After Sam Allardyce picked up a win in his first match at Blackburn, with Roque Santa Cruz nowhere to be seen, the forward’s future was the first topic up for debate. Rob Beasley (News of the World) argued that Sam will fine the striker for claiming he wanted to join a bigger club, before commenting that the result was the paramount issue on Saturday. Paul Hetherington (Daily Star) argued that while he would not be surprised is Santa Cruz leave, his sources at Rovers indicate that the forward will stay.
Next up was reaction to the rumour linking Joe Kinnear to Sunderland. According to Paul Hetherington, people close to Kinnear have inquired about the vacant position at the Stadium of Light, with Kinnear’s interest stemming from the fact that he is uneasy about his future at Newcastle. Hetherington then revealed the Sunderland are seriously considering just three candidates at present, Ricky Sbragia, Peter Reid and a third unnamed “big manager from Europe.”
The Champions League draw was the final issue discussed by the talking-heads. Ian Ridley (Mail on Sunday) looked at Manchester United-Inter Milan tie, claiming the Red Devils have the better squad and should win the head-to-head. Rob Beasley forecasts a drab contest where Mourinho will send out his charges to deny United space and looking for a sucker-punch to knock out the champions. A debate over Cristaino Ronaldo broke out before Paul Hetherington refocused minds on the subject at hand, arguing that Liverpool-Real Madrid is the best tie of the round. The panel agreed that Liverpool are favourites to progress.