SAINTS AND SMALL MARGINS
With just two games left this season, Southampton are running out of time to stage their annual 9-0 thrashing: a wonderful festival of fun that fits perfectly with Monty Python and The Fiver as one of the finest comedic traditions of this country, oozing in both slapstick and classic British self-mockery. As it happens, with Liverpool four points behind Manchester City (and crucially, just seven on goal difference) in one of the most engaging title races in years, a 9-0 thrashing of Merseyside Reds would suit both Jürgen Klopp and his supporters. of The Narrative very well. In effect, that would mean that if $tevie Mbe’s Aston Villa beat Pep Guardiola’s juggernaut on Sunday, Liverpool would claim the title with just a draw at home to Wolves.
Small margins – lots of ifs, buts and maybeeeeeeeeeeees – but they all matter. And while most of us approach this week with all the excitement of Robert Smith at a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, there are some, especially with Sky Sports microphones in hand, that go on various frenzies. However, the chances of Liverpool scoring nine goals and keeping a clean sheet at Southampton have been drastically reduced with the news that Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk will miss the trip south due to various minor talents.
“They’re both fine,” Klopp sighed, his voice barely audible over a nearby orchestra of tiny violins. “The target for both would be that they can be involved again at the weekend. Properly involved. On the bench and on a few minutes or start – we’ll see with that because it would be perfect for the [Madrid] Game. Otherwise we take every day after. It is very positive and we have no doubts about the [Big Cup] final but we are quite realistic about the Wolves game. But [Southampton]do not.”
So the plucky Reds will have to make do with Joël Matip, arguably one of the best centre-backs in the league this year, and £36m Ibrahima Konaté in defense, with an attack that somehow needs to be shaped to from Sadio Mané, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino. If Liverpool can pull off the unthinkable and if City ‘do a Madrid’ at home against Villa, there may even be some real celebrations. Or maybe everyone will just be sitting sullen on their phones, sipping on a grease-filled can of pop, waiting for the next morning’s video review meeting and next season’s chase toward a century of points. Hooray!
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I want people to know the real me…I wondered if I should wait until I’m retired to come out. No other players from the professional game here are out. However, I knew that would lead to lying for a long time and not being able to be myself or lead the life I wanted. I hope that by going out, I can be a role model, to help others go out if they wish. I’m only 17 but I’m clear that’s what I want to do and if, when I come out, other people look at me and feel that maybe they can do it too, that would be awesome’ – Blackpool striker Jake Daniels on his decision to end decades of silence in men’s football by becoming the first player in the UK to come out as gay since Justin Fashanu in 1990.
‘BAD TALK’ OF THE DAY
‘I sat down with Jamie Vardy and he had coffee. It was such an awkward moment’ – Wayne Rooney testifies at ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial and reveals England’s Euro 2016 camp was such a hotbed of paranoia that Mr. Roy asked him to have a word with his English compatriot about “matters concerning his wife”. No, that didn’t help.
Boos, bangers and a big elephant in the Newcastle room…that’s David Squires.
“A moment of congratulations and congratulations for Jake Daniels. It’s not often that footballers will do something that could genuinely improve the lives of others – probably people they will never meet – so he deserves all the praise that Sorry – no jokes or witticisms, but it’s The Fiver” – Jim Hearson (and others).
“Yesterday’s quote accused James Milner of lying to millennials about screen time, but James Milner (b. 1986) is a millennial. I don’t want to accuse The Fiver of being late , but from one boomer to another…” – Chris Boys.
“It finally happened. Arsenal are now officially North London’s sportiest team. They are now more Spursy than Spurs! Unless…” – Paul Southgate.
“I was a little worried when I saw the picture of Chelsea’s Ji So-yun with the FA Cup lid on his head (Yesterday’s Still Want More?). After winning our local tin pot , a friend of mine slapped the lid on my bald scalp thinking it would be humorous for post-match celebratory photos, as in countless FA Cup photos through the ages. those figurines that adorn the tops of the cups are usually screwed on from the top, meaning the metal protrusion underneath penetrated my skin. I was the only one hit after the game” – Andy Morrison.
Send your letters to email@example.com. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our invaluable letter of the day is… Andy Morrison.
NEWS, BITS AND BOBS
Spain’s police chief wary of ‘serious problems’ as Sevilla prepare for 150,000 fans of Pope’s Newc O’Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt for Wednesday’s Big Vase final, plus temperatures of 35 ° C. “It’s too many people with too much alcohol, the majority without tickets and a lot of construction sites around the city, a recipe that could lead to serious problems”, alarmed Juan Carlos Castro Estévez.
Predictably, Granit Xhaka came on behind his teammates after Arsenal’s 2-0 loss at Newcastle. “We didn’t deserve to be on the pitch… if you’re not ready or you’re nervous, stay on the bench, stay home,” he shouted, two feet clearly off the ground. “We need people to have the balls to come here and play.”
Jordan Nobbs will miss Euro 2022 after a knee injury ruled her out of England’s provisional squad. Georgia Stanway is in the 28 and she also made one from Manchester City to Bayern Munich.
And Luton’s Nathan Jones isn’t happy that Huddersfield fans all lined up in his grid as they raced to celebrate winning the playoff semi-final. “The fans were an absolute disgrace… [but] we won’t complain because football fans are like that,” he didn’t complain.
WANT EVEN MORE?
Thanks, Jake Daniels: Barney Ronay congratulates the Blackpool teenager on coming out and says we should now let him play.
Allan McGregor chats with Ewan Murray about the Pope’s Newc O’Rangers Big Vase final and how victory would bring him the most important medal of the lot.
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