The highlight games for the Premier League Resume are ASTON VILLA versus LIVERPOOL and ARSENAL versus WEST HAM. Our feature columnist, John Newsome previews these as well as all game week 17 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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All these Post Christmas fixtures are streamed live on Amazon Prime.
BRENTFORD v TOTTENHAM
12.30 in England
Well, the Premier League returns after the Qatar’22 World Cup, which despite some folk having reservations about and negative views, turned out to be a decent pre-Christmas tournament.
John Newsome is proposing that the World Cup should take place in November, every 4 years.
Ho-Ho-only joking, it has to be June and July every time.
It was a great Final between Argentina and France and ultimately a shame that the Trophy was decided on a Penalty Shootout.
Maybe the game could have continued and finished like a lot of matches the Barnsley Boys concluded back in the day.
‘Next goal Winner!’
As this is Boxing Day, it’s only right to include the story that appears in this EveryTip column at this time of year, enjoy.
Probably the best day of the year to watch football.
In 2020, going to the Boxing Day football was put on hold due to the pandemic meaning everyone stayed indoors, watching the telly.
Let’s hope, all can get to a game.
As George Michael once said,
‘This year, to save us from tears, everyone’s going to football.’
Hopefully, the stadiums will be full, (that includes the Etihad).
Boxing Day is a day to get out of the house having spent the previous day indoors, putting batteries in Toys that had ‘Batteries Not Included’ on the box.
The kids would be shouting, ‘Daaa-d there’s no batteries in this Evel Knievel bike!’
The best toy of the 1970s!
So Dad, having been given the clue of ‘Batteries Not Included’ but choosing not to heed that warning, has to nip down to the local shop, that he knows will be open on Christmas morning in the hope of finding some Double AA batteries.
The shopkeepers are aware of this phenomenon and the normally £2.99-4-pack of Double AA batteries, are now £8.99 for 2, as the shopkeeper knows that Dad’s life isn’t worth living if he returned home, without the batteries.
This phenomenon only happens on Christmas morning.
Come Boxing Day, Mum and Dad (other combinations of parenting are available in this ever-evolving Cosmopolitan world we live in!) are ready for the boozer and a few liveners, talking with their mates as one is fed-up with talking to the wife/husband, wife/wife, husband/husband (or Gender Neutral/Neutral) and kids, then a stroll down to the ground to watch their beloved team lose.
No one is bothered that the Manager picks the wrong formation or only uses 2-Subs, not the permitted 3, leaving the star-Striker on the bench because the lad has indulged in a bit too much Turkey the day before.
The Midfield General is in the stands, not able to play, because he picked up his 5th-booking of the campaign, in the previous game, knowing that the 1-match ban would allow him to have a good Christmas Eve in the local nightclub, ‘Japanese Whispers’ and Christmas Day on the food and drink.
‘Sorry boss’ he says with a wink, as he walks off the pitch, in that last outing, with the thought in his head that he’s not playing on Boxing Day.
The parents are still happy, back in the boozer asking who’s won the King George VI at Kempton and realise the horse that was backed at 20/1 fell at the final fence whilst 50-yards in front of the rest and after cursing the said horse and its jockey, ‘The useless little..’
They order another few pick-me-ups to take away the hurt of going back home to the in-laws and kids.
After the cold Turkey from the day before, has been warmed up and turned into a Turkey Biriyani and a few glasses of Sherry, just to be polite, the Christmas Special of Call The Midwife is on the 55-inch.
The good old days.
The Brentford and Tottenham faithful are the early Boxing Day risers for this opening fixture, with the Spurs contingent not having to travel that far, just a short trip over to West London.
Brentford’s last game before the interruption of that Tournament was against Man City at the GTech Stadium.
Whilst most expected a City victory it was Thomas Frank’s Bees that were successful, inflicting a defeat on the current Premier League Champions by a 2-1 scoreline.
Ivan Toney scored both of Brentford’s goals with Phil Foden notching for City.
At the time there was uproar as Gareth Southgate had omitted Big Ivan from the 26 Man Squad for the trip to Qatar, however, it subsequently turned out that the Brentford Striker had been charged by the FA (Football Association) for placing a few bets here and there.
Was that ultimately the reason Gareth didn’t give Ivan a place on the plane?
As it’s subsequently turned out, there’s no doubt that Ivan Toney would have warmed the Three Lion bench for the whole of the competition.
Whilst it’s been a few weeks since that victory against Man City, it shouldn’t be forgotten that it was a tremendously brilliant result for everyone involved.
Brentford are in 10th place sat between Fulham and Crystal Palace with all 3 teams having 19 points, however, the Cottagers and the Bees, have played a game more than the Eagles.
It might be a little bit frosty in the Tottenham dressing room, with Cristian Romero having a World Cup Winners Medal around his neck, sitting next to the losing French Captain, Hugo Lloris, both looking over to Harry Kane.
(Where’s that ball landed Harry?)
Tottenham come back after the Winter World Cup break with the last Premier League outing a distant memory.
Can one remember the outcome?
Antonio’s Spurs gained a narrow victory over Jesse’s Whites at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium by a 4-3 scoreline.
As was common in the Tottenham games, the opponents took an early lead which was equalised by Harry Kane, however, the home team conceded again to go in at the break trailing.
Ben Davies once again equalised just after the restart but Leeds United again scored to take the lead.
Then surprisingly Rodrigo Bentancur scored twice in the space of 2 minutes to ultimately give Tottenham the narrow win.
Tottenham sit in 4th place in the table with 29 points from 15 games played.
