Christmas week is still only a week long and that means there are at least seven people to point the finger of fun at.
#1 Jose Mourinho
“£300m? Is not enough. Is not enough”, said Jose cleverly distracting the world from the fact that Manchester United were 2-0 down at home to Burnley before Jesse Lingard (cost £0) rescued them. According to Jose, Manchester City have been paying striker prices for fullbacks – Benjamin Mendy must have been bloody good in those three games before he did his knee the amount he has been referred to in the last week or so. Striker prices for fullbacks though? Luke Shaw (and yes, I know Jose didn’t sign him and he certainly doesn’t like him) cost United £32m. Gabby Jesus cost Pep £26m or something. It all kinda balances out really Jose. The simple fact is, football is moving on and you are not.
#2 Harry Kane
Don’t tell me “he shouldn’t have been playing in the last two matches”. I’m not interested. The fact is Harry Kane needed four goals in the last two games of the calendar year to beat Alan Shearer’s record so he went and scored six just to make sure. Granted, he owes Oriel Romelu a couple of bottles of champagne for being the wrong side of him in the six-yard box at Wembley and he probably owes Dele Alli even more for the amount of tumbles he has taken in the box to earn Spurs a penalty. But Kane’s achievements are incredible, especially when you consider Tottenham were not exactly convinced he would make it. As I’ve said already though, we shall all look back on this record fondly next summer when Harry looks knackered and England have just drawn 0-0 with Panama.
#3 Virgil van Dijk
There’s a message to all children in the moral of the story of the £75m move from Southampton to Liverpool. Act like a spoilt brat for long enough and you get what you want. VVD went on strike, refused to play and said he wanted the move. Southampton said no, and denied themselves both their best defender and a bucket full of cash to spend on other players whilst he sat in the reserves. This has been considered “good management”. I call this getting the worst of everything. As expected, the big Dutchman has got his promotion at work and move from the Liverpool Academy to the Liverpool first team on January 1st where he will no doubt show that he is not the answer to Jurgen Klopp’s defensive questions.
#4 Carlos Carvalhal
I tell you this for free, if you get sacked by Sheffield Wednesday you have done very well indeed to get a crack at a Premier League job next up. Mind you, this is Swansea City. A club that appears to have forgotten that they were once considered the ideal model for running a top-flight outfit.
#5 Rafa Benitez
All hail Rafa, the tactical genius! Newcastle fans were super excited that Benitez finally figured a way to crack the Manchester City code. Shoot from kick off and then spend the rest of the match in your own penalty box. The only problem is, Manchester City still won. Sure, it was only 1-0 and not the customary 4-0 but Rafa didn’t exactly come up with a way to win now, did he?
#6 Bobby Madley
The best referees rarely get noticed, they say. We notice Bobby quite a lot, which tells you quite a lot. Over-ruling your assistant in injury time on a goal that gives a team a very late equaliser is a brave move. It was also completely the wrong move.
#7 Arsene Wenger
810 games in Premier League management and still that blasted zip won’t do as it’s told, eh Arsene?