The world is watching. A huge weekend for…
A weekend for remembrance
The Premier League and Football League are enthralling, wonderful spectacles, but sometimes a greater force overtakes our love for all things football. On Wednesday afternoon, 80 people went to a football match in Egypt to support their team. They could never know that they would never come home. Their loved ones could never know.
Thousands more were injured in one of football’s worst ever disasters, simply because fans went too far in expressing their love for their clubs.
It is often said in jest, but the mantra should still ring true: it is only a game.
An astonishing admission from the Italian that he failed to prepare adequately for City’s away trip to Everton. Whether it was an honest assessment or merely an attempt to deflect criticism for his squad, his side looked lacklustre and anything but champions.
That Manchester City are only top of the table on goal difference whilst an ageing United squad has suffered significant injuries to key players speaks volumes for United’s experience in the winning mentality. They have been there, done it, and got the medals.
This weekend provides an ideal opportunity for Mancini to gain some respite, as his side would hope to beat a Fulham side that perennially struggles away from home. His eyes will then turn to Stamford Bridge in an attempt to gain solace in a Sunday including Untied dropped points.
Mancini is now in a situation where errors become critical.
How long until Wenger can hope to be not included in this particular column? Another stilted display at the Reebok left Arsenal frankly fortunate to take back a point to North London. Post-game, Wenger seemed to look at the positives focussing on the fact that at least Arsenal hadn’t lost four league games in a row. Well, yes Arsene, but that isn’t really the point. Arsenal are now seventh in the Premier League. They haven’t finished so low for seventeen years.
Wenger’s evident unwavering faith in a philosophy that involves little outlay in the January transfer window puts him close to breaking point with Arsenal fans. The next few months are do or die for Wenger at Arsenal, and that begins with Blackburn at home. Just what the doctor ordered.
Quite frankly an obscene amount of televised football this weekend, and with ESPN free to all Freeview viewers, the Premier League comes to the majority of households for the first time. So sit back, relax, and let the good times roll:
Fri 3rd Feb FC Nuremburg V Borussia Dortmund
Sat 4th Feb West Ham V Milwall
Sat 4th Feb Inverness CT V Celtic
Sat 4th Feb Zambia V Sudan
Sat 4th Feb Birmingham City V Southampton
Sat 4th Feb Man City V Fulham
Sat 4th Feb Ivory Coast V Equatorial Guinea
Sat 4th Feb Getafe V Real Madrid
Sat 4th Feb Roma V Inter Milan
Sat 4th Feb Barcelona V Real Sociedad
Sun 5th Feb Genoa V Lazio
Sun 5th Feb Derby County V Nottingham Forest
Sun 5th Feb Newcastle United V Aston Villa
Sun 5th Feb Fiorentina V Udinese
Sun 5th Feb Hearts V St Johnstone
Sun 5th Feb Chelsea V Man Utd
Sun 5th Feb Gabon V Mali
Sun 5th Feb Kaiserslauten V Cologne
Sun 5th Feb Ghana V Tunisia
Sun 5th Feb Real Zaragoza V Vallecano
Sun 5th Feb AC Milan V Napoli
Sun 5th Feb Atletico Madrid V Valencia
It is an unenviable record. In his last 13 games in charge of Nottingham Forest, the club’s record is abysmal:
Won 1, Drawn 2, Lost 10, For 4, Against 21
The fans are against him, the players have seemingly lost fight for the cause, and the club have appointed ex-Doncaster manager Sean O’Driscoll as a ‘temporary’ assistant.
Next up for Forest are rivals Derby County. Lose this game as comfortably as on Tuesday night against Burnley, and surely Chairman Frank Clark will consider making the ultimate decision. If not, Forest look doomed.