Elite sport should not carry on. While The Fiver has wilfully sat at home with 7,327 toilet rolls and endless tins of baked beans (just in case we run out of water for the bath), perched in front of the Keeping Up Appearances boxset, professional footballers have been galavanting with vigour, hosting Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties with gay abandon to give the authorities the nudge they need to STOP FOOTBALL!
All the efforts of these vagrant rulebreakers has achieved nothing, though, with FA suits even forcing youths to play matches that adults cannot fulfil just to ensure the nation is entertained on a daily basis. Liverpool and Manchester United may have done their best to lift the nation’s spirits by raising funds for the NHS, not to mention Marcus Rashford’s one-man crusade to feed hungry children, but now they seem hell bent on promoting their nation’s most important campaign: STOP FOOTBALL.
Both sides took matters into their own hands on Sunday, bringing a tear to the Fiver’s eye, as they ensured the country was not entertained for 90 minutes, with the Fiver forced to keep its eyes open with matchsticks to keep them up to date with the latest goings on.
At Anfield on Sunday, there were no goals, no fun and six minutes of Divock Origi, as Liverpool and Manchester United did their best to ensure there would be no celebratory hugs by ignoring the concept of scoring entirely. “There is no easy explanation [for their recent lack of goals],” Jürgen Klopp explained. “You always miss chances. You have to keep going and try to ignore the talk around it. Everyone wants to see goals. You cannot force it.”
Liverpool v Manchester United was billed as “the biggest game of the season” and, while it didn’t really live up to the hype, at least it gave us the proof we needed that STOP FOOTBALL has never been more important.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Everybody is negative. The whole squad is negative bar two players. I think that is remarkable and blows out the water the way the trip has been portrayed in certain quarters of the media, by certain pundits and by certain government officials as well. We didn’t abuse any ‘privilege’. We did the right things. We were totally professional. We had a little drink in the afternoon on the day off, completely allowed, no law breaking. But we come back to this barrage of absolute hypocrisy” – Queen’s Celtic manager Neil Lennon plays fast and loose with the definitions of “everybody” and “the whole squad” before putting the world on blast over attitudes towards his team’s recent training trip to Dubai.
Your fave podders at Football Weekly talk about Anfield, Mesut Özil and the genius of Tanguy Ndombele.
“As Wayne Rooney waxes lyrically about becoming Derby County manager (Quote of the Day, Friday’s Fiver) and following Brian Clough, CMFL and Philipp Cocu as Derby manager, is anyone in shock at Wazza not mentioning The Wally With The Brolly?” – Marc Meldrum.
“The hapless bean-counter employed by Lazio who sent a cool €11m to Sporting Lisbon rather than Sporting Braga in settlement of a transfer fee would be advised not to look for a new job in England … imagine a scenario of Big Sam trying to explain how he trousered a fee for say, Antonio moving from the Hammers to Aston Villa, for example?” – Allastair McGillivray
NEWS, BITS AND BOBS
Phil Neville has been named as the new manager at Inter Miami after stepping down as head coach of England Women with immediate effect.
Athletic Bilbao are champions of Big Cup’s nephew, Super Cup, after doing for Barcelona in extra-time, with Lionel Messi sent off for good measure.
Jack Wilshere may be sporadically spotted scurrying around the Bournemouth midfield after joining the club until the end of the season.
Fifa suits have dismissed Atlético Madrid’s appeal against Kieran Trippier’s 10-week suspension.
No Fiver by Will Unwin would be complete without the news that Chelsea hunk Danny Drinkwater has joined Turkish club Kasimpasa on loan, joining Özil in Turkey, with the German on the verge of signing for Fenerbahce.
STILL WANT MORE?
Not one. Not two. Not three (Really?! – Fiver Ed). Or four, five or six. Not seven. Not eight (OK – Fiver Ed). And not nine. But 10! Ten talking points from the weekend Premier League action.
Antonio Conte proved too smart for Andrea Pirlo as Inter took a giant leap forward against Juve, writes Nicky Bandini.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Manchester United still can’t beat the best sides … but that might not matter, reckons Jonathan Wilson.
Eintracht Frankfurt’s Luka Jovic was back with a bang against Schalke, writes Andy Brassell
Adam White and Eric Devin take a look at Marseille’s malaise.
Barney Ronay on Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp’s tepid attack.
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