In last season’s encounter at the Brentford Community Stadium, the scorer wasn’t needed with both teams failing to find the back of the net and the game ending in a draw by a 0-0 score.
Some also say a goalless draw.
Betfred offer Brentford at 3/1, the draw at 3/1 and slight Odds On 10/11 for Tottenham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Ivan Toney Scores Anytime and 15/8 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
CRYSTAL PALACE v FULHAM
15.00 in England
Crystal Palace suffered a defeat last time out against Nottingham Forest away at the City Ground with the home team gaining the victory by a 1-0 scoreline.
Wilfried Zaha did miss a penalty just before the interval then Forest scored early in the 2nd-half to ultimately inflict the defeat.
Crystal Palace sit in 11th place with the same 19 points as Brentford and Fulham, however, have played a fixture less than the other two Londoners.
Fulham suffered a narrow defeat against Manchester United at Craven Cottage.
After conceding a goal in the 1st-half, on loan Striker and ex-United player, Dan James equalised on the hour mark.
With 90 minutes up on the clock, Fulham conceded a 2nd, to ultimately suffer a home defeat by a 2-1 scoreline.
As mentioned Marco Silva’s Boys have 19 points from 15 games played and sit in 9th place in the Premier League table.
It was February 2021 when Fulham last ventured the short distance over the Capital to take on Crystal Palace.
Both teams were under the guidance of different Managers, with Roy Hodgson at the Palace helm and Scott Parker in charge of the Cottagers.
Again, the scorer wasn’t needed with the game finishing in a very entertaining goalless draw.
Betfred offer Crystal Palace at 11/10, the draw at 13/5 and 13/5 for Fulham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Wilfried Zaha Scores Anytime and 23/20 that Aleksandar Mitrovic Scores Anytime.
EVERTON v WOLVES
15.00 in England
Maybe the World Cup has masked the fact that Frank Lampard’s Everton are struggling at the moment and sit just above the relegation places in 17th with 14 points.
Last time out, before the interruption, the Toffees suffered a defeat against the Cherries by a 3-0 away day scoreline.
That was 5 defeats from the previous 7 Premier League fixtures, which simply isn’t good enough.
Four days before the defeat against Bournemouth, Everton were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Bournemouth.
The Toffee faithful are getting restless and dogs close to Goodison Park are covering their ears as the high-pitched screams coming from the Blue Scousers towards Mr Lampard will steadily increase if Everton don’t have an upturn in fortune.
Wolves travel up the M6 to Goodison Park with the new Gaffer Julen Lopetegui taking charge of his first Gold and Black game.
It’s Julen by the way, not Julien as the parents, whether intentionally or just forgot, didn’t add the ‘i’.
It’s going to be a tough job for Mr Lopetegui with the Molineux outfit having 7 defeats from the previous 9 Premier League games, including a loss against Arsenal last time out.
The Gunners got the victory by a 2-0 scoreline, leaving the Gold and Blacks rooted to the foot of the table with 10 points from 15 fixtures played.
The faithful will be hoping that No I-Julen has some I-dea as to how to avoid relegation.
Last season’s fixture between these two saw a solitary Conor Coady goal just after the break, giving Bruno Lage’s Gold and Blacks the victory over Frank Lampard’s Blues by a 1-0 away day scoreline.
Conor has had a nice holiday in Qatar not being too exhausted in the Sun and although is an ex-Wolves player now a Toffee, cannot play today as the lad is on loan from Molineux, so Double C can enjoy a decent Christmas dinner and a nice glass of Harvey’s Bristol Cream.
Betfred offer Everton at 11/8, the draw at 23/10 and 9/4 for Wolves to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 5/1 that Dominic Calvert-Lewin Scores First and 7/5 that Raul Jimenez Scores Anytime.
LEICESTER v NEWCASTLE
15.00 in England
Whilst a lot of these Boxing Day games have thrown up local Derby’s, the Premier League Fixture Compilers (PLFC) are making the Toon Army travel close to 200 miles to see their Black and White idols take on the Foxes.
Obviously, then it’s another 200 miles home and a round trip taking just short of 7 hours.
Added to that, the Rattler companies are on strike over the festive period.
There’s an argument that the PLFC could have paired Leeds United with Newcastle for this post-Christmas affair, with Elland Rd being the closest stadium to St James Park.
Leicester could have taken on the East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest and the Manchester clubs could have been matched up.
The obvious reason for this not to happen is Sky Sports have the ultimate say and wouldn’t want Amazon Prime to have the Manchester Derby.
Which does mean, the poor Geordies have a long trip down to the King Power.
Following a tricky start to this campaign, Leicester have slowly moved away from the drop zone and currently sit in 13th place with 17 points from 15 fixtures.
Last time out in the Premier League, Brendan’s Wonderfuls gained a great away day victory against David’s Hammers at the London Stadium by a 2-0 scoreline.
James Maddison scored the early opener then went off injured soon after, ultimately costing the lad game time for England in Qatar.
Although James still went as part of the Three Lions Squad, the injury didn’t heal and Gareth chose not to give the Midfield Fox any action in the Sand Dunes.
Youri Tielemans missed a penalty against West Ham, just before half-time before Harvey Barnes added a 2nd late on to give Leicester the victory.
Young Harvey, who is 25 now, should be close to an England call-up for the next set of Internationals whether Gareth Southgate is still in charge or there’s a new Manager at the International helm.
Gareth is staying as the Three Lions Manager.
More on the England Boss later.
Newcastle gained a victory against Chelsea by a 1-0 scoreline before the interruption, with Joe Willock scoring the only goal, midway through the 2nd-half.
