Welcome to the cheap shots
What happens when The Sun send a staunch West Ham fan to cover Tottenham’s 3-1 win over CSKA Moscow:
‘THE WEATHER was like pre-season, as was the atmosphere at Wembley with almost 30,000 empty seats. But where summer is usually a time of hope and anticipation for football teams up and down the land, for Tottenham there is confusion at best, deflation at worst.
‘It is debatable whether securing European football for the second half of the season – albeit in the Europa League – is universally welcome.
‘One or two of the Spurs fans inside the 90,000-capacity national stadium, and they were easy to pick out, celebrated like they had won the trophy.’
Yes, let’s all laugh at Tottenham for a 60,000-plus attendance that was easily the second highest in Europe behind Real Madrid for what was essentially a play-off for a Europa League spot; they must be so embarrassed at being so tin-pot.
Uptown top ranking
We thought it was weird when they did this in September but the Daily Telegraph ranking all 32 Champions League teams after the group stages are over is just plain bizarre. There has already been a ranking system in the form of league tables. You will be astonished to know that the top 16 teams all qualified for the knock-out rounds. It’s almost like having a 33-photo gallery is just too good an opportunity to miss for the click-hungry Telegraph. Why stop there? Why not rank Premier League teams?
Astonishingly, Barcelona are top. Thanks for that.
Mediawatch would like to know, though, how Real Madrid and Bayern Munich found themselves ranked second and third when they could not even top their groups? Apparently, ‘Zinedine Zidane doesn’t seem to know how to lose games as a manager’. He really does know how to draw them, mind. And that’s kind of key here.
Goes without saying…
The Sun have gone big on an exclusive interview with Lawrie McMenemy in which he says he is “disgusted and horrified” at the allegations of sexual abuse at Southampton.
As we are fond of saying: If the exact opposite would be a far better story – and by golly it is – then it’s probably not worthy of the back page.
D’uh to Sanchez
To be fair, we could say the same about the Daily Mirror. Tell us when the manager of a Premier League club is NOT interested in Alexis Sanchez because he thinks he’s a bit sh*t.
We do not believe for a split-second that Arsenal will sell Alexis Sanchez to Chelsea but that does not stop the Metro telling us – in their top story on Thursday lunchtime – ‘How Chelsea could line up with Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez at Stamford Bridge’.
You will be utterly astonished to know that he will replace Pedro with the rest of the team remaining exactly the same.
This from the Daily Star online has shocked us. Who knew they had subs?
Squashed tomatoes and stew
Phew. We had begun to worry. but thanks to MailOnline, we can confirm that Raheem Sterling has been wished ‘Happy Birthday’ by his girlfriend Paige Milian.
How did we cope before the internet? We would literally have never known if, say, Ian Woan’s girlfriend had wished him well on his birthday. Thank you Tim Berners-Lee.
Jamie Vardy’s having a ‘mare
The Daily Mirror’s Brian Reade is ‘at the heart of football’ so he has spotted that Jamie Vardy is struggling for goals.
His idea to reverse this slide?
‘He is in danger of going from being Footballer of the Year to possibly the greatest one-season wonder in modern English football. A thought that should be enough to get him on that run.’
Yes. That will definitely do it, Brian. Expect a thank you note in the post.
Cat p*** poor
An interesting choice of player from Joey Barton as he excused his disastrous spell at Rangers by telling the BBC: “The difficulty for me lay in the fact that before I went up there they kind of built me into this Neymar, Messi kind of player, which I wasn’t.”
Is that this Neymar?
Neymar is the Justin Bieber of football. Brilliant on the old You Tube. Cat piss in reality…
— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) March 25, 2013
Obviously, we cannot find a single piece of journalism saying that Barton is in any way comparable to either Messi or the cat p*** Neymar, so we are calling ‘straw wee man’ on this one, but let’s allow Barton to continue:
“I’m a player that’s never been blessed with an enormous amount of talent, speed, tricks. I’m somebody who has always served the higher purpose in terms of the team, always done well when that’s been at the fore. I’ve never done particularly well when the onus has been on me to go on and create and do things.
“Everyone was saying ‘you’ve been caught out by the standard of Scottish football, you’ve looked down your nose at Scottish football’. I didn’t. I knew what I was getting into.”
So it must have been a different Joey Barton who said in September:
“It’s a much lower level and I’m trying to help people get to a higher level. They think me helping is me trying to say, ‘You’re not good enough’. It’s difficult.”
If “it’s a much lower level” is not ‘looking down your nose at Scottish football’, we’re buggered if we know what is.
That’s pure cat p*** from Barton.
Better than Brown
While nobody thought Joey Barton was going to be Neymar or Lionel Messi, they did have the right to think he might be better than, say, Scott Brown. Why would that be?
“People keep talking about Joey Barton and Scott Brown. He ain’t in my league. He is nowhere near the level I am as a player. He can’t get to me. If I play well, Scott Brown doesn’t stand a chance. That is not me being blasé. That is me just stating what I believe.”
Shame you didn’t play well, fella. That was a massive ‘if’.