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Last modified on Wed 15 Dec 2021 15.57 GMT
Last night, soon after Leeds United’s 7-0 evisceration at the hands of Manchester City at the Etihad, an angry caller got in touch with a late-night talkSport show and said it was time for Marcelo Bielsa to leave the club. “He’s got to go, simply, that’s all I’ve got to say on that matter,” said Jack, who had plenty more to say on the matter before nominating his two potential replacements. “There are managers out there,” he said. “I’ll throw a couple of names out there now. I’m a big admirer of Sam Allardyce. Even Steve Bruce, I’d have him in charge.” How quickly they forget, eh?

Jack wasn’t alone among a minority of fickle Leeds fans quick to get the radge on over what they saw as the club’s worst performance in living memory … assuming that is they had no recollection of the halcyon days before their return to the Premier League during a 16-year period when they lost 5-0 to Blackpool and 7-3 to Nottingham Forest in front of their own fans. Indeed, nobody seemed more upset by the manner in which they were smithereened at City than their own manager, who looked so utterly crushed at the final whistle it would not have been surprising to see him call up a radio network and demand his own head.
While your Allardyces, your Bruces and other potential Bielsa replacements might have blamed the absence of several key players including Kalvin Phillips, Patrick Bamford and Liam Cooper on the emphatic nature of their team’s defeat to an imperious team playing at their very best, Bielsa did not even mention the missing trio as he sought to come to terms with the horrors visited upon his team at the speed of light. A lesser man might also have pointed to the fact that Pep Guardiola’s rampant side were nigh on unplayable as they romped to victory in a truly stunning performance but a sanguine if slightly masochistic Bielsa observed that “it’s not that City played very well, it’s a lot more noticeable how badly we played.” One hopes that, as he torments himself poring over replays on his laptop in his local Wetherby Costa coffee shop, Marcelo might in time concede that for all his team’s shortcomings last night, the reigning champions weren’t actually too bad.
Join Barry Glendenning for a Premier League clockwatch from 7.30pm, while Simon Burnton will be on hand at 8pm with minute-by-minute updates of Hoffenheim 1-3 Arsenal in Women’s Big Cup.
“I am very proud of the career I have had – very happy. I always dreamed about playing football since I was five years old when I first touched a ball. My dream was to play in the top division; I never imagined I would get to Europe so I want to show my gratitude to everyone” – a tearful Sergio Agüero announces his retirement after a stellar career due to a heart condition. Enjoy your downtime, Sergio, you deserve it.
It’s the Football Weekly pod squad on majestic Manchester City and Mikel Arteta fighting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the breaches.
“It’s fitting that Pep Guardiola’s admiration of Marcelo Bielsa was cemented over a BBQ at Bielsa’s house years ago, because Manchester City absolutely roasted Leeds. It turns out that this wasn’t even Bielsa’s worst defeat at the hands of Pep. In La Liga back in 2010, Bielsa’s Almeria were thrashed 8-0 by Guardiola’s Barcelona. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!” – Peter Oh.
“Jon Millard is so close (if being incorrect by a factor of 100 times can be called close) on the odds of Brighton being The Talking Point 10 times out of 13 games (yesterday’s Fiver letters). The true probability is 0.035, or 3.5% (not Jon’s 0.035%). Which still seems pretty remote (one in 29 chance). But don’t ignore that there are 20 separate clubs statistical observations going on here. The chances of any one registering a score 10/13 becomes pretty likely then. Yes, I should get out more but you’ll agree that’s been tricky of late …” – Paul Gaskell (and a few others).
Send your letters to And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’ the day is … Peter Oh.
It’s David Squires on … a right Eton mess for Boris Johnson and Whitehall FC.
A former World Cup 2022 worker has failed in his appeal against a jail sentence in Qatar – sparking fierce condemnation from human rights groups.
Brendan Rodgers has revealed that Leicester failed in an attempt to get their match against Tottenham postponed, despite having nine players unavailable. “We have looked at it but unfortunately for us we weren’t granted dispensation,” sniffed the Foxes boss.
Everton striker Richarlison has admitted manager Rafael Benitez was right to substitute him in the defeat at Crystal Palace. “It was frustrating … but Rafa did the right thing,” he chirped. “I wasn’t able to play at my maximum capacity because of the issue with my calf and if I stayed on I would have done more damage.”
Organisers of the Africa Cup of Nations say the show will go on despite European clubs’ threats not to release players due to rising Covid rates.
The FA and Barclays have agreed a new three-year £30m sponsorship deal that will double the bank’s investment in women’s and girls’ football, which is good news.
And Real Madrid, Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao have have opened a can of legal whoopass on La Liga after it agreed a €1.994bn investment from private equity fund CVC Capital Partners last week.
Jamie Jackson takes a look back at Sergio Agüero’s career and how he has accepted it coming to an end.
Which players have paid their own transfer fees?The Knowledge has the answer.
Arsenal need a new captain after Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang was a naughty boy. Nick Ames discusses their armband issues.
Got, got, got, need! Richard Foster looks back at 60 years of Panini stickers.
And if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!


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