However will Manchester United cope without Phil Jones?

Date published: Wednesday 16th September 2020 11:49

Phil Jones is among 11 Manchester United 'doubts'. Really? Plus, United about to confirm winger...

Phil Jones Man Utd

Winging it
It came as a surprise to Mediawatch that the website breaking the big Manchester United transfer news this week is not The Sun, The Daily Telegraph, The Athletic or even the Manchester Evening News but LancsLive, the premier place for Burnley FC news. It’s not only love that is found in a hopeless place.

‘Man United to confirm signing of key winger, Sean Dyche’s Tarkowski update – reports’

There it is; Man United to confirm signing of key winger. Which one? Tell us more…

‘Manchester United will exhaust every option to sign Jadon Sancho this summer before they turn to alternative targets.’

Okay. We know that already. So which winger signing are they about to ‘confirm’?

‘Manchester United retain an interest in Burnley star Dwight McNeil but believe, this summer, the transfer fee might be too high for them to successfully boost their squad elsewhere.’

Ah right. So Dwight McNeil – because this is why they are reporting this Manchester United news, for it is definitely not to fool NewsNow or Google readers that they have inside knowledge, oh no – is also deemed too expensive. So which winger signing are they about to ‘confirm’?

‘They remain confident they will confirm the signing of one winger before the end of the window.’

Oh.

 

Sanchover
‘It’s time for Manchester United to take the hint. Borussia Dortmund have no intention of selling Jadon Sancho this summer,’ wrote Dominic Booth on the Manchester Evening News on September 15.

Headline on the Manchester Evening News on September 16: ‘Manchester United transfer news LIVE Jadon Sancho latest plus Man Utd vs Crystal Palace team news’

Maybe Manchester United are not the only ones who need to take the hint.

 

No doubt
And what of the Man Utd vs Crystal Palace team news? Well the Manchester Evening News are on a mission to entice readers with really, really big numbers.

‘Manchester United could have 11 players doubtful for Crystal Palace fixture’

Well they could. But as of Wednesday morning, we literally know of only one player who is actually injured: Bit-part fringe man Axel Tuanzebe.

So who are the other ten?

‘Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Fred, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Eric Bailly only returned to United training on Monday, while Bruno Fernandes began his work at the Aon Training Complex over the weekend.’

So that’s seven players who are actually training and there is absolutely no indication that they are unfit.

‘Phil Jones is also back in training, but unlikely to be picked for United’s season opener at Old Trafford in any case.’

And he is one of your 11? For f***’s sake.

‘Mason Greenwood has been training alone after returning to the United Kingdom, having broken Covid-19 protocols while on England duty in Iceland.’

And training alone obviously makes him a massive doubt; if he falls down, who would help him up?

‘Sergio Romero has not yet linked up with the United squad at Carrington.’

And nor will he. Which is fine because Manchester United already have two rather good goalkeepers.

So that’s 11 ‘doubts’, only one of which is actually injured.

And where one leads, others follow…

‘Man Utd could be without 11 players for opening Premier League fixture vs Crystal Palace’ – Mirror.

‘Man Utd’s 11 doubtful players give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer headache ahead of Palace game’ – Express.

However will they cope without the available Phil Jones?

 

I’ll be loving you always…
‘Gareth Bale’s telling reaction to Jose Mourinho appointment as Tottenham rival Man Utd for transfer’ – Mirror.

The word ‘as’ is doing an awful lot of heavy lifting there; he made those comments in December.

 

Auba-wrought
‘Arsenal would have finished just two points off relegation zone in 16th without Aubameyang’s goals last season’ – The Sun.

‘Without Aubameyang, Arsenal would have been involved in an almighty scrap to avoid relegation’, it says here.

Because of course Arsenal would never have played another striker – who might even have scored a goal or two – if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had been unavailable.

Phew.

 

Can you dig it?
Speaking of Aubameyang, you may have seen that Ian Wright joined him on his new deal announcement live video thing; we’re too old to understand this sh*t.

Here is what he said:

“Oh my god, I love you man. Listen, can I just say, because there’s so many people [watching this video] I’m sure there’s a lot of people requesting you.

“For us [Arsenal supporters], in a time when we need you most, when we’ve seen legends leave us when we need them, you are legendary status, for life. Love you, captain.”

And here are some headlines:

‘Ian Wright aims dig at ex-Arsenal pair after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang announcement’ – Mirror.

‘Ian Wright takes dig at Robin van Persie and Alexis Sanchez during Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contract announcement’ – Metro.

Imagine the mental gymnastics to a) eke something negative out of a lovely moment and b) come up with two names when there are literally about 17 to choose from.

 

The flounder
Oh and speaking of wrongly using statistics to make a point…

‘Chelsea want £25m Edouard Mendy in to end floundering Kepa’s stay in goal and take them to title contention after his latest error… but stats reveal he’s NOT at the same level as Alisson and Ederson’ – MailOnline.

Silly Chelsea. Have they not done their homework?

It seems ‘both rise above Mendy in terms of clean sheets – Ederson has 18 and Alisson 15 compared to Mendy’s 12’.

It seems churlish to point out that Mendy has played 34 games to Ederson’s 44 and Alisson’s 39 (or indeed that he was playing for Rennes rather than one of the best teams in Europe), so carry on…

‘Mendy is close to the duo on save percentage, however. He is only 0.1 per cent behind Ederson, who is on 69.9 per cent while Alisson is on 71.8.’

Which would indicate that he is almost exactly as good as Ederson at saving shots, which is kind of the point of goalkeeping.

Handily, a table provided by the Mail shows that Mendy made just one error leading to a goal last season (Alisson and Ederson made two and four respectively) and just two errors leading to shots (Alisson made four to Ederson’s nine).

But still, he is NOT at the same level because THAT is a better HEADLINE.

 

Scoop of the day
‘England icon Glenn Hoddle tells all over life being saved and doctor health warnings – but won’t give up custard creams’ – The Sun.

 

Yes, Sir

 

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Oliver Kay on the victimisation of young players

 

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