Manchester United won but some sections of the media are still pretending there is a crisis, while Scott McTominay sparks conniptions.
Ignore the football, there’s been a ‘rant’
Aston Villa deservedly beat the champions Manchester City on Wednesday night, while an impressive Manchester United beat Chelsea 2-1 to leave themselves just three points behind City. So what’s the top story on the MailOnline football homepage?
KEANE’S UNITED RANT
Sorry but what a right load of bollocks. It’s little wonder that some people at Manchester United think there is an agenda against the club.
A rant? This was Keane talking on the Stick to Football podcast and it could not have been less of a ‘rant’. He was reluctant to even get involved in a discussion about the season’s biggest disappointment and when he did, it was a half-hearted endorsement of what Jamie Carragher had already said.
These are his quotes in full: “The biggest disappointment has to be Andre Onana. I think Manchester United were right to get rid of David de Gea, but for the club to have brought someone else in and for him to be struggling…”
He didn’t even end the sentence he was so entirely non-committal. The idea that he ‘ranted’ on a relaxed and light-hearted podcast is just absurd.
But not quite as absurd as the gymnastics to avoid acknowledging that Manchester United are actually only three points behind City.
Gerrard or Lampard? It’s McTominay
Elsewhere in the Mail, there is a sense that Joe Bernstein has got a little carried away.
On his Man Utd player commitment ratings, Scott McTominay gets a rave review and this high praise:
Never short of energy, the Scot has suddenly morphed into Steven Gerrard.
And in a separate opinion piece on how McTominay and Harry Maguire are key to Manchester United’s form:
The way he broke into the box to deliver two expert finishes, one a shot, the second a header, would have reminded the travelling fans of their legendary goalscoring midfielder Frank Lampard.
So the Gerrard-Lampard debate has a new question – which one is more like Scott McTominay?
Rice, Rice baby
And who should have been partnering McTominay at Manchester United. Well, rather conveniently, Rio Ferdinand now claims that he said all along that United should have bought Declan Rice.
“Declan Rice, I said it before. For Man Utd he was the player I would’ve 100% gone and got.”
Odd that because in June this is what Ferdinand said about who Manchester United should buy in midfield:
“In midfield, you know who I would go and get? I would go try get Tchouameni.”
As for Rice…we did find a couple of headlines after Ferdinand spoke about Rice in the summer and…
Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand tells Declan Rice to join Arsenal this summer
Maybe he just “said it before” in private.
Yes way, Jose
Jose Mourinho was sacked by Manchester United five years ago. He was also sacked by Tottenham two-and-a-half years ago. And yet, two days after Manchester United were considering a ‘Jose Mourinho move’, his name appears three times on the Mirror football homepage. Three times. And it’s not because his Roma side are fourth in Serie A after back-to-back wins but because he is somehow more box office than the actual Manchester United manager.
On Wednesday morning, we were told that ‘Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag looks to avoid Jose Mourinho repeat after brutal warning’ as the Mirror get giddy that Manchester United face Liverpool at a very similar juncture of the season as 2018, when Mourinho was sacked after defeat to their great rivals.
They are utterly desperate for the same thing to happen again, especially after the Mirror were one publication rebuked for not giving United the right of reply on a story about discord at the club.
But what is this ‘brutal warning’ and from whence did it come?
There is little Christmas cheer surrounding United as they go into a crucial run of fixtures which could shape Ten Hag’s tenure as manager. He has been told he has three games to save his job, with his future made even more uncertain by the pending takeover by Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
There are three pretty crucial words missing from that paragraph; we can only presume that Felix Keith left them out by accident, so we will do him a little favour…
There is little Christmas cheer surrounding United as they go into a crucial run of fixtures which could shape Ten Hag’s tenure as manager. He has been told by Paul Merson he has three games to save his job, with his future made even more uncertain by the pending takeover by Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
Also on the Daily Mourinho, ‘Jose Mourinho’s comments on Mikel Arteta and Arsenal speak volumes three years on’. Because the Mirror bloody love that phrase even though, as the Cambridge Dictionary attests, ‘if something speaks volumes, it makes an opinion, characteristic, or situation very clear without the use of words’.
He definitely used his words.
Meanwhile, McTominay scored twice and Mourinho loved a bit of McTominay so when David McDonnell – allowed into Old Trafford after the shortest media ban in history – wrote a match report from the win over Chelsea…
Jose Mourinho’s Man Utd gesture proved right as unlikely hero emerges for Erik ten Hag
Yes. That’s definitely the narrative. That five years after Mourinho gave McTominay an award, he was ‘proved right’. Well done, Jose. Makes you wonder why Ten Hag is so keen to ‘avoid Jose Mourinho repeat’. After all, the man is a genius.