Provocative stuff from Alisson ahead of Liverpool v Manchester United as Andy Hunter hears from the goalie. Yes, the 7-0 gets more than a mention.
I played against Liverpool and I know how strong this team can be at Anfield. It wasn’t a good experience in terms of the result but this is the kind of game you want to play in.
Players from Liverpool FC, from Chelsea, from Man United, from Man City, are players that have to enjoy playing in this kind of game. I enjoy it a lot when we play against big opponents.
“As a football player, as an elite athlete, you are going to try to use it (the 7-0) to motivate yourself. I don’t know much about the Man United players but I’m sure they are coming here to try and get the result from us.
More on that Michael Beale to Sunderland story from Louise Taylor:
Sunderland are in advanced talks with Michael Beale and a deal to make the 43-year-old Londoner their new head coach is all but rubber stamped. Negotiations have progressed to the point where the former QPR and Rangers manager is expected to watch Saturday’s Championship match at Bristol City from the stands.
Erik Ten Hag was asked what gives him confidence that the backing of the club is retained.
That’s no concern (losing my job) because I’m here to win and I have to make the team play better. If you play then good is not good enough. We are inconsistent and I have to work on the team playing for longer periods on a high level. I want to progress with my team in the right direction so we are here in a project.
Manchester City will play Urawa Red Diamonds in the semis of the Fifa Club World Cup.
Substitute Alex Schalk scored a 78th-minute winner as Urawa Red Diamonds beat Leon 1-0 on Friday, to progress to the semi-final of the Club World Cup, where they will meet Manchester City.
The goal came when Jose Kante played a pass into the area to Schalk, who had only been on the pitch five minutes, and after taking a touch to control with his left foot, he shot with his right past the onrushing keeper Rodolfo Cota.
Leon’s chances of a comeback at the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Sports City Stadium were dealt a hammer blow six minutes later when captain William Tesillo was shown a second yellow card and the Mexican club, CONCACAF Champions Cup winners, were reduced to 10 men. This was Leon’s first appearance at the Club World Cup, while Japan’s Urawa, Asian champions, finished third in the competition in 2007 and also took part in 2017.
They will face Europe’s Champions League winners Manchester City on Tuesday. The other semi-final, on Monday, will see Copa Libertadores champions Fluminense take on the winner between Al Ahly of Egypt and Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad, who play later on Friday.
Sign up for the Football Daily Newsletter. Here’s today’s top banter.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“It would be foolish to take away a tool that can remove clear errors from the game – almost 40 this season. Usually we have seen around 100 situations rectified through the use of VAR. Why would you want to take that away and leave those errors in the game?” – answers on a postcard to Howard Webb c/o Stockley Park.
Charles Antaki gets in touch: “Ah! I seem to have been looking at a different version of Waves; obviously Robin Shulz has a more dramatic sensibillty that poor old Mr Probz having to make do with a boring recording studio.”
Relief for Richard Hirst? “I’m sure I wasn’t the only person sent scurrying to YouTube by Charles Antaki’s email about Mr Probz. Unfortunately there was a disappointing lack of steam: maybe the hot water had run out. Ah well, on to more relevant topics: will Fulham set a club record and score three or more goals in five successive games? COYW.”
Per PA Media: Everton have announced they are to remain at Goodison Park for an extra season as competitive matches will not be played at their new Bramley-Moore Dock stadium until the 2025-26 campaign.
The new waterside ground is still on schedule to be completed by the end of 2024 but a decision has been taken not to move mid-season. The plan had been for this season to be Goodison’s last.
“Firstly, and to be absolutely clear, our decision to not move in mid-season is not because of a construction delay,” said interim chief executive Colin Chong. “It is a club decision driven by a combination of commercial insight, a comprehensive review of the logistics required, an analysis of the potential impact upon our football operations and, importantly, fan feedback sourced as part of our recent stadium migration survey.
“Everton Stadium remains firmly on track, as scheduled, to be completed in the final weeks of 2024. All of this does mean that next season, 2024-25, is scheduled to be our last at Goodison Park. By the time we close the gates for the final time, Goodison will have been our home for nearly 134 years.”
