Anyone who had a Hart…
The Sun’s Neil Custis is a man deeply amused by a journalist’s auto-correct changing Guardiola to Guacamole (‘hilarious’, apparently) so we cannot expect him to have too much perspective as he writes about poor Joe Hart:
‘This is a two-time title winner and the rock on which the success in the Sheikh Mansour era was built. Now he will never be able to win a title again.’
Now Mediawatch suspects that Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero (foreigners all) might have something to say about the first statement. Especially as ‘the rock’ was dropped for a good portion of that second title-winning campaign.
As for Hart ‘never being able to win a title again’? That’s a pretty bloody ‘glass half empty’ assessment of a 29-year-old who almost single-handedly won two titles, wouldn’t you say?
Owner of a lonely Hart
Never before has one club’s change of goalkeeper been covered at such great length, with Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail writing…
‘CLAUDIO BRAVO arrived from Barcelona yesterday to complete a £17million move to Manchester City and confirm a rather awkward reality for Joe Hart. The England goalkeeper is now third choice at his own club.’
His own club? Where the hell else would he be third choice? Or did we miss a takeover?
Slight difference of opinion
‘JOE HART has been told by Pep Guardiola that he will play for Manchester City tonight on the day Claudio Bravo arrived to replace him’ – The Daily Express.
‘No doubt Guardiola was informing him that Claudio Bravo was on a plane to Manchester to complete his switch from Barcelona – and to take Hart’s gloves full-time. He will probably have also told him that, despite tonight’s European qualifying clash being meaningless after City’s 5-0 away win in the first leg, he would not be playing’ – The Sun.
Alternatively, it was a conversation between two people and nobody has a sodding clue what was said.
Shock and awe
There’s been a ‘Premier League transfer shock’. We know this because we had the misfortune to click onto the Daily Express website. And what is this ‘Premier League transfer shock’? Well, hold onto your hats because the Express have got hold of figures that ‘prove record spending may not win titles’.
Two words: F*** me.
Want evidence that Jurgen Klopp is never satisfied? Just read these compelling opening paragraphs to Dominic King’s match report from Burton in the Daily Mail:
‘The game was barely a quarter old but already it had been won. Jurgen Klopp, however, was in no mood to celebrate, as James Milner soon discovered.
‘As Liverpool’s players trotted back to their own half, with Roberto Firmino having given them a two-goal advantage at Burton, Milner came to the touchline to get a drink. Klopp rose from his dugout to hand his vice-captain a bottle but it came with a message: tell them to keep going.’
Bloody hell. No wonder the headline says ‘IT’S KLOPP FEVER’. He is literally burning up.
Actual quotes from Frank Leboeuf (‘the man who saved Stephen Hawking’s life’) on Chelsea in The Sun:
“I hope this season they will go back to who they are and where they should be – and that is in the top four, challenging for the title – but they have to think of the future. Some players are older now. There are not only question marks over John Terry but Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic as well. Those players have had a fantastic time at Chelsea, but maybe now it is time to think about the future.”
Headline in The Sun: ‘Blues can win title – if they ditch JT.’
Half-inching a living
There’s no doubt that Martin Samuel has a point (if a very facile one) that Manchester United are shaping up to be a physically imposing side, but his Daily Mail column loses its way somewhat when he suggests that Arsene Wenger was the ‘originator’ of the tactic of filling your team with big players.
‘For all their skill, the Invincibles were a huge team in central defence and central midfield.’
Exactly how short is Martin Samuel that he believes the 5’10” Kolo Toure qualifies as ‘huge’? By that criteria, even full-back Ashley Cole was only half an inch off ‘huge’. Mind you…aren’t we all?
Available in all good book shops
It takes quite remarkable chutzpah to take an extract from a book released on August 11 that was first published in The Guardian on August 8 and make it into a back-page ‘exclusive’ on August 24.
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) August 23, 2016
But the Daily Mirror’s John Cross is not a man missing chutzpah. Just shame.
The big reveal
Put this story through the Metro machine and ‘Arsene Wenger reveals why Arsenal haven’t spent big this summer’.
Which is remarkable considering the interview was presumably conducted last season.
Miserable David Moyes has been bemoaning the quality of his realistic transfer targets at Sunderland, saying:
“The quality of the players that Sunderland can get is probably not what I’ve been buying in the last six years, or what I’ve had in the Premier League – not anywhere close to it.”
On the contrary, David, I am pretty sure that even Sunderland could attract Steven Naismith, Steven Pienaar (they did), Thomas Hitzlsperger, Bryan Oviedo, Darron Gibson, Nikica Jelavic, Jermaine Beckford, Magaye Gueye and Apostolos Vellios.
Keen readers of Mediawatch will have been worried in recent months for the future of Wing’s restaurant in Manchester now the Mail Online cannot
advertise report on a weekly basis that Louis van Gaal has visited the eaterie.
But never fear, on August 18 they brought us this news: ‘Mario Balotelli pictured leaving Wing’s restaurant in Manchester as exiled Liverpool striker’s future remains unresolved.’
And then on August 24: ‘Claudio Bravo dines at Wing’s as his move to Manchester City from Barcelona nears completion.’
Apparently, ‘you’re not a Manchester footballer unless you’ve dined there’.
And you’re not a Mail Online churnalist if you haven’t given them a plug for a free spring roll.
Recommended reading of the day
Marina Hyde not intent on learning anything from the Olympics
Scott Paterson on Anthony Martial failing to spark
Graeme Ruthven on Eric Bailly being a perfect Jose defender