Lovren you, is easy ‘cos you’re beautiful
‘Lovren: I’m worth £20m,’ shouts the headline in Thursday’s The Sun.
Crikey, thought Mediawatch; that’s a bit ballsy isn’t it? Best just to get your head down and let your performances do the talking, Dejan.
Actual quotes from Lovren: “I know a little bit more about the club now and the feelings and expectations of fans. Last year I had a tough year. I didn’t do pre-season with the team and everything was such a rush. It was important I had a good pre-season and I’m feeling more comfortable. And when you do a pre-season outside the UK, you see what a great and big club it is. I’m proud to be here. Now my thing is to be here for as long as possible and to win something.”
Mentions of £20m: None.
Mentions of any kind about his worth or value: None.
Shameless headlines: One.
Game. Set. Match
‘Premier League players set for Euro 2016 – club-by-club guide,’ reads the headline on SkySports.com. Mediawatch wondered how anyone could be ‘set for’ a tournament that’s still seven months away, but we carried on regardless. And boy, are we glad we did.
‘We’ve been through each squad to tell you who – as it stands – are likely to be waving their players off to France once the top-flight campaign ends on May 17,’ the piece reads.
Excellent, so which English players are, ‘as it stands, likely to be waved off’ to France?
Nathaniel Clyne, Jordan Henderson, Danny Ings, Adam Lallana, James Milner, Daniel Sturridge, Calum Chambers, Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck, Michael Carrick, Phil Jones, Wayne Rooney, Chris Smalling, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Harry Kane, Ryan Mason, Andros Townsend, Kyle Walker, Leighton Baines, Ross Barkley, Phil Jagielka, John Stones, Fabian Delph, Joe Hart, Raheem Sterling, Gary Cahill, Ryan Bertrand, Fraser Forster, Jay Rodriguez, Ben Foster, Rickie Lambert, Jack Butland, Glen Johnson, Jonjo Shelvey and Jamie Vardy, that’s who.
The only way that lot are all ‘likely’ to go is if Roy Hodgson is somehow permitted to take 39 players to France. Even then Mediawatch doesn’t think Glen Johnson or Rickie Lambert would be two of them.
Oddly, Luke Shaw is omitted on the grounds of long-term injury, yet Danny Ings and Fraser Forster are included despite having similar return dates to Shaw.
There is also a clarification made on Daniel Sturridge – ‘Injury has ruled him out but he is expected to make Roy Hodgson’s squad if fit’ – but not on any of England’s other currently or perennially injured players. Presumably they just gave up after Liverpool.
Still, if all 39 are ‘waved off’ to France, Mediawatch will look very silly indeed.
That man and Robben
To clarify, the below are all different pages on the Metro’s website:
‘Manchester United ready to snap up Arjen Robben transfer’ – November 15. (Can one ‘snap up a transfer’?)
‘Man United transfer news: Arjen Robben wanted’ – November 15.
‘Manchester United transfer news: Gareth Bale closer’ – November 17
‘Manchester United transfer news: Man United close on £150m Gareth Bale and Arjen Robben deals’ – November 18.
‘Transfer news: Gareth Bale open to Manchester United move’ – November 18.
‘Arjen Robben on verge of sealing Manchester United transfer due to Bayern Munich rift’ – November 19.
‘Man United transfer news: Gareth Bale and Arjen Robben close’ – November 19.
‘Transfer news: Manchester United want Gareth Bale and Arjen Robben’ – November 19.
More recycling than a bottle bank.
Sleeping with the Fichajes
Still, even the Metro don’t go as far as the Daily Express.
‘Former Chelsea winger agrees January move to Manchester United,’ reads their headline on Robben, presented as fact.
But fact it ain’t. ‘The Daily Mirror claim the former Chelsea winger is unsettled as a result of the fall-out and is relishing the chance to move back to England for a second crack at the Premier League,’ the piece actually reads.
To the Daily Mirror then, and their far from certain headline: ‘Manchester United close to signing unsettled Arjen Robben?’
