Manchester United ‘snub’ an injured player and ‘axe’ two more; Erik ten Hag is ruthless

·5-min read
Manchester United midfielder Donny Van de Beek Credit: PA Images
Manchester United midfielder Donny Van de Beek Credit: PA Images

Donny van de Beek was so angry at Manchester United that he went out for dinner while the supercomputer makes an appearance.


Roast beef
‘VAN DE BEEF’ is the headline on The Sun website as they breathlessly report that ‘Van de Beek takes girlfriend and baby to The Ivy for dinner after being snubbed from Man Utd squad for Arsenal win’.

One slight problem: He withdrew from the Manchester United squad with an injury.

Barring that tiny detail, it’s a brilliant story about a man taking his family out for dinner.


Don’t be too Rash
You will be truly astonished to learn from the back pages of the Daily Mirror, Daily Express and Daily Star that ‘Gareth Southgate will consider handing Marcus Rashford an England lifeline’.

How did Jeremy Cross get the level of access required to learn that an England manager who said in March of Rashford that “there is plenty of time, we know about Marcus, we know what he can bring to us” might recall him in September when he has scored three Premier League goals in his last four games?

Actually, ‘might’ may well be too strong a word as Cross only commits to the claim that Southgate ‘will consider’ a recall for Rashford before writing that it ‘could’ happen.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is the back page of a national newspaper. Why oh why oh why is the industry dying?


What are the odds?
Oh glory be, we have our first predicted Premier League table of the campaign thanks to a ‘supercomputer’.

Now let us first consult Wikipedia to find an accurate description of a ‘supercomputer’:

‘A supercomputer is a computer with a high level of performance as compared to a general-purpose computer. The performance of a supercomputer is commonly measured in floating-point operations per second (FLOPS) instead of million instructions per second (MIPS). Since 2017, there have existed supercomputers which can perform over 1017 FLOPS (a hundred quadrillion FLOPS, 100 petaFLOPS or 100 PFLOPS).’

And since long before 2017, such machines have been used to calculate predicted Premier League tables, which seems like a perfectly reasonable use of all those FLOPS.

It’s almost like there is no supercomputer at all but just one person with a calculator.

‘Supercomputer predicts final Premier League table after Man Utd’s win over Arsenal with Ronaldo and Co in for heartbreak’

Oh f***ing hell. Poor Ronaldo and Co.

The Sun website bring this devastating news:

‘MANCHESTER UNITED have been predicted to finish outside the top four for a second consecutive season, according to a supercomputer.’

You mean the team who finished last season in sixth and is currently in fifth will not finish fourth? Is the supercomputer broken?

‘The number-crunching machine for SBK has used betting market analysis to project the final Premier League table following the opening six matches.’

Ah. It’s starting to sound less like a ‘supercomputer’ and more like, well, a list of odds.

That is confirmed by the projected Premier League table literally being a list of odds. The only thing remarkable about this list is that somehow, the ‘supercomputer’ has calculated that Manchester United’s 23/10 odds for a top-four finish are shorter than Chelsea’s 6/4.

Maybe turn it off and on again?


This means more angels
The Dutch media have an understandable fascination with Ajax II after the move of Erik ten Hag to Manchester and they want anyone and everyone’s opinion. Including Robbie Williams. Yes, that Robbie Williams.

And if there is one website that would gobble up such quotes because, well, this means more, it is the Liverpool Echo.

”Really shocking’ – Robbie Williams makes Man United claim about Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp’

There was a point when we would write ‘what’s ‘really shocking’ is that any website would think this is football news’ but we are now way, way past the point of being shocked by anything. This is all pretty much par for the course.

‘Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been told that even he ‘can’t fix’ Manchester United by famous singer Robbie Williams.’

He must be absolutely f***ing gutted.


From MailOnline:

‘Furious Ajax tell Man United their ‘timing was SO BAD’ in moving for £85.5m Antony, weeks after buying £55m Lisandro Martinez, as sporting director says United overpaid with ‘huge sums of money”

Pesky fact: The Ajax sporting director never said Manchester United overpaid; that’s a word inserted entirely to entice clicks. Gutted it worked.


Axeing all the right questions
If anything guarantees clicks more than ‘fury’ it is an ‘axe’. When used as a verb it means ‘to end, cancel, or dismiss suddenly and ruthlessly’, so this is serious stuff.

The Mirror website would obviously not use such a word lightly so when we read this…

‘Man Utd name Europa League squad list as Erik ten Hag axes two stars’

…we are thinking that two Manchester United stars have been dismissed suddenly and ruthlessly.

What we are not thinking is that Phil Jones and Brandon Williams have not been included in Manchester United’s Europa League squad after literally not making it into a single Premier League squad this season because they are basically no longer considered first-team players.

‘Stars’, my arse.


Silver linings
‘Given Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made a name for himself as the striker who celebrates his goals wearing the masks of superheroes, Chelsea may see it as a good omen that his life at the west London club will begin in one’ – The Times.

Yes indeed. How fortuitous that Aubameyang had his jaw broken when he was attacked by burglars in his home.

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