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Welcome to Football Focus
as we prepare for one
season's standout fixtures.
Much to discuss with a couple
of standout pundits
in Mark Lawrenson and Jermaine
We will look ahead to the 200th
meeting between Manchester
United and Liverpool.
And we also have
all this on the way.
Chris Smalling talks
revival and rivalries.
When you're out in a food shop or
whatever all the fans just want to
make sure you win the game. They are
the ones you think of as a player.
on the misfiring Gunners.
We are a massive club and should be
doing much better so that is
Ryan Bertrand and the battle
for Premier League safety.
There's no point shying away from
the challenge, there is nowhere to
hide. We are professionals and we
relish the challenge ahead.
finds out that heaven
is a place on earth.
We've also got The Vaccines taking
on Lawro in Predictions later on.
That's all ahead of these
Premier League fixtures.
And it could be a pivotal day
at the bottom as Newcastle face
Southampton and Huddersfield
take on Swansea.
We will be live there shortly.
There's a Sunday double-header
before runaway league leaders
Manchester City go to Stoke.
But top of the list is today's early
kick-off where its second
versus third at Old Trafford.
Steve Crossman sat down
with Manchester United defender
Chris Smalling after he sparked
a bit of a turnaround
for Jose Mourinho's men on Monday.
So many times over the years this
stadium has been able to unsettle
the big boys. The odds are against
Crystal Palace tonight. Townshend
Acts like you would not think you
had team in third against a team in
18th. Manchester United closing! It
is one goal back. Sanchez, it hits
the crossbar. Lukaku cannot pull the
trigger, he tries again, he puts it
in. Paul Parker, shoots and blocks.
The manager Matic, winning goal in
stoppage time! Waterway to win the
Everyone has been talking
about that incredible Matic go. You
must have run 60 yards to get
involved in celebration.
moment you just want to be a part of
the team even if the legs are tired.
Everyone was together. I was trying
to get my head up. Just trying to
Because the win
against Crystal Palace on the way it
came about, it is the perfect setup
for the Liverpool match for the it
is, going into the game we knew that
three points was a must.
We need to
try to separate ourselves from some
of the rivals for second spot.
Winning a game like that brings
confidence during the week and we
have three big games at home. You
cannot ask anything more.
has done it again!
As a defender you
might have your work cut out.
they have scored a lot this year and
it will be down to us at the back. I
think the one to want to running
behind are always a challenge.
behind are always a challenge. So I
think they will be worried about our
threat as well.
You have never lost
to Liverpool personally with
Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Had you enjoyed it over the years?
Yes, I enjoyed the games. City,
Liverpool, all those games. When
you're out doing your food shop or
whatever the fans always make sure
you win that game and that is the
big one. And those are the ones I
look forward to as a player. You
want to be involved in them.
would you describe this rivalry
question what just intense and
whoever is Manchester United fan,
whether they are young or old, they
all know how important this rivalry
is and how much the bragging rights
It is a long time until you
play them again.
As a player of what
has Jose Mourinho done to help you
Tactically as we all know
he's very astute. As a team he works
on all 11 but especially the
defenders. To make sure that
whatever position he throws at us we
can handle it.
If he wrote part of
his team talk on board would be to
not lose, or women?
I think at home
it is making sure you win. Going
away you need to keep things tight
and it can often be about the
counter but the onus is on us to win
the game in front of the fans.
Liverpool first and then the
Champions League and then Brighton
in the FA Cup. It could be a
Tasty games and we're
happy that they're all at Old
Trafford. The home form this year
has been very good and none of those
teams will find it easy.
Manchester United did not finish
second, would that be a disaster?
think it would be disappointing. I
think we've had that second spot
pretty much all season. So it is up
to us to make sure that is the
minimum we get.
Is this the closest
this squad has been since the Sir
Alex Ferguson days?
Yes we have been
building something in this last
couple of years and everyone has
really gelled together. You can see
how much we enjoy celebrating
together and playing together.
here he is today.
We are about 20 minutes
from kick-off at Old Trafford.
Here are the line-ups
for today's game.
Chris Smalling starts in the centre
of defence for Manchester United.
For poker is not playing. - Paul
Pogba. McTominay comes in for him.
It's the familiar front
three of Salah, Firmino
and Mane for Liverpool.
No team have scored more away the
goals than Liverpool this season.
