BRENDAN BESTS BIELSA
Poor old Hipster Fiver! Our wispy-bearded try-hard cousin is in a catatonic state right now. He’s had one hell of a shock to the system, you see, his entire worldview unravelling completely and spectacularly on Monday night as Brendan Rodgers took Marcelo Bielsa to school. Brendan Rodgers! Hipster Fiver hasn’t been this distressed since discovering the B-side of his 672g vinyl copy of A Love Supreme is a mispress, with Baby Shark where Part 3: Pursuance should be, and Part 4: Psalm replaced by Agadoo (Version). Hipster Fiver feels like crying. He’s already been pee pee. Eleven times.
Brenny really did a number on Bielsa, though, going on Sky Sports before kick-off and explaining exactly what he was planning, laying out his intentions in plain sight, effectively asking Leeds what they were going to do about it. “Teams normally press in a zone, theirs is very much man to man … so there will be lots of space on the field. I would say we have the best counterattacking player in the league in Jamie Vardy, so I hope that’s something we can exploit. But it will be a tough game.” Only the last sentence proved woefully wrong, as Leicester swanned to a 4-1 victory, and could quite feasibly have scored twice as many. Let’s face it, if Bielsa had pulled off such a brassy stunt, we’d never hear the end of it from the hipsterati. Thank you, Brendan. Thank you.
At least we know Rodgers won’t totally lose the run of himself. “I thought we were tactically brilliant,” he told Sky in the immediate aftermath, that pronoun doing an awful lot of work there. “I thought we were amazing … I’m really pleased with our flexibility … we’ve had brilliant performances … I’m delighted.” To be fair, having added the sainted Bielsa to a list of early-season conquests that also includes Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta, Rodgers should be allowed to bask in his own managerial genius and contemplate a genuine title tilt. Even if his team did get beat three at home by a David Moyes side, a fate that’s never fallen Bielsa yet. We’re glad that Hipster Fiver, currently trying to unpack spiritual guidance from “push pineapple grind coffee”, still has one or two of the old certainties left to cling on to.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY
“There have been many miracles but the big one is that the supporters got together to raise the money. That shows that fan ownership can work if you engage the supporters in the right way” – Wimbledon are back at Plough Lane on Tuesday night, 29 years after leaving. Ed Aarons hears Ivor Heller and others tell their story.
It’s David Squires on … Trump and the USA! USA!! USA!!!’s relationship with English football. You can get your own copy here too.
Here’s the latest Football Weekly podcast.
Not quite the full Trundle, but not bad nonetheless.
“In a recent article on another website, talking about the recent incidents of players ‘diving’ to win penalties, Tony Cascarino says that he doesn’t want to be seen as a dinosaur or a ‘Cascasaurus’ and it wouldn’t have happened in his day, etc. Which got me thinking about other footballer/dinosaur combinations and, while I’m sure other readers can come up with some good ones, I’ll start with the obvious Gunnersaurus and the fact that Raheem Sterling self-admittedly runs like a T rex” – Mark Jones.
NEWS, BITS AND BOBS
Ryan Giggs will not be involved in Wales’s upcoming international triple-header after being arrested on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend. Giggs has denied the allegations.
Ryan Sessegnon, on loan at Hoffenheim from Tottenham, says he’s disgusted by the racist abuse he has been subjected to online. “Honestly [it’s] unbelievable. The craziest thing is I’m not even surprised anymore,” he said.
A group of international envoys and coordinators on antisemitism have written to leading European clubs to urge them to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism.
An anaemic and dehydrated Diego Maradona has been admitted to hospital in Argentina, but is apparently recovering well. “He is evolving as we wanted,” his doctor Leopoldo Luque told reporters. “He will have to do long-term treatment.”
Grassroots football in England will grind to a halt when lockdown begins on Thursday but amateur clubs competing in the first round of the FA Cup will be allowed to play on as it is defined as an elite event, which may be news to Jürgen Klopp.
And Real Betis’s Joaquin has given Ronald Koeman a ringing endorsement before he lines up to face Barcelona on Saturday. “It hurts me what happened [under Koeman at Valencia],” he sniffed. “I had a bad time. [I would not] even have him as kitman!”
STILL WANT MORE?
Shrewsbury’s Oliver Norburn talks to Ben Fisher about the pain of losing his baby son and the support he’s received.
Gary Chilton, son of Hull City record scorer Chris, talks to Andy Bull about football’s dementia problem.
Jude Bellingham gets his chat on with Ed Aarons about why he chose Dortmund, growing up quickly and learning from his parents.
Jonathan Liew on how fans, denied access to stadiums, are taking to virtual outlets and social media disgraces to unleash their rage.
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