Mediawatch: Matic a 5/10 or 8/10? Plus, Stan and Garth

Date published: Tuesday 18th February 2020 12:16

Midfield muddle
We know such things are subjective but was Fred ‘outmuscled in midfield, overpowered and struggled’ (Daily Mirror)? Or was he ‘energetic in a congested midfield’ and ‘becoming an increasingly influential figure for Solskjaer’ (Daily Mail)?

It would seem really rather hard to do both.

And while we are dealing with the rather divisive subject of Manchester United’s midfield, was Nemanja Matic ‘pretty quiet all things considered, unable to keep tabs up (sic) with Chelsea’s nippy midfielders (5/10, The Sun) or did he ‘settle back into his old home effortlessly and provided a secure shield for the United back four’? (8/10, Manchester Evening News).

There’s a pretty bloody big gap between 5/10 and 8/10.


VAR from okay
Now clearly there were some very odd VAR decisions on Monday night, but is it really helpful of The Sun to give oxygen to the absolute numpties who claim some correlation between the officials being from Manchester and a series of decisions that went against Chelsea? Well no. Of course not. But why let that stop them?

‘Fans fume at Man Utd ‘fix’ with Chelsea referee and VAR born in Manchester.’

‘Fans’? The word you are looking for there is actually ‘dickheads’.


Extremely amusing
Just how easily amused are tabloid football website journalists?

After his goal on Monday night, Anthony Martial posted some ‘banter’ on social media in which he said ‘I score because it was not your pass’, directed towards Bruno Fernandes. We think you will all agree that such top-class japery deserved several crying-with-laughter emojis.

It also prompted Fernandes to reply thus: ‘Next time I pass to you, try not to miss it.’

This, ladies and gentlemen, has been described THREE times by the Daily Star website as ‘hilarious’.



‘Chelsea enter no man’s land battle for Champions League place after Man Utd loss’ is the headline on Goal as Nazar Kinsella writes that ‘Chelsea had until now avoided the chaos of no-man’s land having been in the top four of the Premier League since September’.

As no-man’s land is defined as ‘land that is unoccupied’, haven’t Chelsea done the exact opposite by allowing themselves to be dragged close to a whole raft of other teams? They are pretty much in every man’s land now.


Stone them!
‘The last time I looked, the Premier League falls under UEFA’s jurisdiction, so it has to abide by its rules,’ begins Stan Collymore in the Daily Mirror. We will stop you there, Stan, because that’s simply not true. And we have no idea where you are ‘looking’. Certainly not on the Premier League website, which itself states:

‘The Premier League is a private company wholly owned by its 20 Member Clubs who make up the League at any one time.’

That doesn’t sound like they ‘fall under UEFA’s jurisdiction’ because they absolutely don’t. Still, carry on Stan, despite the basic premise of your piece being entirely false.

‘And if one of our teams has been caught flouting UEFA’s rules then the punishment shouldn’t just be in Europe but domestically as well.’

Well no. Because that’s now this works; UEFA punish teams in UEFA competition and the Premier League punish teams in Premier League competition. That is why players get banned in Europe but not in the Premier League. And that’s why we all had domestic football to watch when English clubs were banned from competing in Europe.

Now Manchester City could possibly be stripped of their Premier League title, but that decision will be made by the Premier League, who launched their own investigation based on Premier League FFP rules. It’s almost like they’re a ‘private company wholly owned by its 20 Member Clubs’.


Backwards thinking
Sticking with Stan, he tells us that Tottenham ‘have not progressed since Jose Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino’ and that ‘they aren’t kicking on…but rather, going backwards and dying a slow death’.

‘Going backwards’ from 14th to fifth?

Pesky fact: Only Liverpool have picked up more Premier League points that Tottenham since Jose Mourinho’s arrival.

You might think they play some pretty shit football, but claiming that they are ‘going backwards’ is wilfully and ridiculously wrong.


Toby jug
‘It’s rather unusual to pick a defender for scoring goals rather than his team coming away with a clean sheet,’ said Garth Crooks on the BBC earlier this month. And oh how we laughed. Because that is what he does ALL THE BLOODY TIME.

This week he goes even further, picking Toby Alderweireld despite his Tottenham team conceding twice, with one of those goals being an actual Toby Alderweireld own goal.

Still, at least he didn’t pick Nicolas Pepe as a left wing-back…


Borat was so 2006
Now we’re not saying that the Liverpool Echo should not have leapt on any new Liverpool transfer gossip for their ‘live’ blog…

‘Liverpool news and transfers LIVE – Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka linked, Philippe Coutinho claim’

…but as they cite Football Insider, who not just once (Monday) but twice (last month) refer to the Arsenal teenager as Bruno Martinelli, a pinch of salt should have been issued with each click.


Recommended reading of the day
Jonathan Liew on Manchester City

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