WHAT IF WE SHAKEN UP?
While Manchester United’s bombing at the hands of Brentford was undoubtedly the funniest game of the Premier League weekend, Archbishop Desmond playing between Chelsea and Tottenham at Stamford Bridge certainly made a good case for being the better. But for all the high-profile entertainment served up by both groups of players in the oppressive heat of London, the game was ultimately marred by the kind of post-match scenes no sane football fan wants to see.
The kind of scenes on various social media disgraces, where fans insulted, questioned the integrity and sometimes defamed a referee who, apart from a few minor oversights, had a largely excellent game. The kind of scenes where various so-called Social Media Disgraces refereeing experts demonstrated their lack of understanding of the laws they want to impose rigidly by moaning – wrongly, it turns out – that Chelsea should have been awarded a free kick for that Cristian Romero hair- shoot Marc Cucurella. Or that one of Tottenham’s goals should have been ruled out for offside, when they would be outraged if their own side had scored one in the same way. The kind of scenes that have led – at the time of writing – to more than 70,000 sheep wearing tinfoil hats blindly following a lead given by their team’s manager, signing a petition demanding that Anthony Taylor, the official in question, is banned from ever refereeing a Chelsea game again. In time they might see the irony of complaining about biased officials, while simultaneously demanding the right to choose their own favorites, but early signs suggest today is not that day.
Of course, there were also the kind of post-match scenes that any sane football fan wants to see; particularly the minor 30-man stramash that ensued when Thomas Tuchel upset Antonio Conte with the intensity and vigor of his post-match handshake. Opting for the superficial no-look mini clasp, Conte was rendered apoplectic when Tuchel grabbed his hand, refused to let go and came all over Strictly Jamie Redknapp as he forced the Italian into a three-quarter no appreciated while demanding that he look him in the eye. Cue heckling and red cards for both managers meaning they may have to sit out their respective clubs’ upcoming dance routines.
Having had time to calm down, both men played down the shenanigans as they carried out their post-match media duties. Tuchel went so far as to roll up his shirt sleeve and flex his biceps for the ladies and gents of the Fourth Estate, while later in the evening his counterpart shed some light on Instagram. However, the German is facing further disciplinary action for suggesting ‘maybe it would be better’ when asked if Taylor should be kept out of future Chelsea games. “But we also have VAR to help make the right decisions,” he added, hurling another insult but crucially providing a caveat that a good lawyer could just use to bail him out.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“You can’t have a tactical plan, but then put it in the trash. They are good players and they have to take responsibility on the pitch as a team and individually, and that’s what we haven’t done. I asked them to play with conviction and take responsibility for their performance, and that’s what they didn’t do’ – Erik ten Hag picks out the remnants of Brentford’s 4-0 dismantling of his Manchester United before transporting the sad team for further training.
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“Wait a minute. Regarding the exorbitant drink prices at the London Stadium (Friday’s Fiver), you say that West Ham ‘not operating or profiting from the concession stand, are now threatening to sue the footpads in charge if they don’t lower their prices in time for their next home game.” Surely that’s the one thing they’re not profiting from? Taxpayers are paying £14.5m for new seats, plus £5m extra pounds a year for stewardship, while the club only pays £3m a year in rent, so I’d say the owners can afford to dip into their deep pockets and treat all of their fans with unlimited drinks” – Christian Goldsmith.
“It’s not often you read constructive criticism on hoardings during a match, but during the rather wonderful annihilation of Manchester United by Brentford on Saturday, there was an advertisement for a company offering the rental of dumpsters and clearing rubbish. Great marketing, as Harry Maguire and David de Gea were clearly targeted personally” – Nigel Sanders.
“Obviously it’s very easy to make fun of Manchester United’s bottom of the table, although that’s clearly no reason not to, but can’t we look at the positives? For starters, these tables fan feelings will go crazy” – Noble Francis.
“If it’s any consolation for Dave Lloyd (Friday’s Fiver Letters), it looks like my beloved Spurs have opted for a third kit which apparently evokes ‘Tottenham’s ever-changing DNA’ but instead seems to involve looking the bottom of a swimming pool Third kits: please explain” – Morgan Jones.
Send your letters to [email protected] And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our invaluable letter of the day is… Christian Goldsmith.
NEWS, BITS AND BOBS
Manchester City player Benjamin Mendy raped women in locked ‘panic rooms’ at his secluded mansion they thought they could not escape, a court has heard. The court heard he had found numerous women in Manchester nightclubs, often with the help of his ‘fixer’, a 41-year-old man called Louis Saha Matturie, who is on trial alongside him on multiple counts of rape and sexual assault.
Manchester Crown Court heard that Ryan Giggs assaulted his then-girlfriend ‘very forcefully’ before turning to his younger sister and saying: ‘I’m going to headbutt you next .”
Aston Villa’s new signing Diego Carlos is likely done for 2022 after he ruptured his achilles in the win over Everton.
A quick look at the latest transfer news: West Ham want PSG’s Thilo Kehrer and Chelsea’s Emerson Palmieri, Bristol City’s Antoine Semenyo is on Crystal Palace’s radar, Chelsea are set to land the tyro Inter’s Cesare Casadei and the Glazers plan to rake in £15m by selling Manchester United talent James Garner.
And QPR goalkeeper Seny Dieng still benefits from his stoppage-time equalizer at Sunderland. “I didn’t know what to do, and then all the players were on top of me,” he clapped. “I don’t practice heading in training, I only use my hands, so it was a nice feeling at the end to get something out of the game.”
WANT EVEN MORE?
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