Stand by your man
On Tuesday, Dwight Yorke became the latest ex-Manchester United player to publicly back Ryan Giggs to replace Louis van Gaal. The propaganda machine sure is chugging along nicely.
“I want to say this categorically. Giggs has been under the main man now for three years,” Yorke told 888Sport. “There is only one candidate. There is no question in my mind who should get the job.”
‘Man backs former teammate’ is hardly groundbreaking news, but Yorke’s reasoning is nothing short of sensational.
“You look at how football is changing. In Spain’s top three all the managers are young ex-players.”
Well yes, but it isn’t just about age is it? Of those three coaches, Diego Simeone managed six clubs before being given the Atletico Madrid job, while Luis Enrique managed Barcelona ‘B’, Roma and Celta Vigo. Zinedine Zidane is by far the least experienced, and it isn’t exactly going swimmingly.
“You have Pep [Guardiola] who is coming over, a young manager at 45. There’s Pochettino at Spurs and Zinedine Zidane and Luis Enrique in Spain and Antonio Conte in Italy and Gary Neville is being given a chance. You have to accept that Jose Mourinho has been a great manager but if there is a change of manager at Manchester United and van Gaal goes then it will be Ryan Giggs.”
Again, Pochettino managed in the top flight for five years before taking over at Tottenham, while Antonio Conte’s first job was in 2006. Yorke’s obsession with age is entirely misplaced. The reason people don’t want Giggs as United manager is not because he’s 42, but because he has no managerial experience of any kind bar a four-game period in 2014. Also, Mourinho is 53. He’s hardly a decrepit old man.
“The old ones are fizzling out,” is Yorke’s final flourish.
Of course. Luckily for Yorke there is no current evidence for an older manager leading his side to the top of the Premier League.
Read the riot act
Mediawatch did not enjoy Manchester City’s second leg against Dynamo Kiev. It was dull, really dull.
However, given that City had done their job in the first leg in Ukraine, that was absolutely fine. Manuel Pellegrini’s side have a Manchester derby on Sunday. At this stage of the season, any chance for a breather should be taken with glee, particularly after losing both central defenders to injury. Having been criticised for being entertaining but lacking resilience, it’s a little rich to criticise them for progression without constant entertainment.
However, the Daily Mail‘s Martin Samuel does not agree with that. Oh no. Not one bit.
‘Manchester City are supposed to be good. So, too, Dynamo Kiev. This was going to be breakthrough night, when City would at last join the Champions League last eight. And for that reason some of the locals will not have minded the tedium, seeing it as job done.
‘But they should mind. They should feel entitled to expect so much more. It is too easy to blame this on the injuries to Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi that threw City’s plans through a loop. It is too simple for Kiev to concede that a 3-0 away win was beyond them. Both are to blame. It did not have to be as dull as this.’
That’s right. Rather than be happy to have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League and winning the tie in Kiev, City fans should be angry that they didn’t win at home.
Mediawatch can only imagine the criticism of ‘self-entitled’ Arsenal supporters were they to react badly in the same situation if they were the only English team left in the Champions League last eight.
‘City will proudly take their place in Friday’s draw but this was hardly an occasion befitting the honour of Breakthrough Night,’ Samuel concludes. ‘Sleep-through night, maybe.’
A reminder: City won 3-1 on aggregate and have made the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.
Hyperbole of the day
‘Only Manchester City could achieve history in a manner like this. Only a club with such a keen sense of farce could stumble and limp their way towards a new frontier’ – Dave Kidd, Daily Mirror.
Yes, it’s unprecedented for a team to take the second leg easy after comfortably winning the first leg. Proper clubs like the ones Kidd mentions, Bayern Munich and Barcelona, certainly wouldn’t dream of it.
Break out in a rash
The Sun today provide another indication that Marcus Rashford has truly made it. They’re starting to write vacuous nonsense about him to fill up space.
‘Don’t crash, Rash’ is The Sun’s headline. For those worried that Rashford has been involved in a high-speed collision, remember who we’re dealing with here.
‘Marcus Rashford puts the car in Carrington as he goes for a spin outside Manchester United’s training ground,’ the piece begins.
‘The Red Devils’ hot prospect had to take care, though, as he was in team-mate Jesse Lingard’s swish Range Rover.
‘But he was soon back in own Audi and United will hope that the pally pair can hit top gear soon to stop their season hitting the skids.’
Ever think we get too much news?
Harry Redknapp corner
March 9, 2016 – Harry Redknapp rejects rumours of him taking the Newcastle job:
“I’ve never spoken to them. I was getting on the plane today from Southampton, and everybody thought I was heading to Newcastle. I was heading to Dublin. If something came along that was interesting, I would. But most of the offers I’m getting at the moment are from far off places in the world where I don’t feel like travelling to at the moment.”
March 16, 2016 – Harry Redknapp agrees deal to manage Jordan’s national team.
Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Sandbanks anymore. But they do pay ever so well.
In the Daily Mail, Martin Samuel is also angry about England vs Turkey being played on May 22 in Manchester. It must be tiring being angry about so very many things.
‘The game with Turkey is scheduled for May 22 at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, handily clashing with an 11km road race that closes many of the thoroughfares in the city. Known as The Great Manchester Run, it shouldn’t have been too hard to spot in the calendar.’
England kick off against Turkey at 5.30pm on May 22. The first start time of the Great Manchester Run (which is a six-mile course) is 10.55am and the last at 1.30pm. Is this really something to get knickers twisted over?
‘Birmingham, Southampton, Sheffield, Liverpool, Stoke, Leicester, Derby – all have perfectly serviceable grounds that could have been used instead. Why not reward Leicester?’ Samuel concludes.
Yes, forget the shiny trophy and Champions League football, what Leicester really need as congratulations for winning the Premier League is an England friendly.
Sign him up
‘Revealed: Antonio Conte’s first five signings as Chelsea boss,’ reads the Daily Star’s headline.
Those signings in full: Massimo Carrera, Angelo Alessio, Paolo Bertelli, Mauro Sandreani and Conte’s brother Gianluca.
Alternative headline: ‘Conte will bring his backroom staff if he’s appointed Chelsea manager.’
A headline for our time
‘Fabregas spots Chelsea team-mate Pato taking a selfie in his car… then photobombs him!’ – MailOnline.
This isn’t news
‘Jermain Defoe shares intimate baby photo showing him in the arms of his mother’ – MailOnline.
If only there was a website where you sign up to see people’s Instagram photos. I dunno, like Instagram for example.
Recommended reading of the day
Amy Lawrence on Arsene Wenger and Stan Kroenke.
Michael Cox on Leicester and Tottenham.
Mike Goodman on Pep’s Bayern