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The Guardian. Hello and welcome to The Guardian Football Weekly, and as almost never happens, the manager loses his job, Medd Pods. You'll hear the breaking news in part two, which was recorded before part one, where we will discuss Frank Lampard, as we understand, on his way out of Stamford Bridge. Did he get enough time? Should he have taken the job in the first place? And Will Thomas to call, as we expect, get more out of the current squad?


Also today, the FA Cup, Manchester United three, Liverpool two. What does it mean United for the double? Will Liverpool ever win again? Fireworks go like clearances and long throws at Cheltenham as Manchester City almost slip up and warns are less than convincing. Against the side whose league has been suspended will be more on the crisis in the National League. Discuss Newcastle hiding a Premier League defeat late on a Saturday on an fake cup weekend. Plus, your questions.


And that's today's Guardian Football Weekly.


On the panel today, Jacob Steinberg, hello. Hello, how are you? I'm good. How are you?


I'm tremendous. Thanks very much, fellow Lloyd Hughes. Nice to see you. Nice to see you, Max.


Hello. Hello. Had you for a couple of cameos recently. You performed well coming off the bench. That would give you a start today. Not because it's half a cup weekend. I'd like to point that out, but it's not it's not a weakened weekend lineup. Thank you.


I think last time I struggled to count to 11.


So I'm I'm relieved that despite the count, not be able to count to 11, which I think got out of the final order, I managed to still get a callback.


So congratulations. I was sweating on that one.


But I'm from The New York Times, Rory Smith. Hi, Rory. Hello. How are you? Yeah, I know. I know the answer to that. Yeah. Yeah, fine.


And you know, like, if deep down I wasn't, I probably wouldn't say. But this isn't the forum. No, it isn't. Oh, we get to that solving in part three how you really are. And I've really only really asked, like asking Barry if he's really happy after two pints and he tells him to go away, which is why we never socialize. OK, everybody, let's start then with the breaking news out of Chelsea, which we will confess happened midway through our discussion, midway through a torturous analogy of mine about humble pie with elegant associate.


And you may hear the news breaking in part two.


But yeah, from the Telegraph, Frank Lampard set to be sacked by Chelsea less than 24 hours after they beat Luton. Confirmation could come as soon as today after Chelsea players were told not to report to the training ground until this afternoon. This is a developing story. What we're learning and what we understand. Jacob, you're the Guardian's Chelsea correspondence. Your reaction to this news.


And my reaction is that today was meant to be a day off. And I generously gave up some time for you guys. The message saying that Frank Lampard been sacked or being sacked. So my reaction is one of frustration and also a lot of surprise, not because it's obviously been going very well for Frank Lampard over the last couple of weeks, but obviously it's coming in the wake of a fairly comfortable win, fairly comfortable. It was I didn't think that against Lutsen on Sunday yesterday that they were particularly they were particularly great.


I mean, I thought that a lot of the other Lampard talked it up. You know, there were a lot of the problems that have been evident over the last couple of weeks where, you know, they they kind of started quite well, obviously, it being loose and they got to an up and everything. And then came the complacency that kind of sets in and probably made the mistake and came back to one. And they were quite lucky to that.


It didn't go to two with actually making a surprising save for him. And although Lampard talked it up, I thought they made a bit of a meal of it in the end. So it wasn't that it wasn't a great performance. I'm just surprised that this happened. It's happening after after a win. It's not a surprise overall that it's happened. You know, there'll be a lot of people who think that this should have happened sooner. Part of me really thinks so.


I'm on a human level. It's a shame for Lampard. The job came about when it did. And in those circumstances, because had there not been the transfer ban, he probably wouldn't have got well, maybe he would. I don't know. But you can't say no to that job. But it was too soon for him.


Is that hubris is simply not the right word, is it? It's there's an element of I guess be careful what you wish for with Lampard that we don't really know. What he's going to be like as a coach, we don't to be honest, we don't really know whether, you know, he's had the Chelsea job, which I presume to him would have been the pinnacle of club management. He may now decide that, you know, this isn't for me.


Don't you know it's possible he might walk away from it entirely, but we don't really have an idea. Does he kind of went into Derby, which was a great first job for him to get? It was just about the right level, I think. I mean, it's all we all have these romantic ideas of everyone should start a kind of Billericay town or whatever, but that's not really, you know, getting experience in league one or two is not really relevant to managing a Premier League team anymore.


You're much better off actually going to Germany or France and managing a topflight team that they did kind of OK at Derby Lombardi. He didn't do a bad job by any stretch imagination. He didn't do a ton of. I sort of exceptionally brilliant job, and then he gets the Chelsea offer, and to be honest, this is very much easy for me to say. You wondered at the time whether maybe he needed to think a little bit more carefully about what the like what the potential outcome of that was, because although Chelsea were talking at the time about kind of a youth revolution and stuff, you knew that that might not that might that might not hold beyond the season where it had to apply.


But they needed Abramovitch on a betting him to take it, really pleading with him that emotional connection, all that you can see why he took to it.


But it maybe is just a little little reminder that those jobs need experience. You need that. You need to be kind of free to make your mistakes away from the spotlight. In a less ruthless environment. You do there is still a value to working your way up to that kind of level of job. And it's one of these that do the older phenomenon obviously was convinced everybody that anyone can do it to pay down an event, etc.. Arsenal, they're all struggling.


It's really hard to be even sort of really bright, really kind of experienced, really talented, really loved each player like Frank Lampard at the Super Club and get it right. First time you're asking for a minor miracle. And as far as I know, it's happened once in history. And that was Gladiola and basically quite a lot of football clubs out there thinking, well, if he did it, basically anyone can do it and he didn't.


Zidane there as well. Zidane did. But Zidane, that's a whole different kettle of fish because it was a really weird example because he went into an incredibly talented, well-mannered squad. Florentino Perez was not convinced that Zinedine Zidane was a great manager and waiter. He really wanted pressmen ages try to convince Iran to take like Marseilles so he could go and find that Marseilles or make his mistakes in Marseilles and then come back actually with some idea what he's doing. And then Zidane doesn't win three, three European troops in Iraq.


But as we will say in the future, about all those the solstice, the very near future, it's hard to tell with some of to to an extent with Zidane, it's hard to tell how much was him and how much is that. He created a platform on which the amazing players at his disposal to go and express themselves, which is a skill, but it doesn't make him really float.


I think there was an important thing that Chelsea had to achieve, appointing Lampard, and it was rebuilding a lot of trust with fans, and it did that.


But now that's evaporated quite quickly again, because bring in a fan favorite after a lot of short term managers that brought success, some didn't.


