Premier League Team Of The Season: Manchester Clubs Dominate, A Super Eagles Player and Others

The Premier League season 2021/22 is over but the fallouts continue to linger. The title has been won and lost, places have been retained and lost. Through 38 weeks of football action, some players distinguished themselves. At Goaldball, we have made our Team Of The Season, including the bench.

Goalkeeper – Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)

The Argentine divided Arsenal fans with his brilliant performances for Aston Villa. A large section of Arsenal fans thought he should not have been let go due to his brilliant performances. He was at the heart of a strong Villa defence that stayed clear of the relegation zone.

He kept 15 clean sheets, behind only Ederson Moraes and Edouard Mendy.

Rightback – Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)

Though the Portuguese was deployed at leftback occasionally by Pep Guardiola, he makes our team at right-back.

He finally proved why Guardiola went all out to get him two seasons back with some brilliant attacking plays on the flanks.

Leftback – Luke Shaw (Manchester United)

The Englishman enjoyed a season of revival. He ran the entire left-hand side of Manchester United with apparent ease. He reduced new signing Alex Telles, who was supposed to be his replacement, to a peripheral role.

Centerback – Ruben Dias (Manchester City)

Arguably the signing of the season. The defender has already gotten some recognition for his impressive first season in the Premier League.

He has won the Football Writers Association Player of the Season. Ever present and reliable, his solid defensive work was the bedrock of City’s success.

Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo played huge parts in City’s success

Center-back – Harry Maguire (Manchester United)

Maguire was ever solid and ever present for the Red Devils till he got injured at the tail end of the season. Manchester United impressive away record was down to some defensive solidity.

Maguire finally showed glimpses of why Manchester United got him for record fee.

Central Midfielder – Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester)

Mr consistency – Wilfred Ndidi was ever present as Leicester pushed for a Champions League spot again.

He ranks high on the list of most tackles and interceptions.

Central Midfielder – Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City)

The German had his best goalscoring season yet at Manchester City. He scored 13 goals to help City’s cause.

In addition to the goals, he was most times City’s brain box in the middle and his performances made Kelvin De Bruyne absences manageable.

Attacking Midfielder – Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)

The Portuguese ranks high on both the goals and assists chats. He has had a positive influence since joining the Red Devils in January.

With 18 goals and 12 assists to his name, he is a contender for the Premier League Player of the Season.

Right Wing-Forward – Mohammed Salah (Liverpool)

Despite Liverpool’s struggles, Mohammed Salah was still able to rake in the goals. He scored 22 goals and only lost the Golden Boot to Harry Kane on the last day.

Right Wing-forward – Phil Foden (Manchester City)

Playing slightly as a wing forward and as an attacking midfielder, the young Englishman was a menace to opposing defences.

He stepped into David Silva’s shoes impressively and was at the heart of City’s attacking forays.

Center-forward – Harry Kane (Tottenham)

Harry Kane won his third Golden Boot award, reiterating his quality and importance to this Spurs side.

He added another dimension to his game this season by also creating goals for others. He topped the assist chat in the Premier League with 14 assists.

Following reports that he is set to move on from Spurs, he is the hottest property in the transfer market.

Manager – Pep Guardiola ( Manchester City)

Guardiola has not done anything new. He has probably done the expected by reclaiming the title but the manner of achieving it deserves recognition.

At a point in November/December, the Citizens were in midtable and it appeared Guardiola had reached his limits but an impressive turnaround led to his third Premier League title.

Substitutes: Ederson Moraes (Manchester City), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Tyrone Ming’s (Aston Villa), Tomas Soucek (West Ham), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Son Heung Min (Tottenham)

What do you think about our selections? Let us know. Follow us on Twitter @goaldbal.

Thoughts of a Lunatic: ‘Whooligans’ United, El Cashico and Other Talking Points

Lunatic things happening in football lately, like some ‘whooligans’ preventing a match from going on to Juventus failing to win the Serie A.

Idiotism is not synonymous to drinking a bottle of Elliot alone, drinking a cup of zobo is enough to make some Desmond, Garuba and Dino think they own a multi million dollars project, even when their landlord must not know their whereabouts. Bringing us to some of the matters the Lunatic wants to talk about today.

