Alan Shearer on Rooney and Southgate’s prospects, Arsenal’s title chances and more
If Rooney undermined Southgate then he must face the consequences
Clearly the headlines don’t look good but we don’t know what the truth is yet. However if it does turn out to be true that Gareth Southgate did tell Wayne Rooney to go to bed then Wayne has undermined the manager and he will have to face the consequences, whatever they may be.
If that’s not true, and he was not told to go to bed by Gareth or a senior member of the management team, then this is just more fuss about nothing, he had a few drinks, he stayed out a few hours later than he should have and he has apologised. It’s no big deal so let’s move on.
With regard to the story about ten players going into clubs in London, I wouldn’t imagine that the manager would have cleared the players to go into bars and night clubs on the Saturday night while on England duty. If the players had the night off I’m sure it would have been to spend time with partners and family. At the moment it’s just newspaper headlines and it’s not clear what went on.
This is an unwelcome situation for Gareth as he hasn’t even been given the manager’s job and yet if these stories are true, he’s facing a situation where his leadership has been potentially undermined.
We saw when Gareth left Wayne Rooney out of the team and sat with him in front of the media how glowing he was in his praise for Wayne, and in particular his professional attitude and his huge contribution to the squad off the pitch, not just on it. So IF and it is an if, Wayne did defy him it will be important for Gareth how he handles the situation.
Southgate’s England moving in the right direction so just give Gareth the job
I am not sure why there is a committee to appoint the England manager, surely Gareth Southgate is just waiting now for the call and to agree terms? He will be offered the job. He has to be offered the job. He has done extremely well both on and off the pitch in his short time in charge and deserves the position full-time.
I just cannot understand what a committee could recommend to the board that they don’t already know.There isn’t a long list of candidates for the job. They gave the role to Gareth for four games and he has done enough in that spell to earn the role on a permanent basis so they should just get on with it and make the appointment.
The performance wasn’t great against Scotland but that does not matter because they got the result. I thought they were excellent for 89 minutes against Spain. Rose was very good, Vardy impressed in the second half and I thought Henderson was superb.
The great thing about Gareth is that he has been part of England teams at major tournaments as a player and with the under-21s so he knows how to prepare for them, but we have to be realistic. We can’t expect to go from where we were at the Euros to being a top class team.There has to be progression, but the good news is that on the evidence of the last two games, we are moving in the right direction, and there are plenty of positives for Gareth to work with.
Gunners close to being the real deal in title race
Whether or not Wayne Rooney plays against Arsenal this weekend, it will be a great game for the neutral to sit down and watch. This fixture is one of the Premier League’s biggest, and there is that added spice of the two managers not liking each other. If ever Mourinho needed his excellent record against Wenger to continue, it is this weekend. Having said that, Wenger may never have a better chance of breaking that record because Arsenal have made a good start to the season and United are just not firing.
Sanchez is scoring plenty of goals and is full of energy. They took a fair point in their last game against Spurs and they are in a good run of form so Wenger will want to keep that going. Mourinho won’t be able to be as negative as he was at Anfield against Liverpool. The fans won’t allow that to happen. They might be conservative and look to hit Arsenal on the break but they need a positive performance.
Arsenal are a much better team this year than they have been in previously years. I am not saying that is going to be enough for them to go and win the league as they still have to prove that they have what it takes to win it, but the table is starting to sort itself out now at the top and bottom.
The top six are the ones which will be fighting it out for the title but nobody has pulled away yet.
Arsenal won’t need any reminders that finishing second in their Champions League group has cost them in the past because they have ended up getting a tough draw in the last 16. If they avoid defeat against PSG on Wednesday they’ll win the group, which should give them an easier tie in the knockout stage.
History will tell you November has not been a good month for Arsenal over the years. Their schedule has been tough but if they can get through this, it will be a statement that they can go all the way this year.
I’d still fancy my chances of adding to goal tally against Leeds
Newcastle travel to Leeds this weekend and I wish I was playing because I always scored against Leeds! When Leeds got relegated from the Premier League I was gutted because it cost me three or four goals each season.
For whatever reason, I just loved playing against Leeds, whether it was for Southampton, Blackburn or Newcastle.
There weren’t many clubs I struggled against but Birmingham was one of them. I did not play against them that often in my career but they would have to be my bogey side. As for Leeds, I’d still fancy my chances of scoring against them on Sunday!
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