Mediawatch: Man United to be sold again?

Date published: Tuesday 7th June 2016 12:20

Dr No

In the interest of balance, Mediawatch should say that it’s possible the Daily Star’s front-page headline is a clever piece of satire. It pokes fun at the inherent sexism within sport and the media in general, whereby the gender of an employee is only important if they are a) female and b) involved in a controversy in which their professionalism has been questioned.

Also in the interests of balance, Mediawatch should say that that explanation is highly generous to the Daily Star, who have probably fallen (or wilfully jumped, depending on your point of view) into exactly the trap detailed above.

So, just for the Daily Star’s headline writers, here is a list of alternatives to the term ‘girl doc’:

– If you really must refer to Eva Carneiro’s gender (and there is absolutely no need), how about ‘female’ rather than ‘girl’? Would a male doctor aged 42 be called a ‘boy’? No. Because it’s incredibly f**king patronising and only women tend to be patronised in sport and the media.

– Or, why not refer to Carneiro by name? Especially if you want to make her identity explicit over any other Chelsea doctor? Including the space, ‘girl doc’ contains the same number of characters as ‘Carneiro’. Go with that.

– Or, and this is a maverick move we agree, just refer to her as ‘doc’ with no allusion to her gender. On the basis that it really doesn’t f**king matter as she’s a medical professional.

As ever with this s**t, it’s one step forward for women and five giant leaps backward for womankind. Please stop it.


Suits you
‘England’s Euro 2016 suit launched – but does it hint at who will make Roy Hodgson’s final squad?’ – Daily Mirror, February 17, 2016.

No, it doesn’t.











Murky waters
We are told by those who know that disregarding transfer rumours as bulls**t is an unfair pastime. People don’t make up rumours, they merely pass on what they know. ‘Don’t shoot the messenger’ is the plea.

Now Mediawatch is usually happy to follow that lead, but a story on Monday did make us question it.

The Sun’s website splashed an ‘exclusive’ across their football homepage, namely that Arsenal were close to the signing of Riyad Mahrez from Leicester.

Daniel Cutts’ exclusive did not make Monday’s paper edition, but claimed that ‘the Gunners have been shocked that Mahrez’s release clause is so low’, and ‘Vardy is set to be joined by his PFA Player of the Year team-mate Mahrez’.

The first alarm bell sounded with the words ‘release clause’, given that it is unanimously agreed that there is no such clause in Mahrez’s contract. It’s a strong start.

By Tuesday, there is no mention of Mahrez anywhere in The Sun’s paper edition or on the football homepage, and the Daily Mirror’s John Cross (in the know on the Arsenal) reported unequivocally that ‘Arsenal are not interested in Mahrez’.

We’re sure that The Sun enjoyed all those website clicks, but are we allowed to ask how they could claim Mahrez is ‘set to join’ Arsenal when the truth was nothing of the sort?


Changed your tune
Ian Wright, when asked about the type of striker Arsenal need in April 2016:

“When you look at his stats if they did have Harry Kane or Anthony Martial or even Marcus Rashford you look at the way he move. If they had someone like that, more clinical, someone who would get on the end of things, someone like a young Jermain Defoe, with Ozil you’re talking 30 goals a season.”

Ian Wright, writing about Jamie Vardy and Arsenal’s needs in The Sun, June 2016:

‘I think everyone is well aware how excited I am about the possibility of Arsenal signing Jamie Vardy… So what if signing Vardy means teams suddenly start dropping deep to stop him getting in behind? If that happens, all it does is leave more space for the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and all those create (sic) sorts.’

So they need a “young Defoe”. Or a 29-year-old Vardy.


Optimism reigns

‘Vardy ought to look beyond the idea that Arsenal are ‘big’ and that Leicester are ‘smaller’ – an outdated concept when every Premier League side will soon rank among the world’s 30 richest clubs,’ begins Dave Kidd in the Daily Mirror on the subject of Vardy’s move to Arsenal.

‘Leicester are champions of England. Arsenal have not been for a dozen years. Arsenal are serial under-achievers in the Champions League, while last season’s Foxes team, remaining intact, would be capable of bettering the annual last-16 exit of Arsene Wenger’s men.’

There are numerous valid reasons for considering staying at Leicester the right thing for Vardy to do, but long-term Champions League ambitions is surely not one of them. Particularly given that ‘remaining intact’ looks increasingly unlikely with each passing day.


Tenuous link of the day
‘After all the fuss Rock of Gibraltar caused Manchester United, you might think the current hierarchy would steer clear of horse racing. But executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was at Epsom to watch his horse Dark Devil, which he owns with colleague Richard Arnold and Nicholas Wrigley, finish down the field in the first race on Derby day’ – Charlie Sale, Daily Mail.

Oh wow.

Mediawatch is pretty sure that just going to watch one day of horse racing won’t cause another war over breeding rights and the eventual sale of Manchester United. Actually, we’re completely sure.


Euro 2016 pundit news of the day
The BBC have Thierry Henry. ITV have Eric Cantona. The Daily Telegraph have Carlo Ancelotti. The Daily Mail have Alan ‘Chunky’ Pardew.

That news alone was enough to put a pep in Mediawatch’s step, but then we read Pardew’s first hot take as a columnist: Harry Kane should play as a central striker. Cheers Al.


Headline of the day
‘Koem raider’ – The Sun finally pass the pronunciation test.


Recommended reading of the day
Amy Lawrence on the lost art of defending.

Andy Mitten on Eric Bailly.

Swiss Ramble on Wolves (the Wanderers, not the animal).

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