Mediawatch: Ozil, Bony and ‘insistent’ LVG

Date published: Wednesday 23rd December 2015 1:06

Was it wholly necessary for The Sun to accentuate Mesut Ozil’s eyes there?


Mesut and tie
Sticking with the Arsenal midfielder, the Daily Mail are reporting that Ozil is in line for a new contract at the Emirates. ‘The Gunners’ hopes of extending their star man’s contract have been boosted by Ozil admitting he feels great,’ writes Sami Mokbel. “I can only say that I am very happy in London,” said Ozil. “My decision to leave Real Madrid for Arsenal was the right one. There has not been a single day, apart from whenever I was injured, that I did not feel great here.”

Mediawatch is simply left wondering why the rest of Ozil’s interview with German publication Kicker was omitted. Here is the rest of what the 27-year-old had to say:

“There is no rush to sign a new contract. My current deal runs until 2018. That is still two-and-a-half years. There are no talks at the moment.”

Remember: This was the exact same interview.


Bony prince
Wilfried Bony has been speaking recently over his standing in the Manchester City squad following his role as a substitute against Arsenal despite Sergio Aguero’s clear lack of fitness. Quotes such as “I’m disappointed today that I didn’t start but I’m not the coach,” were included, and are perfectly understandable for a £28million footballer.

“The coach does what he thinks is best for the team. I’m sure everyone on the bench wants to play. He just has to choose 11 players,” Bony said, before adding that he will discuss the situation with his manager.

The Daily Star go with the headline of ‘Bony left raging at Pell snub’, while The Sun plump for ‘Wilf’s fit of fury at Pell’, both of which are delightful. Put it through the story filter at the Daily Express however and you get the following opening paragraph from Tony Banks:

‘Wilfried Bony will have showdown talks with manager Manuel Pellegrini today as Manchester City’s fragile title bid threatens to implode.’

Is City’s title bid really so ‘fragile’ that it depends on the manager’s relationship with a striker who has started less than half of their league games? And at exactly what point does a conversation become ‘showdown talks’?


Gooey Louis
‘Van Gaal insists he will not walk away from job at United,’ reads the headline in the Daily Telegraph. ‘Under-fire manager says he can revive fortunes,’ is the standfirst to Mike Whalley’s piece.

Well, this sounds rather interesting. Van Gaal is under an unprecedented amount of pressure at Old Trafford, with three consecutive defeats having followed three straight draws. The Dutchman has discussed his future at Old Trafford before, but only briefly. ‘Insisting’ that he will not leave? Now, that’s pretty big.

Only the piece contains no quotes from Van Gaal whatsoever. Nothing from even a week ago, no quotes from a ‘source’ close to the Dutchman, nothing. The word ‘insist’ is used once more within the copy, which of course implies that Van Gaal has spoken publicly. But no, nothing.

Mediawatch can’t help thinking that you are falling short on the ‘insisting’ front if nobody actually hears you.


Quality street
Mediawatch will never fail to be amazed at some of the headlines on the Metro website. Among the highlights at Wednesday lunchtime are:

* ‘Quality star set to sign for Arsenal as agent confirms transfer offer – report’ – Victor Osimhen is said ‘quality star’. That’s Victor Osimhen, a 16-year-old forward of Ultimate Strikers Academy in Nigeria.

As an aside, the actual quotes from his agent are that they have narrowed down his potential destinations to Arsenal and Wolfsburg. Why isn’t he ‘set to sign’ for the Bundesliga side?

* ‘Deal: Arsenal agree to sign quality finisher on unique condition – report’ – Aleksandr Kokorin is said ‘quality finisher’. That’s Aleksandr Kokorin of 50 goals in 201 club career appearances.

* ‘Proven CL star close to Liverpool transfer after telling decision – report’ – Joel Matip is said ‘proven CL star’. Joel Matip of 26 Champions League appearances over seven seasons.


We interrupt Wednesday’s edition of Mediawatch for, well, this:

Never change, Rich.


Business as usual
‘Louis van Gaal to face media as normal before United’s trip to Stoke City,’ reads the headline on the Guardian website; they are one of many offenders in this instance.

To be fair, ‘man set to do his job’ sounds rather less, y’know, clickable.


Lion king
News that Manchester United players have held a crisis meeting will come as no surprise, but Mediawatch couldn’t help but chuckle at the Daily Mirror‘s interpretation of events. Their back page reads: ‘As LVG faces axe, Rooney calls a crisis meeting and roars ‘save our season’.’

The imagery of Rooney literally roaring ‘save our season’ at his team-mates is just delightful. England’s new lion, perhaps?


Title tattle
The Sun tells us that ‘Man City now cannot win the title – according to the stats’. Their loss against Arsenal represented their fifth this season, with no side winning the Premier League having lost as many games before Christmas.

That narrows the Premier League title race down to Leicester, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham, West Ham and Everton. May the best team who isn’t currently 8th or 10th win.


Star man
Congratulations to Frank Lampard who, according to the Daily Star, provided 18 assists in the 2014/15 season. Not bad at all, especially considering he only started 10 games for Manchester City.


Déjà vu
‘An American-led consortium is hoping to complete a takeover of Everton within the next six weeks’ – The Times. Stop me(diawatch) if you think you’ve heard this one before.


Worst headline of the day


Recommended reading of the day
Michael Cox on Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil.

Jonathan Wilson on the devil and Jose Mourinho.

Simon Kuper on Guus Hiddink.


Thanks to Peter Marsehall and Graham Dodds. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting ‘Mediawatch’ in the subject field.

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