Arsenal maths revealed, non-existent Man Utd demands and Liverpool history re-written

Arsenal offer William Saliba new contract Credit: Alamy
Arsenal offer William Saliba new contract Credit: Alamy

Arsenal are going to break records according to some schoolboy maths, Marcus Rashford is making demands and we’re supposed to believe that Liverpool have the solution…

 

Joy division
Can you REVEAL maths? It seems you absolutely can.

‘REVEALED’ screams The Sun website

‘Arsenal on course for record Prem points tally with predicted final table revealed if they continue at same rate’

What’s been ‘revealed’ is a simple calculation that an average 10-year-old could grasp – that if you have a points tally after 12 or 13 games then you can extrapolate over 38 games. Your 10-year-old might not use the word ‘extrapolate’ but nor would they claim to have ‘revealed’ that Arsenal’s record start would become a record season if everything remains the same.

Obviously, the ‘record’ is their own, which is not tremendously clear from The Sun’s headline but still…on with the revelations:

‘Mikel Arteta’s men sit two points ahead of Pep Guardiola’s defending champions Manchester City with just a fortnight to go until the domestic campaign pauses for the World Cup.

‘And if Arsenal can keep this form up for the rest of the season, it has been revealed that they would register their highest EVER points tally in the Premier League – a breathtaking 99.’

It has been ‘revealed’ by who? A bloke on Twitter, apparently. The Sun didn’t even do the maths themselves! Had they done the maths themselves, they might not have rounded 98.167 up to a ‘breathtaking 99’. Who are we kidding? They would have rounded up to 100.

Oh and Mediawatch is happy to be the dick that points out that after 12 games last season, Chelsea were on course for a pretty damned fine 92 points; they ended the season with 74.

 

I have become something unrecognisable
Mediawatch has obviously missed the memo but The Sun website loves to pretend that celebrities who look slightly different/older are now ‘unrecognisable’ despite being largely very recognisable indeed. It’s the ultimate clickbait.

Examples from the last 24 hours alone include…

‘Strictly’s Jayde Adams unrecognisable eleven years ago in plunging skintight outfit as she shares Halloween throwback’

‘Creepy Cousin Itt in The Addams Family and Issac actor unrecognisable 38 years after cult horror film’

(It’s 38 years, FFS. It would truly be creepy as f*** if he looked exactly the same.)

‘I’m A Celebrity’s Jessica-Jane Clement unrecognisable as she joins OnlyFans 11 years after the show’

‘X Factor star Joe McElderry looks almost unrecognisable as he dances to Beyonce song’

SPOILER: He’s a bit fatter.

Of course the trend extends to football so in recent weeks we have been treated to the ‘unrecognisable’ Jonathan Greening (he had a beard) and the ‘unrecognisable’ Oliver Bernard (looked exactly the same, except he was behind a bar).

And now…

‘Man Utd Premier League winner looks unrecognisable 15 years later as he rides on a bike outside modest home’

In reality, what’s actually ‘unrecognisable’ as we look at a picture of a man who is clearly Chris Eagles is that description of him as a ‘Premier League winner’. He played four Premier League games in 2007/08. That did not make him a ‘Premier League winner’.

‘The dad-of-two, who won the Premier League AND Champions League, retired from professional football in January 2020.’

Does playing one group-stage dead rubber earn you a Champions League medal? No. No, it does not.

Are The Sun full of absolute bollocks in pursuit of clicks? Yes. Yes, they are.

 

Don’t pick up…cos you aren’t friends
‘Cristiano Ronaldo is ignoring Gary Neville’s calls after brutal snub, says Rio Ferdinand’ – Mirror website.

Actual Rio Ferdinand quote: “I don’t think Cristiano is taking that call [if Neville calls him].”

Can you ignore a call that might not have been made?

 

He said what?
Not for the first or last time, Mediawatch finds itself sympathising with the Daily Mirror‘s Manchester United man David McDonnell. He puts in the hard yards, drives the miles and writes stories based on what footballers and managers actually said, which seems terribly old-fashioned.

‘Marcus Rashford believes Erik ten Hag has restored the spirit and belief that can help take Manchester United back to the top.’

It’s not a scintillating line but then they are not scintillating quotes.

But then if McDonnell goes to Google to find his piece online, perhaps by Googling ‘Rashford Ten Hag Mirror’, this is the utter nonsense that he will find, and also that Rashford, Ten Hag or anybody that works for Manchester United will find:

‘Marcus Rashford demands change to Erik ten Hag tactics to trigger Man Utd hot streak’

It goes almost without saying that Rashford demands nothing of the sodding sort.

Here is what he actually said:

“Everyone in the midfield today [against West Ham] they can cross the ball. It’s something you’re almost itching for, on this occasion it was just one but sometimes there’s two or three in the box.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is his ‘demand’ for change. And that story will likely attract ten times the clicks of McDonnell’s honest but dull story. And yet that’s the one he might well be forced to defend by Manchester United.

Oh and pesky fact: Manchester United produced 18 crosses on Sunday.

 

Deja view
We don’t blame Chris Bascombe for the headline on his Telegraph piece – ‘Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool have been here before – this is how he can stop the rot’ – that suggests a solution that is absolutely not offered.

But we do blame him for this re-telling of history…

‘Before Leeds United’s success, that was the last time Liverpool lost a home Premier League game, Fulham inflicting an unprecedented sixth consecutive Anfield defeat. Liverpool had lost eight of their previous 12 league games.

‘That period invites sober reflection now, mitigating factors such as empty stadiums and Virgil van Dijk’s long-term injury meaning it was a wobble and not an irreversible decline. There was an absence of such logic at the time as Liverpool’s chances of finishing in the top four were more remote than now.’

Liverpool were literally four points off a top-four place with ten games left to play after that Fulham defeat; they are currently eight points adrift.

And it’s also worth noting that the defence for that Fulham defeat featured Rhys Williams, Nathaniel Phillips and Neco Williams. If Bascombe’s idea to ‘stop the rot’ is to drop that sorry bunch then we can safely say that ship has long since sailed.

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