The highlight games for the mid-week action are MANCHESTER UNITED versus BOURNEMOUTH and CHELSEA versus MAN CITY. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these as well as all game week 19 matches with his unique and insightful commentary. You can view all previous analysis from John’s regular column here: English Premier League Predictions For Saturday.
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Before one starts, it’s only fitting to give a few words on the legend that is Edson Arantes Do Nascimento, known throughout the world as Pele.
The best footballer ever, who is the only player to win 3 (count them!) 3 World Cups in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
The Santos legend was injured most of the time in 1966 but still tried to compete and was kicked from pillar to post by the opposition, with Brazil ultimately unable to defend the Jules Rimet Trophy.
The boys and girls of Bolton did have the honour of hosting Pele in their town during the World Cup in England.
It was a different format back then that saw Brazil and Pele unable to progress from the Group Stages, suffering defeats against Hungary and Portugal.
However, the legend was back in Mexico’70 and produced an iconic moment by heading the ball into the back of the net against England, well that was until Gordon Banks pulled off a miracle save, that even Pele was left scratching his head.
How’s he saved that?
Imagine a film nowadays, with Lionel Messi, Harry Kane, Tom Cruise, Leonardo Di Caprio, Mo Salah, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Robert Lewandowski and Sylvester Stallone, that sees a group of film stars and footballers collaborate to produce the greatest film ever.
Folk would just laugh.
However, back in 1981, that is exactly what happened, Michael Caine, (my name is Michael Caine!), Bobby Moore, Mike Summerbee, Ossie Ardiles, John Walk, Kevin O’ Callaghan, Kazimierz Deyna, Sylvester Stallone and Pele!
All got together to star in Escape To Victory, probably the greatest film ever.
One of Pele’s best goals was in that movie.
A beautiful overhead kick.
In August 1997, Pele’s team, Santos came to Oakwell, to take on the Super Reds.
On a Summers day on the 1st day of August 1997, before the start of the 1997/98 Premier League campaign, Barnsley took on Santos.
Santos got the victory by a 3-0 score.
‘It’s just like watching Brazil!’
Rest In Peace Pele!
BRENTFORD v LIVERPOOL
17.30 in England
A quick turnaround for these two teams who both gained victories on Friday night, with Brentford inflicting a defeat on West Ham by a 2-0 away day scoreline (as predicted in this EveryTip column) and Liverpool somehow getting a victory against Leicester by a 2-1 score.
Ivan Toney and Josh Dasilva with the Brentford goals.
The Liverpool goals were scored by Wout Faes.
Now, most will be asking,
‘When did Liverpool sign Big Wout?’
As Tom Jones would say, it’s not unusual to score an own goal but to score 2 in a game, isn’t the norm.
The unfortunate Wout Faes did just that against Liverpool on Friday, meaning it was Jurgen Klopp’s Boys who gained the points, not Brendan Rodgers.
There have been 4 players that have scored 2 own goals in the Premier League,
Wout, Jamie Carragher, Jonathan Walters and Michael Proctor.
Brentford sit in 10th place with 23 points from 17 games completed.
Liverpool remain in 6th place with 28 points from 16 fixtures.
This fixture last season was a goal fest with both sharing the points from a draw by a 3-3 score.
The goals went in as follows,
27’ Ethan Pinnock – Brentford
31’ Diogo Jota – Liverpool
54’ Mo Salah – Liverpool
63’ Vitaly Janelt – Brentford
67’ Curtis Jones – Liverpool
82’ Yoane Wissa – Brentford
Betfred offer Brentford at 9/2, the draw at 7/2 and Odds On 8/15 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer Evens 1/1 that Darwin Nunez Scores Anytime and 5/4 that Ivan Toney Scores Anytime.
ARSENAL v NEWCASTLE
19.45 in England
Arsenal continued their surprise dominance of the Premier League with a victory against Brighton on New Year’s Eve.
Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli with the goals that gained Mikel’s Young Guns the points from a 4-2 scoreline.
Arsenal remain at the summit of the Premier League table with 43 points from 16 games played, now a massive 7 points ahead of Man City who could only manage a draw against Everton on Saturday.
