Liverpool several classes above Everton in derby

Merseyside is Red

To say Liverpool are several classes above Everton is an understatement. The truth of the matter is that Liverpool are several decades if not centuries ahead of their local rivals and their recent display in the merseyside derby pretty much confirmed their status and the gulf between the two sides (not that Liverpool fans don’t already know this). They were absolutely relentless and went full throttle.

The home side wasted little time in finding the net thanks to a goal from Origi in the 6th minute. Shaqiri added another in the 17th before Keane pulled one back for Everton in the 21st minute. It was always going to be a one way traffic and Liverpool played some scintillating football that could not be ignored. They were rewarded for their endeavour again when Origi lobbed the ball over the Everton keeper’s head to give the Reds a comfortable 3-1 lead.

Mane was in the mood for action and he didn’t disappoint the Liverpool faithful. He was instrumental in creating a goal for Origi and deserved a goal himself. He found the back of the net in the 45th sending the crowd into jubilation. Richarlison did score for Everton before the break but even he knew it would only be a consolation. Liverpool came out in the second half in the same fashion as the first and bombarded the Everton defence. They actually did well to keep the Reds at bay otherwise the scoreline would have been a lot worse than how it ended.

The game finished 5-2 with Wijnaldum grabbing the last goal in the 90th minute for Liverpool sending them 8 points clear at the top of the League. Whilst the Red half of Merseyside are singing, dancing and anticipating their first premier league title, the blue half have a lot of contemplation and rebuilding to do. And Everton did just that. In no less than 24 hours after the derby match, Everton announced that they would be parting company with their Manager Marco Silva with immediate effect. He is the fourth Manager to get the sack within 3 weeks and I’m sure he won’t be the last (they’re sacking these managers like it’s nothing).

Leicester continued their impressive season under Brendan Rodgers with another fine display. They were victorious in their match against Watford thanks to goals from Vardy and Maddison. It’s hard not to see Leicester as genuine top four contenders especially leading up to Christmas. You just never know, if Liverpool should stumble (and we’ve seen them do that on a couple of occasions haven’t we hahaha!!) I am pretty certain that Leicester will be the team to capitalise and possibly……possibly be crowned champions for the second time in their history.

In the other midweek games Jose Mourinho made his return to Old Trafford 11 months after being sacked by Manchester United. This game was always going to be tough for Spurs because I could see the United players stepped up and played like they had something to prove. Marcus Rashford personified the United attitude with his man of the match performance. He gave Aurier a torrid time on the flanks and looked every bit the player we know he his.

He put United ahead in the 6th minute before his goal was cancelled out by the brilliance of the now rejuvenated Dele Alli who leveled for Spurs with a great finished in the 39th minute. Spurs in recent games under Mourinho have been brilliant but against United they were lacking that quality and virtually put in a sub-standard performance (I hope this was just a blip boys!!). The day belong to Rashford who scored the winner via a spot kick in the 49th minute to lift United into 6th place (some say the result saved Solskjaer’s job, I say football is a crazy game where anything can happen).

There were wins for Chelsea who beat Aston Villa 2-1 and Wolves who beat West Ham 2-0. Manchester City also registered a 4-1 victory against Burnley and will need to hope and pray that Liverpool have a bad phase in the league at some point but I cannot see that happening anytime soon. Crystal Palace beat Bournemouth 1-0 and Southampton beat Norwich City 2-1.

MARCO

Here’s another one…..Silva axed!!!!!

More Managers given the boot

Casualty Race

Before we delve into the weekend’s Premier League action I just want to address the big elephant in the room. The open season on managerial sackings. I said it, once Tottenham sacked Pochettino it was only a matter before other heads started rolling. To be honest it’s actually come sooner than I thought it would.

Step forward Unai Emery, the Arsenal manager was given the boot last Friday after a string of disappointing results. He took over from the long standing Wenger in 2018 and was set to revitalise Arsenal to challenge for top honours (or so they thought!). His achievement for Arsenal was reaching the Europa League final so there are no surprises that Arsenal parted way with him.