That’s the Magpies’ 7th win in the last 8 Premier League games, the other being a draw, leaving Eddie’s Black and Whites in 3rd place with 30 points from 15 fixtures completed.
At the King Power Stadium last year, this fixture took place on the 12th of December, with the home team getting a pre-Christmas present of all 3 points from a victory by a 4-0 scoreline.
Youri Tielemans scored a couple, (1 being a penalty) with Patson Daka and James Maddison adding the others to see a Fox devour a Magpie.
Betfred offer Leicester at 12/5, the draw at 13/5 and 6/5 for Newcastle to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 23/20 that Jamie Vardy Scores Anytime and Evens 1/1 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
SOUTHAMPTON v BRIGHTON
15.00 in England
Nathan Jones has overseen 1 game since the sacking of Ralph Hasenhuttl and that was a defeat against Liverpool by a 3-1 score.
Che Adams with the Saints goal.
All 4 goals were scored in the 1st-half.
Southampton sit in 19th place with 12 points from 15 games.
Nathan needs a bit of Bananarama inspiration, otherwise, Southampton could be gone too long.
Brighton suffered a defeat last time out against a revitalised Aston Villa at the Amex.
Argentina World Cup Winner, Alexis Mac Allister scored after just a minute but the Seagulls couldn’t kick on and allowed Villa to score twice to ultimately suffer the defeat by a 2-1 scoreline.
Brighton sit in 7th place with the same 21 points as Chelsea but above the ex-Manager Graham Potter on goal difference.
Alexis was superb throughout the Qatar Competition and may not be at the Amex too much longer.
It was another December fixture last year when Brighton travelled the short distance over to Southampton.
Both were under the guidance of different Managers, with Graham Potter’s Seagulls gaining a point from a draw by a 1-1 score against Wreck-It Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints.
Armando Broja scored the opener for Southampton, midway through the 1st-half and with time virtually up on the clock, Neal Maupay equalised in the 98th minute to knock the stuffing out of the home faithful.
Betfred offer Southampton at 13/5, the draw at 13/5 and 11/10 for Brighton to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 7/5 that Danny Welbeck Scores Anytime and slight Odds On 10/11 that there are Under 2.5 Goals.
***Premier League Team of the Week***
(From Game Week-16)
GOALKEEPER- Nick Pope- Newcastle
RIGHT-BACK- Kieran Trippier- Newcastle
CENTRE-BACK- Wout Faes- Leicester
CENTRE-BACK- William Saliba- Arsenal
LEFT-BACK- Rico Henry- Brentford
MIDFIELDER- Ethan Pinnock- Brentford
MIDFIELDER- Rodrigo Bentancur- Tottenham
MIDFIELDER- Martin Odegaard- Arsenal
FORWARD- Kieffer Moore- Bournemouth
FORWARD- Darwin Nunez- Liverpool
FORWARD- Ivan Toney- Brentford
STAR MAN- Ivan Toney- Brentford
ASTON VILLA v LIVERPOOL
17.30 in England
Unai Emery has steadied the ship at Villa Park, gaining 6 points from the 2 games in charge so far.
After a great home victory against Manchester United in the Spaniard’s opener, Villa inflicted an away day defeat on Brighton just before the break.
Danny Ings with both goals (the first was a penalty) in the victory over the Seagulls by a 2-1 scoreline.
That gives Aston Villa 18 points and leaves Unai’s Claret and Blues in 12th place in the table from 15 fixtures played.
Probably what will have irked the Villains is despite a victory against Manchester United in the Premier League, Villa were then knocked out of the Carabao Cup by United, which quickly diminishes the slim possibility of Silverware.
The FA Cup is now the only realistic chance to gain a trophy this season.
Finlay Butler, Samuel Butler, Thomas Stewart and Jack Johnson.
Rest in Peace Boys, Father Christmas will look after you.
Liverpool come back from the break with most of their players intact following the World Cup which saw star man Darwin Luiz and his Uruguayan team fall at the Group stage.
Darwin played a total of 240 minutes in Qatar so should be relatively fresh from the exertions in the Desert.
Mo Salah has had a rest.
Virgil Van Dijk and his Dutch mates did reach the Quarter-Finals with Virgil playing every minute of the 5 games but Virgil is a machine so won’t have been troubled too much.
Roberto Firmino wasn’t taken to Qatar so again should be fresh.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was in the Desert but the only action seen by the lad was a 34-minute cameo against Wales and a ride on a Camel.
Probably one player that is not the first choice by Jurgen Klopp but will be soon is Ibrahima Konate who played the last 8 minutes of the World Cup Final and could consider himself unlucky not to start, after playing the full 90 minutes in the Semi-Final against Morocco.
Aged 23, the French lad will be a great partner for Virgil.
So all in all Liverpool will be fresh for the restart and should now start moving up the Premier League table, bearing in mind the other clubs that have suffered casualties from the World Cup exploits.
Jurgen’s Reds gained a comfortable victory against the Saints before the break with goals by Roberto Firmino and a double from Darwin Nunez giving Liverpool the win from a 3-1 score.
All 4 goals before the half-time cup of Bovril.
Liverpool sit 6th in the table with 22 points from 14 games played.
There’s a 4-point gap between Liverpool and Manchester United who sit in 5th with 26 points, so that’s Jurgen Klopp’s first target to try and get back into the Top Four.
Douglas Luiz gave Aston Villa an early lead in this encounter last season, scoring after 3 minutes.
Joel Matip equalised for Liverpool, 3 minutes later and with no further 1st-half goals, both went in level at the break.
