Today: International Day of Happiness v International International Week of Unhappiness, politically populist David Moyes and more
When the Fiver woke up this morning enveloped in a warm sense of wellbeing with a beatific smile plastered across our chops, our first thought was that we might have overdone it on the Wray & Nephew yesterday before accidentally going to sleep with a clothes hanger in our mouth. Far from being hooch-related, however, it turns out that our uncharacteristic Monday morning serenity was down to the fact that today is International Day of Happiness, a wheeze dreamt up by the United Nations to remind everyone just how important it is to strive towards a feeling of contentedness.
Endorsed by irritatingly cheerful folk such as the Smurfs and the Dalai Lama, the Action for Happiness pledge is: “I will try to create more happiness in the world around me”. It is an oath that ought to be printed on banners and trailed by planes across the sky over the heads of all moaning Arsenal fans, if only to give the rest of us a break from the relentless whining, carping and griping emanating from the Emirates. The Fiver is no longer sure which is worse: Gooners grumbling about Arsène Wenger’s continued presence at the club, or other Gooners grumbling about the first set of Gooners grumbling about Arsène Wenger’s continued etc and so on.
Having seen his team raise the white flag against West Brom on Saturday in a match that featured arguably the most pointlessly “Arsenal” protest of all time – light aircraft trailing contradictory slogans managing to annoy everyone by failing to stage a dogfight to see which one was right – Wenger treated the aerial tomfoolery with the indifference it deserved and announced he would reveal his plans for the future “very soon”. Most papers have interpreted this to mean he’d be staying for at least another year, which has prompted much wailing and gnashing of teeth among those fans who are fed up with a club whose myriad shortcomings constitute the kind of successes supporters of most other clubs can only dream of.
“It will not necessarily be linked with that because I’ve done the top four 20 times,” said Wenger, upon being asked if his future at the club would hinge on qualifying for the right to be eliminated from the last 16 of Big Cup next season. “It’s more … it’s not that. I take a bigger perspective. It’s not the last result that will decide what I will do.”
During his post-match pow-wow at the Hawthorns, Tony Pulis said that he’d be surprised if Wenger left the Gooners and upon being asked why, solemnly intoned: “Because he told me,” before bursting out laughing. Needless to say, at least one paper went large with this revelation on their back page, helpfully failing to point out that the Baggies boss wasn’t actually being serious. Not universally renowned for their appreciation of nuance, readers of this particular paper are likely to take the story seriously, which means that for many Arsenal fans enduring the upcoming football news dead zone, International Day of Happiness looks extremely likely to be followed by International International Week of Unhappiness.
“I decided I wanted Jack and Gibbo together. I thought the game might suit more Britishness in the middle of the pitch” – Sunderland boss David Moyes gives a politically populist tactical reason as to why he dropped Didier N’dong.
“I read an article about Chelsea last week that didn’t mention their switch to a back three against Arsenal earlier this season. Please fire the person responsible, as it has clearly become mandatory to mention this any time the club is referenced. I’m happy to note today’s Talking Points have reverted to the accepted formula” – Keith Hennigan.
“Who would have thought 15 years ago that the most ardent internet troller of Arsenal fans would end up being Arsène Wenger?” – Noble Francis.
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Derry City’s Ryan McBride, 27, has tragically died 24 hours after captaining his side to victory over Drogheda United in the League of Ireland. The cause is unknown.
Middlesbrough spat? What Middlesbrough spat?
Leyton Orient have dodged administration after club overlord Francesco Becchetti pulled his finger out in time to sort their tax-knack issues at today’s court hearing.
Goalkeeping goliath Manuel Neuer has been ruled out of Germany’s 2-0 friendly win over England on Wednesday with calf-knack.
And Sam Allardyce wants Wilfried Zaha to continue getting booted up the tail by opposing teams wearing a Crystal Palace kit and not a Tottenham one. “Spurs were always mentioned because [Mr 15%s] or somebody decided to stir the pot,” fumed Sam. “Keep going, Wilf. It’s a compliment to you as a footballer when people can’t cope with your ability and have to foul you.”
Would Thomas Tuchel be any good at Arsenal? Andy Brassell can tell you definitively, for absolute sure, complete satisfaction or your money back.
Maurizio Zamparini is a card. But he’s handed over power at Palermo to an even bigger card, who got a tattoo of the club’s logo as a dare. Paolo Bandini unpicks the continuing chaos there.
Diego Simeone’s Atlético Madrid didn’t half give Sevilla a Father’s Day to forget, writes Sid Lowe.
Sérgio Conceição turned down Leicester in favour of doing lovely things at Nantes. Here’s Adam White and Eric Devin with the skinny on that score.
Throw Jürgen Klopp, Tony Pulis, Claude Puel and Dan Gosling into a big pot, stir it all around, add in some seasoning and bring it to the boil and what do you get? Probably a call from the authorities – but also 10 talking points from the weekend just gone in the Premier League.
Chris Wood has scored 24 of Nasty Leeds’s 52 goals this season. That’s … counts on fingers, counts on toes, counts … oh god we’ve lost count completely, start again … erm … well, a big percentage of their total. Nick Miller does the maths.
Have you got a hairy face? Would you prefer not to have a hairy face? Well, try to sort it out by getting your hands on a year’s supply of Cornerstone shaving gear by answering a ridiculously easy question here.
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