I hope you have all enjoyed a fabulous time at Christmas in the company of your families. As we all know, the festive period is all about spending time with your loved ones, or so they say. Southampton’s defensive back-line clearly read the mem and included Spurs in the coronation event of gift giving by letting five goals put past them.
The England number nine celebrated his 56th goal of the calendar year with a hat-trick, overtaking Alan Shearer’s Premier League record of 36 goals. He also ended Ronaldo and Messi’s seven-year streak as finishing the year as top scorers. Not too shabby huh? Obviously, nobody could dispute the fact he has deserved it.
What he lacks in mobility and pace, he more than makes up for it with clinical finishing and reading the game better than others to find the best position to score. The Saints didn’t half help him break the record mind. At least two of his three goals could easily have been avoided, (what was Romeu thinking of standing behind Kane for the opening goal?) but then we all say the same about every goal that isn’t a 25 yarder. But there is something magical about seeing a goalkeeper slip, losing the ball to a striker and the ball ends up in the back of their own net. And Bournemouth keeper Asmir Begovic did exactly that on a horribly slippery surface, when the ball fell to Marko Arnautovic in the 3-3 draw with West Ham.
That brings me nicely to the £75m paid by Liverpool to acquire the services of centre back Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton. Which only begs the question, when are they going to come up with some business sense and just pay for their whole scouting department? Just be done with it all, and end the Southampton to Liverpool charade. It’s madness I tell you, madness.
Hardly featuring this season, Van Dijk’s nightmare beginning to the campaign is over. Just one year ago, Jurgen Klopp saw fit to slate Jose Mourinho’s £90m buy of Paul Pogba, stating he would prefer to conduct his business his way. He even laughed off the possibility of Liverpool spending ‘strikers money’ on a defender, as Man United have done with Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof. Well, there you have it. Hypocrisy.
To be fair, when a manager can amass hundreds of press conferences during their careers, it would be difficult to say things to the press with the knowledge they won’t regret saying x and y in a years time. Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock described Sol Beckenbauer Bamba better than Van Dijk earlier this week, and you’d be forgiven for saying this is just another instance. However as somebody who watches him every week, his claim isn’t as far fetched as you might think. He was our man of the match (as per usual) last night in our defeat to Preston, forcing me to cry myself to sleep for an entire week.
Swansea City already begun preparing for next season in the Championship when they appointed Carlos Carvalhal as their new manager. Under Carvalhal, Sheffield Wednesday made the play off’s two years on the trot, so you could see their thinking in a way. He’s got a tough job on his hands mind, they only lost 5-0 at Anfield last weekend where Roberto Firmino was in the mood again to pull off one of his arrogant trademark no-look goals.
I’ll end this week’s, and this year’s TWTWTW with a quick on Burnley. What a job Sean Dyche is doing.
Anyway, happy new year you legends.