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Hello and welcome to The Guardian Football Weekly, and it would have to take a non-event at Stamford Bridge and a big result elsewhere for us not to lead with Thomas Tubercles, first game in charge of Chelsea.
And so it goes a non-event at the bridge in Sheffield, United. Stunning when Old Trafford means there's only one place to start. Many questions is the greatest of great escapes on all. He was really good on Monday. What is he, on Thursday? And can anyone cling onto the slippery coattails of Manchester City? Leicester take just a point to Everton when it should have been three. Also, has laws melted over Bernoulli's exergy defined win over Villa? Did anyone know Brighton and Fulham played Anders Thomas to hate young people?
All that plus your questions.
And that's today's Guardian Football Weekly on the panel today. Natasha Henry, hello. Hi, Max. How are you? I'm tremendously well. Paul McKennis, hello.
Good day to you and Lars Severson. Welcome. Good morning, Max. Let's start at Old Trafford then. Manchester United won Sheffield United to a stunning performance from Sheffield United's December 1973 was their last win at Old Trafford, when Dawn, whoever Dawn is, was at No. One in the charts with tie a yellow ribbon. Thank you, producer Ian, for that. That's why. That's why you're the best in the business. Natasha, you're astute.
Did you see this coming?
I don't know if I saw it coming, but I wasn't surprised that Sheffield United actually challenged them for the game that they could have won. I've watched them a few times live this season and they work hard. They're organized, but they've just struggled with scoring goals. And it kind of felt like United went in a bit too cocky, a bit too confident they'd been on a good run and maybe they didn't do their due diligence, I suppose would be the best way to describe it.
But I think it's great for Cresswell and for the team because they've worked so hard and everyone's supporting the players, loving, you know, the boardroom loves them.
And the fans adore lost so many great performances from them. I thought Billy Sharp and Arthur McGoldrick played well, Jagielka, 38 years and 163 days old. Sad when you get so either so young or so old that they put the number of days on your age. But that's where Jagielka has got to.
I thought they I agree with the Tarsha that, you know, they've been close in games, haven't they?
They've been like one goal out quite a lot of time, but I thought. They did look like a slightly different site. They just looked tougher and better than they've been. Certainly not coming at Spurs, I remember.
I do think it's harsh on them that they're like bottom with almost no points going into this, because the apps that I say, they haven't been the worst team in the league, even by West Brom.
They've not. They've not. But they had this thing last season where they kept late just about tilting results in their favor. Like last season. There were a lot of drawers in there. There were a lot of one one girl wins. And this season, I think the injury to Jack O'Connell has really hurt them. I think that the change in goalkeeper hasn't worked in their favor.
Just a couple of things that's just made them slightly less good, which when they were already winning on narrow margins, is very bad. But you're right, there was a lot of effort went into this.
And I wonder if actually the winning a couple of games and the couple have done them good as well, because, I mean, the feeling in the squad can have been good after that.
Run their own it maybe, you know, of course, getting that win against Newcastle, but also getting a couple of wins, albeit against lesser opponents in the cup, possibly that raised spirits a little bit because they did they went out there looking like they believed they could get something.
And Paul, look, a sign that this is the greatest league in the world. Anyone can be anyone. I think this sort of play to Sheffield United have an attitude that is consistent with that take on the lead. They they fight and fight. And that's what they you know, they're incredibly well organized. They've got a good game plan, but they fight. And I think that's something that I I don't know. I think we saw more of it in that game yesterday than we've seen for a while.
And I don't quite know why that is. It could have been because it felt almost like a free hit playing a team that was, you know, going for the title at Old Trafford United also very much to let them into the game. I mean, United was slicing through them at well, in the second half, the final touch was was often a little bit too ornate. And I agree with Natasha's point from the very beginning. I think they came there thinking they could win it easily.
And, you know, there's a often a difficult balance to strike between being confident and being overconfident. But I think that period in particular, once they got the equalizer and that passage there in which they allowed Audi back in to score the score, the winner well deflected winner was was typical of that. They just seem to think that whatever position they took and whatever attitude they had, it would work out in their favour. And there was a series of about four or five kind of suboptimal decisions by United's leading up to that goal.
So for me, I was really, really pleased for Wilder, because you know, what he's done with that team and he continues to do with that club is incredible.
But I think if you were only going to Sochua Dubea Incandescence after after losing that game, Paul, do you think Harry Maguire tapping it to here and him just tapping out was suboptimal during that second goal?
Yeah, for both. For both of them. I mean, for me, I kind of feel like the head should have put his foot through it, but maybe the angles weren't ideal and how he should look for something a bit a bit simpler, too. But yeah, for me, it was on the left hand, a left hand side there with there was just you know, we just gave them space to progress up the pitch, to play passes, you know, around looking for the right crossing option, thinking, OK, well, you don't really have a strike if it's going to hurt us.
And, you know, factually speaking, statistically speaking, that's kind of the case. But, you know, you keep on giving people opportunities, particularly in a game where it's not it felt like, you know, we've got nothing to lose here. We're going to go for it, you know, asking for trouble.
