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The Week In Football
Image from: plymouthherald.co.uk

Review of the Week


R.I.P. Cyrille Regis

A legend, particularly in the Midlands, Regis was a truly great player. At a time when racism was the norm and almost acceptable, Regis faced it all and rose above it. On the pitch he was a great but he will be just as fondly remembered for being a good guy who made many rethink their stance on black players. It is a sad loss to lose him at just 59 years of age.


R.I.P. Tommy Lawrence

Sadly last week also saw the loss of another nice guy as legendary former Liverpool goalkeeper Tommy Lawrence passed away. Affectionately known as the 'Flying Pig', Lawrence was beloved of the fans who he would often chat with during games.


Saido Berahino Shows Enthusiasm

Berahino becomes the latest footballer to be sat in a football team's car park during the transfer window, only to leave disappointed. In his case though it was not a failed transfer move. Poor Saido had got the wrong day and turned up for the bus to Manchester a day early!


Manchester City Getting Beat

Finally someone in the Premier League takes the game to Citeh and beats them. Despite seeing Championship sides Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bristol City give them a real scare in the EFL Cup by getting at them, Premier League teams have invariably just let Man City have the ball and do what they want. Liverpool pressed them, harried them, and they caused mistake after mistake from a group at the back that have been shown to be prone to errors for years. Will anyone else follow Liverpool's lead?



Stoke City Are In Real Trouble

The Potters are an absolute mess on the pitch, a team made up of disjointed thinking that has left them with a mixture of players that do not fit well together. The appointment of Paul Lambert, added to the attempts to persuade Quique Sanchez Flores and Martin O'Neill to take the job prior to it, is bizarre.


Arsenal WTF?!?

The longer the season goes on, the more of a mess the Gunners seem to be in. How has it come to this? Losing your best player because the lesser players do not like the fact that he expects them to work harder is insanity. Just to compound the terrible management that is seeing Arsenal shed players due to contracts coming to an end is the sudden rush to bring in panic buys to replace them. Personally it makes me sad to see Arsene Wenger allow things to come to this point, he should have left Arsenal years ago with his head held high as a legend.


Cummings And Goings

On the transfer front Nottingham Forest striker Jason Cummings returned to Scotland to join Rangers on loan just 6 months after he left Hibernian to sign for the Tricky Trees.

Leicester City showed they are still willing to take a chance on lower league footballers from France as they signed Fousseni Diabate from Gazelec Ajaccio.

Huddersfield Town swooped for former Tottenham Hotspur youth product Alex Pritchard from Norwich City to boost their team in its relegation battle.

After struggling on loan in the Bundesliga, Liverpool youngster Ryan Kent has headed off to Bristol City on loan for the rest of the season.

Arsenal's mass exodus began with the sale of out of favour Francis Coquelin to Valencia. I guess they feel he is not needed with Granit Xhaka in midfield!

Everton saw some movement with the injured Ross Barkley heading off to Chelsea to watch them from the sidelines while Turkish forward Cenk Tosun arrived from Besiktas to spearhead their attack. They also sent Kevin Mirallas out on loan to Olympiakos as Sam Allardyce looks to clear some space to bring players in.

Leeds United recruited too, though it mostly seems to be for players for their feeder club Cultural Leonesa, as Yosuke Udeguchi arrived from Gamba Osaka and went straight there on loan. Laurens de Bock, another player for the future, signed from Club Brugge.

Despite the managerial turnover, Stoke City picked up Rubin Kazan right back Moritz Bauer to add to their squad.

Burnley stepped in to rescue Georges-Kevin Nkoudou from a difficult time at Tottenham Hotspur.

Oh and some guy called Philippe Coutinho headed off to obscurity in Barcelona for a small fee, as Liverpool finally accept defeat in their attempts to hold onto him.



Phil Neville And England's Women

If ever anyone needed proof that women's football has a long way to go to match the men's game it was the news that Phil Neville is close to being appointed England manager. That is on the level of something as stupid as appointing Roy Hodgson as England manager, which of course would never hap.... Oh well at least the men's game would never sink low enough to appoint Sam Allard.... Gareth Southg... England's international game really is a mess! Still, could be worse, they could have chosen brother Gary Neville, otherwise known as the worst coach in Valencia's history.


The Battle Against Racism Has A Long Way To Go

In the same week as the sad loss of Cyrille Regis made people talk about how far the game has come, have come reminders of how far there is still to go to eradicate this blight on the world. Young Liverpool striker Rhiann Brewster has recounted tales of being racially abused during games, in particular by Spartak Moscow players. Spartak Moscow revealed how seriously they took the allegations as they tweeted pictures of their black players training with the caption "see how chocolate melts in the sun". Then Hannover 96 have condemned a group of their own fans for racially abusing a pair of Nigerian players who played against them for Main on Saturday. Someone remind me, is this 2018 or 1968?


Chelsea Move Closer To Redeveloping Stamford Bridge

An injunction blocking the expansion of the ground has been sidestepped by the local council. To ensure no legal challenge can be attempted, the council agreed to buy the land needed to build the stadium, if a settlement can not be reached with the family who took out the injunction blocking the plans.


Everton Need To Be More Boring

It is beginning to feel like Sam Allardyce is on the wind-up at Everton. First off he took over a Toffees side that were finally beginning to show some form and attacking intent and quickly stifled it. Next he took all the elements of play that he has been criticised for over the years, the long ball football, the defensive mindset and overly physical play and put them in place at Everton, but at a higher level. He has them playing like the Wimbledon of old, but without the success. They are truly dire to watch, putting it nicely. Now he says they need to be more boring. Is this Bill Kenwright's latest plan to get Everton known in the USA? Are they perhaps filming a sequel to Mike Bassett: England Manager starring Sam Allardyce and pints of wine?





Giggs New Wales Manager

In a bizarre twist, Wales look to former Welsh international, well international when it did not interfere with dental and hairdresser appointments and when his sister-in-law was unavailable, to take charge. Will they need a second manager to take charge of friendlies? Only we all know Giggs does not do friendlies....


And Finally

It just had to be mentioned, the biggest 'what on earth' moment of the week went to the referee, Tony Chapron, in the Nantes v PSG game in Ligue 1. He is certainly no Paul Alcock is he? Following Chapron running across Nantes defender Diego Carlos, who was chasing back to try and defend against a PSG break, Chapron was accidentally knocked over. Rather than just picking himself up while the crowd cheered and jeered, as usually happens when a ref falls over, he lashed out at Diego Carlos, then proceeded to send the defender off when he had the temerity to complain about being kicked. A career awaits Chapron on the new series of 'Gladiators'.

Written by Tris Burke



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