Charles Antaki gets in touch: “Not being au fait with the house music scene, I apprehensively looked up Waves by Mr. Probz, to see what it was that would attract the interest of Sean Dyche. I couldn’t quite make out the lyrics, but the video featured a young man at first washed up on a tropical beach, then, as the narrative arc progressed, increasingly tortured by tantalising erotic fantasies. I confess I had to turn it off before it got too steamy, but it certainly gave me an insight into Dyche’s inner world which I hadn’t quite anticipated.”
WSL North London derby preview from Sophie Downey.
It is a fixture Arsenal have dominated with six wins and one draw in the previous meetings. They will be expected to continue that unbeaten head-to-head record, not just because of their recent impressive form but due to their strength in depth. The confidence amongst Jonas Eidevall’s side is running high after registering seven league wins on the bounce, the pieces of the jigsaw clicking into place after a relatively abject start.
Brentford forward Bryan Mbeumo will be sidelined for three months and miss the Africa Cup of Nations for Cameroon an operation on his ankle.
Thomas Frank confirmed the news, speaking ahead of Brentford’s Sunday meeting with Aston Villa.
The Cameroon international limped off the pitch after rolling his ankle against Brighton: “(Mbeumo) will not participate in the Africa Cup of Nations. Bryan is a positive guy. It’s tough to take, but he will come back stronger. He has a very good mindset.”
Per PA Media.
Sunderland are edging closer to finding a replacement for head coach Tony Mowbray after entering into detailed discussions with former Rangers boss Michael Beale.
The PA news agency understands the 43-year-old, who had a spell in charge at QPR before heading north of the border, is in talks with the Black Cats over the vacancy.
They have spoken to a series of potential candidates – with Reims boss Will Still prominent among them – since Mowbray’s departure earlier this month, but appear to have made ground with Beale amid suggestions he could watch Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship fixture at Bristol City from the stands.
Beale has been out of the game since leaving Ibrox, where he served as Steven Gerrard’s assistant when they won the Premiership title in 2020-21 and had 10 months in charge himself, in October.
Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and sporting director Kristjaan Speakman have led the search for Mowbray’s replacement as they attempt to recruit the man they want to implement their blueprint for lasting success on Wearside.
Liverpool away beckons for crisis club Manchester United but their manager fights on.
I haven’t seen (that since) last season the players were scared. It was a bad experience, but you start again on nil. Last year, in the first half, we were very decent but got hammered just after half time and we collapsed. It is a different team (now), with different players. We won’t ignore it, but I am confident my players will go there and fight from the start to the end.
Last year was the past, what we can change is the future. Sunday is a new game.
They are playing good, but we have had some more tough games over the last period. Bayern Munich are also a good team and you can see we could go head-to-head with them.
E! News corner. Rooney v Vardy: the revenge? Sadly, it seems Jamie Vardy is unlikely to feature at St Andrews for Leicester. It’s….Ben Fisher’s account of the latest here.
Some supportive words for Rebecca Welch becoming the first female referee in the Premier League from Roy Hodgson:
I think it’s positive and I think football has certainly embraced women and ethnicity an awful lot better over even just the last couple of seasons We’ve seen enormous strides forward and I welcome those strides. I applaud people for bringing those strides about and I’m certain that everyone has to be a trailblazer.
Let’s hope that the lady in question will be a trailblazer, but there’s no doubt that I’m sure she’ll have every bit as much competence as the other people she’s competing with and will be up to the people who judge refereeing performances to decide how far her career goes.
But it shouldn’t be in any way dampened, because she happens to be a woman. Women play football, women understand football women can referee football, so why can’t they referee at the highest level?
The prodigal returns, Sean Dyche to Burnley. Perhaps they will miss his playlist, perhaps not.
Especially in the promotion year, he got into his house music. There was a song called Waves by Mr Probz and he used to love that tune, so we played it all the time. When you hear a song and it reminds you of a moment, it always makes me think of the promotion. He loves Kasabian so used to stick that on as well if we won a game. Win, lose or draw he always wanted the music on because he did not want people to feel sorry for themselves. It was: move on to the next game.