The the psychology of complacency is interesting. The test, isn't it? Because, you know, this is what they are there to do. They are there to turn up and win.
And, you know, you've got to keep winning because you're on such a good run. But even still, for elite athletes, it comes in, doesn't it? You could just it must be so hard to keep repeating to a team. You're not just going to naturally win this game.
I mean, it's not just complacency is a bit of arrogance as well. The fact that they've gone into the game thinking we're going to take all three points. This is Sheffield United. You know, they're at the bottom of the table. But I think one of the key things that Chris Walter did is he's taken the Armbrister out of the starting line up. And I watched him a couple of times when they were at home this season. And he's he's a young kids.
He hasn't learned his game. He he doesn't know how to control the game as a forward that they need. They don't have a lot of possessions. So he's not getting a lot of time on the ball. So someone like McGoldrick, who is experienced, who can just wait there, he knows he might not see the ball for 25, 30 minutes, but when he does, he will hold up play. But, yeah, I think United's I wouldn't say it was naive from them.
It's probably more arrogance and naivety.
I mean, just if they were complacent, if there is anyone I mean, they're too complacent about this game. They need a slap because this was their whole Achilles heel for such a such a long time on the soldier.
If you go back to last season, you know, they lost what for the loss to Bournemouth they were lost at home to. They lost in Newcastle, they lost apparently they dropped points to Villa, they didn't win any other games against West Ham like these sort of games where you expect United to go out and win. As a matter of course, they were terrible at last season. Now they've been a lot better this year and they haven't messed up in the games where we sort of become used to seeing them mess up.
And but surely they're aware at the back of their minds that, you know, this is this is where it's gone wrong for us in the past. That would be extraordinary if they were like, oh, this will be fine. Like they've got no right to be and they haven't even earned the right to be slightly complacent. I do wonder if the way they play, they are really reliant, I think, on individual players. Like if Bruno Fernandes doesn't have a good day, I don't think they create as much otherwise.
I thought they really missed Cavani early on in terms of his movement up front. And they are a team of individuals really went in the attacking sense. They they do kind of wait for someone to do something extraordinary. And it's also said that there was no magic, no space to run into was his line. And they need one of those two things. They need space to attack to get their runners into or they need someone to do something magical.
And that's still a bit of an issue. Now, recently, a lot of magic has happened. It's been a bit more sort of in the Harry Potter end of things.
And now we're in Paul Daniels and we're a bit that's where we are a little bit more. Sort of. Yeah. David Blaine maybe. I don't know. There was there was on the magic scale. It wasn't in the end you want it to be. But that's still a bit of an issue for the team, I think.
Paul, why why are they so good away and so bad at home? Manchester United played ten one eight drawn two away. Top of the league for a way performance is 10th from home plate and one for drawn to lost four, you know, without fans, that doesn't seem to make any sense to me.
I mean, it could it could simply be because of the way the opposition sets up against them in given circumstances away from home, they're more likely to come on, you've got that counter attack option is there at home. You sit they sit in low block, narrow spaces and it's a different kind of game and united. They sort of lack goals from midfield to a certain extent on a Brunos assist came from that sort of position. The winner, the the the winner the other week been a case in point of that.
That's the sort of thing that sometimes, you know, you need to get around a tight defense. But I don't I don't actually think they had that much problem creating these bases yesterday. I think particularly in the second half, they were in that groove. You know, they didn't make it work. Marshall, his his goal return this season has been poor, I think. And going back to this point, you probably would have wanted to see Cavani earlier.
And I just think there is a bit about United that there's not enough players in that team who just get the bit between their teeth and say, OK, we're going to drive this to a win. You know, they've got the ability, but they have enough people who will who will clamber over their grandmother to get three points. Are you saying they should Roy Keane should still, I just think a hologram, a hologram of Roy Keane in the dressing room or just haunting them on the pitch, you know, hovering, hovering over, you know, I feel, you know, obviously Bruno's brain knows that kind of player.
And I was listening to before the game talking about, you know, Pop and how he's, you know, Popper is in finally in the form of his life and blah, blah, blah. And I think, you know, we had another game with Pop. He was pretty quiet for me. Popper is the play is a player who needs to be the ability he's got and the stature he has. He needs that there's nothing wrong to expect him to deliver is a game nine times out of ten.
Jack John says eight years between Ampadu and Jagielka, has there ever been a larger gap between outfield players on the same team? Natasha, you've done some research.
I know I was really tough with this. I've got three actually more. So we had. Adnan Amazigh, I'm not sure if that's the right person, I'm Ryan Giggs. OK, what's the day he was born 73 and I was born in ninety five. I think I have to double check on my final four years and I say I've got twenty, twenty two years there.
Then I've got Zlatan and Daniel Mordini. OK, that's twenty years. Right. And then I've got to fun and I'm going to butcher his name. I apologize Klasky for you. They and that's twenty as well.
So the first one I thought of is, you know, European football connoisseurs will see this coming. Montpellier defender Hilton, a Brazilian defender from Montpellier, he's still playing regularly for Montpellier. He's 43.
