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.

Follow us on Twitter @goaldball. Tell somebody to tell somebody about us.

Thoughts of a Lunatic: Ole’s Confusion, Chelsea Scammed and Other Talking Points

Merry Christmas to all fellow lunatics – regular readers of Thoughts of a Lunatic, friends of the lunatic, well wishers and witchers.

To football matters, sincerely, I am tired of talking about Arsenal. It seems we are at the point we just wait till the end of the season to see how well they fare in their relegation dogfight. It seems they have appointed a Professor of mathematics as manager. He knows all the stats that proves his team is playing well and should be winning but no one else is seeing those performances and the results. I said I won’t talk Arsenal, to other serious football issues.

Ole’s Confusion

For many Manchester United fans, they don’t know what to make of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Sometimes, the results and performances are extremely bad, as in very bad like traffic gridlocks in Lagos. Some other times, it is very good, like we saw last weekend against Leeds United.

Ole was well at the wheels against Leeds United

You would have thought it was Ole that FIFA nominated for The Best Manager of the Year with the way Manchester United dispersed Leeds United. Manchester United tore through Leeds defence like aboki knife through suya.

Manchester United find themselves in the dizzying heights of third with a game in hand and have put themselves in the position of title challengers. This is after an embarrassing ouster from the Champions League to the Europa League. For now, it is all good but don’t be surprised if the shouts of ‘Ole out’ rent the air again in few weeks, the countdown begins 10, 9, 8…..

Chelsea scammed?

There is nothing like a club going all out to splash the cash on a player they expect will come good, only to end up disappointed. Nicholas Pepe is Arsenal’s record signing, from all evidences, na maga money dem pay, he should be the cheapest or better still free. It seems Chelsea have also paid their’s for Kai Havertz. Havertz is looking like Chelsea’s version of Pepe. Their costliest signing of the summer came for a reported £71m. Safe to say he has been the poorest of Chelsea’s summer signings.

Even though Timo Werner is building a reputation of stopping Chelsea’s goals than scoring them, he has still been in action than Havertz.

It is still his first season and he might be one of those players that don’t settle in fast. The earlier he settles in the better or he settles out.

Allardyce’s rescue mission

Mr Jack Bauer started his rescue mission at West Brom on a losing note and with ten men.

Mr. Relegation fighter

Slaven Bilic got a creditable point away at Manchester City in his last match before he was replaced by Big Sam. Maybe Bilic’s sacking was cruel but the end will justify the means.

Allardyce aka ’67 days England manager’ has the enviable record of never losing a relegation fight but na one day juju dey spoil. It is still early days yet, especially if he is able to get some players in the January transfer window, a defensive striker like Kevin Davis will come in handy. Else the season go long like ASUU strike.

Anyways, that’s all on Thoughts of a Lunatic for today. Keep enjoying the beautiful game and the best of this Yuletide.

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Boald Code: Madrid Derby, Manchester Derby and Other Betting Tips For The Weekend

Ticket bursters have been doing their best to stop us from doing detty December but we no go gree. However, as we have always said, you have to be very careful and bet responsibly. Ours here is to give you the assists, yours is to finish. While we are supplying the assist, remember your finishing skills is also important to score a goal. A word is enough for the wise. To our picks of the weekend.

Bankers

Wolves double chance at home against Aston Villa comes at around 1.25, it is a good one to bank on. Wolves will look to bounce back from their trouncing at the hands of Liverpool last week. Aston Villa have had an extra week of rest but Wolves know how to navigate this sort of matches.

Fulham host Liverpool at Craven Cottage. Fulham have gotten better but they don’t look like they are equipped to stop the top sides. Liverpool win comes at around 1.3. Go for it.

Arsenal vs Burnley may also pass for a boald call based on Arsenal’s form but you can trust the Gunners to return to winning ways. Around 1.5 odd is juicy. Arsenal also have a good home record against Burnley.

In Germany, in-form RB Leipzig host struggling Werder Bremen. A Leipzig win comes at around 1.3. It is worth staking on.

Third placed CSKA Moscow host eleventh placed Ural in the Russian League. CSKA win comes at around 1.3, it is worth taking to the banks.

The Egyptian league returns, money bags Pyramids host Al Ittihad. Pyramids to win comes at around 1.5, go for it. Pyramids were third last season, Al Ittihad finished tenth.

On the matters of the Derbies, goals game is your best bet. For the Madrid Derby, expect both sides to be cautious, under 3.5 comes at around 1.2, go for it. For the Manchester Derby, both sides have not been convincing consistently, expect both sides to go for it. It should produce goals, over 1.5 is around 1.2.

The Manchester Derby should produce goals

Banana peels

Be careful with Crystal Palace vs Tottenham. Zaha is back for Palace, they are a different proposition with him in the side. Palace know how to set up in this sort of matches. Be careful with going for a Tottenham win, though the odd is good.

Well, AC Milan for the upteenth time. They have been proving us wrong for some time but we feel they are due a bad result. Parma have not been good but they know how to turn up for big games, like they did against Inter Milan earlier. Be careful with going for an AC Milan win.

Borussia Dortmund have suffered what looks like a mini slump in the Bundesliga, coinciding with Erling Haaland’s injury. They have failed to win in their last two. They are up against a Stuttgart side that have lost just once in five, though they drew three of those. As we saw against Bayern some weeks back too, they could be difficult to beat. Avoid a Dortmund win.

Boald Call

The ultimate Boald call, the Madrid Derby ending in a draw comes at around 3.3. We expect both teams to cancel each other out in what may end goalless or 1-1. If you are very Boald, go for it.

Atalanta to win at home against Fiorentina comes at around 1.6. It is a lesser Boald call, you can include it in your banker. Atalanta have become more pragmatic this season, basking in the euphoria of reaching the Champions League last 16, you can bank on them to win against struggling Fiorentina.

As stated earlier, na pass we dey give, finishing dey your hand. Bet responsibly and if you win, send your tithes here make we sef do detty December. Wishing you best of luck.