Lampard axe u-turn, Pogba price doubles and more

Date published: Thursday 21st January 2021 11:50

Suddenly you’re seeing me…just the way I am
Sometimes Mediawatch has to wait years for a writer or pundit to contradict themselves and it can feel a little cruel to snidely point this out; after all, who does not change their mind about certain things (broccoli, the missionary position) as you get older? Who doesn’t forget what they once wrote? But Mediawatch has no heart so basically gives none of the f***s.

But then sometimes, a writer executes a U-turn JUST DAYS after their initial opinion and we really can gleefully rejoice in such wonderful events.

So step forward Dave Kidd of The Sun. We love you a little bit after this. We get a feeling even The Sun subs are trolling you now.

Literally 16 days after Chief Sports Writer Kidd wrote that Frank Lampard is safe for now, because ‘the Premier League’s most mysterious figure is not really as mad, bad and dangerous as all that’ and his reputation for being a ‘mad axeman’ is outdated, he is back with a slightly different story: ‘We are now at the stage where sacking Lampard would not seem ruthless at all.’

All credit to The Sun newspaper sub for this sub-header on this latest column: ‘Suddenly axing boss would not be ruthless’.

Suddenly indeed. And how did we suddenly get to this particular stage in the last 16 days? Well, Chelsea played three games – one of which they lost – and they moved up a place in the Premier League. Life comes at you fast.

Credit Kidd though because he is sticking with his guns on his theme that Abramovich is no longer actually ruthless, writing: ‘Abramovich has not been especially ruthless with his managers for almost a decade. His reputation as a trigger-happy maniac is out-dated.’

‘Almost a decade’ is excellent, because an actual decade would pull in seven ‘permanent’ Chelsea managers and two more ‘interim’ managers, whereas ‘almost a decade’ – or ‘eight years’ as he wrote two weeks ago – means you can ignore Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo and pretend that allowing Premier League title winner Antonio Conte two whole seasons was somehow the very essence of patience.

 

THIS is the day, your life will surely change
Oh now this is equally lovely.

‘THIS was the month Manchester United were ready to let go of Paul Pogba.’

THIS was the month, Neil Custis? It’s 27 bloody months since you told us that ‘it is the beginning of the end for Paul Pogba at Manchester United’. There’s been an awful lot of months in between, and most of them have been marked by you saying that the Frenchman was on his way out of Manchester United.

But now THIS is the month.

The financial implications of the pandemic probably blocked any big money move. Nobody could afford an asking price north of £100million.’

Which is weird because it’s only six weeks since we were confidently told – by Custis – that Manchester United ‘want their money back but may have to drop the asking price as low as £50m to find a buyer for the French World Cup winner’. So the asking price appeared to be very much south of £100million.

Of course, we are being a tad churlish because Custis is right that Pogba would have been sold if anybody could have afforded him, and he is now right that the excellent Pogba could help Manchester United win the title.

But we do have to laugh a little at ‘have no doubts this is a very good Manchester United team. One with the belief, age and ability not only to win this title but to stay up there’ when it’s been a mere six weeks since the same man wrote that ‘it could take 30 (years) for Man Utd to (win the title) as well’.

But THIS is the month when we should have no doubts, right?

 

Who do you think you’re kidding?
Penny for the thoughts of the Daily Mirror‘s David Maddock, who wrote about Jurgen Klopp issuing a ‘rallying cry’ in which he rather sensibly said that it was not a “catastrophe” that Liverpool had slipped to a position where victory over Burnley would take them within three points of the Premier League leaders.

At no point did Klopp use the word ‘panic’ and yet Maddock was understandably happy to paraphrase the Liverpool manager and write: ‘They face Burnley on Thursday night as manager Klopp outlined his defiant mentality with a warning that his side cannot panic and change what has brought them so much success in recent years.’

Cue a headline of ‘DON’T PANIC!’ and a 50-year-old cultural reference which features Klopp mocked-up as a member of the Home Guard from Dad’s Army. And cue – we hope – embarrassment from Maddock, who was just trying to do his usual, sensible job.

 

Do you want to know a secret?
Mind you, sensible butters no parsnips when it comes to the internet and the incessant search for clicks, which is why Klopp’s actual quotes from Thursday are buried on the Mirror website while their MOST READ section brings us this classic:

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool exit plan, secret contract clause and his most likely replacement’

Is there any new information? No. New quotes? No. Is it just a precis of everything Klopp has ever said about leaving Liverpool? Oh yes. Is the ‘secret contract clause’ something that was revealed almost a year ago? Yes. Is his ‘most likely replacement’ Steven Gerrard? Of course it bloody is. Should we stop caring? Probably. Are we secretly jealous of this flagrant lack of shame? Maybe a little.

 

Tweet of the day

 

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