Well, it wasn’t a bad weekend for west London, was it?
A week, let alone a weekend, is a long time in football and it was only seven days ago that people who know nothing about football (ahem) were writing Tommy Tuchel off as a “fraud”. Imagine saying that, especially in the national press?
In my defence, I think I also said it probably would come back and bite me firmly on the backside when Chelsea won the Champions League and would you look at that? Finally, I predict something accurately.
Tuchel was brought into the Chelsea to guarantee Champions League football next season and, having done his very best to avoid it in the Premier League table, nailed it with an absolute undoing of Pep Guardiola once again.
Tommy T is the first manager to beat Pep three times in a row and, to be fair, even Pep doesn’t beat himself that many times consecutively.
Was Chelsea’s win down to their performance or Pep’s desire to do something “a bit different” in the biggest game in the club’s history.
Now, it is far from me to suggest that Peppy G got his tactics wrong but – go with me here – considering Chelsea are electric on the counter, have Ngolo Kante who gets through more work than City’s local rivals’ entire midfield in one 90 minute outing and had already shown twice this season how they go about beating them it might have made sense to pick your captain and best defensive midfielder, no?
This might have also allowed your top scorer to get into those positions that allowed him to score all those goals this season, as well. Ilkay Gundogan must have gone to bed expecting to see Kante in bed before him, then in the bathroom when he got up for a late-night pee and then getting to the breakfast buffet before him the following morning.
Tuchel will most likely get a new contract via fax by Wednesday meaning he is almost certain to be gone by Christmas – after all, temporary fixes have won as many trophies at Stamford Bridge as the permanent options in a fraction of the time. If it works, don’t try and fix it.
If Kevin de Bruyne is lucky, Antonio Rudiger will do the decent thing and lend him his face mask for the Euros.
Where it was a good weekend for west London as mentioned, (well done Brentford, keep hold of Ivan Toney and you might stay up next season), it was a bad week for Manchester.
Despite Old Trafford being able to hold more people than live in the entire place Villarreal come from, Unai Emery reacquainted himself with the feeling of being a Europa League champion.
United’s failure to win on penalties – David de Gea missing the 112th having not being able to save any of the ones he faced in the ultimate tribute to Peter Shilton – will kick-start a lot of transfer activity this summer.
Juventus know there is one thing that United won’t be able to resist in their ongoing pursuit of Paul Pogba – Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo is thought to be open to idea of a second spell at OT – nothing to do with the insane signing-on fee, the fact that nobody likes him at Juve or the wages United will throw at him. Pogba would probably welcome another spell in Italy – everyone is a winner, even Graeme Souness might be happy with this outcome.
Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer is believed to have decided to pursue Erling Haaland over Harry Kane – a wise choice given that he is (a) younger, (b) better, (c ) far less injury-prone and (d) most likely cheaper. United will try and tempt Dortmund into letting them take their two best players off them – Sancho maybe available for €70m – and we all know how open Dortmund are to doing business with the Red Devils.
This means that Kane might still be off to City with Gabby Jesus heading in the other direction – that is, of course, unless Daniel Levy gets back with his ex and brings the Poch back to London. Pochettino is unhappy in Paris – well, you would be if you’d failed to win Ligue 1 – and very open to returning to a better place. Would this mean Kane stays? Given the Poch didn’t exactly do much winning with PSG, you’d think not.
Antonio Conte is also available and probably owns a house in London. Zinedine Zidane is also available and probably doesn’t.
City might also activate a buy-back clause on Douglas Luiz which is surprising, given that Pep doesn’t seem to see the need for actual defensive midfielders anymore.
Villa are expected to move for Tammy Abraham, who is suspecting his Chelsea career might be over, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, also likely to be on the way out – after all, Dean Smith’s last signing from Chelsea went really well, eh Ross? Sobered up yet?
Many names will be linked to getting the hell out of Arsenal this summer but Granit Xhaka seems to be first out the door – linked to Jose Mourinho’s Roma. That’s either going to be a genius move or end in tears very quickly.
Watford are very keen to take Eddie Nkietah off their hands as well, and feel he is the guy to get on the end of Ashley Young’s inswinging crosses as they plan to bring him back from Inter.
Brighton are looking to start their process of “selling high” and will flog Yves Bissouma to Liverpool and Ben White to one of the many admirers waving their cheque books around. If King Klopp cannot get Bissouma, he’ll take Youri Tielemens, thank you very much.
Liverpool are also up for a bit of Patson Daka, Salzburg’s ready-made replacement for Erling Haaland. West Ham are also interested but, given the choice, you know which Daka will most likely prefer.
Moysey will console himself by snapping up Espanyol’s assist machine Adrian Embarba – no, me neither. But then, I’d never heard of Tomas Soucek and that one came off quite nicely.
Eddie Howe has left Celtic in the lurch as he was unable to get the Bournemouth band back together in Glasgow – he’ll be in Palace’s sights now along with Swansea’s Steve Cooper.
Bruno Lage will be announced as the new Wolves manager this week because Jorge Mendes said so.
Sean Dyche would like to nab Nat Phillips from Anfield as he won’t fancy being 5th choice this season after Liverpool signed Konate from Leipzig. Dyche also wants Forest’s Joe Worrall for about £4m.
West Brom want to cash-in on Sam Johnstone for £20m which is the going rate for a relegated shot-stopper likely to be England’s third-choice in the Euros.
Finally, Gary Lineker has quit BT Sport as he wants to follow Leicester in Europe with his sons next season. But Gary, what are you going to do after Christmas?