Week in headlines: Liverpool are a load of Cobblers, it’s Gunner be tough for Arsenal to win the title and knockers almost drove Heskey crazy

The Other domestic Cup is often used as an excuse to give clubs youth prospects a run in the first team, which in no way belittles the credibility of the competition.

As a result a few of the bigger clubs fell at the first hurdle, as their experiments with anything but their best XI failed to beat lesser opposition.

Thankfully though a sobbing and profusely apologising Roy Hodgson was able to dry his tears and cheer himself up with the help of the witty headlines of the tabloids.

This is the week that was in headlines.

The football week started with the most important domestic competition, when teams take every kick seriously and every point counts towards success or survival depending on what end of the table you’re focused on. Arsenal had been hoping to add to their three wins in four games and enhance their hopes of winning the league for the first time since 2003-04, but a last gasp Darren Bent goal scratched a draw for Sunderland and that was enough for The Daily Star to dismiss their chances this season. With the aid of a pun of course.

Despite being a mass form of entertainment, football takes itself very seriously at times and has on occasion been known to get lost in its own importance. It is refreshing then to read that Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce clearly doesn’t, as he told scores of bemused reporters that he believes he is perfectly capable of bringing untold success to the likes of Real Madrid if given the chance. Bless. The Metro sheepishly published his words knowing that he’d probably been playing a little bit too much Championship Manager.

By Tuesday night memories of the weekend’s action had been cast aside, as all media attention focused on the Other Cup and in particular the North London derby. Arsenal have rarely fielded a full strength team in this competition in recent years, as manager Arsene Wenger uses it as a tool to test the abilities of his bulging youth squad. This year was no different, but on the back of their Champions League qualification, rivals Spurs thought they’d also test out their youth, but were undone by the Gunners experienced youngsters, something which The Sun delighted in.

This achievement though was swallowed up by a failure the following day, when Liverpool were dumped out by the mighty Cobblers of Northampton Town. Standing in a rain drenched suit and looking embarrassed by the result, manager Roy Hodgson could only profusely apologise for the performance, leaving many pitying the awkward position he finds himself in at Liverpool. Not The Daily Star though who offered him in an insulting pun based around Northampton’s nickname, by describing the performance as cobblers.

Gerard Houllier finally arrived on the touchline as Villa’s manager for their Other Cup meeting with Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday, after his appointment was delayed by a fortnight due to contractual obligations with the French Football Federation. When he did finally take charge though he secured a debut win for his new club and according to The Sun he was Rover the moon with the result.

Having recently been the subject of a rumoured transfer move to Aston Villa in the January window, Michael Owen was undoubtedly glad to let his football speak for itself when given the opportunity on Wednesday night against Scunthorpe, but unfortunately for him manager Alex Ferguson missed the match, as he was studying next week’s Champions League opponents Valencia, leaving the diminutive striker and The Sun to wonder if Owenly.

United and France left-back Patrice Evra is seemingly quite an angry man after being banned for five matches by French football chiefs after his part in the players’ mutiny during the World Cup. At least he has a surname though that’s also an adverb and can be crowbarred into an amusing headline by The Sun. Hopefully that’ll lighten his mood.

Footballers have rarely been known to spend their cash wisely. Prostitutes seem to be very en trend at the moment as the must have item amongst footballers, but not all are the same. Derby County keeper Stephen Bywater has instead spent some of his hard earned dosh on materials for his very own art installation in his back garden, much to the consternation of his neighbours. The Sun are clearly fans of his work and have compared him to England’s World Cup winning keeper and a famous graffiti artist, by labelling him Gordon Banksy.

I can sympathise with Heskey on this one as I had a similar experience during Boobarama 7. The frontman’s worries about his sanity though were concerned with the amount of detractors he has accumulated over the years, but the good old Daily Mirror decided to dumb down the headline and in doing so created an inadvertently saucy headline that is in keeping with the rest of the paper. James Nursey might want to have a word with his headline writer.

Tags: Arsenal, Liverpool

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