A dab hand
‘Paul Pogba settles back in at Manchester United by teaching team-mate Jesse Lingard his Dab dance celebration’ – The Sun, August 9.
But what’s this?
‘Jesse Lingard teaches Manchester United team-mates Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson how to dab as the craze continues to spread’ – Daily Mail, July 28.
Lingard already knew how to dab, so Pogba couldn’t have taught him. It’s slapdash reporting on serious and sensitive issues such as this that gives the British media a bad name.
Hot and fresh out the kitchen
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) August 10, 2016
What does that tweet from the Daily Telegraph say to you? That Real Madrid made a new approach for David de Gea, yes? Good, it’s not just us.
The Telegraph’s story hardly persuades otherwise:
‘As one saga finishes, another one re-opens? According to the Daily Star, Manchester United have rejected new attempts from Real Madrid to sign goalkeeper, David De Gea. De Gea almost joined Real last summer for £25m, only for the deal to fall through at the eleventh hour.’
Worth remembering the word ‘re-opens’ – present tense – as we go through to the Daily Star article.
‘In another dig at Real, United have revealed Zinedine Zidane’s men have tried but failed for a second time to land David De Gea this summer,’ the Star write.
And that’s it. It’s a throwaway line in a story on Paul Pogba, and claims that Real attempted to sign De Gea earlier this summer, but failed. We can believe that.
From that line, the Telegraph not only hint that a move for De Gea is back on, but sell their entire Manchester United live transfer blog on it.
Online debate 1-0 Accuracy.
Broken news, in more ways than one
‘Liverpool transfer news and rumours: Reds to battle Man City for £16m Roma midfielder Leandro Paredes?’ reads the Daily Mirror’s headline on Wednesday morning.
‘Liverpool are set for a transfer battle with Manchester City for the services of Roma midfielder Leandro Paredes,’ the story begins.
‘That is according to talkSPORT, who say Serie A giants Juventus and Ligue 1 outfit Monaco are also in the race to land the £16million-rated playmaker.’
Handily, the Mirror provide a link to that talkSPORT story. It was published on August 5, five days before the Mirror picked it up. That’s more ‘olds’ than news.
Unfortunately, there’s more.
‘Juventus and Monaco have both joined the race to land Liverpool and Manchester City target Leandro Paredes,’ that story reads. ‘The Argentinean’s future has been a hot topic this summer, with a move away from AS Roma expected. Both Premier League clubs have hoped to lure him to England but he has so far stayed put in the Italian capital.’
So the five-day old news that ‘Liverpool are set for a transfer battle with Manchester City’ for Leandro Paredes ‘according to talkSPORT’ is not even that. Instead that Juventus and Monaco want him.
Top work all round.
You may remember a wonderful column from Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail from April, when he criticised Leicester captain Christian Fuchs for pouring champagne over Claudio Ranieri as a mark of disrespect. To say he made a mountain out of a molehill would be to underplay it.
‘They wouldn’t have done it to Sir Alex Ferguson or Fabio Capello, two of the names Ranieri drops in conversation when he talks about the greats of modern management,’ Samuel wrote.
‘These are the men he has strived all his professional career to emulate and now he will at last be mentioned in the same sentence. So respect is due. A little more respect than he was shown on Saturday, perhaps.
‘If Ranieri gets soaked in the dressing-room, or even out on the pitch, then it’s all part of the jollifications. This was his press conference, separate to the team, an entirely different moment.’
Unfortunately, we bring bad tidings to Samuel on Wednesday morning: they would do it to Zinedine Zidane.
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) August 9, 2016
Real Madrid’s season has been cursed before it even truly began.
He’s just not that Inter you
Sticking with Samuel, and our Daily Mail man has built a magnificent straw man on Wednesday over the sacking of Roberto Mancini by Inter.
‘Roberto Mancini victim of sham Champions League after Inter Milan’s ludicrous pre-season schedule,’ is the headline to Samuel’s piece, and the anger doesn’t end there.