Newcastle themselves could only manage a draw by a 0-0 score against Leeds United on New Year’s Eve and remain in 3rd place with 34 points but have played a game more than those around them.
This fixture between the two form teams could go a long way in deciding who will win the Premier League title.
Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli scored the 2nd-half goals at the Emirates last term to give the home side the victory by a 2-0 score.
Betfred offer Arsenal at slight Odds On 4/5, the draw at 11/4 and 16/5 for Newcastle to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/2 that Martin Odegaard Scores Anytime and 10/3 that Miguel Almiron Scores Anytime.
EVERTON v BRIGHTON
19.45 in England
Everton probably gained one of the results of the weekend earning a well-deserved point against Man City from a draw by a 1-1 score.
After that man Erling scored it looked like City would run riot at the Etihad but the Toffees held firm and a spectacular goal from Demarai Gray was enough to gain the point.
It could give Frank Lampard a stay of execution but Everton need to build on that result and try and move away from the drop zone.
The Toffees jump a place to 16th with 15 points from 17 fixtures played.
Brighton played in a very entertaining game at the Amex against Arsenal on Saturday but ultimately suffered a defeat by a 4-2 scoreline.
Arsenal scored 2 early goals then a 3rd just after the restart before Kaoru Mitoma pulled a goal back for the Seagulls.
The away team then added a 4th but that wasn’t the end of the scoring with the youngster Evan Ferguson notching a Brighton 2nd.
Kaoru, who played for Japan in Qatar, thought he’d scored a 2nd in the 89th minute but the goal was ruled out by the dreaded VAR.
That would have made the final few minutes interesting but not to be and Brighton suffered the defeat, leaving Roberto De Zerbi’s team now in 9th place with 24 points from 16 games played.
The ex-boss, Graham Potter and his New Blue Wizards, Chelsea jump above Brighton following all the weekend’s results.
This fixture at Goodison Park last term took place almost 12 months ago to the day on the 2nd of January 2022.
Alexis Mac Allister and Dan Burn scored to give Brighton a lead at the break.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin missed a 1st-half penalty.
Anthony Gordon pulled a goal back soon after the restart before Alexis Mac Allister restored the 2 goal advantage.
Anthony scored a 2nd for Everton but it wasn’t enough as the Seagulls held on for the victory by a 3-2 away day score.
Betfred offer Everton at 5/2, the draw at 5/2 and 21/20 for Brighton to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 11/2 that Dominic Calvert-Lewin Scores First and 2/1 that Leandro Trossard Scores Anytime.
LEICESTER v FULHAM
19.45 in England
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall scored the opener against Liverpool on Friday and in truth Leicester were the better team, however, 2 horrendous errors by Wout Faes just before the half-time whistle turned a good performance into a bad defeat by a narrow 2-1 scoreline.
Wout somehow turned a cross that flicked over his left leg and spun into the net to gift Liverpool’s first goal.
The TV microphones around the perimeter of the pitch, clearly heard the Foxes goalkeeper Danny Ward, who is an ex-Red, shout,
Unfortunately, Big Wout didn’t hear this and deflected the ball into the net.
Things got worse for Mr Faes when Darwin Nunez hit a shot that came back off the post into the path of Wout who couldn’t adjust his legs and coolly slotted the ball home.
A great goal if it was up the other end.
Not many players have scored 2 own goals in the Premier League era.
Jamie Carragher, playing for Liverpool back in 1999 against Manchester United of all teams.
Michael Proctor, for Sunderland against Charlton in 2003 and Stoke’s Jonathon Walters against Chelsea in 2013.
Jonathon spent a brief spell on loan at Oakwell back in 2004.
John Newsome remembers it well but it’s fair to say, Mr Walters’ heart wasn’t really in Barnsley.
It was a shame for the Foxes faithful that one of their own gifted Liverpool the victory.
Leicester sit in 13th place with 17 points from 17 played.
All the best Wout.
Happy Birthday to the Sheffield Superstar Jamie Vardy who turns 36 on the 11th of January 2023.
