From BBC Sport‘s match report from Midtjylland vs Southampton on Thursday evening:
‘The Dutchman [Koeman] could do little wrong in his first season in charge as he defied the doubters following the sale of some of Southampton’s biggest names – including Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Jack Cork, Dejan Lovren and Jack Cork – to lead Southampton into Europe.’
Someone at the Beeb certainly rates Jack Cork. Not only does he merit two mentions, but Koeman actually had Cork’s services until January 30 last season. He then sold him for £3m after giving him just five league starts in five months.
Elsewhere in that same report:
‘The Saints could do with the transfer window shutting without any further exits. Midfield powerhouse Victor Wanyama has been linked with Tottenham and forward Sadio Mane with Manchester United. Neither played in Belgium and both were missed’.
In fairness to those two players, none of Southampton’s players played in Belgium. Midtjylland is in Denmark.
‘Defoe has 19 international goals – more than any of his rivals apart from captain Rooney – and has looked razor sharp for Sunderland during the early weeks of the campaign, despite his team struggling for results’ – Craig Hope, MailOnline.
Given that Craig Hope has covered Sunderland for the Daily Mail for two of their league games so far, Mediawatch was a little surprised by this ‘razor sharp’ description. For one of those matches no ratings are listed, and for the other Defoe was awarded a 5/10 mark.
Sounds positively blunt to us.
Koem And Have A Go
‘Is Koeman losing faith in prolific St Mary’s academy?’, asks Neil Ashton in his Daily Mail column.
‘On Monday afternoon Ronald Koeman watched Southampton’s Under 21 team continue their unbeaten start to the season with a 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough at the club’s Staplewood training ground’, Ashton begins. ‘At first glance there is nothing remarkable about that, except there were a number of times during the game when Koeman was shaking his head at Martin Hunter’s young team’.
Ashton’s claim is that Koeman is unimpressed by Southampton’s academy crop, meaning the club risks losing its reputation for bringing through talent.
Last season, Southampton gave 46 league appearances to academy graduates in their 38 matches (Ward-Prowse (25), Reed (nine), Targett (six), Hesketh (two), Seagar, Gape, Isgrove, McCarthy (one each). That’s a rate of 1.21 per game.
This season, they have given five appearances to academy graduates in their three matches (Targett (3), Ward-Prowse (2)). That’s a rate of 1.6 per game.
Still, he did shake his head.
‘In my defence Burnley fans started this by chucking a bottle of coke at my head. I hope you get the ‘large’ crowds your expecting! #20k’ – Joey Barton, May 4, 2014.
‘We might be crap. We may well be over rated but at least we don’t have to live in Burnley’ – Joey Barton, May 4, 2014.
‘Delighted to have signed for Burnley. A football environment I cannot wait to be a part’ – Joey Barton, August 28, 2015.
So unlike Joey to put his foot in his mouth. We assume that he’ll live elsewhere.
Part of Neil Ashton’s Daily Mail column contains a section entitled ‘What I’m Hearing’, in which he passes on nuggets of information from his impressive contact list within the game.
So what does he have for us this week?
‘Lucio restaurant on London’s Fulham Road has earned such a good reputation among high-ranking Chelsea employees over the years that it is referred to as the staff canteen. But one high-profile guest has changed his habits in recent months, with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho preferring to call in to pick up takeaways for his family’.
Thanks for that.
Five Other Ridiculous Headlines From Far More Successful Websites
* ‘What time is Newcastle v Arsenal, what time does it start and what TV channel is it on?’ – Daily Telegraph.
Another sacrifice to the SEO Gods. They truly are demanding buggers these days.
* ‘Neymar to Ireland? Doppelganger Barry Cotter signs with Limerick Under 16s’ – MailOnline.
Someone who looks like someone signs for someone (who are an amateur youth team).
* ‘Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois aims sly dig at Man Utd over Pedro deal’ – Daily Express.
“There were a lot of stories that he was going to United but he came here – and that was good for us.” Zing.
* ‘United’s net spend gives fans hope that there are more transfers to come’ – Metro.
* ‘Arsenal and Man United handed title advantage as Chelsea face gruelling Champions League draw’ – Metro.
1) Two of their flights will be one hour longer.
2) ‘Title advantage’.
3) What about Manchester City?
Friend Or Defoe?
“I think I’ve done that through my career [prove himself to the manager]. Scoring goals, working hard in the gym, work on my whole game. And when the World Cup comes around and you are snubbed it’s hard to take because you don’t understand it” – Jermain Defoe, May 16, 2014.
“By scoring goals, hopefully I can get back into the England squad. That would be great for me. I was disappointed (in the summer) because I thought I was going, to be honest. I was involved in every squad and I went to the Euros (2012) with Roy. Even though I went to Toronto, I went there in March and I was playing every game and I was fit” – Jermain Defoe, January 20, 2015.
“I went away to the MLS, and lost my place in the squad. Obviously it’s in the back of my mind, coming back into the Premier League. Hopefully I can get my head down, keep scoring goals and I get an opportunity again. It’s based on merit so if you’re scoring goals, at some point you deserve a chance” – Jermain Defoe, February 2, 2015.
“I thought my goalscoring record was good for England, the last time I checked. I would love to play for England again, 100 per cent. If I score 15 to 20 goals, I would love to be back in the England squad. People talk about age, that I am 32, but what does that mean? If you look after yourself and you are professional and you are performing, you deserve a chance” – Jermain Defoe, August 27, 2015.
You’ve scored six Premier League goals since returning on January 14, and you turn 33 in October. We hate to be mean, Jermain, but it’s probably not going to happen.
Get Out, Leave
The Sun‘s Antony Kastrinakis was in Monaco for the Champions League draw, and he is worried about Arsenal.
‘Arsenal got the Euro draw they did not want’, Kastrinakis begins. ‘And they were then told to prepare for a Champions League exit’.
Wow, who has told them that they are going to be dumped out so unceremoniously? Olympiakos defender Dimitris Siovas, that’s who.
Actual quotes from Siovas: “We have defeated Arsenal before and that is why we dream of progressing. We were drawn into a tough group but we have proved in the past that we can respond to challenges.
“We are strong at home and we will try to make the most of it – that will be key.”
Prepare for the exit.
Headline Of The Day
‘Bayern For Blood’ – The Sun.
Worst Headline Of The Day
‘Lazar Turk Away’ – The Sun.
We think they mean ‘took away’. But… ‘taken’?
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