There was no emergency meeting. There were no crisis talks. But when such speculation gathers pace and the yearn for Chelsea blood is strong…
Call an ambulance, come rescue me
When does a meeting become an ’emergency meeting’? When you want to imply that a man might be sacked, that’s when.
So on Wednesday afternoon, Chelsea Twitter exploded with talk of such an ’emergency meeting’ at Chelsea as some fans yearn for manager Graham Potter to lose his job amid some awful form. Never mind that he will almost certainly not be sacked; that is irrelevant when an ’emergency’ occurs.
And some elements of the media really, really want Chelsea blood.
Chelsea hold emergency meeting with Graham Potter and staff
✍️ @NizaarKinsella https://t.co/k1HyKXa152
— Standard Sport (@standardsport) February 22, 2023
The story came from Nazar Kinsella and stated that new technical director Christopher Vivell called said ’emergency meeting’, with all its implications.
The problem? It wasn’t an ’emergency meeting’ at all, as evidenced when you click through from that tweet.
In the amended version, we see from the headline that actually, ‘Chelsea discuss form amid Graham Potter pressure before Tottenham clash’.
‘In what has been described by sources as a “strategy meeting”, discussions among the football operation at Chelsea centered around how to change course.’
A strategy meeting? Doesn’t sound much like an ’emergency’. It sounds a bit bloody dull actually, and the kind of thing that coaches do all the time.
But while the Standard have changed tack – presumably after a nudge from Chelsea – the cat was already out of the bag and mewing about an ’emergency’, or worse a CRISIS.
‘Chelsea ‘hold emergency Graham Potter meeting’ ahead of do-or-die Tottenham clash’ – Express.
‘Chelsea hold emergency meeting with head coach Graham Potter’ – Metro.
‘Graham Potter calls ’emergency’ Chelsea meeting after being tipped for the sack’ – Mirror, though this is now delivering an ‘oops’ 404 message.
‘Chelsea CRISIS meeting called amid Graham Potter sack talk’ – Goal.
‘Chelsea chiefs ‘hold crisis talks with under-fire Graham Potter with season rapidly unravelling despite £600m transfers’ – The Sun, who admit further down that ‘owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali are understood to have NOT been present at the talks’.
As The Athletic reported on Thursday: ‘There have been no crisis meetings or ramping up of tension.’
Oh there has been plenty ‘ramping up of tension’; just not actually at Chelsea.
Trying to introduce jeopardy to Manchester City’s pursuit of the Champions League is a fool’s errand but The Sun never knowingly leave us short of fools…
‘RB Leipzig 1 Man City 1: Pep’s men let lead slip to leave tie on knife edge and English teams without a last-16 win’
‘On a knife edge’.
Pesky fact: Manchester City are 4/9 to win the second leg. If it’s on a knife edge, it’s a butter knife.
United we stand
But the real clicks come from Manchester United so The Sun bring us this selection…
‘Watch Frenkie de Jong ‘check out his new home’ as Man Utd transfer target walks out onto Old Trafford’ – featuring quotes from Twitter obvs. Because obvs.
‘Barcelona boss Xavi FORGETS Bruno Fernandes’ name and calls him ‘the Portuguese guy’ as he names FOUR Man Utd dangermen’ – that’s a whole lot of capitals. Should we be surprised by the FOUR? Would you expect MORE or LESS?
‘Erik ten Hag confirms TWO stars will return for Man Utd’s crunch Barcelona clash as he hints at shock tactical tweak’ – And one of the TWO stars is fifth-choice centre-half Harry Maguire so whoop whoop to that.
‘Marcel Sabitzer hints at permanent Man Utd transfer stay at end of season as Bayern Munich make their demands’ – in which Marcel Sabitzer does nothing of the sort but his agent says they will “see what happens”. Hint hint.
A message to you, Jurgen
Over on the Mirror website, it’s very rarely not about Liverpool and especially in a week when they were spangled by Real Madrid.
But this really is a load of hairy bollocks:
‘FSG’s leaked text to Jurgen Klopp seen in new light after Real Madrid thrash Liverpool’
‘Leaked’ is a hella sexy word. It implies subterfuge. It hints at a whistle-blower. What it does not suggest is Jurgen Klopp himself literally telling the media the contents of a message from FSG, as he did in 2021 when he said:
“At the beginning I received a message from the US saying, ‘Sorry for the squad we’ve given you’. But all was good I replied, it just needs time.”
The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted that he didn’t even detail a ‘text’ message, just a message. But sod that because a ‘leaked text’ is far, far more clicky than a man openly revealing the contents of a pretty anodyne e-mail exchange.
But you know what’s really, really clicky? Pretending that Robin van Persie has said whether he would prefer Arsenal or Manchester United to win the title. That’s what.
‘Robin van Persie showed where his loyalties lie with Man Utd and Arsenal answer’
Did he? Right let’s read this…
‘Robin van Persie was spotted at Carrington on Wednesday ahead of Manchester United’s clash against Barcelona the following day.’
Spotted? He was at the press conference. He wasn’t sodding hiding.
‘Van Persie visited United’s training ground to conduct an interview with manager Erik ten Hag for BT Sport, which suggests he is still a fan of the Manchester club.’
No. It suggests that BT Sport have paid him to do an interview.
So was he asked about his choice between Manchester United and Arsenal when he was working at Manchester United? Was he balls.
‘Many fans have pondered where Van Persie’s loyalties lie. He dropped a huge hint during an interview with BBC Sport two years ago when he was asked to name the most talented footballer he played alongside during his time in the Premier League.
‘The ex-striker replied: “[It is] So difficult to name one. I would go for Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy.”
‘Van Persie named four United icons but just two Arsenal legends.’
FFS. So the whole story is about some two-year-old quotes in which he named his most talented teammates and quite understandably named six Premier League title winners, one of whom was his Netherlands teammate.
And that ‘showed where his loyalties lie with Man Utd and Arsenal answer’, coincidentally at a time when both could be involved in the title race.
We don’t know whether to be impressed or really very appalled.