How dare he?
Neil Ashton on Liverpool in The Sun: ‘It was all done at a belting pace, snatching at chances when they needed to show some composure in front of goal.
‘Klopp did not help, frequently turning to the stands in the first half and urging them to get behind their team.’
And it definitely didn’t help.
Stamping on Memphis
You can take the man away from the Daily Mail but you cannot take the Mail – and their obsession with Memphis Depay’s choice of motor car – out of the man. Neil Ashton has turned up at The Sun armed with that curious obsession.
‘Role model v Rolls model’ is the headline and thus it begins: ‘MARCUS RASHFORD turns up for work and parks his modest Audi A3 next door to a £300,000 Rolls Royce belonging to Memphis Depay.’
Mediawatch will stop you there. ‘Modest’? The Audi A3 is a £25,000 car. In whose world (Ashton’s obviously) is a £25,000 car classed as ‘modest’? Or ‘humble’ as it says atop the online version. It’s not a bloody Vauxhall Corsa.
We would also like to point out that Rashford is 18 years old and earns £1,500 a week; Depay is 22 years old, is a Dutch international, was the Eredivisie top scorer last season and earns £80,000 a week. Unless you can tell us what car Depay drove in 2012, or see into the future and show us Rashford’s car from 2020, the comparison is moot.
‘He still spends time with his mates at the Trafford Centre in the afternoons or hangs out with them in Nando’s,’ writes Ashton of Rashford, who sounds like every other 18-year-old boy (who drives a flash car that will cost thousands of pounds to insure).
Except photographs emerged last month of Rashford and teammate Jesse Lingard swapping cars near the club’s Carrington training ground, ‘causing other motorists to weave their way around them’ (Daily Star). Reports claimed that Rashford’s car was actually a ‘new Audi RS4 – worth around £39,000’ (very modest) but that he was ‘clearly showing an interest in upgrading – by trying out Lingard’s Range Rover Sport V8 worth £96,000’.
Which is odd because he is ‘a level-headed boy’ with absolutely no interest in the trappings of wealth and fame, unlike that Dutch wastrel Depay.
This is by far our favourite paragraph of Ashton’s really quite bizarre piece:
‘Memphis has become pre-occupied with his gaudy lifestyle, laughing when his enormous pet dog Simba attempts to paw passers-by as he walks it through Alderley Edge in Cheshire.’
Because there is literally nothing more ‘gaudy’ than walking your dog.
Oh, and ‘enormous’? It’s knee-high.
— S'c'hailes'c'h (@shailesh_gs) May 8, 2015
No sh*t story of the day
‘Manchester United will ditch Louis van Gaal this summer – even if he leads them to FA Cup glory,’ writes David McDonnell (‘exclusively’, the cheeky sod) in the Daily Mirror.
‘Winning the FA Cup will not be enough to save Van Gaal…’
Can we stop you there and ask who the f*** said it would?
Sign of the times
The first sign that your feature on ‘7 reasons the Europa League is now better than the Champions League’ (Mirror’s Row Zed) is a non-starter is possibly when your very first reason – that the winner gets a place in the Champions League – perfectly illustrates that the Europa League is, at best, absolutely equal to the Champions League.
The second sign is when you’re writing that ‘only in the Europa League can you really expand your footballing palette by watching games involving the likes of Sparta Prague, Athletic Bilbao and FC Augsburg’. Because of course we all know absolutely everything there is to know about Malmo, Gent and BATE. And Mediawatch is so very f***ing bored of watching Tanat Nusserbayev play for Astana.
The third is when you’re clutching at straws labelled ‘more fun for travelling fans’ and citing ‘excellent cities like Vienna and Lisbon’ as a reason why the Europa League is better. Because of course Munich, Paris, Barcelona and Valencia are sh*tholes. And we can’t think of a single Champions League team that play in Lisbon.
The fourth is…actually, if you have three signs that you shouldn’t bother with a ‘7 reasons’ piece, that’s the point at which you hit the delete button. Let’s make that a rule.
Closer each day…
Mark Lawrenson has absolutely nailed Roberto Martinez’s problem:
‘There is a groundswell of opinion against him from the fans but if you swapped their home record for their away record, you would not have as many angry supporters because the majority of Evertonians only go to home games.’
Which obviously explains why the ‘MARTINEZ OUT’ banners appeared at Watford last week.
Bizarre logic of the day
‘Chelsea are willing to offload one of their top stars this summer to help supplement Conte’s transfer budget, with Courtois one who could be sacrificed,’ writes Sami Mokbel in the Daily Mail.
‘But there is apprehension at Stamford Bridge over the prospect of the Belgium international leaving this summer.
‘Chelsea have been proved wrong in letting fellow Belgians Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne leave in recent seasons – both proving themselves as top Premier League performers.’
So they’re scared to sell him because he’s Belgian? For f***’s sake.
On the draw…
Sam Allardyce: “The key thing now is that we cannot afford to lose at Norwich. Don’t lose. They’d be seven points clear of us if we lose, so that can’t happen. We’ll try to win, but the most important thing is that we have to make sure we don’t lose because we’ll still have a game in hand.”
Paul Merson: “For Sunderland it’s a cup final and they have to win it.”
Which is why, ladies and gentlemen, Paul Merson is not a football manager.
* To be fair, there are loads of reasons. Far more than seven.
Football ‘journalism’ in 2016: A summation
At 11.45am on Friday, the third-top story on the Metro website was headlined as follows: ‘When is the Champions League and Europa League semi-final draw?’
Well, about an hour ago, as it happens. But you just keep thinking of that SEO ranking.
‘Fabian Delph set to be surprise addition to Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 England squad’ reads the headline on the Daily Mirror website.
After all, what could more surprising than the inclusion of a midfielder who made as many England appearances in qualifying as Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana, James Milner and Jordan Henderson and one more than Harry Kane and Ross Barkley?
Two words: Left and field.
Recommended reading of the day
Michael Cox on Riyad Mahrez
Martin Keown talks to Dennis Bergkamp
Owen Gibson on West Ham’s deal for the Olympic Stadium