Saturdays are made for football and vice versa. There are more leagues for us to go through than a Jules Verne novel. Naturally we’re going to begin our journey at home where it turns out that Sadio Mane packed the real Liverpool in his suitcase as he went off to the African Cup of Nations and now he’s finally gotten around to unpacking. Just in time too, considering there were some mindless idiots on Twitter and various radio stations suggesting that Jurgen Klopp get his suitcases ready. Of course now everything is fine again and every problem that had appeared over the last month has magically disappeared. Because football media only works in absolutes. Aren’t we supposed to be better than that? Maybe we need Mane too…
Germany now and a side so familiar with recent relegation battles they make Sunderland look stable. There’s some sense of smug satisfaction then that Hamburg should triumph so spectacularly at the home of a promoted side that’s gotten so much attention this season. Red Bull Leipzig (or RasenBallsport Leipzig for the hipsters among us) have built much of the successful season so far on the back of an impressive home record. Unbeaten at home going into today and up against a Hamburg side who had only taken five points from their ten away games, there isn’t even enough sarcasm in the world for us to suggest how obvious the 3-0 HSVictory was. Three goals and a hat trick of sorts for Nicolai Müller, who set up every goal. Impressive, but not as impressive as an actual hat trick.
You have to feel for Moussa Dembele (and not just because he plays in Scotland). Last week he seemed to have walked away with three goals against St. Johnstone and seemingly had this award in the bag only for it to be snatched out of his hands. This time around he scores another hat trick and again he’s pipped to the post. Dembele is impressing everyone in the SPL and the wider footballing world but this will elude him once again. We’re a lot harder to get past than Inverness.
From a young French hot prospect you’ve definitely heard of to one you haven’t yet; Kylian Mpappe. Just to give you an idea of how young this kid is, Micheal Owen made his debut a good eighteen months before he was born. The fifth season of Friends was airing (the first time around) before he was born. In other news, footballers are getting younger and we’re all getting older. What was the point again? Oh yeah. Not content with reminding us of our mortality, Mpappe is rubbing it in by being a pretty damn good footballer already. Three goals in Monaco’s 5-0 rout of Metz has put him atop everyone’s next big thing list. All aboard the hype train. Next stop, probably a Premier League side that’ll massively overpay for him and then fail to nurture him, forcing him to rebuild his career all over again at the age of twenty two. Anthony Martial knows. Until then, just enjoy the ride.