The sight of football at the end of this interminable tunnel means the triumphant return of the supercomputers. Poor Liverpool.
There is something ironic about this opening paragraph appearing in The Sun:
‘Graham Potter has urged people to educate themselves more on the subject of racism.’
And the nation’s best-selling newspaper continues to display wilful ignorance about the role it has played in embedding a lack of cultural education and understanding deep into society.
And how about this for a start to the third paragraph?
‘Racism has come back under the spotlight…’
How good of you to make legitimate concerns over systemic and extensive discrimination sound like the latest fad that will soon go out of fashion.
Mediawatch tends to wince a little when the Daily Mail afford Martin Samuel – calling someone a “f***ing black c***” is ‘ultimately meaningless’ as ‘the words may be offensive but they do not go anywhere’ – a platform to discuss race.
But here we are:
‘Clearly, when just six of 91 League managers are black, there are issues. Yet, individual cases have individual complexities. Raheem Sterling cited Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole this week, juxtaposing their stunted progress with that of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard.
‘Cole, however, made his last appearance for Derby County in the play-off final on May 27, 2019. Last October, he went to work as a coach with Chelsea’s Under 15 academy.
‘Gerrard played his final game for Los Angeles Galaxy on November 6, 2016, and turned down a job at Milton Keynes Dons that month. He then began as a youth coach at Liverpool in February 2017 and was given the Under 18 team the following season. He didn’t take the Rangers job until June 2018 meaning he was exactly where Cole is now at the same stage of his coaching career. There was no fast track, no golden ticket.’
Aside from the job interview with a literal League One club before he had actually retired. That sounds an awful lot like a ‘fast track’ and a ‘golden ticket’. Mediawatch must have missed the part where Ashley Cole turned Shrewsbury Town down while he was still an active player.
‘As for Campbell, he has battled to shrug off a reputation as a loner, difficult to know and a mystery to many of his teammates.’
Are you genuinely suggesting someone with all the necessary coaching qualifications and a storied playing career was ignored by Football League clubs until seven years after his retirement because he is a ‘loner’? That is the only reason you can think of as to why he has managed a League Two and League One club while Gerrard and Lampard strolled into much bigger jobs at a younger age?
But don’t worry, Sol, because while you ‘might not land Tottenham after Jose Mourinho,’ you ‘should get a better opportunity soon.’
And if you don’t, it’s because you’re a ‘loner’ who is ‘difficult to know’. Coming from Martin Samuel, that is very much a case of the pot calling the kettle, erm…
The sight of football at the end of this interminable tunnel means the actual return of the only thing anyone is really interested in: supercomputers.
Thursday brought a lazy effort from the Daily Star, featuring Sheffield United overtaking Manchester United and Norwich picking up 16 points from a possible 27.
The Sun do it properly. They have teamed with Sportradar and their Simulated Reality technology to predict absolutely everything.
How does this all work? Well, “Simulated Reality football matches reflect team form and normal match conditions,” which is a neat trick when Premier League games behind closed doors after a solid three-month break is unprecedented.
But credit to them: they have listed every single predicted result. Like Tottenham drawing 3-3 with Everton, or Aston Villa hammering Wolves 3-0.
The supercomputer also comes up with such entirely believable conclusions as:
1) Villa randomly thrashing Wolves in between eight defeats and a draw with West Ham on the final day.
2) Liverpool earning 14 more points from their final nine games; Norwich get 12.
3) Liverpool losing as many games (three) in their final nine fixtures as they have in their previous 75. They both ‘falter just a little’ and ‘well and truly limp over the line’.
4) It being a ‘disaster’ for Arsenal that they finish level on points with Tottenham, for whom finishing eighth would presumably be a boost.
5) The suggestion that West Ham ‘stay in good form’ by ‘following up their win against Tottenham with a 1-0 defeat of Chelsea’.
6) Manchester City beating Arsenal 7-3. Mind you…
‘But which three teams were relegated?’
The current bottom three because ‘supercomputers’ rarely change positions of actual importance.
‘Who got into next season’s Champions League?’
The only teams to change places in the top half are Sheffield United and Wolves, who just go from seventh to sixth and vice versa. So yeah.
‘Who ended up in the Europa League spots?’
As above. It’s almost as if supercomputers base their predictions on recent precedent, extrapolating previous results over the entire season, thus not actually changing anything of consequence.
‘Well, we have got all the answers and we are sure our results will be the biggest talking point for action-starved football supporters since the coronavirus lockdown began.’
Finally, something to agree on. This is literally ‘the biggest talking point for action-starved football supporters’ since March 11. Nothing has happened in the 93 days since; certainly nothing as important as a predicted Premier League table that alters the positions of four mid-table clubs and shuffles the current bottom three around while keeping them in the relegation places.
‘Simulated Reality can even tell you how many shots on and off target each team had in every game – and how many corners.’
It truly is crazy how far playing FIFA can get you. And how much sh*t can be hid behind the guise of those meddling ‘supercomputers’.
‘Marcus Rashford: Manchester United striker helps £20m children’s meal fund’ – Sky News.
”I’ll keep fighting’ – Marcus Rashford on meals campaign’ – BBC Sport.
‘Marcus Rashford confirms he will supply 3MILLION meals to vulnerable people as Man Utd star promises to ‘keep fighting” – The Sun.
‘Marcus Rashford helps raise £20m for kids’ meal fund as Manchester United star ‘knows the problems for real” – talkSPORT.
And still nothing from Simon ‘the players didn’t want to help in the first place’ Jordan. Weird.
No way, Jose
— Paul D Garratt Esq. (@PaulG258) June 12, 2020
Football365’s shithouse headline of the day
‘Man Utd can sign Sancho on two conditions – German football expert’
Because only a ‘German football expert’ could possibly know that “this transfer will only happen this summer if Sancho absolutely wants to leave and brings a club who pays the transfer fee.”
Recommended reading of the day
Sachin Nakrani chats with Gabriel Clarke.
Miguel Delaney talks to Dimitar Berbatov.