Roberto de Zerbi says he has “lost count” of Brighton’s injuries before the trip to Nottingham Forest.
Pervis Estupiñán is out, confirms the Seagulls manager, along with James Milner and Kaoru Mitoma, but he says Tariq Lamptey is available again, although perhaps not to play a full 90 minutes.
“It’s hard to work in the international break … we’ve worked very well but it’s different last season,” says the former Napoli player of what’s been occurring on the training pitch in the last couple of weeks. “Then we had six, seven international players … but I said a lot of times, this season is completely different.”
Pep Guardiola says he will not resign as Manchester City manager even if the club is found guilty of breaking financial fair play rules and relegated to League One.
City have been charged with more than 100 breaches of Premier League rules, all of which the champions deny. After Everton were deducted 10 points for a single breach of the league’s profit and sustainability rules it caused speculation that if City’s charges are proven they may face more serious action, including relegation. Guardiola was asked whether he would consider his position should that happen.
“It’s a good question,” the manager said. “I will answer when I have the sentence [decision]. You are questioning like we have been punished. And in the moment we are innocent until guilt is proved. I know the people want it. I know, I feel it. I will wait. Wait and see it and after the sentence has been done we will come here and explain it.
“But absolutely I will not consider my future [if] it depends on being here [Premier League] or being in League One. Absolutely. There is more chance to stay if we are in League One than if we were in the Champions League.”
Guardiola is clear that Everton’s case is different to City’s. The Merseyside club were found to overreached their allowed losses by £19.5m. One of the main accusations the treble winners have to answer is of inflating sponsorship deals.
“What people accuse us of we do not agree with,” Guardiola said. “We are going to defend [ourselves] and after the resolution is done, I will be here, like a spokesman for my club. I want to say the case for Everton, and I don’t know what happened, but only I know from the lawyers and people at my club is that they are completely different cases … I know when people are saying: ‘OK, City – why don’t they go to the Conference?’ Wait. Wait. And after what’s going to happen is going to happen.”
City host Liverpool in tomorrow’s 12.30pm kick-off. Erling Haaland faces a late fitness test after sustaining an injury with Norway. “He trained yesterday with some niggles,” Guardiola said. “Today we train and hope he can be part of it.”
“A lot of (over the top imo) chat about Liverpool v City being the biggest premier League rivalry EVER!” emails Pedro. “This might be based on recency, but those of us of an older vintage would challenge that with the previous Man Utd v Arsenal rivalry. Any thoughts yourself?”
Thoughts? Me? No.
Tottenham’s Destiny Udogie will be in the squad to face Aston Villa, while midfielder Pape Matar Sarr is an injury doubt, manager Ange Postecoglou says. Udogie missed Spurs’ last game through suspension and the defender was left out of Italy’s recent squad for the Euro 2024 qualifiers to recover from a muscle injury.
“Destiny is fine and is available. He’s had a good couple of weeks,” Postecoglou said.
Sarr started both Senegal’s World Cup qualifiers during the international break, scoring his first goal for his country in a 4-0 win over South Sudan, but is now an injury concern for Spurs before the home match on Sunday.
“We’ll have a look at Sarr because he’s got a bit of an issue. We’ll see how he is over the next 24 to 48 hours,” the manager said.
Rodrigo Bentancur missed Spurs’ opening nine league games with a cruciate ligament tear but has come off the bench in the previous three games, and he started for Uruguay in their 3-0 win over Bolivia on Tuesday.
“He’s fine. He trained this morning so it was good for Roddy to play. He was really keen to get back into the international team setup, and obviously keen to get back with us as well,” Postecoglou said. “But he missed a lot with the national team and he feels, like most players, really proud of representing his country. The fact he got an opportunity to start is good for us, it gives him that confidence that he’s able to get through a game.”
The rest of Spurs’ South American players returned to training on Friday, with no issues for Giovani Lo Celso, Emerson Royal or Cristian Romero. After their unbeaten run in their first 10 Premier League games, Spurs have fallen to two consecutive defeats by Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers, dropping to fourth.
“They’ve been good since Unai (Emery) went there. Consistent with the way they play football and over recent weeks scored goals and got belief. Going to be a great test for us,” Postecoglou said. (Reuters)
West Ham hope injuries to Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio are nothing serious. Bowen suffered a knee problem on international duty with England, forcing him to withdraw from the squad which travelled to North Macedonia.
