Q&A Part 2 : Sadio Mane & Danny Rose & Antonio Conte & Miguel Delaney


Sadio Mane is an elemental warrior, a force of nature. He’s  thunder and lightning in a red shirt and red shorts. A power player who can terrorise defences. I knew Liverpool would miss him badly when he was away at the AFCON . On Saturday, Mane went bang!bang! in 16 and 18 minutes and Tottenham were dead.

Liverpool blew them away – and then continued to blow them away. Turns out skipper Jordan Henderson had called a team meeting that Klopp didn’t know about and some home truths were told. The club captain felt they had let their manager down.

Do Spurs need a team meeting now?

But the manager has to reconfigure at the back and stabilise his defence. With Spurs, if the back is not efficient, the attack will be invisible. Their style is a collective one, it’s an 11-man style with 11-man tactics. Pochettino is missing Danny Rose now as much as Klopp missed Mane. When I sometimes say that  Danny Rose was Tottenham’s best forward, I’m not joking. And no club has two Roses in their squad. Alderweireld misses Verthongen because they’ve played together since they were 16 at Ajax and each knows what the other is going to do.


I watched the whole game and enjoyed it. Antonio Conte didn’t bring his subs on soon enough. Give Batshuayi 20 minutes with Willian! Don’t bring him on in 87!!! Hazard was hiding in the second half and Pedro also struggled.

Burnley played British football very well. If only England could pay with the same tempo, organisation and belief as Burnley do. Robbie Brady’s 27th minute free-kick was sublime, equalising a slick breakaway goal by Pedro in the 9th.

Did you watch the Sky Sunday Supplement?

Yes but only saw 20 minutes because I thought my Skybox was on Series Record. However, a friend told me what I missed.

Miguel Delaney of The Independent was very good on his debut. Show has needed younger hacks for years. From the Chelsea press box low down behind the technical area, Delaney can see Conte micro-managing his tactics during the match. Jeremy Wilson (Daily Telegraph) talked about Conte’s  “tactical energy” and man-management . Somebody noted that when he managed Italy he’d said, “I want to create a small war-machine.” Apparently Conte has compared Fabregas to Pirlo, saying he is “a genius on the ball.”

What about Arsenal?

Apparently, Alan Smith has said he doesn’t go along with the “Be careful what you wish for” mantra that many still spout.

Will you watch Bournemouth v Manchester City tonight?

I will if Gabriel Jesus starts the game. The teenager is learning and doesn’t yet know what he can do in the Premier League. Neither do we.