Cole Palmer logging non-existent ‘feats’ and ‘records’ as Van Dijk huddle blamed

Editor F365
Cole Palmer and Virgil van Dijk.
Cole Palmer and Virgil van Dijk.

What Cole Palmer did on Monday night was brilliant. But he didn’t break three records and he is not about to pull off a ‘never-before-seen feat’…


You will not believe what Cole Palmer is about to do…
Cole Palmer was phenomenal on Monday night as he has been for much of the season. But do you know what he wasn’t? A midfielder. And you know what he’s never been? A midfielder.

On Monday night against Everton – as he often is – he was very often the furthest forward player, beyond Nicolas Jackson. This happens often with Palmer, whether he is nominally playing from the right, as a No. 10 or as a No. 9. Think Dele for Tottenham under Mauricio Pochettino. Not a midfielder.

Not listed on the Chelsea website as a midfielder. Not listed in the England squad as a midfielder.

And yet, here we are in The Sun:

Cole Palmer cements his place as signing of the season with Chelsea star on course to achieve never-before-seen feat

Apparently ‘he is on course to go one better than the likes of Giggs, Gerrard and Lampard’ and win the Golden Boot because ‘no midfielder has ever won that accolade before’.

And they still won’t if Palmer does edge out Haaland. Because Palmer has about as many defensive responsibilities as Mo Salah, who has three times claimed the Golden Boot. Or Sadio Mane. Or Son Heung-Min two years ago before Harry Kane f***ed off.

It’s just possible that Palmer might win the Golden Boot and it just be brilliant that he’s won the Golden Boot, without having to invent ‘never-before-seen feats’.

Also, this: ‘Not only is he racking up the goals, but Palmer is second in assists table too with nine so far.’

Nope. Palmer is joint-fourth in the assists table. That’s like saying Anthony Elanga is third in the assists table with eight. It’s bollocks designed to make the brilliant look like the extraordinary. Just let him be brilliant.

And it doesn’t end there. We also have this in The Sun:

Cole Palmer breaks three Chelsea records with incredible first-half hat-trick as Everton capitulate at Stamford Bridge

A ‘record’ is ‘the best or fastest ever done’; it is not ‘the best or fastest for a while’.

We will give him becoming ‘the first-ever Chelsea player to score in seven straight games’. That’s a record.

But ‘the second record saw him become the first Chelsea player to score over 20 goals in all competitions since Eden Hazard in the 2018/2019 season’? Did it bollocks. That’s not a ‘record’, that’s ‘doing a thing that was last done five years ago’.

It’s not a ‘record’ until he surpasses Jimmy Greaves’ record of 43 goals in 1960/61. Good luck with that, Cole.

So we already know the third ‘record’ is not going to be a record at all.

And for the third record, Palmer became the first Chelsea player since Diego Costa in the 2014/15 season to score 20 goals or more in all competitions in his debut campaign.

Well done and everything, Cole. But nope. Not a ‘record’. we know Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored more in 2000/01 and frankly we don’t have the time or the inclination to go back any further.

But do you know what we did do? Not pretend that Palmer is breaking more records than that fella in the 1970s who used to eat aeroplanes.

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The blame game
Obviously, the fact Chelsea won 6-0 was entirely overshadowed by the penalty nonsense, with MailOnline dedicating their top five football stories to the incident, including:

Cole Palmer gives emphatic five-word response to Chelsea’s penalty row after embarrassing spat between Nicolas Jackson and Noni Madueke in 6-0 thrashing of Everton

Well he didn’t; he gave an approximately 60-word response and none of them were ‘I am your penalty taker’, as the Mail claim in their opening paragraph.

There is obviously legs in this story, with the Mail seeking to explain ‘why Mauricio Pochettino can’t escape blame in the penalty sideshow that overshadowed 6-0 win over Everton’.

Of course, Pochettino cannot avoid a portion of the blame. Previously, he refused to name a designated taker, saying he preferred to leave it to the players to decide via their ‘feelings’. It was only after this embarrassing episode that he finally assigned Palmer.

The ‘previously’ was in October. Since then Palmer has taken every penalty and Pochettino said after this incident that the “players knew it was Cole”. Of course they did. Pochettino was absolutely seething that they had disobeyed him.

But let’s not that get in the way of the narrative that the Chelsea boss is partly to blame for being all touchy-feely. Snowflake.


A weird Liverpool update
Over at the Mirror, they are continuing their policy of never knowingly underselling a Liverpool story.

This is the biggest story in football on Tuesday morning after Chelsea’s 6-0 win over Everton:

‘TOUGH KOP! Alexander-Arnold warns Liverpool manager he’s in for “weird” pre-season as Reds stars prepare for imminent exit of iconic boss Klopp’

Does he f***.

What he does – quite naturally – is say that “it’s going to be weird to then turn up to pre-season, having to adopt a new playing style”. Weird for him. Weird for the other players, maybe. But a ‘warning’ to a new manager that it’s going to be ‘weird’? Of course not. That would be ludicrous.


It’s all in the huddle
So what is the problem at Liverpool? Well, there are many but trust a sub at the Liverpool Echo to focus on one, entirely nonsensical one:

Liverpool pre-match routine change is not working – and it’s costing them dearly

It’s very clickable. And Mediawatch clicked.

And we clicked to find a Paul Gorst piece about Liverpool’s propensity for going behind – ‘having gone to the well that often, they finally found it had run dry on Sunday afternoon’ – which is perfectly reasonable.

As he writes:

Is it a tactical issue? A question of preparation? Or an attitude problem? There is no easily identifiable cause for something that is showing no signs of being resolved.

No, there really isn’t. But that won’t do, will it? So then Gorst wrote this line…

Pre-match team talks by the manager and the huddle that has been introduced by captain Virgil van Dijk before kick-off will no doubt have been designed to ensure a fast start that is free of errors, but whatever is being done to counteract such form is not working. The messaging is not cutting through.

So that one, throw-away line in the eighth paragraph is now the headline. The ‘pre-match routine change’ is the Van Dijk huddle. And it’s ‘costing them dearly’ apparently.

The company that owns the Echo is called Reach for a reason.

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