Sadio Mane scored the winner midway through the 2nd-half to give Jurgen’s Reds the victory over Stevie G’s Claret and Blues by a 2-1 away day scoreline.
Mr Gerrard will be watching this one on the 55’ inch telly following his exit from Villa Park due to technicalities.
That technicality, being rubbish as the Aston Villa Manager.
Betfred offer Aston Villa at 19/5, the draw at 16/5 and Odds On 8/11 for Liverpool to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Mo Salah Scores First and 11/5 that Liverpool Win To Nil.
ARSENAL v WEST HAM
20.00 in England
Another local Derby is given to these Londoners (don’t tell the Geordies).
Arsenal restart the season sat firmly at the summit of the Premier League table with 37 points from 14 games played.
That’s 5 points more than Man City in 2nd.
Last time out, Mikel’s Young Guns gained a victory over Wolves by a 2-0 scoreline, Martin Odegaard with both goals, scored after the interval.
The World Cup has given Arsenal a casualty with Gabriel Jesus picking up a severe knee injury that will keep the Brazilian out for a few months.
Mikel Arteta just needs to put that to one side as there’s no point worrying too much and try and continue the same way as before the interruption.
What might have slipped under the radar because of the World Cup, is the fact that West Ham have suffered 4 defeats from the last 5 Premier League fixtures.
There was a victory from the other game but if one does the Math, that’s 3 points from a possible 15.
That’s not good for David Moyes Boys and needs to be readdressed.
In the final game before the interruption, West Ham suffered a defeat against Leicester at the London Stadium by a 2-0 scoreline.
Added to the disastrous Premier League run, the Bubbles faithful witnessed their idols lose a penalty shootout against Blackburn to get knocked out of the Carabao Cup.
A quick addition to that, the penalty shootout against Blackburn saw the first 19 penalties taken (10 Blackburn and 9 West Ham) all converted.
The 20th and the 10th for the Hammers was taken by Angelo Ogbonna who missed.
There’s always one isn’t there?
West Ham sit in 16th place with 14 points from 15 fixtures completed.
David Moyes’ old mates Everton have 14 points also.
A fixture against the league leaders maybe isn’t a game that one needs when trying to rediscover some form.
That said, the break may have just been a reboot for all 20 teams so it will be interesting to see the results from these Game Week-17 encounters.
At the Emirates last season, this was also a December affair, with Mikel Arteta getting the better of his old Everton boss David Moyes by a 2-0 scoreline.
Mikel played for David at Goodison Park back in the mid-noughties.
After a goalless 1st-half, Gabriel Martinelli scored just after the restart with Emile Smith-Rowe adding a 2nd late on.
Alexandre Lacazette had missed a penalty in between the 2 goals scored.
West Ham’s Vladimir Coufal was shown 2 Yellow Cards and the subsequent Red to beat his teammates into the bath.
Betfred offer Arsenal at Odds On 8/15, the draw at 7/2 and 11/2 for West Ham to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Gabriel Martinelli Scores First and 6/4 that Arsenal Win To Nil.
CHELSEA v BOURNEMOUTH
17.30 in England
Similar to the story of West Ham, the World Cup may have also masked Chelsea’s form, with Graham Potter’s New Blue Wizards having suffered 3 straight Premier League defeats before the break.
It was Newcastle who gained the victory last time out, with the Magpies inflicting the defeat by a 1-0 score.
It will be the 16th of October, in Game Week-11, when Chelsea last achieved a Premier League victory.
As well as the Premier League form, the Blues have also been knocked out of the Carabao Cup, with Man City the conquerors.
Graham needs to find his Wizards Wand otherwise, the 5-year contract that the lad has at Stamford Bridge may be put into the shredder.
Can one believe that Chelsea paid a fee of £22 Million to Brighton for the services of Mr Potter?
That is on top of the £50 Million in wages.
Cost of living crisis?
The Cherries have finally decided to give Gary O’Neil the full-time Managers job following a lengthy spell as caretaker.
After 4 straight Premier League defeats Bournemouth gained a victory over Everton in the final fixture before the World Cup.
Marcus Tavernier, Kieffer Moore and Jadon Anthony with the goals giving Gary’s Cherries the win from a 3-0 scoreline.
Marcus has a brother, James, who is also a Professional Footballer, being the Captain of Rangers in the Pub League.
It’s rumoured that Marcus has bought his elder brother a Cherries Pint Glass for Christmas.
The permanent contract for Gary O’Neil should offer stability at the Vitality to allow Bournemouth to stay away from a relegation battle.
Bournemouth sit in 14th place, with 16 points from 15 fixtures completed.
It was December 2019, just before the Coronavirus outbreak that Bournemouth last ventured to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea.
The Blues were called Frank Lampard’s Chelsea at the time, with Bournemouth under the guidance of Eddie Howe.
Dan Gosling scored the solitary winning goal in the 84th minute to give Eddie and the Cherrys all 3 points.
Betfred offer Chelsea at Odds On 1/3, the draw at 9/2 and 9/1 for Bournemouth to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 6/1 that Kieffer Moore Scores First and 8/5 that there are Over 3.5 Goals.
MANCHESTER UNITED v NOTTINGHAM FOREST
20.00 in England
This is the first game, not only post-World Cup and post-Christmas but also post-Cristiano Ronaldo.
The legend has gone and was last seen in tears (Crocodile!) heading down the tunnel following Portugal’s exit from the World Cup.
A quick note regarding that, whilst Cristiano’s teammates were devastated, they had the respect to stay on the pitch and congratulate Morocco following the defeat.