How do you see this one going? There
was a lot of talk about Manchester
United at Anfield and the way Jose
Mourinho set them up for that. How
will they approach it today?
Manchester United against Liverpool
and always a huge game. There is
that fact, Manchester United cannot
be as negative as they were at
Anfield. Which now by the way it
looks like a brilliant point. It was
still a negative performance. United
at home have been positive and got
some good results. And I just ink it
is almost the best opportunity to
get at Liverpool. I have seen teams
sit against Liverpool and they just
break you down eventually. There are
good from an attacking point of
view. You need to close down those
lines that their top three likes to
work in. I think we're in for a good
On Monday night when Chris
Smalling scored what do you think
that game in isolation has told you
about Manchester United?
can come back, they did the same
against Chelsea on the previous
Sunday. They are getting better.
Speaking to Manchester United fans
it is not the same, the football is
not the same but looking at Jose
Mourinho, that is the way that he
plays. Looking at today, both teams
are going to play three in midfield
and looking at those three, I think
they cancel each other out. I'm not
sure there will be loads of chances
You have watched a lot of
these games, how far away are they
in the style of play and quality?
Liverpool are closer in their style
of play, absolutely. But Manchester
United are a bit more difficult to
beat. But everyone in the league has
a long way to catch Manchester City
but not just the points, but what
they have. And in the summer they
will be buying loads more top-class
Well Manchester United
fans, they speak about Alexis
Sanchez and Jose Mourinho is not
getting the best out of him at the
moment and it could take some time
for him to settle in. Where would
you put him in the team to get the
most out of him?
most out of him?
Where he's at his
best, left of the front three. He
has operated there are in the
Premier League for a number of years
and been sensational. It can be
difficult going to a new club,
players getting used to your style
of play and where you want to
receive the ball. Even half a second
having to look up and check if he's
running forward, that can throw
things off a bit. I think he has
been a bit predictable, he needs to
mix up his game. But you can
guarantee that he has that work
ethic and commitment. And eventually
that will turn it around.
We live in
an instant wealth and everyone
expects him just to be really good
instantaneously. It does not work
that way, you need to get used your
team-mates, they need to get used to
the way you play. He's a very good
player and will be a very good
I'm just thinking you say
it takes time to settle in but when
you get compared to someone like
Salah, who was just scoring for fun
at the moment.
At the start of the
season when Liverpool find him a new
they had signed a really good
player. They had no idea that he
would turn up this way. He has been
surprised himself, do you think?
Probably surprised his mother let
alone himself! He has been
brilliant. And since Philippe
Coutinho left I thought Firmino
might go into his shell but he has
been brilliant as well.
If you had
to pick one that you both think, a
draw today, cancelling each other
I think United might just take
One nice story
from the Liverpool camp this week.
Young Liverpool fan Alfie Radford
donated his pocket money to local
food bank and was rewarded
with a personal letter from defender
Andy Robinson who then enclosed
a shirt signed by Roberto Firmino.
Here is the letter, which reads:
Let's be honest, Alfie,
no one wants the left-back's shirt
which is why I got
you Bobby's instead.
Liverpool are safely
through to the quarterfinals
of the Champions League
after an nil-nil draw with Portugal
at Anfield after their 5-
nil away win in the first leg.
Real Madrid and Manchester City also
confirmed their place
in the last eight.
But there was heartbreak for Spurs
when two second-half goals in 169
seconds saw Juventus come
from behind to win at Wembley.
That Spurs match, some have come out
to say they bottled it. Was it more
a case of really good side is going
toe to toe and Juventus showing a
bit of class?
I think exactly that.
Just the full-backs with the wide
players, putting in that little
wrinkle. And I do not think that
Spurs reacted well in that short
period. Even after the first goal.
Spurs looked to be on the ropes a
bit and maybe they should have
changed something. But they have
responded well on so many other
locations and just did not in that
Tottenham made enough
Well talk about Salah been
brilliant for Liverpool, Harry Kane
gets a lot of the headlines.
talk about Tottenham now and you say
Harry Kane and also this guy. He has
a bit of everything and now he has
started to score goals as well.
Better known for his assist. A
really good player and I'm guessing
he is a dream for a manager, Son
Heung-min. He just gets on with it.
He has seriously improved.
players love him as well, love
playing with him and what he brings
to the table top the jokes and the
fun. Always good for team spirit.
More than anything he is delivering.
