When is a rant not a rant? When nobody gets angry, perhaps? Erling Haaland inspires Jamie Carragher to do his job while Garth Crooks remains eccentric.
The dictionary definition of ‘rant’ is ‘speak or shout at length in an angry, impassioned way’. Keep that in mind as you watch this video:
“He may have actually picked the wrong club” 🤨@Carra23 says we’re only seeing 60% of Erling Haaland 👀 pic.twitter.com/D4AfVbiBq2
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 5, 2023
Now he speaks at length. But is he angry? No. Is he impassioned? Not really. He simply explains in a very intelligent and informed fashion why Manchester City and Erling Haaland is a combination that is running into some difficulty. It’s exactly what we want to see from pundits and something that is too rare in an era of ‘he’ll be disappointed with that’.
Which is why it is incredibly frustrating to read a ludicrous headline like this:
‘Jamie Carragher questions Erling Haaland in brutal Man City “wrong club” rant’
No Mirror Sport, it’s not ‘brutal’ and it’s not a ‘rant’. It’s a man doing his sodding job.
The Mirror are obviously warming to the Haaland theme; these stories were all produced within 15 hours of Manchester City’s defeat to Tottenham:
”Jamie Carragher questions Erling Haaland in brutal Man City “wrong club” rant”
‘Jamie Carragher snaps back at laughing Micah Richards in heated Erling Haaland debate’
‘Walker hints at Guardiola contribution to Haaland’s Man City struggles’
‘Neville slams Man City stars for “incredible” Haaland snub in Tottenham loss’
Snub? Rebuff, ignore, or spurn disdainfully? That’s one hell of a way to describe not having the vision to see the runs of a striker.
Shoulda, woulda, coulda
The word ‘could’ is doing an awful lot of heavy lifting in this headline:
‘Man Utd star Casemiro could still be banned for Carabao Cup final after being sent off for neck grab vs Crystal Palace’ – The Sun online.
He could. If Manchester United appeal and if the FA add another game for a ‘frivolous appeal’, which almost never happens.
As early as the opening paragraph, he ‘could potentially miss the Carabao Cup final’; we’re already twice removed.
They then detail which games he will actually miss for his three-game ban, saying he should return for the Carabao Cup final but then add: ‘However, he may be forced to MISS IT should the club decide to appeal his red card.’
They probably won’t appeal then.
By the 11th paragraph: ‘That course of action does seem unlikely…’
It really f***ing does.
God, it’s brutal out here
In the quest to make negative headlines from what was another victory for Manchester United that keeps them in the Champions League places, The Sun have concocted this nonsense:
‘Erik ten Hag sends brutal message to Alejandro Garnacho after Man Utd wonderkid is subbed off after being brought on’
First, some context. Garnacho came off in the 87th minute when ten-man Manchester United were trying to hold on against Crystal Palace. He was replaced by a defender. By that point Antony and Wout Weghorst had already been subbed off and Garnacho was the only other purely attacking player left on the pitch along with Marcus Rashford.
Second, what was this ‘brutal message’?
“I think we had to change something.
“It’s not always nice bringing off a player who we brought on but it’s in the interests of the team and the player has to accept that.”
Ouch. Somebody fetch the Savlon.
Over at the BBC, Garth Crooks is choosing his team of the weekend. As usual, it’s a treasure trove of half-baked ideas and nonsense.
In goal is David De Gea and Crooks writes that ‘recent media speculation suggests De Gea is close to signing a new contract at Old Trafford. If I were manager Erik ten Hag, I would make it my top priority’ as if it’s Manchester United who should be begging a goalkeeper with a below-average record and not the other way round. Catch up, grandad.
He then includes Craig Dawson of course (he scored), largely so he can include this line it seems: ‘Meanwhile, Liverpool are leaking goals. I said some time ago that injured defender Virgil van Dijk is their most important player and one clean sheet in their last 10 away Premier League matches rather proves the point. At the moment, Liverpool look average at best.’
It might rather prove that point if Van Dijk had not been on the pitch for eight of those 10 away Premier League matches.
Also included was Amadou Onana: ‘It was Onana who seemed to get the blood pumping among Evertonians as he took the game to the Gunners. His passion, determination and willingness to cover every blade of grass was infectious. What a pity former manager Frank Lampard saw very little of that.’
What a pity indeed. If only he could have influenced that in some small way.
Harry Kane deservedly earns inclusion, with Crooks writing: ‘There is of course, a certain irony attached to Kane’s accomplishment, as his record goal was scored against Manchester City, a side he almost joined. Had he done so, he wouldn’t have achieved the historic feat, but he would almost certainly have one hand on a Premier League title and eyeing a Champions League trophy. I suppose that’s the price you pay when you pursue records and not trophies.’
He literally did everything in his power to join Manchester City, Garth; they just didn’t match Tottenham’s asking price. We are absolutely certain that Kane would choose trophies over records, given the choice. Has a man ever had a looser grip on football reality?
And only Garth could write that Kaoru Mitoma ‘is the most exciting player I have seen in a Brighton shirt since a young Peter Ward burst onto the scene in the 1970s’. Yep. F*** World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister, sod Moises Caicedo, it’s all about Peter Ward.