Sportingo.com’s Mark Apostolou provides daily coverage of the Premier League’s hot gossip.Â
It seems like eons ago that Arsenal fans were despondent at the loss of their legendary TH14 to Barcelona. It also seems that Cesc Fabregas has recovered from the heartache and says Arsenal are now a better side without Thierry Henry.
The Spanish wizard said: “Thierry was an important player, but now he’s gone we have to play more as a team. We’re playing more collectively, more as a team, and this is important. We lost a lot of points at the beginning of last season and it was too difficult to come back. We have to keep winning.” (various).
So, there is life after the Frenchman and things are blooming at the Emirates. Arsenal’s annihilation of fierce rivals Tottenham at White Hart Lane was evidence enough that even in the final third Arsene Wenger is not dependent on the talismanic striker. However, do Gunners fans still feel they could use another keeper and a proven striker? Or is the jigsaw complete as it is?
Depending on what red top or broadsheet you read, Spurs boss Martin Jol has between three and six games to save his skin. We have the following estimations as to his longevity as manager â€“ a month (Daily Mirror), less than a month (Daily Star), six games (Daily Mail), three weeks (Daily Express and Daily Telegraph) and five games (The Times).
Now I am not sure which complicated system these journos are using to come up with these time frames. More likely than not they are just picking up a desk calendar, closing their eyes, and aiming a pen, before typing up a lazy piece based on nothing but speculation before heading for a pre-lunch pint. Simply put, if Daniel Levy sacks Martin Jol any time soon then he is a fool.
The same hacks are throwing names in the hat for Jol’s successor but this also seems like an exercise in sheer guesswork. It is undeniable that Juande Ramos is on the minds of Jolâ€™s employers but the others seem to be figments of an overactive imagination. Among the names in line to succeed Jol are former White Hart Lane idol Jurgen Klinsmann, Ronald Koeman, Harry Redknapp and Fabio Capello (The Sun).
I rate these options with the following marks out of 10 for likelihood: Klinsmann 6, Koeman 5, Capello 7, Redknapp -100. The idea that Redknapp will ever become manager of Tottenham is so unrealistic itâ€™s untrue. If he has even entered the minds of Spurs bigwigs then they need their heads tested. I think that rumour was dreamed up after a very boozy stint in a Fleet Street wine bar.
You would have thought there was more than enough hatred between Liverpool and Manchester United, but now there are even more reasons to believe that there are few clubs in the world that dislike each other more. United defender Rio Ferdinand was delighted with Portsmouth’s performance in their 0-0 draw with Liverpool. Apparently, after his sideâ€™s hard-fought victory at Everton, Rio had showered and changed into his Manchester United tracksuit and was glued to a TV monitor at Goodison Park for the closing moments of Liverpool’s goalless draw at Portsmouth. At the end he clenched his right fist and let out a “YESSSS!” before heading off to rejoin his team-mates (various).
Whilst this is hardly a â€˜newsâ€™ story, it does show just how much of a threat Liverpool have become to United’s chances of retaining their title, I am sure that on any given occasion that the Old Trafford side fail to secure three points there are a good number of Liverpool staff that raise a toast and celebrate. The animosity that exists between these two clubs is legendary. Both sides have a history as full and gleaming as their trophy cabinets and this rivalry will continue as long as man walks the earth, I wonder which side will be yelling â€˜yesssâ€™ on December 15?
Everton are trying to lure Barcelona’s Mexican wonder kid Efrain Juarez Valdez (Daily Mirror), another hot prospect on the huge squad list at the Nou Camp and currently on loan at CF Barbate. If David Moyes could pull this signing off it would be quite a coup as the defender is very highly rated.