The fastest lollipop in football,
the fans have been saying. But his
footwork is incredible.
What impresses me more about him is
his balance. He has got skill. The
ability to hit the ball with his
right foot and do the same with his
I think when he runs at
you, you're not sure which side he
is going to go, which is difficult.
But they could not get the better of
Juventus. It is holding onto their
best players and not being in the
Champions League, that would make it
This year's experience will
hold them in good stead for next
year. Juventus have only got
experience because they have had
their players with them for so many
years. Spurs have to look towards
that. They need to be like that.
wouldn't be surprised if Dele Alli
and Harry Kane left in the summer.
We will keep an eye on that.
One desperately sad story from Italy
last week was the death
of Fiorentina captain and Italy
international Davide Astori,
who died following a sudden
illness, at the age of 31.
Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini
was asked about Astori,
his international team mate,
following his sides win
at Wembley on Wednesday.
We dedicated not only this match but
every mind in this day. I cry any
time. I always believe him because
he is a fantastic player. It is very
difficult doing the best because we
have to think of the game, but the
opponents. It is not easy. But it is
always in our heart. Tomorrow
always in our heart. Tomorrow we go
to give the last goodbye together
with our team-mates.
It is difficult but we
have to continue with our life. I
think for us it is important, the
national team, in our heart to
always bring his positive emotion.
He always smiles. It is important in
the group. We would like to continue
to smile in our heart.
Lovely words from Chiellini,
who was one of the thousands
who turned out in Florence -
along with his Italy
and Juventus team mates -
for Astori's funeral on Thursday.
You can see the size of the crowd.
Gianluigi Buffon said Astori
was "in all respects,
a perfect person".
We are going to turn our attention
to the Europa League. Four days
after defeat by Brighton, Arsenal
beat AC Milan in the San Siro.
Juliette Farrington has spent some
time with Danny Welbeck this week
after a turbulent time for the
There has been a lot of focus on
Arsenal's season overall. Can you
reflect and put into words what that
has been like?
Yeah. Obviously there
is disappointment in and around the
camp. This is such a massive club
and we should be doing better. There
is a bit of disappointment. There is
no point in trying to hide it. I
believe that together we are
stronger as a unit. Unity is
strength. Division is weakness. We
know that we are good players. Going
into the game if we stand and fight
in every area of the pitch our
quality will shine through. We have
spoken about things. People have
voiced their opinions. Yeah, there
is honesty within the camp.
at the Unity?
The Unity is there. In
this period we have gone through it
has been difficult. We have got to
stand together and fight.
Is it a confidence thing?
with the Brighton game it was
difficult. The team actually started
on the front foot. We conceded a bit
of a sloppy goal. The crowd got
behind them and post them on. In
them difficult moments, that is when
you stick together the most and
What can you salvage
from this season?
season has not been good enough. But
we are professionals and we have to
keep on going, keep on fighting
every single game. We need to make
sure that with the remaining games
we have, that we put in maximum
effort. And also we have got the
Europa League as well. That is also
Do you pay attention
to what people are saying, with fans
It is not something
we need to focus on. You are
professionals, if you do good in
life, you get praise. If you do bad,
you expect criticism. That is life.
You have worked first rally, you
have worked under Arsene Wenger,
what comparison do you have between
the two, managers with such great
They are a bit different.
They manage the club differently. It
has produced success. Such a long
rain at a club. Nowadays it has
Do you keep in touch
with Sir Alex, does he keep in touch
We have spoken a few
times. We do keep in touch.
feel a little bit left behind
because of what you have been
through, and has it hindered your
injuries at Asda railed me in
previous years. Now I just have to
put that behind me. -- it has
derailed me. I have two prove my
match sharpness. Get consistent. I'm
looking forward because the injuries
are behind me.
You are very much a
team player. But the game time is
still quite limited?
manager Pyxis team. He plays his
players according to whichever game.
Whenever I get on the pitch I will
We will talk about the man himself
in a moment. But Arsenal more
generally, eight games they have
lost already this calendar year.
