Five weeks after castigating Carlo Ancelotti for not threatening to ‘knock Liverpool off their f***ing perch’, Stan Collymore is back in the Daily Mirror with a mea culpa; he was wrong and Everton got it ‘spot on by recruiting Carlo Ancelotti’.
And yet Stan still gets it dreadfully wrong in presuming that Everton believe for a second that they can challenge Liverpool. Seriously Stan, they just want to not have a joke of a club, windmilling from one new manager and philosophy to another. That will do.
‘One of the most intriguing things about the Toffees is the fact it’s almost impossible for them to focus solely on themselves as they try to find success.
‘They have the omnipresence of their noisy neighbours to deal with and, at the other end of the East Lancs road, the two Manchester clubs as well.’
If you seriously think that Evertonians feel overshadowed by Manchester City, then you are a fool. The vast, sensible majority have no illusions about being in that kind of league and would simply settle for challenging Wolves in the table and competing for the occasional piece of silverware.
They are quite happy right now to see themselves seventh in the table with an outside chance of returning to Europe. Let’s just leave them to be really quite content with that scenario…
‘The problem for Everton is that this approach will only work for so long and what they must do now is start planning for life after Ancelotti.’
He’s less than two months into a four-and-a-half-year deal, you miserable sod.
Old man, look at my life…
Stan is giddy that both Everton and Sheffield United won games this weekend ‘by deploying a pair of strikers’.
Way to reduce Chris Wilder’s revolutionary 3-5-2 formation with overlapping centre-backs to ‘the good, old two-up top’ system which has ‘been used for more than a century’, Stan.
In another section of his column, ‘the man who always speaks his mind’ credits Chris Wilder for his ‘old school’ tactics of ‘pinning up criticism of his team on the dressing-room wall’.
Pesky fact: Old school Chris Wilder actually uses WhatsApp. Because it’s 2020.
Allardici talking Italian…
“We’re all well aware that the Italian style of football is very negative.” ❌
“He will go and change that completely.” ✅
“He will transform Juventus in terms of the way they play.”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) February 11, 2020
Somebody didn’t watch the Milan derby.
Trending on the Mirror website is this beauty of a headline…
‘Jurgen Klopp ‘opens the door for Philippe Coutinho return’ as Liverpool told to sign him’
Now Mediawatch is old-fashioned and so presumes that those quote marks means that somebody has said – or possibly written – that Klopp has ‘opened the door’ to a Coutinho return.
Mediawatch is wrong because not once in the article does anybody write or say that Klopp has ‘opened a door’ or indeed any other portal.
But there is a link to the Mirror’s sister publication, the Express. Perhaps it is there that Klopp is said to have ‘opened a door’.
And there it is: Seven paragraphs into a piece more or less entirely about Kai Havertz, it is written that Klopp ‘could make a move for Philippe Coutinho if he is unable to secure the German’s signature’.
Well he could. And apparently that’s only a short hop, skip and a jump to a trending news story about Jurgen Klopp ‘opening a door’ to the Brazilian.
This shit is easy when you know how (and have no shame).
Meanwhile, at the Liverpool Echo, all their writers have their say about whether Liverpool should re-sign Philippe Coutinho, who is proving to be quite the useful hit machine during this winter break.
Which is odd because it doesn’t look like transfer news.
Love me for a reason…
‘Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho explains the real reason for his Bayern vs RB Leipzig visit’ – Express.
‘Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho explains the reasons behind his RB Leipzig scouting mission’ – Independent.
…and let the reason be an upcoming Champions League clash with RB Leipzig.
Easy mistake to make
Not sure how Tyrone Mings was ‘spotted’ he didn’t even go to Dubai 😂
— Tyrone Mings (@OfficialTM_3) February 11, 2020
* It’s not an easy mistake to make.
Congratulations are due to Jordan Davies of The Sun for somehow eking nine paragraphs of copy from a picture of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on a camel.
‘DO THIS PAIR HAVE THE HUMP WITH ARSENAL?’
No. No they don’t. They are just riding a camel and you are just doing your miserable job.
MailOnline are thankfully on hand to explain exactly how Mikel Arteta can fix Arsenal, and first on his agenda should be having a ‘heart-to-heart’ with Alexandre Lacazette ‘during Arsenal’s training camp in Dubai’. But what would he say?
‘Arteta needs to tell him to concentrate on remaining in those advanced positions, pointing to the No. 9 on the back of his shirt, and get into scoring positions.’
So bloody easy. Why oh why does anybody need coaching qualifications?
Arteta must also apparently ‘get the winning mentality back’, ‘find a settled defensive line’ and ‘secure that midfield leadership’. Nope. Us neither.
It’s a hell of a long list of ways to fix a team that has lost just once in nine games.
Swallow it down…
‘ED WOODWARD has repeated his support for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – but admits Manchester United have work to do in an ‘important’ summer transfer window.
‘United’s executive vice-chairman…emphasised the club’s determination to stick with a philosophy based on youth and academy products despite sitting eighth in the Premier League’ – Neil Custis, The Sun.
(And despite having just signed a 30-year-old striker on loan from a Chinese club – oddly not mentioned in that report.)
Talking of which…
‘Manchester United confirm when Odion Ighalo will make his debut’ – Manchester Evening News.
Is it in Manchester United’s next game?
Yes, it is in Manchester United’s next game.
Recommended reading of the day
David Squires on the Premier League winter break
Daniel Storey on Richarlison