Laying it on a little thick
Mediawatch thought Manchester United were ruddy good against West Ham on Sunday. Neil Custis thought the same. And then Neil Custis got busy on The Sun’s website. Sadly it hasn’t made the newspaper:
‘THERE is a smile back on the face, a glint back in the eye. There was a fear the real Jose Mourinho had been lost. Worn down by too many battles, too many fall outs, too much emotion spent on lifting great clubs up and putting them back on the road to glory.’
And being sacked by Chelsea?
‘The size of a task that seemed to overwhelm and even bemuse the two managers who went before him was not going to beat him. The man management of the whole club that he has shown in just over a year in charge has been truly impressive. The spirit was gone, the club had become listless. He has done that with his words, his passion.
‘While there is nothing like dominating, there is even more excitement about a comeback when you have been written off. About rising again when there have been others milking their time on the throne you once called your own.’
Jesus H, Neil, steady on. You were impressed by Mourinho.
‘Let there be no doubt about it, the bounce is most definitely back at Manchester United. Among the fans, among the players and certainly with the manager. Jose Mourinho has his mojo back and it is rubbing off on everyone around him.
‘No longer is the message about transition, about things taking time. United fans do not want to be lectured any more about how it will never be the same again as it was under Fergie.
‘The football is not from the new age. It is not about playing it out from the back and weaving magical patterns on the way up the pitch. It is quick, direct, powerful. It has a sense of urgency about it.
‘It has been about getting their club back. In Mourinho they have someone who has done that.’
Quick administrative point: Those last four paragraphs are actually taken from a piece Custis wrote in December 2016 about Mourinho’s United.
Once bitten, still not shy.
Work hard, play hard, Picard
Only the Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel could see the joyful photo of 77-year-old Patrick Stewart celebrating Huddersfield Town’s win from his bed in Canada, print off 1,000 copies of said photo and use them as his soapbox:
‘Nothing against Sir Patrick Stewart, who is undoubtedly a genuine Huddersfield fan. But the photograph of him enjoying the club’s first Premier League victory summed up why Richard Scudamore was wrong to equate the investment of supporters abroad and those who actually go to the games.’
It was just a photo, Martin.
‘The picture shows Stewart, in his Huddersfield shirt, arms aloft in celebration, watching the game on his laptop. He also appears to be in bed. Meaning, when the final whistle blows he can, if he wishes, roll over and go back to sleep. At this point, those that actually went to the game are embarking on a good five hours back to Huddersfield.’
Just a little photo, which gave people joy.
‘The Dugout is aimed at supporters in Asia and allows them to sign for updates on their favourite clubs and players. It is based on research that suggests fans in Asia follow, on average, six clubs in Europe, often multiples within the same league. They have similar attachment to players, too. So if Neymar leaves Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain, his Asian fans follow.’
All this from that photo.
‘So a little more respect from Scudamore is due. Fans abroad can still be passionate and committed. But if you can watch the match propped up by pillows, or Liverpool are one of the six clubs you support, don’t ever think it is the same.’
Just that little photo that gave people joy.
Paying the Costa, be the boss
After The Sun’s sensational interview with Danny Rose last week, the paper did some PR gardening work the next day. They wrote that Rose was slapped on the back by teammates and congratulated for what he had said.
After the Daily Mail’s sensational interview with Diego Costa this week, the paper has done some PR gardening work the next day. ‘WE BACK DIEGO’ is the headline splash on their back page:
‘Antonio Conte’s decision to exile Diego Costa is threatening to damage his strong bonds with other Chelsea players.
‘Costa is a popular figure in the dressing room and remains in regular contact with close friends Willian, David Luiz and Spain team-mates including Cesc Fabregas.
‘Some fear they could be the next to be discarded in brutal fashion by title-winning manager Conte.’
Because we are nothing if not helpful, Mediawatch has created a list of handy tips for those Chelsea players who don’t want to be ‘discarded in brutal fashion’ like Costa:
1) Start by not telling your new manager on his first day that you want to leave the club on his first day in charge:
“On Conte’s first day, I told him that I wanted to join Atlético and he was upset with me and didn’t even look at me. Luckily, I started to score goals.”
