Agbonlahor fails Klopp’s mentality monster test – The Irish Times


“Being bad is very important. That means you have to feel your opponent’s blood and try to kill your opponent in a sporting way.”

Antonio Conte on his efforts to instill the killer instinct in his Spursy boys.

number: 80

The percentage of Fantasy Premier League participants who have Gabriel Jesus (the new Lionel Messi) in their team is the highest in the history of the competition.

Gabby the mentality monster

There’s a reasonable possibility you read about Jurgen Klopp’s swipe at TalkSPORT pundit Gabby Agbonlahor last week after the Liverpool supremo heard the Aston Villa old boy slam Manchester United over his “performance” against Brentford.

“Gabby……..” Klopp said at his press conference, prompting the assembled reporters to remind him of the guy’s last name, which was pretty rude. And then: “He lost 6-0 to us in my first year, so I couldn’t remember him as a mentality monster on the pitch. What he said about Man Utd on that show… I was about to call him up and tell him: ‘You completely forgot you’re a player.’

(By the way, for United fans, the fact that a Liverpool gaffer was defending their team was an indication of how far they’ve fallen).

Anyway, Agbonlahor’s talkSPORT pal Simon Jordan, former Crystal Palace owner, thankfully defended him and slammed Klopp for suggesting former players shouldn’t comment on current football matters. “Doctors and epidemiologists must not criticize each other with Jürgen Klopp’s logic,” he said, which was quite a detour in the debate.

But Agbonlahor was no doubt grateful for Jordan’s intervention.

(Bis: “It’s preposterous to say that anything that comes out of Gabriel Agbonlahor’s mouth is worth hearing.” Oh).

word of mouth

“When was the last time you saw him hit a player? I can do what Sancho is doing right now – and I’m 54.”

Paul Merson has been somewhat underwhelmed by Jadon Sancho’s Manchester United career so far.

“With all due respect, we don’t have to play Azerbaijan. We don’t have anyone to give you a break.”

Brazil coach Tite dragged poor old Azerbaijan into his dispute with Kylian Mbappé, who claimed South America doesn’t have the same level of competition as Europe.

“I called him Theo, I called him everything. What happened to ‘John’?”

West Ham gaffer Dietmar Moyes on his new German signing Thilo Kehrer.

Make the forest great again

People of a certain vintage will not be unfamiliar with Nottingham Forest’s heavy spending – after all, they became the first English club in the last century to pay a million pounds for a player when they bought Trevor Francis from Birmingham City in 1979. Although famously their manager at the time, Brian Clough, insisted they only paid “£999,999 – and possibly a few pence”.

Still, it’s quite amazing to see their current place on the list of top donors so far in the transfer window, with another 10 days to go. Chelsea top the list with expenses of £179.1m but right behind them are Forest who have spent over £140m on 16 – count them! – new players. That’s more than Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich spent in the window, although admittedly their squads needed significantly fewer reinforcements.

Greek billionaire Evangelos Marinakis promised to make Forest great again when he became their controlling shareholder in 2017 – in fairness he puts his money where his mouth is.

More word of mouth

“He asked, ‘Can I have a few days to go home and bring my clothes, I have nothing to wear?’ I said to him, ‘No, you have to wear the same underwear for three or four weeks’.”

Wolves boss Bruno Lage is ensuring new signing Matheus Nunes isn’t marked too tightly in a week or two.

“He’s not the youngest player, it’s a huge sum. I do not think so [he’ll think] It’s worth dribbling for an apple and an egg.”

Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann reckons that Cristiano Ronaldo’s salary demands are unattainable for most clubs, that he will hardly be satisfied with an apple and an egg.

“We know Shamrock Rovers play awkward, physical British-style football…”

Thank you Tamas Hajnal, Ferencvaros sporting director.

“It was his will to try a new challenge and we must accept it. I can’t say why Casemiro swapped the European champions for a fighting team, it’s his personal choice.”

Carlo Ancelotti kicks against United when they are down.

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