Mediawatch: Man United are ‘double’ winners

Date published: Monday 8th August 2016 12:21

You know it’s a slow news day wh… actually it isn’t a slow news day. So there’s no excuse.
‘Big Sam pictured at McDonalds drive-thru – fans react in predictable fashion’ – Mirror Football.

If there’s anything less interesting than ‘manager buys food’ it’s ‘some people on social media react to manager buying food’.


Shrewd awakening
On the back page of The Sun’s ‘Goals’ pullout, ‘world football correspondent’ Antony Kastrinakis has his say on Manchester United’s deal for Paul Pogba. He’s not a happy bunny.

‘Juventus sold Paul Pogba to Manchester United to win the Champions League,’ Kastrinakis begins. ‘The Italian giants are quite simply far shrewder than United… and they have been for the last five years. They put our clubs wasting billions looking for success to shame.’

Firstly, saying that Juventus have sold Pogba to win the Champions League is a pretty optimistic spin on ‘club sells star player it didn’t want to sell’. As general manager Beppe Marotta said in April: “We made a clear decision on Pogba last year. He is going to be a key element for years to come. He’s happy with us, he’s grown and he’s become a champion, and this is his natural habitat.”

Also, Juventus are likely to receive £89m as part of the Pogba deal. It would be a lot easier to argue about how ‘shrewd’ Juventus are if they had not already spent £75m of that on a 29-year-old striker.

Kastrinakis then offers a one-eyed assessment of Juventus’ transfer dealings since 2011, mentioning the signings of Andrea Pirlo, Carlos Tevez and Patrice Evra after discussing Manchester United’s transfer market failures.

Since 2011 (the period Kastrinakis mentions), Juventus have also spent more than £10m on each of: Mirko Vucinic, Kwadwo Asamoah, Mauricio Isla, Alex Sandro, Roberto Pereyra and Hernanes. Let’s not pretend that every major club has not made errors in the transfer market.

‘Boss Max Allegri’s Juve will be the team to watch and the team to avoid in this season’s Champions League,’ Kastrinakis continues, handily ignoring Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich who are all available at a shorter price. ‘United? Well, Pogba won’t exactly enjoy the Europa League but £330,000-a-week in his wage packet should ease the blow.’

It’s almost as if United have bought Pogba for the future, and not just this season’s Europa League campaign.


…And speaking of Kastrinakis

Ways to ingratiate yourself in Liverpool #1.


Stretching it
‘Suddenly, everything is adding up for United,’ writes The Sun’s Neil Ashton after the Community Shield.

‘In Mourinho’s world the Community Shield, a distant fifth in United’s order of priorities, is a marker for the season ahead. They are a winning machine again, beating the champions of England 78 days after lifting the FA Cup against Crystal Palace. It is a double, of sorts.’

It really isn’t.

Not a day goes by when Mediawatch doesn’t think about Vinny Samways’ winner for Everton against Blackburn in front of 40,000 people at Wembley in 1995. The ‘FA Cup and Community Shield over two different seasons’ double; the one everyone wants.


Better together
The Daily Mirror’s Adrian Kajumba might want to have a word with his headline writers after they stitched him up good and proper in Monday’s edition of the paper.

Kajumba’s general point is that Leicester have lost N’Golo Kante and have the added workload of Champions League football, but you could argue that the squad is stronger than in last August.

The headline?

‘Still all together… maybe stronger than ever’.

Change ‘all’ for ‘all apart from Kante’ and ‘maybe stronger than ever’ to ‘maybe stronger than last August’, and you get closer to the truth.


Any Pogba will do

Top work from The Sun, who fail to spot the Partick Thistle badge on the picture they selected for their latest Paul Pogba story.

It’s all in the detail.


First. Fast. A week before their rivals
You may have heard that BT Sport have this season attempted to go up against Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday programme. Which seems ambitious.

You may also have heard that, rather than start their programme on the opening day of the English domestic season, BT didn’t have a show this weekend. Apparently bringing live scores to the public only matters when the Premier League has started.

You may not have seen Soccer Saturday presenter Jeff Stelling’s dig at BT for that decision.



Major blow, Sergeant setback
‘Moussa Sissoko to Real Madrid: Newcastle star deals Arsenal major blow by admitting Bernabeu move would be a “dream”’ – The Sun.

Two things, Toby Gannon:

1) It’s only a ‘major blow’ to Arsenal if they were desperate to sign Sissoko in the first place. The lack of offer would suggest that they aren’t that arsed.

2) “I want to leave. I want to continue my career in England, at a club that plays in the Champions League, because I think the English league is the championship that best fits my style of play. “Arsenal is one of the best European clubs. To be followed by this kind of club, it proves that I have the quality. It’s good to know.

“I hope I will have a chance soon to play at this club or similar club…it’s a very big European club. I think few people would refuse to play for this club. Everyone knows, I have often said when I was young, my heart was Arsenal, because there were a lot of French players there – Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Sylvain Wiltord, Patrick Vieira who was my idol. The beautiful Arsenal. We’ll see.”

That’s Sissoko talking last month. Was that a ‘major blow’ to Real Madrid?


Slight difference of opinion
‘Michael Carrick – Underlined United’s wisdom in handing him a one-year extension with usual reliable job in midfield before being replaced on the hour by Herrera’ – Daily Express.

‘Michael Carrick – Prudent yet ponderous, which is hardly a surprise from a 35-year-old. Might have impressed had he been paired with a more suitable partner but was overwhelmed’ – Manchester Evening News.

They were watching the same game.


Your good news story for the day
Mediawatch readers might not be familiar with the name Katrien Meire, but she is the chief executive of Charlton Athletic who has gained notoriety for publicly referring to supporters as “customers”.

It would be fair to say that Meire’s tenure in charge has been controversial, with owner Roland Duchâtelet facing protests every week from supporters unhappy at the way their club is being run. At the start of this year, Charlton had no permanent manager, no chief scout and no director of football. They were relegated from the Championship, and lost their first game in League One at Bury on Saturday.

In May, Meire received some ‘heat’ for comparing Charlton fans who protested against the clubs to racists: “Fans have committed criminal offences against me. Just like when I started supporting football 15 years ago. Whenever there was a black player they would make noises. Why can we not also educate fans towards respect of everybody in the game?”

So why is Mediawatch telling you all this? Because on Monday, Meire’s appointment to the FA Council as a representative for the Football League was confirmed, therefore allowing her to speak on behalf of all 72 clubs.



Paragraph of the day
‘As we all know by now, Paul Pogba is pretty much dab-tastic. He was the first person to bring the popular dance move into the footballing stratosphere, and has become a popular celebration among players ever since’ – Daily Telegraph website.

You’ve changed. We’re just disappointed.


Bold claim of the day
‘Pogba flying to Manchester’ – Sky Sports.

Is there anything this guy can’t do?


Recommended reading of the day
The Guardian’s enjoyable fans’ season previews are here and here.

Seb Stafford-Bloor on Saido Berahino.

Euan McTear on Diego Forlan.

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