manchester united Category
Neymar has put Premier League suitors on red alert after his dad revealed he could quit Barcelona. Manchester United lead the race for the Brazil superstar, with rivals City and Chelsea also monitoring the situation.
Monitoring the situation is tabloid speak for ‘waiting for a phone from the player’s agent’.
The Sun’s big sports story is based on “reports in Spain”, which says an “unnamed club” has offered £144.4million for Neymar. All Neymar’s dad – the sole source for news of that mega offer – will reveal is that the mystery is club is not Real Madrid.
Over to Spain, then, where Catalunya radio’s Jordi Borda is responding to the Sun’s news. He tweets:
Neymar pare li ha dit al jutge que el seu fill només vol renovar amb l Barça tot i q té una oferta milionària x marxar. Ha parlat d’una oferta de 190 milions. (Neymar’s father told the judge that his son just wants to renew with the club even though he has a multi-million offer. He spoke of an offer of €190m.)
That’s the judge in an investigating into allegations that Neymar is involved in fraud.
The allegations refer to image rights contracts from 2006 when Neymar was a teenager playing for Santos. Prosecutors allege further fraud occurred during negotiations to take him to Barcelona in 2011. He joined the Catalan giants in 2013.
The Sun must have forgotten to read the part about Neymar wanting to remain at Barcelona.
Son good is Pep Guardiola that he’s already helping Manchester United win matches – and he’s not even their manager. He doesn’t join Manchester City til the summer. But according to Sky Sports, United’s 3-0 home win over a crestfallen Stoke City – they went into the match having been dumped out of the League Cup on a semi-final penalty shoot-out and beaten in the FA Cup a few days later – was a sign of Pep’s mastery. The headline declares:
Man Utd respond in style after Man City’s Pep Guardiola announcement
On the field, United’s two wins from their past 10 Premier League games, their lowest goal-haul in 27 years and the continued uncertainty around Louis van Gaal’s future offered little suggestion a ray of hope would arrive with the visit of Mark Hughes’ Stoke.
Yet, 24 hours on from Man City’s big moment, the United players seemed inspired into a response.
All Louis Van Gaal had to do to make his expensive team of plodders into world-beaters was wait for a rival to hire a better manager. Easy.
The Guardian continues:
If this is how Pep Guardiola’s impending arrival across town can galvanise Manchester United then the rest of the season for Louis van Gaal and his men may be fruitful after all.
How clever of United’s kingmakers not to employ Pep hen they can get the Pep Effect with Van Gaal.
There is no certainty the Spaniard’s decision to join Manchester City had anything to do with this scintillating United display, of course. But it is fair to say that just when the embattled Van Gaal would want his players to return their finest display of the campaign they did.
United fans must be delighted, In yer face City!
PS: This is how the pisspoor Telegraph reported on United’s reaction to Pep:
Panicked into victory!
“If an offer comes, then we need to discuss it. If it should go into the hundreds of millions, then we also need to talk to the player. But I’m not worrying about it because at the moment we want to keep him as long as possible, best beyond 2020.”
If a team offers nutzoid money for Aubameyang, Dortmund will flog him. Maybe. By the time that statement reached some readers it had mutated into all manner of Transfer Balls:
The Express conjured up news about Arsenal and Liverpool:
Are Arsenal and Liverpool shocked to learn that if they offer hundreds of millions of pounds for a player they stand a decent chance of recruiting him?
The Telegraph’s readers hear that Aubameyang could join Arsenal for hundreds of millions below the headline:
Aubameyang back in the picture
No. He’s not. Well, not unless Arsenal decided to spend hundreds of millions on one player and he’s painted by Picasso and Van Gogh.
The Metro conjures: “Dortmund will consider selling Arsenal target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang”
Yes. They will. Just as Barcelona will ‘consider’ selling Lionel Messi to Manchester United / Arsenal / Bournemouth / anyone for, say, £2billion. Make the number big enough and Manchester United’s owner would probably sell the club to Manchester City.
The apogee of this utter balls is in the Star, which tells Arsenal and Liverpool fans:
A boost. Being told the player will stray at Dortmund unless a team pays hundreds of millions is boost is a ‘boost’.
Liverpool and Man United’s owners must be punching the air.
Is Manchester Untied manager Louis Van Gaal a quitter? Is he going to quit Old Trafford? Is he… Well, you get the idea. The Press are obsessed with the idea of Van Gaal leaving his job. What loon would walk out of a job managing one of the world’s great football clubs?
