Longest-running-analogy of the season: We’ll go with the comparison between Timo Werner’s goal-scoring struggles and the battle to get a hot date with a lady.
A month ago, when Werner was enduring that seemingly unending goal drought, his manager Thomas Tuchel suggested that he was trying too hard, that he just needed to be a little more chilled in front of goal. “If a woman doesn’t want to go out with you, you cannot force her. Step back and maybe she will call you,” he said.
Hallelujah, Werner took his advice and ended his drought against West Ham a week ago. “It’s like when guys go to the disco, they want to get a girl,” he told the club’s podcast people. “They don’t get a girl because they want it too much. The next day, they go, stand at the side and 100 girls come over because they like them. It’s the same in football.”
Come Tuesday, though, after his drought resumed against Real Madrid in the Champions League, the German missing a highly score-able chance, was left girl-less at the disco again. “He missed a big one at West Ham, now he missed another big one here, that does not help,” Tuchel sighed. “But it also doesn’t help to cry about it or to regret it all the time.”
Was the wife of Werner’s team-mate Thiago Silva sympathetic? Well, no. “We need a goal, we need to win this match but my attackers don’t want to score! There is a striker who keeps missing goals… this Werner, what is his name?” Poor lad.
Quote of the week
“I’m all for the boycott because we should all be accountable for what we write ..... but on the flip side, social media got me my dog back after it ran away from a firework display.” - Steve Bruce giving us paws for thought by reminding us that social media has it positives too.
By the numbers
351: That’s how many million pounds Manchester City spent on wages in the 2019-20 season (€404m), a record in English football. Cheapskates Liverpool spent a mere £326m (€374m) and Manchester United £284m (€326m).
Word of mouth
“I just hit the ball and it has come flush off the bridge of his nose. All I saw was his glasses fly 10 metres and him hold his nose. I was like: ‘Sorry, sorry, sorry’, obviously shitting myself. I should really get him a new pair but I’m scared to bring it up again.” - Leeds’ Patrick Bamford solving the mystery of Marcelo Bielsa’s crooked glasses - he mangled them with a shot in training.
“I’ll be the first warrior who goes into battle for the team. I will give the best of myself and I will do anything to bring this back no matter what, even if I have to die on the pitch.” - Neymar, sounding quite up for the return leg of PSG’s Champions League semi-final against Manchester City.
“It is what it is.” - Zinedine Zidane wondering what on earth life can throw at him next on learning that his left-back Marcelo must serve as a monitor at a polling station for Spain’s local elections the day before Real Madrid play Chelsea in the Champions League. So he’ll arrive late in London by private jet.
“You’d worry for him going forward. He’s 30, he relies on sharpness, being a quick dribbler. We all know after 30 it’s downhill. He’s never been a top pro, he’s never had the drive of Messi and Ronaldo. He turned up for his first pre-season at Real Madrid - a Galactico, €160m! - overweight. Fat. Call it what you want.” - Apart from that, Damien Duff is a big fan of Eden Hazard.
“Pep makes mistakes, but he is a genius. And it’s human nature that people want to see how a genius fails. It was the same with musicians like Mozart. People were happy to criticise him when he made a mistake because he seldom made any of them. It’s similar to Pep.” - Guardiola’s former assistant Domenec Torrent likening Pep to Wolfgang Amadeus.
“Maybe my best time is still to come. At West Ham, with that potential, I think my job is to work my way back to a level where big clubs might consider me. Not that I’m interested in leaving.” - David Moyes, inadvertently calling West Ham a small club and issuing a come-and-get-me plea to the big ones. Other than that, he’s committed.
Ceferin not in the mood to forgive just yet
Has Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin forgiven Real Madrid’s Florentino Perez for his role in the Super League carry-on?
Well, apart from describing him, and his Barcelona and Juventus colleagues, as “flat-earthers who think the Super League exists”, and saying ......
“Despite the collapse of their scheme, some couldn’t take it with good grace. Like the Black Knight in Monty Python, each exit was met with ‘tis but a scratch’ while the body of the project is bleeding on the floor.”
.... yep, he’ll let bygones be bygones.