Liverpool, the ‘unstoppable’ machine that they are, have changed their minds again on how to replace the furious Jurgen Klopp. Dominik Szoboszlai will catch Steven Gerrard soon.
Being the ‘genetical freak’ akin to Steven Gerrard and Jude Bellingham that he is, Dominik Szoboszlai is the name on the lips of every Liverpool supporter currently. And not one to miss out on the sort of opportunities presented by such a buzz, the Liverpool Echo want a piece of the action.
So when a ‘moments missed’ article has to be written on their Carabao Cup victory over Leicester in midweek, this is the headline we get:
Jurgen Klopp fumes as Dominik Szoboszlai Liverpool secret is outed
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how it is done. You might read that and think Klopp is angry at Szoboszlai’s ‘secret’ being revealed. That would be a perfectly reasonable conclusion to reach based on that particular arrangement of words. But you, like Mediawatch, are stupid; that ‘as’ is doing an awful lot of heavy lifting.
Klopp was just ‘left incensed at the decision not to award Kostas Tsimikas a foul after the Greek left-back was caught in the face and left in a heap,’ while Szoboszlai drinks Yerba Mate now. Which is a shame because we thought his ‘secret’ might have been that he does actually have three penises and a tail.
It would be churlish to point out that Klopp ‘fumes’ about 427 times a game, while a great many footballers drink mate tea and have done for years. So let’s leave it there and just bask in the continued glory of Szoboszlai.
Joe Bernstein certainly manages that in the Daily Mail, as he assesses how Szoboszlai ‘stands up to the legendary Stevie G’ by picking some random categories and giving both an arbitrary score out of 10 for each.
We go through explanations on shooting, leadership, tactics, goals, tackling and personality to discover that Gerrard (710 appearances, 185 goals, eight trophies, one PFA Players’ Player of the Year award, eight PFA Team of the Year selections, one FWA Footballer of the Year award, four Liverpool Player of the Season awards) is rated at 48/60, while Szoboszlai (eight appearances, two goals, lactate test champion) is 46/60.
‘He will need to produce over the next decade to be regarded with the same amount of love and admiration on Merseyside, but boy what a start he has made,’ Bernstein concludes of someone only deemed two points behind one of Liverpool’s greatest ever players already.
Give it another month and Szoboszlai will be a cool 50/60, leaving left Gerrard in the dust with his personality.
See if you can spot the phrase the Daily Mirror website has stumbled upon and seemingly found some belated success with based on these headlines:
‘Liverpool suffer setback in Jurgen Klopp succession plan after blunt exit admission’ – April 23.
‘Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp succession plan takes shape as ‘secret agreement’ emerges’ – September 11.
‘Liverpool forced to rip up Jurgen Klopp succession plan as Real Madrid ‘choose’ next boss’ – September 26.
‘Liverpool restart Jurgen Klopp succession plan as Real Madrid target Premier League boss’ – September 28.
What an absolute rollercoaster that was.
Do they know what Liverpool’s ‘Jurgen Klopp succession plan’ might entail? Obviously not. The German’s contract at Anfield runs until 2026 and an awful lot can change in that time.
But really, what a way to present, in chronological order, the following nuggets of news:
Steven Gerrard is not a very good manager; Xabi Alonso has a clause in his Bayer Leverkusen contract making a theoretical exit more feasible (but it has nothing to do with Liverpool); Real Madrid like Alonso; Real Madrid like Roberto De Zerbi.
You’d think Liverpool would be wise enough to formulate a ‘succession plan’ which doesn’t need to be abandoned and revived every time Real Madrid express admiration for a manager. But hey, the Mirror are the ones with the intel here.
Any Arsenal fans fearing January competition for one of their main targets need not worry, because ‘Mikel Arteta has Arsenal transfer tactic to sign Ivan Toney ahead of three fierce rivals’.
A perfectly fine story from a reliable Gunners reporter in John Cross is put through the Daily Mirror website headline machine to bring us this one. And it seems that the ‘Arsenal transfer tactic’ in question is to make Toney their No. 1 target.
Arteta will hope that Arsenal’s ambition and vision will be key in trying to do a deal for Toney, who looks set to leave Brentford in January.
You say ‘Arsenal transfer tactic’. Mediawatch says ‘a very sensible thing that any club can do’.
Crime or reason
‘Erik ten Hag chose to ignore transfer warning from Man Utd coach: “It would be a crime”‘ – Daily Mirror website.
You’re right, Erik ten Hag did decide not to put too much stock in Benni McCarthy, a Manchester United attacking coach, offering his assessment on David de Gea before the club released him.
This is the Hend
A quick question: what is the MOST READ story on the Liverpool Echo right now, according to the website itself?
Why that would be this absolute beauty of a headline:
‘Jordan Henderson removed from training ground as Liverpool secure minority investment’
What a disappointment it was to learn that it was merely an image of Henderson celebrating with the Premier League title that was removed from the training ground and replaced by one of Trent Alexander-Arnold holding the Champions League trophy.
Mediawatch presumes everyone else had the same mental image of a trespassing Henderson being dragged kicking and screaming out of Anfield after making a grovelling return.
I’m unstoppable today
And then there’s this headline on the Liverpool Echo website:
Liverpool could make their biggest statement yet as unstoppable momentum builds
At no point is the word ‘unstoppable’ actually used in the copy. Probably because it is a very silly thing to say, particularly for a club that isn’t top of its own domestic league.