Whooligans United

Till now, I don’t really know why some people disrupted the Manchester United vs Liverpool match from going on. I have heard all sorts. From, Adidas making a zebra design jersey, to too much red pigment in the home jersey, to David Beckham joining Real Madrid bla bla bla. Maybe I do not really have a head for the economic side of football but who dictates to a business owner how to run his business? Who really owns most of these clubs? The highest share owner who invested his money in the business or the man who loves the club and buys some Aba-made merchandises?

Glazers out?

I really do not get the protest against the Glazers. Manchester United have the most expensive defender and midfielder in the Premier League. They spend money to buy players and manage the club resources, which is what fans (including Arsenal fans) expect of their owners. The protest by the whooligans appears more like an attempt to postpone Manchester City’s league-title party. Manchester City will win the league, Manchester United are simply accompanying them to the title like they did in 2018. City are in the final of the Champions League while United are on the brink of the Europa League final. United are wishing they are City right now. The noise is coming from the red side these days.

El Cashico

Manchester City are in the final of the Champions League because Neymar is still alive. Neymar was so bent on being the star of the day while his teammates tried to overturn the first leg deficit against City that he ran about like an headless chicken. The Citizens won because they were the better team (emphasis on team), not because the referee told Paredes and Herrera to f*ck off. In truth, the referee could have called some of the PSG players pussy (as in, pussy cat) because they behaved like one. I can’t totally blame them, I am also a proponent of ‘when you lose the match, don’t lose the fight’. However, I hope the referee was able to get Fernandinho’s shirt and autograph after the match, the only thing Fernandinho had to do to get a yellow card was to headbutt Neymar for being an annoying compatriot but he didn’t.

Neymar was in his own circus, joking

Congratulations to City, billions of dollars after, they are in the Champions League final. One must also salute the genius of Guardiola for taking an expensive assemblage of players to the final. Afterall, it is not necessarily the richest kid that has all the books and facilities that comes first in class. Chelsea or Real Madrid awaits them in the final. We dey here.

Bottlelona FC

Beat Granada at home and go top of the table, Barcelona did not draw, they lost. Bottling is becoming very synonymous with Barcelona. Remember Rome, remember Anfield, I mean they allowed Divock Origi have the best night of his life. If he will ever have such a night again, it will never be on a football pitch, it will be on the bed.

The title race in La Liga is still a three-horse or a two-horse and a Chihuahua race. Barcelona must prove they are not the Chihuahua by winning what looks like a play-off against Atletico Madrid next weekend. They seems to have mastered the art of bottling better than a certain club in North London.

Juve and Pirlo

Juve and Pirlo sounds like Duvet and Pillow. A perfect match on a cold morning but this Juve and Pirlo do not look like a perfect match.

Apart from being a lookalike of the pictorial representation of Jesus, the only reason Juventus must have hired Pirlo as coach is because he is Andrea Pirlo. I mean, it is not like he did apprenticeship under Pep Guardiola, like someone else we know. Juventus must have felt being a good passer of the ball is synonymous to passing tactical information.

Having Ronaldo is not enough

Well, when you have done something consecutively for nine years, there is everything tendency to get bored and want to do something else. I mean from winning the title to contesting for top four trophy, variety is the spice of life. Anyway, congratulations to Inter Milan.

Jose Mourinho finds himself in Rome. When you are in Rome, act like a Roman but trust Mourinho won’t. The same way he acted like a Mancunian while he was in North London, expect no difference.

I always said Sam Allardyce’s jazz was going to fail this time. It is looking like I am a prophet? No. It is simple, everyday no be Christmas. Every lunatic knows that. It is high time clubs stop that sh*t of going into the season with flamboyant coaches only to sack them for Allardyce to try escape relegation. Appoint Allardyce from the beginning if you trust him to do the job.

I am tired of writing, I have to go face other hustles. If you see a guy talking to himself on your street, that’s me, holler, I won’t bite you.

