Smile like you mean it…
‘Fat man’ Neil Custis on Sunday Supplement on Sunday morning: “[Van Gaal] has quite frankly wiped the smile off the face of Manchester United. He has taken everything good about them away from the club and the height of how deluded he is is incredible because he doesn’t see what he’s done. He’s ‘Van Gaaled’ so many players they might never be the same again. Players like [Marcus] Rashford, first two games he was brilliant, then Van Gaal had about three weeks with him and he’s hardly touched the ball since!”
Neil Custis in The Sun after ‘whizkid’ Marcus Rashford scored the only goal in the Manchester derby: ‘THERE has not been much to smile about for Manchester United fans this season. Yesterday there most definitely was.’
Put the fork down, fella; that’s another three pounds you need to lose. Lest we forget.
All creatures great (and Smalling)
‘As far as Manchester derbies go this was a non-event, although you can’t blame David de Gea or United for that.’
But you can put him in your BBC team of the week if you’re Garth Crooks. Even though he did not merit a single mention in your website’s match report. F*** you Vito Mannone, Rob Eliot, Kaspar Schmeichel and other Premier League goalkeepers who actually made saves, credit to De Gea because ‘everything he did looked commanding’.
Also in Crooks’ team of the week: Chris Smalling.
The Daily Mirror give him 6/10. The Daily Mail give him 6/10. But Crooks makes him one of the two best centre-halves of the Premier League weekend despite this opening line: ‘I don’t know how he stayed on the field.’
Apparently he ‘adjusted his game brilliantly’. Which is presumably why Manchester City had 26 shots.
Disappointingly, there is no Troy Deeney in defensive midfield. That place is reserved for Cesc Fabregas, who will definitely be fine to hold the fort behind Manuel Lanzini, Alex Iwobi, Riyad Mahrez, Harry Kane and Sadio Mane. Or ‘everybody that Garth Crooks remembers scoring goals this weekend’.
Insight of the day
‘Chris Smalling has to be England’s first choice centre-half’ is the headline on the Daily Telegraph website.
Thanks for that Alan Smith; he is.
Give out and don’t give up
According to the Daily Telegraph website, Antonio Valencia is ‘past it’ and ‘should just give up’. Which seems harsh on a 30-year-old who has missed most of the season through injury. Also ‘past it’ and advised to ‘just give up’ are Yaya Toure and Wayne Rooney.
That’s the Toure awarded 8/10 for his performance in Sunday’s Manchester derby by the Telegraph’s chief football correspondent Jason Burt, who writes elsewhere in the newspaper that ‘Rooney, when fit this season, has delivered in a chronic Manchester United team’.
But yes, just give the f*** up.
As Paul Hayward would say: It’s just online debate.
‘Dele Alli is the most exciting England youngster for a long time and we should be building a team around him’ – Harry Redknapp, the Daily Telegraph, March 21.
The most exciting England youngster for a long time? Is five months a ‘long time’ in Harry’s world?
For this is what Redknapp said on October 13 about Ross Barkley: “He looks a real player, he’s a real talent. I think he’s a lad that you get in the team now and build the team around him.”
So England should build a team around both Dele Alli and Barkley? Well, yes, apparently.
‘Dele and Ross Barkley are two fantastic young talents and whatever system I played I would find a way of getting them in the team. Let them roam free and create havoc against defenders,’ says Redknapp.
As he also suggests that Harry Kane has ‘a chance to nail down a starting place’, claims that Jamie Vardy is ‘a weapon Roy will need at the Euros’ and said last month that ‘if Daniel Sturridge can get himself fit again, he has to lead England’s attack at Euro 2016’, we presume that Redknapp is advocating a three-man attack with two young players being allowed to ‘roam free and create havoc against defenders’.
You have to feel for Eric Dier. Or Troy Deeney.
One thing that The Sun learnt from Southampton 3 Liverpool 2: ‘DIVOCK ORIGI relishes playing Southampton. He opened his Liverpool account with a League Cup hat-trick in December and terrorised the Saints defence early yesterday.’
Origi’s Dream Team rating in The Sun: 6/10.
“The club are set to conduct an end of season review, why waste the time? They sold Benteke, Delph and Weimann, you don’t replace Cleverley and let Ron Vlaar go and don’t replace them,” ranted Jeff Stelling on Sky Sports.
“You buy a clutch of French players you have never heard of, sack the coach and replace him with someone with no Premier League experience. Then you get relegated.”
Pesky fact: Aston Villa brought in 12 players in the summer and just two – Jordan Amavi and Jordan Veretout – were French.
Can we also assume that Stelling had definitely heard of N’Golo Kante before he joined Leicester? Or is it only disastrous to buy ‘French players you have never heard of’ when it goes wrong
Talking ’bout a revelation
Mediawatch loves a revelation. Amongst the things ‘REVEALED’ this Monday:
* ‘Revealed: Exact results that will hand Arsenal PL title’ – Metro website.
And what are these ‘exact results’ exactly? ‘If all the clubs’ remaining match results go the same way as they did last season, then the north London club will be crowned champions in May.’ Details of these ‘exact results’ revealed by Metro? Absolutely none at all. Oh and they are already out of date as Manchester City and Manchester United bizarrely did not replicate last season’s result on Sunday after the calculations were made on Saturday.
Revealed: An absolute crock of outdated sh*t.
* ‘Revealed: How Arsene Wenger can land knockout transfer blow on Jurgen Klopp this summer’ – Daily Star website.
Raphael Guerreiro. That’s how. Based on a report in renowned French taureaumerde merchants Le 10 Sport.
* ‘Revealed: The foreign Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea stars who could have played for England’ – Daily Star website.
The revelation here is that somebody, somewhere, thinks Manuel Almunia and Andy Townsend are ‘stars’.
* ‘Revealed: How Rashford’s awesome goal record compares to the Prem’s best strikers’ – Daily Star website.
We hate to ruin the reveal, but apparently he’s not as good as Sergio Aguero.
* ‘Revealed: The Man Utd ace that will leave this summer if Mourinho isn’t appointed’ – Daily Express website.
It’s David de Gea. What’s revealed is that somebody reads Bleacher Report and gives it some credibility.
The big reveal
But the really astounding revelation comes in the Daily Mirror newspaper, under a bizarre ‘IWO IS ENGLAND’ headline.
Apparently, ‘ARSENE WENGER has revealed how England may miss out on the amazing talent of Alex Iwobi’.
Alternatively, you could just look on the internet to see that Alex Iwobi has played for Nigeria.
Infuriating headline of the day
‘The internet absolutely LOVES Marcus Rashford after Manchester derby winner’ – The Daily Mirror website.
No. Just no. The internet is not a sodding sentient being.
The ‘it could only be Jiggins’ intro of the day
‘THE HURRIKANE? More like a Hurrykane’ – professional Cockney Paul Jiggins, The Sun.
Recommended reading of the day
The wonderful Swiss Ramble on Aston Villa.
Michael Cox on Newcastle’s best strategy
Thore Haugstad on the tactics of the Manchester derby