Players frozen out & will Toney do the dirty?

4th January 2024

Share this:

The wrath of the manager has come to full light in this Premier League season and we can highlight two players who have felt it. First up is Jadon Sancho, one of the brightest young English hopefuls who has already played for Borussia Dortmund and been a Manchester United regular for the past two years. He also has 23 England caps under his name but that hasn't stopped him from being frozen out at Manchester United by manager Erik ten Hag. Sancho hasn't played a game since August because his attitude in training was not up to the required level set by Ten Hag. Sure this can happen, players can have off days, perhaps a pound was put on, perhaps they were over zealous in training. We have seen such incidents before, you usually get dropped for a game or two and receive a fine but Sancho has been dropped for four months and you have to wonder if something else isn't afoot between player and manager. Sancho quickly denied that he wasn't at the level and revealed that his relationship with Ten Hag had soured before September.

It's interesting to see a high profile player like Sancho frozen out for so long though, but this seems to be the Ten Hag way. He was perfectly happy to drop one of the greatest players in the history of football in Cristiano Ronaldo when he was at United so Sancho is going to be regarded as a small fish. Surely there must be a deeper issue at play though. On one hand Ten Hag could be praised for setting a high standard at the club but on the other will players reveal through future biographies that the Dutchman possessed too much control? Currently Sancho is heading out of United and is in talks to go back to Borussia Dortmund on loan. This would make perfect sense with the Euro's coming up but Sancho needs to play football and it is as clear as daylight that he will never play for Ten Hag again.

Another player that has fallen foul has been Jonny for Wolves, he has been at the club since 2019. However he has been frozen out for a training ground incident for the past month and will not be able to train with the first team until the end of this month. Jonny was struggling for a starting place anyway since Gary O' Neil was made manager and has only played once this season. His future looks to be away from Wolves and he may return to Spain even this month. Jonny's case seems to be more understandable than just a falling out with a manager and one has to wonder that there must have been a violent incident behind closed doors, was this borne out of frustration of a regular player losing his place? For now we are in the dark but for sure managers are not afraid to make bold decisions and freeze players out if need be. Some are forced decisions of course just look at Sandro Tonali who is suspended until August for Newcastle after he revealed that he had been placing bets in football games. Unlucky for Newcastle that this had occurred at his former club AC Milan and the Magpies had just paid £55m for his services.

Ivan Toney was suspended for the same reason last summer but he will finally return for Brentford in two weeks time, or will he? Arsenal have apparently made an enquiry into purchasing him, and one has to wonder how low the Gunners and Toney could get if this is pulled off? Brentford through no fault of their own have lost their best striker for the past 8 months they are on the verge of getting him back and he could be off. Forget club support and some ounce of loyalty, does it not leave you cold knowing that after a suspension Toney may well up and leave? Etiquette Arsenal, etiquette! At least wait until the summer.

Staying with Arsenal let's rewind a few weeks back to the clubs epic 4-3 win away to Luton, a side they would have been expected to beat with ease. In the end it took a last second goal from Declan Rice to seal all three points. After the game a beaming Rice was told that the club were 5 points clear of Manchester City at the top of the league, now he could have gone one of two ways here. Normally you would expect a player to be a little more humble and reveal that five points was not a huge gap considering we were not even at the halfway stage of the season. Instead Rice beamed even more as if he had been told the gap was treble that figure. Now of course Rice was happy at that moment, getting the winning goal, he was on cloud nine, but some perspective. Arsenal over the past decade have celebrated small wins and small advantages like they had just won the Premier League or Champions League, it has been their undoing in the end. Now they had their new fantastic signing doing the same thing, overconfidence can be a virtue it can also derail you. Since that victory at Luton Arsenal have won just once and collected 4 points from 15. A five point advantage over Manchester City has been reduced to zero, indeed City have gone past Arsenal on goal difference and have a game in hand. The Gunners have also slipped to 4th place and are 5 points behind current league leaders Liverpool!

To win the Premier League: Manchester City 1.72, Liverpool 3.25, Arsenal 8.00, Aston Villa 25.00, Tottenham 34.00


The oldest club competition in the world started last November of course but for Premier League sides it kicks off this weekend and this will be the 143rd edition- Manchester City are the current holders. There are some all Premier League clashes to look forward to including Crystal Palace v Everton, Brentford v Wolves, Tottenham v Burnley and the obvious eye catcher of them all Arsenal v Liverpool. The holders Manchester City will take on Huddersfield Town at home in what should be a very plain sailing game for Pep Guardiola's side. 

To win the FA Cup: Manchester City 4.00, Manchester United 10.00, Arsenal 11.00, Chelsea 11.00, Newcastle 13.00

Leave a Comment

Share this:
Top Football Tipster logo

© Copyright 2019