Poor, poor tactics
This – from the Daily Mirror’s Chief Sports Writer Dave Kidd – starts bizarrely and really doesn’t get any better.
‘Whether or not you believe Tim Sherwood was ever the right man to manage Aston Villa, one thing is undeniable.
‘That Tim Sherwood would have been a better Aston Villa manager had he been allowed to be Tim Sherwood.
‘Sherwood is a brash, chippy wisecracker, with a well-polished ego and a touch of the old-school little Englander about him.’
Okaaaaay. So who was that brash, chippy wisecracker, with a well-polished ego and a touch of the old-school little Englander making a cock of things at Aston Villa if it wasn’t Tim Sherwood?
Kidd then goes on to do exactly what every other man defending Sherwood has been doing all season – ignore half the signings made by Villa that clearly have the mark of Sherwood.
Apparently Villa signed ‘a clutch of untried players’ while Sherwood ‘wanted Premier League experience’, which does not really tally with a list of signings that includes Joleon Lescott, Micah Richards and Scott Sinclair. The defence for Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Swansea consisted of Alan Hutton, Richards, Lescott and Kieran Richardson. There are over 700 Premier League appearances in that quartet of has-beens and almost-weres.
And talking of has-beens and almost-weres…
‘Sherwood had wanted proven Premier League experience, with his former Spurs players Emmanuel Adebayor, Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend at the top of his wishlist. Unimaginative? Yes. But better than he got and for a similar price? Almost certainly.’
Yes, let’s ignore the small matter of Adebayor (who actually turned down Villa, remember) being a 31-year-old who earns £170,000 a week. So when you are calling for Villa to show more ‘ambition’, are you actually asking them to throw massive amounts of money at a short-term solution? Ask yourselves if well-run clubs like Swansea and Southampton – who have both had a lower net spend than Villa in the last five years – would make that signing. ‘F*** no’ is the answer.
‘Jordan Veretout has bombed and while left-back Jordan Amavi has looked decent going forward, he is essentially a defender who is not very good at defending,’ continues Kidd, which is an odd choice of words for a left-back who makes more tackles per game than every Premier League player bar three, and more interceptions than all but N’Golo Kante and Laurent Koscielny.
Kidd laughably continues: ‘They must learn to compete with the top flight’s well-run smaller clubs such as Southampton, Swansea, Stoke, Crystal Palace and even Leicester – all of whom are light years ahead in terms of management structure and recruitment policy.’
And none of which would have signed Adebayor for £170,000 a week. Or given Premier League starts to Hutton or Richardson in 2015.
For the record, Southampton did not sign a single player this summer who had played more than 22 Premier League games; Swansea did not sign one player from the Premier League; Stoke brought in seven players, only one of which (Glen Johnson) had any Premier League experience; Palace’s only signing with Premier League experience was the phenomenal Yohan Cabaye; Leicester signed five players, only one of which (Robert Huth) had any Premier League experience.
It’s almost like Dave Kidd has just made a list of teams further up the table than Aston Villa and said ‘do it like them, bozos’.
And it’s almost like it might be a little bit Tim Sherwood’s fault after all. Or that brash, chippy wisecracker, with a well-polished ego and a touch of the old-school little Englander who has been doing a passable impression over the last eight months.
‘No desire to listen to the proposals that come mainly from the Premier League, Arsenal in the lead,’ is the one mention of the Gunners in a fawning story (funnelled through Google Translate) about Gonzalo Higuain that begins ‘Venice is beautiful’ on calciomercato.com.
The headline on the Daily Mirror website?
‘Gunners preparing sensational £68m Gonzalo Higuain bid?’
Writes Jason Burt in the Daily Telegraph on Jose Mourinho: ‘Maybe it is karma for his treatment of Carneiro. That is extremely far-fetched but…’
Yes. Yes it is, Glenn.
Unashamedly wa*ky intro of the day
‘Like some footsore wanderer, beset by vagabonds, Jose Mourinho stands at the crossroads, looking for the path that will be his salvation. In vain, alas. One sign reads ‘disgrace’, the other ‘despair’. And both lead, as night follows day, to ‘dismissal’.’
Thank you Michael Henderson in the Daily Mail. You made us verily LOL.
Going a fair lickspittling
It was not just the intro that was wa*ky from Michael Henderson, who could really only work for the Daily Mail (in the 1950s) when using such words and phrases:
‘Will angels pluck a thousand harps to send him on his way?’
‘His minstrel’s song’
‘football is indeed the glory game’
‘When he stares into the pool, like Narcissus…’
‘wisps of melody’
‘A rare jest’
‘had his vanity not unhorsed him’
‘Besieged by foes’
The latter pair on that list come in this fine paragraph: ‘Besieged by foes, he sits in his bunker, cursing all who would doubt him. But not many people are listening any more. Mourinho, who was never as interesting as some lickspittles imagined, has become a bore.’
Which is exactly why the Daily Mail dedicate three pages of five in the sports section to all matters Mourinho. The lickspittles.
Ask a simple question
Asks Mark Hughes: “Who would you replace Jose Mourinho with to get an uplift at the club?”
Judging by the events of eight years ago, there is only one answer: Avram Grant.
SEO-tastic headline of the day
In no way seeing an opportunity in these days of Mourinho news, this is The Guardian’s headline on their Sheffield Wednesday preview:
‘Carlos Carvalhal makes Wednesday feel special after José Mourinho’s help.’
We think you probably already know just how prominent Mourinho figures in the actual story.
Football story of the day
‘Andy Carroll and fiancée Billi Mucklow treat young son Arlo to pumpkin farm visit to celebrate his first Halloween’ – it could only be the MailOnline.
Worst headline of the day
‘RAN DREAM’ – The Sun. Nope. We’ve got nothing.
If you spot anything that belongs on the page, just mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting ‘Mediawatch’ in the subject field.