It is impossible to disagree with David Coverdale’s assertion that Manchester United ‘would not have deserved a draw’ against Valencia on Wednesday. They were sh*t.
But The Sun‘s reporter lays it on a little too thick by claiming that United ‘barely deserved to get out of this group’. They earned more points than Tottenham, Liverpool and last season’s semi-finalists Roma. They became only the third side to ever beat Juventus at the Allianz Stadium. Borussia Dortmund were the only team to concede fewer goals.
United were rubbish against Valencia, but they have actually been alright in Europe this season. Or they had, anyway.
Perhaps David Coverdale should get in touch with MailOnline, as they have the big scoop when it comes to United.
‘Bleary-eyed United flops arrive home at 2am after failing to finish top of Champions League group with defeat against Valencia,’ reads the headline to a piece by Nathan Salt, who presumably looks bright and breezy at 2am every morning.
By the first paragraph, we are told that ‘Jose Mourinho’s weary-eyed Manchester United squad arrived back in England in the early hours of Thursday morning’. So now they are ‘weary-eyed’?
Mind you, that’s nothing: the fourth paragraph says ‘players appeared disappointed’. They just lost a Champions League away game and are stepping off a plane at 2am to be greeted by people sticking cameras in their bleary/weary-eyed faces in the name of online football journalism. Why weren’t they singing and dancing?
Get your Phil
That was the MailOnline‘s top story for most of Thursday morning. It would take something special to replace it, but the unthinkable occurred at around 10am.
‘I’ve missed you so much brother’: Philippe Coutinho returns to Liverpool for Roberto Firmino’s wife’s birthday to delight of former team-mates’
‘Man goes to friend and former colleague’s wife’s birthday party’.
With the news that Tottenham have further delayed the opening of their new stadium, talkSPORT are eager to get an expert’s opinion on the situation. Unfortunately, they were all too busy; Sam Allardyce will have to do.
“If I was Mauricio, and I’m not, I would say to Daniel Levy: ‘I do not want to move from Wembley until next season’,” says the former England manager who, again, is absolutely not Mauricio Pochettino. And we thank him for that important clarification.
“You walk straight into another new stadium, and while it’s on the same piece of land it’s all brand new, so the familiarity is missing,” he continues. A reminder that Allardyce has never been in charge of a team while they have moved stadiums.
“Spurs suffered badly when they started playing at Wembley, but now they’ve come to terms with it and are playing much better.
“If they go back to Tottenham they face the same problem with the surroundings again and they could well suffer heavily just because of that.
“I think Mauricio has to be strong and say to Daniel Levy: ‘I want to stay at Wembley. The team is going well and you didn’t buy me any players in the summer, so please allow me to’.”
Forget that some players have openly said they can’t wait to play in the new stadium as the effect of playing at Wembley has worn off.
Ignore the fact that delaying the opening of the new stadium until next season would cost a lot of money and involve yet more broken promises made to the fans.
Leave aside the fact that Tottenham have ‘come to terms with’ playing at Wembley despite losing there three times already this season compared to five times in all of last campaign.
Disregard all that, because Tottenham’s head coach should balance over-achieving on the pitch with interfering heavily in precarious matters off it. Solid idea.
Writes Charlie Wyett in The Sun:
‘A £67m summer arrival from Roma, Alisson, 26, is getting better and better – as he proved with a key performance against Burnley before keeping the club in the Champions League with an injury-time save to deny Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik on Tuesday night.
‘Spare a thought for Roma fans as the man who scored the winner that sent the Reds through – Mo Salah – also arrived from the Stadio Olimpico.’
They qualified for the Champions League knockout stages one game before Liverpool. They’re probably just fine.
Writes David Maddock in the Daily Mirror:
‘Liverpool are the last unbeaten side in the Premier League, but Gini Wijnaldum warns the Reds are far from invincible.’
Four defeats in all competitions this season clearly was not enough proof.
The Foden files
‘City have their own young talent, of course, and Phil Foden showed all the wisdom in the club offering him that enhanced six-year contract. He looked completely at home in such distinguished company, and loving the end-to-end carnival’ – Henry Winter, The Times.
‘It was a mixed display by Foden of good and bad, and he teed up Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan for a couple of efforts before he hoofed away one clearance in a most un-Guardiola-like manner’ – David Anderson, who hands him a 5/10 rating, joint-lowest of any player for either side, in the Daily Mirror.
Recommended reading of the day
Steve Brenner talks to Bordeaux’s owner.
Jonathan Liew on Jose Mourinho and Manchester United.