Abdallah Sima had made quite the impact for Rangers after joining them on loan from Brighton in the summer, the Senegalese forward helping himself to a handsome number of goals in the early part of the season. But the 22-year-old then suffered a bit of a dip in form and his manager Philippe Clement reckoned he knew why. “He’s a first-time father with a baby in the house, taking care of his wife and the baby crying, so a little bit less sleep, a little bit less fresh.”
But it was nice to hear Clement add “that’s part of life and is also important”, suggesting that he acknowledged that Sima taking care of his wife and baby was a good thing and that maybe he’d just bear with him while he tended to his fatherly duties, which, of course, are infinitely more important than net-busting.
Hold yer horses: “He’s now sleeping before games in a separate room to get his rest, we talked about that,” said Clement. And since then, a well-rested Sima has scored four goals in three games, bringing his season’s tally to 13. Unlucky for some, especially Mrs Sima.
Soon enough, she won’t be the only one. “We have players who are getting babies – there are quite a few in December and January,” said Clement. If their partners have any sense, they’ll look for moves in the transfer window.
Word of mouth
“I did my PCL [posterior cruciate ligament]. I’d never heard of that injury before and probably the worst thing you can do is go home and Google it – and it tells you your leg is about to get amputated.” – Hearts’s Barrie McKay making the same mistake we’ve all made: Googling symptoms.
“Bottle Job FC is back.” – Mesut Õzil didn’t leave Arsenal on the best of terms, but he endeared himself to their faithful with this tweet after Spurs’s defeat by West Ham last Thursday. Mind you, after Arsenal lost to Aston Villa come Saturday, Spurs would have been entitled to reply with a hearty lol.
“I will say that I am worried about the referee ... I don’t think he has the emotional stability to work at this level.” – José Mourinho, the emotionally unstable one, ahead of Roma’s game against Sassuolo, which was refereed by Matteo Marcenaro. Ban incoming.
Making Emile unhappy
Folk of a certain vintage will recall one of the crueller football chants of all time, “if Emile Heskey can score for England, so can I”. And, after England humbled Germany in Munich back in 2001, “5-1 – and even Heskey scored”, from which the title of his autobiography came.
That’s not the only cruelty he’s suffered in his time, though, as he told FourFourTwo magazine, the pronunciation of his first name being the bane of his life.
“Whenever I go in to a coffee shop now and they write your name on the cup, I say, ‘William’.”
Why? “Because they’ll inevitably shout out ‘Emily!’” Poor lad.
“I would go on foot. I wouldn’t need a flight, I’d walk ... just kidding.” – Carlo Ancelotti on whether he’d be tempted to move to Saudi Arabia if he got an offer like new LIV recruit Jon Rahm’s €525 million. Ish.
59,042 – The attendance at the Arsenal v Chelsea game at the Emirates on Sunday, a new record for the WSL.
More word of mouth
“Jamie Carragher has not won a single title. Never ever.” – A peeved Pep Guardiola after Carragher had suggested that his Manchester City side have been a touch on the complacent side this season.
“I think I’d have probably won one if Liverpool were owned by a nation state, and pushed the rules so far that the PL charged us 115 times.” – Carragher sharpening his teeth and biting back.
“I took them all the way to the Champions League but my greatest moment was also my biggest heartbreak because they sacked me six months later, when I was expecting a statue.” – Ange Postecoglou still bitter about how his spell as Southend United gaffer ended. (On the video game thingie, Football Manager).