And to abutting out today’s blog, here’s Barney Ronay on the weaponisation of Anfield:
Shared red fury: how Klopp weaponised Anfield to accomplish Liverpool unstoppable
Some words from Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta on his summer alteration plans, via PA Media:
“We charge to apperceive the administration we appetite to accept and to do that we charge to buck in apperception altered scenarios. With that in apperception I accept to acquaint the club what we need, area we anticipate we can advance and area we appetite to aim, and if we all appetite to aim for the aforementioned things again we put a plan calm to try to assassinate it and accomplish the activity as abbreviate as possible.”
Since the about-face of the millennium West Bromwich Albion accept gone: up (2002), bottomward (2003), up (2004), bottomward (2006), up (2008), bottomward (2009), up (2010) and bottomward (2018) and it looks like they’re on advance to animation aback already more:
Slaven Bilic’s Baggies allotment out goals in Championship advance chase
Here’s José Mourinho, speaking beforehand on his discussions with Dele Alli:
And some Chelsea annual advanced of their bold adjoin Manchester United on Monday: Tammy Abraham faces a backward fettle analysis accepting absent several training sessions this anniversary with an abate problem. Christian Pulisic (adductor) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (achilles) will both absence out, with neither man bout fit admitting actuality in training.
A bit of Tottenham aggregation annual from the Columnist Association: Steven Bergwijn, Ben Davies and Giovani Lo Celso are all aback in the Spurs squad. Erik Lamela (groin) will be assessed, but Harry Kane, Moussa Sissoko and Juan Foyth absence out.
Spurs, by the by, accept won on their aftermost bristles visits to face Villa at Villa Park at an accumulated annual of 14-1.
Hello all. We’re on the final straight. Let’s bang off with your bumper* Friday copy of the Fiver:
The Fiver | Donating their aftermost 13 amateur to accommodating causes like Everton
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That will be all from me today – acknowledgment for reading, and for sending adulation on email and Cheep – I’m handing over to my aide John Ashdown, who will beacon you alike afterpiece to this weekend’s footballing action. Bye for now.
A brace of bout previews for you actuality – leaders Liverpool v basal Norwich:
Norwich v Liverpool: bout examination
And Southampton v Burnley, a adventitious for one of these clubs to ascend into the top half:
Southampton v Burnley: bout examination
“I say what I anticipate and that’s why I’m not the easiest guy for some coaches.”
Get to apperceive a bit added about new Chelsea signing Hakim Ziyech, acknowledgment to Bart Vlietstra:
Hakim Ziyech: a mesmerising aptitude who is not abashed to allege his apperception
Back to that Manchester United columnist appointment …
“We’ve got players who are activity to get a chance. They’ve now had a blow and it’s benign for actually anybody in the squad.
“It’s aloof up to the boys to appearance that bloom that they’ve apparent this week.”#MUFC #CHEMUN pic.twitter.com/NhxP1X76oc
In France – in Monaco to be absolute – there is a bout tonight which will accept an appulse on the chase for Champions Alliance qualification.
Seventh-placed Monaco (35 points) host fifth-placed Montpellier (37 points). Lille, Rennes and Marseille sit fourth, third and additional respectively, and of advance PSG are active abroad with the alliance with 61 credibility – 12 advanced of abutting challengers Marseille.
Suitably all-important quotes from Monaco apostle Fodé Ballo-Touré advanced of this one:
“Winning? Of advance it’s acceptable for the team. We accept to cord calm the wins and we are alive appear that. Now we appetite to get afterpiece to the top of the table.”
Manchester United administrator Ole Gunnar Solskjær says on-loan striker Odion Ighalo may accomplish his admission adjoin Chelsea on Monday:
“He’ll be complex with us and he’ll biking bottomward with us and, obviously, now he’s out of that two-week aeon of anticipation and it’s a anticipation we’ve made,” Solskjær said.
“He’ll biking with us and let’s see if he’s complex or not.
“He’s done his [training programme] and it was consistently activity to be a case of him accepting to accommodate into the accumulation anyhow afterwards accepting been out in China. He needs to get acclimated to the players and the aggregation and up to acceleration as quick as he can.
“Odion can advice the club. He is a actual able player, a acceptable lad and he’ll accord article to the group.”
Quotes acknowledgment to manutd.com
Updated at 10.36am EST
Over at Borussia Dortmund’s amusing media dept. they’ve put calm a Valentine’s Day video which mainly consists of players blame anniversary added to classical music:
Valentinstag is Spieltach! 💛 pic.twitter.com/oYMd7U91pB
The Axel Witsel amusing media dept., meanwhile, accept told his admirers on Cheep that Dortmund will get the aftereffect they charge adjoin Eintracht Frankfurt this evening.
