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Tales From The Top Flight

08/09/2016 15:56

Diego Costa said he always knew he would score for Spain, having netted twice against Liechenstein. Always, Diego? Always? Even when you were a little boy growing up in Brazil? Chelsea are still chasing free agent Martin Caceres? They can't be regretting buying David Luiz for a second time already, surely?

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva claims the club has enough quality now for two starting XI's. Lucas, my dear boy. I've seen your squad, and by that token all I can see is two teams crying out for someone who can play left back. Klopp has revealed he refused he pay £10m for Leicester's Ben Chilwell, the left back that is very highly rated but nobody has ever seen play.

A photo of John Terry meeting Alex Ferguson when he was a young boy has been doing the rounds today. Terry that is, not Ferguson as that would be some kind of weird time travel thing and a far better story. Terry credits Fergie with inspiring him to be a champion. What would have happened if Terry had joined United? Well, some of Ryan Giggs's dramas could have taken a whole new twist I suppose.

A "study" claims that Eric Bailly was the most overpriced signing of the transfer window. £32m was about £20m higher than his true market value, said "study" claims. Really? More overpriced than Sissoko, Bolasie and Benteke? Time will tell, but the defender has settled in seamlessly at United and surely that is a better measure of value? I know, I live in a freaky world where I like to see people perform well on the pitch to justify price tags and hype. And to be fair to Bailly, he is performing so far.

Danny Rose would love to finish his career at Spurs. That will be music to the ears of Spurs fans who must be sick of their better players always wanting to move on and player for bigger clubs. Rose joined Spurs around the same time as Bale, and whereas Bale moved forwards up the pitch, Rose moved backwards going from left midfield to left back. Bale now plays for Real Madrid and stars for Wales. Rose has to play for England. Could have been so different, hey?

Slovakia defender Jan Durica has claimed England's last minute win on Sunday night was "fixed." To be honest, that would be just like the FA. Fix a game and need a last minute winner through the keeper's legs to make sure it all went to plan.

Harry Kane has admitted his inability to take corner kicks became a source of amusement for his team mates during Euro 2016. As ever, nice to see they got their priorities right. His team mates inability to get him the ball in the right areas to score goals should have been a higher concern. Equally Kane's inability to take the few chances that did come his way could have been questioned. But no, let's have a giggle at the daft old manager that thinks Harry should take corners. Let's use this as today's example of why we should all give up on the England team, shall we? Actually no, this is worse. Big Sam is sticking to his "Wayne can play where he wants" narrative. Apparently it is similar to what Coleman allows Bale to do for Wales. The main difference being, one is Gareth Bale and one is Wayne Rooney. Roll on 2018 when he retires to focus on being a liability for United.

I thought I would break up today's column with something very, very funny for once. Yes, none of the usual tongue-in-cheek, poke fun stuff here. I am going for downright hilarious. Yaya Toure's agent has claimed both United and Arsenal are interested in his client. I'll just leave that there for a second and you can decide for yourselves whether there is any point in me continuing today. I mean, I'm not going to top that am I?

David Luiz, he's a dressing room delight. The Chelsea, um, defender flew back to Paris purely to play some goodbye pranks on Aurier and Trapp. Ah, Costa and Ivanovic are two lads who look like they enjoy a bit of a giggle in training.

Chelsea are not the only club interesting in signing a free agent now the window has shut. Pardew is looking to replace Jedinak on the cheap and has his sights firmly set on the former Gunner Flamini. Why Flamini would want to sign for a manager that is highly unlikely to still be there by Christmas is beyond me. He'd be better off going to join Eddie Howe's Arsenal tribute act down at Bournemouth.

Earlier I mentioned reported that a "study" revealed that Eric Bailly was the most overpriced signing of the transfer window, which felt a little harsh on the Manchester United defender. Bailly need not worry, he has Lee Sharpe in his corner. The former United playboy has called Bailly a "rock" and believes that with him at the back United are building the foundation of something very beautiful. David May agrees too, joining in the interview as if he'd been a massive part of it. If you get that one, I'll get a rough idea of how old you are.

Players everywhere are declaring themselves fit and available for the weekend, which is good news for some teams and not so much for others. Sadio Mane is raring to go for Liverpool but sadly for Arsenal so is Olivier Giroud. The thought of Olivier Giroud constantly makes me think of Niclas Bendtner who has talked himself into a move to Nottingham Forest. That just goes to show, eventually you do have to shut up and let your football do the talking and that is what Niclas did. And that is why Niclas will be lining up at the City Ground very soon.

I saw some punditry that made me throw my coffee at the laptop as well. ESPN paid someone to come up with the nugget that David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne are going to be vital to Manchester City this season. Considering one has been their true player of the year for many of the last few seasons and the other cost £50m I fail to see how this is new news. Incredible. That said, if anyone wants to pay TFTTF money to state the bleeding obvious, I'll gratefully accept it. Plus I know what an inverted wing back is/does/doesn't do. Honest.

The European Club Association have thoroughly backed the plans to allow top tier nations to have a guaranteed four teams in the Champions League very soon. Considering the European Club Association is run by people linked to clubs in top tier nations this should not come as any great surprise. If they had thought it was a bad idea it would have been akin to turkey's actually voting for Christmas. Anything that helps the richest clubs get richer, right?

PS: Tales from the Top Flight has been nominated for Best New Football Blog at the 2016 Football Blogging awards. We could do with your vote or we are going to look as bad as Alberto Moreno at left back.

Thank you, all votes are greatly appreciated.

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