The reason for the Mirror’s caution, is that it’s not even their story either: ‘Manchester United are close to signing Arjen Robben as the Bayern Munich star’s rift with Robert Lewandowski continues. (Fichajes)’
‘Manchester United are interested in gaining the services of Arjen Robben,’ the latest Fichajes piece on Robben reads. ‘It seems that Louis Van Gaal wants to see wearing the shirt of the ‘Red Devils’.
From ‘it seems United are interested’ (on a Spanish transfer nonsense website) to ‘agrees move’ in the space of a few hours, thanks to some pretty shameless work on the Express’ behalf. Yet another rumour that deserves to sleep with the Fichajes.
‘It was commerce and marketing that changed when the Premier League was formed, not football… So the idea that Jamie Vardy is chasing Ruud van Nistelrooy’s consecutive scoring record in English football is false’ – Martin Samuel, Daily Mail, November 17.
‘One point for the weekend ahead: Vardy is not chasing Van Nistelrooy’s goalscoring record because Van Nistelrooy doesn’t hold the record. Football was not invented in 1992 and yet so many records now are dated to the start of the Premier League. Attempts to erase the rest of English football history pre-Premier League are getting increasingly bizarre’ – Oliver Holt, Mail on Sunday chief sports writer, November 18.
‘Vardy may need jab to equal Ruud goal record’ – Daily Mail headline, November 19.
Misleading the way
‘Liverpool target talks up shock move: ‘It’d be a dream to play for them,’ shouts the headline on the Daily Star website.
‘Paris St Germain winger Ezequiel Lavezzi hinted that he’s open to a move away from the French capital,’ reads the tagline.
Quotes from Lavezzi: “I’m not going to deny that it would be a dream to play in a team like Barcelona’s. But today I play in a good enough team that I don’t need to be jealous. I will be calm and try to make the best decision.”
Naughty. Very naughty.
For the good of the game #1
“You could literally measure on one hand the clubs whose ticket pricing you might probably think is a challenge for most people… Most people can afford to go to the occasional game” – quotes attributed to Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League, man of the people.
What a whopper.
For the good of the game #2
“The festive period has always been a special time for football fans, and with 10 matches in 10 days live on Sky Sports to start it all off, this season promises to be better than ever. The live games will showcase the drama of and excitement of the Sky Bet Football League, and we’d encourage everyone to come and join the fun as big crowds gather at grounds across the country over Christmas and the New Year” – Shaun Harvey, chief executive of the Football League.
The festive period is indeed a special time for football fans, Shaun. Which is why making fans of Reading travel to Hull on a Wednesday night (460-mile round trip), Leeds travel to Wolves on a Thursday night (240-mile round trip), Nottingham Forest travel to Blackburn for a Monday night (260-mile round trip), Cardiff travel to Birmingham on a Friday night (220-mile round trip) and Middlesbrough travel to Brighton on a Saturday lunchtime (630-mile trip) might not be the best present they could wish for. Using emotional blackmail to urge them to come to watch games live mightn’t help.
‘Sanchez gets real big deal,’ reads the headline on the back page of the Daily Mirror.
This is an ‘exclusive’: ‘Alexis Sanchez is set to give Arsenal a huge boost by pledging his future until 2020’.
Which is odd, because the Daily Mail have the same story on page 88 of their paper.
Arsene Wenger has since denied that there is any rush for Sanchez to sign a new deal.
‘Stats show Alexis Sanchez lost possession more than any other player,’ reads the headline on the Metro football homepage.
The entire article is based on that very statistic, meaning there is no need to click into it. Is this the opposite of clickbait?
Headline of the day
‘We’re All Singing Les Bleus’ – The Sun.
Recommended reading of the day
Barney Ronay on Roy Hodgson’s cosmopolitanism and demeanour.
Rich Jolly on Manuel Pellegrini and Jurgen Klopp.
Iain Macintosh on Vines of serious injuries.