One Brighton teammate has absolutely slammed Leandro Trossard, who Arsenal will be happy to learn has never threatened dressing room unity after his U-turn.
Headline of the day
‘BBC sex noise prankster explains how he pulled it off and helped himself to beers’ – if that is intentional then phenomenal work, Daily Mirror website.
Argue the Tross
A grown man who goes by the moniker of Jarvo69 is sadly no longer the biggest news in football, with Leandro Trossard arguably taking that crown.
The Daily Mirror website tend to be ahead of the curve when it comes to this sort of thing and right on cue, here they come to hoover up any remaining clicks:
‘Adam Lallana fires ruthless parting shot at Leandro Trossard ahead of Arsenal transfer’
Adam Lallana? Really? That lovely fella is aiming ‘parting shots’ at folk?
The ‘ruthless parting shot’? That “players can leave Brighton but we’ve got enough without them”. Which Lallana backed up with the specific examples of Yves Bissouma, Marc Cucurella, Ben White, Dan Burn and Neal Maupay, each of whom have left Brighton, who most certainly subsequently had enough without them. Almost like it’s the very basis of their squad-building philosophy.
“So if Leo moves on we’ll cope. We’re coping already,” Lallana added.
Trossard has not featured for Brighton since December 31. The Seagulls have played three games since then, winning 4-1, 5-1 and 3-0, with eight different scorers across those comprehensive victories. Saying they will cope without him is not only not a ‘ruthless parting shot’ at all, it is just an accurate assessment based on recent precedent.
It’s called the U-turn
And the Daily Mirror website know exactly what they’re doing by putting ‘Leandro Trossard set for remarkable Arsenal U-turn after private transfer talks’ into a headline. Way to make it sound like Todd Boehly has been on the phone to the Amex with a hijack in mind.
Of course, the ‘remarkable Arsenal U-turn after private talks’ actually relates to him being on the brink of joining the Gunners in January 2023, having had preliminary negotiations with them four years ago.
Is that ‘a complete change from one opinion or plan of action to an opposite one’? Nope.
In fact, this is what Trossard’s agent said about those ‘private transfer talks’:
“[Graham] Potter came to Brussels, especially for Leandro. With an extensive PowerPoint presentation to convince him. He absolutely wanted him. There were other options. In the same period, I had several conversations with Arsenal. They came to Belgium four times.
“I’ll give you a note: most players would have chosen Arsenal. But what would have happened if Leandro didn’t get to play? Then there is only one way out: to take a step back.
“People don’t realise what that does in someone’s head. I know Leandro: bench him three times and he goes wild. So, we turned it around: if he does well at Brighton, he doesn’t have to back down, he can take a step forward. Didn’t we get it right?”
It sounds like Trossard joining Arsenal now is proof that things went precisely to plan. Oh and his agent Josy Comhair revealed all of this in an interview late last year. So not only is the premise of the story wrong, it’s based on old quotes.
But hey, the folks who got ‘Trossard’, ‘remarkable Arsenal U-turn’ and ‘private transfer talks’ into the same headline are unlikely to be bothered.
In the Mud
Signing Trossard now seems like a sensible deal from Arsenal – John Cross saying the Belgian ‘represents outstanding value’ feels like a step too far – but the Daily Mirror‘s chief football writer is willing to contort himself to pain the Gunners as geniuses here.
‘It is yet again more smart thinking by Arsenal after they missed out on Mykhailo Mudryk following his £87m transfer to Chelsea – and simply moved on to the next one.’
That’s fair. They couldn’t land their primary target so moved quickly to source and secure an alternative who improves them. Good work all round.
‘Trossard is perhaps not a superstar signing but this window has to be about adding strength in depth rather than risk upsetting the harmony and dynamic in the dressing room with a big name.’
Was Mudryk and his 72 senior career appearances supposed to be the ‘big name’ who threatened Arsenal’s equilibrium? And bloody hell, Trossard is joining them after literally falling out with his last manager, with the Belgian’s agent admitting he can be a bit of a d*ck if he is benched too often.
It is perfectly feasible that Trossard accepts more of a rotation role at a bigger and better club in Arsenal but let’s not pretend he doesn’t have form and potential for upsetting the harmony and dynamic in a dressing room.
Hit the road
‘Jack Grealish forced Sky Sports reporter Patrick Davison to apologise after he asked the Manchester City winger about his last-ditch tackle on Heung min-Son in their 4-2 win over Tottenham’ – Kieran King, Daily Mirror.
Head to around 3.30 of the video below to see just how Grealish ‘forced’ Patrick Davison to apologise, all while laughing, smiling, joking and generally seeming quite content.
“Riyad [Mahrez] was on FIRE…he helped us!” 😅🔥
Man City duo Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez are just FULL of compliments for each other… pic.twitter.com/EPeioOMMqS
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 19, 2023
I bruise easily
‘Cristiano Ronaldo is PUNCHED in the face by his former Real Madrid team-mate Keylor Navas during his Saudi debut against Lionel Messi, earning him a penalty in the 5-4 defeat by PSG’ – MailOnline.
‘Cristiano Ronaldo PUNCHED by former team-mate in first Saudi Arabia match vs Lionel Messi’ – Daily Mirror website.
‘Cristiano Ronaldo challenged for an aerial ball with opposition keeper Keylor Navas, who punched the cross away and happened to connect with the striker’ – Mediawatch.
Mediawatch has noticed a new headline trend that The Sun website in particular has landed upon recently: pretending that former footballers are completely unidentifiable because they have facial hair or a different hairstyle to their playing days.
It is how we get to a stage where a man who looks exactly like Jonathan Greening, just with shorter hair and a beard, is treated to a mystery name reveal. And how said Sun website can currently have six stories with the exact same pretence on their football homepage:
‘Man Utd Treble winner unrecognisable with grey ponytail as he wins MasterChef’ – nope, that’s Jesper Blomqvist, just with a ponytail.
‘Liverpool Treble winner is unrecognisable with bald head and heavy stubble’ – nope, that’s a bald and bearded Markus Babbel.
‘Man Utd Treble winner unrecognisable with greying ginger stubble and giant fish – nope, that’s David May, just with greying ginger stubble and a giant fish.
But before you start thinking that only Treble winners can qualify for this treatment…
‘Premier League cult hero unrecognisable with short hair and beard’ – nope, that’s Michu, just with short hair and a beard.
The sense that this well might already have run dry comes with these two additions to the genre:
‘Spain Euro 2008 winner, 42, looks unrecognisable as he completes 16th transfer’
‘Celtic cult hero looks unrecognisable 20 years after retirement’
Fair play. Not sure Dani Guiza or Andreas Thom were ever that recognisable to begin with but it’s a step closer towards an accurate headline style.