Follow Goaldball on Twitter @goaldbal

Thoughts of a Lunatic: Good Father Mourinho, Captain Musa and Other Talking Points

PSG knocking Bayern Munich out of this year’s UEFA Champions League butreses the point that what Zinedine Zidane achieved with Real Madrid in the competition between 2016 and 2018 is unreal. I can’t associate managerial wizardry to a particular type of hairline. However, It is funny that for all of Zidane’s achievement, he is not considered as a tactical genius while the other guy with his type of hairline is regarded as one. After another win in El Clasico, Zidane could be on his way to back-to-back La Liga titles with a ‘Ronaldo-less’ and ‘crocked- Hazard’ team. Talking about managers and hair, maybe grey hair does not necessarily translate to wisdom (especially those tinted ones), as posited in this clime. We saw two managers with grey hairs drag each other at the weekend, taking me to the Mourinho Derby.

Good Father Mourinho

You know, especially as a kid, when you have bottled anger and someone mistakenly touches you, you explode. For Jose Mourinho, there will always be something to talk about when things are not going his way. He starts reminding everyone of how he invented football, won all the trophies at a swoop while controlling the players with a pad from the comfort of his sitting room. He reminds us of what he has won in the past. How does that change the fact that they have increased the price of a bottle of beer at my favorite joint, it’s paining me sha. Hello Mr Mourinho, that does not take away the fact that you are not meeting expectations at your present club, like in your last two jobs.

Grey hair, same old Mourinho

In response to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s jibe at Son Heung Min acting to get a Manchester United goal chalked off, Mourinho insinuated that Solskjaer is a bad father, which we don’t know. Many fathers won’t be good fathers in Mourinho’s books then, especially father’s from this clime. Apart from going to bed hungry for some misdemeanor, you also get some lashes. Many people from my climes will have telling tales but dare not tag their fathers bad.

It has been turpsy-turvy for Mourinho at Spurs

Anyways, the issue is not about fatherhood. That’s what Mourinho does, he takes attention from the matter. The matter is that Tottenham have lost ten league matches this season, the highest in Mourinho’s career. He can’t start saying this players are not good, he once said they had better players than Manchester United. Make Mourinho no turn am to family matter, man should fix his rot.

A man that disrespected his elders does not even have the moral rights of talking about respect.

Good father Mourinho, face the job.

Captain Musa

So Ahmed Musa is returning to play for Kano Pillars ten years after initially leaving for Europe, while Musa and I hope this will only be a temporary arrangement, at least for now. I can’t help but try to analyze the stage of Musa’s career.

Musa is 28. At 28, a player should be at the peak of his career. A decline is expected at the other side of 30, then the twilight. We have seen players return to play for their boyhood clubs at the twilight of their careers or return to their local leagues, it is nothing new. But it is not when they supposed to be at their peak, especially when they have not been blighted by injuries. Is Musa at the twilight of his career? Elder Arjen Robben recently returned to play for Groningen at 36. Even the likes of Lionel Messi, Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and some others are playing well in their thirties like they are still ‘peaking’. Maybe those ones are exceptions but a player should not be at twilight at 28. I am not insinuating anything. Decipher what you want.

That’s the way to CHAN

It is of more concern because Musa is the captain of the Super Eagles and expected to still be part of the team. Should a 28-year-old at his twilight be captaining the Super Eagles when there are many young players doing well?

So, since Gernot Rohr suggested that home based players should concentrate on doing well at the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) – specifically for home-based players, Musa should also play for the CHAN team.

Will Allardyce laugh last?

I have not forgotten that I said Sam Allardyce’s ‘jazz’ will fail this time at West Brom. After back-to-back wins, 8 goals scored in two matches and moving to within eight points from safety, could the big Sam perform another miracle? I still believe he won’t do it. It is easier for one Dollar to exchange for a hundred Naira than for West Brom to beat the drop this season.

I am tired of writing. There are many other hustles to do. Follow goaldball on Twitter @goaldbal

Manchester United, Leeds Players Star In Our Team of the Week, Including An African Hattrick Hero

Many of the top matches lived up to their pre-match analysis at the weekend. The ‘Mourinho Derby’ and the ‘El Clasico were not devoid of drama. Some teams did their push for survival a whole world of good. Some of the players came to the party, we have made a selection of the best players across the top leagues, plus seven substitutes and a manager.

Goalkeeper- Ilian Meslier (Leeds United)

The young French goalkeeper was one of the heroes as 10-man Leeds United defeated leaders Manchester City 2-1. He made six saves to help the cause.

Rightback – Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

Despite questions about his defensive abilities, Trent served the attribute that has endeared him to football fans once again – impact in the attacking phase. Trent scored the winner as Liverpool saw off stubborn Aston Villa 2-1. Thankfully, he was not playing against Vinicius ‘Akpororo’.

