RAFA Benitez has hailed Chelsea striker Fernando Torres as “amazing” – at defending corners.
Interim Blues boss Benitez attempted to deflect more criticism of Torres’s form in front of goal – resorting to applauding the £50m man’s contribution at defending corners.
“It’s not just scoring goals,” Benitez said. “We changed his position in corners, for example.
“If you analyse the corners against, he was amazing.
“Two or three times he’s cleared the ball and afterwards was just doing man to man because it’s what he had to do.
“So, he’s helping the team, in this case to defend.”
Yet Goaltastic can’t see him slipping into John Terry’s shoes any time soon…
NEWCASTLE full back Danny Simpson says that his relationship with popstar Tulisa is giving him the X-Factor on the pitch.
The WAG – or should that be WAF – has given the footballer a love of life he hasn’t had this season, he says.
The player said: “The papers are the papers and they say what they want. But everybody around me knows the truth.
“Sometimes when all of that is going on around you, it is the best time to play football. You go on the pitch and you can forget about everything.
“If anything, in the last couple of games I have really enjoyed it. I feel like I am getting back to my old self from last season. I am pretty pleased with that.”
It’s a unique form of coaching, for sure, but still, Tulisa for QPR manager, anyone?
WITH the player lists now out, Fantasy Football fanatics are already readying their squads for the forthcoming season.
To help out with some pointers, I’m enlisting FPL players to offer some insight into their squad selections over the coming days.
First up is James Priest, manager of a team named TBD, a veteran of five Fantasy Football seasons. He said: “First and foremost, I meticulously study the upcoming fixtures and make the majority of my choices based on those fixtures. This appeals to my mathematically-inclined brain, and I enjoy ensuring that the fixtures of the players in my squad dovetail well, so that on any given gameweek the majority of my starting XI will have ‘easy’ fixtures, preferably at home.
“In previous seasons this has worked well, most noticeably in the 2009/2010 season, yet in more recent years picking the form players seems to have been the more successful tactic, rather than going on fixtures.”
• If you’d like to post your thoughts on squad selection, e-mail Goaltastic at Isaac_Ashe@MRN.co.uk or comment below.
HERE’S your spitting-out-your-mouthful-of-tea-levels-of-astounding quote from the morning papers.
Fan’s favourite Joey Barton said: “At the end of the day I don’t think anyone’s playing better than me in this country.
“That’s an honest answer, that’s not a big-headed answer.”
Joey’s not even the most in-form player at Newcastle United, let alone in this country.
Now I’m off to clean up my regurgitated tea.
A PIECE of Avram Grant’s winter woolies has been revealed as the reason why West Ham have been hotting up.
The lucky scarf was handed to Hammers boss Grant when his side took on Manchester United in the Carling Cup in November, and the team responded with a 4-0 win.
But defeats to Sunderland and Manchester City followed – so kitman Bob Oteng suggested the neckwear should make a reappearance at Fulham on Boxing Day, where West Ham won 3-1.
The scarf was again in use for the 1-1 draw with resurgent Everton and then for the 2-0 win over Wolves.
Grant said: “I don’t think I will wear it in the summer, unless everyone believes it will do us some good.
“Once in Israel I wore the same clothes and my team won 11 games in a row. But then it was raining, I changed my shirt and we drew, and everyone blamed me!
“I’m not a big fan of superstition but I’m not going to go against it either.”