Fulham gained a great victory against Southampton on Saturday with goals from Andreas Pereira and Joao Palhinha giving the Cottagers the points from a 2-1 score.
Andreas’ strike was later changed to a James Ward-Prowse own goal which probably annoyed both players.
Aleksandar Mitrovic did have the opportunity to score when Fulham were awarded a late penalty but saw his shot saved by the Southampton goalkeeper.
One player that’s gone under the radar at Craven Cottage is the ex-Chelsea and Arsenal star Willian, who, although 34 years old is still a class act and dictates how Fulham play.
Marco Silva’s boys sit in 7th place with 25 points from 17 fixtures completed.
The usual benchmark to stay in the Premier League is 40 points, which should mean Fulham just need another 15 to avoid relegation and that would be a great season for everyone concerned.
It was November 2020 when Fulham last visited the King Power.
Ademola Lookman and Ivan Cavaleiro scored for the Cottagers before the interval with Harvey Barnes replying in the 2nd-half.
Unfortunately for the home team, it wasn’t enough and Fulham held on for the victory by a 2-1 away day scoreline.
Betfred offer Leicester at 23/20, the draw at 13/5 and 11/5 for Fulham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 11/8 that Jamie Vardy Scores Anytime and 7/4 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
MANCHESTER UNITED v BOURNEMOUTH
20.00 in England
Manchester United gained a New Year’s Eve victory against Wolves at Molineux on Saturday with a single Marcus Rashford goal midway through the 2nd-half enough to earn the points from a 1-0 away day score.
The big story before the game was that Marcus Rashford had been dropped to the bench due to disciplinary issues.
Obviously, because the lad was still in the Match Day Squad, the issue wasn’t too serious.
As it’s subsequently come to light, Marcus overslept and missed a team meeting.
The Mickey Mouse alarm clock that Marcus got for Christmas, had the wrong batteries, should have been Double AA, not Triple.
Alejandro Garnacho replaced Marcus in the starting eleven but was taken off at half-time.
There’s a lot of hype regarding the young Argentinian who was born in Spain but has chosen the new World Cup Winners to play International Football.
This EveryTip contributor had a thought whilst watching the game at Molineux.
It’s hoped that Alejandro isn’t the new Federico Macheda (who?)
Manchester United have 32 points and jump into the Top Four, ahead of Tottenham who suffered a defeat against Aston Villa on Sunday.
Newcastle, who sit 3rd have 34 points but have played 17 times and the Noisy Neighbours in Blue have 36 points from the same 16 games played as United.
The kind Premier League Fixture Compilers (PLFC) are asking the Cherry faithful to travel up to Manchester on a Tuesday evening.
It’s an 8-hour/500-mile round trip from the Vitality to Old Trafford, meaning the girls and boys from Bournemouth won’t get home until the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Bournemouth have back-to-back Christmas defeats following Saturday’s loss against Crystal Palace.
The Cherries lost against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday by a 2-0 scoreline and copied that result against Palace on New Year’s Eve, suffering another defeat by the same 2-0 score, however, what made the result worse, if that’s even possible, the defeat against the Eagles was at the Vitality in front of the new American owners.
Michael B. Jordan, who is part of the new owners’ group and plays Adonis Creed in the new film, was at the Vitality.
This was after seeing the Cherries at Stamford Bridge earlier in the week.
Maybe Mr Creed, who fights an old mate in Creed 3, is a bit of a bad omen and Gary O’Neil will be hoping the lad isn’t at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Bournemouth have slipped down the table and sit in 15th place with 16 points from 17 games played.
This fixture last took place at the end of the Coronavirus affected season back in July 2020, with United gaining the victory by a 5-2 scoreline.