2) Next, don’t try and blatantly engineer a move throughout that first summer.
“I did all that I could to return but it didn’t happen. When Atlético had to wait for me, they didn’t wait.”
3) After that, don’t then try and engineer a move away from the club again in January.
4) When that move fails to materialise, don’t have a blazing row with the manager in training.
5) Having been told that you are no longer wanted at the club at the end of the season, having spent 18 months telling them you want to leave, don’t effectively go on strike and refuse to come back to England until your club agree to sell you to the one club you want to join, despite being under contract and Chelsea having no obligation to sell to a specific club. Particularly when that club is banned from registering players.
That should all help.
Good job. Now if he just stays quiet this weeke…
Poor Ian Ladyman must have shaken his head in disbelief when watching Newcastle vs Tottenham on Sunday. The Daily Mail journalist interviewed Newcastle’s Jonjo Shelvey last week, with the piece published on Tuesday. Lines from Shelvey include:
“I text my agent saying I needed to sort this out. I said: ‘I need to see someone who can help me, a psychologist’.
“The game was still going on but I knew I had to act. The lad had given me a dig and he only did it because I was running the game. But I just kicked out at him and it was childish.
“It’s probably normal but it’s something I need to nip in the bud. So after Forest I started to see a psychologist and it’s been really good so far.”
Until Sunday, it seems. Silly boy.
Know you are, said you are, but what am I?
Within that same interview, Shelvey denies racially abusing Wolves’ Roman Saiss. He was found guilty of the charge, given a five-match ban and fined £100,000.
“When we went to the hearing, I had a top lawyer and before the verdict the FA lawyer even said to us: ‘You may as well get going because you have won this.’
“My lawyer tore the Wolves witnesses to pieces. Their stories didn’t add up. And then the outcome was me being banned and a £100,000 fine.
“It is what it is. At the end of the day, they are still in the Championship and we are in the Premier League.”
Quick tip, Jonjo: When doing an interview about how you have grown up and changed, best to leave out the bit where you mock Wolves for not getting promoted. ‘My club is bigger than your club,’ might make you sound just a little childish.
‘A new season, a new look for the Premier League managers? Which ones have sharpened their look’ reads the headline on the Daily Telegraph football website. The new season has started, guys. You don’t need this filler anymore.
Mediawatch cannot do this piece any more justice than to simply bring you its glorious best bits:
On Pep Guardiola:
‘His well cut sweaters that compliment his lean frame, neat chinos and on point trainers put him in a league of his own.’
On Frank de Boer:
‘The addition of a pocket square indicates a sense of ceremony and occasion.’
On Antonio Conte:
‘The structure and clout of proper tailoring would befit his position instead.’
On Arsene Wenger:
‘The crest on his blazer nods to a collegiate style of dress while the double monk strap shoes are an elegant alternative to standard derby or Oxfords.’
What the f*ck is going on?
And they’re not the only ones
‘With the new Premier League season now under way, Press Association Sport asked YouTube vlogger Dina Tokio to rate the new kits for the big six teams – Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool – as well as Barcelona and Real Madrid purely from a fashion perspective’ – Press Association.
All the things she said
Websites using social media reaction within a story is nothing new, and completely understandable. Mediawatch shudders when that reaction actually becomes the story, as in ‘Arsenal fans troll club after…’ or the like, but otherwise it is appropriate.
However, Mediawatch can’t help thinking that one sub-editor at The Sun might want to take a bit more care when sourcing its tweets. In a story headlined ‘Jose Mourinho reveals new tattoo revealed in Manchester United’s 4-0 win over West Ham’ – we know – they use the following as their fan reaction:
Who gives a F*** about Mourinho new tattoo and why should this be news
— The Long Road (@ahmed_zubair) August 13, 2017
Never knowingly undersold
— Richard Keys (@richardajkeys) August 15, 2017
Recommended reading of the day
Marcus Christensen on Julian Nagelsmann.
Scott Sumner on rewriting the Premier League’s record books.
Alex Keble on Huddersfield Town.