PLAY IT SHORT: Abramovich's Malaga trip; Would Fergie slam Hart?; Mourinho makes sure we all see him; Arsenal benefit from Wilshere England 90
WILSHERE ENGLAND 90 WILL BENEFIT ARSENAL
Arsene Wenger is furious with Roy Hodgson for playing Jack Wilshere the full 90 in England's win over Brazil. But what value does the shot of self-belief that comes from such a performance do for Wilshere and Arsenal? Yes, given Wilshere's injury record, Wenger is right to express concern, but the confidence drawn from his display, surely his best for England, will also benefit Arsenal as they chase down Tottenham for fourth place.
ANCELOTTI FOR MAN CITY?
Its difficult to argue that Manchester City have moved forward this season. The form aside, there's very little City can point to as a sign of hope for the future. Micah Richards has missed big chunks of the season, Joe Hart has struggled for consistency, while England hopefuls Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair simply haven't made an impression. Is City manager Roberto Mancini making good players better under his charge? That's one of the chief questions the board will be asking. It's claimed the Italian will be safe by 'default', with Pep Guardiola having committed to Bayern Munich. But Carlo Ancelotti will become available from PSG in the summer and boasts a better track record than Mancini. He can work with a football director and what could appeal to Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano is he's not just a good English speaker, but also fluent in Spanish thanks to his wife.
WOULD FERGIE HAVE LAMBASTED HART?
You just don't hear Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson criticise his players in public. Even when David de Gea's loose punch obviously cost them a win at Tottenham, Ferguson cleverly pointed to his defence - without naming names - blaming the entire unit for failing to clear the danger. Since then, the reward for Fergie has been back-to-back cleansheets. Contrast that to Roberto Mancini, who again lambasted his Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart in public after defeat to Southampton. It wasn't the first time Mancini has taken aim at Hart, not just on performance, but also for post-match comments, such as the honest assessment he gave after the collapse to Real Madrid. Is it just coincidence that Hart can be so impressive at Wembley against Brazil, yet slip up at St Mary's?
WHO WAS ON ABRAMOVICH'S AGENDA IN MALAGA?
So who was on Roman Abramovich's shopping list during his business trip to Malaga? The Chelsea owner was in the Spanish city last week. The same sources that revealed Mauricio Pochettino's trip to the south coast over a week before landing the Southampton job say Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini is Abramovich's top managerial target for next season - ahead of even Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho. However, it may not end there for the Russian, who is also pushing hard to sign Malaga midfielder Isco. It's understood part of Lucas Piazon's loan move to Malaga included a first refusal option for Chelsea on Isco.
ALLARDYCE CAN SIT COMFORTABLE AT WEST HAM
West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce knows he's in a great position. The news that West Ham have yet to open new contract talks with Big Sam did create headlines over the weekend. But Allardyce has successfully rebuilt his reputation at the Boleyn Ground and even if negotiations do not run as expected with the Hammers' board, he will have his choice of clubs - once again - should he become available at the end of the season.
MOURINHO PUTS HIMSELF IN PREMIER LEAGUE SHOP WINDOW
In case you missed him, Jose Mourinho was at Old Trafford yesterday. The Real Madrid coach made sure we were all well aware of his presence. He signed autographs, shook hands and even did an interview with MUTV! Yes, scouting Manchester United was the obvious priority, but Mourinho was also putting himself on the front and backpages of the local press, just as they hit the desks of every chairmen and chief executive in the Premier League this morning. The Portuguese wants to return to England and made sure to remind us all yesterday of the buzz he will bring with him.
UNITED PLAYERS PAYING FOR OWN MUTV SUBSCRIPTION
So how does Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson keep his millionaires grounded, when so many of his rivals struggle? One instance on Twitter yesterday offered an insight. New United signing Wilfried Zaha exchanged tweets with Wayne Rooney complaining that he won't be getting MUTV for free. Rooney made it clear to the on-loan Crystal Palace winger if the players wanted the TV channel , they had to organise and pay for it like every fan. Perhaps not significant, but a nice example of why United churn out players without the same sense of entitlement you see elsewhere.