park.
Not a great deal has happened in the push for more fresh, young British mangers in the Premier League. In the past, we had: Moyes at Everton. Hodgson at WBA, Allardyce at West Ham, Pardew at Palace. Now it’s: Moyes at West Ham, Allardyce at Everton, Hodgson at Palace, Pardew at West Brom, Did you follow that? Don’t be too hard on yourself, if you couldn’t. Yet the popular consensus among football experts is that foreign managers in the Premier League is the hindrance behind the progress of the likes of Chris Wilder and Eddie Howe. I beg to differ.
Right, onto midweek. Could you tell me what has happened to Ashley Young this season? The man is suddenly the best left back in Europe and replicating free kicks from Juninho. He bagged a brace as Man United beat Watford 4-2, before Jesse Lingard channeled his inner-Messi to seal the match with their fourth goal. One of Young’s goals was a brilliant free kick, and continues to be one of Jose Mourinho’s key players. Never thought I’d be saying that this season. Well, ever actually.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was sent to the stands after arguing with the referee in the 1-0 victory over the shot shy Swansea. I for one, could never become a fourth official or a referee, especially in matches featuring Antonio Conte. Don’t know about you but, being inundated with Italian expletives by a passionate Conte doesn’t sound like my cup of tea.
The Swans had fewer shots on target than Kurt Zouma in November, with one less to Zouma’s four. And superstar Renato Sanches’s shocking introduction into English football has taken another turn for the worse, when a clip of him mistaking an advertising board for a teammate went viral. Rumour has it that Cardiff City are paying half of his £7m loan fee to Bayern Munich.
Let’s end this week’s feature by looking back at the unreal goals seen we were treated to on Match of the Day. They were so good I almost looked past the no show of Gary Lineker. He was replaced by Dan Walker because Gary decided presenting some draw in Moscow was more worth his time. Selfish bastard.
Wayne Rooney has already took the goal of the season award with his instinctive goal from inside his own half, passing Joe Hart to land in the empty net. He ended up getting a hat trick in the 4-0 mauling of West Ham. Liverpool’s Signing of the season Mohamed Salah scored a sublime, clean hit volley when they thrashed Stoke. And Spurs were on the receiving end of two decent goals from Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez. Vardy’s filthy lob over Hugo Lloris was capped off by Mahrez cutting inside, and bending the ball into the top corner.
Until next week.