In their report from Wembley last night, the Metro three times describe the attendance as ‘nearly 90,000’.
71,223 is ‘nearly 90,000’, but it’s also just over 50,000.
Spot the odd one out
Mediawatch was damn impressed with Dele Alli last night. Scratch that, we’re falling head over heels in love.
It’s no surprise to see the papers piling praise on the 19-year-old, but let’s play a game of spot the odd one out.
‘Spurs whizzkid dazzles on first start’ – The Sun.
‘Brilliant Dele leaves us with a football memory on emotional night’ – Daily Mirror.
‘New recruit Alli proves he is ready for big stage’ – The Times.
‘Dele’s dazzler’ – Daily Mail.
‘Dele Alli set for huge transfer to Chelsea, Man Utd or Real Madrid after England display?’ – Daily Express.
Slight difference of opinion #1
‘Stones – 8, Barkley – 8, Kane – 8’ – Daily Telegraph.
Stones, Barkley and Kane are picked as England’s three best players, with only Dele Alli also awarded a mark of 8.
‘Stones – 5, Barkley – 5, Kane 5’ – The Sun (not powered by Opta this time).
Stones, Barkley and Kane are picked as England’s three worst players. No other starter is awarded a mark of 5.
Who needs a middle ground anyway?
Slight difference of opinion #2
‘John Stones – Looked very comfortable on the ball as he repeatedly ran out of defence. Formed a solid partnership with Cahill in the centre’ – Independent.
‘John Stones – Not his best. Lost the ball on a run and then sliced a clearance’ – The Sun.
Through the filter
Manchester United have signed midfielder Darren Raekwon McIntosh-Buffonge (top name). He’s 17, was released by Arsenal in 2010, and has since been at Fulham. He has signed a scholarship contract at Old Trafford.
Put all that through the Metro’s filter of hyperbole and what do you get? ‘Done deal: Man United confirm signing of brilliant ex Arsenal midfielder,’ that’s what.
He’s definitely ‘brilliant’.
‘Man United edging closer to sensational double deal for world-class wingers worth £150m,’ reads the headline in the Daily Star. Colin Harvey’s mining that rich vein of Manchester United sources again.
‘Manchester United are working on an incredible double deal for two of the world’s best wingers,’ the piece begins. This is fact.
Apart from that it isn’t fact, of course – it’s hearsay.
‘ESPN say Real Madrid Galactico Gareth Bale is edging towards a sensational return to the Premier League with Old Trafford his destination,’ they continue. ‘And Spanish outlet Fichajes.net report that Bayern star Arjen Robben is one of Louis van Gaal’s major targets this summer.’
After the hearsay comes the guesswork.
‘Bale could cost United in the region of £100m while Robben would be considerably less because of his age. At 31, the Dutchman undoubtedly still has a few good years in him but Bayern will be unwilling to sell and could demand £50m.’
‘Could’ and ‘could’.
Gossip + Conjecture = Fact. It’s the Daily Star formula.
‘A player who recently turned 30 but shows no signs of feeling his age’ – Mark Irwin, The Sun.
He’s talking about Wayne Rooney.
Unsurprising headline of the day
‘Brainy Dunc Wants More’ – The Sun.
Mediawatch doesn’t want to live in a world where a footballer with a degree isn’t referred to as ‘brainy’.
Sweat baby sweat
‘Zlatan Ibrahimovic last night guided Sweden to the European Championship but, boy, were they made to sweat. Ibra scored a goal in either half… but Denmark gave themselves a lifeline with an 81st-minute striker before Yannick Vestergaard made it 4-3 on aggregate’ – Daily Mirror.
Mediawatch isn’t sure that Sweden were sweating that much. Even that last-gasp goal still left Denmark needing two goals to qualify with no time left, as one would have meant they exited on away goals.
“It is ridiculous, but a lot more water needed to go under the bridge before you got a cap. Lingard, Alli, Dier, they are talented lads and they could go on to be internationals, but they are nowhere near ready” – Danny Murphy, November 16.
Only one way of finding out, Danny.
Ask a simple question
‘Liverpool to rule Euro 2016?’ – Skysports.com
Headline of the day
‘Dele Allez’ – The Sun.
Recommended reading of the day
Adam Hurrey on England’s need for a wildcard.
Vladislav Ryabov on Anzhi Makhachkala.
FourFourTwo’s 100 best stadiums (Sorry, we’re late to this)