Not Mr Ronaldo, the lad was straight down the tunnel, trying to find Piers Morgan for another whine about not being picked by the Portuguese Manager, Fernando Santos.
A lot have stuck up for Cristiano Ronaldo stating that no one knows what it’s like to be the best footballer ever but then become old.
To these people who have that opinion, what a load of old tosh.
It’s called dealing with it, which CR7 can’t.
Everyone has setbacks in life, some more than others.
There are ways to carry on but it appears Cristiano, is finding the fact, that his 37-year-old body, which cannot do the good stuff anymore, quite difficult.
It’s been documented a few times in this EveryTip column that it’s life, evolution and it happens to us all.
The mind can perform but the body can’t.
Wait until Mr Ronaldo gets into his 50s.
Crocodile tears by the way are ‘tears or expressions of sorrow that are insincere’.
Erik Ten Hag was advised what to do with Cristiano Ronaldo by John Newsome back in May.
Manchester United will be a better team now CR7-2.0 has departed.
So Gareth Southgate has decided to continue with England at least until the 2024 Euro Championship.
Firstly, John Newsome just wants to clarify that this isn’t a personal attack on Mr Southgate, the guy has always been a stellar human being.
However, what is the reason Gareth wants to continue?
It’s not to improve England, that ship has sailed, England won’t improve under Gareth Southgate.
What’s meant by that is most will think,
‘Of course, England can improve!’
However, looking at this logically, Gareth has had numerous opportunities to improve England but hasn’t.
That’s not opinion based, it’s fact!
The Jack Grealish situation at the Euros in 2021 (which is well documented in this EveryTip column) is a perfect example of not moving England forward.
In this World Cup, again it was documented that Gareth made the first substitution against France in the 79th minute after France had scored their 2nd goal in the 78th.
Reacting to a situation instead of being on the front foot.
Again, not an opinion but a fact.
The Three Lions have a history of failing under circumstances that could have been prevented.
Has one ever just thought that England reach a level and that’s it?
1970, Sir Alf Ramsey took off Sir Bobby Charlton when England were comfortable and the Three Lions ultimately lost against West Germany.
England didn’t qualify in 1974 and 1978.
In 1982, the Boys didn’t lose but Kevin Keegan and Trevor Brooking were injured.
1986, Diego Maradona and the Hand of God.
In 1990, it was close but the Penalty situation started.
One can forget 1994, the passports weren’t needed for a trip to America.
In 1998, 2 years after the Euros at Wembley, England were on a roll, however, Glenn Hoddle threw in a curveball.
John Newsome just wants to put on record that growing up on a Council estate in Barnsley, Glenn was a hero of this EveryTip contributor.
However, the boy dropped a few places down the ‘hero scale’ for not taking Paul ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne to France.
Paul would have been the difference against Argentina, instead of losing on penalties again.
2002, David Seaman, enough said.
2018, close but no Cee-Gar and now 2022, another penalty, another dashed dream.
Does it really matter who is in charge?
Will it just continue?
It is what our generation lives and dies by.
At the Euros in 2024, Gareth won’t be brave because the backing he’s received from his mates in the media, will give the lad the belief his methods are right but those who do win a major tournament are Mavericks, not Steady Eddie’s.
Or Steady Gareth’s!
The last 4 Managers of the Winning World Cup teams are Lionel Scaloni, Didier Deschamps, Joachim Low and Vicente Del Bosque.
Can one associate Gareth Southgate with those Boys?
Gareth played 3 (count them!) 3, Defensive Midfielders in Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham and Jordan Henderson.
Whilst all phenomenally talented, a team is based on players that have a positive balance to the eleven.
Would Vicente, Joachim, Didier or Lionel start their respective team with the equivalent Spanish, German, French or Argentinian players of the same ilk as Declan, Jude or Jordan?
The simple answer is no!
In 2010, Spain’s Midfield was Andreas Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Xavi and Xabi Alonso.
2014, Germany had Christoph Kramer, Bastien Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos.
Didier chose Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante as his Midfield enforcers for the game against Croatia in 2018.
There’s no need for Declan, Jude and Jordan to start, one of those players could have been sacrificed with any of Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish, James Maddison or even Conor Gallagher taking a shirt.
It will be the same in 2024, which takes place in Germany, so not far to travel when England ultimately lose in the Quarters or Semi.
The annoying thing for the England faithful is the Three Lions do have the players to win a Major Tournament but just don’t have the Manager who has the Cahonas to be proactive instead of reactive.
Again sad words by this EveryTip contributor but words that ultimately always come true.
Gareth Southgate does right to continue as England’s Manager, why give up the best position in the World?
However, unfortunately, the outcome will be the same.
John Newsome is 53 now and will be almost 57 come to the next World Cup in the USA, Canada and Mexico.
Granted, not old but there have been 14 World Cup Tournaments in John’s lifetime, there definitely won’t be another 14, as that would take the competition up to 2078, which would make Mr Newsome 109 years old and if John Newsome is still alive aged 109, then it won’t matter if England are World Cup Champions, as one won’t remember.
Even if John was still alive in 2078, the World Cup, taking place on Planet Zog will still see an England team, (now incorporating Women and the LGBTQ+ Community managed by Jupiter Bellingham (no relation!) play a Defensive Midfield consisting of Desiree Twice, RuPaul Gascoigne and Joan Seagull not commence from the Group of 84, that Giantino introduced in 2027, unopposed.
