Football cranked up the gate-o-meter last week, didn’t it? It was #GateThis and #GateThat and all down to a pasty (yes, please note it was a pasty and not a pie) and a somewhat rotund goalkeeper. Anyway, we’ve all moved on from that now haven’t we, because there’s loads more stuff to point the finger of fun at.
Take Crystal Palace fans, for example. Possibly the most stupid in the country this week. They say South London is where the intelligent Londoner resides. Well, I am guessing we can assume they are not in Croydon. When deciding to attack a team coach and give it a smattering of graffiti, check it’s not yours yeah? I mean, Karanka typically left the Middlesbrough one parked in front of his own goal so it was unlikely to be the Boro people carrier in the car park.
If you think that is ridiculous, what about this? The actual London Stadium is up for an actual ‘Best Football Stadium’ award. I know, but I did warn you. I am presuming the company who has come up with this award ceremony has either never been to the ground or has been, but has no idea what an actual football ground looks or feels like and was quite impressed by the popcorn.
Apparently, and I might have just made this up, the London Stadium is up against the Emirates Stadium, who have been nominated in the ‘Best Atmosphere’ category. Now you know I am lying.
I guess we can’t really get through this column without paying tribute to the hero of last season. The man that made the impossible come true. The man who handled himself with grace, class and dignity throughout. The man who, if you cut him open, a fox would literally jump out. Yes folks, wasn’t Jamie Vardy fantastic on Monday night? If only someone had realised the reason he had stopped scoring was that nice Italian man, then they could have got rid of him earlier.
The whole thing is a little weird, from the timing of the sacking to the incredible ‘hey, it was nothing to do with us’ pleas from Kasper Schmeichel, despite everyone knowing it had everything to do with them. Paul Merson will be happy, though. What could be more English than an English manager called Shakespeare getting the job?
That said, Roy Hodgson is in the frame, too. Vardy won’t be happy. He’s already gone on strike for one tactically inept manager this season.
What about Liverpool, though? I mean, they are not the first set of young men to take a trip to La Manga and come back looking a little shell shocked and heavy legged. Clubs can’t even get team bonding right nowadays.
David Moyes managed to state the absolute obvious before and after his team’s defeat at Everton. He said if they played like they played against Palace they might win, and if they played like the did against Southampton they might lose.
They lost, which led Moysey to conclude that they needed to win some more games if they want to avoid relegation. That’s what they get paid for, these managers.
Jamie Redknapp is a gem, isn’t he? He said that “unknown quantity” might be a handful when referring to Manolo Gabbiadini. That’s the lad who used to play Champions League football for Serie A outfit Napoli. Yeah, that unknown quantity.
Seriously, does Jamie think teams turn up at Wembley without even checking the opposition team sheet? Mind you, it did look like United didn’t have a clue how to play against the guy. He should have had a hat-trick, but was wrongly called offside – and nobody should go through that level of pain, not even Matt Le Tissier, who was close to tears at half time.
But Zlatan did what Zlatan does and put in the kind of performance that took me all the way back to 1988 when Brian Stein broke Arsenal hearts at Wembley with a late winner in a 3-2 win. It happens.
Burnley got a point away from home. Hang on, that’s huge news. Why didn’t I lead with that? Yes, they nabbed a point at Hull and Hull isn’t even in Lancashire! Incredible. Chelsea did what Chelsea do, which is get a lucky escape at a crucial moment then go up the other end and kill the game off. If Swansea had got that penalty, who knows?
Spurs played like they never want to play at Wembley again. No, not at Wembley, but at the weekend when they stuck four past Stoke. Harry Kane was rather good again and Dele Alli behaved himself, which was nice. The problem for Spurs is that all their home games next season will be at Wembley, so my advice to Poch is make sure you get the Barcelona job.
With Leicester winning it made me worry for Bournemouth. How will Eddie Howe get the Arsenal job if he takes the Cherries down?
Ah, we can worry about that next week.