Written by: Samuel Hodgkiss
In a week that saw Manchester United win six on the bounce, to Richard Keys and Rio Ferdinand causing a storm on social media with comments made on Newcastle United, this week was filled with plenty to talk about.
A major talking point of this week was Manchester United and their resurgence under new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjear upon his arrival at Old Trafford. With five wins out of his first five games in charge, the Norwegian has been praised by many for his influence in the sudden change of form for the club who had recently been suffering at the hands of Jose Mourinho. However, with the results coming against somewhat lesser sides to United, many saw the game against title contenders Spurs at Wembley as the first real test under Solskjear.
United came away with a hard fought 1-0 victory, thanks to a well taken goal by Marcus Rashford and a Man of the Match performance by David De Gea, who made an incredible 11 saves to almost single-handedly secure United take home all three points. Because of this, Spurs could potentially slip to five points adrift of Manchester City in second place if they win this evening, whereas United find themselves still in sixth, however on level points with Arsenal after their disappointing result away at West Ham, losing 1-0.
Further up the table, Liverpool earned a 1-0 away victory at Brighton & Hove Albion, a fixture where many though the reds could drop points, after previously losing their last two fixtures, one in the league against City and the other in the FA Cup at the hands of Wolves. A penalty won and converted by Mo Salah was the difference between the two sides, and another clean-sheet from Liverpool being the first time Brighton had failed to score at home in the league since March 2018.
The win for the reds, which was described by manager Jurgen Klopp as being ‘mature’, took them 7 points clear again of Manchester City, who host Wolves tonight at the Etihad Stadium, knowing nothing less than a win is needed to keep in touch win Jurgen and his tricky reds.
With Manchester City therefore under pressure to get a result this evening, I’m pretty sure Wolves are the one side outside the top six that Pep Guardiola would not want to be facing. After their victory over Liverpool in the FA Cup and following a track record of playing above expectation in games against the top six sides, it should prove to be a difficult evening for the sky blues. Wolves managed to get a draw in the reverse fixture at Molineux earlier in the season, so they will go to the Etihad with confidence knowing they can give the champions a run for their money, as boss Nuno Espirito Santo backed up as he said: “We will not be afraid – we don’t go on the pitch scared.”
(Nuno, on behalf of everyone at The Redmen TV, do the business will you la!!)
Elsewhere in the league, Arsenal as I briefly touched on before found themselves on the wrong end of a 1-0 loss to West Ham at the London Stadium. The game was a somewhat dull affair, with a first club goal for Declan Rice being the only real talking point from the game, which also saw Arsenal fail to score a goal in a league game since the opening weekend of the season. Furthermore, with news coming out of the club that Unai Emery will have no funds to spend on players in the January transfer markets, it’s fair to say Arsenal and their fans have not had a great week.
For West Ham, the victory was the first over the North London side at the London Stadium, and in a week where star Marco Arnautovic has been heavily linked with a move away from the club to China, which now looks likely after his actions upon being subbed off and after the victory, that win will put a huge smile on everyone in East London.
In news off the pitch, Rio Ferdinand and Richard Keys caused outrage amongst Newcastle United fans, well rather any football fan in the country for that matter. Ferdinand, who was working as a pundit for BT Sport, made a comment after the Magpie’s 2-1 loss at Stamford Bridge to Chelsea which sent Twitter into meltdown. Ferdinand started by saying: “When they went down, he spent £50m of his own money to get them up. Thank you, that should be. By the way, please say thank you for getting Rafa Benítez in! They’re lucky to have him!”
In addition to this, the former Manchester United and England defender also said: “They should say thank you to Ashley. You look at Sunderland, they had £1.2million to go up from the Championship. And they owe a thank you to Mike Ashley for getting Rafa Benitez.”
Writing this, I’m still baffled as to how he allowed himself to say these things, as before this I always deemed Ferdinand to be a pretty good pundit. What he said is simply nonsense and utterly ridiculous!!! However, when you learn to release that Ferdinand’s clothing line is sold in Sports Direct, the company owned by Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, you can begin to put two and two together and see why he’s trying to get up Mr Ashley’s arse.
To make things worse, Richard Keys, the sexist and quite frankly irrelevant former host on Sky Sports felt the need to share his opinions on the matter. Keys went onto Twitter to praise the comments of Ferdinand, writing a tweet of his own saying: “If Rafa loves Newcastle as he says – spend some of his own money. He’s got enough. Management is about teamwork – why should it always be Ashley? Buy it. It’s still for sale. They’re in the bottom 3 & Rafa is responsible. He picks the team.”
Can you believe that?? Seriously??
These comments obviously angered many football fans, but for obvious reasons made Newcastle fans vent in pure rage on the socials. For me, I like to refer to where Keys said: “Management is about teamwork”. In response to this, I would say to Keys that football is about its fans and the community, and what he could do to help the footballing community is to fuck off.
Written by: Samuel Hodgkiss
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