And, you know, a continuation of this revolving door fans were frustrated, fans were upset and bringing back a familiar face who meant so much to the club, meant so much to fans, was brilliant, and also one that had to play young players, which was brilliant. You know, so many so many key players that are now a big part of the England team who really flourished under Lampard. But I think what's disappointing is that it's been so short lived because I'm not a massive fan of umpired.


I don't think he really has what it takes yet to be a manager of a Premier League side. And I think he you know, he was fast tracked for for various reasons. But I do think the important factor that he brought was that stability and that familiarity, familiarity to Chelsea that so many fans had missed because they just felt like they had no connection anymore because it was just going to be, you know, someone coming in, someone out constantly.


And he brought that back.


But I just don't I don't know where they go from here in terms of if they bring in a, you know, big name like Thomas to show. Is that just going to. Is that going to build that same kind of rapport and that same connection fast enough before he's out the door again? You know, at least with that familiar face that they've got that bond? And would it have been better just to sit on Lampard and say, well, the connection with fans is enough?


Obviously, those fans who have been saying you should be sacked and he's not good enough. But there's that connection there that, you know, is having a hometown hero worth the pain.


If you're giving them enough time and enough love and enough money to get there in the end, I mean, the same same conundrum, salt go right. Hometown hero.


Are we going to back them until it works out rather than just giving them a really short amount of time and then saying it didn't work?


So we're actually going to go someone that makes a lot more sense when we should we shouldn't have a point or two in the first place with Chelsea that I think that's actually something that's the best thing about doing other people's podcasts is that you come on and all these other people give you ideas and stuff to write about and then you don't tell them and you don't steal late. And and I know you did that to me before Rory when we were in France at the World Cup.


So I'm watching you.


I mean, I built my career on net inflows. I think especially with Chelsea, you do want to go back to salary. And I know that it was it was all dressed up as being about kind of salary ball. And I didn't see the point of Georgina when they didn't like the way they were playing. But you do want it to an extent, whether it was just that kind of seasickness of like, who's this guy? And so he didn't have a massive profile in England.


He wasn't one of them. He wasn't someone who I don't know, you'd looked at Barcelona or Madrid or was kind of really famous for doing this, that or the other one, the Champions League. He didn't have the profile of, say, Klopp. When Klopp came to England, everyone had heard of Klopp. It was like, well, who he was this Italian man who's had this slightly weird career. I do wonder whether to people who I think will be the replacement might suffer from the same thing that he's notoriously difficult to work with.


He's fallen out with with the of the higher ups at both of his last employed, which is a brilliant recipe for success going into Chelsea. He he he's kind of like Twitter football famous, you know, I mean, like he's he's also got a really big job. He did quite a job at Dortmund. He's he's a tough cognoscente kind of hipster, famous manager. He's not like. He's won the Champions League famous manager, and I just wonder whether the fans, the bedrock of the fans, might struggle to kind of identify with him a little bit.


And my fellow says might be a bit on who's now what. Now we have this German man in charge and this sort of Raftopoulos from Germany. And we don't to some sort of German model when, what, three years ago? It was terrible. And it must be really hard to be a Chelsea fan and try to keep up with what the what the club is trying to do.


Yeah. And then we had Jacob on that. There's sort of an outlier in that they keep they do regularly win things. But without the idea was, you know, Lampard was a project manager. They would change, you know, this idea when something second manager don't win something. Win something. Second manager.


Yeah, obviously it worked most famously with in twenty twelve after sacking this boss. And that kind of is what people often hang that around, is that they sat in, in Dimatteo is the interim and they go and win the Cup and the Champions League in, you know, fairly fluky circumstances. I'm not sure there's much science behind that. I don't think it was a particularly well thought out thing. It's just, you know, they had to get rid of this bus because it was going so badly at the time with Lampard.


Yeah, it was meant to be a project manager. And as Carlos said, you know, there was there was at the time, there was it was wasn't great around Chelsea that previous seasons, the months, the start of twenty nineteen. You know, we all remember the chants about Sariel, you know, that game against a cup tie against Manchester United at home on a Monday night at Stamford Bridge where the fans are completely turned. And that's within the context of them.


You know, they just landed the transfer ban Eton has that's about to go. Its squad, the for the two seasons, hadn't really been challenging for the title when everybody knows the expectation that Chelsea. So to bring in well, first up with the transfer Banyo, nobody else apart from Lampaul at that stage probably would have wanted to come in at Chelsea. So the Derby County manager at that point made a certain amount of sense because who else is going to take it?


And the Derby County manager happens to be your greatest ever player, give or take, Tarion Drogba and John Franco Zola. Although there's a split on social media where I think a lot of from what I can tell of things, is that a lot of Chelsea fans who maybe don't go who may be watching from afar have not been so have not bought into the Lampard story so much, whereas Matko fans have been much more invested in him. And we saw that yesterday where a fan group called We Are the Shed put up a banner above the top tier of the shed and yesterday saying in Frank we trust you know, which for me felt a bit ominous given that venga had the Inventure we trust in us and we trust the Emirates for so long.


And then that didn't really seem to to work out and didn't seem to help him at all. They had in Frank we trust then now forever yesterday at Stamford Bridge, which just showed that for them they really wanted this to work. So the long term thing was, you know, in one sense you can understand it. But then when they go and spend two hundred and twenty million pounds last summer, the expectations immediately change at Chelsea. It doesn't matter that these players are you know, some of them are young like I have.


That's and previously the Christian parents such as well that it doesn't matter that they're new to the league. You just had to get it clicking. He had to get it working straight away.


Yes, he was, of course, work manager, but he hadn't done any coursework, you know, leaving all the last minute. And really, Chelsea is a cramming exam club, isn't it? Look, he could well turn out to be a good manager. I think Barnea wrote a good piece on in Saturday's Guardian talking about how of the Golden Generation. He's one of the ones who really gets seems to get a lot more stick than others. Him and John said it might be because they played in a Chelsea side that wasn't very popular at the time.


It rubbed people up the wrong way. And I think there's been a certain playing of the man rather than the bull at times with with Lampard. I think he did a actually did a good job last season. He didn't do a terrible job that people sometimes like to make out with Derby just because he didn't get them promoted. You know, there are certain things that you can say he's not stupid. He's obviously a pretty clever guy. I think that he could turn out to be a good manager.


Chelsea, you just you just think, why did you take this? It's you probably would have got off at some point anyway. Down down the line. Because because you are Frank Lampard. And if you have proven yourself and if you've learn more, then then it might have been there for you later. I mean, people have a lot of people have said over the last week that, you know, with the inexperience, he doesn't have anything to fall back on.


