Seven Days in Seven Points
So, the England manager can’t tell Rooney ‘where to play’
Big Sam has started his career as England boss with a win, but he then followed up that victory with a rather bizarre post-game interview in which he claimed he ‘can’t tell Rooney where to play’. Slightly odd when you consider that, as manager, that’s exactly what Allardyce’s job is. I mean – if he can’t tell players what they are meant to be doing, why is he there at all? If anything, this is all the confirmation we needed that England are not going to dramatically change following Hodgson’s departure. What is worrying, however, is that it appears Sam could have even less of a clue than Roy did.
The most expensive match-up in the history of football
This weekend’s Manchester derby is set to be the most expensive match-up of all time, with the teams set to field 22 players worth approximately £670m in transfer fees. The game, which will also see Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola – a pair that have, by all accounts, a fairly fierce rivalry – face off against each other for the first time as Premier League foes. Fans of both clubs expect big things from their respective sides this season, and this weekend’s game – which takes place on Saturday at 12:30pm – could mean more than just bragging rights in Manchester.
Gareth Bale has started the season just as he finished the last one
I’ve said it before (many times), and I’ll say it again; Gareth Bale is up there with the best players in the world. Can he compete with Ronaldo and Messi when they are at their best? Probably not. But does he regularly put in performances that both of those players would be proud of? Absolutely. The Welsh wizard – who, to my mind, is a far better player than Ryan Giggs ever was and so deserves the nickname once foisted upon the Manchester United legend – has been a star for club and country for the last 6/7 months, and he has started this season just as he ended the last one. He managed to bag two in Real’s opening day La Liga victory against Real Sociedad, was arguably the star performer as his side beat Celta Viga 2-1 the following week, and then scored two and assisted another as Wales pummelled Moldova. If Bale can stay free from injury this season, he will show the world just how exceptional a talent he truly is.
Welcome back to England, Nicklas Bendtner
He’s been missed. Bendtner, who was being heckled and lambasted by Arsenal fans before they’d even heard of Olivier Giroud, has decided to join Championship side Nottingham Forest after what can only be described as an uninspiring stint in the Bundesliga. In his 31 Wolfsburg appearances he managed to bag a paltry three goals; a return so poor that it prompted the German side to terminate his contract a year early. His goalscoring records for Arsenal (24 goals in 108 appearances) and Denmark (29 goals in 72 appearances) reveal that he does know where the back of the net is, but he certainly could do with his career being reignited slightly. Good luck at Forest, Nicklas, and welcome back to English football.
Victor Anichebe is not the striker Sunderland need
This transfer flew under the radar slightly but, in case you didn’t yet know, David Moyes has brought former Everton and West Brom striker Victor Anichebe to Sunderland. The 28-year-old, who scored a mighty six goals in 55 games for West Brom, is a striker that is not going to impress Black Cats fans when what they really need is goals. In 186 professional appearances he has only managed to score 24 goals, so what is he really going to bring to the Sunderland cause? In all probability, the answer to that is ‘not very much’. I expect this deal to aid Sunderland’s survival hopes not one jot.
Rose and Dier set for new Spurs contracts
With Christian Eriksen signing on the dotted line last week, it seems that Mauricio Pochettino is now set to offer two of his other stars new long-term contracts. Danny Rose and Eric Dier, arguably the two players that have improved the most during Poch’s spell at White Hart Lane, are undoubtedly part of the Argentine’s plans for the future, and tying them down seems high on his list of priorities. Mauricio is building something very special in north London, and these contact extensions are just the next step in his Tottenham journey.
Georginio Wijnaldum is magic!
This is undoubtedly real magic, regardless of how many times you watch it.