Well done Leeds United. But the problem with being promoted to the Premier League is that now every Tom, Dick and Stan will now have an opinion on you. So here comes Stanley Victor, ‘the man who always speaks his mind’, in the Daily Mirror. He knows what you need.
‘Bielsa requires a decent budget. He has to add proven Premier League quality to a fantastic youthful base.
‘Too many clubs come up pinning their hopes on young hopefuls or imports from abroad instead of going for three or four battle-hardened top-flight campaigners.’
Hmmm. Now if only there was a recent example of a club that have come up from the Championship, not brought in ‘three or four battle-hardened top-flight campaigners’ and yet still thrived.
Oh and perhaps another club who spent rather a lot of money, were tipped for success and now face near-certain relegation – just for comparison.
What is the obsession with spending money on ‘proven Premier League quality’ anyway? Let’s take a minute to remember what Collymore wrote in November:
‘I’d imagine a loan striker will be top of Wilder’s Christmas wish-list, because if they can get a poacher of Jermain Defoe’s calibre – all relegation bets will be off.’
Lord knows how they just about survived without a 37-year-old striker.
Stat’s just wrong
Collymore also throws a ‘collywobbler’ (see what they did there?) about Danny Cowley being sacked by Huddersfield.
‘That’s no way to treat a management team who inherited a position of one point from nine games. No Championship team has ever survived from that position.
But has a Championship team ever survived from a position of one point from six games? Because that’s the actual statistic, which somehow seems more relevant.
Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail is also happy to criticise Huddersfield’s decision on the basis that Town had ‘won once since November 25, 2018 and taken one point from 27’, which kind of ignores the fact that they were in the Premier League for a large percentage of that time.
He also writes that Cowley’s record ‘of 50 points from 36 games delivers an aggregate that would place them in the top half of the table, over a season’.
He repeats those kind of maths within the Watford segment of his column, saying that Nigel Pearson ‘amassed 26 points at an aggregate of 1.23. Project that over a season and Watford would sit on 46.74 points, safely mid-table’.
Which is kind of odd from a man who has repeatedly railed against the concept of PPG, even in this very column when he writes that ‘it was ridiculous to decide promotion and relegation issues on presumed form’.
But not ridiculous to keep (British) managers employed on the same basis?
Those Cowley numbers did not make an awful lot of sense so we checked them: He actually earned 50 points from 39 games which delivers an aggregate that would place them 15th in the table. Not bad but absolutely not the top half of the table.
De Great climb-down
Headline on The Sun online: ‘DAVE DUMPED Solskjaer ready to DROP David De Gea for Man Utd’s Prem run-in with Sergio Romero set to replace blunder keeper’
Opening line on The Sun online: ‘DAVID DE GEA could be axed for Manchester United’s crucial Champions League bid this week.’
Well he could.
‘Manchester United will hold talks with Dean Henderson next week as the pressure grows on under-fire goalkeeper David de Gea’ – Daily Mail.
‘MANCHESTER UNITED will hold showdown talks with Dean Henderson next week over the possibility of replacing David De Gea as the club’s No1, according to reports’ – The Sun online.
Will there be guns?
Old, old news
But if you want a David De Gea story to really fly, what you actually need to do is go back over two years…
‘David de Gea’s “I haven’t killed anyone” comments shed light on his problems at Man Utd’
And as if by magic…the MOST READ story on the Mirror football website.
Can comments made in 2018 really ‘shed light’ on what is happening in 2020? No, but they can deliver many, many page impressions.
If I may…
Mediawatch loves these kind of transfer stories…
‘CHELSEA may end up paying more than £90million for top target Kai Havertz’ – The Sun.
Yes, if they win the Premier League and Champions League and if he plays 200 games for Chelsea and ends up in the running for the Ballon d’Or, they may end up paying over £90m. And at that point it will be a bloody bargain. Which will be a tad annoying for the West Ham fan who wrote that particular sentence.
All above those Reds
And in today’s edition of ‘let’s make a trending topic about Liverpool’…
‘Chelsea want to challenge Liverpool for the Premier League title but they’re making transfer mistake’ – Liverpool Echo.
Pesky fact: The transfer window is not even open yet so it seems unlikely that Chelsea have, you know, finished.
Dave Kidd praises David Moyes in The Sun for his record of buying players from the Football League, mentioning Tim Cahill, John Stones, Phil Jagielka, Joleon Lescott and now Jarrod Bowen.
Odd then that there is absolutely no mention of Jordan Hugill.
‘Arsenal target Joelson Fernandes has been called the ‘next Cristiano Ronaldo’ and is youngest to make debut for Sporting’ – The Sun online.
The fact that he has only ever been called ‘the next Cristiano Ronaldo’ by The Sun themselves – three days ago – is presumably immaterial at this point.
F365 Shithouse headline of the day
‘Guardiola wants to bring Man Utd flop to City with £151m budget’
(According to a Chilean newspaper who definitely know all about Manchester City’s budget. Definitely).
Recommended reading of the day
Sid Lowe on Leganes
Recommended watching of the day