There will be no Roberto de Zerbi when Tottenham play Brighton, as he’s banned from the touchline AND has had “invasive dental surgery”. Ouch.
Mikel Arteta says he was not aware the celebration police – headed by Chief Constable James Carragher – had a warrant out for his name. He’s prepared to ask for previous offences to be brought into consideration and will hand himself in.
They told me today. I didn’t know anything about it. I love it because I’ve seen managers at the Emirates on their knees, managers going across the pitch. I love it because it brings so much passion and emotion to the game. It’s my opinion, a lot of people may have something a lot different to mine.
People are entitled to have their opinion. When you do something publicly some people will think positively, some negatively. Behave how you think is right to behave, we don’t want to lose that. Managers and teams celebrate a lot. It’s so tough to win in this league. It was a big match for us, you could tell from the stadium the atmosphere, it was a great day.
Jürgen Klopp has meanwhile been reflecting on last week’s defeat to Arsenal.
A few days before we played, in parts, our best game of the season, a complete performance against Chelsea. Top class. Arsenal played a good game, it’s always a challenge, we don’t take these things lightly and we have to show a reaction.
The time on the ball wasn’t even close to our standards. It all comes with the way we defend and that was the main talking point, so that’s what we have to do much better. If we do that then we will be much better.
Pep Guardiola, whose team have a reputation for tactical fouling, on blue cards: “It is not something official, so when they give the final decision and explain the rules for everyone to understand, I will give my opinion. For now it is just an idea.”
Like Hwang at Wolves, Son Heung-min will be welcomed back by Spurs. Ange Postecoglou has been speaking: “He is very disappointed for Korea’s exit, at the semi-final stage you feel so close. But he gave everything for his nation, no-one could question his commitment. I spoke to him after and he was keen to be back, so no surprise he was back training straight away.”
Yves Bissouma is also available after returning from Africa Cup of Nations duty.
Injury news: Chelsea’s Mauricio Pochettino on Romeo Lavia: “Won’t be back before League Cup final. He is still not training with the team, he is still recovering. Impossible to be available before Carabao Cup final. The fitness situation is he is still not on the pitch.”
Liverpool fans were annoyed that Chelsea beat their club to Lavia’s signature. Perhaps they’re not so disappointed now.
That associated party transactions ruling conjures recent memories of this.
Bought by Troyes, loaned to PSV, loaned to Girona, and joining Manchester City. Only one of those clubs is not owned by the same people.
And it’s been going on a while, too. Remember Aaron Mooy?
Clubs tightens shared ownership regulations
Premier League clubs have agreed to tighten rules regarding associated party transactions.
The new measures, aimed at clubs doing sponsorship deals with companies that have ownership links, were voted for at Friday’s Premier League shareholders’ meeting in central London.
A Premier League statement read: “Following a full review of the existing Associated Party Transactions Rules and Fair Market Value assessment protocols, clubs agreed to a series of amendments to further enhance the efficiency and accuracy of the system.”
It is understood the vote was not unanimous. Manchester City have previously expressed their opposition to the rule changes. Premier League clubs voted against a similar motion for more stringent rules at a shareholders’ meeting in November.
Updated at 14.32 CET
Wolves’ Gary O’Neil – manager of the year contender – is welcoming back Hwang Hee-chan after South Korea’s exit from the Asian Cup: “My first thought was disappointment for him, as I really wanted him to win the Asian Cup. But getting him back earlier gives us a fantastic option from the bench this weekend.”
Great player to watch, Hwang, and has turned into a fine finisher, too.
Frenkie de Jong, the Wesley Sneijder du nos jours? Could be a test of the Big Sir Ratcliffe regime, and the club’s propensity to get its pants pulled down in deals.
That’s all from me, but don’t go anywhere. I believe we’ll hear from Mauricio Pochettino, Roy Hodgson and more Premier League managers this Friday afternoon and the outstanding John Brewin will be your guide.
Over to you, JB.
Hmm, interesting. Are Manchester United set to embark upon a third pursuit of this guy’s signature?
The undisputed king of the set piece. JWP is still just one free-kick goal shy of David Beckham’s record.
🏹 Most chances created from set-pieces in the Premier League this season:
◎ 33 – James Ward-Prowse
◎ 24 – Kieran Trippier
◎ 24 – Alfie Doughty
◎ 23 – Trent Alexander-Arnold
◎ 22 – Andreas Pereira pic.twitter.com/3tXh2Nmn55
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 9, 2024
On England squad bolters, Benjamin Gavelkind wades in on email:
“Attacking midfield is quite competitive, but I think Cole Palmer is in with a shout,” he says. ‘“And keep an eye on Sancho back in Germany.”
