Unhappy Players, Friendlies After The First Game Of The Season And Champion’s League Qualifiers

Posted: August 16, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion
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Diego Costa

Diego Costa is in Brazil. Hardly surprising when considering the fact that the Spanish international is Brazilian. He wants to leave Chelsea, (we think), and return to Atlético Madrid in Spain. His manager certainly wants him to leave and doesn’t appear to be shedding many tears at his absence.

The problem is that he shouldn’t be in Brazil at present owing to the fact that the Premier League football season has started and his team, Chelsea, could do with him being in London even though he wouldn’t get picked. Consequently they have fined him around £300K for not being where he is supposed to be.

It would appear that Costa is quite happy to sit on Copacabana beach, or wherever he is, until January when Atlético can legally buy him. Then, we hope, this sorry saga will be over forever.

Alexis Sanchéz

Alexis Sanchéz is in London, which is where he is supposed to be, so Arsenal cannot fine him. The problem is that, like Diego Costa, he doesn’t want to be in London and, if the reports are correct, would much rather be in Manchester. This is something we find impossible to argue with as any right-minded person would feel exactly the same.

Unlike Diego Costa though, his manager DOES want him to stay at the club and is waving a signed contract, with a year remaining on it, under his nose in a display of power which says that Arséne Wenger will have the last word on whether he leaves or not.

Sanchéz shouldn’t read too much into this as Arséne has a habit of telling players that they won’t be sold just before selling them! In fact, he can’t really lose because if he stays for the final year of his contract he can then choose exactly where he goes next season.

By then he may have helped Arsenal get back into the top four and qualify for the Champion’s League but we doubt it and it is this absence from the top competition and the paucity of trophies that is fuelling his desire to leave. He doesn’t, in all fairness, appear quite as unhappy about it all as Costa.

Philippe Courinho wants to go to Barcelona and we have already said all we have to say on this subject in our article from yesterday which, of course, you have all read. We have added a little more from Jürgen Klopp’s point of view lower down this page

Manchester City and a friendly in Spain

Pep Guardiola is back in his native Spain for a friendly game. Manchester City have a partnership of sorts with Girona, a recently promoted Spanish La Liga club. This partnership means that there will be a cross-fertilisation of players which, when broken down into plain old English, means it is somewhere for City to farm out some of their younger players to get first team experience.

Quite why this means that City, having just played Brighton in their first Premier League game of the season, have to go swanning off to Spain for four days to play them in a friendly, is beyond us. They have just “bonded“, whatever that is supposed to mean, during a close season trip to America. Have they all fallen out with each other already?

Anyway, Pep must know what he is doing even if nobody else does! The proof of the wisdom of this particular pudding will be seen when they take on Everton at The Etihad next Monday.

Liverpool play Hoffenheim in qualifier

Jürgen Klopp is back in his native Germany but not for a friendly. He has to negotiate a couple of games against Hoffenheim in order to progress to the Champion’s League proper. He has to do this without Philippe Coutinho who is the subject of the vast majority of questions at his press conferences.

Klopp does not appear to know exactly why Coutinho isn’t available which usually means that a deal is very close and the buying club, Barcelona in this case, do not want him playing and getting injured while the deal is being finalised.

This is another one which needs to be brought to a satisfactory conclusion sooner rather than later, not just so as not to drag on interminably but, more importantly, to allow Klopp to concentrate on the players who DO want to be there and getting them qualified for the group stage of the Champion’s League.

In fairness to him they have got off to a pretty good start with an excellent 2-1 win in the first leg in Hoffenheim.


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