Football rumours special: to say this news is greeted with surprise north of the border is putting it most mildly.
Oh Rafa, oh no. His latest return to Spain is not going at all well.
Celta’s expected points total is 13.4 higher than their actual points. Their expected goals are 24.69, putting them seventh, but their actual goals are 15. On chances created, they would be sixth and they have taken more shots than Atlético Madrid or Real Sociedad. They lost 4-3 to Atlético in the 93rd minute, 1-0 to Madrid in the 81st, 1-0 to Mallorca in the 85th, and 1-0 to Girona in the 91st. One-up against Sevilla they conceded on 84, and with the same lead at Las Palmas they conceded on 84 and 97. Two-up against Barcelona, they conceded on 81, 85 and 89. Against Getafe the shot count read 26-3, actual goals 2-2.
Eddie Howe embraces the “he would say that, wouldn’t he” prism – is that Mandy Rice-Davies? He’s probably right, maybe the Toon Army advanced too far too fast.
What you can’t do is give them a lot of credit for that and then hammer them at the same time because we couldn’t then follow that up. I don’t think it’s a time for criticism of the players. I think it’s a time for support. I understand how the supporters will be feeling but we need to inspire the players against Fulham.
Here’s Jürgen Klopp, a man who just oozes focus and determination these days.
I don’t know about the situation there. I am interested in our situation. It is a home game and we have to show up. We are in our own stadium, we have to create an atmosphere and go for them and not think about anything else. I will make sure from our point of view that we will be 100% focused on the right stuff, but we are human beings and there is a noise around. When even I am aware of the noise that means that there is obviously something going on. For us it is an important game.
Thanks, Dave, a fine Maxonian welcome. It was quite a buzz to have people from your hometown on the Pops and The Roxy (!). Though this was more the type of thing we’d hear in my mum’s Metro. Anyway, football.
It’s 2pm so that’s a Fine Time to hand over to John Brewin. Let’s welcome him in with a song.
Max Rushden says we can dream of having a proper title race.
Manchester United team news: Harry Maguire will miss the trip to Liverpool but Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw are set to feature at Anfield on Sunday.
Maguire and Shaw both went off injured in the 1-0 home defeat against Bayern Munich on Tuesday but United boss Erik ten Hag has provided a positive update on Shaw after his hamstring complaint and says Rashford is back from the illness that ruled him out of that Champions League defeat.
“Harry (Maguire), he will not be available for the coming games but we don’t think it is for the long term,” said the United manager. “Luke Shaw, he trained this morning. So we think he is available for Sunday. Marcus Rashford. He will (be back, but) Martial not.”
United captain Bruno Fernandes is suspended after picking up a fifth booking of the Premier League season against Bournemouth last weekend.
Let’s focus on all 10 Premier League games in Match Day 17 with our weekly feature. Entries include ‘Howe must stop the rot’ and ‘Fetch the tiny violins for Pochettino’.
Talking of Sunday and topical catchphrases, here’s Dion Dublin giving his approval to a recent Bryan’s Gunn post.
Jürgen Klopp says he’s uncomfortable with the negativity surrounding Manchester United as the two great rivals prepare to battle it out at Anfield on Sunday. Liverpool head into the weekend on top of the table, 10 points clear of a United side that has lost seven of its 16 Premier League games so far.
“I don’t know about the situation there. I am interested in our situation,” said Klopp. “It is a home game and we have to show up. We are in our own stadium, we have to create an atmosphere and go for them and not think about anything else. I will make sure from our point of view that we will be 100% focused on the right stuff, but we are human beings and there is a noise around. When even I am aware of the noise that means that there is obviously something going on. For us it is an important game.”
Millwall have submitted a proposal to rename the approach to their stadium in honour of former owner and chairman John Berylson.
The Lions have asked Southwark Council to consider changing the current Zampa Road to John Berylson Way, in order to ensure a permanent tribute. Berylson died in a car accident in the US at the age of 70, and has been succeeded as the club’s owner and chairman by his son, James.