Leftback – Quini (Granada)

Quinni did not play left-out, the leftback helped Granada come from behind to win at Valladolid with a goal in the 2-1 win.

Center-back – Kurt Zouma (Chelsea)

The French defender was a rock in defence like Zuma rock as Chelsea won comfortably at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace. Zouma contributed a goal in the 4-1 win.

Center-back – Martin Erlic (Spezia)

Not always will you see a center-back with a goal and an assist that helps his side turn defeat to victory. That was what Martin Erlic did in Spezia’s 3-2 win against Crotone.

Midfielder – Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

Salon D’Or star Paul Pogba turned up with a performance, this time on a football pitch. He was instrumental as Manchester United came from behind to earn a win that has brought out the ramblings from Jose Mourinho.

Midfielder – Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)

The German midfielder set Madrid on their way to an El Clasico win with a free kick goal that took Zidane’s men two up. He gave another composed midfield performance young midfielders will be envious of.

Attacking Midfielder – Stuart Dallas (Leeds United)

The Northern Irishman was the hero for Marcelo Bielsa’s men with two goals that downed Pep’s men at the Etihad.

Wing-forward – Jesse Lingard (West Ham)

‘J Lingz’ is discovering his inner CR7 at West Ham. The goals, the performances and dances are back. He scored another two at the weekend to help West Ham to a 3-2 win against Leicester City.

Wing-forward – Wahbi Khazri (St. Etienne)

Former Sunderland forward Wahbi Khazri went home with the match ball as St Etienne defeated Bordeaux 4-1. The Tunisian helped St Etienne go nine points above the relegation zone.

Center-forward – Edinson Cavani (Manchester United)

The Uruguayan was a menace as Manchester United ran riot at the New White Hart Lane. He scored a goal and saw another controversially chalked off as he turned back the years with a class center-forward performance.

Manager – Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds)

El Loco delivered a managerial masterclass as Leeds recorded a 2-1 win against Manchester City, despite playing with ten men for a long spell away from home. Pep must have taken lots of notes from this one.

Drop your comments and contributions. Which of our choices do you disagree with? Follow us on Twitter: @goaldbal

Boald Codes: El Clasico, Mourinho Derby and Other Betting Tips

Make we hustle for our quick 2k. As we have always said, Boald Codes is to guide you, the choice is yours. The most important thing in betting is to know the matches to avoid, else the bookies won’t be in business. When you select the matches you expect to come through and they do come through, you don jam quick 2k.

After the teams returned from international breaks last week, this week should be clearer BUT some of the teams on the continent will be more focused there. It is also the time relegation threatened clubs start upsetting the apple carts, as we saw with West Brom winning at Chelsea last week. As usual, we have the Bankers, the Banana Peels and the Boald Calls. We will be as direct as possible, too much analysis no dey bring money.

BANKERS

In the Premier League, Manchester City vs Leeds should produce goals. Over 2.5 comes at around 1.4. For bigger odds, you could go for both to score.

Chelsea should bounce back from last week’s defeat, away at Selhurst Park. They are in a comfortable place in their Champions League tie, they should focus here. A Chelsea win comes at around 1.5. Don’t sleep on it.

Tottenham vs Manchester United, the Mourinho Derby is too close to call. Expect both sides to go for goals. Tottenham’s defence especially, can’t hold water. Over 1.5 comes at around 1.3, if you must play this game at all.

Son will hope for another dance performance

Real Madrid and Barcelona go into the El Clasico in good forms. They both know a win will take them closer to the tittle. It is a game that should produce goals. Both to score comes at around 1.5, go for it.

Barcelona and Real Madrid go head-to-head

In the Serie A, both Inter Milan and Juventus have home matches against Cagliari and Genoa respectively. Both should win. Juventus should overcome their recent struggles here. A win for them comes at around 1.3. Inter Milan are in good form and coasting to the title, they are also valued at around 1.3 for a win.

Atalanta should win away against Fiorentina. It comes at around 1.5. Atalanta should do enough for a win, to solidify their push for Continental places. Over 1.5 could be a safer bet.

BANANA PEELS

There are many matches you should be wary of this weekend but we have highlighted some and their alternatives.