You know, there are a lot of managers who have spent a lot more time, you know, learning and developing. I mean, look at look at Dean Smith. He's got Aston Villa playing so well. Look how long he spent in the lower leagues building it up. And Frank Lampard hasn't done that.


Do you think he needed a more experienced manager like Harry Redknapp working to bring to bring him in?


Yeah, that's that would be well, maybe he'll be the interim and he'll be frank will be on goes on Sunday or something. So, you know, my uncle's. Great football man, woman, do you know you mentioned Tuco because it was interesting, I thought, well, to call seems like a good idea because he's worked with lots of high profile players and sort of. Kept them all happy, but he hasn't done that. Forgive my lack of knowledge on this, like like that's the thing with this Chelsea squad.


So many good players, you can't pick them all. It's it's tricky, right?


So I think it makes sense from the profile of the squad because obviously he knows Pulisic. He's worked with him before. Haven't Virna all kind of brought through that same kind of German press in school, tootles, a little bit more tactically sophisticated than some of the kind of pure high prices? So I think from Chelsea's point of view, it makes sense. They've obviously they're now looking at that kind of Bundesliga model as being where they want to kind of put their emphasis.


And that's fine. That's that's up to them. You know, on from that point of view, that kind of makes sense to those problems being managing upwards rather than managing downwards. I think I don't think the players at PSG particularly adored him, but I don't get the impression that that was ultimately what did for him. I think it was a way to try to manage anyway. But I think it was his relationship with Leonardo, the director of football.


It's a problem. And a Dortmund. There was a falling out with malintent and with with that kind of power, excessive, like Microsoft and active Anscar. That was where the problem was, which I think it Chelsea particularly, you have to be really conscious of, of your place within the hierarchy and the power balance in that in the hierarchy changes constantly. It's an I think it can be an awkward club to work out and took his history. His track record would not inspire you with confidence that he's the guy to navigate those choppy waters.


There's an amazing dynamic within the club now, which is that at the same time as Frank Lampard turned up at Chelsea, so did another legend in the summer of twenty nineteen, which was Petta Czech, who had just retired from from playing. Obviously, he spent the final years of his career at Arsenal. So Persichetti comes in as technical and performance advisor and essentially means that he's had a say in the removal of someone who he played with for something like a decade, you know, good friends.


And, you know, they were they went and actually were involved together in signing Timo Werner. There was that secret pre pandemic trip to Germany to chat to him about where he could come into this team and never score again.


And we'll play you off the left. Yeah, and there you go.


It's better Czech who is involved in Frank Lampard going. I just find that to be an amazing, amazing dynamic. And I thought we thought this is going to be pretty awkward when it comes down to it, because we all know eventually what happens with Chelsea managers is they they get sacked in grisly circumstances, but it's never been Jose Mourinho never had a mate above him that he played with who was sucking on both of those occasions. Did this time it's someone that Frank Lampard won twenty twelve.


They were winning the Champions League together, weren't they? Peter Check was saving the penalties and they're lifting the trophy together.


They can say one day I'll sack you. Cheers, mate. Lampard was the captain that night and you know, there you go and check is done. It was interesting.


Quite often when we do the part, someone gets sacked just after we finished recording. So it's good it's good timing for us unless, of course, they backtrack between the record and when we published the part, that would be a disappointment. Anyway, in part two, you'll hear the beginning of the pod. Well, what was what we planned of the Manchester United Liverpool game, which includes the breaking news. But you have already heard about which is Frank Lampard leaving Chelsea.


It sounds like Inception, doesn't it? No one could keep up with Inception, but we'll do that in part to. Follow the leader, the Mitsubishi Outlander of the world's best selling plug in hybrids is now available with zero percent financing on a free home charge point worth 800 euro leading the charge and plug in hybrid technology. The Mitsubishi Outlander book, a test drive at your local dealer today, Mitsubishi Drive, your ambition, terms and conditions apply. See Mitsubishi Motors dorahy lending criteria applies.


This is a car purchase agreement provided by Bank of Ireland Finance. Let's go to Old Trafford, shall we, Manchester United, three Liverpool to Matt says, I've given up watching United Liverpool game since is the pod recently pointed out they're always dreadful these days. Was this one any good? Rory was any good. This football match.


Yeah, it's brilliant. It was really good. It was a really good game and I think it was a really good game because it wasn't the usual states of United Liverpool. It was to slightly, not massively weaken teams that were full, absolute full strength. I think both probably went into a little bit thinking if you ever did lose United Liverpool game and possibly this one, which is with all due respect and I know you're not ready meant to say it, but only the top.


There was a little bit of a spirit of adventure about it. I thought it was it was thrilling. I was thrilled. Were you thrilled, Jacob?


Yeah, it was a very entertaining game, much better than what we saw last week. Anfield I think that Rory's right in the sense that there was a lot more spirit and adventure. I think that probably that may even sort of obscure a little bit some of the things that look good at times. I think the Liverpool obviously started very well and it seemed like they had to be willing to give them more space than they than they were Anfield last week.


And it maybe felt a little bit like, you know, they weren't so focused on defending. And let's turn this into a bit of an end to end. You score we score kind of game, which maybe isn't the way that it will be in a really, really important league game. So there may be points at which certain lessons we think we've learned from it may be not applicable in the league. It might just be one of those games, but they both just go for it.


And I'm not sure if we look over over the course of the season and a lot of these games between the big sites, that's not really been the way of been very cautious, you know, not just in Liverpool. All those all those big games have mainly been like that.


So does that mean this idea of like the spirit of adventure, which presumably flow is what we want in football matches, do we therefore sort of write it off because it was in the cup?


I it was the spirit of it, but it was only the cup. Or do we say, well, we might as well enjoy the cup more than the turgid league games when the big sides play each other? Does that make sense?


Yeah, I think I think it's the second one. I think the the hype around Super Sunday, especially this season, has been a bit cringe because every single montage has been followed by a pretty boring nil nil most of the time or just a dire match altogether.


And it's it's the ones that haven't been to hype so much that end up being the most exciting games. And yeah, the BBC came out with a perfect orange sea shanty as part of the build up, which I well, I will ignore that.


But all in all, there wasn't too much hype. There were a few, you know, few bits and pieces throughout the week. But I think I think it did deliver. And I think, you know, lots of people have spoken about the impact the pandemic's having on the quality of football and the lack of fans.


And I know what Rory did. He's a brilliant throwdown on that three PM kick off kind of mentality and and boredom as well. And I think that's what we're kind of seeing with a lot of those big games is is the more you hype, er the the worse it is.