Millwall said in a statement: “Since John’s tragic and sudden passing on 4th July 2023, the club has considered a vast array of ideas as to how it can honour a man that gave his all for Millwall and its local community.
“As part of these plans, the club can confirm it has formally proposed to Southwark Council a renaming of ‘Zampa Road’ to ‘John Berylson Way’. The club has been in close dialogue with the local community to ensure their voices and opinions are heard by all parties as part of this process.” (PA Media)
Pep Guardiola has given an update on Erling Haaland’s foot injury. The Norwegian missed the 2-1 win at Luton last weekend although the Manchester City boss hinted earlier this week that he could make a surprise return in Saturday’s home game against Crystal Palace. That now looks unlikely and Haaland may also now miss City’s Club World Cup opener.
Guardiola said: “He arrived today and the doctors will see him. He’s been away in treatment. Hopefully he can travel to Saudi after the game. We’ll see if he can play the first game, maybe the second. (This weekend?) I don’t think so. Maybe there will (be a) surprise and they tell me something new but I don’t think so.
“No. It’s not fracture, just stress. Sometimes players recover quicker or longer. The doctors say we have to take it day by day or week by week on how he feels. The moment he doesn’t have symptoms or doesn’t feel pain, he will be available to play again.”
A couple of reader emails on Brighton’s glorious night and that 1991 FA Cup final between Nottingham Forest and Spurs, who lock horns again tonight.
Dean Kinsella: “Priceless scenes with Pedro! The relief was enormous and had been building up for a good few games – BHA playing beautiful football and not getting the deserved results. Could be all-change from now on.”
Shaun Tooze: “Thanks for the ‘blast-from-the-past’ and I reckon that not only would VAR have ruled Lineker’s goal good BUT also ordered his penalty miss to be re-taken because to my eyes Crossley definitely has both feet off the line when Lineker strikes it. Looks it to me anyway.”
Some love and recognition here for two of the Premier League’s most in-form teams – Fulham and Bournemouth.
Jacob Steinberg: “The biggest difference has come from Jiménez. He has not been the same since a horrible head injury in 2020. Yet his natural ability has never been in doubt and his clever link-up play has given Fulham a different dimension. He produced two fine finishes against Forest, including an impudent backheel, and got the ball rolling against West Ham with an emphatic header.”
Sam Tighe: “It is one of the best runs of form not just in the Premier League, but across Europe too. Bournemouth have picked up 13 points from their last five games. No team in the Premier League can beat that tally – and only Aston Villa and Liverpool can match it. In Europe, only Paris Saint-Germain have a better record over their past five games – and only Internazionale, Girona and Juventus can keep up. Bournemouth are in remarkable company.”
Current Burnley boss Vincent Kompany has been speaking about Sean Dyche’s return to Turf Moor.
“It certainly adds something, I can’t deny it,” said the Clarets manager. I had it the first time as well when I went back to the Etihad and it does something but as soon as the referee blows the whistle I think we’re all back to doing our work. We can be friendly before and after the game but during the game I think it’s going to be business as usual for both teams.
“I can imagine it’s going to be a pretty warm reception, at least I would hope so because of what he’s done for the club. Then we’ll move on very rapidly to what’s on the agenda for the day, which is two teams playing at Turf Moor, of which we want to make sure we win.”
Dyche, himself, has also been asked if he expects a rousing reception when he leads his Everton team out.
“That’s up to them, we’ll see, but I don’t expect anything of anyone. But I think I earned the right with the Burnley fans and I think I’m beginning to earn the right with the Evertonians. I think it takes time, I’ve always believed that. I’m willing to earn it, I’m willing to put the hard yards in myself. I don’t just ask it of the team, but we’ll wait and see.”
As for the watering hole named after him… “I’ll pop in my pub obviously,” Dyche said sarcastically at his pre-match press conference. “People think it’s mine but it’s not!”
Everton boss Sean Dyche makes his return to Burnley this weekend and hopefully he’ll be popping into the pub named after him. Perhaps to have a swig of this.
