We were making love by Wednesday…
‘Watch highlights as Arsenal lose 3-2 to Championship side Brentford just days before crunch clash with Man City’ – The Sun website.
If only there was another word for ‘seven days’ they could have used…
Over at the Mail, they know there is such a word but what the hell led them to this ‘headline’?
‘Arsenal stars take a knee and warm up in ‘I can’t breathe’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-shirts at the Emirates – before LOSING in a friendly against Brentford with just a week until they face Manchester City in Project Restart curtain-raiser’
Did LOSING to Brentford entirely negate the power of their protest against police brutality? Did the gestures contribute to the defeat? It’s the Mail so maybe…
The Kai of the tiger
The Sun have a big old transfer ‘exclusive’, with Duncan Wright reporting that ‘REAL MADRID are ready to join the battle for Kai Havertz – but Chelsea remain in pole position with the German prodigy keen on a move to the Premier League’.
‘Ready to join the battle’, you say?
That’s odd because The Sun website reported a whole five days ago that ‘REAL MADRID reportedly had a £71million transfer bid for Kai Havertz rejected by Bayer Leverkusen. But it is understood Los Blancos remain desperate to land the German, 20, who is the subject of plenty of interest.’
It sounds kind of like they might be right in the midst of a battle.
And also like the Sun’s left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing.
Mediawatch saw this headline on the Daily Star website – ‘Marcus Rashford’s role for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in Man Utd’s Jadon Sancho transfer pursuit’ – and wondered about this ‘role’. Has he asked Rashford to chat to him on Zoom? Or will Rashford be thrown into the mix in a swap deal?
Or might Solskjaer have simply asked Rashford for his opinion on Sancho as the pair play together for England? Which seems so perfectly bloody normal that it was hidden way down the report in the Evening Standard that became the inspiration for one of the Star’s biggest stories of the day.
The thrill of the new
Elsewhere on the Star, ‘Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might have found a new Man Utd centre-back pairing’. Alternatively, he might have paired Harry Maguire with Axel Tuanzebe in a friendly, just as he did on several occasions this season before the youngster got injured.
Talking of Harry Maguire and the Manchester United defence brings us neatly to this propaganda on the talkSPORT website.
‘How Ole Gunnar Solskjaer solved Man United’s biggest problem since Sir Alex Ferguson left Old Trafford’
Apparently Manchester United’s ‘biggest problem’ since Sir Alex Ferguson departed has been their porous back line, which will come as a shock to anyone who can use Google and discover that in five of the six completed seasons since Ferguson retired, United have conceded 43 (United’s total goals conceded in their last title-winning season of 2012/13) goals or fewer.
Indeed, it seems pretty obvious from a cursory glance at a list of Manchester United seasons that the problem has actually been a lack of goals scored; they have failed to get anywhere even close to the 86 Premier League goals they scored in Ferguson’s final season.
‘Sir Alex always maintained ‘attack wins you games, but defence wins you titles’ throughout his trophy-laden years in the Old Trafford hot seat.
‘Yet the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ became a venue sides no longer feared playing at, teams were no longer beaten before a ball was kicked.
‘Jose Mourinho failed to stop this rot upon succeeding the Dutchman, his desire to get a new centre half during the summer window of 2018 saw the club linked with the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, Giorgio Chiellini, Sergio Ramos and Toby Alderweireld, but his pleas fell on deaf ears.
‘It took the inexperienced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to slowly, but surely, change the United mentality and restore some of the fundamentals of Sir Alex.’
Far be it from us to defend Jose Mourinho but in his first two full seasons at Manchester United, they conceded 29 and 28 Premier League goals, totals not seen in almost a decade at United. We think that probably counts as ‘stopping the rot’ in a defensive sense. This season they have already conceded 30. So well done Ole for restoring some of those ‘fundamentals’.
‘Although the signing of Bruno Fernandes in the January 2020 may well be recognised as the turning point of Solskjaer’s legacy, his commitment to fixing the porous backline is truly outstanding.
‘It is extremely rare for modern managers to be as efficient or as calculating in their approach to the transfer window as the Norwegian, yet ‘The Baby Faced Assassin’ is as ruthless in negotiations as he was in front of goal.’
Yes, it takes some incredible ruthlessness to pay more for his defensive targets than any other club could contemplate. He is truly a hero.
‘Only Paris Saint-Germain have kept more clean sheets in Europe’s top five leagues in all competitions and their tally in regards to their domestic rivals is seriously impressive.
‘The Red Devils have 20 clean sheets this season, three more than Liverpool and five more than Man City.’
It’s just a shame that there is no trophy for ‘most clean sheets in all competitions’, especially when they have kept out such teams as Tranmere, LASK and Astana. The fact that they have conceded more actual Premier League goals than Liverpool, Manchester City and Sheffield United seems almost immaterial in the face of that evidence.
‘Undoubtedly, the emergence of Harry Maguire as a talisman and now captain of the United side has played a huge part in revitalising Solskjaer’s beleaguered side.
‘As well as being a no-nonsense type of defender, Maguire has the ability to dribble the ball out from the back and this has proved vital to their style of play.
‘Only Wilfried Zaha, Jack Grealish, and Adama Traore have completed more dribbles in the Premier League than the England international and he is the only defender in the top 10.’
We have seriously no idea how they have reached this conclusion; Maguire has completed exactly six dribbles this season. That number puts him 253rd in the Premier League.
The actual top ten? Adama Traore, Wilfried Zaha, Emiliano Buendia, Allan Saint-Maximin, Mateo Kovacic, Nicolas Pepe, Felipe Anderson, Gerard Deulofeu, Dwight McNeil and Ricardo Pereira. Maguire? He’s not even in Manchester United’s top ten.
But enough of the nit-picking, because ‘the hero of the 1999 is doing all he can to bring back success and silverware to this famous club’. Well done Ole.
Obviously we love nothing more than a ‘supercomputer’, which is tabloid-speak for ‘some people did some maths’.
On the Daily Star, they bring us ‘Final Premier League table predicted by supercomputer sees Chelsea top Man Utd’, because they have been in this game a long time and know that ‘Premier League table’ is a very, very popular search term on Google. Well done.
So how has this ‘supercomputer’ calculated this ‘final Premier League table’? By ‘examining each team’s final results from the past five seasons’, of course. Because that’s sensible.
So be shocked as Sheffield United overtake Manchester United because they have won quite a lot of games at the end of the last five seasons…in lower divisions.
But not quite as shocked as Norwich would be to pick up 16 points from their last nine games after amassing just 21 in their first 28.
The supercomputer is supershit.
A story about a salary cap for EFL players? Better use a picture of Premier League player Raheem Sterling.
Don’t buy The Daily Mail. Don’t read it, don’t click it. pic.twitter.com/EksIQgX8dK
— GoalScorer Challenge (@GoalscorerC) June 11, 2020
Mediawatch would seriously love to understand the thought process here. Is it as simple as football + money = prominent, outspoken footballer who earns lots of money? And is Raheem Sterling playing in an entirely different division irrelevant in this equation? Or at least less relevant than the colour of his skin…
Football365 shithouse headline of the day
‘Sane summer transfer ‘still likely’ as Bayern employ new tactic’
And why is that a shithouse headline? Because it is far, far too close to this from the good guys at Sport Witness: ‘Bayern employ new tactic in Sané talks with Man City – Transfer ‘still likely’ this summer.’
On this occasion we shall forgive Will Ford because it was his first day back after a long, long furlough. Well, when we say ‘forgive’…we have spared him one of his testicles.
Recommended watching of the day