Andy Dawson: The ten things I learned from the weekend’s football

Like he does each and every week, the Profanity Swan is back to spare no one’s feelings on the weekend’s footballing talking points.

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Man City’s players need another outlet for their talents

After handing out yet another mullering (against Spurs this time), it’s starting to feel as though the champions-in-waiting should be given something else to do to occupy their minds and bodies, and maybe give other teams a chance to catch up. Perhaps like the Scooby Doo gang, they can all pile into a van and drive around solving mysteries. Sort of like a winter break, but different.

Spurs are fading fast

They feel like they’re standing still at the moment – and when you stand still in football, you invariably go backwards. Mumblings and murmurings about players being paid under the odds are continuing and if they don’t kick on and win a trophy soon, Poch’s carefully-assembled squad might just begin to fall apart – and will the manager fancy sticking around and trying to start afresh at building a new one when that happens?

Sack Alan Pardew now

No, trust me on this. The new West Brom manager doesn’t do well when things start going wrong at clubs that he’s managed, but he usually has a spell of good fortune first. That’s not happening for the Baggies and as Pards never seems to be able to turn things around when his sides are struggling, they might as well pay him off now before the inevitable happens. Maybe bring in Tony Pulis as a firefighter…

Marko Arnautovic – Player of the weekend

Went back to Stoke (his old club), scored a significant goal, wound up the fans who used to love him by pulling off a full-blown goal celebration and then enraged Mark Hughes as he was being subbed off. None of that ‘muted celebration’ rubbish to be seen – beautiful stuff.

Remember when Marco Silva was ‘the future’

No, me neither.

Some players might have been trying to get Christmas off

I’m joking, obviously (the lawyers made me say that), but the weekend just gone was the ideal time to get a three-match ban for a straight red card if you were looking to put your feet up over the Christmas holidays. Dele Alli and Harry Kane were lucky not to see red for a pair of nasty challenges, while Troy Deeney DID get his marching orders and is looking at a four-match ban due to a previous ban earlier in the season.

That diving thing needs to be wiped out

Manuel Lanzini is facing the full wrath of the FA after his penalty box theatrics for West Ham on Saturday and quite right too. Diving – it’s worse than wasps.

Rafa might not be world class after all

He’s been lauded as one of the best coaches on the planet for years now, but his Newcastle team is falling to bits and sinking down the Premier League table fast. Okay, so Mike Ashley didn’t open the St James’ purse strings, however if was Rafa really is all that, surely he’s capable of improving the players he’s got and devising tactics that will deliver a better return than one point from the last nine matches?

It’s alright at the Stadium Of Light

It only took 364 days but Sunderland have finally notched up a home victory. As an unbiased Black Cats season ticket holder, I’m now hugely confident that the 1000/1 bet I placed on us getting promoted this season is a dead cert.

Barcelona have got it right

The Catalan club have said they won’t be forming a guard of honour for Club World Cup-winning Real Madrid at the Bernabeu this Saturday. Quite right too – Madrid have won a tournament that is the footballing equivalent of a £5 scratchcard victory and a guard of honour would be an embarrassment for everyone concerned.

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What do you think?