Today’s Star leads with news that Van Gaal is sane enough to realise he’s got a fantastic job. He’s not quitting. In fact, he says “I Will Never Quit”. The Daily Mail has much the same news:
It all ads up to nothing. It’s a no-news news story. What Van Gal told the Press was:
“I have not mentioned that [quitting] ever. I think that you make your own stories. Then I have to answer your stories.”
Let’s have a look at the balls the Press has reported on Van Gaal quitting:
Such are the facts.
But Manchester United says the Sun’s scoop is balls. On the BBC we read: “Sources have told BBC Sport no such conversation took place.”
But the Sun says it is “understood” the conversation did take place.
This is the second time in under a week the Sun has been contradicted by United. The paper reported that Man United’s reps had met Pep Guardiola at a Paris hotel. United said that was balls.
Either the Sun is writing nonsense, or else the club is lying.
And what, then, of the Mirror’s news?
This is not only a fight over Van Gaal’s future – it looks like United dealmaker Ed Woodward is fighting to save his job at United.
Goodbye, Manchester United, says goalkeeper Victor Valdes. It’s been hard… What’s that?
Following defeat to Southampton, Louis Van Gaal has let it be know that he’s “very disappointed” he is unable “to reach the expectations of the fans”. The Daily Mail (“GET Rid of LVG”), says those who pay Van Gaal are condidering ‘letting him go’.
The paper says United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, has asked senior players what they think of the Dutchman. They told him of their problems with Van Gaal. They have “stopped responding”.
The Mail says Van Gaal’s end will spell promotion for Ryan Giggs. But Gigs wants the job on a long contract, not just to be an interim boss. Giggs is the “most likely choice”, readers are told.
Unless Jose Mourinho can get the job he craves. The Mail says the former Chelsea manager is “desperate” for the job. His agent has, reportedly, told United’s dealmakers Mourinho can win the title in his first season at Old Trafford. He did not add “or your money back!”
The Sun says it’s “GAAL OVER’. The paper says he’s “on the brink” of “quitting” United. For months the Sun’s being saying Van Gaal’s been on the brink. That brink is wide and generous.
The Mirror says Van Gaal “edges closer to ending the misery”. He has “dropped a quit hint”. He hasn’t.
Meanhwile, not one newspaper lead with a well cone to Southampton, who on much smaller budget than United’s, won the game.
Jose Mourinho has written a “six-page love letter to United”, says the Independent.
Sadly, we don’t get to see any extracts from the former Chelsea manager’s love letter. We just get told how respectful Jose is to Louis Van Gaal, the current Man United boss. Which sounds a lot of utter balls when you realise the Dutchman’s contract runs until 2017. If the letter exists, it is surely a pitch for the man’s job and with it his sacking.
The Indy notes:
Though many among the United hierarchy were more open to appointing the Portuguese than they were when Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, the former Chelsea manager’s camp were made aware that there was a still a considerable faction at the club opposed to hiring him. The reasons are thought to range from Mourinho’s regular controversies, his style of football and his failure to nurture young talent.
The Portuguese is well aware of this thinking, and that is why he took the decision to write a lengthy document, emphasising just how much he wants the job and how he would be willing to adapt his style to meet United’s principles. They have traditionally prided themselves on playing open, attacking football, and they have always set great store on developing their own young players.
In his submission Mourinho also presented a forensic analysis of this season’s team…
Is this PR dressed as a new story – dire off the missive, leak it to the Press and see what occurs? Look out for life-size cardboard cut-outs of Jose Mourinho in the Old Trafford stands.
And are United fans so desperate they want Mourinho, a man who delivers silverware but in a caustic style of management reliant on slash and burn-out? Is Jose so desperate to get one over on Chelsea, keen to show the club where he cemented his reputation and from where he was twice sacked that it wasn’t him, it was them? Could any Chelsea fan stand to be on the receiving end of his snark and sneer, to see him lead United to glory?
Mourinho’s agent Jorge Mendes says the letter is nonsense, writing on his company’s website:
With regard to news published today in the British Press about Jose Mourinho, Jorge Mendes explained the following: “It does not occur to anyone that a coach like Jose Mourinho can write letters to clubs offering their services. It is absolutely ridiculous and totally absurd. “
Absurd. Ridiculous. But believable. This is Mourinho who once hid in a laundry basket. He wants that Man United job.