The goals going in as follows,
15’ Junior Stanislas – Bournemouth
29’ Mason Greenwood – Manchester United
35’ Marcus Rashford – Manchester United
45+2’ Anthony Martial – Manchester United
49’ Josh King – Bournemouth (penalty)
54’ Mason Greenwood – Manchester United
59’ Bruno Fernandes – Manchester United
Betfred offer Manchester United at Odds On 1/4, the draw at 5/1 and 10/1 for Bournemouth to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Marcus Rashford Scores First and 21/20 that Manchester United Win To Nil.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
GOALKEEPER- Robin Olsen- Aston Villa
RIGHT-BACK- Ashley Young- Aston Villa
CENTRE-BACK- Tim Ream- Fulham
CENTRE-BACK- Liam Cooper- Leeds United
LEFT-BACK- Tyrell Malacia- Manchester United
MIDFIELDER- Martin Odegaard- Arsenal
MIDFIELDER- Emiliano Buendia- Aston Villa
MIDFIELDER- Eberechi Eze- Crystal Palace
FORWARD- Demarai Gray- Everton
FORWARD- Marcus Rashford- Manchester United
FORWARD- Douglas Luiz- Aston Villa
STAR MAN- Ashley Young- Aston Villa
SOUTHAMPTON v NOTTINGHAM FOREST
19.30 in England
Southampton suffered their 5th defeat in succession on New Year’s Eve, this time against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
The unfortunate James Ward-Prowse was credited with Fulham’s opener but redeemed himself, scoring a great JWP trademark free-kick early in the 2nd-half.
Unfortunately, the home team scored another to inflict the defeat by a 2-1 score.
It could have been worse when the Saints conceded a late penalty, however, the goalkeeper, Gavin Bazuna saved Aleksandar Mitrovic’s tame spot-kick.
The Saints sit at the foot of the Premier League table with 12 points from 17 games, 2 points less than today’s visitors.
James Ward-Prowse will be in demand if (when!) Southampton are relegated.
Nottingham Forest gained a great point against Chelsea at the City Ground on New Year’s Day.
After conceding a goal in the 1st-half, Serge Aurier scored a brilliant equaliser, to give Forest a point from a draw by a 1-1 score.
Forest sit in 18th place with 14 points from 17 played.
Southampton last hosted Nottingham Forest back in September 2011, in a Championship affair which finished in favour of the Saints by a 3-2 scoreline.
Matt Derbyshire opened the scoring for Forest with Rickie Lambert scoring twice before Radoslaw Majewski equalised to take both teams in level at the break.
Rickie Lambert completed his hat-trick late on in proceedings to earn Southampton the victory.
It’s quite possible that the next time Forest visit St Mary’s will be a Championship fixture too with both these teams struggling at the wrong end of the table.
Betfred offer Southampton at Evens 1/1, the draw at 5/2 and 11/4 for Nottingham Forest to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 2/1 that James Ward-Prowse Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 8/11 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
LEEDS UNITED v WEST HAM
19.45 in England
It could be argued that Leeds United got one of the results of the week, gaining a point from a goalless draw against Newcastle at St James Park on New Year’s Eve.
The Marching On Together crew were in fine form and never shut up during the rain on Tyneside.
All partaking in the Newcastle Broon Ale, with the West Yorkshire puddings buying a bottle and asking for 6 straws.
Jesse’s Whites sit in 14th place with 16 points from 16 fixtures completed.
Marching On Together.
Like the Freddie Mercury, David Bowie and Queen tune, David Moyes is Under Pressure after West Ham suffered their 5th defeat in a row on Friday evening.
Brentford travelled the short distance over to the London Stadium and got the victory by a 2-0 score.
Probably the only solace that the Bubbles can take at the moment is that there are 3 worse teams meaning West Ham sit just above the relegation zone in 17th place with 14 points from 17 games played.
In last season’s encounter between these two at Elland Rd, West Ham inflicted a defeat on Leeds United by a 2-1 score.
Raphinha scored first for the home team to give the Whites a lead at half-time.
The unfortunate Junior Firpo was credited with West Ham’s opener before Michail Antonio scored the winner in the 90th minute.
Betfred offer Leeds United at 8/5, the draw at 5/2 and 8/5 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Rodrigo Scores Anytime and Evens 1/1 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
ASTON VILLA v WOLVES
20.00 in England
Aston Villa gained a great victory against Tottenham on New Year’s Day, with Unai Emery’s Claret and Blues inflicting a defeat on Antonio Conte’s Spurs by a 2-0 scoreline.