It's quite extraordinary. He's forty three years of age and is still playing regularly in league from Montpellier. He is twenty four years older than their defensive midfielder, always short and who's played quite a bit. They do have a young striker who's eighteen step early while he's history and the subject of butchering names. Sorry, but who's eighteen. He hasn't played a lot, but they were briefly on the same pitch this season and the gap between them is twenty five years.
But there is a sort of there is one that's not going to be bettered here. And I think it counts because it isn't a top tier league, because you, Shimura, is still playing in Japan for Yokohama FC and he's not a big part of their squad, obviously, but he's still on their books and he gets some game time now.
And again, he's he's fifty three, I swear to God, because he me, I was born in sixty seven. And you think he's just hanging around because he's a good influence or whatever. But he did start a game in the J League last season in September against Kawasaki. And also starting in this game, by the way, Shunsuke Nakamura is forty three now. So they like their old players that Yokohama that starting in defense that day was a young youngish man named Yuki Kobayashi, who was twenty born in 2000.
So that's thirty three years, four months and twenty two days between them. So I don't think that's going to get better at any time. When Mieras was taken off in that game, he was replaced by a nineteen year old striker. So you had thirty four years between the guy coming off and the guy coming on. Now, if you're wondering, I'm sure you are wondering. Machimura has signed a contract extension and will be part of Yokohama squabs when the league kicks off in February.
He played in Europe in the nineties, played at one season in January 1994 where he actually scored in the Derby against some Dorio had David Platt, RWD Hulet and Roberto Mancini in the team. He's still knocking about kinkajou and the Gaoli is a top tier league.
It's it. It's you got to take it seriously. Gives hope to us all, Vincent says. How many examples are there of a team whose awaked is the combination of the two colors of their home kit like Sheffield United?
Did they just like get the straight straight off the wash and the red bled into the white and just made quite a fetching pink kit? Barely three Villedieu Jordan says after the latest dose masterclass, how does LA's now admire Burnley Onex? Gee, this was nought point seven seven Burnley No. Point seventy seven Villa two point nine.
For the sort of travesty last that Grealish was on the losing side yesterday, it was for me it was a reassuring return to normality because Burnley haven't quite been Burnley this season. They'd only scored ten goals the whole season before this, which obviously not good.
This puts them at thirteen, which is still not good, but actually they've scored less and fewer sorry goals than their XG would suggest that they should, which, as we all know is, you know, awfully completely off brand for Burnley.
So this was this was the sort of a return to the incredibly frustrating, yet impressive Burnley ways of old.
And we did see we had a comment or someone asking, like, where would Howard McNeil be rated if he played for a bigger team?
And I think there's an interesting question there not I think we underestimate Burnley players, but I think the attacking players of Burnley who get don't get a lot of chances to do their stuff because the ball doesn't come their way there often.
It would be interesting to see them play for a team that has more possession and gets the ball to them more often. Like how good could they could Ashley Barnes and Chris would be if they played up front for a team that actually created a lot of chances for them? I think that's a really interesting question.
Well, what did you what did you think of this? I thought Chris Woods header was utterly brilliant. I like sometimes we sort of gloss over great headers because they don't didn't look spectacular. But to arch your neck and to place that ball under pressure is is actually superb. Center forward play.
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, that's their when came from doing well, what Burnley do well. And I think the there must be some kind of calculation that can be created that sort of accommodates within a thing like Exergy specialisms. A team for doing that sort of stuff? That's right, McNeill's only had two assists all season, so they've obviously not been doing what they can do. There's a there's a thing that's a long term thing with Burnley, which is how do you keep motivating these players to perform above themselves when it's pretty clear that there's a ceiling on how far they can go?
And and I guess sort of one way is to be completely humiliated by your opponents in the first 45 minutes of a match. And then that that allows your manager to sort of actually put his put his foot up your pants in the in the dressing room. So, you know, maybe they should try that more often.
And we didn't really discuss because Thursday night games are tricky for us because once Monday comes around, this a weekend of games, we haven't really talked on the pot about Burnley winning at Anfield as well.
I mean, that is two brilliant wins. And I want to Anfield like to end that run of I don't know what it was almost 70 games, wasn't it?
Yeah, it is extraordinary. And like they did that brilliantly as well.
I think we have to give a lot of credit. Sean Dyche. I think a lot of people seem to underestimate him and his team. It's like, you know, Burnley, they're just go they'll just try and get a ball from a set piece. But he showed again last night they were getting bad. He changed at half time. They came out and won the game like, say, Grealish was great. You know, you got Berkely that it's not like Filaret team that you can just walk all over.
And I honestly expected them to win. So I was surprised that Burnley got three points. But I think he's showing that they can work hard, but they can find that bit of flair when they need it. I think we can call it the Tony Pulis situation. People have this vision of his team. They're just grafters, but they can do more than that and the manager can encourage them to do more than that.
It was the flair under Pulis. I mean, not Big Sam had it right with a culture. And, you know, Jokic did a Pulis have Shaqiri. Was that in the Marcuse reboot. I wonder if the Turkish. Yeah. The Turkish flag player whose name escapes me for a moment as well. Tuncurry. Yeah. Yeah.
