Sharman’s 3 thoughts: Will Mourinho park the bus at Arsenal?

Craig Forrest and James Sharman look at a busy weekend of Premier League action, with Arsenal taking on Manchester United.

Ahead of every weekend this season I will give you my three thoughts on what’s going on in the Premier League. These might not always be the biggest stories, but rather my personal observations as the games approach each Saturday.

Here’s what makes me somewhat intrigued ahead of Matchday 15.

Usual silliness at World Cup draw

What is it about World Cup draws that makes us feel compelled to watch them live?  We are fully aware we’ll be subjected to a lot of utter nonsense before the actual draw takes place. And it’s not as if we’ll miss anything as the draw unfolds – we can find out the results later – yet we feel we have to be involved in real time. 

This year’s draw on Friday in Moscow did not disappoint. There was the usual back-patting and self-congratulatory awfulness that we’ve grown accustomed to, and of course the dreadful music and dance numbers. 

As for the draw? Meh. Aside from a relatively intriguing Group D, and a Portugal vs Spain matchup early in the tournament, it hardly sets pulses racing. However, I have filled out a bracket already, and the possibility of a France-Croatia or England -Colombia matchup in the Round of 16 intrigues me, as do potntial “money games” in the quarterfinals, such as Spain vs. Argentina, Germany vs. Belgium or Portugal vs. France.   

Now, we get to watch each week of the domestic seasons and cross our fingers the stars stay healthy.

Watch five games from the Premier League this weekend live on Sportsnet, including Arsenal vs. Manchester City. Coverage begins Saturday at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Welcome back, Big Sam

Sam Allardyce’s appointment as Everton manager this week was met with the expected derision by some fans, but is that fair to Big Sam? Don’t forget this was the same man who was appointed England manager not so long ago. Sure, he left in disgrace, but did sport a 100% record in charge of the Three Lions. “It was only one match” you scream. Yeah, but so what?  The fact is, Big Sam is a very good manager, and he is also unfairly labelled as an old school, long ball coach, when in fact he has always been one of the more progressive managers in England. 

Maybe, just maybe, he will do a good job at Goodison Park. To write him off before Everton has even kicked a ball with him in charge is a bit too much.

Wil Mourinho park the bus at Arsenal?

Manchester United travels to Arsenal in the late match on Saturday, and Jose Mourinho says that when his side has the ball, it will attack with 11 men. It’s hard to believe him, considering he admitted just last week after a comfortable win that his team probably featured too many attackers. 

Mourinho is also the same man who is renowned for parking the bus away from home against top sides. Could it be he has realized that is not the only option?  The numbers speak for themselves – in his last 11 matches on the road against top six sides, Mourinho has not won once, and lost six times. Is he looking ahead to next week’s match vs. Manchester City, and realizing the Red Devils had better pick up three points this weekend?  Or is it all bluster, and once again we’ll be condemned to disappointment as he kills off yet another big game?