Monday will see a changing of the guard - well, almost.

It’s the Ballon D’Or, but not as we know it. And that’s because neither Ronaldo or Messi will win it! 

They’ve won football’s top honour 11 times in the last 12 years, but while both are on the list of nominees the general feeling is that the world’s two greatest players of the modern era will miss out. 

They’ve passed the Ballon D’Or between them for as long as I can remember and are legends of the game, but they struggled to match recent seasons last term.

Ronaldo showed flashes of brilliance, likewise Messi, but both had major club moves on their mind clearly - and Messi leaving Barcelona proved a right saga.

So, who should take the award?

Actually, let’s start with who will win the award - and that’s Robert Lewandowski.

 

The Bayern Munich striker has been very much in the shadow of Cristiano and Lionel in recent years, but not now.

He always scored goals and that continued last season. However, on a totting-up basis Lewandowski probably takes the award given he's been closest to the top two in recent years - and would have won it last year before they cancelled the event because of Covid. Bayern won the treble after all.

So it’s probably Robert’s turn, therefore, and he’d be a worthy winner. However, I’d give it to Jorginho of Chelsea and Italy.

Winning the Champions League and the Euros in the same season, and just weeks apart, was just sensational and Jorginho has been central to both team’s success. He played 90 minutes in every game that mattered, is a leader on the pitch, and everything seems to go through him.

And he’s shown great mental strength when you think he was always considered to be Sarri’s man when the Italian manager joined Chelsea and signed him. He struggled early on and the crowd started to get on his back. Now, they f*cking love him!

No, it’s Jorginho for me, although Lewandowski will get it.

As for the others, well, Salah at Liverpool serves huge respect. The geezer is unplayable at times, but if anything, he’s even better this season than last, so next season maybe? 

Benzema’s off-field issues could deny him the ultimate consideration, while Jorginho’s teammate at Chelsea N’Golo Kante would be in any World XI so that itself means he must be a contender.

 

 

 

Right, Ole’s sacking had nothing to do with me. Yes, I was there, but only as a fan!

You see I flew home last weekend to see Watford play Manchester United and the boys did f*cking great. The atmosphere at Vicarage Road was up there with the best I’ve heard and felt at the ground - and Ranieri’s men definitely deserved the victory - and some. It was a rout.

Watching it unfold, you knew it was curtains for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It was shambolic in the end, but has been coming for weeks. The geezer could do no right. Win a game and he had grace and favour, but lose a game, any game, and they were calling for his head.

 

 

 

He was in an impossible position but was always the odd one out when it came to the managers of the top, top sides - I’m talking Pep at Liverpool, Tuchel at Chelsea and Klopp at Liverpool. Ole’s not in that league just now and might never be.

United will go big now. Personally, I’d like to see Zidane in - he’d be a great addition to the Premier League, but if it’s true his missus doesn't want to move to Manchester that might be a problem! And maybe Pochettino will be the man for the them. Interesting times.

So, to this week’s games and Chelsea should have too much for Man United on Sunday. It’s the big game of the weekend and you wouldn't be surprised to see the Blues do a Liverpool on a despondent Man Utd - and give them a hiding.

 

 

 

Certainly, Michael Carrick and captain Harry Maguire have a mountain to climb to sort that team out. They’ve got the players, but there’s no real cohesion from what I could see on Saturday.

Ronaldo is great to watch on the ball, but he’s a luxury now more than ever. I’m not sure they can drop him but getting a system in place to make sure the teams not hampered by his lack of yards during the game is needed.

Football now is so different, it’s a hard-pressing game - and can he do that? But what Ronaldo can do is score goals, so it’s a dilemma for the new manager.

Well done to Collin Morikawa for winning not just the Race To Dubai but the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai last week.

It wasn't to be for Rory, but what a finish from Morikawa. Unbelievable stuff and great to watch as the European Tour came to a close - well, for one week at least!

They’re up and running again in the newly titled DP World Tour this week, kicking off in South Africa with the Joburg Open at Firethorn GC.

 

 

 

My fancies here are local boy Dylan Fritelli who’s competed pretty well on the PGA Tour this year, Johannes Veerman after a decent show in Dubai and Marcel Siem who secured his card last week and should be relaxed heading to this tournament.

Good luck all and see you next week.

Vinnie

 

Premier League

Saturday

Arsenal v Newcastle United ARSENAL WIN

Crystal Palace v Aston Villa DRAW

Liverpool v Southampton LIVERPOOL WIN

Norwich v Wolverhampton NORWICH WIN

Brighton & Hove Albion v Leeds United LEEDS WIN

Sunday

Brentford v Everton BRENTFORD WIN

Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur DRAW

Leicester v Watford DRAW

Manchester City v West Ham United MAN CITY WIN

Chelsea v Manchester United CHELSEA

 

Joburg Open

Dylan Fritelli

Johannes Veerman 

Marcel Siem