Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has today verbally defended his record signing of Andy Carroll (pictured above) after his England manager Fabio Capello bemoaned the £35 million player's fitness levels.
"His fitness would stand up against anybody's. I don't think his lifestyle is anything like you want it to be to write a story," said Dalglish in an interview for the press ahead of his club's match at Stoke on Saturday.
It will be a big moment for Carroll, who has risen to prominence in a short space of time on the back of some muscular and intelligent performances for Newcastle United in the Championship and Premier League, and he must start to score and create goals for his team for the press to drop their increasing interest in his reportedly wild lifestyle.
It is also an important weekend for North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, who have started the season catastrophically. While the Spurs have kept hold of all of their best players, Arsenal fans have suffered the exits of key midfield duo Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. The arrivals at the club towards the end of August will partially appease the fans.
However, the main concern of both sets of supporters is that the teams register their first victories of the 2011-12 campaign. During defeats to both Manchester clubs, the Spurs have shipped eight goals. Arsenal were outfought and outplayed by rivals Liverpool and were then trounced 8-2 by the champions Manchester United.
Spurs are currently bottom, Arsenal are 17th.
Last matchday, I beat Thomas Atzenhoffer 9-6 in the predictions game, meaning that I have won two and drawn one of my encounters to date.
This week it is the turn of Neri Stein, a writer who covers the NBA and tennis also and has racked up nearly one million reads in a short space of time, to try to beat me.
Let's hope for some more crazy 8-2 matches. It's just not as much fun without them!