WEDNESDAY’S BIG STORIES
We won’t hear a word against Marcus Rashford
"I have a game today so have to log off."
It appears the UK Government’s secret to a peaceful life is to ensure Manchester United have a game every day. As the nation’s children decided which end of a carrot to have for lunch, Marcus Rashford was parking his heroic campaign to honour his regular job. And before people start moaning that he didn’t play well against Burnley, here are the facts:
- He set up the winning goal
- Manchester United are top of the Premier League
- He is likely exhausted from ensuring kids have something to eat
Rashford’s delicious cross was buried by Paul Pogba, who could be… we’re going to say it… you can’t stop us… finally delivering on his promise. (Apologies to anyone revisiting this in the future where Pogba is now playing for Real Madrid Castilla after failing to score since.)
But back to Rashford. To be an exceptional footballer is one thing, but to be an exceptional human is another entirely – especially when his colleagues are one-upping themselves in the race to be most entitled. He didn’t jump on the bandwagon, he started the bandwagon. Perhaps unsurprisingly, his campaigns for free school meals, and lockdown food hampers that contain more than a potato and a Frube, have taken their toll. The man is only human, he needs a break. We can't advocate holidays right now, but let's just say that if Rashford was to appear on a sunlounger in Dubai, we wouldn’t hold it against him.
January 11: Remember the day
Toot your klaxons! Paint the town red (and white)! Sheffield United have won a game of Premier League football.
In a single 90-minute episode, they multiplied their points tally by 2.5, humiliating a Newcastle side that decided playing five defenders and an isolated striker was the best way to unlock a defence that hadn’t kept a league clean sheet in over six months.
But it’s not Newcastle fans we feel most sorry for. Spare a thought for the good people of Derby (they exist, we’re assured). Not only is their entire first-team in isolation for Covid, not only have they bowed out of the FA Cup to part-time footballers (and full-time sopranos) Chorley Town, but their infamous Premier League record of finishing a season with 11 points could yet remain intact.
Jose Mourinho v Scott Parker
Jose Mourinho is on a roll. He bullied Pep Guardiola into leaving Raheem Sterling on the bench in November, cheekily told Jurgen Klopp “the best team lost” after losing with the worst team in December, and is now goading Scott Parker into fielding a bunch of kids in tonight’s game.
Parker has fumed at the “scandalous” call to draft Fulham into the match at two days’ notice, prompting Mourinho to rummage through his bookcase and pull out an old favourite: ‘Mind Games: How to Get In Someone’s Head’. Just look at this:
"We’ve played 11 more matches than Fulham since the beginning of the season. Eleven. Every week, we played three matches a week. We played in one week four matches," said Mourinho.
"They played Saturday against QPR. In London. They have Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to prepare for the game. If they come with half of the team, I will be the first one to apologise to them. And I will be the first one to say we played this game with an advantage. If they come with their best, I think they should apologise to all of us.
He added: "We should see their team – their starting line-up, their bench and the players not involved in the game – and after that we can all feel sorry for them."
IN OTHER NEWS
Even in a stadium lined with 2D cardboard fans, the roar as a howitzer finds the net will still shatter your eardrums.
It’s precisely 17 years since David Seaman retired from professional football so why not revisit some of his greatest saves? Not enough to tempt you? The below compilation has a sweet 90s trance beat.
Knew we could tempt you.
Manchester City pump Brighton 5-0 (18:00) then a scandal unfolds before our eyes as Tottenham and Fulham play a match of Premier League football (20:15).
Will Scott Parker apologise? Will it be edited into a rap by the time we wake up? Find out with Andi Thomas tomorrow.