But manager David Moyes has not ruled out the forward being involved at Burnley on Saturday. Bowen has trained at West Ham’s Rush Green HQ and Moyes will make a decision closer to kick-off.
“We hope Jarrod will be available tomorrow against Burnley but we will make a decision on that tomorrow,” said the Hammers boss.
There were fears striker Antonio could be out for around three months after he returned from international duty with Jamaica with a knee injury. Moyes added: “Michail has got a small injury. It’s not serious, it will probably keep him out for a couple of weeks. I think, give or take, two weeks. I don’t want to nail down an exact time span but about that long.”
As for relegation-imperilled Burnley and their boss, Vincent Kompany, Moyes said:
“It’s incredibly tough to battle against relegation. It’s a really difficult job. There’s a lot of stress and worry with it because you’re desperate to get away from the bottom end of the table. It’s not something I’ve ever enjoyed or want to do again if I can help it.” (PA Media)
To be pedantic/accurate, Everton were not punished for contravening Uefa’s financial fair play regulations. It was the Premier League’s own profitability and sustainability rules that they fell foul of.
“As a Crystal Palace fan, I am finding all this whingeing about the ‘fairness’ of Everton’s points deduction pretty nauseating,” emails Philip. “In 2010 Palace were deducted 10 points in the Championship just for going into administration, not because we had done something genuinely unfair like breaking FFFP rules. We fell to 21st in the league and escaped relegation on the final day with a glorious victory over Sheffield Weds, if my memory serves me right.
“I know there are other stories from other clubs who have had points deducted, the point being Everton have got off pretty lightly. They should be grateful it is only 10 points.”
The Manchester United head coach, Erik ten Hag, believes his players will need to deal with a ‘mad’ Everton following the Merseyside club’s 10-point sanction for financial irregularities.
“It’s always about us, I can see the opposition and I can see they are mad, but then finally it’s about us,” he said. “If they are mad and that’s their fuel, we have to match those standards. When we match the standards we have a very good chance to win the game.”
Regarding the return of the full-back Luke Shaw, Ten Hag said: “You can mention many things, you can mention his physical and his technical ability, his leadership.
“It’s clear, a long time in the season we didn’t have a left full-back so yes, we’re very happy he’s back. That’s a good sign and he will help us (to be) more stable.”
Klopp is asked: ‘You were vocal in your criticism about this lunchtime kick off – how does it affect preparation?’
His face darkens.
“No. Because I’m obviously … my English is not good enough to make sure that you all understand it. So why should I waste my time? Or your time? Thomas Tuchel explained about their January schedule [with Bayern Munich in Germany], completely calm, why it’s difficult to be a high quality footballer with national teams, stuff like this. And a German newspaper said Tuchel ‘had a rant’. And I watched it and I thought, if that’s a rant … that’s a difficult world … He was completely calm.
“Nobody wants to hear it, you don’t want to hear it, nobody … I tried a couple of times, whatever I say, you always say – but is there that much difference? I’m already a bit tired of that. I love playing at 12.30 … that’s my new attitude.”
Some of the journalists present laugh, and Klopp gets up to end the press conference.
“It’s a super exciting football game,” Klopp adds of the match against Manchester City. “I would watch wherever I am on the planet … but for us, it’s not that kind of excitment. We have to prepare properly. We have to be at our best, to have a chance. It’s about us, to take it. If we have that, we have a chance.”
Klopp adds there are no injury developments to report, other than long-term absentees.
What are Klopp’s views on Everton’s 10-point penalty?
“I was absolutely not in the subject, to be honest … I just heard about it [last week]. There was a lot of discussion, I heard they appeal it, and that’s it. Everyone would do that, probably. That’s all I can say about it.”
Is Liverpool v Manchester City the biggest rivalry in the Premier League?
“I’m not sure … you’d have to ask other people,” Klopp says. “From a sports point of view, it’s the most difficult game you could play since years … on the rivalry, you need longer … the fans decide that. From a football point of view, we needed time to become a rival on the pitch … big games, from a football point of view – definitely, yes.”
Jürgen Klopp has just been having a chat. Quotes coming up …
Thanks John and hello everyone.
