Sanchez & Ozil Signed For England’s Version Of Schalke

I just wonder whether one of the title or European chasers missed a trick by not putting in a cheeky bid for Jermain Defoe in the January window.

His two finishes in the first half against Palace were so far ahead of virtually anything else in the league bar an Aguero or Costa at their best. Surely he was worth a punt for one of the big boys?

He’s so sharp, looks after himself so well and who frankly would you have in the 90th minute, put through on goal to win you a game which could mean the difference between 2nd and 5th over a season? Welbeck? Giroud? Batshuayi? Martial?

No, not at the minute. All have had their struggles this season and my barometer of success for great strikers isn’t just the amount of goals you score, but the amount of goals you score when the service is poor, confidence in the team is low and you’re feeding on scraps.

Those two finishes at the Holmesdale end proved to me that…

Jermain Defoe could easily do a job in a top six team.

He may yet help Sunderland escape relegation but boy would he have been a deal clincher for a Liverpool or United chasing top four. Or for an Arsenal trying to keep tabs on Chelsea, or a little support for Harry Kane? Yes sir!

cc Chelsea

Proof to me why Liverpool were again found wanting on set pieces at Hull for the Tigers’ first goal was the role of Simon Mignolet.

I want him to do well and want Karius to do well, but can we be truthful rather than hopeful for a second? Neither are Liverpool standard and neither give me confidence like a De Gea or even a Kasper Schmeichel from last season.

That should worry Reds and most importantly worry Klopp. Liverpool haven’t had a good steady keeper since Reina and even he had his doubters at times. I’m scratching my head as to who the last accepted world class keeper at Liverpool was. Someone who you could have put into the top three or four in the world? Ray Clemence?

In the summer, Klopp needs to swallow his pride and get a top drawer keeper.

One with a presence who the fans and most importantly the back four can be confident of playing in front of. He must have the confidence of a champion and have a point to prove. Joe Hart anyone? Head and shoulders above the potential candidates for me.

Big Sam
“You’re not fit to wear the shirt” the Palace faithful sang followed by boos at Half Time in the Sunderland game and I‘m starting to wonder whether these may be the first signs that the Big Sam who bowls into dressing rooms, bawls, shouts, cajoles and organises teams to safety may just be yesterday’s man.

Of course he has plenty of experience and in truth he has a good squad of players at Palace so I would expect them to go on the kind of run that they were threatening to offer pre-Sunderland.

But modern players, particularly those on big money, the cocky, the confident, those who today are scrapping at the foot of the league but in the summer are demanding transfers to Champions League teams are a little more difficult to work with than even five years ago when the “we are all in this together” mantra would get instant results.

Can you imagine Benteke or Cabaye responding to a bollocking of gargantuan proportions?

Me neither. They are more likely to get on the blower to their agents and say “I’m a top drawer player, get me out of here”. So Sam, in his 60s, a big intimidating presence, needs to adapt. Or die.

Alexis and Ozil
I always get stick when both of these fine players play well and the Gooners can say “We told you they were world class”.

Undoubtedly, in ability, they are. They have world class attributes. So why sign for Arsenal from Real Madrid and Barcelona?!

Seriously. Gooners may find that offensive and a slight on their club, but trust me, it’s not meant to be. I’m asking a logical question. Why would you go to a club who have never won the Champions League and haven’t won the league in a decade?

cc crossbar

Is that complacency from two players who perhaps wanted the London life without the responsibility of winning trophies anymore? Both are supremely talented but I’ll try to make the point to Arsenal fans so that they take off their rose-tinted glasses and see my point.

If two world class players such as Ozil and Alexis went to say Schalke or Sevilla (although Sevilla have actually won trophies in Europe the last few seasons), we’d all look and say “they aren’t going to win the league, might win a cup”.

So those watching Arsenal fall when the going gets tough should reverse their argument and ask “If Barca/Madrid let you go to a club who haven’t won a big trophy for over a decade, maybe they don’t believe they are as good as the billing we are giving them!”