Right, we were all glued to Sky Sports News at some point before and after work on Wednesday for transfer deadline day. And we knew what we were letting ourselves in for.
The biggest deal of the day was Pierre Emerick Aubameyang getting his wish to leave Borussia Dortmund for Arsenal. Arsene Wenger’s priority should have been either the goalkeeper, a centre back or two, a defensive midfielder, and absolutely anybody to dislodge Alex Iwobi from the team. Instead, he chose to only strengthen his striking positions with the Gabonese. He’s a top striker, that’s indisputable. With him he’ll bring pace, goals, and his very own Spiderman mask for whenever he scores. Can Auba play out wide like Iwobi? No, really, is he? I don’t know.
But it wasn’t straightforward, because Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi were added to the mix. And 24 hours after the dreamboat graced Swansea’s Liberty Stadium bench while watching Arsenal lose 3-1, he was named on Chelsea’s bench the very next day as they were stunned 3-0 at home to Bournemouth. It was a first for a player to be featured on two separate benches, on the very same episode of Match Of The Day. Just what can he not do?
Television adverts, scorpion kicks, breaking records. The man’s an enigma.
Usually when a manager says they wouldn’t sell a player for X amount of money, they’re usually tongue in cheek. Turns out Claude Puel wasn’t actually taking the p***. The tight Manchester City made three offers in January, ranging from £50m to £65m. On Wednesday, Riyad Mahrez handed in a transfer request in order to push Leicester to accept an offer.
With his second transfer request at the club denied, he decided to go on on strike. And now, he hasn’t turned up to training since. I’m going to take a shot in the dark here, but I doubt he wishes to continue to play for the club. Take notice of Crystal Palace. They knew they couldn’t get a deal done to sign Lille’s Ibrahim Amadou, but dragged negotiations on long enough to ensure West ham didn’t have time to sign him either.
Well played Palace, well played.
Last Sunday, I attended the Cardiff versus Manchester City game. It was a game marred by the ‘roughhouse’ tactics deployed by Warnock on Pep’s stars. Or was it? Lee Mason (the worst referee I have ever seen) incredibly, only gave a yellow to Joe Bennett for dangerously hacking down Leroy Sane. Cardiff gave more than they received in terms of the nature of their tackling, yet the high foot from De Bruyne landing on Jazz Richards was hardly given any attention. Why?
Bad tackling was again in effect in the Man City v West Brom game. Before opening the scoring, Fernandinho stamped on Krychowiak. Hardly a word was said, as was the case with Claudio Yacob’s shin caught David Silva’s foot. Or was it the other way around? Personally, I do believe neither Fernandinho or David Silva intended to harm their opponent. And I refuse to believe Joe Bennett went in like he did to hurt Sane, as I have never seen him try anything like that before. Pep’s right that the tackles from Cardiff warranted more protection, but he’s chosen a convenient time to bring it up.
Back to the scoring part of the game, Theo Walcott is having quite the change in fortunes at Everton. The former Gunner bagged a couple of goals in Everton’s 2-1 win over Leicester. Fun fact for you. Theo has now been involved in 11% of all of Everton’s goals this season. He’s played three games for the club.
Spurs set a new record for the highest ever Premier League attendance, when 81,978 people saw them put Man United to the sword, thanks mainly to United’s Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
That’s all for this week.