Talking Cock Session: Newcastle Eye Hot Striker, Arsenal Asked to be Smarter and more

In our weekly talk cock sessions, we look at the latest transfer news, gossip, and highlights that have football fans all over the world buzzing with excitement.

Newcastle United asked to pay £50m+ for striker

Although Newcastle will want to make improvements at both ends of the pitch to bolster their survival chances, a striker is likely to be a priority, especially with Callum Wilson currently out of action with a hamstring injury. Darwin Nunez could be a strong candidate. The 22-year-old’s strike rate is the same as Newcastle’s team record this term. Nunez also averages a goal a game. He has netted 13 goals in 13 league games for Benfica. Newcastle could land Nunez for £100m by activating his release clause, according to iNews. But iNews also claim that Benfica have told Newcastle that they will accept a figure over £50m for their no.9. Nunez has international experience. He has six Uruguay caps and two goals to his name.

Arsenal players urged to be “smarter” 

Stuivenberg is Arsenal’s assistant manager but he led the team against City due to Mikel Arteta having tested positive for COVID-19. The Gunners no.2 will have been pleased with what he saw for the most part as his side went toe-to-toe with the Premier League leaders for 90 minutes. But Arsenal shot themselves in the foot on more than one occasion. First Granit Xhaka gave away a needless penalty by pulling the shirt of Bernardo Silva. That provided City with their equaliser and they were handed another boost moments later when Gunners defender Gabriel was sent off. Gabriel’s red card came after he picked up two yellows within the space of 3 minutes.

When asked about the defender’s dismissal, Stuivenberg told BBC Sport: “It is something we have to learn. We have young players in the team and have to control our emotions.” Gabriel received his first booking shortly after City were awarded their spot-kick. It appeared as though it may have been issued because he was spotted scuffing the penalty spot. But Stuivenberg said: “I am not sure the first yellow is because of that, I cannot ask the question to the referee now. If you are on a yellow you have to be smarter.”

Joao Cancelo mocked for celebrating Gabriel’s red card 

The first Premier League game of 2022 ended with Manchester City players celebrating a late win over Arsenal while bottles and toilet rolls rained from the stands. But it was Joao Cancelo’s celebration a little more than half an hour earlier that upset some fans, while amusing others. Cancelo was seen in the background beating his chest triumphantly. The incident was not picked up on by BT Sport’s commentary team, but many viewers saw it and took to Twitter to react. One observer tweeted that Cancelo had celebrated Gabriel’s red card “a bit too much”, while another remarked that the defender reacted to the sending-off as if City had just won the Champions League. Most commenters seemed to see the funny side of Cancelo’s behaviour, but one suggested that he should have been sent off himself for such a disrespectful reaction to Gabriel’s dismissal.

West Ham target out-of-favour Aston Villa star

Having recently dropped off form-wise, West Ham United could do with an injection of new blood during the January transfer window. David Moyes has done a remarkable job at the London Stadium, given that the Hammers don’t have the strength in depth of the Premier League clubs around them. However, serious injuries have dented their chances of staying in the Champions League places. At one point they were comfortably in the top four, but now find themselves seven points adrift (which will be 10 if Arsenal beat Manchester City). Whoever comes in has to improve what the squad already have in situ because it appears that Moyes still doesn’t have money to throw around willy-nilly. To that end, looking at Aston Villa’s out-of-favour striker, Anwar El-Ghazi, seems a little surprising.

Cesc Fabregas slams “terrible decision” in Man City win

Cesc Fabregas watched Manchester City’s 2-1 win at Arsenal on New Year’s Day and the former Gunners captain was not impressed by some of the officiating. Spanish midfielder Fabregas, who now plays for AS Monaco, expressed his discontent on Twitter after City were given a penalty which saw them level the game at 1-1. Granit Xhaka was eventually punished for an apparent foul on Bernardo Silva, who seemed more than happy to fall to the ground inside Arsenal’s 18-yard box after feeling his shirt being pulled. Referee Stuart Attwell did not originally point to the spot. But after being told by the VAR to review the incident at the pitchside monitor, he gave the penalty, which Riyad Mahrez converted. Fabregas was not having it though. He tweeted: “That’s never a pen. Terrible decision.”