Bayern Munich might play a depleted side against Union Berlin, with the Champions League return leg against PSG in their sights amidst lots of injury worries. Be wary of a Bayern win which comes at around 1.5. But the game should still produce goals. Over 2.5 could be safe.

Same goes for Borussia Dortmund, who have been poor in the Bundesliga, by their standards. They have a tricky away game at Stuttgart. It is also a game that should produce goals. Avoid a Dortmund away win.

PSG are valued at around 1.7 to win a match in Ligue 1, that should tell you something. They go away to Strasbourg, with the Champions League also in their sights. You should also go for goals in this one.

BOALD CALL

West Ham and Leicester are jostling for Champions League places. They play at the London stadium this weekend, with both in good form. West Ham are due a bad result and the signs are there. Expect Leicester to avenge the first leg defeat. If you are Boald go for a Leicester away win at around 2.4.

Kelechi Iheanacho and his teammates should find joy at the Olympics stadium

We have supplied the passes, put your finishing touches to score the goal. Wish you a green weekend. When you win, pay your tithes here.

Thoughts of a Lunatic: Musa Still At The Gate, Anfield Poultry and Other Talking Points

The various top European Leagues are gradually reaching the business end. Some titles already won and some relegation cards already signed, ready to be delivered. Some European places dreams are also becoming mirages. In England, Harry and Meghan can not take the shine from VAR.

There is also the matter of national teams gathering at the end of the month for various qualifiers. In Nigeria, Gernot Rohr’s Super Eagles list has come with its usual controversies and talking points.

Anfield Poultry

How Liverpool’s home ground – Anfield went from being a fortress to a forest has to be studied in the university. After going for three years without a defeat at home, a record 64 matches. They have started another record with six straight defeats and still counting at home afterwards. In that time, they have scored just one goal at Anfield, albeit from the penalty spot. Anfield has gone from a Lion’s den to becoming a poultry where teams just go to slaughter chickens for dinner. Rather than opponents failing to come out alive, they come out alive with goodies. Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah have gone from destroyers to destroyed. Thiago Alcantara was supposed to improve the team in midfield but the only positive stats he has are his number of thumbs up. In his short time in England, he has given more thumbs up than any player in the Premier League history, something in the region of hundred thousand or thereabout. Liverpool are blessed with the presence of ‘thumbs-up Xavi’. More bookings than goals and assists.

Thumbs up Xavi

Jurgen Klopp should find a solution as Liverpool have gone from title contenders to European places contenders, before they slip into relegation contenders.

After all said, Klopp and his Liverpool team have delivered the once elusive Premier League title, the first in 30 years. Maybe Liverpudians will have to wait another thirty years for another triumph.

Musa still at gate

Wetin Musa no dey see for gate? Ahmed Musa has been in the Super Eagles for so long that he has seen it all. But even Musa has hardly seen a clubless player invited to the Super Eagles. The last time Musa kicked a ball in anger was in October 2020 but he still gets an invitation to the Super Eagles, ahead of active players.

Rohr could as well invite the likes of Daniel Amokachi, Kanu Nwankwo and the others since it is for experience, as some have posited. What if Musa is injured? He will still be in the team on crutches, since Musa must be at the gate to see it all.

Musa is at the gate.

Musa must be at the gate to also make sure COVID-19 protocols will be observed when the Super Eagles play in Lagos. There is a lot Musa does in the team than can be explained.

In a team, just as you have playing footballers, you also have non-playing footballers. People should understand these things.

Ole Stealing The Show and The Points

Manchester United dilemma continues. They don’t look like they will really challenge for the title anytime soon but there is a new knack for stealing the show.

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in charge, the Red Devils have produced some very impressive results that ends up leading nowhere. Solskjaer has a good record against Pep Guardiola and he continued that at the weekend. Manchester City were on a winning run of 20 matches but Ole struck again. Dem no reach 21. That is an achievement.

Well, it is part of keeping the tradition of the Red Devils as ‘kill-joys’. Arsenal were on a 49-match unbeaten run back in 2005, Manchester United stopped them from reaching 50 by returning them to factory settings. Even if Ole has not delivered titles, he is bringing back the tradition.

It seems Manchester United fans must get used to celebrating these wins as they seems like the one thing Ole will always deliver.

