Top of The Sun’s website at Friday lunchtime is the following exclusive:
‘Sarri decided to quit Chelsea after ruthless fans sang ‘Sarri out’ and ‘f*** Sarri-ball’ during win over Cardiff in March’
Yes, Neil Ashton, it had nothing whatsoever to do with your colleagues constantly trying to hound him out, referring to him negatively as a ‘former merchant banker’, describing him as ‘wild and floundering’ and comparing his Chelsea reign to Luiz Felipe Scolari’s.
It was those dastardly fans all along that done it.
Meanwhile, on a football website…
Speaking of The Sun, the following headlines have all been published on their website within the last fortnight:
‘Who is Kinsey Wolanski, what is her boyfriend’s X-rated YouTube show Vitaly Uncensored, and why did she streak in Champions League final?’ – June 2.
‘Kinsey Wolanski evaded security to pull off daredevil Champions League final streak… and her boyfriend used disguise to get in ground’ – June 3.
‘Watch blonde streaker Kinsey Wolanski released by cops and slapped on bum by boyfriend who says ‘that ass is famous’’ – June 4.
‘Kinsey Wolanski Instagram account closed after ‘hack’ following Champions League final streak worth up to £3million in publicity’ – June 4.
‘Sexy female pitch invader at Champions League final promotes X-rated PORN site Vitaly Uncensored which offers ‘wild pranks, t*** and a**, no rules’’ – June 4.
‘Kinsey Wolanski jokes ‘I did it again’ as she mocks up video of herself scoring a goal while streaking in thong swimsuit’ – June 5.
‘Kinsey Wolanski Instagram account back UP after hack following Champions League final pitch invade strip’ – June 5.
‘Kinsey Wolanski stuns in tiny red bikini while on Ibiza holiday break after Champions League invasion… as she sends fans signed copies of infamous strip’ – June 6.
‘Watch Kinsey Wolanski practise ripping off dress as inside story of how she streaked at the Champions League final is revealed’ – June 6.
‘Champions League streaker Kinsey Wolanski was ‘sitting next to me’ and her boyfriend paid me to film her, says scaffolder footie fan’ – June 8.
‘Kinsey Wolanski – who is Champions League final streaker, what’s Vitaly Uncensored and why did she run on the pitch??’ – June 8.
‘Kinsey Wolanski was put in police cell for five hours with 10 suspected criminals wearing just her swimsuit and a skimpy gown after Champions League streak’ – June 9.
‘Champions League streaker Kinsey Wolanski believes £3.8m prank will ‘help her retire by 30’ and says she’s received flirty messages from Liverpool players’ – June 11.
‘Watch Kinsey Wolanski’s latest stunt as she falls into Barcelona fountains while kissing boyfriend in front of packed crowd… and Champions League streaker almost pops out of her dress’ – June 11.
‘Champions League streaker Kinsey Wolanski stuns in thong swimsuit on beach photoshoot’ – June 14.
How utterly depressing.
It is hardly a revelation that Jurgen Klopp likes Rhian Brewster. He turned down the chance to sign Timo Werner to give the teenager more opportunities in 2018, and will do similar this summer.
But quite how integrating a 19-year-old youth World Cup winner into his first team qualifies as ‘savvy management’ is unknown. John Cross tells the Daily Mirror that ‘Brew is Klopp’s cup of tea now’ because the player already ‘feels part of the set-up’.
If that translates to ‘shrewdness and practical knowledge; the ability to make good judgements’, then how bloody ‘savvy’ will it be when he actually plays him?
The Dunn thing
There is now nothing more boring than complaining about VAR. Apart from, obviously, complaining about how much everybody complains about VAR.
So, with apologies:
‘This is not sour grapes.’
A strong start from Andy Dunn in The Mirror.
‘Holland were, by some distance, the more accomplished team in Guimaraes and thoroughly deserved their victory. And I am all for VAR, and its power to eradicate clear wrongs.
‘But the margins in such tight offside calls are simply too fine for televisual evidence to be taken as definitive.
‘But are you telling me the cameras can identify, with 100 per cent certainty, the moment the ball left Ross Barkley’s foot to Lingard?’
Superficially, that’s not unreasonable. The tiny margins that VAR now deals in do prompt those sort of questions. But doesn’t this make you shudder?
As Dunn rightly acknowledges in his piece, the England players accepted the decision with little more than a shrug and so forcefully adding this further layer of controversy – in which every decision VAR makes is subject to technological imperfection – succeeds in doing little more than making an already awesomely dull discussion even more tedious.