They are a real head scratcher. They
lose against Brighton and they do
that in the San Siro against AC
Yes, but the underlying thing
about Arsenal as they used to be
unbelievably difficult to play
against and now they are easy. That
is detrimental to the management. I
feel with the football club that
they should say, the manager leaves
at the end of the season, so he is
still in charge. I think every
single day that he is still the
manager, a bit of his legacy gets
chipped away. He has been an
absolutely fantastic manager. He
does some new things for the club
and the Premier League but his time
is up. If he keeps going on and they
don't win the Europa League, so they
appoint a new manager in the summer,
why don't they look now? Say to him,
this is the deal, you leave in the
summer, we build a statue. I don't
think they'll do it.
deal expires at the end of next
season. Welbeck is 27. He played the
full game against AC Milan. How do
you think he assesses what has
happened in the last few years for
I don't think he would have
said it has gone how we wanted. One
of the things you have to look
towards, he has had some serious
injuries that could change his style
of play almost. They have been that
bad. Lawro duck -- Lawro found a
statistic on him. He has never
started 11 games consecutively for
Arsenal. And Manchester United.
Backmen itself tells you a lot. --
that in itself tells you a lot. He
does not get the run of games. And
also, from a confidence point of
view, do managers looked at him and
believe him to be the main man? He
won't be happy, I would say, with
where he is out right now. I do have
sympathy for him with regards to how
bad the injuries he has suffered
have been. Prior to the European
Championships, on the left-hand
side, he was flying, it could have
gone so different. Hopefully he
comes back and get stronger. He has
shown fight and determination to
You almost get to players
with him. He can play on the left,
but right through the middle as
well. Listen, you've got to keep
yourself fit. That is the big thing.
They are looking to get their
Premier League campaign back on
track. They play Watford tomorrow. I
want to ask you about Troy Dini. --
Troy Deeney. He has delivered with
He somehow drifted out of
favour with Watford. He has always
been their talisman. The player they
look to. He has always been
massively outspoken when things
haven't gone right. He is enjoying
the manager putting that faith back
in him. He is doing what he should
be doing. He is putting the ball in
the back of the net and responding
in the right way. All positive for
Watford. They are selling towards
I described the club as
soulless few weeks ago and they have
not stopped winning since! Three in
four for Troy Deeney.
June into BBC
five live for Arsenal against
Watford, John Motson's last
commentary before he retires in the
summer. 48 years. Brighton travel to
Everton this afternoon after a run
of results that have taken them to
the FA Cup quarterfinal and put them
on the brink of Premier League
Glenn Murray snatches it as the
death for Brighton! It is a point
apiece in the South West Derby.
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!
If we continue with
performances like this, then we will
be OK. A magnificent goal. A cool
finish from the Colombian.
Brightener into their first FA Cup
quarterfinal since 1986. Knockaert
is in here! That settles it.
It is a
great club. Chris Hughton deserves
immense credit. They have come such
a long way.
a long way.
Brighton lead Arsenal.
It is to! This is a landmark result
for Brighton. They will celebrate
long and hard on the south coast,
and well they might.
Champions League form for Brighton
recently. Fourth in the form table.
Champions League form for Brighton
recently. Fourth in the form table.
Five wins from seven games taken
into the top half of the table
Five wins from seven games taken
into the top half of the table and
the last eight the FA Cup.
34 points, which could be enough.
One more win gets them to 37 which
could be the safety mark. How much
credit you give this man for the
turnaround, considering that before
this run they had on the won 214,
All of it, I suppose!
He sets up his team in a particular
way. He has done that from the start
of the season to now. They have got
a way of playing, Brighton. It has
got good balance. The midfielder 's
too adventurous. Pascal Gross is the
creative element. The wingers have
pace. They always give themselves a
chance. They have been through tough
spells, as Bournemouth have been
with Eddie Howe at the top. They
seem to be coming through with
Glenn Murray scoring
goals for them. Hopefully we will
hear from him next week. Pascal
Gross, we see some of the balls he
put in for particularly Glenn
Murray. He has been a creative
genius, hasn't he?
Yes, and he is an
old-fashioned player. Not
particularly mobile. His ability on
the ball is outstanding. The other
thing with Brighton as well is Chris
and his relationship with the owners
is absolutely great. They never
panicked when they went six games
without a win. The honour helped him
out in the January transfer window.
Broken a couple of more players.
Chris is pragmatic person. That is
how the team play. I think they will
be absolutely fine. They have got
the top four or five in the last
Yes, but to go back to
Pascal Gross. We saw those chances
created. The weight of passes
perfect isn't it?
