Judging Drogba on one start would be ridiculous and Pellegrini's battle against the stats...
You have to 'give credit' to Mike Ashley for ignoring fans, whilst the Daily Mail has the big Champions League angle. Plus Rio is shocked at publicity stunt gaining publicity...
A Text! Wow! A Text!
Mediawatch makes a less-than-decent living out of cynicism, so it's fair to say that Brendan Rodgers' boundless optimism and enthusiasm is a tad grating. And none more so than on Sunday when he revealed that Luis Suarez is so goddamn lovely that he sent him a text! A text! On his text machine!
"Luis Suarez sent us a lovely text this morning wishing us all the best and telling us to start strong - it's a lovely gesture," said Rodgers, last seen staring at his phone in awe and repeating the words 'but it's so shiny'.
"He sent the text to me personally. What did it say? Don't be so nosey! I texted him back - it's a great love-in I've got with him! He's a great boy but he's gone. It was a lovely touch. Liverpool will always be in his heart."
If it's a 'lovely touch' to send somebody a short text after a two-year working relationship, we're almost tempted to have a bunch of flowers delivered to Anfield; that's got to be worth a snog at least.
In other news, in't milk brilliant?
Quote Of The Weekend
"In the end, I don't feel I was given time to succeed or fail" - Poor David Moyes sounds like he needs reassurance that yes, he did have time to fail. You're welcome.
Oliver Holt, The Daily Mirror, April 2014: 'So, in the end, David Moyes turned out to be just a device. He did not represent a new era when he replaced Sir Alex Ferguson as manager of Manchester United. He represented the bridge to a new era, a brambly path that was always going to be lined with upheaval and disappointment.
'Never be the man who follows The Man,' people say. 'Be the man who follows the man who followed The Man.' Moyes knew that. He referred to it when he got the job. He knew following Ferguson was a poisoned chalice, but it was his only shot. He had to take it.
'He took it but did not grasp it. He did not grab it. He did not embrace it. It is hard to say this, but he was not up to it.'
Oliver Holt, Daily Mirror, August 18: 'What if it wasn't just David Moyes after all? What if it wasn't just one bewildered manager failing to cope with the demands of a club the size of United?
'What if getting rid of Moyes isn't going to be the panacea they thought it would be? What if Van Gaal can't just flash his charisma, snap his fingers and bring the magic back?
'What if it's deeper? What if, as the Republik of Mancunia website asked yesterday, an isolated season of post-Ferguson misery and Moyesian confusion seeps into long-term decline?'
What if we all just calm down and remember what we wrote five minutes ago?
I Don't Know What It Is That Makes Me Feel Like This
Alan Shearer takes the easy road in The Sun when he bemoans the fact that Manchester United simply cannot attract 'superstars' anymore. When he says 'anymore', we assume he means 'since 2001 or 2002' because they clearly haven't signed a 'superstar' since.
'It seems the days when United could attract superstars like Paris St Germain's Brazilian defender Thiago Silva have gone,' writes Shearer as if United have been merrily signing the world's best players over the last 13/14 years and have only just started to find it a tad difficult.
'People are laughing at the fact previous boss David Moyes said he wanted Cristiano Ronaldo back and that he tried for Gareth Bale. He was also bidding for Cesc Fabregas and Toni Kroos. But these days United aren't capable of landing such stellar names.'
'These days', Alan? Did we blink and miss United signing Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi, Franck Ribery, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sergio Aguero? Hell, most United fans would have settled for a Luka Modric or an Eden Hazard.
Next week from Shearer: These days Chelsea have quite a bit of money. He's Russian, you know.
'Lots of people have tipped Chelsea to win it this season but City will make a much better first of retaining the title than they did the last time they won it...there is no reason why they can't go on and defend it this time around,' writes Jamie Redknapp in the Daily Mail.
'Lots of people' like you, Jamie? 'Chelsea have no excuses now, they have the squad to win the title. And I think they will,' he said in his predictions for Sky Sports last week.
Even Robbie Savage doesn't U-turn that quickly.
The Blame Game
Headline in The Sun: 'I blame Jose for my flop'.
Opening paragraph in The Sun: 'DEMBA BA insists he flopped at Chelsea because Jose Mourinho picked players on reputation rather than performance.'
Number of times Demba mentions Jose Mourinho: You know the answer, right?
Big Sam, Big Nonsense
Only one game into the new Premier League season and we're already marvelling at the bull-headed nonsense emanating from Upton Park.
"The start is everything," said Sam Allardyce after watching his side lose to Tottenham despite having 18 shots. "It is a trigger to the whole season and whereabouts you are going to finish.
"The perfect example is our first two seasons back in the Premier League where we acquired 14 points in the first eight games in the first [season] and only eight in the first eight last season.
"We saw that last season was a struggle. In the end we finished six points behind the season before.
"We had a huge amount of problems and lot of criticism for results and that comes by allowing yourself to slip into the bottom or relegation zone. That is where the pressure really mounts on you."
All of which - designed to suggest that any struggle is not entirely Allardyce's fault (it's the start! What can he do about the start?) - is swallowed up by a media who do not take the time to do some research.
West Ham did indeed start stronger in 2012/13 but, by the end of February, they sat in 14th position with 30 points.
Exactly a year later they sat in in tenth place with 31 points, having made up for their poor start with an excellent February.
So what was the true cause of the Hammers finishing six points worse off last season? A rotten start (not Allardyce's fault) or eight defeats in their last 11 games?
Go Fourth And Multiply
Allardyce also describes West Ham's conquerors Tottenham as "a team that is supposed to finish in the top four".
He should back them at 7/2.
Another season brings more insight from Tony Cascarino in The Times.
'It is time to mark the death of the overhead kick,' he writes.
Somebody should have told Wayne Rooney before Saturday.
Headline Of The Day
'POCHET THE DIFFERENCE' - The Daily Mirror.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'Bruce attacks Paw decision' - The Daily Express. The referee is called Craig Pawson, you see.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'Cricket legend Sir Ian Botham has claimed his Twitter account was hacked after a picture of a penis was posted on his feed. The verified account belonging to the former England all-rounder posted the offending picture alongside the caption: "What are you thinking....xx".
'Botham, 58, was alerted to the very public nature of the picture by other users including football pundit Robbie Savage. But 'Beefy' appeared to see the funny side, boasting that he has gained hundreds of followers within minutes after the incident' - The Evening Standard. We'r calling him 'Porky' from now on.
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