And I think there is still some freedom in the cup where when you've got smaller teams coming into it with nothing to lose, the, the bigger sides have to match that.


I like to see how you just nodded in acknowledgement as if it was a brilliant threat threat. Those points I make it up one good point a year and I think was one of them. You're absolutely right. It was one of my greatest threats. Anyway, carry on.


Say there is generally I think that like that, like the learning culture that we have now in football, where every Saturday we have we all have to learn stuff from them, I think is really like incredibly damaging and completely vapid. But and we're all part of that, like I as much a part of it as anybody else. But Jacobs was right. I think to an extent, like we maybe should know to an extent, you can't look to that game and think about what what pattern does this show us for the rest of the season does?


It was slightly exceptional. It's knocked out football for a start. Liverpool kind of went into, I think, feeling like we like we just have to score a goal. Whatever happened, we just have to score like one goal. We'll do a goal and then then we'll take it from that. United, I thought, played really smart. I thought it was brilliant, but they would not have been devastated to lose that if in the same way they've been devastated to lose a lead going to Liverpool at Old Trafford.


But I think the one thing that I really took from that game, the thing that the one single thing I learned is it kind of encapsulate how fine the margins are, not just between the top teams, but kind of between everything this season, especially.


So we've we've already seen that if you you can be kind of defending champions and have an off day and get smashed by Aston Villa, that just because you just as your press doesn't work, you can. Twenty seven rolls away, Aston Villa. I don't think in recent weeks there's been a vast amount between United and Liverpool's performances, United of One Against Wolves, that one latents villa relatively late in Fulham. But you've got points field. They won relatively late night Liverpool.


Yesterday, Liverpool, if they hadn't scored a goal and are in crisis, but it just kind of shows you that basically those two teams are just about as good as each other. Yesterday, I thought know probably that it deserved in the end, but there wasn't a vast amount between them. There's not a vast amount between any of them in the slightest downturn, whether that's an injury or an off day or just a little sort of dip in confidence can have massive ramifications this season.


That was kind of what I thought. That game may be advertised to us.


And Bruno Fernandez Rekick decided it. Steven Housen, who's a presenter tweeting, I want to live my life with the optimism of Fred standing over a free kick. I know it's quite nice. Ian Wright said on telly, Jacob, that it was the substitutes that changed the game. That does that mean Manchester United have more strength and depth and Liverpool and in which case, how did how did that happen? Because I'm sure I spent a lot of time talking about how many millions, many might have spent on nobody.


I think the United at the moment definitely have more strength in depth, and that's partly because Gösta is out injured and VanDyke like is obviously injured. And I think that I could roll off several other names who were missing from the Liverpool squad at the moment. And then as you go further down, it obviously the quality starts to dip. And there have been some of those signings that Liverpool have made over the last couple of years where, you know, we've made a lot of play about how good their recruitment has been.


And a lot of it certainly has been. We don't need to name them all, but there are certain ones which haven't really come off. You know, it's been quite a long time now since Menomena turned up, turned up Anfield, and he hasn't really done anything. He'd looked like a very smart signing when it happened, but nothing's really worked for him since then. Be Kataria, somebody who they bought for 70 million, I think something like that.


And, you know, he's been largely disappointing in the two and a half years since since he since he arrived in England. So their points in Liverpool squad, where it's not quite worked, they've lost obviously they lost their fourth choice, sends back a lot longer and they didn't replace them, went in with that gamble. And that's been shown up to be a bit of a mistake. And the fact that they haven't even identified that over the know coming into the January window, you know, again, maybe trying to be a little bit too smart.


That's you know, that's that's kind of hurt the squad, hasn't it? It's it's it's had the impact not only on the defense, but further up the team. It looks like, you know, both in midfield and the front line. It's not quite clicking in the same way because they really were a bit of a there were machine Liverpool, weren't they were everything it felt like had to work and in perfect harmony. Whereas United, you kind of feel like at times they are able to produce those individual moments to to win games because there are so many match winners in that side.


So, yeah, you know, there are at the moment, I would definitely say that United have you know, they don't have that many injuries. So definitely they have more more strength and depth. And the Liverpool at the moment, and I think that they are really struggling because of them, because, you know, some of those some of those signings have quite come off and obviously the lack of lack of coverage in central events because, you know, Williams may well end up turning into a very good defender.


But yesterday you could tell against that that top level of striker is going to make a couple of mistakes and it's going to prove fatal.


There's an element of resources about it. I think the United for All makes him out to have been criticised for that, for their ability to waste money in the transfer market. They have continued to kind of just reinforce their squad and ultimately not. There's probably quite a lot of players that he looked at and think they've not been the success we thought they'd be. But they're still really good players. And it's been obvious the last few weeks, I think, that when you going to rotate, they're rotating from a position of strength to you know, you can bring in Edinson Cavani as you backup striker, that that's not bad going.


That's pretty good. He's quite good football. Redington, Jovani. And I think Jacob says that Liverpool have got the two things that are going to count against Liverpool. Again, it comes down to that fine margin. Think that if Liverpool have Vandy, Gomez, Kater jotter fit and to live up to the Chamberlain, a couple of others, not just coming back from injury, that side's probably stronger yesterday. If you don't have a couple of injuries, that side probably weaker.


And it's it's not enough to turn the season away from one big team and towards another on the recruitment of the central defender, Liverpool have had a lot of praise. They've probably not had as much scrutiny with a few of the signings as is warranted. Mm. In case probably better example. But the other thing is the dogmatism. They've obviously I don't think it's to do with money not being available to Klopp. I think it's the club's principle and its policy is if we can't get the exact play we want then we're not going to sign anybody.


And that has worked for him brilliantly. I think they they intend to sign a central defender in the summer. I think that that central defender is probably someone who played in the Champions League last 16 and I don't want to stay with Mariano. And they've obviously decided that that that is what they're going to do. That sort of dogmatic and fundamentalist approach to this is the way we do things and we will not deviate. It's great while everything swimming, going, swimming.


But when you've got like an actual situation where two of your central defender, two of your three, four defenders are not fit and the other one is a little bit unreliable, physically, you probably just need to say we need to go and sign somebody. And fans, generally, all of us, journalists in particular, kind of looked at looked at the transfer market as a way to solve problems far too quickly, far too easily now. But there are certain situations where you tell a little bit and think, well, actually, this is quite simple.


You have to go and find somebody else to talk to. Trevor, for the two people who don't play football anymore and the fact that Liverpool haven't done that is not necessarily a surrender of the title, but it is almost an acquiescence to the fact that they don't win enough in the season.