The penalty shootout is a distant memory and now a stalemate after 160 minutes (90 minutes plus 37 minutes injury time, due to the rolling around on Zog, which without Gravity, takes longer and the 33 minutes Extra Time (granted normally 30 but Zog!) is decided by the number of colours put on the Captain’s Armband.
England had 25 colours on the Band and still lost, CristianoPortugalimbetterThanLionel had 27.
United scored a last-gasp winner against Fulham last time out, with the new sensation Alejandro Garnacho, getting the goal.
Christian Eriksen had scored in the 1st-half with the ex-United speedster, Dan James equalising for Fulham.
With time running out, Alejandro, who was sent on by Erik in the 72nd minute, (whilst the score was 1-1 Gareth!) did the business to gain Manchester United all 3 points from the victory by a 2-1 score.
Cristiano wasn’t happy and just kept looking at his scrapbook from 2003 thinking,
‘That was me once!’
Erik’s Red Devils (minus Cristiano Ronaldo) sit in 5th place with 26 points from 14 games played.
Lisandro Martinez comes back to Old Trafford with a World Cup chocolate in his pocket following Argentina’s victory against France.
The strange thing about that is the excellent partnership with his United Centre-Back Raphael Varane could be strained following the win for Lisandro and the loss for Raphael.
Nottingham Forest come into this fixture following a surprise victory against Crystal Palace last time out.
A single goal from Morgan Gibbs-White just after the break gave Forest all 3 points.
The visitors had missed a penalty in the 1st-half.
That game against Palace followed a Carabao Cup win against Tottenham.
Steve Cooper was annoyed that the World Cup came along and spoiled the momentum.
Nottingham Forest sit in the final relegation place or 18th, with 13 points from the 15 fixtures played so far.
There are not many points separating the bottom half with just 9 between the 11th place and the foot of the table.
The Tricky Trees last headed North to Old Trafford for a Top Flight encounter between these two footballing heavyweights, on Boxing Day in 1998, some 24 years ago.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s starting eleven-
Peter Schmeichel, Henning Berg, Dennis Irwin, Ronny Johnsen, Phil Neville, David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Teddy Sheringham.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for Paul Scholes 62nd Minute
Jonathan Greening for Roy Keane 66th Minute
Jesper Blomqvist for Ryan Giggs 75th Minute
Dave Bassett was in charge of Nottingham Forest at the time, however, was sacked just after this fixture.
Dave sent out the following lineup-
Dave Beasant, Matthieu Louis-Jean, Steve Chettle, Craig Armstrong, Alan Rogers, Chris Bart-Williams, Andy Johnson, Nigel Quashie, Steve Stone, Dougie Freedman and Neil Shipperley.
Thierry Bonalair for Chris Bart-Williams 53rd Minute
Chris Doig for Steve Chettle 68th Minute
Glyn Hodges for Steve Stone 77th Minute
Ronny Johnsen scored twice with Ryan Giggs adding a 3rd to give United the victory by a 3-0 scoreline.
As mentioned, Forest sacked Dave Bassett just after this defeat and replaced Dave with the ex-Manchester United Manager, Ron Atkinson.
Unfortunately, Big Ron couldn’t change the fortunes of the Tricky Trees who were relegated at the end of that 1998/99 campaign.
In stark contrast, Manchester United went on to win the historic Treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League.
The reverse fixture at the City Ground threw up a very interesting game, more on that in the Game Week-31 preview later on in the season.
Betfred offer Manchester United at Odds On 1/3, the draw at 9/2 and 10/1 for Nottingham Forest to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 2/1 that Antony Scores Anytime and 5/4 that Manchester United Win To Nil.
LEEDS UNITED v MAN CITY
20.00 in England
With the excitement of the World Cup taking place over the past month, a certain name hasn’t been mentioned much, that being Erling Haaland.
As most regular readers know, John Newsome refers to the Goal Machine as the Yorkshire/Norwegian due to Young Erling being born in Leeds back in 2000, when his old fella, Alfe-Inge was wearing White and annoying Roy Keane.
That means the boy could have been part of the Three Lions in the Desert Sand-Dunes but chose Norway.
Just imagine England with Erling Haaland sat on the bench waiting for Gareth Southgate to introduce the lad in the 97th minute.
What could have been?
Leeds United were unlucky last time out playing in a 7-goal thriller against Tottenham at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium but ultimately suffering a defeat by a 4-3 scoreline.
Crysencio Summerville opened the scoring after 10 minutes with Rodrigo adding a 2nd to give the away team the lead at the interval.
Tottenham had equalised Crysencio’s goal.
Spurs were once again level just after the restart but Rodrigo added his 2nd and Leeds 3rd midway through the 2nd-half.
Unfortunately for the Marching On Together crew, their White Idols conceded 2 further goals to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Tyler Adams was then shown a 2nd Yellow Card and the ultimate Red to put the kettle on for his teammates.
Tyler was the USA Captain at Qatar’22 and didn’t let his West Yorkshire pudding mates down, putting in a great display over the 3 Group games.
Unfortunately for the lad, it was an early exit and back to the cold of Leeds, however, due to the sending-off against Spurs, can have a nice Christmas Day on the Turkey and Sherry.
Tyler obviously did the Math back in the fixture against Tottenham.
Leeds United sit in 15th place with 15 points from 14 games played.
There are a few of the West Yorkshire puddings still in London following the Tottenham fixture, trying to pay for a train ticket with their B and Q Trade Centre Discount Card.
Marsching On Together!
Man City had a rare setback against Brentford before the World Cup, with Pep’s Low Flying Blues suffering a defeat against the Bees by a 2-1 scoreline.
