Thiago breaks record nobody knew existed; Mbappe next?

Sarah Winterburn

Everybody is giddy about Thiago. Kylian Mbappe next?


Let it all out…
We’re not saying that the media are primed to get a tad carried away by Thiago but…

Man shouts. What a boss!


So you want to be a record-breaker…
You may have read this tweet on Sunday evening…

So obviously that led here:

‘Thiago Alcantara breaks Premier League record in first 45 minutes for Liverpool’ – Mirror.

‘Liverpool signing Thiago sets new Premier League passing record despite only being on pitch 45 minutes vs Chelsea’ – The Sun.

‘Thiago has already broken a Premier League record after Liverpool debut’ – Liverpool Echo.

‘Thiago sets Premier League passing record on Liverpool debut after £20m move’ – Goal.

‘Midfield maestro Thiago outpassed EVERY Chelsea player despite only playing 45 minutes… This record-breaking debut showed why Jurgen Klopp’s ruthless Liverpool are getting even STRONGER’ – MailOnline.

‘Thiago breaks Premier League record in just 45 MINUTES – but does Frank Lampard need to go all out for Declan Rice?’ – talkSPORT.

Pardon Mediawatch for being a bit of a dick for a second here, but we have a simple rule: Don’t hail a record unless you know who held that record before. If you don’t know – and none of those websites seem have a clue – it is basically a meaningless number.

And in this case it is utterly meaningless because metronomic midfielders very rarely play just 45 minutes (plus stoppages), never mind just 45 minutes (plus stoppages) against an already passive team reduced to ten men for the duration of those 45 minutes (plus stoppages).

The man played some lovely passes but the man also gave away a penalty; can we save the mass masturbation for him showing more than a bit of shoulder please?


For the record…

And of course we all remember Andreas Christensen being hailed as a grand pass master after that 3-0 defeat to Sheffield United in July.


Lies, damned lies etc
Over in the actual Daily Mirror, John Cross tells us about ‘the Premier League record of completed passes in 45 minutes – 75 – more than Chelsea combined’.

Hmmm. Now that would have been impressive.


Not the Mane man
Spare a thought for Sadio Mane – scorer of both goals in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over a Big Six rival – for it turns out that there is ‘Bad news for title rivals as Alcantara steals the show’ (The Sun).

And there we were thinking that goals win games, not lovely passes and conceded penalties.


A message to you…
They do not lack imagination over at the Express website:

‘Liverpool new boy Thiago sent Man City message with mouthwatering debut in Chelsea win’

It’s one hell of a way to sell a perfectly reasonable match piece from Matthew Dunn which mentions Man City in the 21st paragraph.

When did football just become one giant ‘message’?


The logical next step
We are now approaching the 12-month anniversary of Jurgen Klopp saying these words…

“No chance. Absolutely no chance. Sorry for killing that story!”

…when asked about signing Kylian Mbappe for over £200m.

And here we are in September 2020 and this is a headline on propaganda machine

‘Thiago’s Liverpool transfer offers significant reminder, posing biggest Kylian Mbappé question yet’

Well done for getting the man’s name in the headline – especially after he scored on Sunday – but what the hell have we just read?

‘Thiago had been running down his contract. He had a year remaining on his current deal, refused to enter into discussions regarding an extension, and told the German club that he wanted to leave. At 29, having won the treble, and being widely celebrated for his role in the Champions League success, he is not the usual Liverpool signing.

‘And yet, as the reports claimed throughout the summer, Liverpool were interested in his esteemed services. They recognised his elite-level ability, understood that he would substantially improve their present midfield options, and pulled the trigger, even if he did not fit the normal profile.

‘Perhaps, then, this shows a change in approach. Liverpool will not solely focus on the mid-table stars who can step up their performance and production when inserted into Klopp’s system. In turn, could this offer hope for future signings?

‘One potential marquee acquisition is Kylian Mbappé.’

Because of course buying a 29-year-old from Bayern Munich for an initial £5m is exactly the same as signing a 21-year-old who is literally the most valuable player in the world from PSG. Exactly the same.

Thiago was an excellent signing for Liverpool partly because he was relatively cheap; Mbappe is not. When Klopp said “no chance” to signing the Frenchman, it was not because he only wants to buy ‘mid-table stars who can step up their performance and production when inserted into Klopp’s system’, but because the club would never pay over £200m on any footballer. Few clubs can.

‘Given Mbappé’s quality, price tag, and potential, there are only so many teams that could both attract and afford him. Liverpool certainly fall in the former category, though their willingness to spend lavishly is not so assured. The Thiago signing, therefore, perhaps offers hope that, should Mbappé come available, Liverpool may break their mould of the usual cheaper, lesser-known transfer target and chase the big fish.’

It really f***ing doesn’t. Or at least not until Mbappe is 29 and has just one year remaining on his contract at a club that is willing to accept a low initial fee rather than lose him for nothing in 12 months.


Blast off
Over on The Sun website for their top story at 10.30am on Monday morning:

‘Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp blasts his players for celebrating Chelsea star Christensen’s red saying ‘we NEVER do that’’

Players? This is the actual quote from Jurgen Klopp:

“It was not one of my subs but another member of staff and I told him already what I think about it and he’s good with that.”

And that’s the truth.


Recommended reading of the day
Jonathan Wilson on Kepa

Richard Jolly on Liverpool’s move for Jota