Compare and contrast two of today’s stories on Manchester United an Pepe Guardiola:
And the, as reported by the Guardian:
Manchester United have denied reports that club officials met Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola in Paris last week to discuss the possibility of him replacing Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford. A report in France Football on Thursday claimed that the meeting with the Spaniard took place at the Hotel Bristol in the 8th arrondissement of the French capital last week. However, a United spokesman insisted there was no truth in the story.
Mentions of France Football in The Sun’s story: nil, although, like the Express, it does mention “reports in France” as the story’s source.
Either the Sun doesn’t check sources before it yells ‘Scoop!’ or else United are mistaken.
Manchester United have been talking to Pepe Guardiola, the football manager who will lead whichever club he coaches to ultimate glory. The Sun says Manchester United’s schmoozers met Pep at the “five-star Le Bristol hotel” in Paris. This was, we are told a “secret”.
It is also a “shock” to Manchester City who “convinced” Pep was on his way to their place. The paper suggests Pep is reluctant to reach an agreement with City because his current club, Bayern Munich, could meet them in the Champions League.
The Mirror leads with news that current Man United boss, Louis Van Gaal, is certain to leave the club in the summer. The United board have slapped him with a “transfer ban”. ll big deals are on the “back burner”. Odd because it was the Mirror that reported on December 31 2015, “Manchester United close in on £35m midfielder” and today yells: “John Stones ‘remains Louis van Gaal’s top target.” Van Gaal will bid £45m for Stones.
Such are the facts.
The Daily Mirror has news: Louis Van Gone – Old Trafford pressures force boss to consider his future.. he could walk a year before the end of his contract.”
This follows other Lois Van Gaal walking news:
And so to today’s walking Louis news:
Louis van Gaal is considering walking out on Manchester United this summer – a year before his contract expires… Sources in Holland claim the Dutchman’s family have become increasingly concerned at the heavy toll leading the Old Trafford giants is taking on the 64-year-old.
Sources in his homeland? If he goes, then what?
Van Gaal stepping down would leave the way clear for Jose Mourinho, sacked by Chelsea last month, to take over — the Special One is said to be willing to bide his time until the summer to land the Old Trafford gig.
Mourinho is “willing” be manager of the biggest club in British football. Feel the humility. Why United would go for Mourinho seems odd. Maybe thy plan to narrow the Old Trafford pitch?
When Liverpool play Manchester United the Press like to hype it as a meeting comparable to Spain’s El Clasico, the shimmering fixture between Real Madrid and Barcelona. It isn’t. It’s a match between a mid-table side (Liverpool) and also-rans (Manchester United) in an ordinary Premier League league. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp calls these big matches ‘the salt in the soup’. But the soup is horribly thin and over-priced.
In yesterday’s poor match, Manchester United took all three points thanks to a Wayne Rooney goal scored with United’s single shot on target. Rooney’s strike was the one moment of genuine skill in a game devoid of style, intensity, technique and excitement.
The tabloids all lead with news that the result is all that matters.
The Express: “VanTitle Drive – Rooney keeps United hopes alive”
Mirror: “Van Gaal: We are back in title race… and it’s all down to wayne goals”.
The Sun: “Roo Gotta Believe Us – We can still win title claims defiant LVG”
Daily Mail: “Roo in Title Charge – His goal puts United back in the frame”
A dull away win against a bang average Liverpool side and Manchester Untied can in the Premier League. Wow! And these are the same paper that a few weeks ago wanted LG sacked for being dull.
Transfer balls spot this in the Metro: Real Madrid are tying to sell Manchester United Toni Kroos, 26, to help them pay for Paris St-Germain striker Edinson Cavani, 28.
Regular readers will recall the tabloids telling them that Kroos joined United from Bayern Munich in May 2014.
The trusty Metro said Man United has paid £20m for Kroos.
All total balls. Kroos joined Real for £20m on a six-year deal.
And so to today’s Metro scoop:
Real Madrid want Manchester United to spend £40.5million on the transfer of Toni Kroos so they can use the funds to sign Arsenal target Edinson Cavani.
Real bought Kroos for £20m. They want to get rid of him so are asking for over £40m. Eh?
The La Liga side are concerned that their transfer ban will leave them short in the striking department. Real president Florentino Perez wants to sign the Paris Saint-Germain striker but needs to raise funds to do so. And he is willing to let United buy Kroos to fund a deal, according to A Bola.