They, they can't play like showy and flashy all the time because they'll get battered and they'll concede too many goals. The, you know, the players they have in their squad, they have to be defensive and hope they can win one or win by one goal. But yeah, I say fair play to them and you know, Liverpool got beaten again, so they're not going to be invincible.
So it's all good, Claret says. Any thoughts on the tweet from the official Aston Villa account? I think it's been deleted. It was like twenty six minutes is where it turf more. So obviously our strike has been on the end of a dreadful challenge. Tarkovsky goes in the book. I mean, we've had this with official accounts before, and I know it is just a person.
You know, it's not a p.l.c. tweeting, but it does feel, Paul, a little bit, just sort of a bit cheap, doesn't it? Yeah.
This is where my sort of A.D.s working expertise can come in handy because I don't spend as much time watching football anymore as I would like to. I spend a lot more time sitting on Zoome calls with governing bodies and and this this week they that Deloitte, the accountants, released one of their series of reports into money in football and looking at what they call the money league. The top twenty richest clubs in Europe and Barcelona are top and holding their place.
And I think Manchester United are fourth and lost an awful lot of money this past year. But one of the things they were observing was that because of the pandemic and because of a massive loss of revenue, it's forced clubs to spend a lot more time and money on improving their digital offering, trying to get their connect with their fans when they're stuck at home, which again, sort of further merges that mass of the fan who goes to the stadium, the real fan and the fan who just sitting there watching telly, the new fan.
And, you know, one of the ways in which people do this is, you know, they have a subscription channel, they have shows or they have whatever. But the easiest way in the most direct way is having a Twitter account that gets you lots of interactions and how you get people interacting with you while you add to personality and you also add controversy. And, you know, a lot of I think we've got used to over time clubs being pretty just nice and personable and bland.
But as we've seen with, you know, a lot of other brands that aren't football over time, you know, the way you get an edge, the way you sort of get people to engage is to have to be more controversial, this sort of stuff where you're actually going to see more clubs being like we are the fans, we're just like you, the fans. We can expect to see more of that.
Yeah, it's interesting conversation. And I'm sorry you have to spend so much time on Zoome calls with governing bodies, Paul, but. When we do the Zoome call with governing body special, you will be you will be our main guest. Yeah, and that'll do for part one but two will begin at Stamford Bridge.
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Welcome to Part two of The Guardian, a weekly Comac writes, Does Thomas to call need more time? Chelsea nil. Chelsea nil. Whorls nil. I've got one of my friends as a Chelsea season ticket holder was on a WhatsApp group with his Chelsea fans like irate at the starting 11 that Thomas to call pick like like genuinely.
And he's quite a mild mannered person. There were lots of F's and I think even one C in there, like, so furious that Mason Mount had been left out. It also left out Tammie, Abraham, Reese, James, no place in the squad for Billy Gilmore. There is a danger in reading too much into this.
What message did his starting 11 send out to you?
Yeah, I think there's a danger of reading too much into it. He said one training session with the team, but he will also have been have been watching them, presumably, and he's not a fool. He will have been aware there's a chance he could end up being in charge with these guys.
I do think the sort of agony and outrage over the Chelsie kids feels, you know, bordering on condescending a little bit.
I mean, Tammy Abraham is 23. He's played for four different clubs. He's played over 200 games. Mason Mount is 22. Like, these aren't sort of Dickensian street urchins who they sort of found on the Kings Road a few hours before the game. Like these are these are fairly established sort of professionals, England internationals. You know, if they're if they're good enough, they get in, they'll get in the team. And if the manager thinks someone else is good enough, then that's kind of football.
Binay made quite an interesting point. Not that interesting, actually. It's quite an obvious point that, you know, how about some pulisic younger than than Mount and Abraham? Foreigners can be young, too.
And it was interesting that Natasha I spoke to Ben Foster yesterday about, you know, a new manager coming in, obviously plays for Watford. He has a new manager every two weeks.
And and he was saying that players really do read a lot in terms of like a first starting 11. You know, they go what?
You know. Whoa, I'm not in this team, and you you sort of wonder if Mason Mount will be almost like his Dele Alli, like everyone will know is if Mount's playing it will be a story. If Mount isn't playing, it'll be a story. If he's if he's brought on, it will be a story. If he's taken off, it will be a story. So there's no way and I'm pouring here, I am pouring on that story right now.
I mean, yeah, I think Mal is he was described as Lampard favorite son or favorite player, that kind of thing. There is always those managers that have really close relationships with some players. And obviously Lampard is probably an idol to kids that have come from Chelsea's youth squad. So I do think if a new manager came into my work and suddenly I wasn't getting to go to the Champions League games or the Premier League games, I would start to feel like, am I doing something wrong?
So I think it's only natural, but I feel like he's come and he's been there, what, 48 hours? Not even that. I don't think you can read into that. He's probably picked the players that he's aware of most or the people that work hardest in training, which doesn't necessarily mean they're better on the pitch or in the game. You know, some players don't train well, but they're great on the pitch. So maybe once you spend some more time, he'll see something different and his squad will change.
