The madness of King Jig
The back page of The Sun on Monday is dominated by the handball nonsense of the weekend as Paul Jiggins claims that ‘FOOTBALL united in pleading: “Give us our football back” – after a “joke” penalty against Eric Dier capped a weekend of handball madness’.
We’re not entirely sure a ‘weekend of handball madness’ can be ‘capped’ by the second of two incidents.
High on a crisis
Over on the back page of the Daily Mirror, we think we may have spotted the first ‘crisis’ of the nascent season:
‘HAT-TRICK hero Jamie Vardy destroyed Manchester City to send Pep Guardiola and his shell-shocked players spinning into a crisis.’
A ‘crisis’? After two games – one of which City actually won? A ‘crisis’? After one defeat in City’s last seven Premier League games? A ‘crisis’? After one game which City started without a recognised striker or their best centre-half?
Still high on a crisis
On the inside pages – remember that City ‘crisis’ – we find that ‘JURGEN KLOPP has insisted that he will not over-react to an injury crisis that has ripped the heart from his team’.
Well we are glad to see that he is not over-reacting to a ‘crisis’ that has robbed him of a grand total of two of his most-used Premier League XI from their title victory of last season – Jordan Henderson and Alisson.
David Maddock breathlessly tells us that Klopp ‘will not panic’, which seems sensible considering there is absolutely nothing to panic about.
‘He has two centre halves and two and two central midfielders injured, which leaves the squad dangerously exposed with such an intense fixture list.’
Except he doesn’t. So it doesn’t. He has literally one centre-half – Joel Matip – missing, which leaves him in a better defensive place than last week, when he had to play Fabinho at centre-half in a 2-0 win over Chelsea.
So he can basically play the same XI that beat Chelsea apart from Adrian in goal and Fabinho in central midfield in place of Henderson, with Gomez coming in at centre-half.
By 10am on Monday, nobody at The Sun website wants to talk about handball or other boring dweeby things because Ronaldo has scored a goal (in a 2-2 draw in Serie A) and he did a big old jump to score that header.
‘Watch Cristiano Ronaldo score outrageous header and ‘leap like prime Jordan’ as Juventus star makes goalscoring history’
Note the quote marks. Thanks to @Fotbalfann. And that makes it the biggest story in fotbal right now. Of course it does.
His name is not Rio
‘Captain Harry Maguire looks slow when faced with any sort of pace and continues to misjudge situations, while Victor Lindelof is a worry’ – Neil Custis, The Sun, September 28.
Just to be clear, do we think that declaring him ‘the new Rio Ferdinand’ after just one Premier League game last season may have been a tad premature, Neil?
The way we were
‘MIKEL ARTETA is putting ‘the Arsenal Way’ on the back burner as he bids to end the club’s Anfield nightmare this evening,’ writes Mark Irwin in The Sun, which is the kind of simplistic thinking that makes us want to holler.
First, ‘the Arsenal way’ is what? Possession-based football? Losing football? Arteta is not putting anything on the back burner; he is merely trying to win football matches because he appears to be a quite excellent coach.
Now we read that ‘he makes no apologies for upsetting the Arsenal purists who grew up on Arsene Wenger’s team passing the opposition to death’. What Arsenal purists? Show us an ‘Arsenal purist’ that is upset by Arteta’s Arsenal beating Liverpool with less possession (as they have done twice already in 2020). Go on. We shall wait.
And where one leads…
‘Mikel Arteta ditches the ‘Arsenal Way’ in bid to return club to glory days’ – Mirror website.
‘Mikel Arteta willing to abandon ‘the Arsenal way’ in order to win’ – Sports Mole.
Maybe the new ‘Arsenal way’ is to have different tactics for different opposition. And maybe that really should not generate such a ridiculous fuss.
Let us fix this Mirror website headline for you:
‘Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaves
Arsenal fanssome absolute maniacs furious with his Twitter activity’
Oh the joys of the accidental ‘like’ becoming the most-read story on a football website.
There is plentiful talk of a new Jadon Sancho rebounding around the football internet…
‘Man Utd ‘prepare £90m Jadon Sancho transfer bid with just £65m up front’ as Dortmund drama goes down to last week’ – The Sun.
‘Manchester United transfer news LIVE: ‘Contact made’ over N’Golo Kante deal, final Jadon Sancho offer to be made this week, Red Devils duo wanted by Lazio’ – talkSPORT.
‘Man Utd launch final Jadon Sancho transfer bid and have new plan – but there’s a problem’ – Express.
The ‘problem’ is that these reports originate on the MailOnline with a story written by the man who does not exist.
‘David Kent’ sounds like a made-up name (a ‘cod name’ in old newspaper parlance) because it absolutely is a made-up name, used by the Mail for the kind of click-bait that nobody wants to acknowledge as their own work.
We are still waiting to see the bid for Ainsley Maitland-Niles that Tottenham were ‘plotting’ over a month ago.
Recommended reading of the day
Richard Jolly on Chelsea and Frank Lampard
Adam Crafton talks to Rafael
Tommy Conlon on Manchester United