CASEMIRO: INSTANT HERO?
Let’s be honest, the weekend’s games in the Premier League aren’t the most interesting. Leicester versus Southampton offers the vague promise of some crisis stick eruptions, Brentford’s trip to Fulham has the potential to be the most polite local derby in Premier League history, and if New Arsenal are planning to reveal themselves as Old Spurs, then Bournemouth is the place for all those hoping to crush box-fresh progress to dust. As for Newcastle United’s chances of taking anything from Manchester City, we look towards Eddie Howe’s record against the Citizens of 12 games played, 12 losses, five goals scored, 39 against, all without facing Erling Haaland. God speed the Foxes, the Saints, the Gunners and especially the Toon, but very little of it screams shrill, eye-catching, interesting-first-paragraph-exciting action.
To be fair, it doesn’t help that not a single final pick is set for the weekend. Manchester United host Liverpool on Monday evening, and while this rivalry is usually disappointing, and expectations are rarely met, nobody learns, least of all us, and the prospect is ahead. the real big one. Especially as both teams have suffered a cold start to their Premier League campaign, Liverpool with two draws, United with two humiliations. Something’s got to give, and we sure hope it doesn’t turn into a big cloud of dust from comics and boots and fists out of desperation. The Five will set a few goals. But a dust cloud OOYAH OOF, no, we don’t want, etc.
United will be desperate to avenge Liverpool’s 5-0 drubbing at Old Trafford last season, the low/high point of which was LS Lowry’s bizarre table of thousands of punters spilling out of the ground in no time clock passed. Things are different now, and maybe they will try to use tactics this time, to set themselves in some shape and try to maintain it. However, after the player registration deadline passed at midday on Friday, they will likely be unable to make a new signing for Casemiro, who did a number on Liverpool in this year’s Champions League final and told Real Madrid boss, Carlo Ancelotti, “He wants. to try a new challenge … he wants to leave … we did not try to convince him to stay.” Whether that should be used as any kind of red flag for United remains to be seen, but it hardly goes without saying that the tough 30-year-old Brazilian represents a serious upgrade on McFred, all on his own. , while the reported £50.7m transfer fee and £££ weekly stipend may raise eyebrows, the way things are at the moment he is free at double the price.
STATEMENT OF THE DAY
“Obviously it wasn’t a nice week [Manchester] United after the Brentford game. I watched the first half and then drove home and listened to TalkSport and Gabby [Agbonlahor]. He lost against us 6-0 in my first year and I couldn’t remember him as a monster mentality on the pitch … but what he said about United, I was close to calling in” – says Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp on the bait. over nonsense or else being shouted by an ex-footballer on the wireless.
“Re: UK Home Office not granting visas to two Viborg players and allowing them to play against West Ham in Tin Pot (News, Bits and Bobs yesterday). Imagine if the situation was reversed and UK club players were banned from playing in an important European away game because of home country government rules…” – John Simpson.
“In response to Clara Sidney’s note about washed-out match trips (Fiver letters yesterday), my first ever Merseyside Derby at Anfield was canceled a few hours before kick-off. I decided to drown my sorrows at home at my hotel, only to find the entire Liverpool team looking for a beer. As an Evertonian, this was not an ideal situation. Thankfully everyone was well entertained as Newcastle beat Manchester United 5-0 on the box. I gave my ticket to the barman who was also in Blue for the rearranged outfit, because I couldn’t make it. Things became very calm/positive” – Ian Taylor.
“My wife and I set off to watch Reading’s first game of the 2012-13 season at Sunderland, full of hope that you know is likely to be played out soon after the first game. Unfortunately it didn’t last that long – the game was postponed after a small shower a little over an hour before. After a round trip of 500 miles, 10 hours simply to eat a burger, when we remember the story with friends now, we are accused of telling Shoemaker” – Alan Giles.
“Clara’s note reminded me of my first abandoned match: an FA Vase match at Culverden Stadium between Tunbridge Wells and Camberley in the mid to late 1980s. I think it was a December or January game – so in the ‘right’ rounds – where there was extra time to play before any replay. Alas, a lack of floodlights – and a kick-off that didn’t count in extra time – saw a 105-minute stalemate with the score 5-5. Great fun but ultimately pointless” – Ian Sargeant [1985-86, we think … Camberley won the replay 3-1 – Fiver Ed].
“It was really bad for me as a player. After several years of sweating and grunting in lower grades for my university club in the flamin’ Canberra leagues of the 1980s, I was finally selected to play by… cue author… in first grade. My first professional match was scheduled in my ‘local’ town of Griffith, NSW, a 360km bus ride and over four hours away. While we sat in the stands to watch my skill-challenged former team-mates in the second-grade club for about 90 minutes, a series of ominous and gloomy thunder clouds surrounded the ground, which, with significant absence. foresight, built within a natural depression. Just as we were warming up the sky went black, the heavens split and the proverbial bucket emptied onto the scene. After 10 minutes there was a foot of water on the field/pond. Match off, a few beers and a slow coach home. The following week some of the absent first teamers came back and I was not selected again. Maybe there’s a moral in there somewhere but I’ve yet to see it” – Mick O’Regan.
Send your letters to [email protected] And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. The winner of our unique letter today is … Mick O’Regan.
A POSITIVE VIEW
August 17: “There are a lot of positives. I know it doesn’t look like it now, but it is” – Rochdale manager Robbie Stockdale, pausing after a fourth win out of four left his side rooted to the bottom of League Two.
August 19: “The board would like to thank Robbie” – Rochdale still can’t see them handing Stockdale the boot.
NEWS, BIO AND RELATED
QPR will host a swab center outside Loftus Road on Saturday to try and find a bone marrow transplant match for close family friend of defender Jimmy Dunne.
Manchester City are a step away from the Women’s Cup qualifiers, but the small matter of a one-off tie at Real Madrid stands in their way on Sunday.
As well as spending huge sums on big names, Chelsea have been making huge investments in youngsters, with Cesare Casadei being the latest.
Wesley Fofana’s head has turned at Chelsea, it seems, so Leicester will leave him out against Southampton on Saturday.
And Saints owners Sport Republic have bought a 70% shareholding in Turkish second tier outfit Göztepe.
STILL ABOUT MORE?
Louise Taylor joins Southampton as the Women’s Championship kicks off.
10.1 There are things to watch out for in the Premier League this weekend right here.
The trash quiz will begin a season without Jim Fallon.
And if it’s your thing… you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!