Emiliano Buendia and Douglas Luiz with the goals to give the Villains a great day out at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium.
Aston Villa are revitalised under Mr Emery, who despite not being successful at the Emirates, which was possibly due to communication issues, is improving a good Villa team.
Aston Villa sit in 12th place with 21 points from 17 games played.
A quick note regarding the old boy Ashley Young.
The ex-Watford, Manchester United and Inter Milan Right-Back is living up to his name and despite being 37 years old, is performing like a Young Man and was outstanding against Tottenham.
Nice one Ashley!
Wolves suffered a defeat against Manchester United on Saturday by a 1-0 scoreline to give Julen Lopetegui his first loss in the new job.
Granted the Spanish gaffer has only taken charge of 2 games and Wolves have improved, playing well against United, however, the defeat leaves the Gold and Blacks in 19th place with 13 points from 17 fixtures.
A point and 2 places away from West Ham.
Both were under the guidance of different managers in last season’s contest between these two Midlands rivals.
Bruno Lage’s Gold and Blacks gained the victory over Dean Smith’s Claret and Blues by a narrow 3-2 scoreline.
After a goalless 1st-half, Danny Ings and John McGinn scored to give the home team a comfortable lead.
With 10 minutes remaining, the fun started with Romain Saiss and Conor Coady scoring to make the game level going into injury time before Ruben Neves scored the winner in the 95th minute.
Betfred offer Aston Villa at Evens 1/1, the draw at 5/2 and 11/4 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Ollie Watkins Scores First and 9/4 that there are Under 1.5 Goals.
CRYSTAL PALACE v TOTTENHAM
20.00 in England
Crystal Palace got a great victory on Saturday down on the South Coast of Bournemouth.
Jordan Ayew was afforded the freedom of the Cherries penalty area and headed home before Eberechi Eze added a 2nd to give the away team the comfortable lead at the break.
With no further goals, Patrick’s Palace got the victory by a 2-0 away day scoreline.
The Eagle Ultras had a nice drink in the bars of Bournemouth.
Crystal Palace sit in 11th place with 22 points from 16 fixtures completed.
What has happened to Tottenham?
Antonio’s Spurs suffered their 3rd home defeat in the last 4 games at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium on Sunday, this time against Aston Villa.
Two, 2nd-half goals gave Villa the victory by a 2-0 score.
That’s 4 defeats in the last 8 Premier League matches as well as being knocked out of the Carabao Cup.
There are 3 wins and a draw from the other 4, meaning 10 points from a possible 24.
That leaves Antonio’s Spurs in 5th place with 30 points from 17 games played.
Liverpool are on the coattails of Tottenham, now just 2 points adrift and have only played 16 times.
Mr Conte is supposedly stalling on a new contract, however, if things continue, there won’t be the need for stalling as the boy will be down the concrete.
Crystal Palace hammered a Nuno Espírito Santo-led Tottenham in last season’s encounter at Selhurst Park.
Goals from Wilfried Zaha (penalty) and Odsonne Edouard (2) gave the Eagles the victory by a 3-0 scoreline.
It was 0-0 when Tottenham’s Japhet Tanganga received 2 Yellow Cards in the space of 5 minutes early in the 2nd-half that resulted in an early bath.
Betfred offer Crystal Palace at 23/10, the draw at 5/2 and 23/20 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/1 that Wilfried Zaha Scores First and 16/5 that Crystal Palace Score in Both Halves.
CHELSEA v MAN CITY
20.00 in England
Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea.
Raheem Sterling comes up against his old Manchester mates and will be wanting to put in a performance to show the Citizens what could have been.
The Blues seem to have turned a corner after a tricky few games before the World Cup that saw Graham’s New Blue Wizards suffer 3 defeats in succession and get knocked out of the Carabao Cup.
It’s now a win and a draw since the resumption of the Premier League.
Following the victory against Bournemouth, Chelsea gained a point against Nottingham Forest from a draw by a 1-1 score to see in the New 2023 Year.
Chelsea jump above Brighton into 8th place with 25 points, from 16 played.
Relegation-threatened Man City also gained a point at the Etihad on New Year’s Eve with that man Erling Haaland scoring in the draw by a 1-1 score.
