WEDNESDAY’S BIG STORIES
Wales. Tottenham. Golf. In that order.
We’ve been here before. We know the odds of success are about 1%. And yet this time, it feels different. Just look at the facts:
- Gareth Bale is the most hated man in Madrid
- Tottenham have a special relationship with Real Madrid (whereby they sell their best players for nothing in return)
- Spurs have removed their pinned tweet
- His agent says he still loves them:
Gareth still loves Spurs, we are talking. It's where he wants to be.
And that’s before you factor in the Shyamalan plot twist. Dele Alli, about to celebrate the fifth anniversary of his one truly great moment, could move to the Spanish capital in return on loan. If anything, it sounds too ridiculous to be a work of fiction.
Bale will guarantee Spurs a load of shirt sales and about six minutes of fitness. Alli will guarantee Real a few flicks and a warm bench. Actually, why are we getting excited about this again?
Also, this guy says it’s already a done deal, which means it will collapse by lunchtime.
He signed da ting
“I want £250,000. Every week.”
“And the captain’s armband.”
“And I want to hire the Emirates for a day. You know, shoot an emotional video. Oh, and how much does it cost to book Ian Wright?”
If you must…
Can you blame Arsenal for getting carried away? A club that has surrendered Robin van Persie, Alexis Sanchez, Ashley Cole, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri… finally has a superstar who wants to actually play for them.
This was Aubameyang’s final chance to say: ‘look, it’s lovely finishing eighth in the Premier League, but it’s time to win something proper’. Now he will see out his best years under a manager with almost no experience.
“Signing for this special club was never in doubt*,” Aubameyang said.
“It’s thanks to our fans, my teammates, my family and everybody at this club that I feel like I belong here. We can achieve big things together. We have something exciting here and I believe the best is to come for Arsenal.”
Would you not rather try and do the impossible with Arsenal, and fail, then move to a big club, win a title and always have that nagging question: ‘would they have won it without me?’. We're 100% behind this.
*Come on, mate. It definitely was.
(You should have) hit the road, Jack
If we’re going to commend Aubameyang, it’s only right that we also salute Jack Grealish for sticking it out at Aston Villa. But seriously, Jack. What on earth are you doing?
"The owners have made it very clear to me how ambitious they are and how they want to build Aston Villa," he said. "There are exciting times ahead and I am very glad to be part of it."
Ambition is great, but all he's done is inflate his transfer fee which, unless he’s unstoppably good, won’t be met. Just ask Wilfried Zaha.
OK, 2010 isn't quite 'retro', but you can't mention Gareth Bale without a nod to his greatest act:
IN THE CHANNELS
Klopp is accustomed to Liverpool being off shade at the start of a campaign. Last season, they allowed newly promoted Norwich 12 shots at Anfield in a 4-1 victory that wasn’t as comfortable as the scoreline suggests. In 2017-18, the Merseysiders drew 3-3 at Watford and the prior opening day saw them edge a 4-3 epic away to Arsenal.
Melissa Reddy for the Independent on why Liverpool 4-3 Leeds will concern Marcelo Bielsa more than Jurgen Klopp.
We'll have live text commentary of Everton v Salford in the League Cup, while West Brom face Harrogate Town in a match that looks like it was generated by Football Manager.
Amid all the furore around Aubameyang and Grealish, you might have missed that Andi Thomas has signed a new three-year deal with The Warm-Up (he hasn't, but after this introduction he'll feel guilty leaving)