Only the news you need – bringing you five mainstream and five off-the-wall news stories each day!
1. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has tipped Lionel Messi to pip Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar to the Ballon d’Or, but the Gunners’ supremo admitted he is a ‘big enemy’ of individual awards as a concept.
2. Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan and defender Joleon Lescott allegedly used expletives towards their own fans during the club’s 1-1 FA Cup draw with League 2’s Wycombe Wanderers.
3. Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew has called for the FA Cup 3rd round to be rescheduled to before Christmas to ease fixture congestion.
4. Jurgen Klopp has admitted he is surprised by the intensity and demands of football in England compared with continental Europe, and warned Pep Guardiola that he will need a squad of 35 to cope with those demands.
5. Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has challenged his squad to progress on all fronts in the new year. In addition to being in the title race, they are still in the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup – albeit trailing 2-1 to Everton after the first leg of their semi-final.
6. Southend United boss Phil Brown has revealed he locked his players in the dressing room for two hours after squandering a two-goal lead and losing 4-2 to Swindon. Good luck to whichever Southend player tries to recreate that in a celebration (The BBC).
7. Manchester United fans cheered a shot off target against Sheffield United, with social media continuing to mock the Old Trafford club’s less than potent attack (Eurosport).
8. Sometimes you’re just better off single. US international Alejandro Dedoya flattens his girlfriend with a horror challenge during a kick-about (The Metro).
9. There are spoonerisms, there are tongue-twisters, there are even Freudian slips, but nothing quite explains Mark Lawrenson’s error pronouncing Everton star Steven Pienaar’s name (The Daily Mirror).
10. Nothing else needs to be said about this: a pitch invader in an awful hoody almost scored during the Eastleigh vs Bolton Wanderers FA Cup tie (The Daily Echo).
By Chris Horricks.