Oh captain! My captain!
What’s this we see here – Garth Crooks picking a recognisable formation (4-2-3-1) with four actual defenders and two actual central midfielders in his team of the week on the BBC? We are equal parts relieved and disappointed. Has he finally found his mind? Thankfully one sentence proves that such a sensible formation is just a fluke. Behold this:
‘Herrera is very fortunate to have such an accommodating captain as Wayne Rooney, who has waited patiently for him and other new arrivals to come to terms with Louis van Gaal’s new system, often to Rooney’s detriment.’
Sorry but what the f***? Herrera has been sitting on the bench learning from Rooney dragging his body patiently around the pitch and should be grateful? Wow. Just wow.
Granted, it’s no ‘Ander Herrera is lucky Wayne Rooney is so patient’, but this is wonderful stuff from Garth ‘wise after the event’ Crooks.
‘What a double substitution by Claudio Ranieri but why Riyad Mahrez and Nathan Dyer were on the bench in the first place leaves the Italian’s selection open to question.’
Would that be the same Riyad Mahrez who was rested for Leicester’s last Premier League game against Norwich (which they won) before he jetted off to Algeria to play 180 minutes in two internationals? And the same Nathan Dyer who missed Leicester’s last three games with a knee injury?
It’s almost like the Leicester manager might know Leicester’s players better than the bloke who watched them for seven minutes on Match of the Day. Crazy sh*t.
Learning on the job
Apparently the Daily Mirror’s David Maddock ‘learned’ this weekend that Manchester United ‘don’t have much depth up front behind Rooney and young Martial’. Every day is apparently a school day.
Learning on the job (II)
The Daily Mail’s Ralph Ellis ‘learned’ this weekend that ‘Andros Townsend needs to get away from Tottenham if he’s going to start playing regularly’. Clearly that’s something you can only learn seven months after a player’s last consecutive Premier League starts.
Sherwood you believe it?
Alan Shearer on his old Blackburn captain Tim Sherwood in The Sun: ‘For some, he has become a bad manager overnight.’
For the record, Mediawatch can categorically deny that we believe that Sherwood has become a bad manager overnight.
When The Sun make Kyle Walker the man of the match for Tottenham’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool – despite Mousa Dembele being ‘outstanding in the middle of the park’ according to their reporter – you have to wonder exactly how they are ‘using’ Opta data.
Stat’s embarrassing (II)
Hmmm. The Sun are clearly ‘using’ Opta data in a very bizarre way indeed if Wayne Rooney has gathered more Dream Team points than any other Premier League player barring Alexis Sanchez. Mind you, perhaps he has been awarded extra points for ‘waiting patiently’ for Ander Herrera.
Surprise of the day
Liverpool are 16th in The Sun’s ‘REAL PREM TABLE’.
Warning of the day
It’s an ‘ARSENAL WARNING’, it’s on the back page of The Sun and it’s what happens when all the Premier League’s biggest sides win on Saturday (no CRISIS? Boo, hiss, grumble) and Super Sunday features Newcastle United.
The Germans are ‘BAYERN FOR BLOOD’, apparently.
‘ARSENAL have been warned by Bayern Munich’s superstars: We’ll bury your Champions League dream,’ writes our old friend Antony Kastrinakis.
It seems cruel of Munich to be ‘bayern’ for Arsenal’s blood when they really should be concentrating on winning a very possible Champions League and Bundesliga double.
So it will come as no surprise to anybody that these are the quotes from the blood-thirsty Arturo Vidal:
“It’s incredible Arsenal have zero points going into this match. We thought at this stage Bayern and Arsenal would be on the verge of going through.
“But we could not be in better shape. We have won every match this season and we are performing really well.
“We hope to finish the season unbeaten in the Bundesliga.”
Snap, crackle, poppy
Also on the back page of The Sun: ‘McCLEAN CAUSES STORM.’
And how has ‘CONTROVERSIAL’ James McClean caused a storm? By explaining eloquently in Saturday’s West Brom matchday programme why he will once again exercise his right not to wear a poppy next month, of course.
That makes him a ‘MAN AT CENTRE OF ROW’, apparently. Or, alternatively, a man just trying to get on with life while thousands of people give him vile abuse.
What a difference three weeks make…
Leeds owner Massimo Cellino, September 29: “This coach is the best person for me and for the team. He’s the coach I was looking for when 20, 30 people asked me to give them the job in May. I chose him and if you gave me the choice I would choose him again. If someone gave me the chance to change, I would take this coach and these players because we have something good here. This guy (Rosler), he is professional. I like him more than any coach I had here before.
“He needs help, he needs help to relax a bit and to let the players relax, but believe me I’m going to let this work. Last year was a nightmare. This year feels better. I’m never happy but I think we are growing. The coach thinks that, I think that.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s sixth, 10th, 14th, whatever. I only care about seeing this team grow and improve. If they grow, if they improve, then we’ve can say it’s a good season.
Apparently it did matter if it was 18th.
What a difference a year makes…
Then-Rotherham manager Steve Evans, October 17: “If you are a Dave Hockaday, Darko Milanic or whoever you are – if you take the job under Massimo, you know the rules; he picks the players, you coach the players. My interest is the Millers and I pick the players, whether they come, whether they go and our chairman supports that. The minute he doesn’t support it, I go.
“If you work for Massimo Cellino, you coach the players and get the results from the players he brings in or you pay with your job, that is the way it is. It is the foreign way of doing things and it does not make it right or wrong.
“But he has had to put millions of investment into that football club and they do it in that way. I have nothing but respect for the guy. If you put the money he has put into a football club, if that is your model, you are entitled to do it.”
‘It’s not even international week’ headlines of the day
‘Premier League yellow winter ball to return next weekend’ – The Independent website.
‘Walk with girlfriend, night out at Dynamo’s show and a selfie… Manchester City stars celebrate latest triumph in Premier League’ – MailOnline.
Worst headline of the day
‘WIJNA TAKES ALL’ – The Daily Mirror.
Recommended reading of the day
Martin Keown (never thought we would see the day…) on Howard Kendall.
Miguel Delaney on Jose Mourinho’s problems with Eden Hazard.
Barney Ronay on Jerome Boateng