Did you watch Liverpool become the first team to beat Manchester City since April 2017 and think ‘yes, this is why they won’t win the title’? Did you hear Jurgen Klopp’s post-match interview and believe he is holding Liverpool back? If so then congratulations/commiserations, you are Stan Collymore.
‘When you listen to some of his post-match interviews, it’s almost as if manager Klopp doesn’t want to learn,’ Collymore writes in his Daily Mirror column, fresh from learning that Pep Guardiola might be a decent manager.
‘”How great was that?” he pretty much asked in one interview in the aftermath of Sunday’s seven-goal thriller. And I was sitting there thinking ‘What? You were 4-1 up and nearly threw it away. That’s not great at all’.’
Well it was pretty great. It was a brilliant football match and Liverpool had just taken on the best team in the country at their own game and beaten them. Klopp was clearly expressing an opinion about the entertainment on offer, rather than his team’s defending late on. Is he not allowed to get a little excited?
‘Managers of teams with title-winning aspirations would have been stony-faced as they approached such an interview.’
No, managers of other teams with title-winning aspirations (which, not incidentally, was hardly Liverpool’s realistic ambition for this season) would have been stony-faced. Klopp has a different personality, and thus reacts differently. That’s not to say that he won’t demand better of his players behind the scenes, but it all seems to be working fine right now.
‘And it leaves me wondering: Is Klopp the new Kevin Keegan? I wonder if it will be the same for Klopp with a Keegan-style ‘I’d love it’ meltdown on the horizon if things go pear-shaped at Anfield.
‘I put a poll out on Twitter after Sunday’s game which asked: Is Klopp an inconsistent entertainer or potentially ruthless title-winning manager? Sixty-five per cent of the 12,460 votes cast went for the former.’
Pesky fact: Jurgen Klopp has already won two league titles against the financial might of Bayern Munich, ruthlessly or otherwise.
Another pesky fact: Twitter is not exclusively for the informed. And neither, it seems, is the Daily Mirror.
Never fancied her anyway
There is no doubt that John Cross’ piece on Alexis Sanchez and Arsenal’s parting of ways is excellently sourced. It’s just that Mediawatch can’t help thinking that this is the perfect time for Arsenal to try and persuade supporters that selling Sanchez to Manchester United or Chelsea is the right thing to do. And the only way to do that is by questioning the Chilean’s professionalism.
‘Alexis Sanchez is the £60m gamble which backfired so badly it has left the club in meltdown,’ begins Cross’ piece in the Daily Mirror. Meltdown, you say? Glad he’s leaving then.
And so you get accusations like this:
‘The harsh reality is that Sanchez became such an unmanageable diva that he has left a trail of destruction in his wake which raises serious questions about Arsene Wenger’s future.
‘The moment Chile went out of the World Cup was a game changer and Sanchez was dead set on leaving Arsenal quickly. At 29, his last shot at glory for his country was gone and he wanted to join a club with a chance of winning silverware.
‘Sanchez also switched off in training and was petulant on the training ground – last year he was dropped at Liverpool for having a bust-up after storming off. That got worse. His levels dropped, he was the first to leave and displayed more arrogance than usual.’
The suggestion that the World Cup exit changed things is interesting. Chile’s elimination from World Cup qualifying was confirmed on October 11. Yet on November 26, six weeks after he had supposedly downed tools, Cross wrote that Sanchez was ‘a bundle of energy, desire and non-stop work rate’ who ‘drove Arsenal on’ during an away win against Burnley.
‘Never did understand why some Arsenal fans thought it was good business to sell Sanchez on deadline day,’ Cross tweeted the next day. ‘Yesterday proved the point. Football over balance sheet to keep him. Why any fan wants to lose their best player is beyond me.’
An awful lot has changed in six weeks.
Time gentlemen, please
Mediawatch enjoys it when a tabloid newspaper website runs out of ideas for its football homepage and does a feature on Premier League managers wearing watches, for they really are the perfect breeding ground for lines straight out of Alan Partridge. The Daily Mail and Daily Star did it in December 2016, The Sun did it in May 2017 and it’s them who jump aboard the fluff piece train again on Tuesday.
‘Football managers in the Premier League are always looking at their watches, gesturing to referees to add injury time on or calling out time wasting,’ begins a piece that reads like it’s written by somebody who has never actually watched football.
‘But some spend an absolute fortune on their timepieces, after all a watch is the most important accessory to a man’s closet. Let SunSport tell you who has the most expensive.’ Is a ‘man’s closet’ a thing?
Anyway, some wonderful(ly nonsense) lines:
– ‘With rumours swirling that he’s on borrowed time, the Chelsea boss will need a decent timepiece.’
– ‘Conte is a classic gent who goes with a Rolex Daytona.’
– ‘Big Sam is a fan of the expensive things in life, we know he drives a luxury Bentley for one. And the Everton boss likes to be equally as lavish with what he accessorises with. That’s why he’s opted for Hublot’s Big Bang Unico Chronograph, titanium, rose gold skeleton dial number. It would cost you less than Theo Walcott, somewhere in the region of £27.5k.’
Mediawatch has checked the maths and £27,500 is indeed less than £20,000,000.
– ‘Pochettino’s watch choice isn’t quite as pragmatic as his team’s style on the pitch.’
Ah yes, Pochettino the arch-pragmatist.
Ask the expert
You presumably think that Alexis Sanchez will be joining either Manchester United or Chelsea this month, strongly leaning towards the former. That’s because everyone with contacts at all the clubs involved says precisely that.
Unfortunately, you are wrong. And the Daily Express are here to tell you why.
‘Alexis Sanchez will join Man City’: Cottee makes claim to shock Man Utd and Chelsea’ shouts the headline on their football homepage on Tuesday.
Sadly, we’re going to take our cue from other people before Tony Cottee, and we’re not sure either Manchester United or Chelsea are ‘shocked’.
That’s particularly true given that it’s only three days since Cottee said Sanchez would want to move in World Cup year; that’s a World Cup that Chile haven’t qualified for.
‘Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ‘drops cheeky social media hint’ he’s ready to leave Dortmund for Arsenal in January’ – Daily Mirror.
Given that Aubameyang has reportedly handed in a transfer request, been disciplined for his behaviour and told Dortmund he wanted to leave as early as May 2017, haven’t we progressed beyond the ‘cheeky social media hint’ stage?
Weird take of the day
‘Roman Abramovich appears to have been watching Trump’s absurd failure to overcome his local challenge. When a neighbour of his in Chelsea issued an injunction in the attempt to stall his £1 billion rebuild of Stamford Bridge, pointing out that the new stands will block out much of the natural light, Abramovich did not seek publicly to humiliate the property owner’ – Daily Telegraph.
Did Abramovich really watch Trump’s issues with a local farmer in 2008 and use that as the basis of his decision a decade later? Or did he just use some business sense that he might have accrued during a 30-year career in industry?
The hardest quiz question in the world
‘Everton reportedly interested in Germany-based midfielder who has worked under Jose Mourinho’ – HITC.
It’s Omar Mascarell, of course. Nine minutes in Jose Mourinho’s last game at Real Madrid (before a loan at Derby County). If you got it, take the rest of the day off.
Recommended reading of the day
Richard Williams on Cyrille Regis.
Jason Roberts on Cyrille Regis.
David Squires on Cyrille Regis.
Read more from Planet Sport: The story from day two at the Australian Open (Tennis365)