The three clubs showed to the representative of Kroos their willingness to engage in talks with Real Madrid at the end of the season and put on the table a negotiating offer of around €50m. The whites signed the world champion in the summer of 2014 for €25m. Kroos had only one year contract with Bayern and didn’t want to renew, so the price of his transfer was much lower than his actual market price.
No sources are cited. There are no quotes. No names. From that one report so many newspaper say Manchester United have bid over €50m for Kroos.
You have to wonder why when facing a two window transfer ban Real would sell one of their players, especially one on a long contract?
The tabloids are attempting to light the bunsen burner beneath Liverpool’s home match with Manchester United. It’s not an easy thing to do. Liverpool, an ordinary mid-table side, versus also-rans Manchester United. Game on!
The papers looks at the charisma-free players on either side, fail to spot any signs of tension, fight, star-quality or feuds, and decide to focus attention on the teams’ respective managers.
The Sun says Liverpool boss Jurgen Kloop, fresh from wildly celebrating a last-gasp home draw with Arsenal – Liverpool fans still unsure how far their club have fallen should study his frenzied reaction and weep – “Said No to United.”
JURGEN KLOPP snubbed a chance to fill Alex Ferguson’s boots at Manchester United.
The Liverpool boss was approached by Fergie himself three years ago. But Klopp admitted: “We spoke and it was a big honour but there was a time I couldn’t leave Dortmund. It was April and in the middle of the planning for next season… We spoke but I first had to finish the job with Dortmund then think about other things. Maybe that is not smart but that is my way.”
No snub, then. Klopp was tied to his beloved Dortmund. He would not leave them in the lurch.
The Express says Klopp “turned down Fergie”. Klopp was not first choice for United. Ferguson sounded out many managers about them taking over at Old Trafford.
The Mirror and Star both lead with Louis Van Gaal, a man who for week has been on the “brink” of getting the sack at Old Trafford – well, so the papers have told us. He’s still there. Asked if he thinks United will go as long without winning the title as Liverpool, who last won the league in 1990, Van Gaal says:
“I am part of the transition so I cannot imagine that shall happen with Manchester United. But when it’s happening to Liverpool it can happen to Manchester United but I cannot imagine that because we are in transition and we are going in the right way.
“Maybe it shall take a longer time but I cannot imagine that it shall be the same period for Manchester United – the club is too big, too well organised and we have an infrastructure and we are improving that every year.”
So much for his having a pop at Liverpool. He says it could happen to any team.
In “Bale Bombshell”, the Mail leads with news that Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid have been banned from registering new players for two transfer windows. Both clubs are guilty of breaking rules governing the importing of player under 18.
This has a “major impact” on players like Gareth Bale, David De Gea, Eden Hazard and Cristiano Ronaldo. Sharp eyes will have noticed that two of those players don’t actually play for Real Madrid. But the Mail reasons that Real want to buy De Gea from Manchester United and Hazard from Chelsea, and sell Bale to United and Ronaldo to PSG.
This leads the Mail to declare a state of “mayhem” in the transfer market. Pete Jenson says Everton “could” look to panic buy Everton’s John Stones. Although if Real appeal, they “could” secure a delay to their ban, meaning they “could” buy David De Gea next summer. They “could” also sell Bale to Manchester United.
The Times, says the ban “all but ends” Manchester United’s hopes of recruiting Bale or Ronaldo. Chelsea are hurt in their pursuit of Diego Simeone, the Atletico coach. He loves the club and “may well demur at the prospect of leaving them in the lurch”. Also, Atletico might block Chelsea’s attempts to buy Antoine Guzmann.
On the plus side, Manchester United will have one less rival for Robert Lewandowski, and Manchester City in their hunt for Paul Pogba’s signature.
The Sun says the ban triggers a £250m “mad dash” by Real to sign as many players as possible. This means they will buy David De Gea, Sergio Aguero , Paul Pogba, Robert Lewandowski and Eden Hazard. The Star adds Harry Kane to the list.
Is it all just hype? When Barcelona were banned from all transfer activity in 2015, they used their appeal to sign targets. Barcelona were handed a 14-month ban in April 2014 after being found guilty of breaching Fifa’s rules on the transfer of players aged under 18. Fifa rejected an appeal in August 2014 but a pending appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport allowed Barca to sign players, including Luis Suarez, Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal. Barcelona signed lots of players during their ban but never registered them until it ended. When it did, they registered a mere 77 players.
