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Rant of the Week: AJ loses the plot, the Sportwashing Derby & #KloppOut?

It was another great weekend of sport for us and I really enjoyed seeing some good quality racing from York with their summer Ebor festival. Baaeed was one of the highlights again and it will be fascinating to see where he goes next. After a few piss poor weeks, it was good to have some competitive action again and hopefully you all enjoyed it too

The big sports story of the weekend though was the defeat and subsequent meltdown from Anthony Joshua on Saturday night in Jeddah (and we’ll have more on our Arab friends later in this weeks rant).  Usyk once again proved simply too good for the Brit and how it was a split decision god only knows!  I’m all for backing the English fella but even I thought that was a dodgy looking card. Unfortunately it’s something we see a lot of in boxing and it does the sport no favours when there is an injustice on the cards.

AJ did look a lot better than in his first fight against the tough Ukrainian but ultimately the speed and boxing brain of Usyk was just too much. AJ once again looked like he was going to gas out but getting hit for 12 rounds by a guy who is constantly on the move is not a fun way to spend a Saturday evening!  Usyk deserved the win and both he and the ‘other’ big Brit were quick enough to call each other out. Fury for me is a class above and gives Usyk real problems and is rightly the bookies favourite for the fight (assuming it does actually happen). There hasn’t been a true undisputed heavyweight champion for years so they have to make it happen and personally I’d love to see Fury singing in the ring with all the belts around his waist

That undisputed contest looks like it will be back in Saudi & the early talk is that it would be on the same weekend as the winter World Cup Final in Qatar. Aside from the fact a Winter World Cup is complete bollocks & should never have been allowed, it’s clear more than ever that the Middle East is really starting to stamp its mark for the big sporting occasions. And they had a big one too on Sunday as Man City took on Newcastle in the Middle East derby!

A lot is made of them sportwashing but to be honest, I don’t give a shit if they are.  That’s not to say I condone some of the horror stories we hear from the region but looking at it from a purely sporting perspective, I find it hard to criticise.  If I was a Newcastle fan I would be fucking buzzing right now at what the future might hold and the team on the pitch is starting to look like they could be serious contenders in a few years. It also helps that they’ve got a great manager in place with Eddie Howe and they didn’t go down the route of a top ex-player instead. Gerard and Lampard were 2 of the best players we’ve had in recent years but the only thing they top now is the market for the sack race!

City have also benefited hugely from the Sheikhs money but the investment they have made not just in the team but the whole infrastructure is hugely impressive. I’d hate to see the prem become a one horse race but even though we always talk about it being the best league in the world, it’s still a pretty closed shop at the top of the table

The ones who have broke that domination in recent years tho have been Liverpool and the football from Klopps team over the years has been fantastic to watch at times. Monday night was not one of those night as they looked absolutely shite against a Utd team everyone has been criticising (including me in my last rant). Cheekily I put in the title Kloppout and whilst it’s a little tongue in cheek, you do start to wonder when his time will be up. After hitting such dizzying hightail, the form at the end of last season and the start of this has been worrying. The midfield against Utd wasn’t that off a title winning side and with the injuries they have, the squad strength is being exposed. It’s surely no coincidence that Liverpool looked tired & burnt out at the end of last season having played so many games.

Have Liverpool and Klopp now been found out a bit or are others simply catching up?  The last few seasons they & City have looked a long way ahead of the competition but so far this season, Liverpool in particular have been less than impressive against Fulham, Palace & now a struggling Utd side. Utd really seemed to target Trent Alexander Arnold and whilst hes phenomenal going forward, he’s not a great full back when pushed the other way. Even Van Dijk looked sluggish and it was not a good day at the office for Liverpool at all. I’m sure Liverpool fans will be hoping it’s just a slow start but I’ve no doubt they’ll hit top gear again at some point. As for Kloppy, he’s probably got a few more seasons in him and given the poor showing from the prodigal son, Stevie G, at Villa, there isn’t really an obvious successor hanging around in the wings.

What a great start it’s been to the season and we’ve got the bonus of that winter World Cup in the desert to look forward to as well

The Cheeky Punts Team

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