After conceding an early goal Phil Foden equalised on the stroke of half-time which should have given City the momentum to push on in the 2nd-half.
Unfortunately for the Citizens in attendance at the Etihad, it was Brentford that scored the winner to gain all 3 away day points.
That has put a dent in the Premier League title retention with Man City now 5 points adrift of Arsenal at the summit.
City remain in 2nd place with 32 points from 14 fixtures completed.
John Stones and Kyle Walker have come back from Qatar with an extra item.
Unfortunately, it’s not a World Cup Winners Medal but Dave the Cat.
The two South Yorkshire puddings have adopted a cat that took a liking to the City pair and will join up with John and Kyle after a time in quarantine.
Whilst a touching story, Dave who currently resides in the Sun of Catar (that’s free, one can have that!) is being put on a plane and will land in Manchester, in January!
Has anyone actually asked Big Dave if that’s what he wants?
Whilst not wanting to be disrespectful to the beautiful folk of Manchester, everyone who lives there wears a coat in July.
Imagine January, poor little moggy.
The lad will be wanting a flight back to Catar within a week of landing.
In last season’s fixture between Jesse Marsch’s Whites and Pep Guardiola’s Blues, Man City got a comfortable victory by a 4-0 away day scoreline.
Roadie Rodri opened the scoring after 13 minutes to give City a lead at the break.
Nathan Ake added a 2nd just after the restart with the 2 Brazilians Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho adding 3 and 4 to give Pep’s High Flying Blues the win.
Betfred offer Leeds United at 9/1, the draw at 5/1 and Odds On 3/10 for Man City to come away with all 3-points.
Betfred offer 4/1 that Erling Haaland Scores Two Plus Goals and 6/4 that Man City Win To Nil.
Away Win 0-3- Bet on Betfred & Claim your new account welcome offer!
Game Week-17 (1997/98)
Monday 8th December 1997
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY v BARNSLEY
19.45 in England
Following last week’s 5-goal thriller against the West Yorkshire puddings of Leeds, it was another local Derby against the Owls, this time away at Hillsborough.
There are 23 miles between Elland Rd and Oakwell, however, Hillsborough is even closer, just 13 miles from the home of Barnsley (the original Theatre of Dreams).
Some of the boys (and girls) decided to walk to the game taking around 4 hours, however, due to the kickoff time being at 19.45 on a Monday evening, it was a gentle afternoon stroll.
John Newsome didn’t walk, the Ford Escort was revved up and filled with juice for the ride along the A61 to Hillsborough.
Fifty-six pence a litre back then and folk were outraged at those prices.
About £2.50 for a gallon of unleaded, imagine that compared to now, the beautiful people of the United Kingdom and surrounding areas are paying around £7.30 for a gallon of juice.
There is a cost of living crisis at the moment where a lot of things are increasing and the youths are looking for ways to save money.
Growing up in the 1970s, the current cost of living crisis was just standard.
Most folk struggled, lighting candles on a night because the electricity had gone, due to a power cut.
Imagine that now,
‘Where are those bloomin candles?’
It could happen soon!
In 25 years, bearing in mind that a litre of petrol has increased by 200% since 1997, the price could be something like £3.30 making a gallon almost £15.
That said, most of the cars will be electric, however, the price for a gallon of, well electricity will be around the same price.
A few tips from John Newsome, in these difficult times,
1- have a cold bath!
By the very nature of the phrase, yes it’s cold but is good for circulation and costs zero pence to get washed.
2- turn the lights off!
It sounds obvious but the amount of lights that are on in empty rooms is worth thinking about.
3- shut that door!
As Larry Grayson would say, just close the doors from one room to the other.
Find offers in the supermarket, this EveryTip contributor always buys stuff with a discount.
These appear obvious but the youngsters don’t seem to know the value of a pound.
A person, whether Man or Woman can still provide food for a family if one knows some basics.
The amount of times John sees a person getting a taxi to the local shop and then saying they are struggling to feed the kids.
Don’t get a taxi, that’s a fiver saved already.
Aldi do a bag of Pasta, a tin of tomatoes and garlic bread for around a pound.
That would easily feed a family of 4.
There’s an old saying that’s referred to,
This means walking.
It costs nothing and not only saves money but is good for the mind and body.
Back to the football, it was a cold early December day in 1997, when around 3,000 of the Red and White Army ventured the short distance over to Sheffield to watch Barnsley take on Wednesday, on a Monday.
Sheffield Wednesday’s lineup-
Kevin Pressman, Ian Nolan, Des Walker, Dejan Stefanovic, Petter Rudi, Mark Pembridge, Wayne Collins, Guy Whittingham, Benito Carbone, Andy Booth and Paolo Di Canio.
Graham Hyde for Benito Carbone 66 Minutes
Barnsley’s starting eleven-
Lars Leese, Nicky Eaden, Ales Krizan, Darren Barnard, Adie Moses, Matty Appleby, Jovo Bosancic, Neil Redfearn, Darren Sheridan, Andy Liddell and Ashley Ward.
John Hendrie for Andy Liddell 86 Minutes
Martin Bullock for Matty Appleby 89 Minutes
The home team were under the guidance of Ron Atkinson at that point, however, the Owls didn’t start the campaign with the enigmatic Ron.
David Pleat was in charge of Sheffield Wednesday until the beginning of November then was down the concrete filling in a Job Seekers Allowance form in the Steel City Centre.
Although it was December, Big Ron still had a great Suntan.
Like a Serg in Manchester.
Despite being an ardent Barnsley fan, it was a pleasure to see the Two Italians, Benito and Paolo, up close and personal.
