Is Bukayo Saka the new Wayne Rooney? Of course he sodding isn’t…

Editor F365
Wayne Rooney and Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka is 21 and Wayne Rooney was also 21 when he won his first Premier League title and that’s enough for some people…


The quad game
We thought we had seen the last of such ludicrous Manchester United quadruple talk but then we clicked on a Mirror story and found…

‘Manchester United remain in the running for four trophies this season after they reached the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday.’

Nineteen points looks like a lot at first glance but the Mirror know that Manchester United have two whole games in hand over Arsenal. It could go right down to the wire.


Roo the day
‘Wayne Rooney powered his side to a title at just 21: Bukayo Saka can do the same’ is a lovely headline from the Daily Telegraph but it’s, well, it’s absolutely bollocks, isn’t it?

If Manchester United’s title win of 2006/07 was ‘powered’ by a young player then that young player was Ronaldo, who was United’s top Premier League scorer, the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and was one of eight United players in the PFA Team of the Year. You know who wasn’t in that Team of the Year? Wayne Rooney, that’s who.

But Jason Burt has spotted A Thing and he is running with it.

‘When was the last time a Premier League club was driven to the title by a 21-year-old? Wayne Rooney won the first of his five when he was that tender age at Manchester United.’

Well, if you’re having Rooney ‘driving’ a Manchester United side to the title that also included Edwin van der Sar, Gary Neville, Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Ronaldo, then Trent Alexander-Arnold wants a word about 2019/20.

You sense that Burt has lost confidence in his idea as early as the second paragraph:

‘But at that point in his stellar career, with Cristiano Ronaldo alongside him, he was not quite as fundamental to the team as Bukayo Saka is to Arsenal even if Rooney did make the most appearances for United in that campaign.

‘The comparison is a fair one as two goals and another assist for Saka extended Arsenal’s advantage at the top to eight points over Manchester City, who have a game in hand, entering the international break.’

‘Not quite as fundamental’ is a hell of a way to say that with ten games left to play of 2006/07, Rooney had scored two goals in Manchester United’s last 11 games – one the last goal in a 4-0 win over Watford and the other in a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal. It doesn’t sound like he was ‘powering’ his team to the title. Meanwhile, Ronaldo was scoring his 16th of the season to move United nine points clear.

Handily, the Telegraph have included a chart to show that 2022/23 Saka scores more goals than the Rooney of 2006/07, creates more goals and, most wonderfully of all, scores with 17.4% of his shots rather than Rooney’s 10.6%.

It’s almost like one of those men is ‘powering’ his side to the title while the other was a component part of a very good Manchester United side. That they are the same age is a mildly interesting coincidence, not the basis for a whole article.


Married to the mob
‘Mob rule’ is a lovely little phrase and we can see why they’ve rushed to include it but the headline on MailOnline

‘IAN LADYMAN: Old Trafford’s red card frenzy proves the game is governed by mob rule…’

…makes absolutely no sense when Fulham had literally three people sent off. The ‘red card frenzy’ proved exactly the opposite on this occasion.

Ladyman then writes that ‘Sunday’s chaos – that saw two Fulham players and manager Marco Silva sent off in the space of 40 seconds – will be looked back on as an anomaly and that is perhaps the greatest shame’.

Pretty sure the ‘greatest shame’ is not that it won’t happen again. Or at least that’s not the kind of thing we’re allowed to admit in public…


Who scored?

That’s some excellent Crooksing. Just look at that central midfield. Just look at those wing-backs. If we’re honest, we’re a tad disappointed that Erling Haaland is the striker. You’re a coward, Crooks.

‘This lad looks like he might provide Chelsea with the goals Chelsea need but also the class required in and around the opposition’s penalty area,’ writes Crooks of Joao Felix. Which is obviously why he puts him in central midfield.

Elsewhere, ‘the striker is playing considerably higher up the pitch in a role he likes and that plays to his strength’. Which ‘striker’? Midfielder/winger Jacob Ramsey, of course.

Positions schomisitions.


Cheeky f***ers of the day
‘Steven Gerrard bags new job five months after being sacked by Aston Villa in move described as a ‘major coup’’ – The Sun.

Three tiny missing words: ‘As a pundit.’