Martin Keown on Everton: ”Wednesday they play West Ham at home, is there a bigger game in Everton’s history?”
Well they’ve won nine league titles, seven domestic cups and a European trophy, so yes, probably.
Garth of the matter
As is customary, we really cannot simply pick out one thing from Garth Crooks’ BBC team of the week, but deliver some highlights for your delectation…
* Garth clearly had lots of things he wanted to say about West Brom and Tottenham. 248 words of things to be precise. To facilitate this burning desire, Crooks picks Ben Foster as his goalkeeper, and dedicates 47 words to the West Brom time-wasting champion. Could somebody please give this man a column so he does not have to bring a crowbar to work every week? And could you make it on a Thursday as Mediawatch is always a pain in the arse on a Thursday? Thanks.
* This. Just this, ostensibly on Cesar Azpilicueta:
‘I’m also delighted the Spain international took my advice some weeks ago and told Tiemoue Bakayoko to get rid of that ridiculous blue rinse in his hair, and get down to working hard in training to produce the form that got him a move to the Bridge in the first place.
‘The Frenchman can play but must realise that distractions like fancy hairstyles don’t help when you want to be taken seriously.’
Yes, that is exactly what happened, old man. Is it just the French (see Pogba, forever) and their fancy hair that Crooks despises?
* Vincent Kompany? Really? His City team didn’t even keep a clean sheet against a side with 20% possession. And he was withdrawn before City’s winner (though not after 70 minutes as Crooks claims).
* ‘A very dear old friend of mine said to me many years ago that you can’t beat a first-time cross. He was right.’
He must be a blast on the after-dinner circuit.
* ‘The big question is will Silva stay at Vicarage Road or find himself drawn to Goodison Park? Whatever the outcome, (Will) Hughes needs to tie himself to Silva’s apron strings and go wherever he goes. The man has something Hughes clearly needs.’
That’s just weird. And probably illegal.
We got ‘issues’
Ah Mike Parry of TalkSPORT, how naive you are to think that simply deleting your heinous tweet about colleague Jim White would see you absolved of any sh*thousery…
— Dylan (@_MysticMac) November 26, 2017
Of course he apologised…
I want to apologise to my colleague @JimWhite for referring dismissively to an illness he has suffered .. and battled bravely and beaten. Sorry Jim. Very wrong of me.
— Mike Parry (@mikeparry8) November 27, 2017
…but let us not forget Parry’s reply eight hours before, when asked nicely to apologise to his colleague…
.. no way pal .. you can't use your "issues" to help you out .. https://t.co/oEQuAHBLNS
— Mike Parry (@mikeparry8) November 26, 2017
Note the quote marks around “issues”; no amount of crowd-pleasing baitery of Joey Barton can erase that level of despicable.
SEO to the power ten
— m britton (@thepigeonpost) November 27, 2017
The word ‘streaming’ is not found in the headline or the URL (because of course there is no live stream, that would be illegal), just the meta-tags.
Just for the SEO.
Just for the clicks.
We are the champions (ish)
Now you might think that Manchester United ground out a 1-0 win over Brighton on Saturday (four shots on target) and there was little cause for celebration among United fans who then saw Manchester City beat Huddersfield Town 2-1 to retain an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League table. But that is probably because you are not The Sun’s Neil Custis.
‘Manchester United are once again a force to be reckoned with as they show grit and determination’ reads the headline on the website, while the newspaper tells us that ‘JOSE BATTLERS NOTCH 1-0s FOR FUN’.
Mediawatch is happy that somebody at Old Trafford was having fun. Though you would think that if they loved 1-0s so much, they would produce them more often; Saturday’s was only their third of the Premier League season, which pulls them level with Saturday’s opposition Brighton. Indeed, United have won 4-0 as often as 1-0 in the Premier League, and that sounds loads more fun for everyone.
The piece begins…
‘SO Manchester United grind out a 1-0.
‘Meanwhile, this Spurs team that has won so much praise draw at home to West Brom and Mauricio Pochettino gives up on the title.
‘The Jurgen Klopp revolution, all hugs and ridiculous over-the-top celebrations, falls short at home.
‘Champions Chelsea put in a cross and get a share of the points at Anfield.
‘But wasn’t their approach very defensive? Just the sort that Jose Mourinho was criticised for on his visit to Anfield.
‘Then we all look at the Premier League table and United head to Watford tomorrow as the only team that looks capable of overcoming Manchester City.’
Do we? Or do we look at the Premier League table and see Manchester United eight points behind City and just three points ahead of Chelsea and four points ahead of Arsenal, who Custis has chosen to ignore in his dismissive round-up, presumably because they won at the weekend.
So an eight-point gap means United are still ‘capable of overcoming Manchester City’, but a further three points rules out a Chelsea side that beat United earlier this month? That makes perfect sense.
‘United have put in plenty of performances like Saturday’s win over Brighton down the years. But it was those performances that won the leagues and cups.
‘Victories when they were not playing quite so well.’
Fair enough, Neil, but what happened against Huddersfield Town? Where was that ‘grit and determination’ on that day?
‘There have been two games this season when you could seriously question them in my opinion.
‘At Basel on Wednesday – when they took their foot off the gas in the second half.
‘Then there was the defeat at Huddersfield, when they were inexplicably not at the races.’
Ah, that one was ‘inexplicable’, which is a particular pain the day after Manchester City won at the same stadium with an actual performance of grit and determination.
‘This United team is a force again. A different one, with different players who may not draw you to the edge of your seat like great names of the past.
‘Unfortunately for the club it has re-emerged as a force at a time when Manchester City have the perfect combination of coach and players.’
Yes, it is unfortunate that this United side has come up against a City side with a better combination of coach and players. What a shame that Manchester United could have done absolutely nothing to combat that combination. Damn.
It now seems ridiculous that anybody criticises Everton; unfortunately 15 other Premier League clubs have a better combination of coach and players. You just can’t get the breaks these days.
‘It is time for people to realise that the job he is doing is a good one, a very good one.
‘The spirit that was lost after Sir Alex, he has rediscovered.
‘That means even on days like Saturday, when it is a slog against a very well-organised team, they found a way.’
Except for those times when they didn’t.
Recommended reading of the day
Kamran Asadov on Manchester United.
Andy Brassell on Borussia Dortmund.
Sam Wallace on Rainbow Laces.