Cole Palmer joins exclusive clubs as Jackson’s ‘solid reason’ for penalty nonsense emerges

Editor F365
Chelsea
Chelsea players argue over a penalty against Everton.

We’re into day two of blanket coverage of Cole Palmer Scored Four Goals and more importantly Chelsea Players Argued Over A Penalty while a pair of ludicrously brilliant Champions League quarter-final second legs are reduced to nothing more than concocted message-sending and fighting with sponsors.

 

Book of Revelations
The Chelsea Penalty Row rumbles on in the absence of any real football like, for instance, deliciously batsh*t Champions League quarter-finals to discuss.

The Daily Mail have got the inside scoop and no mistake.

Revealed: Why Nicolas Jackson tried to take Chelsea penalty against Everton, which led to on-field bust-up with Noni Madueke and Cole Palmer

Oh, hello. This should be good. We thought it was just ‘he wanted to score a goal’ but clearly there’s more.

Nicolas Jackson had a solid reason behind his desire to take the Chelsea penalty that caused a row among Blues team-mates on Monday.

A solid reason? Is he secretly best pals with Erling Haaland and wants him to win the Golden Boot? Or did he correctly anticipate there would be a load of absolute b*llocks about Cole Palmer being a midfielder and heroically try and spare us all, even at such enormous cost to his own dignity?

What exactly could this mysterious reason be?

Cole Palmer took control of the ball and scored his fourth of the game, and afterwards it became clear why Jackson was desperate for the chance to score his second.

We are on tenterhooks.

Jackson has set an ambition to score 15 in the league, and 20 goals in all competitions for the Blues before the end of the season next month.

So… he wanted to score a goal? For fu…

 

The pointy end
Let’s be fair to the Mail, though. They don’t totally ignore the Champions League action. They even manage to make it about a Chelsea team who haven’t even been in Europe this season.

Ian Maatsen sends a pointed message to parent club Chelsea after he scores crucial goal in Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League quarter-final win over Atletico Madrid

Now, you already know he didn’t. For one, it’s in Mediawatch. That’s a big clue right there. But two, if he had sent a ‘pointed message’’ then at least one word in that headline would be in caps, wouldn’t it? We’d go with MESSAGE, but POINTED is not without its charms.

By the intro, this missive is not just very pointy indeed but also a ‘not-so-subtle message to Chelsea’ from a player who you might expect to be, at this time, a tad more interested in the fact he’s just scored his first Champions League goal to help his current team reach the semi-finals.

And what you might expect to be the case is in fact entirely the case. He talked in his post-match interview with CBS about an ‘amazing feeling’ and about something he’s ‘been dreaming of since I was a kid’.

“I’m so happy I can’t even describe it” are lovely words, yet don’t seem like those of a man desperately trying to make some bitter point or other to the club that loaned him out. Because, again, he isn’t.

He doesn’t mention Chelsea at all until Thierry Henry brings it up.

“I always believed [I could] play for Chelsea, but unfortunately it didn’t work out.”

It just goes from bad to worse for Chelsea. Embarrassing 6-0 wins one day, loan players doing well and sending such pointed messages the next. Where will it end?

 

Exclusive
Cole Palmer remains quite obviously and understandably a big newsline today after his four-goal exploits on Monday night.

The Sun bring us a genuinely decent new angle: that the daft sod didn’t bother to negotiate any goal bonus into his Chelsea contract and, while few tears will be shed for a 21-year-old having the time of his life and still earning 80k a week basic, it’s a funny and – importantly – real new angle to a big story.

The Sun being the The Sun, though, they couldn’t just leave it there.

And he will be kicking himself now as his goalscoring prowess saw him move into two exclusive Premier League clubs on Monday night.

Now we’re happy to accept that ‘exclusive Premier League club’ is a wholly subjective term with a great deal of elasticity.

But ‘Premier League’ already brings with it a degree of exclusivity. For a feat to qualify as joining an ‘exclusive Premier League club’ we’re really looking at no more than a handful of existing members, surely.

We certainly can’t be bandying it around for ‘scoring four goals’ (40 members) or ‘scoring a perfect hat-trick’ (36 members), can we?

Mediawatch isn’t entirely certain precisely where the cut-off point for an ‘exclusive Premier League club’ lies, but we would argue with unnecessarily aggressive conviction that it sits somewhere between the 40 members of the ‘scoring four goals’ gang and Sergio Aguero, Dimitar Berbatov, Jermain Defoe, Alan Shearer and Andy Cole sitting smugly in their roped-off section reserved for those with five in a game.

Still, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that tabloids don’t know (or more accurately care) what ‘exclusive’ means, given the, ahem, flexible way they use it to describe their own stories.

Although we do reckon The Sun have missed a trick here. Given the weird prevailing insistence on pretending Palmer’s stunning achievements are somehow unprecedented and the actual news about his goal bonus, this surely was a chance to go with ‘Cole Palmer would be the first Golden Boot winner not to have a goal bonus in his contract’.

We don’t know if it’s definitely true, like, but it probably is. Which immediately elevates it above all these claims floating around that definitely aren’t.

 

Go fourth
We can see where the Mirror are going with this one, and they’ve done far, far worse in the past, but it is nevertheless quite a stretch.

Jadon Sancho speaks out after delivering blow that could see Man Utd sack Erik ten Hag

First, the implication that Sancho has spoken out on anything at all to do with Man United or Ten Hag is absolute bunk. That’s obvious, sure, but still needs clearing up. What he’s done is express his delight at the team he is currently playing for, Borussia Dortmund, reaching the Champions League semi-finals. As he should.

But how might that win lead to Man United sacking Ten Hag? Here we require a couple of minor leaps and then a giant one that renders the whole thing almost entirely moot.

Leap one: Manchester United will sack Ten Hag if they don’t qualify for the Champions League.

Fine, it’s certainly possible; Jim Ratcliffe has talked about the importance of the Champions League to Manchester United. We can cheerfully accept this hypothesis.

Leap two: A by-product of Dortmund’s victory is that Germany now have a far better chance of claiming a bonus fifth place in the Champions League at England’s expense.

This isn’t really a leap at all, in fairness. It’s just maths.

Leap three: That leap two has anything at all to do with Manchester United any more.

This is the big one. For any of this to matter, Manchester United need to finish fifth.

As the Mirror themselves acknowledge…

A miserable campaign so far sees them sit seventh in the Premier League – and ten points off of fifth-placed Spurs. No additional spot would mean that they would have to finish fourth, something that is highly unlikely at this stage.

Overhauling that 10-point gap – while also seeing off a resurgent Newcastle and Chelsea – doesn’t currently seem that much less unlikely for a team with one league win since February.

 

A word from our sponsors
Good clean fun from the Express with their headline on Xavi’s undeniably entertaining meltdown as Barcelona lost their heads and a Champions League semi-final spot last night.

Barcelona chaos as Xavi sent off for hitting Champions League sponsor before Mbappe strike

He booted a camera-stand cushion with all Champions League branding on it, lads. It was funny, yes, but not sure it’s quite the same thing as ‘hitting Champions League sponsor’, a headline which suggests he’s had a touchline fist-fight with Mr Gazprom himself.