Martin Keown in the Daily Mail:
‘I NEVER thought I would see the day when an Arsene Wenger team were so outclassed.’
Sorry, what? Where was he when Arsenal lost 4-0 to Liverpool in August? Or when they lost 10-2 to Bayern Munich on aggregate? Or when they lost 8-2 to Manchester United? Or when they…actually, who has time for this?
We do know the whereabouts of Keown when an Arsene Wenger team were so outclassed by Liverpool in December 2000 that they lost 4-0. He was on the pitch.
A Pog’s life
Remember on Thursday when the Daily Mirror’s David McDonnell tried to convince us that Marcus Rashford was in a far superior position to Paul Pogba at Manchester United? It was an utterly bizarre stance to take and featured McDonnell claiming that ‘Pogba seems to have lost Jose Mourinho’s trust’ while insisting ‘the careers of the two appear to be heading in opposite directions’.
‘With the World Cup on the horizon, Rashford may not be starting as many games as he’d like, but seems to retain the trust of Mourinho, unlike Pogba, who faces an uncertain future.’
Fast-forward to Sunday and one of the biggest games of the season against Chelsea; Pogba started the game and Rashford – as is now customary – was on the bench.
Pogba then produced a performance that had some purring, including this from James Gheerbrant of The Times…
— James Gheerbrant (@JamesGheerbrant) February 25, 2018
…but McDonnell is not having it. His verdict? ‘6/10. Beaten in air in build-up to opener. Gave ball away cheaply.’
Pesky fact: Pogba’s pass completion rate was 86.2% – better than his season’s average and higher than all United players barring Nemanja Matic and Antonio Valencia.
Imagine how good he would be if Mourinho trusted him as much as Marcus ‘unused sub’ Rashford…
Mind you, McDonnell also wrote of Anthony Martial: ‘Set up Lukaku for equaliser. Bafflingly subbed.’
Well his replacement did score the winner.
Mediawatch appreciates that player ratings are often written early but why was that line left bafflingly unsubbed?
The bum’s Rash
In a massive blow to Mediawatch, Garth Crooks has taken to justifying his BBC Team of the Week selections with just one short paragraph and nary a mention of haircuts. He still writes this – ostensibly on Romelu Lukaku – though:
‘Manchester United might be getting results but the quality of their performances, especially at Old Trafford recently, have been rubbish. Hardly surprising when you leave Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard out of the starting line-up at home. United fans must be getting very frustrated with these performances, but against Chelsea it was just as well Romelu Lukaku came to the rescue in more ways than one.’
What is this obsession with Marcus Rashford? The last time he played a significant portion of a Manchester United Premier League match at home was a 0-0 with Southampton. The last time he started a Manchester United Premier League match at home was the 2-2 with Burnley. In fact, he has not started and won a Manchester United Premier League match at home since November and a 1-0 win over Brighton that was earned with an own goal.
Why oh why did he not start a 2-1 win over a top-four rival? Manchester United fans must be very frustrated indeed.
‘Jamie Carragher and Manchester United’s fans all noticed what Scott McTominay did from minute three against Chelsea’ – Metro
‘Man Utd fans all notice ONE thing about Scott McTominay’s Chelsea performance’ – Express online.
Journalism in 2018: Embedding tweets from ‘fans’ saying that Scott McTominay is man-marking Eden Hazard.
The big stage
Garth Crooks on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain:
‘It’s starting to happen. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is beginning to look like a player again. There is no fear of the big stage in this lad. I think the only thing that is frightening about this player is just how good he could be at Anfield.’
They were playing West Ham at home.
Ask a simple question
‘Arsene Wenger: Has the Queen confirmed she wants Arsenal boss to go after Man City loss?’ – Express website.
But wait a minute, why would the Express even pose such a question? Why, because ‘a very, very skilled photoshop user has hiliarously mocked up an image of her Majesty holding up a piece of paper that reads: Wenger Out’, of course.
Check out the picture below and judge for yourself whether the photoshop user is indeed ‘very, very skilled’; we will judge a) that spelling of ‘hilariously’ and b) whether it should ever be used to describe such a shower of sh*te.
— Arsenal Till I Die (@GoonerRobbie) February 25, 2018
Fighting fire with, well, sh*t
Writes Mike Walters in the Daily Mirror:
‘In fairness to Big Sam. he has only been in charge for 14 Premier League games, and he did what it said on the tin – steering Everton away from the relegation zone – with a seasoned firefighter’s expertise.’
Pesky fact: Everton were 13th when Sam Allardyce took over. There was no bloody fire.
Worst idea of the season
Sky’s marketing department have just given up haven’t they pic.twitter.com/1ZSOSm5y1W
— Alex Hess (@A_Hess) February 25, 2018
Rivalry Weekend? Really? Were no lessons learned from Red Monday?
Recommended reading of the day
Jack Pitt-Brooke on Vincent Kompany.
Jonathan Wilson on Arsenal.
Nick Ames with Sunday Oliseh.
Planet Sport quiz: Test your knowledge on the ATP Tour’s No 1 singles rankings. (Tennis365)