I know last time I think I was on for for a full 90 minutes appearance, I kind of joked about, you know, Liverpool should have just bought kind of a past thirty year old as as a fella.


And I know a couple of Liverpool fans were a bit cheesed off because of the very point that Warwick just made, is every single piece of the jigsaw has to fit and has to work, because if it doesn't, you know, there's no point.


But I do think it's naive. To think that in a season like they were going to have with covid and the pressure of games, that these things weren't going to happen, that the squad was was wasn't at risk of of potentially facing a lot of injury.


So I'm surprised that they're not in the January window is finding someone to to come back and fail and become a squad player because it just doesn't make sense to me to to continue, especially with Williams, who just doesn't have the experience, even if he's part of that Liverpool philosophy and it's in his identity, he just isn't good enough.


And and why would you I don't know. Why would you continue to Forestar when you're coming off being champions and having an incredible season? The FA Cup in recent years hasn't been Liverpool's competition anyway, so perhaps that was almost inevitable that they weren't going to go that deep into it.


But to struggle like they have in the league is is concerning.


And I don't understand why they wouldn't want to try and fix that on their on the other side with Sosha. If you look at, you know, look Shaw's turnaround and how well he's playing, you look at sort of mctominay improvement, how well Pogba is doing. I wonder, Jacob, like, should should we be like preheating the oven for the ol a humble pie? Like, should we be should it be put in the oven? Should I be eating it already?


I don't want to eat humble pie if I have to regurgitate it.


But like I saw Murray breaking news from the Telegraph front line being sacked. Oh wow.


Um, right. So well I keep saying this is exciting.


Cirlot changes my morning to a nice relaxing morning. It's Monday and I'm happy to do no more.


No more humble pie.


Max, what are you eating now? So, Jacob, on social a humble pie.


Where where should we be? Where should I be at with social humble pie free.


Be careful given you know, get sacked more so you know. Now, now, now we know this.


The thing about the humble pie and Solstar is that it's really hard to tell whether you like it, how much of it is sociology and managerial genius that we everybody missed, including a load of money like funds for the last two years. And how much of it is the fact that he's got a load of really good footballers at his football team and at his disposal? But the thing that I think he has to get a huge credit for is he does seem to have found a kind of platform that works for his squad, which is what Mourinho struggled with, which is what the whole struggle with, which is what most of the way that they've got this kind of disparate set of players who don't necessarily kind of add up into a team.


There's no obvious like this is the obvious thing we're going to do. There's no no overarching vision. And so it's just kind of found a way to make it work. And I think that is a really important skill in elite club management. So he deserves a huge amount credit for that. But that does not necessarily turn him into Reena's. Michal's.


Yeah, I just wanted to follow up on that because I think I think there's there's a lot the Soska has shown in his ability about man management, especially, you know, not throwing players under the bus, managing difficult situations, especially the one with his agent managing those situations really well. And when you look at how Jose Mourinho managed Luke Shaw and what that that player had to suffer with, also, you know, from fans as well, like, you know, people commenting on his his size, in his way and everything.


And and I was thinking about this last night thinking, you know, that's really hard to deal with for for anyone, even if you're not in the public eye like it is a really tough thing to struggle with and to now be playing like he is, especially yesterday. I thought Lucia was exceptional. Yesterday, I think is you know, I think Soska can take a lot of credit for that because he has got the best out of a lot of players that were struggling when he took over.


But I agree with worry that I don't think it covers some of his other inexperience is and and I think, yes, he is blessed with a really good squad, but I still think he lacks some of that coaching ability.


And I think he's on a good run now. I think he uses substitutes. Well, I think that's another kind of strength he has to his bow. But I do think he's kind of lacking the experience to know. Right. You know, when things are going wrong, this is what I've got to do. I think we talked about those late wins that he's been able to secure. And I don't know if a lot of them have been down to any particular bit of tactical genius from Soska and more.


I've got big players who will pull out big things in key moments or, you know, good substitutions from him, but not necessarily. Right. I've got to change the shape. I've got to do this. I'm yet to kind of have that humble pie nurse to er but you know, could United go a whole season sort of winging it potentially. I don't think no one in the league. I think city. Well but I'm impressed. Russo's got I think he's proving a lot of people wrong.


Manchester United to Manchester City, who won three one at Cheltenham, this was the closest to the magic of the Cup, wasn't it? Long throws fireworks, stopping the game. Amazing that goal line clearance Rory from Ben Towser was ludicrous, wasn't it?


Yeah, but it's what that's what they're talks about. That's what you want in this office. It's kind of the fact that I had loads of messages from people who who have no interest in the other of Manchester City telling me about Ben Tozer, who I'd never previously heard of on Saturday, and then Alfie Mascheroni don't like it, still provides them at the moment in which those players who kind of who never otherwise have that kind a moment in the sun can shine and look fantastic and play brilliantly.


And, you know, for for long periods, look look like they would at least sort of chassé a bit of doubt in his mind. They sort of all Tongeren months, it seemed it was there was obviously weakened, but it was relatively strong. You know, they had a load of internationals on the pitch. They still fold in the English part of his generation, probably Jesus, you know, all these kind of these semi superstars and that they're getting held at the the Johnny Roberts was a real issue with lower league stadium names is being is not being spoken about enough.


There's there's the Johnny Rotten. Tell them that's not a sensible name for a stadium to take that seriously. There's the WAMM Stadium in Accrington named, I think, after the band. And you kind of people need to kind of think these are not proper stadium names. It's it's unacceptable. Tell them was fantastic. And I think, yeah, even in defeat, there is still a degree of magic of the top in that situation.


I I'm a big fan of Rotherham Stadium being called the New York Stadium, which I presume is just, you know, like just trying to hoodwink the odd tourist is ah, you know, it is actually sponsored by the city of New York as part of the tourist outreach, but not enough tourists going to New York from South Yorkshire. So they've they've sponsored it.


But at least that's not a problem. I mean, the wound that whams Accrington a Logan, they do. Jokhang, the British manager, and Andy holds a lovely fellow.


But the whammed stadium, Tomalin, that's not is it not named after the the you know, that's sort of the sweet the sort of very sticky bar that you could never get the whole wrapper off?


It could be. But I believe it's the band on the street to change the subject back to the Chocolate City game on the long throw subject Pepcid. Unfortunately, in the Tony Pulis era at Stoke City, I was not here, but I heard a lot of stories from my staff about this weapon, which sounds really quite rude about Tony Pulis. But that's not that's he was talking about the throwing itself. There's something flow that I love about, you know, the elite of the elite.


