You know it’s a slow news day when…
…The top football story on The Sun’s website at 11.45am is a ‘source’ claiming that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will ship over his cars to England from France.
And we thought he was going to drive them all over at the same time. That or perform some relay run like the fox, chicken and grain riddle.
You also know it’s a slow news day when…
…The Sun’s second top story is about a referee getting a tattoo.
Holy f**k we miss actual football.
A developing story
‘Cristiano Ronaldo spotted getting close with another mystery woman in nightclub in Miami’ – The Sun, August 1.
‘Cristiano Ronaldo’s latest Miami fling revealed as mega-bootylicious babe Cassandre Davis’ – The Sun, August 2.
‘Cristiano Ronaldo cuddles up to fitness babe Cassandre Davis poolside in Miami’ – The Sun, August 3.
Make sure you keep us in the loop.
Are you ready?
On a slow, slow news day (their back page is Manchester City potentially signing Gabriel Jesus), The Sun fill two pages with a feature on how prepared the Premier League’s biggest clubs are for the new season. Yes we know, there are still 11 days left.
Handily, each Premier League club are given a rating out of five for their new season readiness. The ‘highlights’ are as follows:
– Leicester are the best prepared of all the seven touted Champions League hopefuls. We’re told how the ‘Foxes are up for title tilt again’. Let’s just see, shall we.
– Sticking with Leicester, and we’re told that there have been ‘no weak links’ in their summer. How about losing N’Golo Kante and the constant speculation over Riyad Mahrez? And the 4-0 shellacking by PSG at the weekend?
– Of all the clubs mentioned, Manchester United and Tottenham are the least prepared for the new season, with a nominal two out of five rating. Yes, United – with their three new signings – are less prepared than Arsenal.
– Tottenham lose points for their results on their Australia pre-season tour. Given that they took very few senior players on that tour, you can take that with a whole handful of salt.
Handing out meaningless marks out of five for pre-season preparation? We’ll say it again: Roll on the football.
Feel the online debate, drink it in
With news slow on the ground (have we mentioned that it’s a slow news day?), the Daily Telegraph website have produced a feature on the last month of the transfer window. ‘Summer transfer health-check: which Premier League deals will happen, which might and which won’t?’ is the snappy headline. ‘Health-check?’
Those hungry clickers are given a list of five deals that will ‘almost definitely’ happen, five that might, and five that won’t. Of course it’s a gallery.
The ‘almost definite’ list includes Riyad Mahrez and Alexandre Lacazette to Arsenal and Andre Ayew to West Ham, none of which are certain, but it’s the transfers that won’t happen that really interested Mediawatch. Surely this is a pretty long list? Cristiano Ronaldo to Bury? Gordon Cowans to Barcelona? Pele to Ipswich?
The list actually includes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Manchester City, which absolutely nobody has mentioned since May, and it sounded unlikely even then. It also includes Nemanja Matic to Manchester United, which is equally daft.
However, the crowning glory comes with the last entrant on the list: Gareth Bale to Manchester United. Yeah, we’re there again. Apparently a deal is ‘unlikely’. Sure, we knew that, and so did you.
Far be it for Mediawatch to cast aspersions on the reasons for Bale’s inclusion, but each of the images has an individual URL, so: ‘summer-transfer-health-check-which-premier-league-deals-will-hap/gareth-bale-real-madrid/’
Holding out for a hero
Arsenal’s new central defender Rob Holding has given an interview to the club’s official site in which he discusses his defensive inspirations. ‘I wanted to be like Adams and Keown,’ the headline reads.
“Growing up I liked to think I modelled my game on Rio Ferdinand, especially the way he played when he was in a partnership with Nemanja Vidic at Manchester United,” said Holding, who was presumably then nudged to mention some former Arsenal players.
“I also watched Arsenal growing up and they had the likes of Tony Adams, Sol Campbell and Martin Keown who are all top-drawer centre halves that I admired and wanted to be like. I just liked how much of a leader they were on the pitch, Tony Adams especially.”
You’ll forgive us for being cynical (again), but Rob Holding was born in September 1995, meaning Adams played only six Premier League games after Holding turned six years old.
Mediawatch enjoys the image of Holding ‘liking how much of a leader Adams was’ at the age of five. Never too young to learn.
Nailed it #1
“We’re delighted because Oumar is a player we have been following for a long time. He is the right personality and someone who is in a very good moment of his career. He has had a lot of success in Russia and he brings a different quality to what we already have in our squad. I’m really pleased to be able to bring in Oumar in this window and we know he’s going to have a massive impact going forward.
“He’s not back up for anyone. He has his own ability, his own conditions and is someone who can stretch defenders. Physically he can cope with the physicality of the Premier League straight away. He doesn’t need to adapt” – Roberto Martinez.
February – July 2016: Niasse plays 142 Premier League minutes.
August 2016: Everton announce that Niasse will not be given a squad number for 2016/17.
£13.5m well spent.
Nailed it #2
“The more I play up front, the more the players will see the runs I make and what I do on the pitch as well. I will be judged on the goals I score. You can play the best game in the world but if you don’t score it doesn’t mean anything. But I’m very confident I can do a job up front” – Theo Walcott, September 25, 2015.
“I have told the manager that I want to be known for playing on the right again. I can play up front. I want to know where I want to play. I want to make my position on the right – that’s where I know where I am now” – Theo Walcott, August 3, 2016.
You know where you should play, Theo? Everton.
Taking the peace
‘Alex Ferguson tries to make peace with Wayne Rooney’ – The Week, September 20, 2013.
‘Wayne Rooney has buried the hatchet with ‘incredible’ Sir Alex Ferguson as striker celebrates 10 years at Manchester United’ – Daily Mail, September 16, 2014.
‘Wayne Rooney buries hatchet with ‘greatest manager of all time’ Sir Alex Ferguson’ – Daily Telegraph, September 8, 2015.
‘Sir Alex Ferguson makes peace with Wayne Rooney ahead of Manchester United striker’s testimonial’ – Daily Mail, August 3, 2016.
It comes round quicker every year…
No, no Mattia
On Tuesday, Mediawatch pointed out that the Mattia de Sciglio to Liverpool rumours in the Daily Telegraph’s transfer blog were based on inaccurate reports from an incorrect publication.
This tweet is from 9.38am on Wednesday:
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) August 3, 2016
Talk about flogging a dead horse.
As of 11am on Wednesday, the fourth most likely football transfer according to Footballwhispers.com is Bordeaux’s Enzo Crivelli moving to Bastia. Not very interesting, granted, but it makes sense.
The seventh most talked about transfer rumour is Federico Crivelli to Bastia.
Now we’re not saying that Bastia aren’t interested in a 34-year-old Argentinean goalkeeper from Club Atletico Temperley, but Mediawatch strongly suspects there been some cock-up somewhere along the line.
Quote of the day
“That kid’s playing without fear. You put him in as a main no 9, carry the can, then you judge him, but he’s playing without fear. Wayne Rooney is carrying him, Michael Carrick is carrying him – people carry you when you’re young” – Paul Lambert.
Anyone thinking that Wayne Rooney carried anything other than his own frame around Old Trafford last season was too busy managing Blackburn Rovers (badly).
Recommended reading of the day
Adam Hurrey on goalmouth scrambles.
Michael Lewis on the best female players of all time.
Jeremy Wilson with Claude Puel.