Arsenal beat Bate Borisov 4-2 last night in the Europa League. Rob Holding scored his first goal for the club, Theo Walcott got two, and Olivier Giroud got his 100th Arsenal goal. It seemed like Holding’s goal meant a lot to him as he looked absolutely delighted. Olivier Giroud looked happy to get his goal, but didn’t run around celebrating at all. It was probably because of the competition it was in and that it wasn’t the biggest goal he’s scored for the club, but he’ll be over the moon to join the 100 club.
Everton dropped more points, this time at Goodison Park against Apollon Limassol in the Europa League. I’ve given Ronald Koeman a chance so far this season since their start was so hard, but it’s simply not good enough now. I really wouldn’t be at all surprised if there was news this morning that he has been sacked. They’ve beaten Stoke, Bournemouth and Sunderland (Carabao Cup) this season, while they’ve drawn with Man City and drew last night, but were beaten by Chelsea, Spurs, Man Utd and Atalanta. They won some Europa qualifiers but I’m not counting those. You can forgive them for losing those games against the top Premier League clubs, but losing 3-0 to Atalanta and drawing with Apollon isn’t good enough. How much more time will Everton give him? They spent a lot of money in the summer to try to get themselves in contention with the top 6 sides, but they look so far away from that now. I’d be shocked if they finished in the top 6, but can still see them finishing 7th as they do have a better team than anyone outside the top 6 and surely the results must turn around eventually.
There was talk not too long ago of Koeman leaving Everton to go and manage Barcelona, that doesn’t look at all possible now. With Carlo Ancelotti being sacked by Bayern yesterday, will Everton try to speak to him and see if he would join the club? That’s what a lot of Everton fans would like anyway, but with all the respect in the world to them, Ancelotti has only managed the top, top clubs in recent years. It would certainly be a step down for him from the highs of Bayern, but maybe Everton could pull it off? They would have to pay him a ridiculous amount and really convince him he could do great things in Liverpool. I’m merely speculating here, I should stop because they could give Koeman more time and they could turn things around. They play Burnley at home on Sunday and really need three points from that. Koeman said that his players are afraid of playing:
I cannot say they are not running or fighting but they are afraid of playing. It is in the head of the players. As a manager you can help the team and select the team but when the whistle goes you are not the one who plays the ball back. It is about giving the players options but we are scared to play forward. Sometimes there are not enough options for the forwards but, in that case, play the ball into the channels instead of the goalkeeper. We know the fans like us to go forward, not back, back, back. Then it is difficult to create chances.
The players are clearly really short of confidence and need a couple of wins in a row to get some of that confidence back. They need to win on Sunday to help motivate themselves, and then there is an international break. Maybe the time away will help the players get their heads right.
In news emerging this morning, it has been confirmed Sergio Aguero was involved in a car crash in Amsterdam yesterday. In a short statement on Man City’s official website, the club said:
Sergio Aguero will be assessed by Club doctors today after being involved in a road accident on Thursday.
The City forward was in Holland on his day off and has sustained injuries.
He will return to Manchester this morning and his status will be checked ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League clash at Chelsea.
Mancity.com will bring you all the latest on Sergio as we get more news.
It has been reported that two people were taken to hospital, but it isn’t clear whether Aguero was one of those. There are reports, yet to be confirmed, that Aguero has suffered a fractured rib but we can’t be sure that this is correct. More on the story when we get it. Man City travel to Chelsea on Saturday, and if the news of the fractured rip is correct he definitely won’t be involved. When City say that he will be checked, it worries me a bit, because if he was fine they would surely just say that.
Update: Sergio Aguero has since confirmed that he has broken his rib. Speaking to Radio Metro de Argentina, coming from the Guardian, he said:
The taxi driver did not see the curve and skid. And when he skidded, we hit him with the pole.
I broke my rib, now I’m resting. It hurts me badly. I’ll be discharged in a little while.
Pep Guardiola said:
The first impression is he has broken a rib but the number of days he will be out, I don’t know. A day off is to be happy … I am a trainer who doesn’t want to train every day because [the players] need to rest, mentally and physically.
Another player City will be without for the Chelsea game, and will more than likely be without for most of the season, is left-back Benjamin Mendy. It was confirmed yesterday that Mendy had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in last weekend’s game against Crystal Palace. There’s no playing down the injury, it’s a bad one. Ilkay Gundogan is only just returning from a similar injury, and he spent the best part of a year out of the game. Gundogan says he will help Mendy through it, as it’s sure to be a long, difficult time out for the player. Not too long ago, this injury was seen as a possible career ending one. I don’t think it will come to that for Mendy, but he’ll have a tough time out and a long rehabilitation. He will be operated on today, and I really hope things go well for him. He seems like a really nice guy, and looks to be a character in the dressing room. He’ll miss being with the other players now, and they’ll miss having him around. Even when he got such a bad injury, he still seems to be staying in good spirits, keeping up his tweeting:
Bad news guys 😞 ll be joining Injury FC on loan for a couple monthes with ruptured ACL… but will be back soon & stronger hopefully 🙏🏾
— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) September 28, 2017
He’s well worth a follow on Twitter. I really do wish him all the best, you never want to see a player injured so seriously.
That’s all for now anyway, I hope you have a good Friday. The weekend is almost here at last. I’ll be here in the morning as always, previewing tomorrow’s games. Until then.