Ronaldo escaped Man Utd ‘trainwreck’ to punch teammate in face and become masked Enigma

Cristiano Ronaldo has ‘gobsmacked’ an Al-Nassr teammate and may be Gerard Pique’s mystery seven-a-side player. Neither of those things are true but oh well.

Mo problems
The red half of the Manchester Evening News has not looked forward to a derby this much in yearsas a headline of ‘Erik ten Hag has made Pep Guardiola fearful of playing Manchester United again’ proves.

But it is a different story – ‘Manchester United’s Lisandro Martinez could do to Erling Haaland what he did to Mohamed Salah’ – which really attracts the attention.

Pray tell, Samuel Luckhurst, what it is that Lisandro Martinez did to Mo Salah that he might hope to repeat against the very different forward that is Erling Haaland?

‘Raphael Varane is the more important center half to United though Martinez was their best prior to the World Cup. It has been almost five months since his height or £55.3million fee were legitimately mentioned after a chastening start against Brighton and Brentford.

‘Martinez’s turning point came in the first minute of the uplifting win over Liverpool. He deliberately clipped Mohamed Salah, immediately rose to his feet and barged into the Egyptian.’

Yeah, try that against Haaland and see how it goes. Definitely worked when Ben Godfrey did it and Haaland scored minutes later.

Hell, Martinez himself tried to ‘assert his authority’ against Manchester City in October and Haaland just went and scored a hat-trick, assisting a further two goals.

Not to mention that Salah was so ‘cowed by Martinez’s aggression’ in August that he scored, had three shots and created four chances, admittedly in a Liverpool defeat.

Lisandro Martinez could do to Erling Haaland what he did to Mohamed Salah. Don’t think he should on the basis of that evidence though.

Piers pressure
Piers Morgan uses his Sun newspaper column on Thursday to declare he has ‘never been happier to make a predictive ass of myself’ and be proven so very wrong. While this could pertain to each and every one of the opinions he has ever held – including this particularly humorous example – it is actually in relation to him saying Mikel Arteta was sh*te not so long ago.

But that is not what caught Mediawatch’s eye. No, that was this paragraph:

‘To be fair to myself, I also predicted Erling Haaland would win the Golden Boot, Cristiano Ronaldo would quit Manchester United, Thomas Tuchel would self-implode at Chelsea, Southampton would fire Ralph Hasenhuttl and VAR would be villain of the year…’

That line about Ronaldo jumps straight out, so off to Morgan’s pre-season predictions, made on August 4, we go. And it is there that we find him prophesizing about Manchester United being ‘so awful that Cristiano Ronaldo will take a pay cut to leave them’.

Well neither of those things are true. Manchester United are fourth in the Premier League, four points behind Manchester City and in a cup semi-final. Ronaldo also very specifically did not take a pay cut to leave them.

‘Ronaldo will extricate himself from his living nightmare at a rotting excuse for a giant global club that now bears no resemblance to the iconic place where he first cut his GOAT teeth.’

Haha.

‘Ronaldo’s looked at the dreadfully unambitious way United’s run these days – and the woefully entitled attitude of many of the younger players – and wants to run away from this trainwreck faster than United’s fastest fan, Usain Bolt.’

Hahahaha. Stopped answering the phone, hasn’t he?

Gobsmack the pony
Speaking of the former Red Devil, the Daily Mirror website write that ‘Cristiano Ronaldo astounds Al-Nassr team-mate as he sends strong message in training’.

the entire article is based on a single picture, namely this one:

And there are four amazing things about this:

1) The ‘astonished’ player in question is just pulling a fairly standard face of concentration.

2) The Mirror clearly have no idea who the supposedly surprised player is, referring to him only as ‘a team-mate directly behind’ Ronaldo. Which is what happens when the extent of your research for a story is to look at Twitter.

3) The ‘strong message in training’ Ronaldo has sent is that he can jump high.

4) The first paragraph claims ‘Cristiano Ronaldo gobsmacked one of his new team-mates,’ which unless he later hit them in the face is not how that word works but absolutely should be now.

Enigma machine
Any suggestion that Ronaldo’s relevance would wane in Saudi Arabia is thoroughly disproved by this Daily Telegraph header:

‘The mystery of the masked footballer Enigma… is it Cristiano Ronaldo in disguise?’

Not unless he has suffered some considerable shrinkage, which is not for Mediawatch to say. But well done for getting Ronaldo into the headline and URL of a story to which he otherwise has absolutely no connection whatsoever.

What is it good for? Absolutely nothing
‘Chelsea manager Graham Potter holds crisis talks with four-man ‘council of war’ in desperate bid to beat slump’ – Andy Dillon, The Sun.

Those quote marks are intriguing, particularly considering the only other mention of a ‘council of war’ in the story is in Dillon’s first paragraph.

The Sun are quoting their own journalists in standard stories now. Mavericks. Typical of them to bang on about a sodding ‘war’ though.

Wherefore art thou?
‘Romeo Beckham back together with stunning Wag Mia Regan after joining Brentford‘ – The Sun website.

Congratulations to Romeo Beckham and his stunning wife and girlfriend Mia Regan.

Type of the day
‘The 25-year-old is on a season-long loan from the Red Devils at the City Ground and could be deemed illegible to play against his parent club’ – Henry Tomlinson, The Sun.

Poor Dean Henderson. Poor, impossible or hard to read or decipher because of poor handwriting, faded print, etc., Dean Henderson.

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