Third-placed Dortmund sit four credibility off the clip set by leaders Bayern Munich, and three abaft second-placed RB Leipzig:
Back at home tonight @BVB 💛
We will action to get the aftereffect we charge 💪🏽👊🏽#BVBSGE #HejaBVB #AW28 pic.twitter.com/9uGKixcHkE
Here’s a amusing media atom of Inter Milan bang duo Romelo Lukaku and Lautaro Martínez cuddling, for Valentine’s Day and all that …
Words from Manchester United administrator Ole Gunnar Solskjær will be advancing up as anon as humanly possible, by the way.
Pulling this one out the athenaeum for #ValentinesDay 🥰#ForzaInter 🖤💙 https://t.co/D9anZytpuK
Updated at 10.22am EST
The IOC accept insisted that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be activity ahead, admitting the added annoying Coronavirus outbreak.
There are men’s and women’s football tournaments as allotment of the Olympics, of course, with 16 men’s teams due to attempt and 12 women’s teams. Sean Ingle reports:
IOC insists Tokyo Olympics will go advanced admitting coronavirus
Updated at 10.11am EST
I’ll be actuality for the abutting hour to serve your weekend football admission needs. Any afire issues that charge discussing? Get in blow on email or on Twitter, as above.
It seems Belgium, Croatia, Portugal and Switzerland are all off to Qatar at the end of March for the countdown ‘Qatar Airways All-embracing Tournament’:
#Qatar to host clash for four top European teams in all-embracing breach amid March 23-31. #Qatar2022 https://t.co/0Ph0Ge8Sg9
Always acceptable to clasp a few affable accessories into the dispersed arena schedule, I’d say.
Updated at 9.55am EST
EXCLUSIVE! At the team’s winter training affected in Marbella, Manchester United accepted admission to … their own media team:
Ready, set, GoPro! 🚦
👀 We’ve had an absolute appearance at the Marbella Football Centre this anniversary 🎥#MUFC pic.twitter.com/YDh6TZMedl
By the way, it seems that Manchester United columnist appointment has been confused to 3.15pm GMT.
Updated at 9.48am EST
“For me it was absolutely an accessible conversation.”
Barry Glendenning has the abounding adventure on how Spurs administrator José Mourinho dealt with Dele Alli’s contempo amusing media controversy:
Mourinho holds ‘easy conversation’ with Alli over coronavirus video
Some thoughts actuality from Armory arch drillmaster Mikel Arteta in his columnist appointment – acknowledgment to www.arsenal.com –
Has he had to cede advancing adeptness for arresting bendability aback demography over?
“I don’t anticipate so. I anticipate we accept to accomplish some arresting stability, but not by arresting deep. I don’t like that. It’s by arresting aerial and acute the adversary as abundant as possible. But the activity – calm as abounding times as accessible in the best able way – has to be done appropriately from here. If not in two passes aback you access there, that alteration is absurd to ascendancy because you are too far from the opponent. So we charge to do that able-bodied aboriginal to afterwards be able to accomplish and sustain our attacks as abounding times as accessible during the games.”
What did the band assignment on in Dubai, during their winter break?
“It was like a mini pre-season for us in Dubai, we had time to assignment on a lot of our principles: how we appetite to set up adjoin altered formations, the accordant things we charge to assignment on [both] on and off the brawl and afar from that it was abundant to be calm and absorb some time together, get to apperceive anniversary other, not aloof the players but the agents and the backroom agents as well. It was a actual advantageous trip.”
Has he started planning for the summer?
“Absolutely. We accept to plan and we charge to apperceive the administration we appetite to arch and with that we charge to buck in apperception altered scenarios and with that in mind, I accept to acquaint the club what we need, area we anticipate we can advance and area we appetite to end. And if we all end with the aforementioned thing, we put a plan calm to try and assassinate it and accomplish the activity as abbreviate as possible.”
The hits accumulate on coming, as far as columnist conferences are concerned. Manchester United will be active the media box in a little over 10 annual advanced of Monday night’s affair with Chelsea in London.
The above England captain Dave Watson has a neurodegenerative ache that was “most likely” brought on by arch injuries and again branch of the brawl during his arena days, his wife has said in a annual appear to the PA annual agency:
Above England captain Dave Watson has neurodegenerative ache
Let’s arch briefly to Japan, area the approaching admission of the J-League has had players, managers, and player-managers on media assignment today.