Obviously, the relegation-threatened comment is just a bit of fun, however, Pep’s High Flying Blues should be winning their home fixtures, especially against Everton who are struggling at the moment.
Following Erling’s 21st Premier League goal of the season, after 24 minutes, it was thought that City would push on and score a hat full, however, the Toffees equalised midway through the 2nd-half and held on to deny Man City all 3 points.
This has been mentioned a few times over the years in this column but once again to clarify, Man City did not lose 2 points on Saturday, Pep’s Blues gained a point.
Before the game, Man City had 35 points, following the game against Everton, City now have 36.
Despite what some folk say, Man City gained a point not dropped 2.
Pep’s High Flyers didn’t have 38 points then lost 2, due to only drawing the game against the Toffees.
With Arsenal gaining the victory later on in the day, Man City, sitting in 2nd place, with 36 points, are now 7 adrift of the Gunners.
Technically, Arsenal could suffer defeats in both games against Man City, home and away and still win the Premier League title.
Obviously, that’s a long way off and there will be other scenarios thrown into the mix but put simply if Man City won all their remaining 22 games, it still wouldn’t guarantee a title win, if Arsenal won 20 of their 22.
Gabriel Jesus scored the solitary winning goal for Man City at Stamford Bridge last season, giving Pep’s High Flying Blues the victory over Thomas’s Blue Engines.
Betfred offer Chelsea at 4/1, the draw at 3/1 and slight Odds On 4/6 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Raheem Sterling Scores Anytime and 7/4 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
Saturday 20th December 1997
TOTTENHAM v BARNSLEY
White Hart Lane
15.00 in England
Little old Barnsley travelled down to that there London for this Game Week-19 encounter against Tottenham, 5 days before Christmas, hoping to get a nice present of all 3 points.
Unfortunately, although Spurs themselves were struggling at the time and sat in the bottom 3 of the Premier League table, an inspired performance from David Ginola helped the North London club to a victory by a 3-0 scoreline.
The Tottenham Manager at the time was Christian Gross who famously turned up for his interview with Alan Sugar via the tube station, producing his ticket to the media.
Lord Sugar, famous himself for firing a few on the Apprentice programme, gave Mr Gross the finger after 9 months of residency at White Hart Lane, calling Christian in at the beginning of the 1998/99 season, saying,
In December 1997, David Ginola was probably one of the best players not only in the Premier League but arguably in the World.
Seven months after the fixture against the Super Reds, France won the 1998 World Cup in their own country.
If one peruses through the 22 Man Squad of the French Team, there’s no sign of Mr Ginola.
David Ginola wasn’t included by Aimé Jacquet and in one of the biggest travesties of justice in the footballing world, missed out on being a World Cup Winner.
Against Barnsley 5 days before Christmas 1997, David put in an inspirational performance that earned his team all 3 points, even mentioning in the post-match interview that he hopes Aimé was watching.
Mr Ginola’s love-hate relationship with the French National Team stems from a fixture against Bulgaria back in 1993.
Gerard Houllier took exception when David Ginola attempted to cross the ball to Eric Cantona in the 90th minute of a World Cup qualifier for USA’94.
France had been almost certain to qualify for the 1994 World Cup but a shock defeat at home to Israel set up a showdown against Bulgaria at the Parc de Princes.
When they met on the night of November 17, 1993, France needed a draw and Bulgaria needed to win.
Eric Cantona gave France the lead on the half-hour mark with a typical volley but Emil Kostadinov equalised 5 minutes later.
France held on until the 90th minute, when Mr Ginola, who had been brought on as a late substitute for Jean-Pierre Papin, had the ball by the corner flag.
Instead of holding onto the round one,
David wildly overhit a cross that fell at the feet of the Bulgarian left-back, Emil Kremenliev.
With no time to spare, Bulgaria worked the ball up the pitch to Lubo Penev, who chipped the ball over the France backline and into the stride of Mr Kostadinov.
The forward took the ball down with his first touch, steadied himself with his second and lashed it into Bernard Lama’s net with his third.
Bulgaria were on their way to the USA.