The agents are going to be busy.
Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal is on game from defeat. So says the Times on its back page.
If you say it for long enough eventually you can be proven right:
And on it goes…
Manchester United will seek to make Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola their manager. To help him settle in at Old Trafford, United will sign Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who Pep used to manage.
This we know because we read it in the Daily Star. The paper adds that Manchester United can afford both Pep and Messi because they have lots and lots of cash from Adidas. Will Messi will want to play for Manchester United – following a path trod by Argentine players Juan Veron and Angela Di Maria, both who flopped at Old Trafford after big money moves? Question asked, question answered. It’s not going to happen.
Can we trust the Express to be right? Let’s look at the paper’s past reporting on Kroos:
The Express later declared:
MANCHESTER UNITED have agreed a deal with Bayern Munich for attacker Toni Kroos
Sticking with the Daily Express we learn that United want Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez, 21, who wants to remain in Spain.
The Independent says United want Valencia play-maker Andre Gomes, 22, because Niguez won’t return their calls.
Lastly, the Manchester Evening News says Edinson Cavani could be of interest, as could Mats Hummels, who in January 2015 caused the Daily Star to scream: “Borussia Dortmund star Mats Hummels AGREES £37m Manchester United deal.” He didn’t. He went nowhere – much like reporting on Manchester United targets.
Manchester United are interested in Paris St-Germain manager Laurent Blanc. They want him now or in the summer, reports the Le10 Sport via Daily Star.
The Star also reports, that Manchester United are interested in recruiting Pep Guardiola, the Spanish coach who wants to manager a Premier League team next season. Current United coach Louis Van Gaal says Pep “wants to sniff the culture of England.” Does the Premier League have a perfume? It should do. HYPE, by PL: base notes of used bank notes and crude oil overlaid with top notes of phlegm, lager and yoga mat. All served in a satellite-dish shaped bottle which when opens plays Search for the Hero, by M People.
The Star says Van Gaal is not fazed by talk of Pep to Old Trafford. He shouldn’t worry, says talkSport. The radio station thunders: ” Man United are not pursuing Pep Guardiola because he lacks Premier League experience, claims Spanish football expert.”
Which is why, er, United went for PL rookie Van Gaal.
Sky Sports says “Watford forward Odion Ighalo admits it would be hard to reject Man Utd.”
“There has been speculation from Spain and Italy but I’ve played there and now want to play in England,” Ighalo told the Sun. “I don’t think I will be moving but I’m not sure I’d say no if United called.”
United have not called.
The MEN says United are not going to win the race to sign Brazil striker Alexandre Pato: “Tutto Mercato claims that bitter rivals Liverpool are set to win the race for Corinthians star, with the club eager to offload him because of his massive wages.”
Ronaldo won’t be rejoining United. New Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane tells everyone:
“Cristiano Ronaldo is non-transferable. He’s the soul of this team. While he’s here, he won’t leave. Cristiano will play on the wings, how he’s most comfortable. I won’t tell him much. I want him to be happy.”
Cue lost more news on Ronaldo to United.
One signing that should excite United fans is that of Romelu Lukaku, the talented Everton striker. The Metro reports United have £40m for the Belgian.
Why Everton would sell their £28m star to a rival mid way through the season is a moot point. Surely they won’t.
Transfer balls: The British Press is obsessed with Real Madrid. The latest news is that Cristiano Ronaldo will definitely leave Real Madrid in the summer, with Manchester United and Paris St-Germain keen to sign the 30-year-old Portugal forward. So says the Telegraph.
This will trigger a new wave of spending by Real Madrid, who will fight PSG for Chelsea’s Eden Hazard. The 24-year-old Belgium forward is certain to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer, says the Daily Mail.
And there is Gareth Bale, the 26-year-old Real Madrid player who will follow Ronaldo out of the Spanish capital, heading to join Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Manchester United or PSG. Unless he elects to stay in Spain, says the Sun.
Should Bale head to Manchester United he will hook up with that club’s next manager. Yeah, it’s 56-year-old Carlo Ancelotti, who was approached by United’s king maker’s last November. Back then the Italian rejected the chance to replace Louis van Gaal because he wants to manage Bayern Munich, says the Daily Mail. But he’s yet to be offered that job. So it might be United for him.