I can only echo Sean Dyche’s wise words: “It is what it is – let’s get on with it, type thing.”
It’s time now for Luke McLaughlin to take the reins. Plenty of pressers to come.
It’s all go: Pep Guardiola was asked to compare the 115 charges Manchester City face to the punishment Everton are currently railing against.
“Why should I not believe? It’s the lawyers to make the defence in front of the judge. I didn’t change my opinion, we wait and after we accept the resolutions.
“I’m not going to say one word about Everton because I don’t know the reality of what happened. They are two completely different cases. I know people are saying why don’t City go to the Conference but let’s wait. It’s two different cases, it’s not the same. One of them is longer, it’s more complicated.”
The Everton manager has spoken:
I think like everyone in these parts is, we’re shocked. Seemingly the wave of noise after that was most people in football were shocked. The enormity of it. Disproportionate is a word that has been used by the club.
Obviously we’re going to feel aggrieved by that. On the other hand it doesn’t change the focus. The focus since I’ve been here has been about sorting things out on the pitch. Getting the team to win, getting the team to feel different, performances to be different. We were obviously on the right lines for that and delivering strong performances I felt.
This has given us a push backwards to come forwards again. The job hasn’t changed for me. It’s obviously made it a bit more difficult until the appeal of course.
It changes the viewpoint but it doesn’t change what we’re doing. In fact it enhances what we’re doing. We’ve just got to go harder for longer and stronger. This is what it is.
It’s been more about refocus than anything. The group have been really good I must say. The characters we’ve got. Seamus Coleman is a good voice. Ashley Young has excellent experience. James Tarkowski, Jordan Pickford, all the senior boys are rallying.
It is what it is, let’s get on with it. There have been plenty of challenges since I’ve got here. This is the next one.
“He trained yesterday with some slight niggles, but today is our last training session and hopefully he can be a part of it,” is the City manager’s verdict, ahead of the Liverpool game. More to follow from him and Jürgen Klopp.
Culture Corner: part deux.
Stasi FC, a terrifying new Sky documentary, serves as a reminder that real socialism was just as capable of building crushing monopolies as turbo-capitalism. East Berlin super-club BFC Dynamo may have won the German Democratic Republic’s championship for a record-breaking 10 years on the trot, but it did so by being a bullying behemoth that makes teams like Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain look like well-meaning grassroots initiatives, and the terraces of Millwall FC like a haven of political correctness. It used the secret police to spy on its own players, and brutally retaliated against footballers who made the switch to West German football – potentially going so far as to assassinate them.
Big loss for England ahead of their important Nations League matches. Manchester United defender, Millie Turner, has been called up in her place.
Per the FA: “The Manchester United defender will report with the rest of the Lionesses squad at St. George’s Park on Monday 27 November after previously being included in senior squads. Turner has been capped at WU19s and WU23s level.
“Turner replaces Millie Bright who has withdrawn and will remain at Chelsea for treatment on a knee injury. The 23-player squad will face the Netherlands at Wembley Stadium on Friday 1 December before the Nations League group stage concludes with a trip to Scotland on Tuesday 5 December.”
Despite Everton’s points deduction, Burnley are still bottom of the Premier League. And yet Vincent Kompany is not under too much pressure just yet. He spoke earlier this morning.
“When nobody believes anymore, I’ll be still the last man believing until the end. It lives in the team, it lives in the squad. I don’t think we have to ever doubt we can put a run of results together. It’s been details that have cost us, individual details sometimes as well. But I see solutions. That’s my job as a manager to try and offer solutions to the team and help them.”
Culture corner: Millwall, the Movie.
Few people approach Millwall – or indeed a documentary about Millwall – without preconceptions. I know I did and Lawson plays with this. The film focuses heavily on the diversity of the fanbase: black fans, female stewards and the Millwall Romans – an LGBTQI+ team associated with the club.
British Airways pilots have been enlisted to help improve the communication of Premier League officials during VAR reviews, The Times reported, after Liverpool wrongly had a goal disallowed earlier this season due to a blunder.
In a presentation to top-flight officials, pilots Chris Heaven and Pete Nataraj stressed the need for clarity and accuracy in communication, with minimal syllables and no informal language.
Liverpool’s Luis Diaz had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside in a 2-1 loss to Tottenham in September after chaotic miscommunication between the VAR and assistant VAR Darren England and Dan Cook and the on-field referee Simon Hooper.