I think give him like ten games and then we can talk about does he not like kids and all that kind of stuff.
I mean, it was it was a straight choice of it's over, wasn't it? That that's that was the set up. So I think I think there is there is it's very difficult not to not to look at that and think there is some kind of there's been a there's been a conscious decision for one over the other. I mean, the argument being that he went for a more experienced team. And I did the presser with him after the game and he was raving about the team, but then sort of basically revealed he was really worried that they were going to lose if they didn't set up quite defensively, I thought was quite, quite revealing.
But can I go just a little bit, Gardian Easter? I sort of felt it was just a bit weird listening to this erudite, highly educated, progressive, modern German coach speaking fluent English. In the current climate, it just felt a bit out of date. And he was talking about sort of six ball recoveries in the final third and things like that. And you were like, are you aware of what the Chelsea fan base is currently feeling right right now?
And, you know, and not not just that, but the sort of idea that you're going to pick sort of an unproven European import over now, a gold a golden boy, English kid. It just felt like a little bit I felt sorry for him, really, because I felt like you're probably going to get a lot of stuff chopped at you if you keep on going like this and whether you deserve it or not. Not even sure the time.
The time I feel the same for Jurgen Klopp about I feel like, you know, you can come in over here and do all this. You know, I'm being sort of like such a marvelous human being. And then at the end of the day, sort of the direction the country is going on is a completely other way. I feel like. Well, yeah, maybe I wonder whether things might get quite sticky quite quickly for Tuco if if the if the results don't go.
And let's face it, the performance wasn't that great. One could run across from from Hudson, the door here. You're not going to get away with playing in that position many times. And when you when you're playing against the wolves without any confidence who were going to sit back and and just try and defend the whole game may. But anybody who wants to attack that space is going to have joy in future.
I mean, is great when he says, I think supporters would have liked what they saw. Sixteen recoveries in the last third is proof of energy on the pitch. It's like it's a funny thing to say. I also really like the sort of amazement that. His English is so good, as if he only started learning it yesterday. Sure, we don't we don't get a lot of the English out from here.
He only arrived in London yesterday and he's already fluent in English. This guy is a complete genius. Professor says I haven't paid much attention to typical tactics in the Bundesliga at PSG. Can Lars explain like the tactical prowess of two?
I think it's hard because he's been at three very different clubs that have had three very different situations and have put three very different types of demands off of him. His main team was very typical for what we sort of associate with sort of this new generation of German coaches, very hard running, high pressing, I guess the most eye catching thing there are very flexibly flexible tactically.
They could change formational according to what the opposition was doing, whereas at Dortmund it was clear that he's perhaps more influenced by Pep Guardiola than a lot of other coaches of of his background. I mean, he definitely made Dortmund more possession focused and had them keep the ball a lot more.
And at PSG is a really hard club to analyze because, I mean, they're going to have a ton of possession and roll over most of their teams domestically anyway.
But I do think I would expect him to be more possession focused than they're used to than Chelsea fans are used to seeing. So there's definitely a kind of I think we see the beginnings of a culture war, my friends. And I think it might actually be a bit of an advantage for him that there's no fans in the stadium at the moment because he's coming in replacing you know, Chelsea is brave, Frank Lampard, who's been unjustly and cruelly thrown away.
And there will be a lot of this, I suspect will have a lot of dasari discussions, you know, because they will be looking to keep possession. Obviously, it's not going to be as mad as against wolves because wolves just sat back and had no intention of coming out and attacking them or doing anything. So you do end up with like a thousand sideways passes. But but he is a coach who likes to have his team control, possession and keep possession without which traditionally, I mean, if the year taught us anything, is that with the match going the Stamford Bridge, that doesn't go down very well and their fan base, who have seen their team be very successful playing direct football and be, you know, get the ball forward quickly, that's what they like to see.
And that's what the team has been successful doing. So they had very, very little time for sort of Jörgen. You're passing it sideways 700 times per game. And I suspect we'll see quite a bit of that.
Yeah, I do wonder necessarily if if wolves was quite a difficult first game from, as we mentioned, because they did absolutely park the bus, didn't they? Weird. What's happened to wolves without Amarnath. And, you know, they've lost obviously a couple more players, you know, Jota and Dhoti as well.
But they would have approached that game differently. I think a season last season, it feels like they've lost their spark.
And I think that's the only way to describe it. I mean, 21 percent possession, no shots on target. I mean, nine, ten months ago, we you know, that's the Sheffield United or West Brom. You would never expect wolves to be playing like that. But I think even though they all play like that, they're still picking up points, which is the key thing. And even if you're not winning games, a beautiful football, if you pick up a point at Stamford Bridge, you're going to be happy.
At the end of the day, you know, it's not going to go home and be angry because he knows that point could be vital come the end of the season. But I think the players might start to get down here and, you know, been playing this wonderful talking football and now all of a sudden they're just sitting back and waiting to be got.
