Wright out of town
After Monday’s claims that a Chelsea player had been ‘overheard’ saying he’d rather lose than win for Jose Mourinho, Mediawatch immediately thought two things:
1) It might not be true, or at least a misunderstanding/overstatement.
2) It might have been more a turn of phrase, a reflection of extreme disillusionment, than a literal admission of “we’re deliberately trying to lose”.
But if there is one thing that Ian Wright doesn’t like it’s players giving less than 120%. Even 110% is not enough for our man Wrighty, and that’s the typical zenith of footballers’ commitment.
‘We do not know whether this is true or not,’ Wright begins in his The Sun column, before entirely ignoring that qualifier. Here are the best bits:
‘Forget training, I would get the players in a room at their Cobham training HQ and tell them they are not leaving until we get to the bottom of this latest sorry episode.’
‘The player has to go. Whoever he is. Whatever he is worth.’
‘No footballer at any level, even on Hackney Marshes on Sunday mornings, should ever think, let alone utter the words: “I would rather lose than win because…”
‘They must take a stand for their good and the good of the game that has afforded someone 100 times the earnings of Peter Osgood, with only a fraction of his talent.’
‘Chelsea need to find the culprit, name him, shame him and throw him out.’
‘Some players are not bothered about anything other than themselves. Some players now have no moral compass. They do not care. It is ridiculous.’
‘Chelsea have frequently been blamed for many of the ills that blight modern football. If this latest stain on the sport’s character is right, they could now have redressed the balance.’
Make them call the families of dead soldiers to say sorry?
Insult to injury time
Writes The Sun’s Steven Howard on Manchester City:
‘Have they [City] become the new Manchester United? Have they inherited Alex Ferguson’s ability to influence games whereby matches go on for just as long as it takes to win them?’
Firstly, that’s a broad definition of ‘inherited’ given that Ferguson never managed City.
Secondly, City have scored two stoppage time goals this season. The first was the fifth goal in a 5-1 League Cup win over Crystal Palace, and the second 46 seconds into added time against Sevilla. Less ‘matches going on for just as long as it takes to win them’ and more ‘injury time’.
Summary: Nobody has a clue
Tuesday’s papers all pick Manchester United’s starting line-up against CSKA Moscow, and there’s not a lot of agreement.
The Daily Mirror pick Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger in central midfield, with Ashley Young on the left, Anthony Martial as No. 10 and Juan Mata on the right. Wayne Rooney starts up front.
The Sun put Morgan Schneiderlin in central midfield, Martial up front, Rooney in behind and Ander Herrera in the place of Ashley Young.
The Daily Mail change tact by bringing in Phil Jones in place of Daley Blind, and Ashley Young on the right wing. Martial is on the left with Juan Mata as the No. 10. The Times pick the same team.
We’re going with the last two. Safety in numbers.
Let their Garde down
Top work from Aston Villa, who managed to spell their new manager’s name wrong on social media and their own website.
Not knowing your ‘i’ from your ‘y’. It’s the new arse from elbow.
“In rugby, the decision is always right… 95% of the time” – Danny Mills on the use of technology in other sports.
Ask a simple question
‘’Did Dean just celebrate Tottenham’s goal?’ Ref trends on Twitter after Dembele strike’ – MailOnline.
Imagine all the people
‘You can see it now, Eden Hazard going through flaming hoops, standing on his head and scoring the goal of the season’ – Steven Howard in The Sun on Stoke vs Chelsea.
We really can’t Steve.
‘Bony to crack it,’ reads the headline in The Sun. The tagline is equally insistent: ‘Wilf: I’ll end pain in Spain’. We like it when footballers rhyme things just for headline writers.
Actual quotes from Bony: “I’m trying everything to score goals but they did not go in for me on Saturday. I thought I had a goal in the last game against Sevilla but it looks like maybe not [as it was deflected] so perhaps I can get one in this game instead.”
More, more, more
“He gives us more than only scoring goals” – Louis van Gaal on Wayne Rooney.
Sure wouldn’t hurt to score them first.
The inside track
‘Edgar Davids takes motorbike for a spin in central London before meeting up with mystery brunette companion’ – MailOnline.
Big news. Big, big news.
The greatest description ever
‘Revealed: 449 goal superstar met with Wenger to agree Arsenal transfer’ – Metro.
It’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Is this reverse-SEO?
Third time lucky
‘TRANSFER CENTRE: Man City reportedly target Ateltico Madrid striker Angel Correa. More here’ – @SkyFootball, 8am.
‘TRANSFER CENTRE: Everton are linked with Atheltic Bilbao star Inaki Williams. More here’ – @SkyFootball. 10am.
Two patheltic attempts.
The glorious return of acewatch
‘Report: Man United ace rejects huge Man City salary to commit to club’ – Metro.
That ‘ace’ is Callum Gribbin.
The glorious beginning of geniusacewatch
‘Genius Man United ace commits future to Old Trafford’ – Metro.
Our first ‘genius ace’ is Andreas Pereira. We think Anthony Martial might be a ‘magic mega superstar genius ace’.
Lack of self-awareness of the day
‘Who does Paul Scholes think he is? The man who couldn’t be bothered to play for England any more is now that most dislikeable of characters – the ex-pro who hasn’t got the bottle to go into coaching, but sits there sneering: “It’s not as good as when I was in the team.”’ – Adrian Durham, MailOnline.
Yeah Paul, why are you offering your opinion on United? You b*stard.
‘Did van Gaal know anything about the team they were playing against?’ wrote Durham a month ago. ‘This is unacceptable from any Manchester United side. Enough of the entertaining, jokey press conferences please Louis. Concentrate on the job in front of you.’
So, man who chose the path of being paid handsomely to air his views on football and is typically outspoken criticises man who chose the path of being paid handsomely to air his views on football and is typically outspoken for doing exactly that.
Recommended reading of the day
Raphael Honigstein on Andre Schubert’s ‘wild marriage’ with Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Guillem Balague on Cristiano Ronaldo’s early days at Manchester United.
Andy Brassell on Remi Garde.