An alternative roundup of the week's headlines
It’s been a dizzying week in football terms!
Not only have we had the last week of the Transfer Window to deal with (which in all honesty has been about as exciting as watching West Brom vs Burnley… reserves). The games have been coming thick and fast too, as Premier League fixtures gave way to the FA cup and back to the Premier League again.
It really is non-stop right now and it making that Mitchell and Webb sketch about the dizzy volume of football matches (you know this one) look like a forbearer of the future rather than a cutting piece of satire. Comparing that sketch to the current football calendar could well be the best example of life imitating art since Picasso predicted how Ian Dowie was going to look after throwing his head at anything (players included) inside the 6-yard box for almost 20 years.
It’s crazy and if you ever needed more proof as to just how crazy football is right now then just take a look at the current table (at the time of writing) West Ham are in 5th! FIFTH!!! Trust the Hammers to finally get their act together just when its the actual end of the world…
One of the more interesting transfers of the January window is actually taking place at West Ham however where perpetual man-boy, cap brand ambassador and occasional footballer Jesse Lingard has joined up with former boss David Moyes on-loan.
It could be a great move with West Ham adding to a threadbare team and Lingard having a chance to re-ignite his career. Although you can 100% guarantee the news will be accompanied by an inevitable flurry of social media posts that read: “Hang on, Jessie Lingard is HOW old?” When everyone realises he’s now 28.
He really is. Check Wikipedia.
Let’s hope his arrival goes better than when he rocked up at Upton Park for the final time eh?
No doubt Jesse will be a little pleased to be leaving Old Trafford behind and that portion of their “fanbase” that think its apparently 100% ok to hurl racist abuse and death threats towards players when their team lose. There’s a special term for that kind of fan in football… that term is B**lend.
Even the more reasonable fans in the red half of Manchester were a little perplexed that their team, so impressive in recent weeks, could have slipped up to struggling Sheffield United. It was a remarkable result. But not nearly as remarkable as the speed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can transform from managerial genius to PE Teacher and back again depending on the latest result. It’s a quicker change in perspective than Darth Vader’s in Return of the Jedi (spoiler alert).
Meanwhile, some fellow Manchester-based title hopefuls City faced some fellow relegation candidates in a match that offered up a very different result.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City team faced Sam Allardyce’s West Brom in a clash of cultures that’s not been seen since Prince Harry invited Katie Price out on a date*. The result was somewhat different to the Sheffield United match, however.
Manchester City seem to have found a little of their old swagger of late and proceeded to shimmy and shoot FIVE past a hopeless Baggies defence causing some pundits to ask the question “Has Big Sam bit off more than he can chew?”. It’s looking quite likely that this time he may have done just that – which is really saying something for a man who can chew a considerable amount! Especially if its washed down by a pint of Pinot Grigio…or Bisto.
The BIG news of the week, however, was no doubt taking place at Stamford Bridge where Frank Lampard’s Chelsea(TM) experienced a “conscious uncoupling” with Lamps and were forced to revert to their former name of “Chelsea FC”. Boring.
Lampard’s split from the club came after a period of poor results and rumours that he hadn’t spoken to some of his players for MONTHS before getting the boot. Maybe a similar tactic to the one he used when leaving his Mrs for Christine Bleakley?
His personalised tracksuit was probably still warm by the time Roman Abramovich had got a new boss in. Former PSG boss Thomas Tuchel was already in the dugout for the teams next match against Wolves, where he proceeded to win over fans instantly with a formation that included five defenders and two defensive midfielders.
If there had been any fans in the stadium then we would have no doubt responded to the obvious bus parking with the chant “You’re just a German Jose Mourinho” ringing around the stadium. But I guess they don’t really mind that in that part of London.
The response from those who COULD vocalise their opinions (the media) was mixed. According to the Daily Express, Rio Ferdinand was leading the criticism of the new boss with their headline:
What exactly was it that Rio said that was so “damning” about Tuchel’s first game in charge? Well, a quick read of the article reveals that the former United defenders “hot take” on the matter was:
“You can’t judge him on this game”
Harsh Rio… really harsh!