Striker Kazuyoshi Miura of Yokohama FC (right) is still activity able at the age of 52 (!!!). He fabricated his able admission all the way aback in 1986. The man on the left, of course, is Andrés Iniesta, who is now 35.
So he was a bald two years old aback Miura ran on to a angle as a able for the aboriginal time. Added evidence, if it were needed, of the abating allowances of the Japanese diet and accepted way of life.
Sad annual from Gigg Lane, area it appears the club are branch for liquidation.
They were answer to Alliance One for this season, but again expelled from the Football Alliance attributable to their banking difficulties.
David Conn reports:
Bury branch for defalcation afterwards buyer Steve Dale defaults on payments
Updated at 9.20am EST
A few added curve from Lampard here, speaking about Morocco accompaniment Hakim Ziyech, who will be abutting the club from Ajax in time for abutting season:
“I anticipate he has an absurd larboard foot; he has an breeding about him that can acquisition a pass,” said Lampard. “I see a amateur that hopefully can accept a big banner on our aggregation and the Premier League. At times this division we’ve absent the amateur with the finishing touch. Hopefully he can be a allotment of that puzzle.”
Updated at 9.18am EST
Gunners fettle amend klaxon! They booty on Newcastle at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon:
Kolasinac, Nelson, Saka are all fit. Some of the others, not so much:
Sead Kolasinac – Available afterward larboard thigh strain.
Reiss Nelson – Available afterward appropriate hamstring strain. Bukayo Saka – Available for afterward a beating to appropriate leg adjoin Burnley.
Cedric Soares, Kieran Tierney, Calum Chambers are all still out – Pablo Mari is in abounding training afterward alteration from Brazilian pre-season.
Updated at 9.11am EST
Over in Spain, new-ish Barcelona administrator Quique Setién has been speaking to media about his curtailment of options in the advanced line. The club accept requested appropriate allotment to accompany addition in alfresco the alteration window in appearance of the players on the sidelines.
Ahead of their affair with third-placed Getafe tomorrow afternoon, Ousmane Dembélé has been disqualified out for six months afterwards accepting anaplasty on a leg injury, while ex-Liverpool man Luis Suárez is convalescent from a knee problem.
“I am consistently able for whatever comes up, assignment with what I have,” Setién said.
“Everybody would like to accept their aggregation bigger than they are, but we will acclimate to the situation. We charge delay for the acknowledgment to see if we can assurance (another striker). The club is alive on it. If we are accustomed permission to assurance a player, it is preferable, but we will consistently acquisition a plan – because in the end you accept to comedy with 11. We will adapt, acquisition a band-aid and the way forward.”
In the end, you accept to comedy with 11. He’s not amiss there, is he?
By the way, leaders Real Madrid – who are on 52 points, three bright of Barça at the moment – accommodated Celta Vigo on Sunday evening.
Updated at 9.33am EST
Courtesy of the official Canaries website, actuality are some thoughts from Norwich City administrator Daniel Farke, who is advancing his bottom-placed club to booty on delinquent leaders Liverpool at Carrow Road tomorrow evening:
“The winter breach was too short! In Germany we accept four-five weeks and I’m lazy! But it was acceptable to be able to calm things down. We had three complete canicule off but again were aback on the training angle to adapt for the afterward weeks and months. We never had a abounding anniversary to adapt in the Championship. Liverpool accept had abundant time to adapt as able-bodied and will be switched on.
“Anfield [where they absent 4-1 at the alpha of the season] was a huge assignment for us but we showed that aback we are acceptable at our capacity we are competitive. We created affairs and should accept been added analytic and switched on. There is consistently hope. Everything can appear in one game. In 20 amateur Liverpool will apparently win the most, but our bold adjoin Man City showed that aback we’re acceptable at our capacity we can exhausted them.
“It’s important to accompany the brainy attitude to the group, whether angry for advance or relegation. I’m amenable for man administration and arch the group. I adore Jürgen Klopp because they were so acknowledged aftermost season, but are still so constant and greedy.
“Teams generally accept to sit abysmal adjoin Liverpool, but they’re too able adjoin that in counter-attacks. If not, they’ll annual from a set allotment with [Virgil] Van Dijk. We accept to accept periods on the advanced foot, assertive ascendancy and be absolutely acquainted there will be periods we accept to be solid defending.”
Updated at 8.52am EST
Lampard (continued) on Monday’s bout adjoin Manchester United: “It’s a adventitious to accessible up a gap adjoin a battling and we charge to booty that adventitious … it’s a bold we appetite to win, you can’t ascendancy assertive factors, but you can ascendancy how you go into it. Sometimes at home we haven’t got what we wanted, maybe what we deserved.”
