Let’s play a game. According to The Sun, how did Wayne Rooney look when he arrived at training on the first day of his two-year driving ban?
a) ‘Maniacally cheery-looking Wayne Rooney taken into Everton training for the first time since being banned from driving.’
b) ‘Completely normal-looking Wayne Rooney taken into Everton training for the first time since being banned from driving.’
c) ‘Glum-looking Wayne Rooney taken into Everton training for the first time since being banned from driving.’
As ever, the answer is c). As ever, the reality is b). As ever, we long for a).
Driving a hard bargain
Congratulations to The Sun for their chutzpah in claiming a back-page ‘exclusive’ on the story that Wayne Rooney’s drink-drive ban could cost him ‘nearly £500,000’. They have added his £320,000 fine from Everton to an estimated cost of £120,000 for a chauffeur to take him to and from training and his 100 hours of community service.
That’s not an exclusive guys; it’s some very rough maths. Some very rough maths that still leaves you £60,000 short of your ‘Rooney’s £500k bill’ headline.
More maths, brought to you by the Daily Mail
‘Wayne Rooney could cut his travel bill if he moves closer to Merseyside and it was reported he and Coleen were planning a custom-built mansion nearer his new club. The family was linked with a six-bedroom mansion currently being built just 30 miles from Finch Farm, where Everton train. Plans showed the house, which is being built on the site of a demolished farm, will have stables which can hold 15 horses, a six-car garage and even an orangery’ – Daily Mail.
Unless this mansion costs less than £120,000 (we’ve used The Sun’s estimate of his travel costs), building it hardly sounds like much of a cost-saving exercise. Someone get Rooney’s accountant on the phone.
Adding two and two
Of course, those plans to move house *could* just be the Daily Mail adding two and two and deliberately making nine. Perish the thought.
That’s because this house move was discussed as far back as July 5, when the Daily Mirror reported that ‘Wayne Rooney is planning to move to a new purpose-built £10million country mansion – with stables – closer to Merseyside. Plans show the house, which is being built on the site of a demolished farm, will boast stables for 15 horses, a six-car garage and an orangery.’ So the Mail are prepared to lift entire paragraphs from other papers too. Lovely.
The bigger story here is that, according to the Daily Mail, Rooney appears to have planned his drink-driving two months in advance by building a new house.
Tenuous Wayne Rooney-related feature of the day
‘Wayne Rooney driving ban: From a BMW i8 and an Audi Q7 to custom Range Rover… the fleet of luxury supercars Everton man can’t drive for two years’ – The Sun.
Yes, it is just a list of car photos with their top speed, cost and 0-60mph times listed, like the most boring game of Top Trumps imaginable.
Insult to injury
‘The footballer, whose marriage to wife Coleen now hangs in the balance, faces having to be driven the 75-mile round trip to training and back, as well getting lifts to matches and to his community service. To add insult to injury, the route will take him past the Symposium nightclub in Wilmslow, Cheshire from where he drove Miss Simpson home and his night of shame began’ – Daily Mail.
Among some strong competition on Tuesday, the thought of Rooney sobbing every morning and afternoon and covering his face as he struggles to deal with the haunting reminder of a drunken night made Mediawatch laugh the most.
Has everyone lost their sodding minds?
Imagine all the people
We 'imagine' he might look like he doesn't have a giant f**king head. pic.twitter.com/vpU664yDYS
— Football365 (@F365) September 19, 2017
Yes, everyone has lost their sodding minds.
The love-in continues
Still, Rooney should not doubt the reputation in which he continues to be held by those in the media. Following on from yesterday’s effusive praise for a player who failed to score or create a chance and lost possession through poor touches more than any other play, Ian Wright describes Rooney’s display at Old Trafford as ‘exceptional’ in his column in The Sun.
The headline? ‘Wayne is a worldie’. Imagine when he actually scores or sets up a chance.
Non-sequitur of the day
‘BBC Breakfast and Football Focus presenter Dan Walker doesn’t work on Sundays because of his religious beliefs,’ writes Charles Sale in his Sports Agenda column in the Daily Mail.
‘But they don’t stop him being very active on the commercial front every other day of the week. Walker, who famously promoted Oliver Sweeney shoes on Twitter, also regularly uses social media to plug Nike.’
Even by Sale’s usual standards of pointless pant-wetting this is something else. Even if there was any issue with Walker promoting Nike (and there isn’t), what on earth does that have to do with his religious beliefs? Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s putter?
For the record, Walker has sent one tweet since May 2011 including the word ‘Nike’, when he wondered in June 2016 whether ‘Portugal could bring on that kid from the Nike advert #Ronaldo’. If he is promoting the brand, it’s some deeply subliminal stuff.
Still, this is not the first time that Sale has had a pop at Walker, using his religious beliefs as a bizarre reason for criticism. In February he wrote that ‘It has been noted that Walker, who never works on Sundays because of his religious beliefs, still finds time on the day of rest to post regular tweets’.
It will annoy Sale to find out that Christians also eat food, spend time with family and friends and occasionally play golf too. The b*stards.
Makes you think
‘Manchester City’s alphabetical edge over Manchester United explained’ – Skysports.com.
And people accuse this industry of dumbing down…
‘Erm, mate?’ quote of the day
“I played with Park Ji-sung at Man United, and they have similar qualities. Their attitude is fantastic. They give energy to their team” – Phil Neville.
It’s the use of the singular ‘attitude’ for players hailing from opposite ends of a country that most made Mediawatch wince.
Anger-inducing headline of the day
‘Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez treat their WAGs to a concert in Barcelona as Catalans make solid start to season’ – Daily Mirror.
Oh lucky WAGs. Maybe if they smile nicely then their masters might take them for a long walk next time.
Mediawatch wrote and deleted a rant about the tabloid media’s general treatment of women in sport, but we’ll leave it at this: Have a f*cking word.
Recommended reading of the day
David Squires on managerial sackings.
Rich Jolly on full-backs.
Dom Fifield with Papa Souare.