These are the best footballers, give or take in the world. All having to just deal with a long flat grenade being launched underneath the crossbar at the near post, you know, it doesn't matter what you learn in training, you just have to you just have to be there like it's it is miserable at any level of football having to defend that throwing.


Yeah. And I think it's actually I mean, Pat may be wishing that Pulis was still around at Steichen and launching those grenades because perhaps they would have a bit more experience defending them.


But I do think because you don't really see that so much in the Premier League, you do see it in the in the championship.


And the only two, especially because a lot of clubs do you have still, you know, those sorts of long throw specialists in their ranks because you don't see in the Premier League, they're not really used to defending those sorts of things.


So it's funny sort of watching their reaction to it. And it does become a little bit of a sort of pinball bodies flying and it paid off. So it was a it was a great little tactic from children to do that. And I and I kind of agree with Rory that certainly for photos afterwards, he was saying that, you know, regardless of the score, it was an amazing evening. And the club and the players and the fans enjoyed every minute of it.


So they weren't really focusing too much on defeat.


But I hate those sort of long essays that people write about, you know, is the magic of the cop dead and stuff like let's stop focusing on the magic and just kind of now what is this magic? Is it is it some kind of pixie that comes and decides whether or not the cup is is going to be fun? I think, you know, it's nice seeing these stories and seeing fans and Cubs get to enjoy, you know, their moment in the sun.


I guess I've enjoyed doing the Phone-In has the phone in, has the magic of the FA Cup, lost its magic, lost its magic. And, you know, I would happily put a ban on people talking about when the FA Cup final coverage used to start really early. And Gerrold since that would be on a bus, I think we all know that happened. Jacob, what did you think? At the end, Phil Foden put his arm around Alfie Maye and said, look, you know, well done, you're a great player and atomize 27 and Phil Phones 20 was a nice touch given how great Foden is.


I'm just wondering, is it you know, I'm sure there are podcasters who are better than me, but like if a 20 year old podcast after I guested on their pod, put their arm around me, said you were really good today, I'd find it slightly patronising.


What would you do? Well, obviously, I'd swap I'd swap my jargon for their jargon, you know, and hang it up in my downstairs toilet, you wouldn't would you hold it against them for forever?


Yeah, probably. Yeah. It's a small industry, isn't it? So, you know. Yeah, you're right. You've got to be kind to those people. You never know when they like to check that little that younger podcast will be sacking me will be very upsetting.


Maybe it wasn't anyway.


I mean Foden is going to be such a great player. Maybe it's something for Alfie female to tell the grandkids, as they say, who are probably older than Phil.


So that's the point I was trying to make here. It just shows the confidence of the kid, doesn't it?


You're absolutely right, Jeff Will is one actually one nil first ever go for Fatema. Jamie Famiglia, the truly manager, said if you're going to lose, I'd prefer to lose to a go like that than a scruffy goat was a good hit. I'm proud of what we've done for our community. My kids at school will remember that their head teacher got this far in the FA Cup, hopefully can inspire some of them.


I mean, they they probably won't remember because that was six now, so they'll probably forget it.


But I mean, it's nice and they're learning online anyway. It's hard to a oh, they've made up to half a million in earnings from the cup run. They've got people who are isolating those players have given them a little bit of happiness. Am I reading too much into it? But like a decent Wildside barely be aside from the six tier will go into what's happening with the National League North a bit later, but not quite working for wolves, is it?


The Premier League team in that situation can't win whatever the story is, even if they win sanil people. Well, you should start and it's Chorley. So to an extent I'm not inclined to to actually kind of read anything at all.


And what have you learned, though? I've learned learn from the game.


I learned nothing from that game other than that you can kick the ball quite hard. And the erm I don't think there's any reason to kind of you don't read anything into the performance because it's such an unusual situation.


But more broadly wolves are not, are not having a great time of it. They, they are kind of, they feel a little bit like they're drifting in, which is really alien to a club that seemed so clear in its identity, so clear in its plan for so long. It does feel a little bit as though this is the season where wolves have just kind of crunched a little bit. And I think partly that's also the real him and his injury partly is the fact they've always had a really small squad and Newtown wants a small squad.


And this is not the year to have a small squad. And partly I wonder if it's just a little bit of a sort of slight Stacey stagnancy set in after after three years where they've kind of they've really established themselves. But this, you know, beating Chorley in the top, there was no outcome in that game in which wolves would have emerged with any credit. There just isn't. It's a hundred nil hundred.


And even then, credit, to be honest, the best in a game like that, you can probably you can probably manage this. First of five, a Marine, was that right?


Yeah. Formula for nil at halftime. Five minute full time. That's what you want. That is the only that is the only scoreline in which you might get some sort of credit. But even then all your is. Well they should be doing that. You know, they're not they're not letting Southampton.


What. Arsenal nil. I enjoyed Martin Kayode on Gabrielle's own goal saying take nothing away from the finish. He was probably referring to Kabul. Could be just when he thought it was a shot, when it was across a Martin Edgard. Is that a good idea? Anybody?


I don't know enough about Martin up, but I do think the arsenal have obviously lacked a lot of creativity this season. It's been a big issue for them. Obviously, that's been the Ozil issue, which is on the one hand, I can you understand why I didn't want, you know, once so pressing styles, people who are working hard, you can you can understand why he doesn't want somebody who kind of strolls around at times and doesn't really close anybody down when when I still don't have possession.


On the other hand, it is something that that leaves them unable to break down the fences, which is what we saw in those terrible games earlier on in the in the season. So somebody who could potentially come in and help them with that, does that make a I think a certain sense, even though there is that immediate jump to go look Arsenal signing and other creative midfielders, if they need another one of those.


Altieri Small came on to be Everton's youngest ever player yesterday, and they went over Sheffield Wednesday, six years and one hundred and seventy six days, born on the 1st of August 2004. Would you like to know what was number one in the charts? 2004. When? August. August, yeah.


Um, were you born Flo? Yeah, I was born.


I was in the last year. Primary schools. Oh God. I was just I was like the Chorley managers, you know, the school children. 2004, was it?


Let's catch up. It wasn't. Let's catch up. Arguably, probably a bit more sort of musical gravitas.


Um, Jennifer Jennifer Lopez. Jennifer Scott Parker's My Cloo.


The streets. It was the streets. Dry your eyes. Rattling through the rest of the Şafak up, the rest of it was sort of sort of ticked along the list of one three one at Brentford, four and four for Madson and six goal involvements in the last five as an annoying stat. But he's a wonderful place. His feet were so quick to set up changes under when the Burnley beat Fulham. Ebisu Mascord, a lovely girl, Ryan Brewster, can't score for Sheffield United West Ham, hammered Doncaster.