Yeah, I mean, I haven't won since beating Chelsea and, what, the fifteenth of December.
So, like, they're on a they're on a terrible little run, aren't they. So I think I think you're right. Yeah. A point is good for them.
What's sad for me is the is that is the decline, but just the disappearance really of a dormitory. Alright. I mean, last season I really thought we were about to see a new superstar in the game. And this season, you know, in part of that from three, it was like Potenza, you know, was the one who was using this physicality. More on the pitch. Neto was the one with a with the tricks and the pace and turnovers.
Just the passenger that I don't I have no clue why that's the case. Maybe he wanted to leave for Liverpool, maybe la, la, la, maybe nothing. But it's sad because I really loved watching him play last season.
He was the most fun. And now Tanguy and don't play is the most fun. Yes.
If I buy three words Everton one Leicester one lovely goal from Hamas. Rodriguez proved that he has a right foot and quite a good one. Ancelotti zagg. Unbelievable. I don't remember him scoring with his right foot before his first goal in four months. Leicester, I thought last were the better side here, but by quite a lot. And Mitzy, it's two points. Yeah they were and they will.
And it's a bit of an obvious thing to say but. But nobody is bad for them. You know, he is phenomenal. He's a phenomenon. Jamie Vardy. And you do wonder with the. Amount of time they spent attacking in this game and the number of times they were able to get into sort seize the final third, if they'd had Jamie Vardy lurking then and then they would have found a winner. Heggs, they deserve to win the game.
And I find Everton a very difficult team to work out this season. I've seen a lot of games in which they haven't looked very impressive, but they are finding ways of getting points. And there they are in seventh with two games in hand compared to some of the teams above them. So that's that's that's pretty good. That's very impressive stuff. But like Carlo, I think. But but you're right, Leicester will be slightly disappointed they couldn't get the winner.
Nice and philosophical.
Natasha of Ancelotti afterwards on on Jordan Pickford's his mistake. The Tilghman's goal.
The view of Jordan wasn't so good. I mean, it's true.
That went through, you know, went through a crowd of players, didn't he said he can do better, but it doesn't matter.
It kind of feels like he's just accepted the fact that Pickford has a mistake in him like every six or seven games. And because he's just so nonchalant about it now, it's like, yeah, it happens. You know, we still got the point kind of attitude. But he he's making these mistakes so regularly. And then you see, like Pope Burnley having an absolute lines are keeping them in the game. And you have to start asking questions. You know, is Pickford really the number one English goalkeeper, even though he is Gareth Southgate, number one English goalkeeper?
Because it doesn't seem like he is at the moment. The stats show that he's not.
Paul, if you were Gareth Southgate who was there watching, would you say he's been really loyal to Pickford, who was good in the World Cup? You know, but yeah, he's so frantic, isn't he?
Yes, he is. And at international level, er quite a lot of the time they're not going to matter because England played teams that they're expected to be and generally beat. But if it happens in the one game you need to win against a team that's better than you, then it's cataclysmic. But I think, you know, the thing that Pickford has in his locker, which some of his rivals don't, is his ability with his feet. And that's what, you know, one of the main reasons that Southgate values him because of what he brings to the team in that regard.
Justin Anderson, have that in his feet.
Does anybody know? I mean, I've seen a bit of him. I think he because I understand that Pope isn't really with his feet or we we don't really get to see that at Burnley.
But you wonder if Henderson does.
Yeah, I could imagine that he I can imagine it doesn't mean he didn't really have to do that much. I mean, he's very good saving with his feet for Sheffield United and he didn't have to do much playing with it for them. And but we just you know, you kind of think not Dave Henderson made the wrong choice. I mean, I you know, we've hardly seen him at all this season through Dance's.
Was anyone else genuinely stunned to discover Brian and Fulham played last night all over by accident at half time in the United Game?
I've never been so shocked to see a football match taking place. Was anyone aware that this was happening?
I hadn't. I had it on on the second screen. Right, because they they hit it. Lah's at seven thirty.
I don't quite understand why they slip at the six o'clock games and the eight o'clock games, the eight fifteen games. And then they sort of hit this one like, like it was the child they were embarrassed about.
It was the middle child. Yeah, the middle child. Well, I was really interested in this because I think the game. Yeah. And full of them have kind of there have been the beginnings of something there. And I'm starting to worry about Brighton and I really like Graham Potter, so I don't really want them to be in trouble. So this was really interesting and it was another game. Again, I had it on the second screen, so I didn't analyse it in my new detail.
But but I could see Brighton had a good number of chances there and they just cannot score like, I mean, in a lot of games anyway. Their forwards are they really like a goal scorer? They're something tremendous.
And whereas I felt on the other hand, it was a bit of a step back from Fulham, we've had a lot of games recently against strong opposition where they performed better than expected, but they're not getting a lot of points.
And in the situation, they're in the league, this is the kind of game where they really need to sneak a win if they're going to climb out of it. And they just weren't really there. And Brighton were unfortunate not to get there and were really Brighton.
I've seen so many Brighton games this year where they've done a lot of great things. Right. And they just can't get the points.
