Who thinks the Manchester United Treble beats a Liverpool Quadruple?

Stan Collymore, that’s who, though we think it’s largely because Stan Collymore was playing in 1999.


Hit Quad
Mediawatch had to check that Stan Collymore is actually only 51 after reading his latest ‘it were better in the olden days’ column in the Daily Mirror. His contention is that actually, Liverpool winning the Quadruple – literally never achieved before in football – would not be that impressive in the grand scheme of things.

Of course, it would be a ‘fantastic achievement’ but ‘it won’t be any greater than Tottenham’s Double in 1960-61, Arsenal’s in 1970-71, or Liverpool’s in 1985-86’.

We’re fascinated to hear how four trophies are actually no better than two, apart from ‘because it were better in the olden days’.

We’re fascinated to hear how Arsenal’s 1970-71 side – who crashed out of the League Cup and Europe – are actually the equal of a team that wins all four trophies available at a time when they are up against the greatest club side of the last decade.

We’re fascinated to hear how Liverpool’s 1985/86 side – barred from Europe but beaten by mid-table QPR in the League Cup – are actually the equal of a team that wins all four trophies available at a time when they are up against the greatest club side of the last decade.

And then comes ‘Manchester United’s Treble in 1998-99 which, pound for pound, would still be the greatest achievement of all’.

Why? Even the staunchest United fan would have to agree that four is a bigger number than three.

United won the title with 79 points, a total surpassed by Liverpool and Manchester City this season with several games to spare. They also won the FA Cup and the Champions League but they lost in the third round of the League Cup.

And yet that is still the better achievement than winning all four trophies? Because everything was better when Stan was playing?

Collymore offers literally no explanation why United winning three trophies is better than Liverpool potentially winning four, other than a lack of ‘financial doping’, which kind of ignores two things: 1) United spent rather a lot of money to win those trophies and 2) The ‘financial doping’ of Manchester City, United and Chelsea in modern times makes it even more remarkable if Liverpool win four trophies.

He then writes that when he played, ‘Matt Le Tissier spent his career with the Saints, but he’d have been taken on by one of the big boys after a couple of years these days’, to which we offer the words ‘Harry’ and ‘Kane’. We could also point out that Le Tissier turned down several moves away from Southampton but actually, we have already given that argument more credence than it deserves.

‘Spurs, Arsenal and Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool all hit the heights with smaller squads than Jurgen Klopp’s Reds and City have at their disposal today’.

They hit smaller heights with smaller squads at a time when all their rivals had smaller squads too; Spurs played 49 games to win their double and Liverpool have played 56 games already. You’re comparing apples with oranges and deciding that pineapples are better.


Done Ron Ron Ron
‘At least you can rely on Cristiano Ronaldo to lift the spirits,’ writes Neil Custis in The Sun. ‘A sparkling display, capped by his 24th goal of the season from the penalty spot, gave Manchester United fans something to cheer. In fact, he has probably given them the only things to cheer this season.’

Is this the same Ronaldo and indeed the same Neil Custis that collided to bring us these words in February?

‘The truth that is now staring everyone in the face, and clearly Ronaldo himself, is that his days as a top-class footballer are over.

‘It has been an admirable battle against father time but he is now losing it.’

‘Losing it’ and yet now, less than three months later (and three months older for Ronaldo), ‘they need him still, even at 37, as they look to the future’.

But, but, but…

‘The problem, though, is that when the ball is at his feet, or on his head, there is no magic any more, it has all gone.’

It’s almost like – and stop me if this is blowing your minds – Ronaldo had a blip in form at the same time as Manchester United were utterly atrocious and he is now neither completely finished nor the future for United. But why acknowledge middle ground when you can lurch wildly between extremes?

Somebody give Custis one of those heated lavender packs to treat his whiplash.


Fergie time
Headline on The Sun website as Ken Lawrence writes about – and we had to check this – a 3-0 victory:

‘Man Utd verdict: Final home game played against backdrop of depression and disillusion, it’s a far cry from Fergie days’

It’s been nine f***ing years; get over it.

‘For the last home match of the season came agains the backdrop of depression and disillusion at a club that under Sir Alex Ferguson ruled the Premier League and on a couple of occasions did so in Europe too.

‘This is a very different United to the one Fergie guided to 13 titles, two Champions League successes and so much more silver wear.’

‘Silver wear’ has made us laugh at least (it’s the pick of about 427 mistakes, including a description of Ronaldo as a ‘waining star’ and a brief discussion of ‘parametres’), but the rest of this is utterly miserable. It is a ‘very different United’ but how many times can that be written? Thousands, it seems.

Manchester United have not had a very good season, but a 3-0 win over Brentford gave Lawrence the chance to write about the farewell of Juan Mata or maybe the promise of Anthony Elanga. That he watched that victory and essentially wrote ‘this Manchester United is not as good as Fergie’s Manchester United’ says a great deal about tabloid journalism and its obsession with a past in which they were still relevant.


Do one, Ron, Ron
Ken Lawrence on The Sun website:

‘Ronaldo does not fit those parametres no matter that he had a sparkle about him against Brentford in what was his best all – round performance in months.

‘And in those months there have been hints for months that without Champions League football next season he will head off.

‘He certainly won’t want to be involved in the Europa League or perish the thought, playing in Europe’s third tier Conference.’

Ken Lawrence on the back page of The Sun:

‘CRISTIANO RONALDO dropped his biggest hint yet that he wants to stay at Manchester United – after mouthing: I’m not finished.’

That all seems perfectly clear.


Down, down, deeper and down
Elsewhere in Stan Collymore land, he seems to think that Burnley’s survival absolutely would not reflect badly on the recently sacked Sean Dyche, in fact ‘the opposite because every player at Turf Moor is a Dyche player’, and yet Leeds’ relegation would be down to ‘the over-egging of the Marcelo Bielsa pudding’.

Now try and hold both of those opinions at the same time without getting a throbbing headache.

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