Saturday 7 December 2019

Bet you should have done

Joey Barton of QPR does not think Wayne Rooney is a world class player
Joey Barton of QPR does not think Wayne Rooney is a world class player
Aidan O'Hara

Aidan O'Hara


DESPERATE teams can produce surprising results and Fulham knew that, without three points at Villa Park on Saturday, they were as good as relegated.

They still may struggle but given that Villa lost Christian Benteke for the rest of the season last week, their firepower – which hasn't been great – was likely to get worse.

Villa's home record is also poor and Saturday's defeat made it 10 home defeats out of 17, to the delight of anybody who managed to quadruple their stake.

Tweets of the week


(@Cillian Sheridan)

Conor Wickham's a day early with that barnet

– On the day before April Fool's day, the Irishman isn't happy with the Sunderland striker's haircut


David Meyler (@DavidMeyler7)

Great to see @SkyFootballNew have agreed a deal to show Hurling & Gaelic. Can't wait for this begin.

– The Hull midfielder should have given Liveline a ring to express his delight


Zlatan Ibrahimovic (@ibra_official)

Why would we fear the Special One's team when we have the only one?

– The Swedish striker with what was, by far, the best contribution he made to the day.


Joey Barton (@Joey7Barton)

Rooney is our best player at the moment. Put in context for me, by my definition of 'World Class', he isn't. I'm sorry thats my belief. He is infinitely better than me. That is not the debate here. But I was never World Class, so people are missing the point. Now shall I tell you what World Class is for me. Ronaldo and Messi. Iniesta and Suarez. WC is a term thrown about far too often.

– 140 characters is rarely enough for the QPR midfielder who, over a series of tweets, puts forward quite an impressive case


Mario Balotelli (@FinallyMario)

Today I will follow the one with the funniest picture sent to me.

– With two million followers, the AC Milan striker guarantees himself a busy afternoon


Steven Reid (@stevenreid12)

Huge result.. Drugs test time!! #WBA Support immense once again!

– Victory against Norwich allows the former Irish international to enjoy his evening, and his drugs test


Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5)

Ross Barkley is asking the England manager many a questions with his performances of late – "are you ready for me" being one of them!!

– The United defender was as impressed as the rest of us by the young Everton midfielder

The question nobody asked

Sunderland face Spurs tonight looking to reverse the course of history which has seen them fail to win a Monday night game for 12 years. But, in the last year, it hasn’t just been Mondays that have been a problem.

Martin O’Neill was sacked by the club one year and a week ago and, while Paolo di Canio helped rescue them from relegation, the points tally suggests it was only a temporary reprieve in a wider pattern.

O’Neill was sacked with seven games remaining of last season and, in that time, they managed two wins, two draws and three defeats, which was enough to keep them safe. That, added to this year’s table, means that since O’Neill was sacked, Sunderland have played 37 games with eight wins, nine draws and 20 defeats for a points tally of 33 points. O’Neill has argued in the past that his sacking was harsh; however, in his final 37 games in charge at the club, they managed just one point more.

At the point of his sacking, Sunderland had played 31 games, won seven, drawn 10 and lost 14 for a total of 31 points, six fewer than they currently have. In the final six games of the previous season, O’Neill’s team had three draws and three defeats.

Sunderland’s 37 games since O’Neill was sacked:W8 D9 L20 PTS 33

O’Neill’s 37 games before he was sacked:W7 D13 L17 PTS 34

Soccer on TV


Juventus v Livorno, Serie A, BT Sport 2, 6.0; Hibernian v Aberdeen, Scottish Premiership, BT Sport 1, 7.45; Tottenham Hotspur v Sunderland, Premier League, Sky Sports 1, 8.0; Genoa v AC Milan, Serie A, BT Sport 2, 8.0


Champions League (7.45): Chelsea v PSG, ITV/TV3; Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid, Sky Sports 2


Champions League (7.45): Atletico Madrid v Barcelona, Sky 1/Sky Sports 2; Bayern Munich v Man Utd, Sky Sports 1/RTE2


Flamengo v Leon, Copa Libertadores, BT Sport 2, 2.0am; Europa League (8.05): Valencia v Basel, Europa League, BT Sport 1; Benfica v AZ Alkmaar, BT Sport 2; Sevilla v Porto, ITV4, 8.05


Rotherham United v Bradford City, League One, Sky Sports 2, 7.52


QPR v Nottingham Forest, Championship, Sky Sports 1, 12.22; Rangers v Dundee United, Scottish Cup, Sky Sports 2, 12.45; Luton Town v Braintree Town, Conference Premier League, BT Sport 1, 12.52; Wigan Athletic v Arsenal, FA Cup, ITV, 5.07; Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund, Bundesliga, BT Sport 1, 5.30; Granada v Barcelona, La Liga, Sky Sports 2, 7.0; Roma v Atalanta, Serie A, BT Sport 1, 7.45; Real Madrid v Almeria, La Liga, Sky Sports 2, 9.0


Bologna v Parma, Serie A, ESPN, 11.30; St Johnstone v Aberdeen, Scottish Cup, Sky Sports 2, 12.45; Nantes v Guingamp, Ligue 1, BT Sport 1, 1.0; Liverpool v Manchester City, Premier League, Sky Sports 1, 1.37; Napoli v Lazio, Serie A, ESPN, 2.00; Reims v St Etienne, Ligue 1, ESPN, 4.0; Swansea City v Chelsea, Premier League, Sky Sports 1, 4.07; Hull City v Sheffield United, FA Cup, BT Sport 1, 4.07; Getafe v Atletico Madrid, La Liga, Sky Sports 1, 6.00; Lyon v PSG, Ligue 1, BT Sport 1, 8.00; Espanyol v Rayo Vallecano, La Liga, Sky Sports 1, 8.00

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