‘It used to be that the manager planned pre-season. He took on the opposition he felt was appropriate for the various stages of preparation. Now it is the chief executive in consultation with the commercial department. Teams make continental tours, face glamorous, quality opposition.
‘Roberto Mancini became the first coach to be sacked for failing to perform well in the International Champions Cup. Inter Milan’s successive defeats to Bayern Munich and PSG were ominous but, even so, these games were friendlies, and the tournament a mish-mash. Yet in this sham Champions League, Inter’s owners saw grounds for dismissal. Mancini was out, replaced by Frank de Boer.
‘Maybe the Chinese owners think the matches played in their region by major European clubs really matter; that the International Champions Cup is worth winning and to be taken seriously; or maybe Inter were given a ludicrous schedule, wholly unsuitable opposition, and that has now cost Mancini his job.’
Whoa there, Nelly. To say that Mancini was sacked purely on results in the International Champions Cup is at best reductive, and at worst a wilful misinterpretation of the situation.
Mancini has been publicly hankering after a long-term deal at Inter, despite failing to qualify for the Champions League last season and being largely backed in the transfer market. He even spoke about having contract “torn up” after one of their recent friendlies, and has insisted on having total control of transfers. Gazetta dello Sport reported that he tried to resign in May.
You can blame Inter for Mancini’s sacking if you want. You can blame Mancini himself too. But you really can’t blame the ‘sham Champions League’.
Roll of the Dyche
Mediawatch doesn’t completely disagree with Sean Dyche that he is an unfashionable manager at an unfashionable club, far away from the spotlight. Yet we can’t help thinking Burnley’s manager has erected a series of straw men in order to knock them down, one by one:
“They questioned me for playing a 4-4-2, and then everyone played it last year and it was ‘amazing Claudio Ranieri, amazing, tactical genius’.”
Far be it for Mediawatch to disagree, but we think that Ranieri got praised not for Leicester’s formation, but their performance, results and style. The reason that Ranieri was hailed and Dyche wasn’t is because Leicester finished top in their last Premier League season; Burnley finished 19th.
“Antonio Conte came in at Chelsea and he got commended for bringing a hard, fast, new leadership to Chelsea, which involved doing 800metre runs, 400m runs and 200m runs. Come to my training and see Sean Dyche doing that and you’d say ‘dinosaur, a young English dinosaur manager, hasn’t got a clue’. So is it perception or is it fact? I have no problem with it. It’s the reality I say.'”
Would we call Dyche a dinosaur? Or would we say ‘Oh, there’s Sean Dyche doing some pre-season fitness training, just like every other manager’?
“There’s no problem with me and foreign managers, but this is my view on it. A job comes up and [fans are asked] who do you want, a foreign name is mentioned, and they go ‘oh yeah I’ve heard he’s a great tactician. They’re a bit more snazzy, let’s see what this Belgian manager or this Argentinian manager can do.’”
Yeah, you can’t move for Belgians (there has never been one) or Argentinean (Mauricio Pochettino is the only one in the last 20 years) Premier League managers.
Dyche did a wonderful job in getting Burnley to the Premier League, followed by relegation and subsequent re-promotion. But to have a dig at his own reputation by using Antonio Conte and Claudio Ranieri as examples is a little rich. For a man who claims not to be bitter, he sure smells of orange peel.
Hit the source
‘Daley Blind and Juan Mata set for Manchester United exit this summer – Sky sources’ – Skysports.com, May 31.
‘Juan Mata is likely to remain at Manchester United beyond the current transfer window, according to Sky sources’ – Skysports.com, August 8.
Amazing the difference a player not moving over a period of ten weeks does to those sources.
The big story of the day
‘Chris Smalling and fiancee Sam Cooke walk their dogs as Manchester United star relaxes before Premier League season begins’ – MailOnline.
Mediawatch will forever enjoy the confused look to camera from those slightly weirded out by the fact anyone cares enough to follow them walking a dog.
Recommended reading of the day
Adam Bate on Wolverhampton Wanderers
Nick Ames on transfers
Barney Ronay on Brazil