PARDEW TO BE SACKED IF HE LOSES AT SWANSEA
Oh Alan, we can’t say we didn’t see it coming. Despite an array of excuses and regular insistence that Crystal Palace’s wretched form is just a temporary blip, The Sun report that Alan Pardew will lose his job as manager should be defeated at Swansea on Saturday.
That’s fair enough, too. Here’s Winners and Losers on the issue:
‘For those keeping count, and there are plenty of Palace fans among you, it’s now 22 points from his last 31 league matches.
‘“Anyone who knows the way I manage, I like my teams to be on the front foot and score goals, so clean sheets have never been the top of my priority,” said Pardew on November 8, so you’ll forgive us for updating you on another tally. Palace have not kept a clean sheet in the league for 17 matches, and have conceded two or more goals in six of their last eight games (and each of their last four). The defending is getting worse, not better.’
LIVERPOOL WANT SOUTHAMPTON PAIR
The only notable transfer story in Tuesday’s papers concerns Southampton pair Virgil van Dijk and Sam McQueen, with the Sun claiming that Liverpool are looking to sign them both in January.
Van Dijk is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the Premier League’s finest defenders, and is certainly the best outside the top six. At his comparatively young age, it’s no surprise clubs are circling.
Add McQueen to the deal, and the Sun’s figure of £40m actually looks pretty low. A reminder that Eric Bailly, with no Premier League experience, cost £30m.
GERRARD WANTS LIVERPOOL ROLE
Monday brought us the news that Steven Gerrard had turned down the chance to manage MK Dons. Tuesday brings claims that the decision was made because Gerrard wants a coaching role at Liverpool.
In fairness, MK Dons never really made sense. It was a huge gamble on the part of the club and the coaching badge-less Gerrard. It could have gone well, of course, but had Gerrard failed miserably it would set him back years.
The right thing to do is to take up a coaching role while doing your badges, getting vital experience in that role before becoming a manager. There aren’t many better places than Liverpool for Gerrard to experience that coaching role.
ROBBIE KEANE TO RETURN HOME?
It’s all been an elaborate ruse from Robbie Keane, his entire career path one laboured gag.
You will know by now that Keane has famously described each of Tottenham, Celtic, Wolves and Inter as his boyhood club, but the Daily Mail report that the striker might leave LA Galaxy for Shamrock Rovers, the club closest to his home as a boy.
In an ideal world, Keane enters that press conference and declares that he never really wanted to play there anyway, and he’s not quite sure how it happened.
AND THE REST
Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United have sent scouts to watch Sporting Lisbon starlet Gelson Martins against Real Madrid on Tuesday… Hugo Lloris has put his Tottenham contract talks on hold in order to focus on their crucial Champions League clash against Monaco… Swansea could be facing a fight to keep hold of Modou Barrow, with Premier League rivals Leicester and Southampton weighing up moves for the £15m… The Football Association are expected to appoint Gareth Southgate as England manager a week on Wednesday… Reading are after Ajax midfielder Thulani Serero.