Bayern, of course, are waving goodbye to their manager, Pep Guardiola. The Manchester Evening News wonders if Pep, 44, is to be United’s next boss. News is that he won’t be. Apparently United feel he’s already set his mind on bossing Manchester City, where, says the Sun, he will attempt to buy Lionel Messi from Barcelona. The Catalans will then attempt to buy Hazard.
Unless the London Evening Standard is right and Pep is going to receive an offer from Chelsea he cannot refuse. In which case, Hazard will stay at Chelsea, Bale will stay at Real and Ronaldo will cancel his flight to Old Trafford.
Transfer balls: It’s going to be a month of Gareth Bale this and Gareth Bale that.
The Daily Mail says Bale will head to Manchester United for £75m.
The Guardiansays Bale is not leaving Real. He’s going to see if he can make a fist of it.
But if Real do sell Bale this January – which they won’t do – who will replace him in Spain? The Daily Star knows. The paper says Real will invest £100m in ‘tired’ Eden Hazard.
The Daily Mirror, speculates, that could mean Bale heading to Chelsea in a swap deal.
Transfer balls: Manchester United are all set to splash a year’s worth of Adidas cash on a £75m bid for Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale.
But what will Bale do? The Press haven’t got the foggiest:
The Times says that Rafa Benitez’s sacking as Real manager has left the Wales player “intensely disappointed”.
But on the BBC, former Real Madrid coach John Toshack says of Rafa’s sacking: “I don’t see it affecting Gareth at all. I don’t see that as a problem.”
Such are the facts.
The BBC’s headline is interesting: “Man Utd’s playing style ‘not exactly what Adidas want to see’.”
Adidas make sporting goods. They also sponsor Manchester United for – get this – £75m-a-year. The idea is simple: you see Wayne Rooney wiping his nose on an Adidas top and think, “I’d look as good as he does in that clobber.”
But it’s not going to plan. Manchester United are not winning every match. Herbert Hainer, the Adidas chief exec, tells Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung:
“…the actual way of playing of United is not exactly what we want to see.”
Surely the fault is with adidas, who should see United’s moribund playing style as a call to try a new design. Look beyond those go-ahead three stripes, the Adidas signature, and opt for other linear configurations, like this one:
This design perfectly reflects United’s approach to the opposition’s goal mouth.
And for the away kit, this is pretty ideal:
It’s January. Football’s transfer window is open. Manchester United goalie David De Gea has a new Facebook profile photo.
Did you join the dots?
The Telegraph, did. It takes the updated photo as a sign that De Gea is preparing to leave Manchester United, causing “mild panic” to spread among the club’s supporters.
Why all the fuss? Well, chiefly because there’s no United badge on De Gea’s shirt.
De Gea is communicating in code.
But has the Telegraph missed a trick? Our pals at Pies have rotated the De Gea symbol 90 degrees…
Ryan Giggs, the Manchester United coach, wants to make up with his brother Rhodri. You might recall that Ryan was shagging Rhodri’s wife, Natasha Giggs, behind his brother’s back.
You may wonder why news that Ryan has invited his bother to a “bash” arrives at time when the current Man United manager is said to be on the “brink” of the sack.
Surely loveable Ryan Giggs isn’t using the Sun, (“Giggs in effort to make up with bro”), to bury his sordid past and make a pitch for the top job at Old Trafford?
All that cheery speculation on when Louis Van Gaal is going to be sacked at Manchester United has got to the Dutchman.
In “I’M OFF”, the Mirror leads with his press conference – all four minutes and 58 seconds-worth of it.
As an aside, it’s odd that a tabloid should openly speculate on a man’s job. The Mirror, mired in phone hacking, is not reporting on when its leaders are going to be sacked or resign for wrongdoing. It is, though, happy to call for a football manager’s head.
The Mirror says it has “no sympathy for the Red Devil”, laying out all of Van Gaal’s faults in a charge sheet. His side have scored a “feeble 14 goals in 15 games”; he has “failed to win in six games”; he hacked Paul Gascoigne’s telephone. Sorry, got confused, there.
Over in the Express, we learn that “Louis loses it” – his cool that is. But he didn’t. Not really. He merely reminded the assembled hacks that he’s a human being and how upsetting it is to read their opinions on his looming unemployment. It was a bit like when the then England manager Graham Taylor told fans that leggy midfielder Carlton Palmer was made of flesh and bone and hurling abuse at him was out of order.
Taylor also attempted to turn the tables on the hacks. And you know how well that went, don’t you:
Van Gaal is toast.