English Premier League
Aston Villa 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester United 2-0 Sunderland
Fulham 1-3 West Ham United
Newcastle United 1-3 Manchester City
Scottish Premier League
Motherwell 1-4 Rangers
Celtic 2-0 St Johnstone
If you are looking for something to read over the holiday period, I can recommend two books that I have just read.
The first is a biography of Eric Cantona by French writer Philippe Auclair.
It’s called “Cantona: The Rebel Who Would Be King”, and was published by MacMillan in 2009.
Although not my favourite person, Cantona was certainly a superb footballer.
This biography deals with Cantona’s complex character, both as a person and as a footballer.
He was allowed to get away with a lot at Manchester United that other players would not have been (George Best was an exception) because of his genius on the pitch.
At one official Manchester United function, all the players were told to come dressed in club suits, which they did. Cantona arrived wearing a cowboy outfit. It took the efforts of several players to calm down manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Late attendance at training was also overlooked in Cantona’s case.
The famous kung-fu incident at Crystal Palace was not the only time Cantona had resorted to violence and this book details some other famous episodes in regard to his temper. Remember, too, that the kick came after he had been sent off and was walking from the pitch.
The other book is also related to Manchester United and is written by journalist Daniel Taylor, who covered football in Manchester for “The Guardian”.
It’s called “This is the One; Sir Alex Ferguson: The Uncut Story of a Football Genius”, (Aurum Press, 2007).
Taylor chronicles many of the media conferences and games of the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons from the perspective of a football reporter.
It reveals the character of Ferguson and gives intimate glimpses of what makes the man tick.
His relations with the media, the fans and his players are laid bare and, after reading this 343-page book, I can see why he’ll just go on and on forever.
Every time I now see Ferguson interviewed on television, I can imagine what is going on behind the scenes.
Taylor has also written a book about Nottingham Forest called “Deep Into The Forest.”