Newcastle join Arsenal in CL ‘group of death’ amid talk of Willian return

Editor F365

Newcastle could get a ‘group of death’ or they could be facing Rangers. Either or. And Arsenal are being used for clicks. And not just by us.


Yet another NIGHTMARE
Sorry Newcastle fans but you need to stop your jigging, put down your bottles of Brown Ale and put your tops back on because The Sun is here to p*** right over all your chips. After signposting Arsenal’s possible group of death last week, they are here to do the same for Newcastle. Because nothing sells like bad news.

‘Newcastle face Champions League group of death but fans won’t care after 20 YEARS out of competition’.

They won’t care because it’s a hypothetical scenario based on a hypothetical draw on a hypothetical pot split for a competition where we won’t even know the final 32 qualifiers for many, many months.

‘NEWCASTLE could be handed a NIGHTMARE Champions League group as they prepare to return to Europe’s elite competition.’

They could.

‘As they will be placed into pot four, it means they are set to come up against three more experienced European sides.

‘And they could feasibly be drawn against Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and AC Milan in a group of death.’

They could ‘feasibly’ get that draw but it’s impossible to even calculate the odds because we only actually know where exactly five teams will be placed in a 32-team draw. Even if we are generous and give PSG their inevitable Pot 1 place now, only them, Manchester City and Napoli are set for top spot, and only Real and Atletico Madrid are guaranteed Pot 2 spots. The rest is as yet unknown.

So they could ‘feasibly’ get a NIGHTMARE Champions League draw but it’s equally as likely that they get Feyenoord, Porto and Red Bull Salzburg. Still sound like a ‘group of death’ to the third-best team in England?

MailOnline jump on the bandwagon, shouting: ‘Newcastle are into the Champions League… but the real hard work starts now! Projected group stage pots show Toon in the bottom tier, leaving a potential draw of PSG, Real Madrid AND AC Milan’.

‘They will go straight into the group stage for next season but could face a nightmare schedule after the projected pots for 2023-24 were revealed.’

Projected pots cannot really be ‘revealed’. They can only really be ‘projected’; the clue is in the name.

But even if the ‘projected pots’ are actually the real pots, that ‘potential draw’ has a probability of somewhere north of 300/1. Which is exactly where you will find the ‘potential draw’ of Feyenoord, RB Leipzig and Rangers.


Willian, it was really nothing
Those Arsenal fans still reeling from last week’s barrage of bad news should be braced for more, according to the Mirror, who really are shameless with their tactic of packaging ‘Arsenal news’ into one story and then well, take a look…

‘Arsenal news: Mikel Arteta eyes summer transfer reunion as Willian contract talks planned’

That is a blatant (and really quite clever) way of riling Arsenal fans by suggesting that monumental flop Willian could return to Arsenal after a very good season with Fulham.

Of course it’s bollocks and we suspect most people reading that headline would know it is bollocks but feel like they needed to click anyway. Like we said, it’s very clever.

In reality, the proposed ‘summer transfer reunion’ is with Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and Willian contract talks are planned with Fulham, ‘amid failed Gunners stint’. This might actually be the worst of all the ‘amids’, coming as it does two full years after he left.


Still Madd about the boys
David Maddock is not for backing down on his anger about anti-Liverpool refereeing in the Mirror.

He is incensed about that Cody Gakpo goal being ruled out for offside.

‘The explanation afterwards was that Villa defender Ezri Konsa didn’t deliberately play the ball to Vigil van Dijk, who was standing in an offside position, but would have been played onside if Konsa had made any attempt to play the ball.

‘Yet TV replays CLEARLY showed the centre-half had flicked his foot towards the ball in an obvious attempt to play it, with the contact diverting it away from a striker lurking behind, and towards van Dijk.’

Yes, so CLEARLY that it takes VAR boffin Dale Johnson 13 paragraphs to explain in his ESPN column why the VAR call was probably right.

‘The other decision in question was a high challenge from Villa defender Tyrone Mings, which caught Liverpool’s Gakpo at the top of his rib cage and caused extensive lacerations to the forward.

‘Extensive lacerations’!? It’s not a sodding post-mortem, fella.

‘Liverpool are hoping for an explanation on why VAR Greenhalgh DIDN’T ask Brooks to go to the monitor, when he DID over the disallowed goal, despite clear evidence to support the referee’s original decision.’

Erm, because the referee’s original decision was a yellow card. Why would VAR send him to the monitor if they agreed with him?

‘Many irate Reds supporters passionately believe the club is being punished for Klopp’s questioning of officials, and in particular Paul Tierney, who has been at the centre of most of the drama surrounding contentious decisions in recent weeks.

‘Brooks was part of Tierney’s team for the game against Spurs when Klopp was charged by the FA and banned, and questions have been asked about lingering resentment – and possible payback – by fans.’

By fans? You literally wrote that yourself, David (‘Was this payback for the questioning of officials – Brooks included – which earned the manager his touchline ban and a 75 grand fine, or just coincidence?’).

But at least you’re now admitting you’re just a fan with a keyboard and an audience.


Mason jar
This is predictably odd from Garth Crooks in his BBC team of the week, as he chooses Rico Henry in his defence seemingly just to have a pop at Ryan Mason:

‘I hear Ryan Mason wants the Spurs job. Has he not seen what taking managerial jobs before the coach is ready has done to Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa, Graham Potter at Chelsea and Frank Lampard at Everton? Yet he thinks he can manage Tottenham Hotspur. I wonder what he thinks he can do that Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte couldn’t. The mere fact that Mason has put his name forward and the thought given consideration tells me the precise state in which the football club finds itself.’

First, it would not be Ryan Mason’s fault if Tottenham appointed Ryan Mason.

And second, what an odd collection of examples. Gerrard was three years into his managerial career when he took an Aston Villa job that looked like a natural stepping-stone; Potter had been a manager for over a decade when he was offered the Chelsea post; Lampard had already managed Chelsea when he went to Everton.

None of these appointments were remotely the same as Mason potentially taking charge of Tottenham after a handful of games in charge.

But still, well done Rico Henry.