I saw Millwall sponsor is Husky Chocolate, which I enjoyed a lot. They lost three nil to Bristol City. Right. So tonight we can play Spurs Bournemouth Crowleys on Tuesday. We'll talk about those on Wednesdays pod the fifth round games to be played on the weekend of the 10th 11th of February. That'll do for part two. Part three, you may not have noticed Newcastle lost again in the Premier League will ask some generic Cut-and-paste Steve Bruce based questions in a second.


Welcome to Part three of The Guardian Football Weekly visit to Newcastle, Nele, the weekend that Rafa Benitez leaves daily and professional, 12 million a year, 12 million a year, an extraordinary Newcastle, a really boring flow on. I mean, I it's interesting.


There's a question from Paul here saying, is it a myth that pundits won't hear a word against their mates? The refusal to criticise Steve Bruce is quite amazing at times. We haven't scored a goal from open play in over 15 hours. And still, the problem is that Newcastle fans demand too much.


I think when you watch much today, Alan Shearer is pretty critical of them. But I think the sky pandit's maybe not.


I mean, I have to say, I don't watch a lot of Newcastle for 90 minutes, but I do think, er, you know, looking at the fan reaction and looking at tweets from journalists that do cover Newcastle, they're pretty boring and rubbish to watch. And I think judging by Bruce's post match comments, where he's kind of clinging to excuses that Ryan Fraser and St Maximon haven't played in the same side yet all season, and that could be a game changer.


I think he's kind of clutching at straws.


So, yeah, it's looking more and more likely that, you know, Benitez could come come back. But I guess the issue before Benitez was investment and not getting that backing.


And now the money has been spent and actually has kind of got his wallet out and bought a few players attacking minded players, but not necessarily being used the right way. Then is he then going to give Benitez more money to spend? I'm not so sure. So isn't it just going to be a repeat of the same issue and frustrations that Benitez had before? So will he want to go back into that environment and did a fantastic job?


Beca but why would he want to do that?


Because I don't think he's going to get that much money to spend because Bruce has been given quite a lot. To be fair, and and he's not really making the most of it.


And I think the long covid situation with say maximum is a is a massive loss. And he came on I think played 20 minutes yesterday and he's working his way back, fingers crossed to full fitness. But apart from that, you know, some of those signings haven't paid off and I don't think so. Maximums is going to just revolutionise things. Neither is Ryan Fraser when they're fully fit. Any thoughts, Rory? I'd be surprised if Rafa was was a was of the view that he to go back to Newcastle.


I don't think he'll want another job in England. He will he will set his sights slightly higher than where he realistically might be in the market. I think I don't want to sound horrible, but I suspect that he will believe his worth his level is is a higher level than he might realistically job. And to be honest, I don't really see that there is a job for him in the Premier League in the near future particularly. I'm not quite sure that any of the clubs that you think might be kind of Benitez style jobs are likely to come back.


David Moyes is doing a brilliant job at West Ham. That that would be that's the that's normally the one that you think, well, that's the job Benitez will eventually get. He will eventually be Western manager. But David Moyes is doing fantastically. I don't see him going back to to Newcastle and I don't really see where Newcastle I'm actually going to St James's tomorrow, Tuesday. Does that play Leeds? And I think there's a really kind of interesting contrast between Newcastle.


Only two in terms of points aren't having that different. The seasons on the different, I think Liselotte 23 and Newcastle got 19. There's maybe one win in it. But in terms of the challenge, the mood around the club, the sense of ambition, the sense of of having a place that you're going to be standing for a thing of being something that the fans can be proud of, that they're totally they've been there at opposite ends of the table, effectively.


Newcastle, the idea that Newcastle fans are incredibly demanding is one that that should be retired, along with a lot of the sports journalists who regurgitate it. Does it's not true. It might have been true in the late 1990s, but it is not true now. Newcastle fans want a decent team to watch, which is true of literally all football fans. Literally, all fans want a decent football team to watch. They don't want to win a trophy particularly.


They want they just want a club that tries. They want the club to mean something. I think New Jerseyans might be the least demanding fans in Britain in a way, if that's not like patronising to make them sound like simpletons don't mean it like that. But they they just want that their club to have a go and not to be locked in some sort of horrible status that is never going to live.


Stephen says, Can anyone summarise the situation the National League and the National League, North and South now, Flo Flow. I sort of forced this upon you. My understanding is that they were given a grant by the DC Dems at the start of the season and they were under the impression that the next amount of money that was about 10 million the next, our money would also be a grant. And the dismissive have said it's a loan. The clubs are saying we can't afford to repay any loan.


Is it? Which is my view. There's no one in the government who likes football, which is not necessarily a crime. Lots of people don't like football. But if you don't if there's no one there banging the drum, it's why they give a billion pounds to the arts. I also like the arts to not carry on and yet won't give another ten millions of non league football that is carrying on. Am I right or wrong?


Yes. So there's definitely several layers to it. But yes, there DCMS as part of the kind of emergency grants to to a lot of sports of which some sports got a lot more than others.


Rugby union, there was initial 11 million that was given to National League clubs. That was a grant. And there was a lot of controversy about how it was distributed. And the National League board is is under scrutiny because of that, because a large proportion, about 60 per cent of the funding was given to the top tier National League.


So some clubs were getting 95 grand a month and other clubs getting 84 grand a month. But then in the north and south, it dropped all the way down to 36 grand and 30 grand a month. And it wasn't based on gate receipts loss and the understanding from the clubs and from the secretary of state for sport, Oliver Dowden, I think in either committee hearing or in the House of Commons said that the the money was going to be based on gate receipts.


So all the clubs had kind of budgeted for what they thought was going to be some money based on gate receipts. Now, the nationally handed out this money not based on gate receipts, and it meant the top tier got an inflated money. When you've got clubs like Dalitz, York City, Chester, who actually get bigger attendances, then some clubs in the top tier National League. So that was kind of the first bit of controversy. That was the first 10 million.


What's left is 11 million. And there was the understanding that that was going to be a grant again. Now, DTMF have turned round and said that's going to be a loan. And National League, like you said, have said, I'm pretty sure it's a grant. It's now left on basically S'pore England to decide what they're going to do and maybe find some kind of paper trail. I don't know.


And I think there's going to be a meeting this week about what happens.


