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Mediawatch: The ‘Busby Babes’ are starting to grate

The king is dead. Long live the king You can see why the Daily Mirror’s chief football writer John Cross might have a particular leaning towards certain candidates to be the next Arsenal manager. Cross enjoyed a close relationship with Arsene Wenger; others might not be so forthcoming. Which is why it came as no surprise when Cross championed Brendan Rodgers for the job over a period of two to three months. He described Rodgers winning the SPL title with Cetic as a ‘remarkable achievement’ three weeks ago, before recommending him for the job in a column on April 20. Nothing to do with him being great for a quote and interview. As part of that piece, Cross wrote: ‘I’m not sure Patrick Vieira has the experience, the same probably goes for Mikel Arteta.’ Fast forward a short while, and with Rodgers barely mentioned, and Cross’ doubts about Arteta seem to have magically disappeared. ‘Fan reaction to appointing Arteta would be a concern, but Wenger was a relative unknown when he took over in 1996 while George Graham came from Millwall a decade earlier,’ he writes. ‘This is a club with a reputation for somewhat left-field appointments.’ Given that Arsenal approached both Barcelona manager Terry Venables and Aberdeen manager Alex Ferguson before appointing Graham, that is a reach. This is a club with a reputation for making one left-field appointment 22 years ago that went very well indeed. Using Wenger’s success – having won a Ligue 1 title – from 1996 onwards as evidence for Arteta being the right man for the job is something of a leap. ‘Mikel Arteta was born to be Arsenal boss,’ writes Cross. Ah yes, that famous Arsenal stronghold of the Basque country. It does seem a strange thing to write about a man born in San Sebastian and whose affiliation with Arsenal began at the age of 29. Particularly given that three weeks ago you didn’t think he was right for the job.   Fight! Fight! Fight! It’s day two of ‘Mauricio Pochettino vs Daniel Levy: The big fight live’ in the newspapers, and The Sun’s Neil Ashton is doubling down on his talk of crisis. ‘Pochettino, who first answered a few dollies about the win over the Foxes and Harry Kane’s goals, needed little encouragement on Sunday,’ Ashton writes. ‘He wanted to make his point, to drive it home before every player and supporter disappeared for the summer. ‘He talked at some length about this week’s meeting with Levy, their clear differences of opinion about the club’s direction being aired in public.’ Well here’s the meat of Pochettino’s press conference: “We need to talk a lot between us and the club. I think I have a very clear idea of what we need to do. I don’t know if the club will agree with me or not, but we are going to talk next week to create what I think we need to do together again, to try to improve. “That is a little bit up to Daniel and the club, of course, to agree with us because, after four years, I think we need to assess that period if we want to compete for big, big trophies. I think all that we achieved until today is fantastic but it will be so important to create again. “I think they’re going to listen to me, of course, but sometimes I have some crazy ideas. But you need to be brave in this kind of situation, in our club with our unbelievable fans, and take risks. I think it’s a moment for the club to take risks and try to be competitive. “I am sure Daniel is going to listen to me and of course we can create together to help the team to move on.” Pochettino did indeed talk about wanting more investment and about meeting Daniel Levy, but he absolutely did not talk about ‘their clear differences of opinion about the club’s direction being aired in public’. Another attempt at manufacturing crisis.   Beep, beep, beep ‘EVERY once in a while, English football enters a golden age. Think Busby Babes, the great Liverpool side built by Bill Shankly or Sir Alex Ferguson’s swashbuckling United teams. At this rate, in years to come, everybody will want to say they got to watch Tottenham live’ – Neil Ashton, The Sun, February 12. ‘Everybody admires Spurs’ pretty football — but Pochettino knows the pressure is now on to start landing some silverware. The nearly-man tag, the reminders he has yet to win a trophy at Tottenham, are starting to grate’ – Neil Ashton, The Sun, May 15. Weirdly, that first piece appears to have been deleted from The Sun’s football website. Wonder why.   Keeping your options open ‘Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has eyes for Max Allegri – and Juventus manager fancies a shot, despite the dangers’ – The Sun ‘exclusive’, April 2. ‘Luis Enrique at centre of Arsenal and Chelsea bitter battle as they look to install Spaniard as next boss’ – The Sun ‘exclusive’, April 22. ‘Chelsea contact Maurizio Sarri who is ready to leave Napoli following comments by chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis’ – The Sun, May 6. ‘Chelsea sensationally line up Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino to replace Antonio Conte’ – The Sun ‘exclusive’, May 15. It’s definitely be one of them. Maybe.   Just a very bizarre rant about dark kits ‘As Manchester City rewrote the record books on Sunday, there was only one problem: they didn’t look like Manchester City. ‘For some reason they did not wear their instantly recognisable sky blue, even though there was no reason to change so much as the socks. The wore a generic all-black Everykit. The away colours of the modern Everyclub. ‘Everyone looks like Everyclub these days. Everyone has a little black number in the wardrobe. Black or darkest navy or a variation on that theme. Chelsea’s third kit is probably camouflage grey or some nonsense — but, basically, it’s black. Huddersfield’s third is navy with pink trim — but it’s trying to be black. ‘In all, 12 of the 20 Premier League clubs this season wore an Everykit in some matches. For Crystal Palace, Leicester, Manchester United and West Ham it was their second choice; for Arsenal, Bournemouth, Brighton, Chelsea, Huddersfield, Manchester City, Newcastle and Swansea, their third’ – Martin Samuel, Daily Mail. Not like the Daily Mail to rail against Blackshirts, so that’s one good thing. But to get annoyed about 12 of the 20 Premier League clubs having a dark shirt...


Published By: Fottball 365 - Tuesday, 15 May, 2018

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