Rebecca Welch will become the first woman to referee a Premier League match when she takes charge of Fulham’s home game against Burnley on 23 December.
“Brilliant (thumbs up emoji). Rebecca worked hard in the lower leagues,” said… Joey Barton on Twitter/X. Seriously.
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has also applauded the decision to appoint Welch, who is from Washington in Tyne and Wear. He said: “I think it’s a great moment. For me, it’s got to be based on ability, not gender, ability to referee and I fully support it.”
On Boxing Day, Sam Allison will become the first black referee to officiate in the top flight for 15 years when he steps out at Bramall Lane for Sheffield United v Luton.
It’s only 10 days until Christmas but, breaking news, it’s just 17 until the January transfer window opens. Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou will be after a new centre-back when the sales begin.
Jürgen Klopp talking about player welfare is usually interpreted as moaning and a stick to beat him with. But, y’know, beyond all the tribalistic nonsense, he has a point. Maybe someone will listen one day. Here’s Paul MacInnes on the reasons behind ACL injures in the women’s game.
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag will be talking to the press at 1.30pm GMT. Here’s some early teams news on the club’s official website for Sunday’s trip to Liverpool.
“Erik ten Hag is certainly without the services of skipper Bruno Fernandes, as the midfielder picked up his fifth booking of the season in the defeat to Bournemouth and must serve a one-match suspension.
“Forwards Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford missed the UEFA Champions League clash with Bayern Munich due to illness, while Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire sustained injuries in the first half to cast doubt on their availability. The defensive pair will continue to be assessed after being withdrawn at Old Trafford, with an update likely from the manager at his press conference on Friday.
“Victor Lindelof trained in the lead-up to the European tie but was unavailable for those two games, with Raphael Varane recalled to the backline. Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro are taking positive steps in their return to fitness, while Amad is training again, but we await news on any progress for midfielders Christian Eriksen and Mason Mount.”
Liverpool v Man Utd. Sunday. 4.30pm. Set your alarms. It needs to be remembered that United actually finished eight points and two places above Liverpool last season but the 7-0 hammering at Anfield remains an utter nightmare for any United fans present that day. That includes this pair. Cheeky stuff from Kenny’s daughter.
Back to Newcastle and Louise Taylor looks at the big questions.
Wolves coach Gary O’Neil says the door could still be open for Jonny following the training ground incident that has resulted in the defender being excluded from the first team-set up until the end of January.
According to the local Express and Star: “Jonny had an altercation with under-21s star Tawanda Chirewa in training before allegedly spitting at a staff member and then smashing a TV and damaging a table tennis table in the players’ room.” Desmond Douglas surely fuming at the latter.
O’Neil said: “I don’t want to go into details of what did and didn’t happen and Jonny has had a fantastic time at this football club. That can still continue. Somebody making a mistake definitely shouldn’t define what you’ve been to the football club.
“I’ve made a million mistakes, I’m sure we all have. Jonny will have his thoughts on the situation. You make a mistake, we deal with the mistake and everybody moves on. That’s where we are. It’s been dealt with. Jonny is still a fantastic player for the football club and has been involved in some incredible moments here. Some fantastic seasons. Things happen in football, they’re dealt with and we move on. We’ll see what happens in the future.”
Asked if Jonny would leave Molineux in January, O’Neil said: “The statement from the club told you everything at the moment really. He’s going to stay out of our group until (the end of) January and then we’ll see where everything is. There’s no further update or more detail I can add to that. Jonny will continue to work and play with the under-21s until then.”
Loads to digest in this footage of the 1991 FA Cup final between Nottingham Forest and Spurs which is mainly remembered for Gazza’s madness.
But what about Stuart Pearce’s free-kick to make it 1-0 to Forest! A beauty. With Forest still ahead, Gary Lineker has a perfectly good goal ruled out for offside (1min 7secs). VAR would have overturned that. And let’s also enjoy Roger Milford’s hair. Some good footage (2min 9secs) of the Somerset ref’s barnet as Lineker’s penalty is saved by Mark Crossley.
