As card-carrying members of what the home secretary would describe as the Fiver-reading, tofu-eating, wokerati responsible for civil disobedience and any social disruption that comes with it, subscribers to the world’s most daily football email will probably eschew Wednesday evening’s top-flight action, in favour of glueing themselves to a road somewhere in order to protest about global warming, the imminent environmental apocalypse or the rising price of beard oil and sandals. And while we wish you all the very best, we’d ask you not to superglue yourself to the A5014 from Manchester city centre to Old Trafford, because even though The Fiver is all for sticking it to The Man, we’re also quite looking forward to the match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, and won’t be able to watch it if you’re stuck to the road preventing team coaches from getting to the stadium.
The corresponding fixture last season was a belter, with United prevailing by the odd goal of five courtesy of a hat-trick from a certain preening show-pony who, having started United’s past two games, might fancy his chances of making it three in a row if his head has finally stopped wobbling with indignation at being hauled off during his side’s scoreless draw against Newcastle on Sunday. But with Marcus Rashford reported to have recovered from the poorliness that restricted him to a substitute appearance in that game, this Ronaldo may have to settle for a place muttering under his breath and generally looking aggrieved in the dug-out.
Enjoying their best start to a season for 59 years despite never really looking particularly good or fun to watch and still being worse than Arsenal, a win for Spurs would enable them to leapfrog second-placed Manchester City, but still find themselves a point behind their insufferable north London neighbours. “To play at Old Trafford is not simple, but at the same time it’s a big theatre and you have to play with personality, play your football, your ideas,” roared Antonio Conte. “This will be a good step for us to go there and play with personality and try to win. I enjoy the fact this test is coming now.” Should Tottenham fail this midweek test Conte is likely to cut a typically forlorn, almost tearful post-match figure, even if it means the Old Trafford tofu sandwich brigade go home pleased.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“When you’re playing, you tend to get very involved and just go for it. I forget that I’m 58, then I take a tumble and it hurts” – Andy Cook, a member of Brighton’s Misskix team that gives veteran lesbian players a sense of belonging, tells Moving the Goalposts about the trouble with being feisty on the pitch when you’re nearing 60 and how team members benefit from a feeling of positive identity.
Big Website is shortlisted in the upcoming FSA Awards, along with David Squires, Suzanne Wrack, Barney Ronay and Football Weekly. If you want to lend them your vote, you can do so here.
The latest Football Weekly is up and available with an EFL special. And there’s a HR World Cup live pod in London on 17 November. Tickets for attending or streaming are available now. And the latest Women’s Football Weekly pod is also up now.
“So the Ballon d’Or® NFT is based on pyrite (yesterday’s Quote of the Day), famously known as ‘fool’s gold’? Perhaps less cryptowibble as extremely blatant foreshadowing that most publishers would reject as far too obvious. Maybe they could make it out of unobtanium next time?” – Phil Russell (and 1,056 others).
“If the UK has a beer strike during the Human Rights World Cup (yesterday’s Fiver), the solution would be pretty obvious: legalising ganja. The paranoia it induces is better for watching football anyway” – Ben Mostyn.
“While any suggestion of health benefits of consuming alcohol is always a bit of a minefield, can I be the first of 1,057 people to point out to Herbal Vegan Wellness Trope Fiver (yesterday’s Fiver) that beer contains antioxidants and, thanks to developments in the world of finings, often vegan-friendly. This tends to be drinks from smaller producers, the sort of thing Weird Uncle Fiver gets angry about because he claims they don’t taste any different to the more familiar Tin available in lots of pubs, but I don’t think he gives enough credit to the damage done to his tastebuds by the number of cigarettes he smokes” – Ed Taylor (and no others).
Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’ the day is … Ben Mostyn.