Everyone had pretty much forgotten about that incident within a few hours. Why trudge it up again for the sake of a tiresome debate five days later?
And, if you’re ‘all for VAR’, how can you oppose its jurisdiction over the one area of the game which isn’t entirely subjective?
Play the advantage
There are, as ever, just a few straws being clutched over at Manchester Evening News. Thursday was Premier League fixtures days, of course, and someway and somehow, everybody made an article out of it.
The good news for Manchester United? The MEN’s Tyrone Marshall has found a big advantage for them on opening day. Terrific news, because morale probably is a little low.
‘The transfer advantage Manchester United must exploit over opening day opponents Chelsea’
Oh, whatever could that be? It truly is a mystery. Let’s take a look…
‘This might be a summer of rebuilding at Old Trafford, but at least United have the surveys completed and are aware of exactly what work they have ahead of them.’
Well that’s vaguely true. Although how much of a virtue being blindingly aware of your own limitations is remains debatable. Knowing you want Aaron Wan-Bissaka is not enough to sign Aaron Wan-Bissaka, for example.
‘For Chelsea, it’s a very different scenario. Just 17 days after lifting the Europa League in Baku, and only 59 days from the two teams meeting on the opening weekend of the new season, they have little idea what the summer holds for them.’
Again, possibly. Although United’s summer to this point seems mainly to consist of being used as contract leverage by players with no interest in joining the club. Chelsea’s has included the arrival of Christian Pulisic and the return of numerous players on loan.
‘United should certainly have the Stamford Bridge outfit in their sights. While this is a crucial summer for the pace of Solskjaer’s rebuild, at least they have the means to try and progress, even if the scale of the job remains grand.’
Well, they probably do have them in their sights, yes, because that’s how the fixture list tends to work. And that ‘at least’ isn’t nearly as reassuring as it’s supposed to be: if the scale of the job remains grand and the people at the club have a – let’s say – mixed reputation for doing said job, there’s probably a few mountains left to climb.
Even if their transfer ban is upheld, is that really an ‘advantage’ that United have over Chelsea? If only there was a recent example of a Premier League club signing no-one and reaching a Champions League final, finishing above United in the process. Where was their ‘transfer advantage’ over Tottenham when they needed it this past season?
Troll in the park
The bottom of the barrel is a bleak, bleak place, and The Sun have taken us there.
Eden Hazard was obviously unveiled by Real Madrid yesterday and, at roughly the same time, Gareth Bale published a photo on his Instagram account which showed him posing by one of the tees at Pebble Beach. So…
‘GARETH BALE TROLLED BY REAL MADRID FANS’
Clever this. The Sun have sent their man onto Instagram with a net – because it worked so well on Thursday – tasked him with collecting all the mouth-breathing gibberish, and then thrown it into an article.
‘One particularly angry Real supporter tweeted: “GO OUT.”‘
‘Another posted: “Please take Benzema with you and leave Madrid.”‘
Here’s the thing: go on to any Instagram post – or just anything on social media, for that matter – and scroll down for long enough, and eventually you reach the angry little kids who spend all day scratching at each other’s eyes. That’s fine. That’s what happens and it will never not be that way.
Quite why it then warrants an entire article is a mystery.
Piers of work
Actually, maybe The Daily Star beat The Sun to the bottom today, with this spectacular effort.
‘Piers Morgan wants five Arsenal aces gone… and managerial calls from Man Utd and Chelsea’
Can we not? Please?
‘Arsenal supporter Piers Morgan says he wants five stars sold in a provocative rant in which he also labelled Mesut Ozil a “lazy warthog”.’
Now, some people have to click on that link. It’s part of the job. But think of us as the canary being forced down the mine. A mine that has already collapsed. A mine that promises nothing but sulphur and poison and, most likely, death.
Sorry. But don’t follow us down here. Don’t click. It’s Morgan; he wants attention and to give it to him is, as the right-on kids say, to be ‘part of the problem’.
If you ignore him then one day – one sweet, sweet day – he will f**k off.
In the meantime, does Morgan actually name these ‘five Arsenal aces’? Nope, just that ‘lazy warthog’ Ozil. And what are these ‘managerial calls from Man Utd and Chelsea’? No clue, actually: either he never mentioned them or the necessary quote hasn’t been used.
There’s five minutes of everyone’s lives we’ll never get back.
Jack Pitt-Brooke interviews Marcus Edwards.
Tariq Panja with Michel Platini.