The audio of the incident was met with severe criticism of the decision making process and the language used, with the officials using phrases such as “well done boys” and “cheers, mate”. The 45-minute presentation addressed the similarity of the roles, and the importance of filtering out the white noise in order to focus with complete clarity.
A full review of VAR procedures was ordered after the Diaz incident.
I was watching footage of the Cristian Romero/disallowed goal/penalty call today from the VAR room. Chaotic and informal. So many nicknames. It needs to be like air traffic control.
David Hopkins gets in touch: “Great to see Mikel Arteta making good use of the freedom of speech that our forefathers fought so hard for. Can’t but wonder though what the venn diagram overlap would be between his aim of ‘improving the game’ and ‘getting a couple of marginal decisions to go his way because the officials don’t want the aggro’.”
My gaffer has just reminded me that Manchester City have not vice-captains, but five captains. Pep’s the boss, right? Kevin De Bruyne, Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias and Rodri are all part of the leadership group and the new club captains. Leadership group is very Australian cricket.
Newcastle face Chelsea on Saturday, though with a heavy injury list, with Lewis Hall ineligible. Still, they will soon be able to sign players on loan from Saudi after this week’s Premier League vote. Eddie Howe has been speaking:
“You say Newcastle were favoured but it was a Premier League vote. We’re not the only club involved in that vote. I think the majority of the Premier League and other clubs around the world [benefit] so it’s not solely on us, I don’t think.
“Newcastle, our club, had a view. We voted in a way, a way that we’re allowed to, and the vote came out on the side that it did. I think just from my dealings with it, we’re very relaxed on it. It’s not the be-all and end-all for us. We’ve got a squad that we really like. Now if we get players fit before January then the need to recruit will become much less intense for us.”
Mikel Arteta is an early riser for his Arsenal press conferences on Friday and has confirmed that Gabriel Jesus will be fit to play against Brentford, with both Ben White and Martin Odegaard in the mix, too.
He’s also turned his ref rage after the Newcastle game, somehow making it a freedom of speech issue. Yes, really.
We tried to give our points and our reasons why. There is a process and when you get asked to give your observations you have to do it in the right way. I think it’s good that we’re communicating. We all want to improve the game. To have that we have to have freedom of speech respectfully and in a constructive way. It’s good that they are talking.
From Thursday, Paul MacInnes examines the various forces pulling the Premier League in various directions.
On Tuesday Premier League clubs voted against a proposal to temporarily ban loans of players between clubs that share the same ownership. They also voted against tougher rules on clubs doing sponsorship deals with companies that have ownership links. Both changes had been proposed by the Premier League and were rejected. This doesn’t happen very often at all.
Will Unwin has been counting the cards so you don’t have to.
Last season a conservative 30 sendings-off were dished out in 380 matches and after 120 games this time the figure is only three fewer. Admittedly, 2022-23 was an outlier – in the previous four seasons there was an average of 45.5 dismissals – with the second fewest red cards in Premier League history and was not, it would appear, the start of a trend. If the rate of reds continues there will be 85 this season. The league record is 76, from 2005-06.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is going for it, and why not?
Side-note: is any club as obsessed with the role of “vice-captain” as Liverpool? Who’s your team’s vice-captain? Favourite vice-captain?
Call us here on 606. Get in touch.
There will be a protest at the Premier League offices today from Everton fans, and their players are not taking the matter lying down either.
“I expect the weekend to be no different – if not, more electric,” said Dominic Calvert-Lewin ahead of Manchester United’s visit.
“I’m sure the fans will be ready. Us as players, we’ll prepare the same as normal and make sure we’re ready to put in a performance and collect the three points. I think, given the circumstances, I’ve sensed a lot of unity and togetherness. We were off on the international break when the news broke, but coming back in this week, I don’t feel like it’s fazed us players
“We know, as a group, we can’t affect that. All we can affect is what’s in front of us, and that’s the game on Sunday, so we’re looking forward to that.”
Good morning, and welcome. Plenty to look forward to, including the battles between Merseyside and Manchester. There may also be developments in the continuing politics of the Premier League and the Everton situation as club football resumes until March. International football is safely back in the box for now.
Join me and my colleagues.