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Joe Allen is a £15m bargain, Frank Lampard is never dropped (except when he is) and Crossy simply refuses to acknowledge that it's not all about Arsenal...

Last Updated: 31/03/14 at 12:34

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"In the last four games Joe [Allen] has shown that the price we paid for him was a bargain."

That's Brendan Rodgers - justifying the £15m purchase of Joe Allen in the summer of 2012 by citing four games in March 2014. Before dropping him.

One-Track Mind
Arsenal fanboy John Cross is so wonderfully blinkered that his match report for the Gunners' clash with Manchester City in Monday's Daily Mirror entirely fails to mention who scored City's goal. Not once - not even in the match ratings - does Crossy reference the scorer, never mind provide any detail, about one of the game's only two goals.

We're told that there was a 'strong response'. To what, Crossy?

We're also told there was a 'rousing second-half response'. To what, Crossy?

We're told Arsenal 'fought back'. After what, Crossy?

We're told that Mathieu Flamini scored a 'well-taken equaliser'. What the hell was he equalising, Crossy?

For any Daily Mirror readers still wondering: It was David Silva, who even Crossy acknowledges showed 'sublime skill'. He just doesn't like to admit what he did with that sublime skill.

Blame Game
Martin Samuel dedicates the bulk of his Monday column in the Daily Mail to the minority of Manchester United fans who blame Sir Alex Ferguson for their current predicament, writing that 'it is as if every misstep is his fault'.

'It won't be long before he gets his own pre-match fly-by. THANKS FOR NOTHING, FERGIE YOU MUPPET, it will read.'

From where would these ridiculous United fans ('almost a quarter' who voted in an online poll) ever get the idea that Ferguson was in any way responsible for the mess at Old Trafford?

Perhaps from this headline on a column from Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail just four weeks ago: 'Fergie ran United like a Sunday league team. Now they're 20 years behind the times.'

'WAYNE ROONEY is now fourth in the all-time Premier League scorers list,' writes Jamie Redknapp in the Daily Mail. 'He is four goals away from Thierry Henry and 16 off Andy Cole, but can he beat Alan Shearer's 260? At this rate, Rooney would have to play for seven more seasons to get there. It's not impossible for somebody of his quality.'

No Jamie, but it is impossible for somebody of his body shape.

Tony Cascarino has called Steven Naismith a 'nobber' in The Times. And he claims he's being nice.

'It is a northern term that's fallen out of use; nobber,' writes Kent-born Irishman Cascarino. 'We used it to mean Mr Reliable, a player who would always do you a job. There aren't enough of them these days.'

Mediawatch is far, far more northern than Cascarino and we can testify that 'nobber' has only one meaning here. Naismith should stick the nut on him.

Frankly Speaking
There's little mention from Cascarino of his prediction in last week's Times that Chelsea will win the title. Instead he concentrates on Frank Lampard in his ever-informative 'Tony Awards'.

'Twice Mourinho has replaced Lampard at half-time in recent weeks,' writes Cascarino. Well, no he hasn't, Tony, but carry on...

'But he cannot bring himself to drop him.'

Which is presumably why Lampard has started just three of Chelsea's last seven games.


From Behind
It's been a long old season for the Daily Mail's Northern Football Correspondent Ian Ladyman, who is searching for any crumbs of comfort for Manchester United.

His report on their 4-1 win over Aston Villa begins: 'AT last a comprehensively good day for David Moyes. A come-from-behind victory - a rare thing indeed in this troubled season...'

We'll stop you there, Ian. Actually, no other team in the Premier League has come from behind to win more games than Manchester United this season. But carry on, as you were, everything's rosy.

A Shark's Tale
A fawning Kristian Walsh in the Liverpool Echo on Luis Suarez: 'To say like he was akin to a shark smelling blood would be inaccurate - sharks do not thrust themselves as frequently, or with the prolonged determination, of the Uruguayan. People sometimes survive shark attacks, too; the same cannot be said of Dawson.'

Two things, Kristian...

a) Please don't ever write 'thrust' and 'prolonged determination' in such close proximity again.

b) You do know Michael Dawson isn't actually dead, right? He just moves very, very slowly.

Hugo, I Go, We All Go
Liverpool were good but we can't help but think that the Daily Mirror's David Maddock is getting a tad carried away when he writes that it 'would have been an avalanche' but for Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal. Especially when the stats box directly above that comment shows that Liverpool scored four goals from just five shots on target.

Broken English
'The bonus is they won here with five Englishmen in the team, all of whom played their part,' writes Shaun Custis in The Sun, before detailing the contributions of Glen Johnson, Jordan Henderson, Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge.

Spare a thought for poor Jon Flanagan.

The Daily Mirror's golf correspondent Neil McLeman made Leon Osman man of the match in Everton's win at Fulham on Sunday. He's a 'vital cog in the Everton midfield machine', apparently. So 'vital' that he went off with the game poised at 1-1 and the Toffees went on to win 3-1.

Stick to the niblicks, Neil.

For three weeks Antony Kastrinakis' column in The Sun has been missing its tagline of 'WORLD FOOTBALL UNCOVERED'. Now it's back. Just in time for Kastrinakis to 'uncover' that Bayern Munich are really rather good. What the hell would we do without him?

Headline Of The Day
'BACK FROM THE DUD' - The Daily Mirror on Arsenal's comeback (from what?) against Manchester City.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'He was 10 feet tall and he touched the sky and I wish that I could be a...BANNER MAN' - We enjoyed the 'Don't Walk Away Rene' references from the Meulensteen era (who wouldn't?) but somebody at the Daily Mirror has taken nostalgia too far with a reference to a 1971 largely forgotten hit from Blue Mink.

Non-Football Headline Of The Weekend

Non-Football Quote Of The Day
"I have been into Greggs many, many times and never have I seen a sign warning you not to put your penis into one of their products - especially after it has been reheated. That, to me, is a clear case of negligence and I intend to sue."

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Readers' Comments


he solution is to not feel sorry for any of Jabba, Gold or Sullivan. They're all deeply unpleasant and all deserve each other. If only West Ham would sign Barton and Suarez then no one would ever need to despise any other club.

The Strange Idea Of Sympathy For Big Sam


gree with all of this, good work. Brazil has obviously mellowed you...

jeff beck
New Striker Not Liverpool's Priority...


lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

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