Whilst ex gunner Freddie Ljungberg has stepped up to the plate on an interim basis, the question on everyone’s lips is who will be the next man for the job at the Emirates. A 12 man shortlist is rumoured to include the likes of Brendan Rodgers, Ancelotti and Max Allegri. Whoever gets the job will have a tough task ahead in helping get Arsenal back into the top four and competing for major honours again. Is it impossible? No, but a lot of hard work is required.

Watford also sacked Manager Quique Flores on Sunday after they lost yet another league game in the 2-1 defeat away to Southampton leaving them bottom of the table. Sarr had put the visitors ahead in the 24th minute before Ings leveled in the 78th minute and Ward-Prowse grabbed the winner in the 83rd minute. That was the 8th defeat this term and the result was the catalyst for Flores’s sacking.

New Spurs Manager Mourinho enjoyed his second premier league win as Tottenham Manager after master minding a home victory against Bournemouth. Dele Alli who seems to have found his mojo again opened the scoring in the 21st minute before adding another shortly after the break. Tottenham outclassed Bournemouth and could have added more to their tally but squandered some good opportunities in front of goal.

Sissoko eventually made it 3 nil in the 69th minute and Spurs were in cruise control. Credit to Bournemouth who managed to claw back two goals through midfielder Harry Wilson. The game ended 3-2 and Spurs are now just 6 points off the top four albeit 20 points behind the leaders (I don’t think anyone’s catching them).

Defending champions Manchester City could only manage a draw against Newcastle United as the game ended 2-2. Crystal Palace beat Burnley 2-0 away with Zaha and Schlupp getting the goals. Liverpool maintain their winning run with a 2-1 win over Brighton with nearest rivals Leicester beating Everton by the same score.  Manchester United drew 2-2 with Aston Villa and I’m guessing it’s only a matter of time before Solskjaer keeps the boot too (probably won’t make it till the end of the season).

emery out

Another bites the dust!!!!!

JOSE OFF TO A WINNING START AT SPURS

Mour of the same Jose

Love him or loathe him, Mourinho never fails to disappoint in any capacity as far as the charisma and charm goes. It was great to see the special one back in the dug out where he belongs and back to see him in the Premier League. Mourinho has this aura that attracts so many to him which is probably why the league never quite feels right without him.

Having managed both Chelsea and Manchester United respectively and been very successful (contrary to what some might say), Mourinho embarked on his new journey as the Head Coach of Tottenham. Here stands the man ready for another challenge and renewed ambitions of dominating arguably the hardest and most competitive league in the world.

West Ham hosted Mourinho and Spurs and let’s face it, they have been a bogey team for Tottenham in recent times so where better to start right? Tottenham began the game on the offensive and looked like a team on a mission. The energetic display (a far cry from their previous lack luster performances) was breathtaking. Alli had a brilliant first half and played in a fashion that was reminiscent of his early days at Spurs.

Son opened the scoring in the 36th minute with an excellent finish into the bottom corner before Moura added a second in the 43rd minute to put Tottenham 2-0 up in the first half after a great bit of skill from Alli and Son’s delivery created the opportunity for the Brazilian to finish. Mourinho was back to his celebrating best as he gestured on the touchline much to the annoyance of the West Ham fans (hey give him a break it’s his first game back).

The introduction of Antonio gave some spark to West Ham’s attack as he constantly posed a threat to the Tottenham defence. Spurs captain, Kane made it 3 goals to nil with a headed goal and you just knew it would be Tottenham and Mourinho’s day. Antonio pulled one back for the Hammers in the 73rd minute which was well deserved for his spirited endeavour. West Ham scored another through Rice but was ruled as offside by VAR before Ogbonna’s injury time effort in the 96th minute to end the game 3-2 in Spur’s favour.

The verdict is Mourinho is back and ready to fight on all fronts and it seems from first glance that the players have responded and will play for him. How long will the love affair with Spurs last? Well your guess is as good as mine but we are all here for the ride and look forward to the future.

