Does somebody want to show The Sun the actual Premier League table? Liverpool are still 22 f***ing points ahead.
Update of the day
Mind you, having giving it some thought, we don’t think ‘Liverpool’s long-awaited defeat could be the secret to bringing back their best’.
A few days later, according to the Independent’s Melissa Reddy, ‘Liverpool, as benchmark-setting as they have been this season, are currently broken’.
Bloody hell, that was quick.
The best, the best, the best, the best of you
On that note…
‘Liverpool losing to Watford is the best thing that could happen to them’ – Stan Collymore, March 3, Daily Mirror.
Failure to launch
TalkSPORT go even further than their newspaper cousins at The Sun. Forget ‘alarm bells’, because this is threatening to become a “failure”.
And that “slight” qualification means little. Not when you’re describing any Premier League champion – never mind one potentially breaking records – in such terms.
“Liverpool are going to win the league… that’s done.”🏆
“If it’s only one trophy, I would look at that as slight failure!” 👀
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) March 3, 2020
Take it away, Adam Catterall.
“Liverpool are gonna win the league. That’s done. That’s gonna happen. Even if they just amble over the line, it doesn’t matter. It’s the first one for 30 years. That’s what the Liverpool fans want, right? We’ll give you that tick.”
“But when you set off like they’ve set off this season, if it’s only one trophy – and don’t get me wrong, it’s the biggest trophy, it’s the best trophy, it’s the one that is most coveted – if it’s only one trophy, I would look at that as slight failure.”
“For this side, when you look at Manchester City last season, they did a domestic treble, and they did at a canter, they just cruised it. Liverpool pushed them in the league, of course they did. But they didn’t look like they were in any bother at any particular point.”
They needed penalty shoot-outs in the Carabao Cup quarter-final and final, and won by a single goal in both the FA Cup quarter and semi-final. And yeah, Liverpool.
“Three trophies, no problem whatsoever. The great teams do that. The Manchester Uniteds of 1999 did that. This side are more than capable of doing that.”
So *only* winning the Premier League title is a “slight failure” for Liverpool because “the Manchester Uniteds of 1999” won the Treble? Is that the only possibly yardstick of success now?
As an aside, this Liverpool team has already won things the Manchester Uniteds of 1999 never could in the Super Cup and Club World Championship. Whatever your opinions of those trophies, they surely count for something?
Anyway, Liverpool will be disappointed with their recent form. They will probably spare a moment’s thought to wonder what might have been if they are knocked out of the Champions League, too. And it does feel a little anticlimactic right now.
But winning the Premier League, perhaps setting records for wins, points and margins, as “slight failure”? Maybe not.
Wait a Minamino
Over at the Liverpool Echo, they are looking on the bright side with their ‘Liverpool analysis – Takumi Minamino drops hint as Divock Origi continues bad habit’ feature. The only ‘hint’ we saw Minamino drop was that he is nowhere near ready to fill in for Roberto Firmino but carry on…
‘Playing in the number nine role, he looked sharp from the opening moments, closing down an Antonio Rudiger clearance and creating an opportunity.
‘There was a superb pass in for Sadio Mane, while Minamino was one of three Liverpool players denied in quick succession by Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
‘Minamino demonstrated a much greater understanding with his team-mates – his link play with Mane particularly impressive – and was a constant danger when dropping in between the lines until, in the second half, being dragged down by the malaise around him.
‘It’ll be next season before the Japanese is fully up to speed. But his encouraging display was a rare slither of light on a dark evening.’
Except, he wasn’t ‘one of three Liverpool players denied in quick succession by Kepa’; in fact, he did not manage a single shot. And neither did he create a single chance.
In fact, the Liverpool Echo themselves awarded him just 6/10 in their player ratings. Origi and his ‘bad habits’ were only one mark worse. We don’t think that constitutes even a glimpse of a slither of light.
Poor Ross Barkley. Even when he scores a goal with a run from his own half to help Chelsea dump Liverpool out of the FA Cup – which made him man of the match in their ratings – The Sun‘s Andrew Dillon does not mention his name until 23 paragraphs into his 32-paragraph match report. Well he is a West Ham fan.
One of those earlier paragraphs was this one:
‘But most notable for Chelsea was the return of Kepa Arrizabalaga, remember him?’
We have the memory (and the arse) of an elephant so yes, we do remember a high-profile footballer who last appeared for Chelsea on January 21.
And this was another:
‘Being beaten is one thing. Being savaged by relegation-threatened Watford and then embarrassed by an injury-ravaged Chelsea team relying on 33-somethings up front is another.’
First, Olivier Giroud is actually 33, not 33-something. That’s just weird and Not A Thing. Oh and he also started up front for Chelsea last week when they had all their strikers available.
Maybe next time just tell us who scored.
‘PHIL FODEN leads the kids taking the FA Cup by storm,’ it says in The Sun, who have decided that their FA Cup coverage needs A Theme and that Theme is ‘BOY WONDERS’, which is illustrated by a picture of Kylian Mbappe in a mask. Because why wouldn’t you illustrate your FA Cup coverage with a picture of a footballer who has never and perhaps will never play in the FA Cup?
How else would you illustrate your FA Cup coverage? pic.twitter.com/7sNe6NK2Jh
— Football365 (@F365) March 4, 2020
Anyway, back to Foden, who was ‘man of the match in the Carabao Cup final win over Aston Villa – and now faces Sheffield Wednesday tonight’.
And who are these other kids who are ‘taking the FA Cup by storm’, bearing in mind that this was written before Billy Gilmour was excellent on Tuesday night?
‘Tottenham striker Troy Parrott is in the squad for the home clash with Norwich.’
He was also ‘in the squad’ for their previous two FA Cup games and never got ‘off the bench’. We’re not sure that constitutes ‘taking the FA Cup by storm’.
‘And Jude Bellingham, 16, will hope his Birmingham pals can beat Leicester.’
Yes, he will ‘hope his pals’ beat Leicester because he is not actually playing in the FA Cup. We’re absolutely certain that does not constitute ‘taking the FA Cup by storm’.
So we have one genuine young FA Cup star, another on the bench and one who has already been ruled out.
‘The trio also aim to be a global smash, just like French World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe.’