‘Finally a reason to smile for Liverpool fans.’ Sorry, what?

Date published: Tuesday 19th February 2019 12:16

Magic numbers
We are in the age of numbers when it comes to generating clicks. If you can count but not name footballers, then you have hit the jackpot. And if you can count but not name Manchester United footballers, you have won the rollover. And if you can count but not name Manchester United footballers – while mentioning Sir Alex Ferguson – then you can basically retire on your winnings and buy one of those cars with a swimming pool in the back.

So congratulations to the Daily Mirror, for you can now pimp your ride:

‘Sir Alex Ferguson speaks to 3 Man Utd players after win over Chelsea.’

The fact that he simply said hello to the substitutes as he walked across the pitch is a mere detail.


Full house
Currently on the Daily Mirror football homepage…

‘Solskjaer names the player who has made himself undroppable.’

‘Liverpool boss reveals the two Bayern Munich players he’s indebted to.’

‘Sir Alex Ferguson speaks to 3 Man Utd players after win over Chelsea.’

‘Juan Mata lists the four traits that make Paul Pogba “very, very complete”.’

‘Man Utd fans love Romelu Lukaku’s 5-word response to Paul Pogba celebration at Chelsea.’


Liverpool: Pretty much in crisis
The Daily Mirror also has another five. And it’s five things they ‘noticed’ from Liverpool training ahead of their clash with Bayern. Or, rather, ‘here’s five pictures we have seen and we are going to write some words to go around those pictures that may or may not be relevant’.

So the first thing they ‘noticed’ was ‘Klopp’s injury list’. Apparently, it’s an ‘ever-growing injury list’. Which is an odd way to describe long-term injuries to Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlader-Chamberlain and a problem for Dejan Lovren that has already kept him sidelined for six weeks but could see him return to the squad, if not the starting line-up against Bayern.

Indeed, the only changes from the Liverpool squad that faced Bournemouth last week will be the returns of Xherdan Shaqiri and Lovren, and the loss of Virgil van Dijk to suspension. An ‘ever-growing injury list’, my arse.

The second thing they ‘noticed’ is that ‘Fabinho could be utilised at centre back’. Did they ‘notice’ that when Jurgen Klopp said it in the press conference?

Third? ‘Continuing on the same theme, could Daniel Sturridge be the man to step up and take Firmino’s place leading the line?’

No. Because Roberto Firmino will play. He’s in your own newspaper’s ‘probable line-up’. Talk to each other.

At 4) is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s return to training, which basically irrelevant ahead of this game but gives the Mirror a chance to write this sentence:

‘Finally a reason to smile for Liverpool fans, if you ignore their Premier League title challenge.’

Finally, some escape from the sheer misery of being level on points with Premier League leaders Manchester City with a game in hand. How utterly gut-wrenching to be unbeaten in five league games and have the fate of the Premier League title in their hands.

And lastly…the fifth thing the Mirror ‘noticed’ from Liverpool training is that ‘Mane smiles’. And they say that online football journalism has become too simplistic…


I wonder why
‘They have won this trophy 12 times, a long and upstanding tradition in the world’s oldest cup competition,’ writes Neil Ashton of Manchester United in The Sun.

‘They lost the final at Wembley against Chelsea last season, beaten by the same group of players at Wembley.

‘After watching this, you have to wonder how.’

You may well wonder how, but then you remember that there are different managers in each dug-out, six different Chelsea players and five different Manchester United players, and you realise that last year’s cup final now has absolutely zero relevance. Unless you are the Chief Football Reporter of Britain’s best-selling newspaper, of course.


Chelsea daggers
Headline on Goal, Feb 18: ‘Barcelona lead Chelsea in fight to sign Frankfurt hotshot Jovic’

Headline on The Sun Online, Feb 19, atop a story entirely based on Goal’s claim: ‘Chelsea and Real Madrid leading transfer battle for £52m Frankfurt striker Jovic.’

It’s almost like Chelsea fans might be looking for good news today.


Baby I don’t care…
Daily Star headline: ‘Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri insists he DOESN’T CARE what fans think after Man Utd loss.’

Actual quotes from Maurizio Sarri: “I am worried about the result, not about the fans.”

But of course the Daily Star DON’T CARE what he actually said.


Bale out
On a day when people will be Googling both Chelsea and Man Utd, the Daily Star are not daft with their leading story:

‘Gareth Bale WANTS Man Utd transfer but Real Madrid have surprise Chelsea plan.’

Sound fanciful? Don’t be so cynical, this is straight from ‘Spanish journalist Eduardo Inda’. And as such is so nailed-on that the Star need not even hint in their headline that it might all be utter bollocks.

Wait a minute, is that the same Eduardo Inda who insisted in May that a deal to take Neymar to Real Madrid was ‘almost finalised’?

Yes. Yes, it is.


Recommended reading of the day
Jonathan Wilson on the Chelsea fans

Daniel Storey on Liverpool’s tactics v Bayern Munich


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