Liverpool have a ‘transfer crisis’ but first, let’s predictably talk Mesut Ozil…
Wizard of Oz
In true miserable Mark Irwin style, his ‘match report’ from Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Newcastle in The Sun on Monday morning mentions Mesut Ozil three times in the first five paragraphs despite him obviously not playing any part in the match.
And how long did it take for Irwin to credit the two goalscorers from the game that Arsenal – and we have independently checked this and it’s true – actually won? Just the 22.
After all, who cares who scored – or even played – for Arsenal when you can point out on an almost-daily basis that Ozil still earns £350,000 a week?
We expect nothing more/less from Irwin, but Hector Nunns of the Daily Mirror? We thought you were better than that.
‘Who needs Mesut Ozil when you have Emile Smith Rowe?’
Every tabloid journalist, it seems.
Low day for news
We’re not saying that football news is scarce but The Sun website‘s top story on Monday morning is that Dele Alli fell over during a football match and some of his teammates laughed.
Don’t give no sanctions
But The Sun website are amateurs in comparison to the Mirror bods, who really are excellent at this sh*t. And we do mean sh*t.
MOST READ on their football pages on Monday morning?
‘Man Utd told they would win the league if Ed Woodward sanctions one January transfer’
We can address the ‘told’ part of that headline shortly, but ‘sanctions’ means ‘gives official permission or approval for (an action)’, which strongly suggests that this is a transfer that needs only a final stamp to go through.
Which is obviously exactly the case with 19-goal Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, who is so close to a January move to Manchester United that it hurts.
It’s shameless click-baiting from the Mirror, who know that there is no more powerful force than a gaggle of giddy United fans.
And who ‘told’ them this anyway? Former Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor, of course. Who else?
Actually, we cannot leave that Mirror MOST READ list without examining this…
‘Jose Mourinho’s controversial Man Utd stance proved correct after FA Cup win’
His ‘controversial Man Utd stance’? Giving Scott McTominay a Manager’s Player of the Year award back in 2018. And there’s nothing like a goal against Watford to prove him correct.
‘Liverpool set to allow defender to leave despite centre-back injury crisis’
However will they cope without 19-year-old Sepp van den Berg, yet to play a single minute or even appear on the bench for the first team this season?
‘Darren Fletcher’s impact on Man Utd already being felt after Mason Greenwood U-turn’
We are not entirely sure when a simple change of position became a ‘U-turn’. And the Mirror are not entirely sure this has got anything at all do with Fletcher but f*** it…
‘And, it could well be that Darren Fletcher, who this week returned to the club’s first-team set-up as a coach, played a leading role in Solskjaer’s team selection.’
It could well be. And that is frankly enough for a headline in 2021.
In the ongoing quest to pretend that there will be some substantial transfer business this January, the MailOnline have come up with this predictably mammoth headline:
‘Liverpool’s January shopping list if Jurgen Klopp decides to sign the ‘stop-gap’ John Barnes wants includes a Newcastle defender, an AC Milan veteran – and one player branded a ‘donkey’ by fans of his own club!’
It’s a ‘shopping list’ entirely made up by Max Winters so it could basically include anybody at all. It could include Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It could include you. It could include Peppa, branded a ‘pig’ by members of her own family. You don’t get to exclamation mark the sh*t out of options that you have made up yourself! Okay! Crazy cats!
The truth is of course that Jurgen Klopp has spoken at length about not being in a position to bring in ‘stop-gap’ signings, saying:
“I don’t know if something will happen or not. We maybe could do something, but it would be a short-term solution and we don’t want that as it doesn’t help really, so we have to deal with the situation as we have so far and we have to get through this.”
And where did we find those quotes? On this story on the Daily Star website:
‘Liverpool in transfer crisis as players ‘don’t want to join’ Premier League champions’
Here he is:
Clearly, journalist Fabrizio Romano saying that some players “don’t want to join” on a short-term basis constitutes a ‘transfer crisis’ even when the manager himself says he does not want players to join on a short-term basis.
You know it’s bad when they can’t even persuade a player branded a ‘donkey’ by fans of his own club!
Elsewhere on the Mail, Mike Keegan is here with his SPORTS AGENDA. Second item on the list? Arsene Wenger and his trees obviously. What else could be on the sports agenda when the entire concept of sport is under threat from a global pandemic?
‘He was sometimes accused of failing to get rid of the deadwood at the workplace but similar claims could not be made about Arsene Wenger’s attitude to his own home.
‘The former Arsenal manager wants to take the axe to a giant oak tree outside his Barnet pad amid fears it may collapse.
‘Wenger, 71, needs council consent thanks to a tree preservation order.
‘He also wants to cut back a leylandii hedge obstructing the entrance gate and to prune three Monterey cypress trees at the house he paid £1.1million for in 1997, which is now valued at close to £6m.’
It’s no ‘Inside Wing’s’. We liked Keegan more when he was eating ‘fillet steak rolls in black pepper sauce that were a cylinder of joy’.
Recommended reading of the day
Ed Aarons, Romain Molina and Alex Cizmic on the rise and fall of Yves Jean-Bart
Tim Vickery on Neymar