And it largely were partially because Matt Ryan was terrible at starting the season, but also, like their forwards are are not scoring goals. And it's a problem. I'm not sure how you solve it, IMHO. Potter overrated. Parker underrated. And I think I think Brighton Brighton have spent a lot of money and they still don't have a team that works. They play, you know, they look good on the eye and and that's great. But, you know, at the end of the day, they don't score enough.
They don't win enough games, I think Fullam, meanwhile, coming up from the playoff positions, essentially rebuilding their entire team and not spending an enormous amount of money like they did last time and at the same time not spending nothing, I think they look from when I've seen them, they're very well organized, they're very cohesive, and they have an idea. They they actually, you know, they lack a striker. I think the problem with Mitrovic is that he can't play in this system that they want to play in the league, which requires a bit more movement that starts where they sort of hit the buffers a little bit.
But I think in terms of parkour getting the best out of a lot of the players he's brought, particularly Luttmann this season, we've been off the street, had a great game yesterday. I kind of feel like they are you know, they win their game in hand. They're very close to ruling in Brighton and or Newcastle, and I wouldn't rule them out staying up.
I mean, that's the question, isn't it, Natasha? You know, Newcastle on this absolutely terrible run, Bryan can't score goals. Newcastle on 19 points from 20, Brighton on 18 from 20, Fulham on 13 from 19, West Brom 11 from 20 and United eight from twenty. Given what happened yesterday, obviously we're so reactive, aren't we? But Sheffield United do look like they're more likely to pick up points in West Brom. You know, if you were guaranteed one is gone, you'd say West Brom.
I would anyway. Yeah.
See, you know, and Fullam look nicer than the others who you think will who might drop down.
I mean, 100 percent. Scott Parker was was disappointed in his Post match interview. He admitted this is the kind of game we need to be taken all three points from because, you know, they're not expecting to pick up the points against the city or the United. But, yeah, I feel like West Brom. I mean, I don't even think Big Sam can can save their team this season. They just they're shipping goals. I mean, was it forty eight goals.
They've conceded in twenty games. I mean, that's relegation form. But Fulham feel like for me that more of a team than Brighton, even if they're not scoring as many goals, they look organized, everyone knows their job and they do have some good players there. Harrison Reed, Bobby Deckert over Reid, you know, Tom Cairney. They have players that can and Cavaleri, you know, they're grown into themselves. I think they learn in the Premier League quicker this time around than they did last time.
And he hasn't bought into many, how shall we say, big names. So it's definitely a good team spirit, though. I think they'll be OK. But I think Brighton and Newcastle really have to start worrying and start picking up some points.
Yeah, I agree very much with Natasha. I think that's very well. I think Fulham have a team and I think Brighton have a philosophy.
What's more important, though, in the modern era, Paul, I believe a team will get you more points. But I've been wrong before.
Right. That that'll do part two. Part three. We look ahead to the weekend's games, but spurs Liverpool tonight and any other business as well.
Welcome to Part three, The Guardian Football Weekly, so Spurs Liverpool is tonight, so you will have to listen to this quickly. A preview of that game is to mean anything to you. Last review the game for those small percentage who the first thing they do when the pod is released is listen to it word.
I'm very surprised that this ended six six. I mean, I didn't really see that coming in. The sort of the Eric Dyar double hatrick is not really something that you expect, but I guess it's just a weird year and this is the kind of thing that happens. You will be we will be pretty unhappy with how that went. What did you say, Preview? I thought it's a big game for both sides.
Natasha is a huge game, I think. And Liverpool are on this this really weird run of not being able to get over the line, get results, and everyone's starting to question them. So I feel like a trip to space is a great opportunity for them to, like, reassert themselves as champions. I mean, he said at the start of the season, we're going to fight to keep our title. Now is the time to show you that you're fighting.
And Jose Mourinho, he was very that was a piece in The Guardian, I think it was yesterday. He was he was quite calm and very chilled, but he still managed to put a little dig in there about Klopp jumping up and down the touchline and how when he did it, he got punished. So, you know, there is that underlying rivalry. I mean, I would love to speak. I think we would see a happy Jozy for a change if if they got all three points.
But I feel like it's going to be a score draw. I think both teams are likely to concede goals as well as having the players to score goals. So, yeah, I'm expecting the score, but it should be fun either way.
I'm I'm expecting with my Spurs allegiance. I have I just convinced Liverpool are going to win this game, but I hope I'm wrong.
Now, the weekend the big game is Arsenal. Manchester United could be Martin Erdogan's first game. Chris as well. Will Lars enjoy his job as much? Now he's staring down the barrel of six months of perpetual questions about Urbik.
I think what you're failing to understand then is that Norwegians we were so bad for a pretty long time and now we have like we have some really good players and one of them coming to Arsenal. This is exciting. Come on. We haven't exactly been spoilt over the last decade of having players that at big clubs. So this is this is exciting to me and I think it's a good move for him. And so much as he needs to play, you know, he is he appears to have fallen into that sort of awful category of players who Zidane doesn't fully trust.
