TUESDAY’S BIG STORIES

Fans are back!(ish) but some are not going to be happy

Premier League
Lampard: Chelsea were under pressure, Fulham 'made it difficult'
YESTERDAY AT 20:20

Firstly, fans look set to return to football matches in some capacity in some areas in the very near future. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced the fan return on Monday stating that a maximum of 4,000 fans will be able to attend sporting events, including Premier League games once the UK exits its national lockdown on December 2.

Secondly, it is important to make one thing clear: fandom can manifest itself in many ways. For some fans that entails singing, shouting and consuming alcohol; for others those behaviours are utter hell. Both are perfectly acceptable within the law and reason. However, for fans whose match day enjoyment is wedded to singing, shouting and supping untold amounts of alcohol, the upcoming return to Premier League games could prove disappointing.

The Daily Mail have had a gander at a leaked Premier League document and claim that football fans will potentially be asked to refrain from the aforementioned potentially enjoyment-inducing endeavours.

The Mail say that fans may be asked not to shout, sing or drink alcohol when they are allowed back into grounds. Now *may* is the key word here. The document that The Mail has seen sets out guidelines to clubs and the paper adds that those guidelines can be tailored to each club's requirements. It also states that fans will be expected to sign up to the rules - whatever they might be - at the point of purchase of their tickets.

However, according to The Mail's reporting, clubs can have varying policies across the league; that seems a sure-fire way to ensure that certain fans do not comply with the rules. There should be one hard and fast set of rules across the board and they should be as conservative as. If there is a miniscule chance that no shouting, no singing and no drinking alcohol reduces the chance of inflating the 'R' rate then it should be a given that these rules are applied.

And if some fans don't like this form of fan return, well, sing, shout and sup at home. As stated above, fandom can manifest itself in whatever way certain fans see fit as long as it is within the confines of the law and reason. It currently stands to reason that Premier League clubs and their fans should do all they can to protect against the spread of Covid-19.

This seems a bit weird

Nicolas Pepe laid - by the rules of association football - a headbutt on Leeds United's Ezgjan Alioski. It was a nothing incident really but, at the same time, a sending off. It was a mistake. Nothing more, nothing less. Everyone makes mistakes. Like, for example, the Wenger Out collective probably got it wrong seeing that the club have been a rampaging shambles since his exit.

Anyway, that is an aside but the point is, it seems a bit much for a player's club to do a fairly rudimentary Photoshop to let their followers know that one of their players had apologised for making a mistake.

Alan Pardew gets another job

Alan Pardew has another job. His last job, at ADO Den Haag, saw him steer the club further towards relegation before the Covid-enforced cancellation of the Eredivisie (and relegation) saved Alan another relegation on the old curriculum vitae. He has now made a surprise move upstairs as it was once known, taking on the role of technical director at CSKA Sofia. It looks like he will be involved in player recruitment.

“Army men, English football specialist Alan Pardew will henceforth be part of the big red family of the Army,” read a statement on the club's website.

He will take the position of technical director and will help with his vast experience and contacts in the overall development of the club and attracting players to the representative team. The 59-year-old Briton has already signed his contract and started working immediately. Welcome to the Army, Mr Alan Pardew!

Ryan Kent with the flyaway goal

Ryan Kent, formerly of Liverpool, has been integral to Steven Gerrard's Rangers' rise to the top of the Scottish Premiership table. The Ibrox club currently sit 11 points clear of second-place Celtic, who do have two games in hand. Aberdeen are a further five points back in third. Anyhow, Kent scored this complete banger in the match between Rangers and Aberdeen over the weekend.

It was the opener in a four-goal scrubbing. Anyway, it was some nutmeg and some hit, and reminiscent of a flyaway ball from way back when. The glory days.

For the unaware:

HEROES AND ZEROS

HERO - Dele Alli, that is filth

Elite sportspeople are elite sportspeople because they are elite. Often, their elite-ness is not tied to a particular sport. They are, to invert a phrase, masters of all trades and a jack of none.

And so, it seems that the above is applicable to Dele Alli, who produced the complete and utter filth at Tottenham's training ground during a game of cricket.

Complete and utter filth.

ZERO

This is old man yells at crowd territory but everyone involved in this.

Dreadful.

HAT-TIP

It is a hat-tip to one of our own this morning, one Peter Sharland on Frank Lampard’s defensive vindication, he writes.

It’s safe to say Lampard has been vindicated. Only four teams have allowed fewer shots than the Blues this season and only two have conceded fewer goals. Across those seven games they’ve let in just one goal. In his first nine Chelsea games Mendy has conceded just two goals. He’s the first Chelsea goalkeeper since Petr Cech to keep a clean sheet in their first three Premier League games. No player in the Premier League currently has more than his four clean sheets.

COMING UP

More football. Of which many football managers will be pleased. Eurosport will be offering minute-by-minute coverage of Rennes v Chelsea, Dynamo Kiev v Barcelona, Manchester United vs. Istanbul Basaksehir and PSG v Leipzig where you can keep up with the latest spate of injuries.

Ahead of that, of course, is another full day’s coverage from the UK Championship snooker, you can follow it live on eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app.

Ben Snowball will be here on Wednesday and the Eurosport Twitter account is already prepping an apology Photoshop for his behaviour.

Premier League
Mount strikes late to hand Chelsea win over 10-man Fulham
YESTERDAY AT 16:45
Premier League
Frank Lampard says it's tough to criticise players for hugging
14/01/2021 AT 17:58