Ronaldo in Black and White

Cristiano Ronaldo’s time in Juventus so far has been black and white. Of what use is Ronaldo at Juventus if they won’t win the Champions League?

Ronaldo is still delivering the goals and has an impressive goals record in Turin but Juventus have failed to make it beyond the Quarter-finals of the Champions League since he joined. Of what use are the goals? They are on the verge of losing the league title, which was like their birth right.

Ronaldo in black and white

It is looking like, when he is done in Juventus, he will have an impressive goals record to show but little in terms of silverware, meaning Juventus will have nothing to show for signing Ronaldo. While you can not blame Ronaldo, the recent defeat against Porto was the type he used to ‘single-handedly’ decide. Anyways, he is in good company with the likes of Gianluggi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini in a group of pensioners enjoying their benefits.

Boald Code: Madrid and Manchester Derbies, Der Klassiker and Other Betting Tips

If you followed our tips last week, congratulations. We came through with almost all our calls. We dey feel like Nostradamus right now.

It is another week and we have carefully gone through the various matches once again. We have selected those we believe are the Bankers – that we believe will come through, the Banana Peels – the games you should avoid and the Boald Call – big odds you should play only if you are bold.

Bankers

We start from Africa where the CAF Champions League takes center stage. We are going for home wins for Al Ahly and Wydad Casablanca against AS Vita and Horoya respectively. Al Ahly are defending champions, Wydad are penultimate champions. You can always trust this top guns to get the job done at home.

In the English Championship, in-form Norwich host Luton. Norwich have won their last six and are top of the table. Go for a Norwich win at around 1.4/1.5 across platforms.

In the Premier League, West Brom vs Newcastle should be a cagey affair. An under 3.5 should be a good choice. You could also go for no goal in the first 30 minutes. Or first half under 1.5 which comes at around 1.3.

In La Liga, Real Sociedad are unbeaten in six. They host Levante at the Anoeta. Levante could be tricky customers but Real Sociedad’s form should be enough to get a win. It comes at around 1.4.

The Madrid Derby should be a cagey affair. Under 3.5 full-time or under 1.5 halftime should be good choices.

A Madrid derby with title-deciding implications

In the Bundesliga, Der Klassiker is always a game of goals. Over 2.5 should come through or go for a Bayern Munich over 1.5. At around 1.3/1.4 odds across platforms.

In the NPFL, go for home wins for Plateau United, Rivers United and Enyimba against MFM, Jigawa and Ifeanyi Ubah respectively.

In Turkey, title-chasing Besiktas host Gaziantep. Besiktas are in good form and have won their last four. Go for a Besiktas win at around 1.4.

In Ukraine first-placed Dynamo Kiev host Minaj, who are in twelfth. Dynamo Kiev are in good form, back them to win.

In Scotland, Rangers host St. Mirren. Stephen Gerard’s men have won all of their last five against St. Mirren. Go for a Rangers win.

Banana Peels

In the Premier League, there are so many banana peels.

Avoid Leicester to win away at the Amex stadium. Brighton are usually a compact side, though they struggle for goals. Leicester are injury-plagued and may be at that point where their performance level starts dropping.

Manchester City should win at home against Manchester United but you don’t know the Manchester United that will turn up. Manchester United’s likely defensive approach makes it difficult to predict. It may also not produce goals.

The Manchester derby seems tricky

Barcelona seems to be in good form but they have shown some level of inconsistency this season. They should win away at Osasuna but a goals game might be a safe option. Osasuna won at Camp Nou last season.

Boald Call

In the Bundesliga, Wolfsburg are in good form. They play away against a stuttering Hoffenheim side. Wolfsburg have won on their last two trips there. If you are bold, go for a Wolfsburg win at around 2.4.

Those are our picks for today. Don’t forget to bet responsibly.

If goes the other way, hold the clubs and the players responsible. Terms and conditions apply.

Thoughts of a Lunatic: China Product, Ole’s Zero-Class and Other Talking Points

Been long you read from this table. My pen ran out of ink and I had to queue at the ‘filling station’ to refill it. What are my even saying? Am I making any sense? Anyway, that is why I am the Lunatic. On these edition, I will make a quick trip to China, though that won’t be a small journey. Also some matters around England, Nigeria and the likes.