I think Palmer should be a given, to be truthful, Benjamin. Sancho less so at the moment.
Everton’s Sean Dyche has had his say on blue cards, dissent and the Ifab clampdown (or is it crackdown) on such things:
I think there should be a bit more tolerance. The fourth official is there and if deep down they are thinking the referee might have that one wrong, I don’t see why you are booked for it.
That’s the moment when they should use a bit of their game understanding and say ‘OK, he maybe got that one wrong but we need you to stay in the technical area’. I think that can be a calming down moment.
Sean Dyche is always a presence on the touchline. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images/Reuters
BREAKING: Premier League clubs have approved tougher new rules on associated party deals – sponsorship and player transfers – by the closest of votes: 12 votes to 6 with two abstaining.
One club, suggested to be Man City, has warned PL it could face a legal challenge over these
— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) February 9, 2024
Southampton have gone 24 games unbeaten and are on a march towards potential automatic promotion from Championship. So what are the secrets of their success under Russell Martin? Ben Fisher finds out.
On email, Joe Alex has suggested another bolter:
“Joe Gomez, useful across the defence,” he says.
Sinisterra to Bournemouth transfer made permanent
Bournemouth have confirmed the permanent transfer of Luis Sinisterra from Leeds, after he was initially on loan. The fee is thought to be in the region of £20m and the Cherries were able to do the deal outside the transfer window as he’s already registered with them.
The 24-year-old told the Bournemouth website: “I’m really happy to make this move. I’m excited to play for Bournemouth for the long term. I feel really comfortable here and the fans are really nice. When I meet them in the streets, they show the love. I’m really happy here and I’ve settled really well; I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Bournemouth’s Luis Sinisterra has caught the eye this season. Photograph: Paul Childs/Action Images/Reuters
I could honestly watch Ross Barkley play football for hours on end.
Apart from Mainoo, who are the other ‘bolters’ who could make a late surge into Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2024?
Anthony Gordon and Ross Barkley are the obvious ones. Curtis Jones, perhaps? Ezri Konsa? I like the idea of Tino Livramento as a utility option.
Plenty have suggested that Gareth Southgate might have been wasting his time going to Amsterdam last weekend to watch Jordan Henderson play in Ajax’s 1-1 draw with PSV. He could have gone to Manchester to watch Kobbie Mainoo instead, with the 18-year-old tipped for a potential England call-up soon.
“He’s doing brilliantly,” Southgate said on the Manchester United youngster. “I’m not certain he’s necessarily going to be a defensive midfielder, as such. He’s quite a progressive player but he’s had a fabulous start to his career and it will be good to monitor him as we go forward.”
Mainoo also qualifies for Ghana, so Southgate may need to get in there soon with his selection.
Kobbie Mainoo for England? Come on, Gareth. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images/Reuters
A good answer to my orange card query (10.29am), from Reggie Lawless:
Probably because an orange card, in the heat of the moment, could be too easily confused by players, crowd and TV audiences as a red.
Can Armando Broja learn from Dominic Solanke and make a success of life away from the Chelsea No 9 striker curse? As Fulham and Bournemouth meet in the Premier League this weekend, Jacob Steinberg explains.
Things you didn’t expect to see in football, part 12,487:
Boyzone in collaboration with Chorley FC. Yep.
We’re absolutely thrilled to share the truly exciting news that world renowned, Boyzone, will be in attendance for our game against @SolihullMoors this Saturday!
This collaboration with Boyzone is part of ongoing discussions that could see them become the face of Chorley FC 👀
— Chorley FC (@chorleyfc) February 7, 2024
Everton director on new stadium, FFP and more
Everton’s director of football Kevin Thelwell has released a statement this morning to supporters, providing updates on the club’s stadium move, progress under Sean Dyche and their battle against Financial Fair Play regulations.
Here’s a snippet of what he said:
It isn’t possible to change direction quickly within the constraints of PSR [profit and sustainability rules], but what has been evident over the four transfer windows I’ve navigated in my time at Everton has been an ongoing focus to make the club more sustainable. In that time, a net receipt from player trading of more than £60m, a wage bill steadily and consistently trending in the right direction and outlay on agent fees vastly reduced continues to demonstrate our plan is being adhered to. Our football strategy is a long-term plan which we must remain focused on, even when the short-term reality can be incredibly challenging.