Mourinho may have had all the headlines this past week but the game of the weekend was between Sheffield United and Manchester United. Sheffield United had been two goals up thanks to efforts from Flecck (19th minute) and Mousset (52nd minute) and looked certain for all 3 points. However, Man Utd clawed their way back and had a very very very productive output between the 72nd and 79th minute where they managed to score 3 goals thaks to Willams (72nd minute), Greenwood (77 minute) and Rashford (79th minute).

United thought they’d done the impossible when Rashford scored only to be denied the 3 points thanks to McBurnie’s controversial equaliser in the 90th minute. There are suggestions that the ball hit his hand before he struck the ball. However, the goal stood after VAR checks and Sheffield United will be satisfied with the draw.

Liverpool continued their unbeaten run having overcome Crystal Palace away. Mane put the leaders ahead in the 49th minute before Firmino got the winner in the 85th minute to cancel out Zaha’s 82nd minute equaliser. Leicester also, staked further claim to the top 4 with a convincing 2-0 win over Brighton. Vardy and Perez providing the goals. There were also wins for Manchester City who beat Chelsea 2-1 and Wolves who beat Bournemouth by the same margin.

Arsenal could only manage a 2-2 draw against Southampton as the pressure mounts on Manager Emery. Will he be the next manager to get the sack or will another under performing manager be axed. The expectations in the modern game are very high and fans and supporters alike demand success. When this cries aren’t fulfilled it’s usually the manager’s head that rolls.

first of

First of many!!!!!

Pochettino Out, Mourinho In……

Drama at the Lane

Wednesday the 20 November will forever live long in the memory of Tottenham supporters. It was the day Jose Mourinho (the self proclaimed special one) was officially unveiled as the new Head Coach at Tottenham after chairman Daniel Levy sacked long standing Mananger Mauricio Pochettino only a few hours earlier.

Everything felt like it happened so rapidly that Spurs fans weren’t even able to drown their sorrows in the disappointment of losing Pochettino. However, that’s the ruthlessness of Spurs’s chairman Levy (that man is ice cold). One thing I did know was  that the Tottenham hierarchy aren’t one to make hasty and rash decisions and would have thought long and hard before going ahead with this surprising but decisive action.

When I found out Pochettino had been sacked I was in great shock and didn’t know what to say. My heart was skipping many beats (I started having flashbacks to the 90s). The news literally caught everyone by surprise and before I could dunk my hobnobs in my hot chocolate to console myself the unimaginable occurred……The special one was named as the man in charge of the mighty Spurs.

Where it went wrong for Poch

Now, Pochettino is and will always be loved at Spurs there’s no doubts about that but where did it all go wrong for the Argentine. Firstly, he deserves a lot of respect and credit for the great work he did with the club in helping them transition into a genuine top for team and also providing some of the greatest nights in the clubs history.

Many will argue that in his 5 years at Tottenham, whilst producing attractive attacking football, legacy is based on results and accolades. This is rather unfortunate because Spurs did not win any honours under Pochettino. Yes there’s great admiration for the style of play he embraced but trophies secure and build legacy. Till this day Juande Ramos has a better legacy (I’m just saying) having won the Football League cup in 2008 for Spurs and that’s football in nutshell.

Tottenham’s results in the league have been awful in the past few weeks and if you dig deeper into the rabbit hole you will find that the results have been poor sine January. The players should be made accountable but sometimes it doesn’t happen. Although they are only 3 points adrift from 5th placed Sheffield United whilst currently 14th in the table, I believe Pochettino had taken this crop of players as far as he could and changes needed to be made. I am certain that if Jose wasn’t lined up as his replacement that the board wouldn’t have sacked Pochettino.

The reality is that results matter and trophy cabinets need filling (there’s a lot of dust building up at the Tottenham Stadium too) one way or the other and he did not deliver this. He came close but never quite made it possible. No Premier League titles, no Champions League titles, no FA cups, no League cups, no Europa League cups, nothing absolutely nothing, nada. Adios Mauricio, thanks for the memories, our Champion League story of 2019 will be one to cherish for a life time.

