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Telling It Like It Is


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Worst transfer of the football season so far? If you’re a Telegraph reader who supports the Chels it has to be your chosen daily’s re-signing of Paul Hayward from, one suspects, an overjoyed Guardian hierarchy and readership that couldn’t wait to rid themselves of this humourless scribe. Indeed, so mercilessly was he ridiculed online by their blogging brigade, it turned into what can only be described as a blood sport. Therefore, with that nugget of information imparted and fresh from our sparkling victory over Valencia, you can imagine that expectant glee levels were never going to be high on opening my newspaper this morning, even though I did start off somewhat chipper when recalling Gary Neville’s much appreciated praise live on Sky commentary last night. Still, unlike the ex ManU full back, Hayward had had time to compose thoughts, so maybe I was being too hasty…

And, by Heaven, does Hayward need time to compose his thoughts! Quite literally, if pushed for it when contracted to comment on a game featuring Chelsea, his wheels metaphorically come off on the first bend of any argumentative track and, if I’m going to be perfectly honest, there is never going to be enough innovative fuel to take him round a writers block anyway. Not that his journalistic style is geared towards cogent argument. No sir, Paul’s more a portents man when it comes to the written word and where our team is concerned these are never anything but bad. Taking last night’s resounding success as an example, Hayward’s ’portent of the day’, under the headline ’Lampard the major victim as Villas-Boas declares war on past‘ was that Frank, poor ‘ridiculed/demoted/surplus to requirements/ faded icon/dropped/stress-tested/chugging/exiled/irritated‘ Frank, is going to be the biggest ‘casualty‘ of AVB‘s campaign against Old Chelsea.

Of course, sitting in the stands at the Bridge and having this feast of Champions League football laid out before you was bound to get an aficionado of the game like Paul enthused over a player buried in warm clothing and well-hidden amongst his team mates - truth be told, most of the home fans probably missed the first two goals because they were craning for a look at Frank’s glumness too - but I suppose when you are as deeply rooted in Chelsea negativity, as Hayward so obviously is, you’ll find it quicker than most, even if it is three rows back on a bench, minding its own business. That said, what I find to be rather strange, perhaps even shoddy journalism at its worst, if not irritating, ridiculous, amateurish and childish in the extreme is that whilst on his ‘Lampard Watch‘ this morose hostage to Chelsea ill-fortune can totally blank

a marvellously loyal Super Frankie Lampard jump-in-the-air goal celebration as if it never existed.

Meanwhile, back on Sky at around the time Hayward was tapping out his turgid piece of prissy prose and asking fellow journos what the score was, Gary Neville was telling the world there were nothing but positives to be taken from Chelsea’s performance, subsequent golden silence in the commentary box only being broken by the sound of rustling paper as Rob Hawthorne hastily screwed up the once prerequisite list of negatives he’d prepared as accompaniment to his standard last rites summary to any of our games. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to report that there might be a wind of honest change and genuine neutrality blowing through Sky’s coverage with the arrival of Neville, but sadly for its readers, the same cannot be said of the Telegraph with the reappearance of a lugubrious Paul Hayward.

Oh, and by the way Telegraph, please take that unique picture of him smiling off the pages straightaway, it’s not fooling anybody.

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I wasnworried when Neville was appointed as a pundit, that we would have to sit through an arsenlickingnfest of all things man united. I am glad to have been proved wrong, as he is a breath of fresh air, and much welcomed in his honesty and neutrality

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Paul Hayward makes Jack Dee look cheery...His appearance round the breakfast table on Sunday Supplement is guaranteed to bring the atmoshphere down, surly and sullen a blanket of negativity, I wonder if he has personal issues sometimes.

The Neviller is suprisingly good, a far better commentator and pundit than Jamie "top top" Redknapp will ever be...

BTW just popped over to the Telegraph website, and now I know why he rarely smiles...the piccy of him grinning like a loon makes him look like he should be sectioned...

Edited by SHELLY
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