The weight of
pass, the ability to cross the ball
on the left or the right. As Lawro
said, he is not blessed with
blistering pace but he has an
ability to find a space. He is very
intelligent. He is not getting away
from people but he can pick up
different areas of the pitch players
do not want to mark him. It has been
a perfect partnership between
himself and Glenn Murray. It is a
dream for Glenn Murray. He gets the
goals, grossed just find him.
Glenn Murray has kicked on since
they signed the strikers. That is
the competition for places. They had
the best January transfer window.
He has been a great signing for the
Brighton's form is in contrast
to that of opponents Everton -
a run of two wins in 12
matches for Sam Allardyce.
We are in a difficult period but we
need to turn that around. It is my
responsibility to get the team to
the level that we know they can
play. It is the responsibility of
the players to play their best and
when they do that we can give anyone
again. And when it comes to Brighton
on Saturday it is more about them
delivering the performance as well
as dealing with Brighton. I think
they will feel a bit under pressure
as we all are at the moment.
in to steer them away from that
trouble that they were having, exam.
Here we have some statistics. Seven
points away from relegation.
possible relegation is the first
thing, there are away form is poor.
But this year on and off the pitch
it has just been a bit of a mess.
And everyone is saying even if they
survive through to the summer, will
be sacked in - sack him, bring
someone else in. They have just got
a drastically wrong the whole
season. So they've spent a lot of
money but not necessarily wisely.
They recently lost to Burnley. Wayne
Rooney was here a couple of weeks
ago and he said that seven would be
a realistic target this season. Do
you think it is ambitious?
looking at the players they have it
feels that way but if you watch the
way that Everton are playing and
their form, the goals that they are
conceding, they will not finish in
seventh. They are not playing
enjoyable football to watch either
and that has given the Everton fans
the feeling that this man is not the
person they want at the helm.
Seventh is where they should be.
They will force at the start of the
season, that was the game.
the fans were generally excited at
the players brought in.
was no thought about where they were
going to play.
Beneath Brighton and Everton it's
still carnage in the bottom half
of the table with 3 points covering
7 sides from 13th to 19th place.
Only goal difference separates
Huddersfield and Swansea.
They meet at the John Smith's
stadium where Guy Mowbray has
a former Terrier alongside him.
Do the introductions!
I will indeed,
good afternoon. I'm joined here by
someone who used to cut his teeth by
scoring goals for Huddersfield Town.
Ewan Roberts. Over 24 years ago you
left this place.
It is a long time
ago but it feels like yesterday. I
did not play in the stadium but 100
yards across the road but great
times. A great club and so friendly.
You are following the club from afar
from Darren South Wales this season.
They are in a precarious position.
But given how people thought
Huddersfield would go, are they in a
good position but unlike I think so,
back-to-back wins against
Bournemouth and West Brom, putting
them in a distant place.
they were on a shocking run and lost
last week to Spurs. But had you said
to any Huddersfield fans you would
be in 15th place with nine games to
go, I think they would have taken
that all day long.
It is in their
hands, or they could have asked for.
Now what a transformation under the
When he came in I was
not sure of the appointment but he
put a smile back on their faces. And
there is the belief now that they
more than capable of staying up. 17
points out of nine games in charge,
unbelievable, he's done so well put
up there now more attacking under
him. I think they will rely on their
home form heavily. Similar to
Huddersfield, they've won 19 of
their points here at the John Smith.
I think they will both stay in the
Premier League and rely heavily on
that home form.
Just a 3-point gap
can you think both will stay up?
think so, I think they more than
capable of looking at points here at
the John Smith. I think they have
West Brom to play, Swansea, they've
won their last seven games at home,
Swansea, so good opposition.
be a cracking atmosphere. Kick off
at three o'clock.
Thanks to Guy and Iwan.
The other big one at the bottom
takes place at St James Park
where Newcastle host Southampton.
Rachel Stringer went
to see Saints and England
full-back Ryan Bertrand.
I looked at your histogram and it
says as real as they get, as humble
as they come.
It is a quote that
resonated with me a few years ago
when you're engaging with plans to
put yourself in their shoes.
the question we want to know is why
our Southampton where they are in
I think possibly small
things all over, small margins but
too many of them and they add up to
big things. I think small
adjustments perhaps defensively and
attacking but collect the, not
So everyone knows what
has to be done but can it be done
with nine games remaining?
We are in
a mindset now where there is no
point in shying away from the
challenge, there's no work to hide.