Especially Benito Carbone, who John Newsome doesn’t think, gets the credit deserved.
Paolo Di Canio had a particularly good game that evening culminating in a winning goal with seconds remaining that knocked the stuffing out of the travelling Red and White Army.
The Owls took the lead after 19 minutes when Dejan Stefanovic tapped home from close range.
Ten minutes later, Ashley Ward was bungled over on the edge of the box that allowed Captain Fantastic, Neil Redfearn to score a great free-kick, taking both teams in level at the break.
The half-time Pork Pie was nice though.
Obviously meat from a pig.
With time almost up on the clock and the referee (Gary Willard, who features heavily in a game at Oakwell in March 1998, more on that in Game Week-31) about to blow the whistle, Mr Di Canio was put clean through on goal due to catastrophic errors in the Barnsley Defence.
Paolo rounded the Big German Goalkeeper and tapped into an empty net, to score the winner in the 89th minute.
There were a few nice hand gestures from the girls and guys in the away end.
Most know the history of Hillsborough so that particular cul-de-sac isn’t entered, however, the ground is tight and when leaving the Leppings Lane end, it becomes a free for all, with both sets of fans walking straight into each other.
It often resembles a scene from an old Cowboy movie when a fight breaks out in John Wayne’s Saloon bar.
There were a few punches thrown, dodged and weaved whilst heading back to the Ford, however, the Dee-Dars were obviously in good spirits following the last-minute winner.
The Red and White Army trudged back up the A61 and found solace in the local boozers, where the Escort was left.
Although responsible as one should never Drink and Drive, it was a big mistake when John awoke the next day, in a drunken haze and had to first find the car and then go to work.
Added to that, it was yet another defeat for Barnsley FC, the 12th of the campaign out of the opening 17 fixtures.
With 4 wins and a draw from the other 5.
Danny Wilson had been a player for Sheffield Wednesday before coming to Barnsley, first as an Assistant to Viv Anderson then taking over as Manager when Viv left Oakwell in 1994.
The ex-Manager (of quite a few clubs) has just released a book about his life, one calls it an Autobiography, entitled,
Danny Wilson- I Get Knocked Down But I Get Up Again.
If one needs an idea for a last-minute Christmas present, then add the excellent book as a stocking filler.
The title comes from a song released in 1997 by a band called Chumbawamba called Tubthumping, which reached Number 2 in the UK but topped several charts throughout the World.
As most regular readers know, John Newsome likes to go off on tangents at times and tell a few stories.
Back in 1986, fresh out of school, one got a job at Swinton Insurance, sorting folks’ motor insurance out.
It was a different job back then, nowadays it’s all done online but in the day, it was done in a shop.
A young mate working alongside John, both 17 at the time, who is also an ardent Barnsley fan and was seen at Oakwell only last week, where a few tales were told about past times at Swinton in the 80s, said,
‘My brother is in a band!’
This was in 1986, 11 years before Barnsley’s appearance in the Promised Land.
‘What’s the band called?’
‘He drinks a Whiskey drink, he drinks a Vodka drink.
He drinks a Lager drink, he drinks a Cider drink.
He sings the songs that remind him of the good times.
He sings the songs that remind him of the better times.
(Oh Danny Boy, Danny Boy, Danny Boy)
I get knocked down but I get up again,
you are never gonna keep me down.
I get knocked down but I get up again
you are never gonna keep me down.
I get knocked down but I get up again
you are never gonna keep me down.
I get knocked down but I get up again
you are never gonna keep me down.’
Not only a brilliant song but a life lesson too, one that John Newsome can definitely adhere to.
Premier League Table December 1997
15- Bolton 19 pts (minus-11 goals)
16- Coventry 17 pts (minus-11 goals)
17- Southampton 16 pts (minus-7 goals)
18- Tottenham 16 pts (minus- 14 goals)
19- Everton 13 pts (minus- 11 goals)
20- Barnsley 13 pts (minus- 30 goals)
Home Win 2-1
The Scottish Premier League has already started back up and the status quo at the summit remains unchanged.
Of course, it does!
Celtic sit at the Top with 45 points following their victory on Saturday against Aberdeen (who?) whilst Rangers remain in 2nd place, with 36 points having also gained a victory last Thursday, against Hibernian (who?)
The loveable OzScot was up early to watch his beloved Teddy Bears struggle against the Edinburgh club.
It’s wondered what Kylie is planning when Michael Beale’s Rangers side finish as Runners Up to the Green and White Hoops in the Pub League.
It’s Mr Beale now who has replaced Giovanni Van Bronckhorst in the Ibrox hot seat.
This was after Michael had stated that he wasn’t leaving Queens Park Rangers when approached to be the next Wolves Manager.
‘One thing for sure is that Wolves are a fantastic football club, they’re a historic football club.
It was a real privilege to be asked to go and speak to them but I didn’t think it was the right moment as I entered into an agreement here (Queens Park Rangers).
Integrity is a real big thing for me and loyalty.
You don’t give it to receive it back but if those are the things you live by then at times when you are put in a position you have to be strong by them.
So I can’t be the first person to run away from the ship.’
A month later Michael Beale ditched QPR and headed back to Ibrox after being part of Steven Gerrard’s Backroom staff when Rangers last won the SPL.
Rangers would still finish 2nd to Celtic if Ian Beale was the Manager.
The Old Firm Derby is on the horizon, taking place on the 2nd of January 2023.
No doubt Kylie will be up and spinning around in Melbourne watching his team.
God loves an optimist.
Happy Christmas to everyone around the World from John Newsome and EveryTip.