When you know that Arsenal have really f**ked it up
Eleven Daily Mirror writers have picked which teams will join Tottenham and Leicester in the top four this season. Eight of them have picked Manchester City and Arsenal, but three have chosen Manchester United over Arsenal.
John Cross is one of them. See what you’ve done, Arsene?
This is how we Rolls
The Sun have got themselves a bona fide ‘exclusive’ on Tuesday morning. Strap in for this one: Yaya Toure has got himself a new car. The motoring obsession continues.
‘Yaya Toure outdoing his Manchester City team-mates by cruising round in TWO Rolls Royces worth £600,000,’ reads the headline, which at least hints that Toure is driving two cars at the same time. Now that would be newsworthy.
‘Manchester City star Yaya Toure is battling to outdo his team-mates in the club car park — by cruising around in TWO Rolls Royces,’ the piece begins.
‘Battling to outdo his team-mates’? How do you know that’s his incenti… Oh wait, there’s evidence.
‘One fan said: “Yaya’s Rolls Royce Wraith was already turning heads at the ground so we couldn’t believe it when he turned up in another Roller. There can’t be many people out there who have two Rolls Royces to cruise around in.
‘“Other City players like Nasri have beautiful cars but maybe Yaya wanted to send everyone a message about how much he loves luxury motors. One thing’s for sure that message has gt (sic) through now.”’
Mediawatch wants to ‘send everyone a message’, too: Stop producing this horses**t.
Onward Christian soldiers
The Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel was very impressed with Tottenham last night – weren’t we all. Samuel reserved special praise for Mauricio Pochettino’s midfielders:
‘It was surprising for a Mark Hughes side how easily Tottenham came through their midfield. Time and again, Tottenham took a straightforward route to goal, Stoke’s midfield second best, whether to the legs of Mousa Dembele, the wit of Christian Eriksen or the sheer speed of Pochettino’s wide men.’
Eriksen merited eight mentions in Samuel’s match report, a match in which the Dane provided two assists.
The Mail’s chief sports writer might have wanted to lean over and have a word with his colleague Chris Wheeler. Wheeler awarded Eriksen six out of ten in his match ratings. Worse than Giannelli Imbula, apparently.
Given half a chance
One of the five things that David Anderson of the Daily Mirror ‘learned’ at the Britannia Stadium on Monday was that Shay Given is not acting his age. Because he ‘sported a trendy haircut of someone half his age’.
Consider that learned.
Serves you Wright
Qualified official and ‘laws of the game’ expert Ian Wright has already given his extensive thoughts on refereeing standards to BBC Sport this week, but he’s back in The Sun to spit some more hard truths.
Wright gives his forthright opinions on shirt-pulling in the area in predictable fashion (“The time has come for us to make a stand and finally stamp it out” and “All the foreign sides seemed to do it but in terms of the Premier League? Well, it just didn’t seem to exist”), but it’s on handballs that Wright truly shows off his knowledge of the game’s rules.
‘It’s the same principle as handball,’ Wright writes. ‘You’ll get them saying it was ball to hand or he couldn’t get his arm out of the way, it was in an unnatural position or whatever.
‘In my view, a handball is a handball and in the box that equals a penalty. No argument. It’s always been the rule, so don’t try to muddy the waters now.’
It really hasn’t always been the rule, Ian. Hence why you started with ‘In my view’.
For clarification, the ‘them’ in ‘You’ll get them saying’ refers to the official interpretations of the laws of the game, as published by the Football Association.
Back in my day…
“When I was playing in the Premier League, being manhandled at corners just wasn’t an issue. Defenders would get touch tight but they wouldn’t have both arms round you, effectively caging you off and stopping you making a run” – Ian Wright, The Sun, April 19.
“So what were Leicester to do? Allow West Ham’s clever physical plan to succeed, or stand up to the threat and protect their box and their goal? As a defender, you cannot allow Carroll to get a run on you and to meet the ball at the highest point. That’s game over. It used to be the same when I played against Duncan Ferguson at Everton; he too was a big man, but he also had a mighty leap” – Martin Keown, Daily Mail, April 19.
So it never went on, but your old team-mate says he used to do it?
My sporting life
‘There should be an official specifically looking for holding in the box from set-pieces. It was like UFC in the United area’ – Ian Wright, October 28, 2014.
‘Anyone sitting down to watch the Prem these days could be mistaken for thinking they have stuck on Wrestlemania instead’ – Ian Wright, April 19, 2016.
Sounds like things have got better, not worse.
Who needs enemies when you have ex-colleagues like this
‘Halsey claims Mike Jones, Jon Moss, Kevin Friend, Lee Mason, Roger East and Neil Swarbrick are all not good enough for the English top flight’ – Eurosport, October 2013.
“It gives me no pleasure to say 2014 has not been a good year for refereeing at any level of the game… The likes of Lee Mason, Anthony Taylor, Mike Jones, Jon Moss, Neil Swarbrick, Roger East, Kevin Friend and Robert Madeley should be looking to push on now” – Mark Halsey, December 2014.
“You are always looking for your best man available to referee that prestige game [the FA Cup final]. I’m amazed that they’ve not given him the final. I would imagine that Jon Moss will feel a little bit sheepish that he doesn’t really deserve it and Mark Clattenburg does.”It’s no disrespect to Jon, but is he the best man? Has he been given a big game by the PGMOL? The Manchester derby, Man United v Liverpool, Man United v Chelsea – has he been trusted in those games? No, he hasn’t” – Mark Halsey, April 2015.
“Jon Moss was totally inconsistent after sending off Jamie Vardy at Leicester on Sunday, but perhaps we should not have been surprised. In four years as a Premier League referee he has never taken charge of a massive game such as a Merseyside, Manchester or North London derby. He should surely have been given one of those by now. And the fact he has not may tell you all you need to know about just how highly he is rated” – Mark Halsey, April 2016.
Race for the title… Have I missed something? pic.twitter.com/R2YEi1dj91
— Liam King (@LiamKing93) April 19, 2016
Changed your tune
Ian Holloway predicting the midweek results in the Football League for Sky Sports:
“I went to bed thinking Burnley, but woke up fancying Middlesbrough!”
Score prediction: 1-1.
Saved you a click
‘Here’s why no Chelsea players made Cesc Fabregas’ Team of the Season’ – @MailSport.
It’s because they’ve been a bit s**t.
Recommended reading of the day
Swiss Ramble on Newcastle
David Squires on Jamie Vardy
Glenn Billingham on Gary McAllister’s time at Liverpool