Pray for Everton’s squad. They’re not in trouble, per se, but according to The Independent, the Toffees’ owners are eager to replace the departed Frank Lampard with everyone’s favourite bucket-obsessed dog sled musher, Marcelo Bielsa. The Argentine, bespectacled and beloved, has been out of work since leaving Leeds United last February, but is never too far away from the ceaseless machinations of the rumour mill.
With his baggy shell suits and verbal frugality, Bielsa brings to mind the uncle of a Russian Olympic gymnastics prodigy, and his coaching methods are no less demanding. His sides run harder than everybody else, they dig deeper than everybody else. They thrive on a brand of beautiful, unhinged chaos. They are to football what Jackson Pollock’s abstract expressionism was to the world of fine art.
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Whether Bielsa would be able to instil the requisite spirit to realise his deranged vision partway through a campaign remains to be seen. It is also worth noting that the South American notoriously enters talks with the iron will and meticulous doggedness of a CIA hostage negotiator, and at this present moment in time, Everton could barely charm their way out of a speeding ticket. But hey, stranger things have happened...
Elsewhere, Manchester United’s quest to get rid of Donny van de Beek continues in earnest. Like an infestation of bed bugs, or the Go Compare man, however, he just keeps on coming back time and time again. At this point, the Red Devils have tried everything. They’ve given him the silent treatment; they’ve barricaded him in a broom cupboard at Carrington with a Rubik’s Cube and a couple of months’ worth of Dairylea Lunchables for sustenance; they’ve even sent him into the very jaws of Hell itself, Goodison Park. And yet, everyone’s third favourite Donny - after Osmond and that kid from The Wild Thornberrys - refuses to take the hint.
United’s latest ploy to part company with the Dutchman, according to Tutto Mercato Web, is to offer him to Juventus, perhaps in the vague hope that he might get accidentally swept up in the corruption scandal engulfing the Turin club and subsequently become the property of the Italian penal system. Also, if Weston McKennie were to move in the other direction, Erik ten Hag certainly wouldn’t be complaining. Any swap agreement will likely have to wait until the summer, however, with Van de Beek currently facing a lengthy injury lay-off.
And finally, Chelsea are reportedly set to offer a new contract to Brazilian defender Thiago Silva, presumably because after attempting to sign every other player known to to mankind, the only way for Todd Boehly to slake his shopaholic’s bloodlust is to start striking deals with the ones he already owns.