Former Wayne Rooney teammate Phil Neville on Wayne Rooney on Sky Sports: “The worry is he ended up on the right wing again. The continuing change of positions will affect him. He wants to be a centre forward or a centre midfielder – he doesn’t want to be stuck on the right wing. That’s having a massive effect on his performance.”
You do know why he’s being moved to the right wing, right? Clue: It’s because he’s been utterly sh*t in the middle. He’s not ‘stuck’ on the right wing, he is ‘shunted’ there when Manchester United need a goal. His performance is actually having a massive effect on his position.
But you make sure you don’t upset your mate, Phil, while you are talking expertly about football for wages paid for by our subscriptions.
‘Man United legend urges Jose Mourinho to drop Wayne Rooney in favour of Marcus Rashford’ is the Metro’s take on ‘legend’ Phil Neville’s comments on Twitter.
While it’s true that ‘legend’ Neville said these words – “He [Rashford] has to start (against Leicester) he’s in good form” – what the Metro fail to mention is that Neville went on to say a few more things actually about Rooney:
“He will start, for me, on Saturday. He’s still an important player, but you can see in his performance he’s not playing to the top level. His game is not flowing and things aren’t coming easy to him. Tonight was important for him to get out there and play another 90 minutes. The worry is he ended up on the right wing again.
“The continuing change of positions will affect him. He wants to be a centre forward or a centre midfielder – he doesn’t want to be stuck on the right wing. That’s having a massive effect on his performance.”
It’s almost like Phil Neville has said that both players should play – just as they did against Watford at the weekend – and it’s not really a story at all.
Considering that Dave Kidd wrote in the Daily Mirror that Manchester United were ‘generally assured’ in what was – let us not forget – a 3-1 win, it is a tad odd that Northampton’s player ratings total more than Manchester United’s. Was Northampton keeper Adam Smith (‘intent on compiling his own individual bloopers compilation’ (4)) really only marginally worse than Memphis Depay (5)? ‘Generally assured’ but worse than Northampton, who they beat 3-1? We think United might be in enough trouble without suggesting they were outplayed in a 3-1 victory, fellas.
Axe yourself why
‘Mourinho is also set to axe captain Wayne Rooney for Saturday’s clash with Leicester following another poor performance at Vicarage Road’ – Neil Ashton, The Sun, September 20.
‘Rooney is in need of rest and a period to reflect on a difficult start to life under the new boss. He may well get that chance by sitting out Saturday’s lunchtime clash with Leicester’ – Neil Ashton, The Sun, September 21.
‘Rooney’s poor showing means he could be dropped for the crunch clash with Leicester at Old Trafford on Saturday’ – Charlie Wyett, The Sun, September 22.
From ‘axe’ to ‘rest’ to ‘dropped’. And you can be damn sure they will claim ‘WE WERE RIGHT’ on Saturday.
Manchester United transfer news
The words ‘Manchester’, ‘United’, ‘transfer’ and ‘news’ are valuable currency in website land. So there’s little surprise that The Sun website consider ‘Manchester United transfer news: Jose Mourinho lining up £42million bid for Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos’ to be the third-biggest story in football at 10.46am on Thursday, September 22.
The surprise is that they eked out 11 paragraphs on Thursday morning from a story originated on calciomercato.com on Tuesday lunchtime that comprises of these words, reproduced here in their entirety:
‘Offerta importante del Manchester United per Sergio Ramos: per il difensore spagnolo classe 1986 il club allenato da Mourinho è disposto ad offrire al Real Madrid 42 milioni di sterline, oltre 50 milioni di euro.’
Yes. That’s it. And that translates to 11 paragraphs two days later.
Manchester United transfer news. Manchester United transfer news. Manchester United transfer news. Manchester United transfer news.
The Metro bring us ’20 things you probably didn’t know about Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’.
Why, oh why, has nobody ever mentioned that he has a Masters degree in Economics?
The Metro aside, there is some lovely content across various websites (The Guardian in particular) marking the 20th anniversary of Arsene Wenger’s unveiling as Arsenal manager.
Spot the Wenger-obsessed journalist who has clearly lined up quite a lot of Wenger-related content for next week…
Arsene Wenger didn't start work at Arsenal until October 1, 1996. So 20 year anniversary is actually next week. https://t.co/8b4i7r13N0
— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) September 22, 2016
Hmmm. You might want to tell your colleagues at the Daily Mirror, John…
The camera never lies anymore…
Still unsure about Sam Allardyce as England manager? Well let the Daily Mail’s Charles Sale assuage your fears:
‘JUST how much the England job means to manager Sam Allardyce was demonstrated by an incident before the City Hall event in London to unveil the Euro 2020 branding and the logo for Wembley staging the semi-finals and the final.’
Did he sing God Save The Queen? Did he wear the full kit?
‘Allardyce and his assistant Sammy Lee were guests and the enthusiastic England manager, passing the main stage on his way to a reception, couldn’t resist taking a photograph of the tournament silverware – the Henri Delauney Trophy – on display there.’
That’s it. Done. Mediawatch is convinced. He IS the right man for the job after all.
The biggest story in sport?
— Nick Sutton (@suttonnick) September 21, 2016
Couple of reminders…
1) Aston Villa are 18th in the Championship.
2) Stan Collymore is a columnist for the Daily Mirror.
Amy Lawrence on Arsene Wenger