Breaking news of the day
‘It DID cross the line’ – Daily Mail.
1) Tofiq Bahramov is unlikely to change his mind now, whatever your conclusion.
2) Why are we doing this ‘fifty years after…’ guff now? The 1966 World Cup final was on July 30, not January 5.
What a difference some form makes
‘Memphis Depay spotted in £250,000 Rolls Royce – hours after being slammed by Ruud Gullit’ – Daily Mirror, January 3.
‘Like many of the most gifted players, Arnautovic is a mixture of raw ability, eccentricity and insecurity. He arrives at Stoke’s training ground from his Cheshire home every day in a personalised Bentley’ – Daily Mail, January 5.
It’s okay for Arnautovic, though, because he hasn’t been ‘slammed’.
Wright answer, wrong reason
Mediawatch agrees with Ian Wright that the rise of Dele Alli is one of the most enjoyable backstories of this Premier League season. He’s young, he’s English and he’s sodding brilliant. There’s nothing to not like.
However, we can’t help but think Wrighty is slightly overstating the impact of Alli’s time at MK Dons in League One when it comes to his England goal against France.
“His goal-scoring international debut for England against France was definitely no flash in the pan,” Wright states in The Sun. All good so far, other than the fact that it wasn’t his debut. It was his fourth cap.
“When you look back on it, that goal would probably only have been scored by someone fresh out of playing football lower down the league ladder. Experienced Premier League players probably wouldn’t have gone through the French player to win the ball like Alli did. They would have held back to avoid conceding a foul.”
Of course, because the Premier League is notorious for players not making any tackles. That sort of business only happens in lower league.
It’s a wonder that the six months Alli spent at Tottenham before that France game didn’t knock all that challenging for the ball out of him.
According to the Metro, Tuesday is a busy day for Manchester United. A really busy day:
– ‘Man United’s immiment deal for speedster after surprise transfer twist’
– ‘He’s just too good! This world-class player would transform Man United’
– ‘Manchester United set to table £29.4m bid for Southampton forward Sadio Mane
– ‘Man United want £15m goal machine, his heart’s set on Manchester
– ‘Man Utd £150m dream signing closer after major club decision
– ‘Man United working to seal transfer of incredible defender in coming days’
– ‘Manchester United interested in transfer of Marc-Andre ter Stegen’
– ‘Toni Kroos tempted by Manchester United transfer’
Yes, those headlines do all refer to different players.
Mediawatch reckons the busiest person at Old Trafford is the guy employed to sweep up the bullsh*t.
‘Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Tottenham set to beat Gunners to sign Ezequeil (sic) Lavezzi’ reads the headline on the Daily Telegraph website. They really have jumped on board the good ship transfer nonsense.
‘In case you thought the bitter north London rivalry needed anything else to ramp it up, it has been reported that both Arsenal and Tottenham are after the same man – and the team in white are going to win,’ the piece begins. Big talk.
‘Arsenal have long shown an interest in Ezequeil (sic) Lavezzi, reportedly failing to agree a fee for the Paris Saint-Germain winger last summer. Arsene Wenger still wants to bring the Argentina international to the Emirates Stadium, but so do Tottenham. According to French TV station Telefoot, Mauricio Pochettino’s side are going to win the race to snap him up this month.’
Do they indeed? Do they really? No.
Actually, Telefoot only said that Juventus, Internazionale and Spurs were all keen on Lavezzi, but also that he could stay in Paris.
Still, ‘the team in white are going to win’. And we’re all going to sigh.
Do yourself a mischief
‘Mark my words – Bojan is staying,’ reads the headline in the Daily Mirror.
‘Mark Hughes insists Bojan does not have a £10million escape clause and that he will not be leaving Stoke.
‘”There’s a lot of misinformation,” said the Potters boss. “It’s just a little bit of mischief making. There is no clause. There is no intention or desire from us, certainly as a club, or from Bojan or his people from what conversations I’ve had.”’
Nice of the Mirror to report the story, particularly as ‘misinformation and mischief making’ is effectively a euphemism for ‘story in the Mirror’.
Here’s Neil Moxley in Sunday’s edition of the paper: ‘Stoke could lose Bojan Krkic for £10million this month. The elegant playmaker has a buy-out clause in his contract that leaves him up for grabs to any interested parties. It has emerged that the graduate from Barcelona’s famed academy could leave the club if any other suitor matches his sale price.’
And promptly un-emerged again.
Keeping your options open
‘Swansea are considering little-known English manager Graham Potter to replace Garry Monk, Sportsmail can reveal. Potter, who manages Swedish club Ostersunds, has emerged as an unlikely contender to take over, along with a more expected candidate, former Sunderland boss Gus Poyet. Poyet, currently at AEK Athens, has admirers at the club — as has Dennis Bergkamp, who has been monitored by chairman Huw Jenkins over the last three years. Rangers boss Mark Warburton is also in the frame, while reports last night linked Ryan Giggs with the job’ – Daily Mail, December 10.
‘Marcelo Bielsa is high on the Swansea shortlist, as is Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli, who led his country to Copa America glory earlier this year’ – Daily Mail, December 15.
‘Swansea City are set to resurrect their bid to re-hire Brendan Rodgers in the summer, with Alan Curtis likely to remain in charge for the rest of the season. Ajax manager Frank de Boer also in the frame and keen to speak to Swansea once the current campaign is over.
Sevilla manager Unai Emery, who held talks with West Ham at the end of last season, is also prominent on the shortlist’ – Daily Mail, January 4.
Ten different managers touted in four weeks. More longlist than ‘shortlist’.
Zing of the day
‘Manchester United interested in transfer of Marc-Andre ter Stegen: This would infuriate supporters of the Merseyside club’ – Metro.
Laboured intro of the day
‘Fans of Little Britain will recall how Matt Lucas’ wheelchair-bound Andy would leap up and perform astounding feats whenever his carer, David Walliams’ Lou, turned his back. They may not have found any repeats of the sketch show on Christmas TV but they might have recalled Andy and Lou while watching Yaya Toure stroll through matches at half-pace, only to conjure up remarkable late goals once his markers had been lulled into a false sense of security’ – Dave Kidd, Daily Mirror.
Unsurprising line of the day
‘How the boffins worked it out with help from guided missiles’ – the Daily Mail on that 1966 World Cup ‘story’.
New year, same old ‘boffins’.
Headline of the day
‘Lemar: Neymar will be 2016’s main contender’ – Fifa.com
Yes, that Lemar. Mediawatch isn’t so sure about Neymar. Right about now, we’d say we’re 50/50.
Recommended reading of the day
Paul Grech on the game that changed Italian football
Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
Nick Miller (who?) on Tottenham