Greenwood hypocrisy and Kane ‘X-factor’ nonsense

Date published: Tuesday 10th November 2020 12:01

Harry Kane Tottenham

The Harry Kane stuff is coming, but first…

Athletic build

Neil Custis does not like a lot of things, including but not limited to:

Paul Pogba
Jim White
Airports stopping him from boarding connecting flights because he was late
The SJA awards
Louis van Gaal

But most of all, he reserves his opprobrium for The Athletic. It clearly still stings that he never got that call.

Custis tried to renew hostilities with the website that dares not to be a newspaper on Monday. It went about as well as usual: like the jilted boyfriend who keeps getting aired while claiming he doesn’t even care.

‘But I thought you questioned his off-pitch lifestyle and said he didn’t get enough sleep?’ was his response to the news that Greenwood had been named The Athletic’s Rising Star of the Season at the Northwest Football Awards.

That was at 2.59pm.

Two minutes later, Custis decided to reply to Manchester United’s tweet announcing the award:

‘An award from @TheAthletic, nothing left for Mason Greenwood to achieve, retire now.’

Not at all childish. Completely befitting of an actual adult person. Lovely to see.

But the situation – and the complete lack of anyone rising to the bait – ate away at Custis to such a degree that he felt compelled to post this an hour and a half later:

David Ornstein and Laurie Whitwell had indeed reported on Greenwood for The Athletic on Monday morning, citing ‘doubts over whether he is getting enough sleep’ and ‘concerns over the 19-year-old’s dedication to maximising his considerable talents’.

This all came from club sources as opposed to reflecting Ornstein and Whitwell’s actual opinions, of course. Custis really ought to know this; reports suggest he is a journalist.

How frustrating it must have been for him, then, to see both The Times and the Daily Mail claim similar things with regards to Greenwood’s sleeping habits, attitude and application in training on Tuesday. Are The Athletic due an apology now newspapers are writing the same thing?

 

Oh Neil

Mind you, this isn’t the first time Greenwood has been in the news. Some fella wrote this for The Sun on October 22:

‘Solskjaer sick of Mason Greenwood’s attitude with Man Utd striker late for training TWICE before recent axe’

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had ‘grown sick of the striker’s general attitude so far this season’ then. Greenwood had ‘some work to do’ to regain his trust after turning up late to training (or not).

The author of that story, a N. Custis, sure did seem to be ‘questioning his professionalism’ a few weeks ago. Must be a mistake.

 

Kane unable

Harry Kane has scored or assisted 23 goals in 14 games for Tottenham this season. He netted the winner against West Brom at the weekend. He has been sensational.

It would take a brave or a stupid man to suggest he isn’t all that. Mediawatch will leave it up to you to decide which bracket Stan Collymore falls into.

He describes Kane as ‘the most consistent’ and ‘talented English striker of his generation’ in his column for the Daily Mirror. But he disagrees with the assertion that he could possibly be considered on the same level as Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Andrew Cole, Robbie Fowler and Frank Lampard.

They ‘are on the left-hand side of the top 10 Premier League goalscorers of all time,’ with Kane ‘on the right-hand sides alongside Jermain Defoe’.

Collymore writes this as if anyone is supposed to automatically know what any of that ridiculousness means.

Comparing Defoe to Kane, by the way, is an utter nonsense in every imaginable way.

The main argument is that Kane doesn’t have ‘the same X-factor’ as the aforementioned quintet. Mainly because ‘his goals haven’t been influential and instrumental in his team winning major trophies like theirs were’.

The obvious flipside to that is that he has scored 201 goals in 301 games for a club that has won nothing more than an FA Cup and two League Cups in the last 30 years, and whose most recent title came in 1961.

Is it not quite impressive that he has scored at least 24 goals in six consecutive seasons and is on course to make it seven for a team that has not started as the favourite to win any competition for about four decades?

Your argument is literally only that Kane hasn’t won trophies. Well he is 27 and has never played for the best club in the country, unlike Shearer, Henry, Cole and Lampard, if not Fowler.

He, by the way, ‘had an incredible goals-to-game ratio’. Yet still not better than Kane’s.

On the subject of Shearer, ‘he devoured goals in a way that Kane does not’.

Kane has scored 0.69 goals per Premier League game. Shearer retired on a rate of 0.58. Kane has 150 Premier League goals in 218 games at 27 years, three months and 13 days old. Shearer had 150 in 287 First Division and Premier League games at the exact same age.

So you can’t simultaneously excuse Shearer for the fact he ”only’ won one trophy with Blackburn’ because ‘he devoured goals in a way that Kane does not,’ when the literal numbers suggest Kane is actually more prolific.

Collymore admits that Kane ‘might even beat Shearer’s record of 260’ Premier League goals. And if he does would he accept the Tottenham striker deserves be mentioned alongside the absolute best?

Nope. ‘Even if he does, I’d still take Shearer at his best over Kane at his best any day of the week’.

Why? He doesn’t say. Because he doesn’t really know. The devil’s advocate manual doesn’t go that far.

‘If Shearer was a Rolls-Royce Phantom, Henry was a Bugatti Veyron and Fowler, Cole and Owen were all Ferrari Testarossas, then Kane is a Range Rover Vogue.’

What in f**k’s name are you on about?

‘He’s exceptional and reliable, and has some really nice gadgets and gizmos. But he ain’t got that thing that makes you go, ‘Wow’, and that’s the difference.’

If a striker assisting four goals in a game or scoring as many hat-tricks as Henry or Owen at 27 isn’t enough to ‘make you go,’ Wow’,’ then perhaps you’re the problem.

 

Good company

Kane can console himself with the fact Collymore doesn’t rate David Silva or Sergio Aguero either.

Next week: that Lionel Messi is a bit rubbish.

 

Art gallery

‘Arteta has worse record than Emery at this stage, losing more games and lower win percentage after Aston Villa loss’ – November 9.

‘Arteta has worse record than Emery at this stage, losing more games, a lower win percentage and scoring fewer goals’ – October 26.

‘Arsenal flop Unai Emery has BETTER record as [sic] boss than Mikel Arteta despite FA Cup success in shock stats comparing pair’ – September 16.

‘Arteta has WORSE Arsenal record after 19 games than last four managers having won eight points fewer than flop Emery’ – July 22.

‘Arteta’s appalling win ratio at Arsenal WORSE than Ljungberg and Emery and Spaniard has second-worst record since WWI’ – February 3.

The Sun website is absolutely not letting go of this one.

 

Dat Herb

The Daily Mail revel in this ‘Premier League silly season’ yet again on Tuesday. They gather some pundits to discuss the campaign so far – and Ian Herbert shows a glaring blind spot.

‘Liverpool are vulnerable in defence without Virgil van Dijk…’

Yet have conceded two open-play goals in six full games without him.

Then asked for a surprise selection to England’s Euro 2020 squad, he replies:

‘James Tarkowski. Featured briefly in 2018, a defender who can actually defend. Despite Burnley’s poor start, he is ahead of Harry Maguire this season.’

Oh wow. Let’s leave that there.

 

Redundant use of the word ‘formation’ of the day

‘Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told his Man Utd formation will never win Premier League title’ – Daily Mirror.

 

I hear the drums echoing tonight

 

Recommended reading of the day

David Squires does his thing.

Miguel Delaney on Derby and Newcastle’s takeovers.

 

Recommended watching of the day

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