We need to stand up as men, as
professionals and relish the
challenge ahead. It is about
establishing that consistency,
trying to achieve those back-to-back
wins which we have not done this
season as yet.
For you every game
especially Newcastle, is important.
Yes we go into it full of
confidence. We had a good training
week and we know what needs to be
done. This is one of the games where
it is a tough place to go. Newcastle
are a good team but equally in
professionals we're going after
If you get past Wigan
in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup,
how has that cup run helped your
season customer it was not really
about progressing in the FA Cup or
getting to the final.
It was more
that achieve a win this weekend,
perhaps a bit less pressure and get
that confidence for the Premier
League next week. We have got work
to do, we need to get through Wigan
and they have shown some impressive
form. If we get through that moment
then I think it is time to think and
time to get together and definitely
go for it.
The Grenfell Tower
tragedy hit you quite hard.
so important you. It just resonated
with me, I grew up in tower blocks
like that, I still have friends and
family in those situations. I just
did not understand the logistics of
how it could happen. And the
resistance. It seemed that the
residents and their families were
receiving resistance and lack of
care. And that compassion to get it
fixed. It seemed as if there was too
much red tape when these are humans
who have lost their lives, lost
their homes, loved ones. You need to
drop all the red tape and fix the
What did you do to try to
help them out?
I took a trip down,
with some of my friends and we
developed a plan of what we would
like to do. People live in
communities with families and
friends and they need to be around
each other to survive. You need help
whether you have got kids you're
working, need support from the
community. It does not help people
to move, just move them away. They
need to be in their immediate
I can see how
important it is to you and how much
it affected you.
That is what we
were trying to do, yes.
hear and speak so passionately about
that huge subject.
that huge subject. From an England
perspective, he could be a first
choice left-back for Gareth
I'm sure going through
the hot list of options Gareth
Southgate will be looking at him, he
wants to play three at the back he
is a stand-up performer. Ashley
Young playing in the big game right
now, Danny Rose, obviously.
now, Danny Rose, obviously. And also
Sessegnon. But Ryan Bertrand you are
right, has been a top player.
with you, I would take Sessegnon for
the experience as much as anything.
He will be a top layer.
about how highly rated he is. For
Southampton, talking about teams in
trouble at the wrong end of the
table you tend to leave them out
because they have not lost many
games. Just one game in ten and yet
they are in a perilous position.
They just do not win the games, as
simple as that. They get the drawers
and that is not enough. Palace had
that lift, dragged back into it now.
Swansea got those wins, getting on
that one of form and you can see how
that gives you confidence. But they
just do not score nearly enough
The relegation thing goes
right to the end of the season.
have the FA Cup in there as well. I
can feel the nerves for them.
the last nine games away, that is a
big as as well. Especially that they
all play against each other, all the
teams at the bottom, between now and
the end of the season.
They take on
Newcastle this weekend. What about
them, 12 goals all season at St
James' Park, the joint lowest in the
league. That must be a standout
It is, Newcastle are
different from Southampton,
Southampton have the better squad. I
think Newcastle, they have done
wonders to be where they are and
give themselves the opportunity to
fight. But those goals, your nanny
has not been fit since arriving. So
this is a massive game.
this is a massive game. -- Slimani.
West Bromwich Albion continue
to prop up the table and are now 8
points from safety after losing
to Watford last time out.
Alan Pardew remains in charge
for today's game against Leicester.
John Roder is at the Hawthorns
ahead of this one -
do we expect Mr Pardew to see out
the season there now?
All kinds of schools of thought as
to what might happen, whether Alan
Pardew is the best person to bring
West Brom strip happen the
championship. Looking at this time
last week we thought it would be his
last game in charge if they last and
they did lose at Watford although it
was a better performance. In a match
day programme Alan Pardew was
defined and said there's still time
and real belief that we can get out
of this situation we find ourselves
in. We are aware most people have
written us off, where the fight and
we will go on together. However just
three Premier League wins all season
from West Brom, two of those came in
the opening couple of matches of the
season. They need to win six of
their remaining games of the thing.
But taking inspiration from
Leicester City who when they came
here three years ago were really in
trouble but they took seven of the
last line to stay up. So miracles
Manchester United have
taken the lead against Liverpool,
really good goal from Marcus
Five straight defeats for West Brom
now and three on the bounce
for Crystal Palace who have slipped
into the bottom 3 before a visit
to Chelsea today for Roy's boys...