China Product

As we know, Chinese products no dey last. Or better still, as we assume, Chinese products no dey last. However, Chinese products can be very shiny, aesthetically perfect and loud. You remember those Chinese phones that year? They can be very loud.

At a point, the Chinese Football League became a thing. Players were turning down the prestige and money of clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Barcelona and the likes in favor of playing in China. Compared to the Chinese league, their money was tithe. You can’t blame the players sha – the money plenty, e be like blood money. Hundreds of thousands of dollars, I wish I could be signed to play for just one week instead of writing this nonsense.

Apparently, COVID 19 happened amidst other things and it means the reigning champions has to fold up. Jiangsu Suning dey fold up, as in, dem close shop. Where does that happen? Well, only in China.

At a point, players were earning lots of money in China. Even the likes of Obafemi Martins, Odion Ighalo, Mikel Obi and others chop for there. But it seems, Chinese football money is drying up.

Obafemi Martins in the CSL

Ole’s Zero-Class

At a point, Manchester United were trashed 6-1 by Tottenham, since then they have taken the matter personal against the big sides. They won’t score, they won’t concede.

Manchester United against topsides is now a default goalless affair, they have done it against Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and now Chelsea. Once upon a time, performances and results like this used to be termed as Mourinho masterclass. What do we call this now? Ole’s zero-class?

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Ole knows something about playing goalless

Harvester’s League

It is common for lovers of English football to term the French League as the farmer’s league and other leagues as less competitive. Looking at how teams breeze to the Premier League title these days, the Premier League should be termed the Harvester’s League – where teams harvest points anyhow.

Liverpool breezed to the title last season

Last season, Liverpool were beating everybody like they were mistakenly put in an under-15 boys league. At a point this season, it seemed there was going to be a title race. Even Manchester United celebrated a rare feat of occupying the top of the table but that lasted just as long as the vanishing spray. Manchester City have taken over and they are beating everybody like drum. Manchester United comes next, you know what to expect – Ole Zero-class.

Football money

As mentioned earlier, some Nigerians made blood money in China. So, there was a recent conversation on social media where there was the debate – who is richer, the footballer or the entertainer? My reply to that is, when you look at it critically from the angle of the economic effects and values to the GDP in relation to the per head capital, I really don ‘t have anything to say. It is not my f*cking business. Some people will be balling spending money, I will be analyzing it, nonsense! Someone should come and pay me blood money for writing this nonsense, I can have an opinion then.

Anyway, it is not that I am angry now, I just have to stop writing here. Let me go and face my other hustles so I can make money. Don’t follow the Lunatic anywhere on social media, follow Goaldball, @goaldball on facebook and Instagram, @goaldbal on Twitter.

Boald Code: Chelsea vs Manchester United and other fixtures

Another weekend, pools of games like sands in Bar Beach. Tempting as they are, there is always need to thread cautiously. It is also a tricky week and there is every need to avoid over-analysis.

In our picks this week we will be as direct as possible. We have our bankers, the banana peels and the Boald call, we hope our choices brings you the luck of the green.

Banker

We start with the Nigeria Professional Football League. The Saturday fixture sees in-form Abia Warriors host Wikki Tourist. Go for an Abia win, it comes at around 1.50.

Manchester City and West Ham are two in-form sides in the Premier League. Go for a Manchester City win at around 1.30.

In Germany, Borussia Dortmund should win against struggling Arminia Bielefeld. It comes at around 1.20.

Expect Haaland among the goals for Dortmund

Bayern Munich should do the business against Cologne or at least score goals. Over 2.5 comes at around 1.33.

Tottenham should put their struggles behind them to win at home against Burnley. Tottenham win comes at around 1.50.

Napoli have struggled lately but can now solely concentrate on the league. At around 1.48, you can back them for a home win against Benevento.

In the CAF Champions League, Wydad Casablanca are backed at 1.73 for a home win against Kaizer Chiefs. Wydad are recent winners of the Champions League and will have too much for the South Africans. Go for a Wydad win.

Banana Peels

Leeds host Aston Villa at Elland Road. Aston Villa who will likely be without captain Jack Grealish are likely to deploy a defensive approach. Avoid playing the goals game. A Boald Call is a Leeds win, it comes at over 2.0.

