Crooks of the matter
We will level with you – Monday is not the easiest day for Mediawatch. Actual football removes the need to make up nonsense and match reports replace half-baked opinion. Garth Crooks and his team of the week used to be fun but then he started using proper players in proper formations and sh*t. The selfish bugger. But then…
Who is great under pressure and who needs to grow up?
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) March 13, 2016
Yes, that’s Troy Deeney as a defensive midfielder. Well he did make four tackles. James McCarthy made eight while playing as an actual defensive midfielder for Everton but, well, how else was Crooks going to crowbar this about Arsenal into a team of the week that features no Arsenal players?
‘Arsenal were very lucky and should have taken advantage of still having 11 men on the field after Gabriel escaped a red card for a reckless two-footed lunge into Deeney. Nevertheless the Gunners did not profit from the situation afforded them by referee Andre Marriner and now find themselves out of the competition as a consequence. Barcelona now await, hosting the Gunners in the Champions League in midweek. Good luck with that.’
And good luck to any side featuring Troy Deeney in central midfield.
Left-back in the changing room
‘Nathan Ake is starting to fulfil his true potential,’ writes Crooks. ‘Against Arsenal, he displayed such acute defensive awareness I am starting to think that Chelsea should seriously consider bringing the on-loan full-back back to Stamford Bridge.’
That is a truly excellent idea, Garth; recall Ake two months before the end of his loan spell and force him to miss an FA Cup semi-final in order to face Bournemouth in a Premier League game between two mid-table sides. He will absolutely bloody love that.
Louis van Gaal finding positives after the West Ham draw: “Matteo Darmian has played three minutes and he has to come from the bench onto the pitch because I want to make another change, and he also did good.”
Matteo Darmian had one touch; it was a misplaced pass.
Howe will I know?
‘THE Barclays manager of the year award is likely to go to whoever wins the title,’ writes Ralph Ellis in the Daily Mail. ‘But surely the LMA award, which other bosses judge on achievement from available resources, can only go to Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe.’
Even ignoring the fact that Eddie Howe has spent £40m on players this season, it takes a special kind of Daily Mail writer to ignore a lovely Italian fella by the name of Claudio Ranieri. Oh and he has spent less than Howe to probably win the Premier League title, in case you were wondering.
Coq of the walk
Mediawatch has criminally ignored the stylings of Ralph Ellis before now, but no more. When he is not either ignoring or forgetting about the existence of Claudio Ranieri, he is playing fast and loose with statistics from the Arsenal v Watford game.
‘ARSENAL have spent two seasons trying to find a holding midfielder and Watford’s Ben Watson showed them how it’s done in his side’s 2-1 win at the Emirates. Nobody on either team made more tackles than Watson’s six.’
Four things, Ralph…
a) Two years? Arsenal have been searching for two years? Gilberto left in 2008.
b) Are you seriously suggesting Ben Watson could have been a solution?
c) ‘Nobody on either team made more tackles than Watson’s six,’ you say. What you don’t say: Francis Coquelin made exactly six.
d) Don’t you mean Troy Deeney?
This, ladies and gentlemen, is The Sun’s Anthony Kastrinakis. No need to pump up the volume, just check out the threads…
— Andy (@Afc_Andy_Rees) March 13, 2016
A school day
Among the five things The Sun ‘learned’ from Tottenham’s win at Aston Villa was that ‘VILLA internal screens showed Birmingham against Wolves – studying for next season?’.
Yes. Learned. It’s time for a moratorium.
No movement of Jah people
Martin Samuel writes in the Daily Mail: ‘THE word is that there will be no wholesale clear-out of playing staff at Chelsea next season.’
Odd because ‘the word’ on MailOnline on February 23 was that Chelsea ‘are bracing themselves for a mass exodus in the summer should they not secure Champions League football next season’.
Must be a different word.
Hold fire and p*** off
Headline on Jamie Redknapp’s Arsene Wenger comments in the Daily Mail: ‘HOLD FIRE ON FUTURE OF WENGER.’
Headline on same comments once filtered through the Daily Express website bull-o-meter: ‘Jamie Redknapp: Why Arsene Wenger could be out the door if Arsenal don’t win the league.’
I can see clearly now…the Kane has scored
Harry Redknapp likes to take credit for Harry Kane. Whenever anybody asks his opinion on the Tottenham striker, he always tells a story from 2011 when he watched the 18-year-old Kane destroy Birmingham defender Scott Dann, who was being watched by Arsenal scouts.
“Harry Kane played up front and he absolutely murdered him and I think he got four goals that day,” said Redknapp in March 2015.
Three months later, in June 2015, Redknapp seems more sure: “Harry scored four that day. Arsenal never signed the boy.”
Now he is back again – in the Daily Telegraph – telling the story once more: ‘I can still clearly remember watching him for the under-21 team when he was 18…he scored four goals that day. Arsenal decided not to sign Scott Dann and eventually got Per Mertesacker instead.’
Pesky fact: Harry Kane only scored three.
Maybe that’s why Redknapp never played him in the Premier League despite him being so bloody brilliant.