Liverpool won with the ‘kids’ through ‘sheer force of will’ and ten full internationals…
He’s NOT there
Wednesday morning on The Sun website: ‘MANCHESTER UNITED are back training after a Covid outbreak but Cristiano Ronaldo was NOT among the players to have showed up at Carrington.’
Wednesday evening on The Sun website: ‘CRISTIANO RONALDO led his team-mates back into Manchester United training after their Carrington complex re-opened.’
So why did they think he was NOT there? The answer is in a caption on the second story: ‘Cristiano Ronaldo managed to keep his face out of the camera’s glare.’
He was probably trying to keep the sun (lower case) out of his eyes and did not realise that small act of self-protection would spark ludicrous click-bait. The silly sausage.
Young boys of burn
On Wednesday, Mediawatch covered at some length the notion that Liverpool have this teeny-tiny squad, with the Daily Mirror predicting a ‘probable team’ to face Leicester in the Carabao Cup that still featured nine internationals and a £36m defender.
‘LIVERPOOL can compete against the powerful squads of Manchester City and Chelsea even in the current crisis.
‘That is the opinion of Jurgen Klopp’s No. 2 Pep Ljinders…he said the benefit of having a comparatively small squad is the chance it offers younger players.’
We did the comparisons and they don’t have a teeny-tiny squad at all.
The actual Liverpool team that faced Leicester contained three teenagers – alongside eight internationals – and that team was 3-1 down at the break before every one of those three teenagers was withdrawn to be replaced by two more full internationals and a £36m defender.
And yet the Daily Mirror – and in particular David Maddock – decided once again that the eventual victory was a victory for those kids who weren’t even on the pitch for the comeback or the victory. Because narrative.
‘On a dramatic night when Jurgen Klopp’s kids came of age with an astounding comeback…’
‘The sheer majestic theatre of the night was undoubtedly provided by the never-say-die spirit of the young players Klopp clearly believes in.’
‘Jota scored his 12th goal of the season as he sprang from the bench in the second half, and with the Kop suddenly in full voice and the kids on the charge…’
The average age of the Liverpool XI when Jota scored that goal was almost 26. The only player not a full international was the £36m centre-half bought in the summer.
‘It was no more than they deserved, for their sheer will alone, because with three teenagers starting amongst five youngsters, they had no right to defeat a Vardy-led Leicester.’
And they wouldn’t have defeated a Vardy-led Leicester without James Milner, Diogo Jota and Ibrahima Konate coming off the bench at half-time.
The kids are alright. But they didn’t win that game.
Even The Sun wrote that ‘Jurgen Klopp’s Kop kids came back from the brink’. They bloody didn’t though, did they?
Can you feel the force?
Over in the Daily Mail, Ian Ladyman is in thrall to this Liverpool side who ‘reeled in Leicester through sheer force of will’.
‘For this is the culture he has created. Do not lie down. Do not lose. This is a club with his name written right through it. This is Klopp’s Liverpool.’
All very poetic but ‘sheer force of will’? Well, ‘force of will’ plus some excellent footballers brought off the bench while Leicester suffered injuries to Ricardo Perreira and Caglar Soyuncu before the hour mark.
Doesn’t sound quite so miraculous now.
It ain’t Auba til it’s Auba
It will come as no surprise to The Sun’s Arsenal correspondent Mark Irwin that he wrote in Wednesday’s newspaper – presumably based on information from Arsenal – that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will not be sold in January:
‘ARSENAL want to use next month’s Africa Cup of Nations as a period to reset relations with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang…Arsenal are not planning to sell him in January and weaken their squad for the crucial second half of the season…Arteta has no intention of allowing the player to leave.’
…and then on Thursday, that is almost entirely ignored by his newspaper’s website (because clicks), as Etienne Fermie writes:
‘ARSENAL are sounding out potential buyers for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ahead of next month’s transfer window, according to reports.’
How long before newspapers like The Sun decide that having an actual Arsenal correspondent (or Manchester United or Liverpool) is entirely unnecessary when the real money is made by the chop-and-shoppers who serve Google? On this occasion, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the traditional tabloid men (they’re almost always men). Save Our Scufflers.
Collapse of judgement
Actually, we take it back. Nobody should be writing that ‘WORRIED Mikel Arteta warns football could COLLAPSE if players’ concerns over Covid continue to be ignored’ unless Mikel Arteta has used the word ‘COLLAPSE’ or even the word ‘collapse’. It’s an emotive word to be flinging around willy-nilly when all Arteta actually said was that without footballers, there would be no football. Which is inarguable and absolutely not in any way indicative of a COLLAPSE.
‘Spurs star Lucas Moura gushes about wife Larissa Saad as he dedicates winner vs West Ham to Wag on five-year anniversary’ – The Sun website.
The word you are looking for is ‘her’. It’s a tricky one, alright.
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