And once you're in that category, it's hard to get back.
And he needs the minutes that I was I was intrigued by the line that sort of being pushed on the Norwegian side of things from from Roediger. Is that Arsenal very much convinced him to come, you know, because there was the possibility of maybe going back to Real Sociedad, even though David Silva is there. So he might not walk into the team quite the way he did last season. But but that that he was convinced by what was proposed to him by Mikel Arteta.
So it was Arsenal clearly have a very defined idea of how they want to use him. I think he can add a lot to the game over Arsenal throughout the season. They really struggled to attack through the middle. I mean, that's why we had the sort of weird phase where they keep throwing crosses in to not very tall forwards because they're just there was nothing happening through the middle for them. And Will Smith role coming in has made them a lot better in that respect.
But I think relying on him to do it for them in every game for the rest of the season probably wouldn't be wise. So and I think he can do a lot of what they were.
You know, the people there are similarities between him and metatarsal. I mean, he's a pretty different guy and he's a pretty different player. But that's sort of a player who was sort of flit around and pick passes. Very good, close control. You can see the space. He can add some of the things they weren't getting from Ozil.
I think. Natasha, you're an Arsenal fan, weirdly calm at the moment.
Yeah, I am. Man United historically has always been a big game for us. The years have gone by and it's no longer the two of us vying for the title. But I feel like Arsenal are going into it in a in a better position than they would have done last season. There's a lot more calm and there's a lot more organization. And the Southampton game, you know, that was a game they would have lost to one last season.
They they got their heads down. They knuckle down. They weren't trying to play. Fancy football will make it really showing goal. They just did the simple things. Well, and I think that's often been a problem with Arsenal is that they don't do the simple things. Well, once you get that base, then you can then you can build, then you can impress. And I think, you know, Sakar and Smith wrote, they are they brought an energy to the team, to the squad.
You know, when you watch those two play, it is like watching two kids on on the school page and the others around them seem to be enjoying that and taking enjoyment from that. So, you know, I'd like to play away and they're going to be angry after losing, but I think. Yeah. Fingers crossed, and as an Arsenal fan, are you concerned that young Smith Roe, who has done very well, might now lose his place to to a foreign interloper who might only be there for a few months?
Is this something that you might not want to see as as a fan? Could we have a mini Harvard's Mount Schism here?
No, I feel as long as our Arteta handles the situation, if that's the case, then if our try handles the situation in a calm manner, then it shouldn't be a problem. If he says to Smith, right, you know what? You've played a lot of games this season. I don't want to burn you out. It's not a case of I'm dropping. You will getting rid of you. It's just me managing your progression. Then there shouldn't be a problem.
You know, we're all grown ups. And if you explain it to him rather than just you're not on the bench or you're on the bench and then don't talk to him, you know, we're not in that old school area anymore. And so I think he'll be great for Edgard because he looks like the kind of guy that needs a manager to put his arm around him, you know, show but love. And if we benefit from that, I'm all for it.
Quick pronunciation, tip from off another go. Like no one's expecting everyone to get this right. But the easiest thing to remember, Don, don't worry about the D at the end.
Like that's essentially silent. Oh okay. Erga yeah. Know the go is that's one little thing that'll make it more accurate immediately.
Thank you so much Leviton now West Ham, Liverpool. That is, that could be an exciting game.
Can in Southampton Villa as well and the rest of the Premier League games, you will know them or you'll see them happening.
They're all on the television quick now in the SL exactly two years since their last defeat in the competition, Chelsea now unbeaten in their last 32 league matches, setting a new record for the longest unbeaten run in the competition will do more ourselves soon. We'll do more EFL soon as well. We have we have let that slip a little bit. Paul, would you like to do a minute on Norwich City? Because you're doing all right.
We're doing fantastic. Great result for us. Last night, patrol between Swansea and Brentford, who looked like the other two strongest sides in the division. Now, the general consensus is the weak, the weak. The league is a bit weaker this season, giving us a week. And but, you know, I think Norwich, where we're grinding our results, we're not even going down because I was form right now. So and the great thing about Martin Erga coming to Arsenal is that they didn't end up trying to make serious paid family.
Bindiya so long. May that continue. Please turn that loan into a permanent move.
Mekele, we'll finish with this from Yongpyong.
Not a question, but I strongly believe that every player that celebrates a pregnancy by putting the ball under his shirt, Illman also has to let the world know how things went by birthing a ball a few months later.
He needs to score every three months, lie down on the pitch and have his teammates perform a scan. Right, OK, with the with the gel. Yeah, I'm not an expert in this. OK, so an ultrasound every three months. Yeah. And then he birth's a ball and if he has twins he gets another ball off one of the the cones.
Wow. OK, well we'll keep it Miguel if you're listening. That would greatly appreciate this. That'll do for today.
Laughs Thank you for your time. Thank you, Max. Thank you. Natasha Celaya. Thank you, Paul. Peace, peace.
And you'll be back for the governing body special. And we will be back not to talk governing bodies on Monday.
For more great podcasts from The Guardian. Just go to the Guardian dot com slash podcasts.