The recent return to pre-season and subsequent friendlies has allowed a Mediawatch pet peeve to rear its ugly head.
You see, Alexandre Lacazette was not ‘a hit on debut’, as The Sun claim. He did not take ‘a huge weight off [Arsene Wenger’s] shoulders with a goal on his debut’. It wasn’t his bloody debut.
This message also goes out to the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Telegraph, Daily Star, Daily Express, Sky Sports, the Metro and, heck the official Arsenal website, who all reported that either Lacazette or Wayne Rooney scored on their debuts for Arsenal and Everton respectively: Pre-season friendlies do not count as debuts. They just don’t.
But considering you have reported that they did, we trust you will not claim that Lacazette scored on his debut against Leicester on the Premier League’s opening day if he finds the net. Of course not.
Walker, Texas Ranger
Another regular Mediawatch hang-up is a relatively recent phenomenon: combining a player’s reported transfer fee with their wages to come up with a ‘real cost’.
The Sun were at it recently, reporting that Manchester United’s move for Alvaro Morata was going to cost them £180million. That went well.
On Friday, it is the Daily Mirror‘s turn to make a lot of money – Manchester City’s £50m move for Kyle Walker – seem like an awful lot of money.
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) July 13, 2017
The maths is simple: the fee for Walker if £54m; his contract is worth almost £200,000 a week including bonuses. That equals £100m.
Such rules of course mean that Manchester United signed Paul Pogba for £164.7m, Arsenal signed Sead Kolasinac for £39m and United spent a whopping £187.1m on Wayne Rooney, but still.
It is also more than a little intriguing that the Mirror themselves claimed that United spent £75m on Lukaku on this back page on July 6. Do they not know that his ‘actual fee’, wages included, was closer to £116m?
The author of both the Walker and Lukaku stories, Manchester correspondent David McDonnell, has some explaining to do.
The Daily Mirror is far from the only outlet reporting that Real Madrid want David de Gea from Manchester United. But then it was only the Mirror who reported on June 18 that United were going to bid £175m plus De Gea to sign Cristiano Ronaldo. It makes a silly claim look even sillier now.
Loco over Bakayoko
Headline from Manchester Evening News:
‘Monaco star Tiemoue Bakayoko’s Manchester tweet sends Chelsea fans into meltdown’
Third and fourth paragraphs of the story:
‘But Bakayoko arrived in London on the Eurostar on Thursday evening ahead of undergoing a medical at the champions’ base at Cobham.
‘And, having dined with Willian and David Luiz, the France midfielder is still expected to complete his protracted move to Chelsea.’
Headline from The Sun:
‘Chelsea target Tiemoue Bakayoko teases Manchester United last-minute switch and Blues fans are in full-blown panic mode’
Fourteenth paragraph of the story:
‘Whether Bakayoko signs for United remains to be seen, with Chelsea supporters sure to be waiting with bated breath until a deal is pushed over the line.’
Headline from the Metro:
‘Tiemoue Bakayoko trolls Chelsea fans with Man Utd tease ahead of £40m transfer’
Seventh paragraph of the story:
‘But Bakayoko had already given the game away to fans on Instagram as his latest story showed him leaving a hotel in Chelsea.’
Headline from the London Evening Standard (and this is absolute worst one):
‘Tiemoue Bakayoko tweet sparks panic among Chelsea fans as he arrives in England for £40m transfer’
He ‘arrives in England’? Shameless. Particularly considering this is the first paragraph:
‘Tiemoue Bakayoko has arrived in London to complete his £40million move to Chelsea.’
Update: There is absolutely no update.
The transfer window, as is its right each day, is hotting up. Sky Sports can barely handle the heat.
‘West Ham want to sign at least one striker this summer, according to Sky sources,’ reads an update on their live transfer centre at 10.59, which is one in the eye for those who expected them to start the season with a fragile Andy Carroll, a fragile Diafra Sakho, a fragile Andre Ayew and an inexperienced Ashley Fletcher as their striker options.
Those Sky sources should probably have just listened to West Ham co-owner David Gold too. He said, on June 29:
“We need strikers and that is the key to everything for this season so we are focused first and foremost on bringing in two strikers.”
Writes John Cross for the Daily Mirror:
‘Barcelona have dropped their interest in Hector Bellerin after an official protest from Arsenal’
The alternative line is that Barcelona decided to sign Nelson Semedo for less money from a more willing Benfica instead.
Recommended reading of the day
Adam Smith on Kyle Walker.
Miguel Delaney on Manchester United.
Nick Miller talks to Harry Kewell.