Occasionally readers who I know in real life tell me they like my blog, but skip the posts on sport. To be honest, I can’t say I blame them. This is what I said ten days ago:
Alistair Cook has failed miserably, and hasn’t had a run of decent scores for years;
At the time I wrote that I’d have been happy to see him dropped for the next test. Only I woke up this morning to find he’s sitting pretty on 244 not out at the MCG, overtaking Jayawardene, Chanderpaul, and Lara on the all-time run scorers list. This is probably why the ECB aren’t urgently calling me for advice on such matters.
Then there was the time I wrote about Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola:
Of the three top-name newcomers to Premier League management, Guardiola has the furthest to fall and seems to be struggling the most. I suspect that explains his rather odd behaviour in the interview I linked to in my opening paragraph, in which he hints at retirement. Things can change quickly of course and Man City are still in the Champions League, but Guardiola is likely going to have to work harder in the next five months than he has in his entire managerial career. Welcome to England, Pep!
One year on and Manchester City are 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League, the widest ever margin at this point in the season. They have yet to be beaten in the league and have won a record-breaking 18 successive league matches, and are playing and winning in a manner their closest rivals could not even hope to match. Guardiola and his men will win the league at a canter. In Europe, they finished top of their Champions League group with ease and face FC Basel in the first round of knockout matches. I suspect this turnaround in fortunes came as a result of Guardiola finding my blog post and taking to reading it aloud in the changing room before vital matches. Whatever success he achieves this season will be thoroughly deserved.
Happily, Liverpool’s defence is still crap so I don’t yet have to revisit my critique of Jurgen Klopp. If the £75m they are spending on Van Dijk shores them up at the back I may soon have to: their attack is phenomenally good.