Here’s the full story on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee’s crunching tackle on English football’s governing bodies this morning:
Christian Pulisic will miss out for Chelsea against Newcastle with a troublesome hamstring and Thiago Silva gets a rest after a long trip to Montevideo with Brazil. Frank Lampard, meanwhile, has been about the workload resting on the shoulders of young Mason Mount, who started all three games for England in the international break.
“I think it shows how much Gareth Southgate sees in him and relies on him and trusts in him. It’s nice to see a lot of positivity around Mason. It is well deserved. Maybe he’s a player who has more quality passes in pressing moments in a game than a show-reel of stepovers and flicks. Maybe that’s not as exciting to the modern fan, but, for us managers, I think you can see how much we rely on him.
“I get Gareth’s position in playing him. He played three games. He was the only player in the England squad, of all the European-playing players at club level, to play all three games.
It’s is quite remarkable really that Mount has played as many games for England already this season (seven) as he has Premier League games for Chelsea.
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A bit more from Arteta on the possible return to five subs being permitted again in the Premier League: “I am all for it and not only that but to extend the numbers in the squad. At the moment, we have a big squad for different reasons and we have to leave seven or eight players at home. And at home means at home because from the training ground you go home and then from home you go to the training ground. So even mentally, to feel involved you are travelling away and you are two days without the squad and without your teammates. It will be really helpful for the. Let’s hope we can change it.”
He also confirms Thomas Partey is definitely out with the injury he picked up against Aston Villa.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has played down reports of a training ground fracas between Dani Ceballos and David Luiz. Asked what happened with the players, Arteta replied: “Nothing. Training is very competitive and issues happen a lot of times. Those things get resolved immediately within the team and there is not much to say. There is no problem at all.” So not “nothing” then. He was also asked if he saw what happened between the two: “No. I’ve got a really bad vision from far away. That’s why we train behind closed doors.”
The first two-footed lunge of the weekend doesn’t come on the pitch but from the well-appointed Whitehall offices of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. Conservative MP Julian Knight, who chairs the DCMS committee, has called the failure of the Premier League and Football League to reach an agreement over a financial rescue package as “a fiasco” and has urged the parties to “stop squabbling”. “We expect, and the fans deserve, better,” continued Knight. All of which may not seem that much, but given the usual dryness of these sorts of government missives it’s a knee-high studs-up reducer.
Who will be fit for Liverpool this weekend? Jürgen Klopp is contending with a raft of knocks and niggles in his squad with Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Rhys Williams and Thiago Alcântara all thought to be doubtful for the game against Leicester on Sunday. That quartet, though, have all been familiarising themselves with the club’s swanky new training facilities (although Thiago’s involvement seems to have been limited to carrying a box):
Club managers may not have enjoyed the international break but it’s unlikely any boss enjoyed it less that the Republic of Ireland’s Stephen Kenny. Not only did his side fail to score – the 3-0 defeat, 1-0 defeat and 0-0 draw this month coming on the back of the 0-0 draw, 0-0 draw and loss on penalties, and 1-0 defeat in October – but he now faces a disciplinary hearing after showing his players an “anti-English” video before the game at Wembley.
Manchester City face Spurs in the Saturday teatime kick-off with Pep Guardiola having signed up for another couple of years at the the club. It’s a fascinating decision, one that busts what was a nascent narrative of Ragnarok around Pep’s City regime, and it should put a spring in the collective step of the squad as they look to close the gap on second-placed Tottenham. Here’s Jonathan Wilson on what may lie ahead:
Morning everyone, and welcome back to a Premier League and Football League weekend. And it’s nice to return to domestic matters after an international break that, if my calculations are correct, went on for just over three months. Quite what shape the players are in after cramming three more matches and a whole heap of travel into an already overcrowded schedule remains to be seen. There are are host of managerial press conferences today and you wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple of bosses coming in off their long runs.
All the news will be right here when it happens. Before it does, here are 10 things to whet the appetite for the weekend:
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