Don’t believe the hype-rbole
Mediawatch would agree that Everton have been largely rotten at Goodison Park this season, but we can’t get on board with Martin Samuel’s claim in the Daily Mail one little bit.
‘On their current path, Everton may become the worst home team in top division history,’ Samuel writes.
Worst home team ever? Everton have taken 16 points from their 16 home games, winning four. Even if we only look at the Premier League, in 2007/08, Derby County took eight points at home, winning once. In 2005/06, Sunderland went one ‘better’, gaining seven points from 19 home games. Everton aren’t even bottom of this season’s sodding home league table.
Still, Samuel has an explanation.
‘Everton have lost eight home games, compared to two away, a difference of six. Since the league began in 1888, the biggest margin has been four defeats.’
Yes, because that’s how you calculate ‘the worst home team in history’. Certainly not by other measures, like points.
Sale of the century
Mediawatch presents to you a section of Charlie Sale’s Daily Mail column, in full and almost without comment. It is superb:
‘Manchester City may be the world’s richest club but sporting director Txiki Begiristain doesn’t lavish their wealth on his travel arrangements. Begiristain went to the Champions League quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain by Eurostar and then queued at the Gare du Nord for a taxi to the team hotel.’
Yes, that’s right. An employee of Manchester City HAD TO QUEUE for a taxi rather than using a platinum jetpack or gold-plated hover boots. Disgusting treatment.
How the other half don’t live.
Shame the flops
Have you enjoyed this Premier League season? Are you excited by this young England team? Are you more cheerful than a Chief Grumpypants? Good for you.
Tonight, Manchester City are playing Paris St Germain in the Champions League quarter-final. The obvious question for The Sun’s Steven Howard is ‘How can I turn this into a gripe about English football?’. Easily, is the answer.
‘Paris Saint-Germain hero Zlatan Ibrahimovic puts over-hyped Premier League flops to shame,’ is the headline. Really.
‘Alan Shearer, sadly for some, has got it right,’ Howard begins. ‘His claim this week in The Sun that Sergio Aguero is the only real world-class player in the Premier League is not what Richard Scudamore and the self-deluding flag wavers want to hear.’
Kevin de Bruyne? David Silva? Mesut Ozil? Alexis Sanchez? Riyad Mahrez? Romelu Lukaku? David de Gea?
‘The shocking lack of true top-drawer quality may change over the summer when Manchester City and Chelsea hand huge transfer funds to Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte.’
Bloody hell, Steve. Cheer up fella.
‘But, as of this moment, the Premier League cupboard is worryingly bare. In all honesty, you cannot see one world-class player at either Manchester United or Arsenal.’
Again, Ozil? Sanchez? De Gea? Come on.
Only Chief Grumpypants could sell a preview for a Champions League quarter-final between a Premier League and a Ligue Un club on just how s**t English football is.
When reading the following paragraph, bear in mind that Steven Howard sold his piece on how Zlatan Ibrahimovic is ‘putting the Premier League to shame’:
‘Compare that to the glory years of 1999-2012, when we not only had some world-class players but others with total commitment to their clubs — as opposed to the flaky mercenaries who populate our game at present.’
Two things, Steve:
1) Did foreign players, – for we assume that’s who you were referring to – really suddenly become ‘flaky mercenaries’ in 2012?
2) Ibrahimovic played for Barcelona, Internazionale, Juventus and Milan in the space of seven seasons, and was reported by your own paper as demanding £600,000 a week to play in England. He’s not a strong witness for the prosecution.
I’m Super, thanks for asking
You will remember The Sun’s big European Super League ‘exclusive’ from March 1. It was done with an almighty fanfare amid understandable concerns about the future of European football.
Quotes from Charlie Stillitano, chairman of Relevant Sports who organise the International Champions Cup, were splashed over The Sun’s back pages for the few days following the story, along with some serious self-congratulation. ‘Charlie Stillitano is man behind Euro Super League idea…but who is he?’ was one of their headlines.
On Tuesday, Stillitano spoke again, a fortnight after announcing that Leicester would indeed be part of this summer’s ICC:
“I would not want a closed league,” Stillitano said. “I would want these magical teams, like Leicester, to be a part of this.”
“Can you imagine if they were left out of the Champions League after what they’ve done? It would be absurd. They are maybe the best sports story ever. If they win the Premier League this year, I cannot think of any accomplishment bigger than what they’re doing.”
“I was very clear that I am not the architect, I am not behind it in any way, shape or form. I was just commenting that different people are saying different things. You’ve had the real leaders of football talking about it, not me – some guy from New Jersey. All I was commenting on was that the conversation was out there, it’s not mine. I think, honestly, that was misquoted.”
Weirdly, The Sun haven’t gone as big on these Stillitano quotes. Half of them are squeezed into a corner of page 51 (the sixth sports page), with the rest merely ignored. How odd.
A new high for Proper Football Man-ery
Said Ian Wright on BT Sport on Tuesday evening:
“Gerard Pique has had it easy in Spain. He’s never had to defend against a team like Leicester.”
The mind really does boggle. And then the eyes cry.
Steve McManaman on BT Sport during Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid:
“They [Barcelona] want to score two because they want to win.”
Try and disagree with that logic.
‘Aww, diddums’ of the day
‘Jurgen Klopp’s decision to move Liverpool’s training session to a 3pm start, partly to replicate the Saturday kick-off time, has not gone down well among players with families. They are now being roped in for childcare duties, leaving them tired before they arrive at Melwood’ – Charlie Sale, Daily Mail.
It’s worth pointing out that Liverpool have denied any complaints.
Metro headline of the day
‘Arsenal rocked as star reveals he’s set to miss start of 2016/17 season’ – Metro.
Alex Iwobi might play for Nigeria at the Rio Olympics, you see. Sheesh.
Misleading headline of the day
‘McClean bites Cats’ – The Sun.
First not wearing a poppy, now this. What a c**t.
Recommended reading of the day
Jason Burt with Lucas Moura
Barney Ronay on Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City
Swiss Ramble on Burnley