France were out and the feud between David Ginola and Gerard Houllier was about to begin.
Didier Deschamps, who would go on to captain France in 1998 and manage the Winners 20 years later, said the failure was collective,
‘We’ve made real asses of ourselves.’
One doesn’t know the French for ‘ass!’
Gerard Houllier, who described the night as the most catastrophic scenario imaginable, disagreed.
The France Manager singled out Mr Ginola for criticism, accusing him of being,
‘the murderer of French hopes, he sent an Exocet missile through the heart of French football and committed a crime against the team.’
Bit harsh Gerard!
David signed for Tottenham from Newcastle at the start of the 1997/98 Premier League campaign, hoping to be able to force himself back into the French team for the competition in his homeland, every footballer’s dream.
Against Barnsley the lad was simply sensational, even suffering an injury and playing the final minutes, until taken off on one leg, still better than the Boys in Red.
Christian Gross started the following eleven, 5 days before Christmas 1997,
Ian Walker, Stephen Carr, Sol Campbell, Clive Wilson, Colin Calderwood, Andy Sinton, Allan Nielsen, Darren Anderton, David Ginola, Ruel Fox and Les Ferdinand.
Steffen Iversen for Les Ferdinand 46th Minute
Jose Dominguez for Darren Anderton 70th Minute
Stephen Clemence for David Ginola 88th Minute
Danny Wilson made these legends take the White Hart Lane punishment,
Lars Leese, Nicky Eaden, Peter Markstedt, Arjan De Zeeuw, Darren Barnard, Adie Moses, Eric Tinkler, Neil Redfearn, Matty Appleby, Andy Liddell and Ashley Ward.
Martin Bullock for Peter Markstedt 46th Minute
Georgi Hristov for Andy Liddell 67th Minute
A goal from Allan Nielsen and a brace from the French Wonder Boy (even a header!) gave Tottenham the victory over Barnsley by a 3-0 score.
John Newsome had hoped to pick up a few Christmas presents on Oxford Street but instead found a boozer and had a few liveners before the game then a tube on the Victoria Line to Tottenham Court Rd.
It’s always a bit nervy going to White Hart Lane as the LilyWhite rascals can be a bit naughty.
Back then John was a lover, not a fighter, or was that a fighter, not a lover?
Nowadays the Barnsley Boy is neither and can’t even run anymore.
On seeing one’s team lose and suffer their 13th defeat in the Promised Land, there are mixed emotions of hurt and anger so the boys (and girls) were ready for a rumble.
As it turned out the jaunt back to the boozer was relatively calm which considering the Reds had rolled over and had their belly’s tickled by the French Good-Looking Wonder, wasn’t a surprise.
The Tottenham Boys (and girls!) felt sorry for the Reds faithful, who had ventured down to the Capital and saw their team once again get outclassed by an established Premier League team, albeit, one in the relegation zone.
After a few pick-me-ups in the local pub, Kings Cross was calling and it was a rattler home and a few beers in a Barnsley boozer, which sadly, like a lot of pubs, is no longer standing and is now a Car Wash.
The irony in that is a few of the pints sold by the landlord of the flattened pub, tasted like Car Wash fluid.
The reverse fixture at Oakwell will be documented later on so keep coming back, however, a couple of years later, when Barnsley were back in the Championship, the Reds were drawn against Tottenham in the FA Cup of 1999.
David Ginola was back and scored a spectacular individual goal which is often shown on Sky, with all the Barnsley defenders parting like the Red Sea.
David, resembling John McClane from the Die Hard films (and the Serg on his 6th holiday of the year!) went running away celebrating in his white vest.
David’s had heart problems, like this EveryTip contributor so John Newsome wants to wish the boy well for the future.
Keep on keeping on David, you good-looking monster.
15-Southampton 20 pts (minus-6 goals)
16-Coventry 20 pts (minus-8 goals)
17-Bolton 20 pts (minus-13 goals)
18-Tottenham 19 pts (minus-15 goals)
19-Everton 17 pts (minus-10 goals)
20-Barnsley 14 pts (minus-33 goals)
Home Win 3-0