Life according to Garth
You know the drill with Garth Crooks and his BBC Team of the Week; he is desperate to voice his opinion on each and every issue and will then attempt to crowbar his views into something resembling a team. It would be laughable if he weren’t being paid about ten times as much as Mediawatch.
He wants to write about Liverpool’s abject defending…so he picks Simon Mignolet in goal despite him conceding two goals and giving away a penalty; Jordan Pickford wants a word.
He wants to write about the decision not to send off Marcos Alonso…so he picks Cesar Azpilicueta.
He wants to write about Jose Mourinho being sent to the stands…so he picks Phil Jones.
He wants to write about Swansea’s defending…so he picks Watford’s Adrian Mariappa. Obviously.
He wants to write about Serge Aurier…so he picks Christian Eriksen.
He wants to write about Pep Guardiola, who ‘comes to work dressed like he’s going to a family barbecue on a Sunday afternoon’…so he picks Kevin De Bruyne.
He wants to write about Simon Francis’ challenge on Wayne Rooney…so he picks Oumar Niasse.
Congratulations are due to Leroy Sane, Philippe Coutinho, Alvaro Morata and Harry Kane, who seem to have been chosen because of their actual, you know, performances.
Somebody give the man a bloody column.
How did they do it?
Garth Crooks on Philippe Coutinho: ‘I must be honest, I thought Liverpool had lost Coutinho to Barcelona and the club must have done something very special to convince him to stay. I love to watch the Brazilian play every week so thank you, Liverpool. This player is what football is all about.’
We will let you into a secret about how transfers work, Garth. They didn’t ‘convince’ Philippe Coutinho; they just turned down all of the money.
Jamie Redknapp, Sky Sports, April 2017: “If he [Eriksen] had tattoos and a different haircut, we wouldn’t stop talking about him! He just looks like a nice boy.”
Jamie Redknapp, Daily Mail, September 2017: ‘It’s easy to see why Eriksen does not have the same attention as Spurs’ other stars. He does not court the limelight – he almost needs a tattoo or a silly haircut to make him stand out!’
Because of course Harry Kane famously has a tattoo and a silly haircut.
Lukaku = strong, Kane = creative
Jamie Redknapp uses the bulk of his Daily Mail column to compare the Premier League’s ‘FAB FOUR’ strikers.
He starts, as is traditional with ‘FINISHING’ and ranks his four strikers in the order of Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku and Alvaro Morata.
Hmmm. Actual conversion rates in the Premier League this season read Aguero (26%), Kane (10%), Lukaku (22%) and Morata (30%). But of course the English boy is way ahead of both Lukaku and Morata for Redknapp Jnr.
Redknapp also claims that Kane has better AERIAL ABILITY than Lukaku and more PACE than Morata, which is odd because he describes the Chelsea striker as showing ‘blistering pace’ and ‘clinical finishing’ against Stoke.
Redknapp of course concedes that Lukaku has more STRENGTH than Kane; unfortunately for the Belgian, he did not also rank the strikers on penis length.
He ends on CREATIVITY and of course he puts Kane first, ahead of Aguero, Lukaku and Morata, and it’s that which takes the England forward past his rivals to be crowned the Premier League’s best striker.
Which is odd because Kane (who is ‘always looking to create chances’) has created a grand total of seven chances for his teammates in six Premier League games this season, at a rate of 1.2 per 90 minutes of football. Which obviously makes him more creative than Aguero (2.7), Lukaku (1.7) and Morata (1.2).
Or at least more English.
Danny Murphy is becoming something of a Mediawatch regular, after last week describing Wayne Rooney’s performance against Manchester United as ‘sensational’.
On Saturday’s Match of the Day he attempted to explain why Manchester United will win the Premier League title.
“People doubt sometimes if they want to do the hard yards (creative players) but for Mourinho you have to or you’re out.”
Which is odd because Manchester United actually ran fewer yards (hard or otherwise) than any other Premier League team bar Stoke this weekend.
“Performances like today are why I think United will win it ahead of City. They’re more pragmatic.”
It seems Murphy’s Law says that scoring 21 goals in six games merely shows us that City are not title-winning material. Obviously what they need to do is win 1-0.
Low-down dirty snakes
Ladies and gentlemen, this is football news in 2017:
‘After Liverpool’s 3-2 victory over Leicester, Jurgen Klopp treated his players to a short break ahead of their Champions League game with Spartak Moscow.
‘But for Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Alberto Moreno, it didn’t appear as [though] they enjoyed their time off particularly.
‘Brazilian midfielder Firmino took to Instagram on Sunday to post a video and a couple of photos of a huge snake wrapped around their necks as they were supposed to be relaxing ahead of their European clash.’
They went to see snakes!? When they were ‘supposed to be relaxing’? Burn them.
Extraordinary line of the day
From Matthew Syed of The Times on Mark Sampson: ‘Any damning evidence that emerges against Sampson in the coming weeks is, in a certain sense, beside the point.’
All the things he Syed
Mediawatch tried to leave Matthew Syed’s column there but it really is remarkable. The headline claims ‘Sampson sacking another case of mob rule trumping due process in football’ so it should surprise nobody that he takes 13 fat paragraphs before he mentions why Sampson was actually sacked, though he dismisses the reason as ‘conduct issues’. Conduct issues? That’s certainly one way of describing an alleged series of inappropriate relationships with players under his command.
It is true that the FA’s safeguarding unit cleared Sampson of being a risk to his England players but they did rule that he needed to go on an educational course. Excuse Mediawatch its modern-day wishy-washy liberalism, but if you need to be sent somewhere to be told how not to have relationships with your players, it’s not ‘mob rule’ that has got you sacked.
Recommended reading of the day
Daniel Taylor on Dan Ashworth’s role in the sorry Mark Sampson mess
Ken Early defends Jurgen Klopp’s vision