Thin-skinned Ronaldo blocks Greenwood’s Saudi Arabia escape route over five-year feud

Editor F365
Cristiano Ronaldo and Mason Greenwood in action for Manchester United in 2021
Cristiano Ronaldo and Mason Greenwood in action for Manchester United in 2021.

Something Mason Greenwood said five years ago makes a Saudi Arabia move a ‘dead’ end, because of course it does. Meanwhile, Chelsea need stability apparently and there’s some more Harry Kane guff.

 

Dead end
We’re very sorry, but we will once again have to talk about Mason Greenwood. It’s not going away. To The Sun we go, then.

MASON Greenwood fears he has blown any chance of making a fresh start in Saudi Arabia after describing the career of former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo as “dead”.

Greenwood, 21, used the term while discussing the superstar’s form while he was playing at Real Madrid.

Yes, that’ll be it. Saudi Arabia deciding their enormous sportswashing exercise can probably do without the shitty Greenwood PR would definitely be because of Ronaldo’s thin skin about a throwaway comment Greenwood purportedly made when he was a 16-year-old in Manchester United’s academy.

But let’s not be too hasty. The Sun have a source. Of course they do.

“He was really annoyed at what Greenwood said — but he has good reason to be when you consider what Ronaldo has achieved in his career and where Greenwood finds himself.

“Greenwood had his nose put out of joint when Ronaldo signed for United because he ended up playing a lot less than he had hoped for, so their relationship was difficult.”

Truly incredible that a teenaged Greenwood was able to predict Ronaldo’s Manchester United return three years before it happened.

 

Stable genius
Curious column from Ian Herbert in the Daily Mail in which he has adroitly and correctly noted that Chelsea and Manchester United are a bit shambolic and shit at the moment and concludes that what those clubs need right now is a bit of stability like Manchester City have and Liverpool had in the 70s and 80s.

A lot of this piece supposedly about Chelsea and Manchester United now is actually about Liverpool in the 70s and 80s – which is probably just a coincidence from the author of ‘Quiet Genius: Bob Paisley, British Football’s Greatest Manager’ – and how things were better in those days, weren’t they, before the billionaires and the sovereign wealth funds?

They were certainly entirely different, as Herbert himself correctly asserts.

‘It’s safe to say that bottles are being shaken to the point of explosion at the top of British football now. Different times, of course. The leading clubs are the possessions of sovereign and private-equity wealth funds, who have billions to burn. Bloomberg has reported that private-equity firms spent £40billion on sports transactions in 2021, nearly double the total in 2017. Players and managers are temporary and expendable.’

Which rather begs the question of how relevant 1970s and 80s Liverpool actually are to any discussion of modern-day Manchester United and Chelsea.

At least with United there’s a clear and recent example of the benefits of having a brilliant manager in charge for an extended period of time. Astonishingly, given the supposed subject matter, there is only one mention of Sir Alex Ferguson in the entire piece, and not until the 13th paragraph. Long after all the stuff about how great Liverpool used to be 40 years ago. But then, it takes nine paragraphs about Liverpool and Paisley and John Toshack and Herbert’s book and a really convoluted drop intro about Neville Southall and Pat Jennings before we even get to United and Chelsea, the apparent subject at hand.

‘Manchester United and Chelsea, two clubs with the money to make (the Premier League) competitive, have been in a perpetual state of revolution, endlessly tearing up the plan, bringing in a manager diametrically different from the last one and throwing away scandalous sums of money in the process.’

Even if we allow United because of Ferguson’s unparalleled (sorry, Bob) success across two decades and their subsequent struggles, it’s demonstrably weird to say what Chelsea need is stability. They may be a mess and a shambles currently, but they’ve been wildly successful in the last 20 years and never once has stability been at the heart of that success.

Jose Mourinho arrived in 2004. In 2005 he won the Premier League and League Cup.

Guus Hiddink popped up in 2009 and snaffled the FA Cup.

Carlo Ancelotti took over and promptly won the Premier League.

Roberto Di Matteo was there five minutes but managed to win the FA Cup and the actual Champions actual League.

Rafael Benitez had a fraught year at Chelsea but still won the Europa League.

Mourinho returned, won another Premier League title before it all went horribly wrong for a bit.

Antonio Conte won the Premier League in his first season and the FA Cup in his second before a loud and messy divorce.

Maurizio Sarri won the Europa League.

Frank Lampard came along and… well, there will always be exceptions.

Thomas Tuchel then won the Champions League within six months.

Great success. Enormous turbulence. Vast numbers of wildly different managers in style, CV and, frankly, ability. If there is one club in the entire footballing universe that challenges the importance of managerial stability in the modern game, it’s Chelsea.

 

When a child is born
Remember when The Sun put some absolute bollocks on its front page? What, you need us to be more specific? Fine. This bollocks, from the other week, about how Harry Kane’s fourth child might play for bloody GERMANY if he were to be born in bloody GERMANY.

This was front-page news despite being a) based on the wildly unlikely scenario that Harry Kane’s fourth child is sufficiently good enough at football in two decades’ time for any of this to matter and b) not how German citizenship works.

It fried Mediawatch’s mind at the time, and on the at-least-twice daily occasions we’ve thought about it ever since. Single biggest news story in the entire world, according to the UK’s most popular newspaper. Which country Harry Kane’s at the time unborn fourth child might hypothetically play football for, based on a misunderstanding of (or more likely straightforward failure to check) how these things actually work.

And it’s an even better story now, because the Daily Mail are here with an update. Henry Edward Kane was born in England after all. Phew.

England fans can breathe a sigh of relief after Harry Kane’s newborn son Henry was reportedly born back home

A sigh of relief! It’s already made us forget all about losing a World Cup final.

There had been speculation Kate would give birth in Munich, therefore making Henry eligible for German citizenship and able to play football for England’s old rivals had the Kane genes proved strong enough for him to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Still no.

Fans who studied Kane’s two Instagram pictures had already reached that conclusion. A British plug socket was visible in the background of one of the snaps and another showed a note with the English words ‘Baby boy, room 101.’

Ah, a good, proper British plug socket. Unlike its journalism, Britain can be legitimately proud of its plug sockets. Quite possibly the one and only thing in which Britain can actually claim to be world-leading. We can switch our stuff off at the wall! Our plugs and sockets are properly earthed and almost definitely won’t electrocute you! Our plugs are solidly constructed and easily, safely repairable by a non-professional! Just don’t step on the fuckers!

We’ve got sidetracked. Anyway. Those are pretty good hints, to be fair. Well done everyone who scoured those pictures for clues rather than simply Googling ‘German citizenship’.

Credit to the Mail, though, for the magnificent deadpanning of this genuine spit-your-tea-over-your-keyboard zinger from young Louis Kane.

The couple also shared a video from their baby’s ultrasound, where they asked their three children whether they believe it’s a boy or a girl.

Their eldest daughter Ivy guessed a girl, their second child Vivienne said a boy, while their son Louis, guessed a car.

Just a brilliant answer to a silly question from the subversive and wonderful mind of a two-year-old there. What we really want to know now, though, is what was Uncle Charlie’s guess? We’re enormously confident it was “motorbike”.

 

Blackmail
One last bit of Kane news and this tremendous quote from former Bayern man Lothar Matthaus.

“And maybe Bayern has also – in quotation marks – been a little blackmailed by Tottenham.”

That isn’t what blackmail means, Lothar.

Which he obviously knows full well, because to our enormous delight he’s done a real-life version of that favourite tabloid trick of putting something that’s absolute bollocks in scare quotes to make it completely fine.