We always knew the points would be
hard to come by but the last couple
of games has shown me there's a lot
of fight and spirit in the team. And
we still have incredible support
from the crowd which can transmit
itself if you like to the players on
the field and keep us going were
other teams might not have the
benefit of that. For me every game
is tough, whether we get one game
left which is not the complete and
utter battle. And if we are at our
best we will be able to win.
Their recent form is concerning. The
Palace have already got out of
trouble once this season and now
they have to do it again, which is
It is doubly hard. They
have got the manager, they have got
the experience. Is Wilfried Zaha not
Potentially on the bench. They
have lost all games without him
One-man team! With Palace,
they have already been down there,
so they know what it is like. West
Ham are getting drawn into it. It is
such a finite thing. I think they
will be OK. But obviously stating
the bleeding obvious, they need Zaha
It is not just Zaha.
They don't score many goals.
They keep conceding last-minute
goals. They did reasonably well
against Spurs, sat tight, they could
have got a point. Conceded with
three minutes to go. The other night
against United, another loss. Is
that going to affect them in the
latter stage of the season? I'm with
Lawro. I think they have got enough
when everybody is fit. I just worry
about the mentality at times.
same problem with all those teams at
the bottom as is the lack of goals.
Mentality is a part of it as well.
Those a defeat like West Ham's at
Swansea affect them?
They have had
24-1s consecutively. -- two 4-1s.
Draws are no good. It is that
winning. It is a goals thing. Every
single year three teams get promoted
from the Championship. People say,
how do you think they will do in the
Premier League? Who is going to
score the goals.
You can follow all of today's games
from 2:30pm on the red Button, and
for 30 PM on BBC Two.
-- for 30 PM.
England's women emphatically saw off
France last week in Phil Neville's
first game in charge.
They faced the top two sides
in the world this week in a bid
to win their first ever
She Believes Cup.
This was Phil Neville's on the
second match as England's women
manager. He knows this will be a
tougher test against Germany.
Off the line. And forced home.
Germany into the lead.
England have an equaliser. It is
Waiting for the goalkeeper to come.
Oh dear. It is a catastrophe for
Stokes Ringland. The flag has stayed
down. Ellen White for England. What
a finish! England go to the final
day against the USA.
The first She Believes Cup is within
their grasp. A draw will do it. The
world champions stand in their way.
Just wide. Too much space again. A
deflection. It has gone in! It is
another own goal macro!
Off the line, of the post. Despair
for England but joy for the USA.
for England but joy for the USA.
They win the She Believes Cup for
the second time.
It is not now when I want to be
winning tournaments, even though
tournaments are nice, it is in 12
months' time. It has been a
fantastic experience. We have
enjoyed every single game.
We can all be proud of our
Let's show you some
social media from around the game.
David Beckham was roped in by his
old England team-mate. Toni Duggan,
Lucy Taylor -- Lucy Bronze...
They'll put some pictures up as
well. They have been enjoying
themselves in Disneyland.
themselves in Disneyland. One
interesting strain of discussion
around this, Phil Neville is trying
to raise the levels of
professionalism. Lots of his squad
have been saying much they have
enjoyed that. He made the point of
this week about flying economy when
the men would fly nowhere near
economy. It is little things like
that which he is trying to change,
which he feels could make a
The FA have their own
Premier League for the women. They
can with the fixtures. Wasn't there
a big game before they left? Those
kind of things. They shuttled around
America. I take his point. He is
absolutely right. But they need to
spend some time on the training
field because defensively they were
all over the place.
He just wants to
raise standards. I remember being at
England youth level, under 16, 17,
going to European Championships. You
would fly and be looked after at a
top level. I guess that is all he is
asking for. The same for his women's
side, to raise the level of
It is all about getting
prepared. That is all part of it.
They have the World Cup qualifiers
to look forward to. They play Wales
and Bosnia. Now we are going to
bring you a remarkable story from
Plymouth were bottom of the table
at the start of December.
They are now in the play-off spots!
That's despite a keeper
crisis which has seen
them forced to use seven
Mark Clemmit was Devon sent,
in search of a guided tour.
Out of the Tardis he emerged! Is
there anybody else in there? How are
All right. You?
thank you. Presumably everybody is
cock-a-hoop at the moment you Mac
Yes, we have had a tremendous run.