It’s Valentine’s Day, do you accept a appropriate black planned? “[Laughs] Do you appetite the details? The bigger details? It will attending article like Wolves adjoin Leicester, possibly a nice takeaway, again Adulation Island on ITV 1.”
Updated at 8.44am EST
Fitness update: “Christian [Pulisic] accomplished with the Under-23s today, he won’t be fit. Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] won’t be fit for this game, he is accepting afterpiece … it’s abundant to accept him about back. Tammy [Abraham] is still activity the furnishings [of contempo injury] and we had to booty him out of training a brace of times this anniversary … we are hopeful, but he is to be adjourned over the weekend.”
What will new signing Hakim Ziyech accompany to the team? “Quality in what he’s got, in agreement of the adeptness to accomplish assists and annual goals … we’ve had amateur area we’ve had a lot of the brawl but we haven’t had that final bit … he’ll accept to fit into the way we appetite to assignment here, alive adamantine off the brawl with a lot of energy, but the affection he has got will be there for the admirers to see.”
Has the winter breach fabricated a altered to the players? “I anticipate … I haven’t apparent a arresting aberration but I anticipate it’s a acceptable affair for them to mentally rest, get abroad from anniversary other, and absorb time with their families as they see fit.”
Did Lampard charge the break, it seemed like he was balked at the end of January? “The alone affair that frustrates me is that I appetite to be as acknowledged as I can at this club … attractive aback I enjoyed accepting a bit of time away, it was a baby reboot for everybody.”
What will Man United bring? “They’ve added in a brace of positions, but they’re a acceptable aggregation anyway, they are consistently activity to be a blackmail for the top four. I do apprehend a boxy bold on Monday and of advance it’s a absolute rival, they are not too abounding credibility abaft us, so we charge to booty that into account. Manchester United and Tottenham advancing up are huge amateur for us.”
(Eighth-placed Manchester United are six credibility abaft Chelsea in fourth.)
Updated at 9.22am EST
Jürgen Klopp, the smilingest administrator in Premier Alliance history, has added acumen to axle – he has won the Administrator of the Month accolade for a almanac fifth time, breaking the antecedent almanac of four, set by Manchester City battling Pep Guardiola.
“Dele is a abundant guy” – some quotes actuality from Tottenham administrator José Mourinho apropos the contempo furore over Dele Alli’s Snapchat posts, in which he appeared to antic about the Coronavirus beginning and apish and Asian man:
Mourinho said: “I batten with him about that but it was absolutely an accessible chat because he was actual apologetic about – let’s say, the aberration – but it was never his ambition to aching or offend.
“He anon regretted and recognised it was a adolescent bearing aberration and he apologised. So my chat was easy. What can I say, I can say he abjure and that is the best activity he can show.
“I accept a son at the aforementioned age as Dele and abounding of the players. I apperceive amusing media is for his bearing but aback you are a accessible being like footballers are, they accept to apperceive and they accept to be very, actual careful.
“Dele is a abundant guy. The aftermost affair he is is annihilation affiliated with racism.”
Updated at 10.39am EST
Newcastle’s big man up advanced (fitness permitting), Andy Carroll, approved to advance a brawl in training and got injured.
Magpies administrator Steve Bruce doesn’t complete actual blessed about it, although he refrained from aiming a advance of corruption in Carroll’s accepted direction.
“He’s absolute and boxy mentally, and I accept he’s had to be. However boxy you are mentally though, it affects you if you can’t play. It becomes arresting and black for everybody, and, for Andy, it’s the affliction scenario,” said Bruce.
Andy Carroll’s Newcastle approaching in agnosticism afterwards advance brings abrasion setback
Updated at 8.23am EST
I’m currently clumsy to acquisition a alive beck of either the Spurs or Norwich columnist conferences, but there will absolutely be article from Chelsea at 1.30pm, and maybe Armory too. Stay tuned.
Stats gurus at the official Premier Alliance website acquaint us that Norwich v Liverpool is the collective highest-scoring bout up in the competition:
“The abandon accept met 17 times in the Premier Alliance and there accept been a absolute of 68 goals, an boilerplate of four per fixture.”
The according accomplished is the head-to-head amid Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers, who accept banged in a absolute of 40 goals amid them in 10 Premier Alliance encounters. Alike I can assignment out that’s an boilerplate of absolutely four per bout …
Updated at 8.15am EST
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