While the Prem are ‘incredibly’ considering playing games behind closed doors, Liverpool face up to the ‘horrible prospect’ of winning the title.
Perhaps the only person to benefit from the coronavirus crisis is the inventor of the Caps Lock. As has long been established, NEWSPAPER BACK PAGES have become OBSESSED with shouting RANDOM WORDS at its readers, and that has never been more true than now.
Charlie Wyett of The Sun offers a classic of the genre on Friday.
‘The Premier League campaign looks certain to be completed behind closed doors – and there are fears NEXT SEASON could kick-off without fans.’
But the Daily Mirror go even bigger. John Cross writes:
‘They fully accept that dozens of games could be played behind closed doors just to complete the fixture list.
‘And, incredibly, there is even a fear among some clubs that NEXT SEASON could start in empty stadiums until the coronavirus crisis is over.’
Waiting until the crisis is actually over to arrange and encourage mass gatherings sounds more logical than it does ‘incredible’.
Considering the Chinese Super League campaign was postponed ahead of its planned start in February, with the Daily Mail‘s Rob Draper reporting loose talks to resume in late May, Mediawatch is struggling to find the story here.
It has taken the country where the initial outbreak occurred in December about three months to get to a stage where they are considering hosting football games in front of fans again. The Premier League wasn’t suspended until mid-March. Following that same timeline – and it has been suggested that the UK is on a steeper mortality curve than every other country bar Spain – games played behind anything other than closed doors shouldn’t even be seen as an option until about early August.
Which is, of course, when NEXT SEASON was scheduled to start. In context, the only sensible thing would be to play behind closed doors at that point, with cases of the virus expected to peak during the summer. In the land of alarmist, exggerative newspaper back pages, it is some sort of ‘incredible fear’ that can be easily explained instead of used to generate sales.
‘No one wants empty, soulless stadiums and it would be a horrible prospect for Liverpool to win and lift their first Premier League trophy at a deserted Anfield’ – John Cross, Daily Mirror.
It would be unideal, imperfect, probably disappointing for everyone involved. But when some are suggesting that the entire season should be declared null and void, describing any title win as ‘a horrible prospect’ is a little bit silly.
Return of the king
On a similar note, what part of Eric Cantona’s return in *an ambassadorial role* would be ‘sensational’?
Me and my heart, we got issues
Atop the Daily Mirror website is a feature detailing ‘six issues to be resolved when the Premier League returns from coronavirus suspension’.
Mediawatch is willing to bet you can only guess five at most. Liverpool winning the title is a gimme, as are the Champions League and relegation battles.
Manchester City’s UEFA ban is another fairly obvious one, along with the winner of the Golden Boot.
But the sixth ‘issue to be resolved when the Premier League returns from coronavirus suspension’? The pressing matter that simply cannot wait? The situation that fans are demanding an answer to?
Burnley’s attempts to break their own record for most Premier League points in a season. Apparently.
It really is keeping us all up at night.
Over at The Sun, Neil Custis continues his fight against the biggest problem in all of football: Paul Pogba.
‘Pog, who rejoined United from Juve in 2016 for £89m, was priced out of a move last July after a £180m fee was slapped on his head.’
‘Since then, he has played just eight games, shot some hoops in Miami, rode an exercise bike in Dubai and danced at his brother’s wedding.’
Yep. That’s everything Paul Pogba has done since last July. Nailed it.
‘Pogba recently posted an Instagram video of himself training in a Juventus shirt with the name ‘Matuidi’ on the back, insisting it was in support of France team-mate Blaise.’
At no point was he ‘insisting’ anything. He posted the video, pointed out that ‘the cheeky ones will talk about the Juventus jersey’ and added that ‘I’m just supporting my friends…that’s all, nothing more’.
Then you came along and proved his point. To say he was ‘insisting’ something is to imply guilt or fault where there is none. Just let the man live.
‘Kieran Trippier has hit back at Jurgen Klopp’s criticism of Atletico Madrid’s style,’ writes David Anderson under a Daily Mirror headline of ‘Trip in pop at Klopp’.
Oh lord. This sounds juicy. Go on, Kieran.
“People have this perception we’re defensive, but they’re getting too carried away with the way we played against Liverpool.”
Here comes the knockout blow…
“If you go toe-to-toe with Liverpool, you’re going to get beat 6-0. I don’t know what people expect.”
That sounds more like a compliment than anything. Trippier must be getting ready to ‘hit back’ right about now.
“You need to go there with a plan and we did that. We had to defend, but the most important thing is that we got the win.”
Ouch. Get some lukewarm water on that burn immediately, Jurgen.
Just like watching Brazil
“Footballers have no problem, they’re financially sound.”
“There’s people who can’t work, who aren’t being paid.”
“If they have to play more games next year – tough!”
Alan Brazil says top flight footballers complaining about a potential fixture pile-up need a reality check 😡 pic.twitter.com/RTFNfeXgV0
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) March 20, 2020
Two things, Alan:
1) You’re absolutely right. Premier League footballers are “financially sound for the rest of their lives”, and people in other sectors who are “struggling” really should be the focus right now. Spot on.
2) Can you stop constructing that straw man for one second to name the ‘top-flight footballers’ who are ‘complaining about a potential fixture pile-up’ and ‘need a reality check’? Just one will do.
Bottom of the barrel
‘Miss BumBum strips down to skimpy lingerie to give coronavirus advice’ – The Sun website.
In times of such grave uncertainty and worry, it is somewhat reassuring to know that some things continue to be just dreadful.