Alternative FA Cup third round preview: Get West Ham a player, any player, now.

جمعه 17 دی 1395 ساعت 23:35
Slaven Bilic to stand outside the Man City dressing room with a big bin bag

West Ham are desperate to make a signing this January. Any signing, they’re not fussy. Indeed, the Hammers have adopted the transfer strategy of a Football Manager player setting the search filter to ‘anyone’ over the past week. First they made a bid for Jermain Defoe. Then Scott Hogan. Then Moussa Dembele.
This was after they supposedly sent a letter round the Premier League asking which players they might be able to buy. Because that’s how shrewd signings are made, begging. Slaven Bilic will take matters into his own hands when Manchester City visit the London Stadium on Friday night, waiting outside the away dressing room with a bin bag. It’ll need to be a rather big bag, one of those ones used for garden waste, to catch Kelechi Iheanacho. Even bigger for Yaya Toure.

All the while Pep Guardiola will be out on the London Stadium pitch, soaking up his first experience of the FA Cup third round. Because this is what the famed competition is all about – playing at peculiar grounds completely unsuited to hosting top level football.

West Ham are like the last drunk bloke in a nightclub, staggering around desperate to take anyone home regardless of the rejections.
— Coral (@Coral) January 6, 2017
Arsene Wenger to test how far he can push Arsenal fans by fielding U16s against Preston

For the avoidance of any doubt Arsenal proved that they are still Arsenal with the 3-3 draw with Bournemouth earlier in the week. Arsene Wenger was subsequently the target of much ire from his own supporters, with Arsenal Fan TV illustrating a sort of post-apocalyptic vision outside the Vitality Stadium.

With a Premier League title challenge most likely beyond the Gunners it would be reasonable to assume the FA Cup would become a primary target this season. But Wenger will test how far he can push Arsenal’s fans by fielding a team of under 16s at Preston North End this weekend. Anyone old enough to buy a lottery ticket will be discounted. What did Alan Hansen say that one time?

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Sam Allardyce to sign Kevin Nolan on a one-match contract to play at Bolton

Things haven’t gone so smoothly for Sam Allardyce since he took over at Crystal Palace. Not one win from his first three games, Big Sam has been the victim of some big frustration, first getting into a verbal tussle of words with Watford mascot Harry the Hornet, then referee Paul Tierney. Allardyce needs to find some perspective. A return to his roots this weekend might do the trick.

Sam Allardyce begins process of defrosting Kevin Nolan
— TBN Sport (@TBNSport) January 3, 2017
Bolton will host Crystal Palace in the FA Cup third round, but while Allardyce will feel at home walking in through the Reebok Stadium (or whatever it’s called these days) front entrance it won’t quite feel the same without his boys by his side. And so Kevin Nolan will be signed on a one-match contract just to return to the place where the magic started. Kevin Davies was also approached, but he’s still too busy fouling defenders and getting away with it.

Jaap Stam will give Marcos Rojo a tutorial on how to really snap an opponent

Few defenders commanded the Old Trafford penalty area like Jaa Stam did. The greatest centre-back to have ever played for Manchester United, according to Sir Alex Ferguson, the Dutchman was a giant of one of the best teams to have ever played the game. He was also excellent at snapping opponents.

Marcos Rojo fancies himself at Man Utd’s snapper-in-chief, getting away with two-footed tackles in back-to-back games over the winter period. With his Reading side visiting Salford in the FA Cup, Stam will take the opportunity to impart some wisdom to Rojo. There’s nobody better to listen to if you’re intent on breaking a shin clean in two.

Paul Clement and Marco Silva to compare end-of-season severance packages

In the battle of the newbie managers, Swansea City and Hull City will clash in the FA Cup third round this weekend. Paul Clement and Marco Silva have both been appointed over the past week, with the two men facing the impossible task of saving two ships with giant holes in the hull (pun intended) from sinking.

Clement and Silva surely know they stand little chance of succeeding, and so they will compare their end-of-season severance packages when they meet at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday. The former will come out on top. Not only will he receive a package of millions when he is inevitably sacked but a job waiting wherever Carlo Ancelotti is working at the time. Someone has to coiffure those eyebrows.
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