The Sun’s Neil Custis is not only an acolyte of Jose Mourinho but a staunch defender of David Moyes. And that was even before Louis van Gaal – the meat in that particularly bitter sandwich – famously called Custis “fat man” and sparked a bizarrely publicised fitness drive.
This is the man who hailed Moyes’ appointment by Manchester United as ‘not only a brave choice but the right one’. In that same piece, he wrote one of Mediawatch’s favourite lines of all time:
‘It may have seemed odd seeing him in that Manchester United blazer at first, but it fits.’
So when Custis was sent to Wigan to cover their almost-inevitable victory over Moyes’ West Ham, there was only one likely response: Complete absolvement of any blame whatsoever.
‘DAVID MOYES will always tell you how it is.
‘Fans of the clubs he has managed may not always like what they hear.
‘When at Old Trafford he said that United aspired to be like their neighbours City there was much outrage in the red half.
‘He did not mean as a club, just the way they played football at that point. Which was fair enough.
‘Likewise, when he was installed as the manager at Sunderland he claimed the Black Cats were in a relegation fight before people had even come back from their summer holidays.
‘It seemed like a negative comment at the time but it was also a warning.
‘And a fair one as it turned out.’
Yes, well done David Moyes for admitting after a 3-0 home defeat to Manchester City in 2014 that the opposition were far better and that being 18 points behind the leaders Chelsea in seventh was probably not acceptable. Such admirable honesty to basically admit he had done a sh*t job.
And well done David Moyes for successfully predicting your own club’s relegation. Such admirable honesty to basically admit that he was going to do a sh*t job.
And now well done David Moyes for saying that Premier League survival was the priority after losing 2-0 to a League One side.
‘Indeed, what did the West Ham fans really expect from a squad ravaged by ten injuries before the game and with a massive match against a fellow side threatened by relegation in Crystal Palace tomorrow?’
Alternatively, what did West Ham fans really expect from a team featuring five full internationals and two others who feature in a first-choice West Ham XI?
Probably better than a half-arsed 2-0 defeat, that’s for sure.
Still, Moyes probably looks lovely in his West Ham blazer.
Put your shirt on it…
— Sun Sport (@SunSport) January 28, 2018
Well, that’s a shirt hanging up on a hook and certainly not a locker. It’s also a picture taken at Yeovil and not at the Manchester United training ground, where the lockers are actually situated.
And the fact that Sanchez’s shirt is hanging between that of Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard probably does not suggest the following story…
‘MANCHESTER UNITED boss Jose Mourinho has put Alexis Sanchez’s new locker next to Marcus Rashford – to help them strike up a partnership.’
What is most damning is that the same story – illustrated by the same picture – is currently (at 12pm on Monday) the fourth story on MailOnline’s football page.
At least the Mail changed the caption on that image from ‘Sanchez will be next to Rashford and Jesse Lingard, too United youngsters who came through the ranks’ to ‘Sanchez’s locker will be positioned next to Rashford’s and Jesse Lingard’s in the dressing room’.
Well done everyone.
Somebody wrote all these words on The Sun’s website this weekend…and was presumably paid in actual pounds:
‘ALEXIS SANCHEZ’S dogs Atom and Humber have moved out of the Lowry Hotel – sparking speculation over the Manchester United’s superstar next destination.
‘But the was no Pointer from the plus Manchester venue today – as Sanchez was nowhere to be seen when his property was taken away.
‘One pet theory is that he wants more space for his beloved Golden Retrievers.
‘So at one point it seemed a spaniel would be thrown in the works of his dream move – because the Lowry has a strict no-pets rule.
‘Sanchez, though, persuaded hotel bosses he would not Setter bad example.’
They actually suggest he could move in with Paul Pugba.
Yes, that’s Paul Pugba. Because a pug is a kind of dog, you know.
Two words: Dog sh*t.
Third paragraph of John Cross’ piece in the Daily Mirror headlined ‘VAR, WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?’: ‘The Video Assistant Referee experiment went horribly wrong at Anfield, with a mix-up and a lack of information completely overshadowing West Brom’s FA Cup win against Liverpool.’
Eighth paragraph of John Cross’ piece in the Daily Mirror headlined ‘VAR, WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?’: ‘There is a feeling Craig Dawson’s goal at Liverpool would have stood but for VAR, which highlighted an offside, and ultimately all the decisions at Anfield were correct despite the lengthy delays.’
It doesn’t sound like it went horribly wrong.
And it turns out that VAR might be good for, well, ultimately getting all the decisions correct.
Total eclipse of the half-heart
Mediawatch is sticking with the Daily Mirror and with John Cross because the opening lines of his match report from Chelsea’s 3-0 victory over Newcastle rang a distant bell.
‘Antonio Conte turned to the crowd after the third goal went in and gave the fans chanting his name a half hearted clap.
‘Conte no longer does his touchline histrionics from last season, his enthusiasm has gone, this is a man who is never happy and the end game at Chelsea has already begun.’
And why did that send Mediawatch scrambling towards Google? Well because this is what Cross wrote less than three months ago when Chelsea beat Manchester United…
‘Antonio Conte celebrated like a man who knew this was a huge result.
‘Conte manically punched the air in delight after the final whistle, threw himself into the crowd and then went over to each corner of the pitch to soak up the noise and rousing atmosphere.’
That enthusiasm sure ebbed away quickly.
Meanwhile, the football…
Back to VAR and Jack Gaughan in the Daily Mail, who writes 14 angry paragraphs in the guise of a match report from Anfield about the use of VAR, including the bizarre claim that ‘referees can coast through matches’ and then, in wonderfully comedic fashion, writes this 15th paragraph:
‘All this should not detract from Albion’s fine victory, masterminded by Grzegorz Krychowiak and Rodriguez.’
This is getting sodding ridiculous now. Here is arch PFM Chris Sutton in the Daily Mail on VAR:
‘Imagine if we’d had this technology when Sergio Aguero clinched the title for Manchester City in the dying seconds against QPR. It would have removed all the joy and excitement from what will forever be one of the Premier League’s most iconic moments.’
Well no it wouldn’t because there was absolutely nothing remotely controversial about that goal. The ball hit the net six times on Saturday; VAR was used twice.
When Mo Salah scored the Liverpool goal that took the game to 3-2, there was not a single millisecond’s pause before he grabbed the ball from the net to carry the ball back to the centre spot. VAR is certainly flawed in its lengthy decision-making, but there is only lengthy decision making when there is any doubt.
But thanks, Chris, for your utterly ridiculous ‘what if’.
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