Same old Arsenal, always injured. After a barnstorming European Championships with Wales it was inevitable that Aaron Ramsey would soon pick up an injury after returning to the Emirates Stadium, and so it has proved. The midfielder remains out of action, picking up the hamstring problem on the opening day of the season, and could be sidelined for another few weeks yet.
Arsenal need their combative, box-to-box midfielder back, and so the club will now accept applicants to donate a new hamstring to Ramsey. It will be like the footballing equivalent of that children’s television show Pig Heart Boy, which is incidentally what some Gooners still refer to Robin Van Persie as.
Cynical eyes were quick to spot something amiss about Tottenham’s announcement of some key players’ contract renewals this week, or rather the pictures that accompanied them. Mauricio Pochettino appeared to be wearing the same suit in all of them, prompting some to conclude that the contracts were in fact signed on the same day, and not over the week as Spurs attempted to portray.
However, the Argentine coach will seek to dispel such cynicism, wearing the same suit to the Riverside Stadium this weekend. Pochettino just wears the same suit every day. He doesn’t wash it, let alone press it. His attire crumpled and crushed, the Spurs boss will look like a worker who slept at his desk after the office Christmas party. See, the contracts were signed on different days.
Pep Guardiola will take his Kindle along to the Liberty Stadium
Nine games played, nine games won. Pep Guardiola is finding this English football malarkey a little easy, with Manchester City already taking on the role of Premier League champions elect. This was supposed to be the Catalan coach’s greatest challenge, but so far his greatest challenge has been getting a parking space outside the Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola has come to be so comfortable in the dugout he will whip his Kindle out from his pocket midway through Saturday’s match against Swansea City. He’s half-way through the new Harry Potter screenplay. “How did Hagrid’s parents reproduce if one was a giant and one was a human?” the Man City boss will ask himself as his team opens the scoring.
“If owls can track people without a location, why didn’t Voldemort or other enemies use owls to track people?” he’ll consider as City score another. “What happens if someone on a Quidditch team other than a Seeker caught the snitch?” will be on his mind with Kevin De Bruyne finding the net once more. These are the philosophical questions Guardiola now concerns himself with.
Jose Mourinho to hand out copies of his CV before Man Utd’s game against Leicester
“We had a bad week. I know that the world is full of Einsteins, I know that they tried to delete 16 years of my career,” Jose Mourinho raged after Manchester United’s midweek EFL Cup win over Northampton Town. “They tried to delete an unbelievable history of Manchester United Football Club and to focus on a bad week with three bad results. But that’s the new football, it’s full of Einsteins.”
But Mourinho isn’t done making his point. He’ll turn up at Old Trafford with wads of his CV tightly packed under his arm ready to hand out to anyone who dares to even look at him. It will list everything the Portuguese coach has achieved over the course of his career. “Champions League winner, La Liga winner, Premier League winner, connoisseur of fine trench-coats.”
Jurgen Klopp will make his Liverpool team watch Mad Max: Fury Road at half-time
As if the heavy metal dressing room music wasn’t enough, Jurgen Klopp wants the red mist to descend on the Reds against Hull City this weekend. “We need to be angry against Hull,” the German gurned during the week. “They want our points. We have to think about why people think we have problems against bus-parking. I don’t know why people think we have problems with this? I didn’t see too much space against Chelsea [last Friday].
But after an insipid first half display in which only three Hull City tibias will be broken by Liverpool studs Klopp will take additional measures. He’ll stick Mad Max: Fury Road on the television. That’ll work them into a frenzy.