Long live the special one

He slipped into the lane like a thief in the night. I’d rather see Jose at Spurs than at Arsenal. The man is an absolute legend and a proven winner. He doesn’t lose many finals either and I can guarantee you that had it been Mourinho managing Spurs in the champions league final, Tottenham would have bagged their first tropy and that’s a fact.

He has won silverware everywhere he’s been and although often criticised  for his style of play and controversial demeanour, he is in no doubt one of the greatest managers of all time. His records speak great success and a trophy collection many admire. The man has won it all. He has 25 major trophies, including 3 Premier League titles, won league titles in 4 countries and 2 champions league trophies with two different clubs (need I say more).

Tottenham expect and Mourinho will deliver. Embrace yourself for what truly will be some amazing times ahead for Spurs (the football will be less attractive but the trophy cabinet will be pregnant).

jose mou

Interesting times!!!

COULD THIS BE LIVERPOOL’S YEAR?

Reds overcome Pep’s boys

With 12 games now played, we are starting to get a clearer picture of how this season is going to pan out. Skeptics will argue that it is still too early to declare Liverpool as  the main contenders for the Premier League title but lets be honest they have been highly consistent thus far (remember this side have yet to lose a game) and who’s gonna stop them? Certainly not Manchester City right?

The top two sides of the league met at Anfield over the weekend in a hugely anticipated match. There was a lot riding on this game as the winner could either extend their lead (Liverpool) or close the gap (City). Liverpool had the advantage of being the home side, however when you’re facing a team like Manchester City, all that advantage goes out of the window.

With that being said it was Liverpool who broke the deadlock in just 6 minutes when Fabinho put the home side ahead with a thunderous strike from almost 30 yards out. There was nothing the Manchester City keeper could do (literally nothing, that’s how good the strike was!!). The Anfield hopeful celebrated like they’d won the league and who could blame them.

Moments later, Mo Salah added another in the 13th minute with a neatly headed goal after a brilliant cross from Robertson. More fist pumping and jubilation ensued from everything Red. With the home side ahead by two goals, City didn’t crumble and dug their heels in harder. They created some opportunities but luck was hard to come by. And shortly after the break Liverpool were at it again. This time it was Mane on the end of a Henderson cross to put the Reds 3 goals ahead.

Klopp must have felt like he was in dreamland (I know I certainly would) especially with the significance of the game. Manchester City did eventually find a consolation goal through Bernado Silva but by then it was all over (and that was in the 78th minute).  It was pretty obvious for all to see that the momentum belongs with Liverpool and their wait for that elusive Premier League title could finally be over. Commentators and Pundits across the country have practically  declared Liverpool champions after their victory at the weekend (somehow I don’t think history will repeat itself).

Meanwhile Manchester United seem to have turned a corner after a convincing win at home to Brighton. Pereira put the home side ahead in the 17th minute before Propper scored an own goal to give United a two goal cushion. Dunk pulled one back in the 64th minute for Brighton, giving the travelling supporters some hope. However, Marcus Rashford ended all hopes of a comeback when he netted in the 66th minute to give United a comfortable 3-1 victory (I know many United fans will be pleased with the performance but remember Ole is still at the wheel….hehehe!!).

Things aren’t going quite so well in North London this season. Arsenal suffered another defeat by Leicester after losing 2-0, Jamie Vardy (68minute) and Maddison (75minute) scoring the goals respectively. Leicester are now second in the table and are showing true ambitions of attaining a champions league spot at the very least if the title is too far out of sight.

North London neighbours Tottenham will count themselves lucky with a draw against Sheffield United. Son put Spurs ahead in the 58 minute but  Baldock equalised for the Blades in the 78th minute to rescue a point for the visitors although they did have a goal ruled out by VAR (gotta love it….you really do). Chelsea are still flying the flag with their 2-0 win against Crystal Palace as Lampard boys are quickly turning into men with yet another impressive display. Abraham and Pulisic with the goals for the Blues.

ster joe

Let the boys be boys!!!!