We have gone six games. A
magnificent run. We want to continue
Give us the dog -- guided
What is the guided tour?
on! I hope we got that! Here is a
man in control of his football club!
You can see that three sides of the
ground in perfect shape but the main
stand has had better days. We have
got players from Bristol City, West
Ham and Norwich. When they come here
and see the changing rooms have not
changed in about 20, 30 years, they
get a reality check.
love it and I am sure you do as
well. It doesn't quite at the moment
fit modern football.
I don't love
it. I don't enjoy working in this
environment. I think it is important
that you have a nice clean
environment. My office is probably
the tidiest place in this building.
I don't doubt it for a second,
looking at you! If only you had a
set of keys.
Morning. Morning. This
is the physio's room.
get some more people in their?! Good
morning everybody. Morning all.
Reserving nice showers.
Does he tell
you why he is taking it?
is no reason.
We are only doing this
to see whether the cameraman faints.
You have had an extraordinarily good
season. There were sniffs of
interest. You must love it down here
to still be here unless there is a
story I don't know?
I do. My family
love it down here. When players come
here they don't realise how far it
is. It is a testament to the gaffer
and the recruitment. Not just
bringing in good players but good
characters. It brings us closer
together. We have a very big fan
base. You can see that when we
travel away. We get a amazing
support away from home. It is -- it
is an amazing club. It needs to kick
on and hopefully we can do that.
have come from the Royal prevention
of cruelty to goalkeepers society.
Seven in one season.
extraordinary. I have never known
it. All three goalkeepers injured in
one go. It was extraordinary.
don't think I've ever anything like
No. Now we are pretty settled.
We have got our three goalkeepers
back in training.
What were your
expectations? How did you think the
season would pan out?
expectations were I probably thought
we would get 53 points. That is
where we are now. Our expectations
now are to finish in the top six if
we possibly can.
It is a funny old
It is a funny game.
Three months, complete polar
opposite of your emotional
Yeah, but over the last
two and a half years we have gone
from a position of being in a
play-off final, to getting promoted
and getting into League 1. We knew
it would be a difficult season
because there are a lot of good
teams. We have shown we can compete
with the best. We have beaten the
likes of Bradford and Blackburn at
home this season.
Good to see you.
Keep up the good work.
Plymouth make the 650 mile
round-trip to Fleetwood today.
Bit of a derby at Villa Park
then and in Scotland,
We heard Graham Carey paying tribute
to this lot. Leaving very early to
go to Fleetwood. Rebecca sent this
in. She is the mascot today. She was
up at four o'clock this morning. She
has only got to come from Blackpool.
But she is very excited to be a
mascot. It should be a fantastic
game of football. Plymouth have just
gone on a run and it has worked for
Especially at that level,
momentum is massive. Supporters are
a big thing. You turn up Blackpool,
how many hundreds will be there? Is
massive for players.
The fellow next
to you said he fancies Manchester
United earlier. Marcus Rashford has
made it 2-0 now.
I can't see the
My head is in the way!
day at the top of the Championship
today. Aston Villa taking on Wolves.
I know you have seen a lot of
Championship football. Have Wolves
B&B standout team?
They have been
and they are. Fulham are a really
good team. Everybody thought Villa
would come through. Derby have
stuttered. Cardiff have done
brilliantly. It is such a
competitive league I can't tell you.
Fulham look good, don't they?
look very good.
Bit of a derby at Villa Park
then and in Scotland,
the Edinburgh derby went to Hibs
last night and it's
the Old Firm tomorrow.
And Rangers could move within three
points of Celtic with a win.
That's it from us.
If you've not had enough of these 2
you can watch the whole thing
again on the iplayer
from midnight tonight.
We shall leave you with
the predictions of Justin
and Arnie from the Vaccines.
See you next week.
I'm from Iceland. The first-ever
Iceland player was Blondie Bergson
who played for Spurs.
who played for Spurs.
I'm a big Jose
Mourinho fun. City are uncatchable
this year. I know United have been
getting a bit of flak for how they
have been playing. But I'm enjoying
being back in the race.
have been playing. But I'm enjoying
being back in the race.
I'm never going to bet against
Spurs. I will say 2-0 to Spurs.
Newcastle versus Southampton, just
because Justin is around -- from
around there and he doesn't support
some -- Southampton, I'm going