Ozil/Almiron/Son shines/Sean Dyche/Merry Xmas to all readers

Ozil had a decent game against Burnley & Arsenal won 3-1.

What’s the future for Ozil?

He was indulged by The Previous Manager and his ridiculous salary is a burden for Emery, Sanllehi and Mislintat.

January whispers?

Apparently, Arsenal are interested in Miguel Almiron, a Paraguayan attacking midfielder who plays for Atlanta United in the MLS, having joined them from Lanus (Argentina) for $8m in 2016.

I had every sympathy with Sean Dyche because I don’t think Burnley got one decision in the whole game.

I didn’t see any of the after-match and didn’t know if Dyche had said anything or agreed with what I thought I saw.

But I read his comments this morning.

Dyche said, “We’re on about blatant, no touch, no contact; about phantom touches and people just jumping up in the air and going over. The absolute cheating, dives. No one seems to want to do anything about it, apart from me. If one of their players had been booked for it – he would have been off.”

The greatest Asian footballer to ever play in Europe took Everton apart at Goodison.

Two goals by Son and two assists in a 6-2 demolition.

Gary Neville, co-commentating on Sky with Martin Tyler, said, “The team is built round Harry Kane’s strengths.They need players to run past him.”

Dele and Son do that, Lucas Moura and Lamela do it too, even Eriksen does it. And that’s what I’ve said here for two years :Kane gives Spurs their style of play. What I have not said until now is that Pochettino’s style of play is evolving all the time, so while they still have much of the old automatic, the team also has some new automatic. And in this game Eriksen played as deep as Xavi and started everything and did whatever he wanted to do. No blue shirt ever got near him.

I gather Sir Alex has been pulling the strings behind the scenes in Manchester.The appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer triggered a 5-1 romp at Cardiff and we all enjoy that style of play. Passing the ball sideways bores the boxers off me.

What will this old beatnik remember about 2018?

Not much! A year of few highlights.

Saw Three Billboards in January with Miran and Jan.
He took us to the Kilburn Tricycle in the new Audi
and Jan said, “I love being driven – I never get driven.”

Walking back to the car, Miran said, “In Bruges is funnier.”
I said, “This screenplay will be taught in film schools for the next hundred years.”

Manon was thrilling in April and Southgate’s Summer was surreal because England won a penalty shoot-out.

Our ten October days in Brac were just about perfect.

Last night we went to a jolly party and I talked to an Irishman about music and to another guy about Sir Alex and Bobby Robson.

The hostess’s daughter Neela went to school with Caroline, then to Oxford.

She said, “ ‘Don’t follow a club, Neela – follow a person.’ You told me that when I was a kid.”

It’s been fun to see a bunch of good kids grow up.

This morning Caroline came in and sat on my lap while I was typing this and gave me a gingerbread man with a bow-tie and buttons and edible glitter.

Every Christmas Eve for the last seventeen years, Abi, Caroline Katie and Ria go round to Kierra’s to bake gingerbread men.

This is Kierra.

I’m the DJ today so now I’m gonna go downstairs and put on some Duke Ellington, then Sinatra.

After that somebody will cook scrambled eggs & smoked salmon on a toasted croissant for brunch and then we’ll open the presents.