Chelsea boss Emma Hayes was “frustrated” after her side were held to a 0-0 home draw by Häcken in the Women’s Champions League on Thursday night. “The technical execution from us tonight was really poor,” she said. Sophie Downey’s report here:
As usual, Eddie Howe has gone early with his weekend press conference. Here’s the Newcastle boss discussing Champions League disappointment and team news.
On reacting to midweek European exit: “It is going to be a big test of our resilience. I think there will be a negative narrative externally and we have to override that. Exiting Europe is a disappointment, but it doesn’t have to have an effect on us afterwards. That’s down to us, we need to respond.”
On the return of Dan Burn: “Dan is not just the player, but the character and the leadership qualities you get in the dressing room with him. He has allowed us to play in a certain way. He has been an important part of what we have, and we have missed him when he has been away.”
On other team news: “It is mixed. We are getting a couple of players back but not in their best physical condition. Then you’ve got players that are having to keep playing that are picking up things. Kieran (Trippier) is missing through suspension. We will see how Anthony (Gordon) is today.”
I feel a bit old reading this. Sounds sort of fun though.
England captain Harry Kane has enlisted the help of Google’s AI tool Bard to help his family get ready to settle into their new life in Munich.
Kane left boyhood club Tottenham in August to join Bayern Munich in a £100million transfer and has already scored 22 goals in 20 appearances for the German outfit.
While Kane has hit the ground running with Bayern, he has been living in Munich on his own after his wife Kate gave birth to their fourth child Henry a week after his big-money move.
However, Kane’s family are set to permanently join him in Germany shortly and the 30-year-old has joined forces with Google to showcase how Bard can help with every day situations on and off the pitch.
“I am excited to be teaming up with Google, especially on a product as impressive as Bard,” Kane said.
“I recognise how the potential of AI can help me in all sorts of ways with my move to Germany and to get my kids settled into a new life in Munich.
“Bard even suggested some new goal celebrations – we’ll have to see if I use them on the pitch!”
During a series of short video clips, Kane asked Bard to help his children adjust to life in Munich by coming up with a bedtime story to explain why they should be excited about moving to Germany.
He also used Google’s AI tool to plan a treasure hunt through Munich’s most famous sights and got Bard to translate his most commonly used English phrases in post-match interviews to German.
Google UKI’s Eileen Mannion added: “We’re thrilled to be teaming up with Harry Kane on our latest campaign, which shows how Google’s conversational AI Bard can help anyone, even the England’s football captain, in everyday situations.” (PA Media)
Scenes! João Pedro celebrates his winner for Brighton against Marseille.
If you missed last night’s European action, here are the highlights…
Mikela Arteta escaping a Football Association punishment for his post-match rant at refereeing standards after Arsenal’s controversial defeat at Newcastle last month has raised plenty of eyebrows.
That includes those of Ref Support UK, a charity that represents referees. “I believe this is nothing more than clever representation by a KC than a just outcome,” said their chief executive Martin Cassidy. “If those remarks and actions are deemed acceptable in the modern game then football is on a very difficult road for match officials.”
The Gunners boss was charged with breaking Rule E3.1, which includes bringing the game into disrepute and might have resulted in a ban, but has been cleared of wrongdoing. There were no set sanctions had Arteta been found guilty but a fine or touchline ban would have been the likely outcome. An independent regulatory commission dismissed the charges as “not proven”. Cassidy has called on the FA to appeal against the commission’s decision.
Hello! After a great night for British teams in Europe – well, Liverpool’s youngsters aside – the Premier League returns with a Friday night kick-off at the City Ground as Nottingham Forest and Tottenham reprise the 1991 FA Cup final.
Saturday sees Manchester City host Crystal Palace before they jet off to contest the World Club Cup. Or is it the Club World Cup? They’ll know in Brazil because they absolutely love it; here, not so much.
And finally to Sunday when the top three (strange to write that and it doesn’t include Man City) are all in action. Aston Villa travel to Brentford, Arsenal host Brighton and then the big one: Liverpool v Manchester United at Anfield. Let’s get this thing started!