Mikel Arteta has left the football world rocked by declaring that Patrick Vieira was good at Arsenal. Also, supercomputers, Sterling and more.
One of the stranger trends on Twitter might have confused an awful lot of people on Thursday evening. Alongside Adele and the UK’s other most-discussed topics was the rather curious sight of ‘Brentford 4th’.
The football-centric version of those weird ‘For All’ accounts was responsible, pulling the pin out of this nonsense, throwing the grenade and wringing their hands together at the subsequent engagement explosion.
🚨⚽️ | NEW: A supercomputer has predicted the final Premier League table pic.twitter.com/WzsjuPZC4E
— Football For All (@FootballlForAll) October 14, 2021
The best bits have been covered: Chelsea conceding one more goal all season; Arsenal drawing one and losing the rest of their away games; Southampton going an entire campaign without victory yet still not finishing bottom; someone conceding more than Norwich. The barrel is being scraped for more fish to shoot.
Most websites are thankfully clever enough not to touch it with a work-experience bargepole. Most, but not all. Mediawatch does not expect much more of capitalisation fetishists SportBible (Supercomputer Predicts Full Premier League Table After International Break, Man United Finish Outside Of Top Four) or SEO geniuses Birmingham Mail (Aston Villa hope and Man Utd shock as supercomputer predicts final Premier League table). But then there’s the Daily Mirror…
‘Supercomputer predicts final Premier League table with Man Utd outside top four’
…and The Sun, who do at least hint at the preposterous nature of the prediction.
‘Supercomputer predicts Chelsea will win Premier League with Southampton relegated after drawing 17 of 19 home games’
We are not angry. Just disappointed. How bad does it have to get for you to stop pretending the ‘predicted’ final table on Football Web Pages is something that should be taken even vaguely seriously? Is a basic algorithm predicated on the idea that everything that has already happened will just keep happening really a ‘supercomputer’? And is the desperation for any old content really that overwhelming?
Actual newspapers still work under the novel concept that journalism is an important thing and not just an elaborate p*ss-take. But they still seem to struggle with the basic tenet of contractual employment.
‘Raheem Sterling has dropped a bombshell by admitting he may be forced to quit Manchester City,’ screams John Cross on the back page of the Daily Mirror. It is nice to think that Sterling alone is in control of the situation but the first few words of the following paragraph weaken his position somewhat.
‘Sterling is into the final two years of his current deal…’
Ah. So ‘he may be forced to quit Manchester City,’ provided that Manchester City agree to let him leave and can find a club willing to pay the requisite transfer fee. It is more of a slight tremor than a ‘bombshell’.
‘I’LL QUIT FOR A START’ is the eye-catching headline to that story. Over at the Daily Mail, you get ‘PLAY ME OR I’M OFF’.
…’if you sell me before my contract expires’.
The Daily Mirror website keep on with the theme of Manchester City forwards as Patrick Austen-Hardy predicts a possible run up front for Jack Grealish. The boy must be on cloud…oh, what’s the number again?
‘Torres’ injury means Guardiola is now without a No.9 striker, except from the actual City No.9 Gabriel Jesus, who as of this season, is no longer considered to be a No.9 striker; therefore, in Guardiola’s eyes at least, City are now completely devoid of No.9s.’
I am Legend
In the Daily Mirror paper, John Cross underlines how impressed he has been with the change in culture at the London Stadium.
‘David Moyes is embracing West Ham’s wonderful history by throwing the doors open to past players and club legends.’
Great stuff. He has plenty of options. Has Paolo Di Canio been up there? Sir Geoff Hurst? Billy Bonds?
‘Former Hammer Joe Cole has been invited to the training ground, Rob Green has been there and the likes of Sir Trevor Brooking with his legacy will be just as welcome.’
Joe Cole as a ‘club legend’ is fair enough. Rob Green cannot possibly tick any other box than ‘past players’. And Sir Trevor Brooking being ‘just as welcome’ to visit is not quite the same as Sir Trevor Brooking actually visiting.
‘He has changed the mood at the club and bringing back Irons icons is another smart move which will go down well with fans.’
Imagine how delighted supporters will be when that plural becomes applicable and more than one ‘legend’ and ‘icon’ drops by.
Breaking news of the day
‘Mikel Arteta admits that it was tough playing against Patrick Vieira when the Arsenal legend was at his peak’.
Mediawatch can only wonder what torture techniques Tony Banks of the Daily Mirror used on Arteta to extract the admission that Patrick Vieira was quite a good footballer, especially when he was at Arsenal.
‘The former Arsenal captains only faced each other a few times as players, Arteta on the end of a 7-0 thrashing at Highbury as an Everton player.’
That does sound like it was pretty tough playing against Patrick Vieira when the Arsenal legend was at his peak. Although it should probably be noted that it was only 3-0 when Vieira came off just after half-time in that game. Still a ‘thrashing’ but not quite as dramatic.
‘And twice when midfielder Vieira, at the end of his career, had moved to Manchester City.’
And Arteta promptly won both meetings with Everton. Seems strange that you wouldn’t mention it.
Magpie in the sky
‘A week on from the £305million takeover being completed, it turns out overhauling a football club is not a quick or easy job. Patience, and a long-term attitude prevail’ – Simon Bird, Daily Mirror.
You mean that a team in 19th, without a win all season and unable to sign any new players for two and a half more months is not instantly transformed by having new owners? New owners, by the way, whose unofficial spokesperson in Amanda Staveley has already stated that “to get trophies means patience, investment, time”.
Sounds like they know Newcastle won’t win the Premier League next season.
Wild Bruce chase
‘Newcastle drop biggest hint yet Steve Bruce will still be manager for Tottenham match’ – talkSPORT.
Is it the fact he’s still manager on Friday and they play on Sunday? Not sure there can be a bigger hint than that.