Later this year, Laing O’Rourke will hand over the keys to the first stadium our club has built in more than 130 years. One of the finest sporting arenas in the world of football, it is a project that has placed significant pressures on the club – not helped by unprecedented and unforeseen circumstances. But by pressing on and remaining focused on the vision – and its delivery – despite the hurdles, we know our club will benefit from far greater levels of freedom to develop our squad and footballing operation, whilst complying with the strict financial regulations, in the future. That is the boost to our footballing future the stadium will provide, thanks to the commercial sea change it will bring.
Updated at 12.13 CET
Gareth Southgate always seems to provoke so much debate. Which I find strange for a guy who’s taken England deep into three successive major tournaments, and within a kick of winning one.
Ben Monroe-Lake agrees with me.
I was greatly underwhelmed by his initial appointment but he massively proved me wrong. I’ve grown up most of my adult life being bored to tears by the England team. A team full of world class players who somehow managed to make the beautiful game, so simple, yet so adaptable, seem like a very specific circle of hell.
Remember England in South Africa? Wayne Rooney rounding on fans for being unimpressed by an distinctly unimpressive performance? Euro 2016 as Harry Kane glomped corners into the area of absolute certainty. The absolute certainty that they would be easily cleared.
Going from that dirge to narrowly losing the Euro finals and the World Cup semis with an exciting young team who doesn’t hate each other, Wow.
Wow indeed Ben, and well said.
Transfer gossip time now. January might be over, but there’s still enough room for some salacious tittle-tattle on this blog.
Many of today’s rumours concern Arsenal, with Thomas Partey (remember him?) linked with Juventus, Jakub Kiwior touted for a switch to Serie A, while incoming summer deals could be in the works for Athletic Bilbao forward Nico Williams and Real Sociedad’s Martín Zubimendi – who is also liked by Liverpool.
Updated at 11.56 CET
Newcastle injury news on Gordon and Isak
Eddie Howe has revealed that Antony Gordon hasn’t trained this week and is a major doubt for Newcastle’s visit to Nottingham Forest tomorrow (Saturday) evening. Howe also said Alexander Isak “won’t make this game” while Callum Wilson is “getting his sharpness back” after featuring as a half-time substitute against Luton.
On Isak: “Hopefully he won’t be too far away, but he doesn’t have a fixed return date. His injury is not as serious as we first feared.”
On Gordon: “We don’t think it’s serious, hopeful to be back sooner rather than later. At this moment, it’s unclear.”
The injury issues keep mounting up for Eddie Howe and Newcastle. Photograph: Yoan Valat/EPA
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe isn’t keen on the whole blue cards idea.
I’m not a big fan to be honest, that’s what yellow cards are for. The system works but just needs to be refined. Blue cards would just add confusion so I’m against it.
By the way, can anyone explain to me why they’re not orange cards? That would make far more sense. More from Howe coming up shortly.
And England’s Gareth Southgate spoke to journalists after yesterday’s Uefa Nations League draw (yawn) and raised the far more interesting topic of his future in the Three Lions dugout.
You’ve got to see how the summer goes – it’s as simple as that. I know what we’re capable of achieving. I know what my own benchmark of success would be and after that I’m not really thinking about anything else. My only focus is to try and win the tournament for England.
We’ll start with some news from yesterday’s Premier League press conferences and the devastating news for Manchester United that Lisandro Martínez has been sidelined for two months with a knee injury, after hobbling off against West Ham lst weekend.
Erik ten Hag defended his decision to keep Martínez on after the initial incident, which had left him in some discomfort: “It was Lisandro’s decision and he was comfortable to be back on the pitch but after he tried he stopped in the next attack. It is [almost] impossible [to diagnose injuries]. In some situations it is clear and obvious but there is always a grey area and it is very difficult to see from the sideline.”
We’re on the cusp of another Premier League weekend, and so another day of buildups, previews, pressers and the like is coming your way. Last weekend saw a record number of goals, a couple of big results in the title race and pressure building on Roy Hodgson and Mauricio Pochettino, as well as everyone losing their collective minds over Arsenal celebrating a victory.
Elsewhere, there’s plenty of chatter around Ifab’s decision to trial blue cards in football, Gareth Southgate has been discussing his England future and there’s the Asian Cup and Africa Cup of Nations denouements to look forward to.
We’ll try and make sense of the madness throughout the day. Stick with us as you count down the hours to the weekend.
Updated at 11.26 CET