One Mane Show at Villa Park

Smash ‘n’ Grab

Liverpool smashed and grabbed all 3 points away to Aston Villa at Villa Park. Villa had led the match after going ahead through a Hassan effort in the 21st minute. The Villains were very well organised and looked set for all 3 points. They’d defended well and put out a very convincing display.

However, as we’ve seen time and time again, a team that can win games whilst not performing to it’s optimum will always have every chance of winning the championship. Liverpool have epitomised this already this season. So is it any surprise that Klopp’s boys did it again? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, they are showing the winning formula and mark my words they will be crowned champions in May (United displayed this throughout the 90s and 00s…..Fergie time, anyone!!).

Mane may have been criticised for his theatrics in the penalty box (to be fair that did look like a bit of a dive) but you cannot take anything away from this footballing genius. Genius? Yes genius (I said it). Mane is often viewed as the labourer who does most of the running for the Red’s forward line (not say the other two are lazy bums…..ok maybe a tad) but against Villa we got an opportunity to witness his creativity and leadership qualities.

The Senegalese international would not give up as he carried his side across the line. He engineered Liverpool’s equaliser when he picked out a superb cross for Robertson to finish in the back post on the 87th minute. I am sure when the goal went in the travelling Liverpool supporters would have settled for a draw. There was more drama to follow as Mane wasn’t finished and deep in injury time, he headed in the winner (lovely near post flick on too!!) to send the away supporters into a frenzy (I can only imagine what the journey back home must have been  like).

He demonstrated a never say die attitude that could very well aid Liverpool in winning their first Premier League title. An attitude that can rob off on other players in the team and transcend a positive mentally throughout this campaign. Whether or not they can go an entire season without defeat remains to be seen but with Mane in this kind of form and Van Dyke taking care of business at the rear, anything is possible.

Whilst Liverpool were robbing Villa for 3 points (no offence intended!!), Manchester City left it late also to claim all 3 points at home to Southampton. Ward-Prowse had put the visitors ahead in the 13th minute and the Saints tried to hold on for dear life but unfortunately caved in. Aguero pulled one back for City in the 70th minute before Kyle Walker grabbed the winner.

Everyone (and I mean everyone) in the Country were hoping to see the two top teams in the division drop valid points.  However, it wasn’t meant to be.City are still 6 points behind Liverpool after 11 games and will hope desperately for Liverpool to stutter. Leicester are  their nearest rivals as they try to keep pace with the leading two and added to their momentum by defeating Crystal Palace 2-0 away.

Soyuncu and Vardy got the goals for an impressive Leicester side who could secure a top four finish by Christmas if results keep going their way. Everton and Tottenham drew 1-1 at Goodison park but the match itself will be remembered for the injury caused to Gomes who suffered a really bad injury (wishing you a speedy recovery). He has since had a successful operation and also thanked fans for their support.

Another team that’s going well is Chelsea who registered their 7th win of the season in their victory against Watford. Abraham opened the scoring for Chelsea in the 5th minute before Pulisic added a second in the 55th minute. Deulofeu pulled one back through a penalty in the 80th but the afternoon belonged to Chelsea. Arsenal drew 1-1 with Wolves adding more pressure to the Arsenal boss (many Arsenal fans are unsatisfied with Emery and are calling for his resignation).

Ole is still at the wheel at Manchester United as they suffered yet another defeat at the hands of Bournemouth. King got the only goal of the game in the 45th minute.  Brighton defeated Norwich 2-0 whilst Newcastle beat West Ham 3-2.

gomess

Get well soon!!!!!

All Saints Down at Southampton

Leicester too hot for Saints

The Premier League matches this week gave another reminder of why it’s considered the best league in World Club football. Lets forget about the previous week’s snooze fest of games and celebrate the return of action and great entertaining spectacles. And where best to start than the thrilling game between Southampton and Leicester (in fairness it was a one-sided affair).