But it's just cause a lot of disruption, because I mainly I think based on that first sort of hand out on how that was was done. And also there's a. That David Bernstein, the former chairman of the FAA, put together, I think, just before Christmas, investigating the handling of that and some other issues since the nationally kind of went on suspension last season. And that report is still yet to be released. So clubs are frustrated because they want to see the contents of that report.


There's a lot of pressure on the National League board. Their CEO left at the end of last year. There's lots of pressure on Brian Barwick, a familiar face within the sports world, to resign as a result of this National League North and south suspended currently for two weeks. So they want some kind of assurances about this money and they want assurances about covid testing because the the leagues can't continue without covid testing because, you know, most of these guys, a lot of them have part time jobs.


So they need to know that they're not going to put their families at risk or their colleagues at risk.


And also they can't take the time off.


So if the cops don't have the money to pay for flights to games or quick travel to games or a hotel, so so lots of clubs are looking for reassurances basically about how the season's going to finish, if it's going to finish, because I think for a lot of them, they would rather nolensville the SOI the season rather than taking out some kind of loan that they don't know if they can afford to pay back or put in their players and their families in danger.


So it's a mess, is what I would say. But hopefully there's going to be some clarity this week.


Now, we should say that in response to the claims made by the National League, DCMS spokesperson told the BBC it is untrue to suggest funding to the National League was ever promised as all grants, and they have been unable to substantiate this claim. They also say that if any individual step one or step to National League Club can demonstrate it is in critical need of support and would be unable to repay a loan grant, applications will be assessed on a case by case basis.


A question from Torp, and it sort of leans a little bit on your excellent Twitter thread of a while back that you've acknowledged was excellent.


Has anyone fallen out of love with football during the pandemic? I can't watch any more. I follow it vicariously through the musings of Barry, Max and everyone else. And I don't know if your thread was about falling out of love with football, but it was sort of similar in that, that losing those Premier League games at three o'clock on a Saturday has a real knock on effect for lots of people's enjoyment of the game.


Are you sure you're reading that message? Right. Is it not that they're falling out of love with football because they're listening to you?


Is that I mean, that's that's highly possible. Yeah. This is where people live when people want to, you know, we're like a sort of Nicorette patch for football. Right. If you if you if you like football but you really don't want to like it, you can listen to this for a while. And within a year or two, you don't want anything to do with the game anymore.


Your football, methadone, it's fine. Yeah, they know. It just struck me over. It's not exactly it wasn't. It was very nice of you to say it was a threat, but it was the original thought. But it just took me over Christmas and New Year that the one thing that we've really lost is that sense of the weight building to this this period on a Saturday afternoon between 12, 13 and eight. And final story, a sports reporter, whichever whichever of those things you want to watch, where where there's lots of games that you might not be invested in emotionally, but you want to know what's happening.


And that is what I think to a lot of fans matchday is, is that sense that wherever you are on a Saturday afternoon, whether you're at a game or whether you're shopping or play with the kids or whatever you do in a working you know, there are four, five, six, seven games going on at that point that might involve your team that you might not want to watch. But that gives you the sense that there is something happening that that you have you want to kind of keep up, be part of.


Yeah, yeah. Like I think a lot of people would.


Kind of go out on a Saturday afternoon or spend the afternoon doing whatever they happen to do on Saturday afternoon, but then be back in front of the telly for like, what, 20 to five to watch final straw or start a Saturday or B.T. sports store, whichever one you're watching of.


Turn the radio on all good Saturday afternoon. School reports are available as well or is just it's enough.


Just trying to be even handed around the grounds with Adrian Durham is what I would listen to.


But yeah, absolutely. There is it. The the final straw is really the one that most people tune into that that's where you put the TV on and just you just want to see what the stories are. So I'm not a Cambridge fan, but you sit and watch in front of what, Cambridge stories because you watch all of the stalls. That's why I like James Alexander. Gordon was such a big part of British cultural life. This man who who read out a list of places was kind of someone that we we are numbers to be fast food places and numbers.


It's why it was such a big deal when Charlotte Green got that job, because is it's a really important thing to us and it's an important thing. Is it roundoff, that sense of Saturday as match day? And I think I get why the Premier League have done for this model where every game has its own TV slot and everything has to be broadcast. But I think it was just the idea of match day. And it also it misses the fact that one of the ways that we consume football is by not watching football, that we don't need to watch all of the football.


Very few fans feel this compulsion to watch every game. And if if if people are finding that they're not feeling like they're not watching as much football as they used to, I wonder how much that's an illusion that you are actually watching as much as you used to. You just not watching as much as is available.


Sure. And actually, there's an interesting point here, because half the audience is overseas. Right.


And they can most places in the world can watch every single game live on because a lot of the games are similar at the same time.


I take that point, but they find that strange. And I wonder I do wonder because I've loved the I follow. I've loved having Cambage and I don't I follow. And when the pandemic is done, I will be playing football on Saturday so I won't be able to watch them every single week. But I will still watch their midweek. I would watch more if that continued. And there's always been a debate about should you have a way of every Premier League game being on being available because it would stop lower league fans going.


And I'm really torn now because I'm a lowly fan who doesn't live where my team is, who wants to watch them. And I would love to have that option. But I can't write that option off Premier League level to say, oh, you can't you know, that's, what, 3:00 p.m. blackout? I don't know if it would if it's possible to have all the games available, but have at least five or six am at three p.m. on a Saturday.


I wouldn't necessarily have a problem with that. Final question before you were allowed to leave, what current Premier League manager to to really play into the zeitgeist of the fact it's been snowing this weekend, what Premier League manager would be best in a snowball fight needs a combination of agility and throwing power. Now, the answer to every question about this is always Sean Dyche. Agility. Yeah, Roger. So so I don't know.


He'd have the power horse and it'll keep him where he's from as well. That's true. True. Is he normally on his feet?


I mean, I tt's how old is our tattoo artist is not very involved in it. In a snowball fight. He'll be immaculately dressed. He wouldn't want to. He would like to. Wouldn't like it. When you get a drip down in. I'm going Brendan Rodgers.


Thomas to kill or is he not in yet. I would argue with all the people on his team. Oh I see.


Do you play proper team SNOWBELL that's that's taking tactics to a new level.


I'm a bit into snowball fights. I it's not so OK. What formations you play. I'll save that for Wilson next time he's on. Thanks so much, everybody, for your time and for dealing with the the breaking news. Jacob, thanks for your time. Thank you.


Enjoy the rest of your day off. I don't think so. Flo, thanks for your time. Thanks. Max Tisbury. We're back on Wednesday.


For more great podcasts from The Guardian, just go to the Guardian dot com slash podcasts.