Avoid a Juventus win, they go away to Hellas Verona. Juventus have a must-win Champions League match in focus, that may affect them. The last time they played at Hellas Verona, they lost and Hellas Verona are a good side at home, they have won all their last three at home.

Boald Call

Our Boald Call comes from the match of the weekend, Chelsea vs Manchester United. Chelsea have not won any of their last six league matches against Manchester United, three of which have ended in draws. Since losing against Tottenham, Manchester United have drawn against all of the traditional big six. Expect a cagey affair that may end in a draw and or low-scoring match. If you are bold, go for a draw, at around 3.39.

Chelsea vs Manchester United should be cagey

Those are our picks for today. As doctors will say, ‘we treat, God heals’. We will also say, ‘we predict, teams play’. So, if you win, pay your tithes here, if you don’t, hold the teams responsible.

Father Christmas In The Premier League

It is Christmas, the season of good cheer and good tidings. Season to give and receive, depending on the side you belong to.

The season is synonymous with Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas. As a folkloric tradition goes, Father Christmas is the bringer of gifts during Christmas. …he knows if you have been good or bad so be good for goodness sake.

If Father Christmas visited the Premier League, what will the various Premier League characters be wanting or deserving?

As far as being good goes, Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool team deserves lots of good gifts for winning the Premier League. When Pep Guardiola took over Manchester City, coupled with the way Manchester City bought every footballer that looked like a star, we thought City will continue to win the league till Guardiola gets tired and leaves for another money bag. Thanks to Klopp for bringing competition to the league. However, Mo Salah will still love to have a captain’s armband from Santa. When the Liverpool captain wears his armband, Salah also wears his. There can be two captains on a ship. Klopp will also like to give gifts to VAR officials, you know, so they can be nicer to him.

For all of Guardiola’s exploits, he has never won the Champions League without Lionel Messi. To seal his reputation at City, he needs the cup with the big ears. Santa should wrap Messi up and send to Pep.

Santa should send red Christmas cards to Arsenal players, since they have developed a love for red cards. They have also become a good donor of three points, they deserve gifts for their benevolence. Arsenal as a club have also been very nice. Which other club pays a player 350,000 pounds per week for doing nothing but run commentary and engage fans on twitter? Which other club also appoints a manager even when he is yet to do his freedom? Arsenal deserve gifts, preferably one that will serve them well in the Championship. Santa should send a baseball cap to Mikel Arteta, and Arsenal have their Spanish Tony Pulis.

On behalf of Nigerians, Santa should give Manchester United bowls of jollof rice. Thanks to them, Odion Ighalo was able to fulfil his childhood dreams of playing for Manchester United. Even if he has become a non-playing staff in the past few months. We even heard he helps to arrange cones during training sessions. All na favour over labour. We heard Ahmed Musa is a Manchester United fan too. Ed Woodward should do the necessary. Musa is presently clubless, else he does an odemwingie and show up at Carrington.

Budweiser, official beer partner of the Premier League should also consider sending beers to Premier League goalkeepers for every goal they concede. Kepa Aribibizagba will drink to stupor.

Big Sam is on a rescue mission to West Brom. He will need a defensive striker like Kevin Davies, they don’t have such at West Brom presently. A player that can throw the ball from the halfway line to the box is also needed. Santa should wrap such players in a box and send to Allardyce.

A time machine for Chris Wilder. Last season, he was wilding. Sheffield United were talked about as European places contenders. This season they are bottom of the league. Just two points from fourteen matches. Defeats are landing on them like punches on Deontay Wilder. All Wilder will need is a time machine that will help him live last season again.

Chelsea may have forgotten to buy Kai Havertz’s manual when they bought him from Bayer Leverkusen. So that the £71m pounds will not waste, Santa should send his manual to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea clamour for rice like they are Nigerians. As rice is expensive in Nigeria, so is rice expensive in London – Declan Rice. Santa should send Rice to Chelsea – whether local or imported.

Ole is always at the wheels. Sometimes, he is fast and steady. Some other times, he is slow and rough. We doubt he has a driver’s license, hence his inconsistency at the wheels. Santa should send a driver’s license to Ole so he can drive Manchester United safely, to Europa League glory.

Merry Christmas to you from Goaldball. Thank you for being on the journey with us. Let us do next year bigger and better.

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