Leicester are performing like they did in their championship winning 2015-16 season and are showing that same level of consistency that got them to the summit of the League.  Even with that being said I don’t think Southampton anticipated that they would be up against a ruthless Leicester side. Chillwell opened the scoring for the visitors after 10 minutes after much pressure from an attacking Leicester side.

Southampton knew they’d be in for a tough night after Ryan Bertrand was red carded in the 12th minute of the game (that’s the last thing you need against a fully confident attacking team). As predicted, in no less than 5 minutes after Bertrand’s sending off, Leicester found the net again through Tielemans in the 17th minute. From this point on the flood gates opened and the Saints fell to pieces (you have to feel for their fans….nobody wants to see their team lose in that manner).

Leicester would find the net on three more occasions before the second half thanks to goals from Vardy and Perez. They both added another three more goals in the second half with Maddison also getting in on the act. The game ended 9-0 to Leicester who set a new premier league away win record for goals scored in a single game and tied with the all time record for goals scored in a match (hope that makes sense hehe!!). Credit to Brendan Rodgers for getting this crop of players performing to a high consistent standard (I’m sure Solskjaer can learn a thing or two….ouch!).

Remember this is a Leicester side without Maguire, Kante and Mahrez. Yet they are sitting 3rd in the table and have every ambition to finish in the top four (and why not). As we have learnt from history you cannot rule out a Leicester team, especially a team playing with such confidence and great believe. However, does this mean I’ll be putting money on Leicester to win the league? errr NO!!! Definitely not. I’ve tipped Liverpool from the start and I’m sticking with the Reds. Besides the odds aren’t as favourable as they were in 2015-16 (I’m just saying).

Meanwhile, Liverpool who are still searching for that elusive (very elusive) first Premier League title took on Spurs at Anfield. Harry Kane was on hand to put Tottenham ahead after 48 seconds when he headed in a rebounded effort from Son’s shot. Liverpool didn’t give Spurs any room to breathe and were relentless in their attacking display. Tottenham stand in goal keeper Paulo Gazzaniga earned his keep with some remarkable saves to deny the Liverpool front trio.

Liverpool equalised in the second half through club captain Henderson in the 52nd minute before Salah converted a very contentious penalty in the 75th minute. Liverpool remain 7 points clear at the top and head to the next round of fixtures with an unbeaten record. Spurs however do have a lot of positives to take from the game. They were very energetic, pressed well and who knows, if Son’s shot hadn’t hit the crossbar Tottenham would have been two goals up at that stage and the game may have had a different outcome (but nooooo he just had to blast the ball).

On the other side of North London, Arsenal threw away a 2 goal lead against Crystal Palace having been put ahead by Sokratis in the 7th minute and Luiz in the 9th minute respectively. Palace fought back and pulled one back through Milivojevic in the 32nd minute before Ayew grabbed the leveler in the 52nd minute of play.

The game itself will be remembered for Arsenal fans sarcastically cheering for their team captain Xhaka before loudly booing him off when being substituted. Xhaka was visibly frustrated and retaliated by tossing the captains arm band on the floor before mouthing some explicit contents at the home supporters and for a moment looked like he was going to throw his shirt on the ground too but thought better of it (Me, well I loved every minute and moment of the drama hahaha!!!).  Check out AF TV on YouTube for Arsenal fans reaction, it’s absolutely comical.

There were wins for Manchester United who beat Norwich 3-1 and Manchester City who comfortably dispatched Aston Villa 3-0 at the Etihad. Brighton defeated Everton 3-2 in a closely contested game with Digne rabbing a late winner in injury time. Chelsea and Lambard maintain their current form after another impressive display away to Burnley with a 4-2 win. Pulisic netted a hat-trick whilst Willian contributed the other goal. West Ham drew 1-1 with Sheffield United as did Newcastle against Wolves  and Watford drew 0-0 against Bournemouth.

xhaka 1

What is a Captain?

adams 1

This is a Captain!!!!!

viera 2

This is a Captain!!!!!

henry 2

This is a Captain!!!!!

JUST IN CASE YOU NEEDED REMINDING 🙂