Brendan Rodgers is really in trouble now Liverpool players have stopped giggling on their way into training. Plus, why Premier League clubs were stupid not to appoint Slaven Bilic earlier…
Mediawatch sits on the side of the prosecution when it comes to Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool, but even we raised our eyebrows at the headline on MailOnline: ‘Glum-looking Liverpool players check in for training as pressure mounts on Rodgers.’
The article itself is a thoroughly decent piece by Martha Kelner, in which she details the various pressures mounting on Rodgers.
One would hope Kelner therefore has a word with her colleagues responsible for both the headline and the images of Danny Ings, Jordan Henderson (injured) and Philippe Coutinho not smiling or giggling as they drive into Liverpool’s training ground.
The players aren’t laughing while driving, so sack the manager. It makes sense in the MailOnline’s world.
Credit Where Credit’s Undue
‘Yet the FA have shown the guts SunSport called for yesterday by charging the Spaniard who over-stepped the line’ – Charlie Wyett, The Sun.
Or, alternatively, the Football Association have followed their own protocol by confirming that none of the officials saw the incident for which Costa was charged.
‘Sorry for any confusion, English is not my first language & I did not mean to accuse anyone of cheating. Simply to say Diego is a player who puts pressure on his opponents & who I have huge respect for’ – Kurt Zouma, 4.00pm on Monday.
‘Diego Costa has been charged with violent conduct – on a day when even one of his team-mates has called him a “cheat”‘ – George Scott, Daily Express, Tuesday.
‘Diego Costa was last night charged by the FA – hours after being branded a cheat by one of his team-mates’ – John Cross, Daily Mirror, Tuesday.
And also ‘hours’ after and ‘on a day’ Zouma had clarified that he did not think that Costa was a ‘cheat’. Wonderfully selective hearing.
What A Difference A Year Makes
‘Man United keen on Cristiano Ronaldo transfer next summer’ – David McDonnell, Daily Mirror, September 20, 2014.
‘Manchester United plot £90million Cristiano Ronaldo return as Real Madrid superstar seeks new challenge’ – David McDonnell, Daily Mirror, September 22, 2015.
There can be miracles, if you believe…
‘When a team win three straight away matches against clubs with superior players, there is some seriously good coaching going on,’ writes Dave Kidd in the Daily Mirror.
‘So many Premier League clubs should be asking why they didn’t employ Slaven Bilic about seven years ago, after he’d forged his reputation with Croatia.’
Not just Premier League clubs, but Daily Mirror journalists, Dave. Because here’s what you wrote on September 13, 2009, under the headline ‘Bilic Bombs’:
‘The campaign to have Slaven Bilic, left, installed as a Premier League manager seems to have lost much of its fervour.
‘Not only did the Croatia manager’s pre-match mind games backfire spectacularly at Wembley, but he sent his hatchet man out to nobble Wayne Rooney in the first minute, saw one of his substitutes spit at John Terry in the final minute and was unable to stop his team’s heads from going down as soon as England went in front.
‘Would you want Bilic managing your club? No, me neither.’
Crossing The Line
Mediawatch hugely enjoyed Alan Shearer saying that Diego Costa ‘crossed the line’ in The Sun.
‘He is a street fighter. I like his aggression and the way he doesn’t allow himself to be bullied by big central defenders,’ Shearer begins. ‘But there is a line and he crossed that against Arsenal. Now the FA have charged him with violent conduct.
‘You try to get one step ahead of the game and stand up for yourself. You let the defenders know that you won’t be intimidated and they can’t kick you. But he is treading a fine line. I wouldn’t want to temper his aggression too much because I am a big fan of the way he plays. But he perhaps needs to be a bit smarter now because refs will have clocked him and have no sympathy.’
Mediawatch presumes that ‘being a bit smarter’ includes kicking opposition players in the face, an action the Football Association ruled was ‘a genuine attempt to free himself.
Maybe Costa just needs to enlist Gary Lineker and Gordon Taylor as character witnesses?
Late In The Day
‘Anthony Martial: Arsene Wenger reveals Arsenal kept tabs on ‘exceptional talent’ before £58m Manchester United transfer’ – Independent, September 10.
‘Arsene Wenger reveals why he didn’t sign £36m Anthony Martial’ – Joe.co.uk, September 22.
Keep up Joe, or British men will go elsewhere.
Dad Joke Of The Day
‘From headbutts to crazy own goals, the Second City derby makes players suffer more short-circuits than a Third World electricity world’ – Who else but ‘zany’ Mike Walters in the Daily Mirror.
Number of red cards in the last 13 Aston Villa vs Birmingham City matches (over a 12-year period): None.
Tenuous Link Of The Day/Week/Year
‘Leandro Rodriguez is chomping at the bit to make his Everton debut against the Royals tonight. Like his fellow Uruguayan Luis Suarez, Rodriguez has an association with teeth. While the former Liverpool striker bites opponents, the Toffees youngster has his early career blocked by his father – a dentist’ – David Anderson, Daily Mirror. It made us laugh, and laugh hard.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
‘A man with a fetish for children’s playground equipment has been banned from going anywhere which has a slide.
‘Christopher Johnson, aged 46, of St Osburg’s Road in Stoke, was arrested after simulating a sex act with a slide at Stoke Green Park in Coventry, the Coventry Telegraph reports. It’s his second slide-related offence.
‘At Coventry Magistrates Court he admitted outraging public decency by behaving in an indecent manner and received a three-year Criminal Behaviour Order. The order bans him from attending any location, including parks, leisure centres, swimming baths, lidos or recreation grounds were there is a slide.
‘Johnson also received a three-year community order, which includes having sex offender treatment for 18 months, and a rehabilitation activity requirement. He was fined £55 and had to pay a £60 victim surcharge, £85 costs and a £180 criminal courts charge.
‘On July 1 last year, Johnson outraged public decency by undressing and performing a sexual act on the top of a slide at Coundon Hall Park in Waste Lane, Keresley’ – Huddersfield Examiner.
Thanks to the lovely nobody. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at theeditor@football365,com, putting ‘Mediawatch’ in the subject field.