Dear reader, some people shop at Waitrose and some people shop at Poundland. That is a fact of life. And it doesn’t always relate to how much money you have, does it, Mike Ashley?
There’s absolutely no doubt that Newcastle United’s ever-so-popular owner is a closet Poundland shopper – especially when you consider who he has just brought in as Rafa’s replacement for next season.
But before we take aim at Steve Bruce (which is more difficult these days considering how much weight he has lost), we need to applaud Poundland’s social media activity last week.
As the world suddenly lost its mind over what they believed to be a terrible new Huddersfield Town kit sponsored by Paddy Power, Poundland were busy mocking up their version which would be more akin to Newcastle given that Ashley isn’t a fan of spending more than he has to.
Which is why he’s opted for someone like Steve Bruce ahead of someone who might keep Newcastle in the Premier League next season. And it’s also why the club are being linked to free agent Andy Carroll rather than shelling out £30m+ on Hoffenheim’s striker Joelinton.
Could there be a less inspiring appointment than Steve Bruce, presuming that Joe Kinnear is still alive but unavailable? I mean, credit to Bruce. He did such an amazing job in the 20 minutes he was in charge at Sheffield Wednesday that it is little wonder that his hometown club have come knocking.
It must be to do with Bruce’s 30% win percentage in the Premier League as opposed to the fact that he is very cheap – I mean, even by my basic maths winning 30% of Newcastle’s 38 Premier League matches next season gives them 33 points and then they’ve only got to sneak a couple of draws and they will stay up. It’s a genius move, even if the Newcastle fans tend to disagree.
Who’s that Egyptian right-back who follows Bruce everywhere? He must be available on a free. He’ll slot in lovely. And if he can just master knocking it long on to Big Andy’s head at every opportunity things will come together very nicely for the Toon.
Horrible kits have been a hot topic in the last seven days – after all, did you see that shocking third strip that Manchester City unveiled in China against Wolves? Before you call me out, I did not break my annual tradition of refusing to acknowledge the existence of these ridiculous tournaments abroad. The glow of City’s kit was so bright I feared there might have been a nuclear explosion in the middle of Saturday afternoon.
The only thing worse than City’s kit on the day was their penalty taking – meaning that Wolves fans can start talking about how they’ve won some silverware for the first time since about 1980.
Popping back to Paddy Power and that Huddersfield kit, briefly – I am not sure who are the bigger idiots in the football fan world right now. There were more than enough who believed that the original kit was for real and those people really should receive banning orders from all grounds for the rest of their lives. But then on the flip side, there’s the lot who are applauding Paddy Power for being such wonderful people for ‘giving football back to the fans’ in removing a sponsor from one football kit. You do realise that this is just one big PR stunt to get Paddy Power more exposure so that when people decide to whack down some of their hard-earned on crazy accas that are never going to land that they do it with them, no? They are not on a one-bookie crusade to rid the world of all the wrongs given to us by modern football, mainly because they are one of the market leaders representing on of the biggest things wrong with modern football.
Mind you, the industry has kept Ray Winstone relevant I suppose.
It didn’t take us too long to get on to stupid football fans, so look away now if you are one of the Chelsea ‘fans’ who already on the #LampardOut bandwagon. So Chelsea drew with a team in Ireland and lost to a team in Japan. This doesn’t mean that a club legend should be booted out before a Premier League ball has been kicked in anger. God no. Give him until the middle of September at the very least.
As for the Manchester United fans that flew all the way to Australia just to be able to boo Ashley Young every time he touched the ball, that’s the kind of pettiness I can get behind every day of the week. If United want to keep a connection to the ‘successful past’ then they can still get rid of Young and Phil Jones and keep recruiting former players to the backroom staff. Frankly, give them each a pair of boots and they’d probably do an equally bad job.
With Solskjaer’s current staff recruitment campaign, I’d love to watch the coaches vs players weekly 6aside in training. I’m backing the coaches to nick it as they can still remember what it is like to win trophies.
I’d love to be at Mesut Ozil’s breakfast table, randomly. I’d just love to know what he is thinking – there has to be a thought process along the lines of ‘what can alienate me further from the fans of the club that fund my laziness?’
Ozil has appeared with a bleach-blonde barnet that makes Robbie Fowler’s mid-90s effort look practically auburn. Apparently, Ozil lost a bet with Alexandre Lacazette and the forfeit was to hit the bottle. Which is what a lot of Arsenal fans will no doubt be doing when their side fail to finish in the top six next season.
Over in wherever Liverpool are for preseason (it might be the USA, it might be China, it might be Australia for all I care), Jurgen Klopp ended a press conference giving a King Klopp bearhug to a man who could well have been Jurgen Klopp himself. I think the Germans call it a doppelganger, though Jurgen managed to slip a very common English word in front when greeting his mirror image.
Out in Africa, Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez have finally finished their 2018/19 season after the AFCON Cup Final which Algeria won. They now only have a shocking three weeks before the Premier League season commences. I know, right? Three weeks off a year? Shocking.