Mediawatch: Pound-for-pound champion

Date published: Wednesday 20th January 2016 1:05

Give that man a raise
There are many hardworking people in football, but none more so than the agents of Alexandre Pato, Giuliano Bertolucci and Kia Joorabchian.

‘Brazil striker offered to Liverpool and Spurs on brink of completing £10m Chelsea move,’ reads the Daily Express headline on Tuesday afternoon.

It’s becoming a theme:

‘Revealed: Everything you need to know about Chelsea’s £10m target Alexandre Pato’ – Daily Express, January 19.

‘Chelsea set to complete £10m deal in order for Brazil striker to make debut at Arsenal’ – Daily Express, January 19.

‘Chelsea step up talks with Brazilian striker ahead of £10m move to be completed this week’ – Daily Express, January 19

‘Chelsea players believe deal to sign Brazil striker could be completed before Arsenal game’ – Daily Express, January 18.

‘Revealed: Why Chelsea will rush through striker deal this week’ – Daily Express, January 18.

‘Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink told what he must do to sign Man Utd target’ – Daily Express, January 15.

‘Chelsea deal Liverpool blow after talks held with £10m Brazilian striker’ – Daily Express, January 14.

‘Manchester United not giving up on race to sign Liverpool and Chelsea target’ – Daily Express, January 14.

‘Striker wants Chelsea move and has held talks with Willian’ – Daily Express, January 13.

‘Liverpool agree £11m deal for international striker’ – Daily Express, January 12.

One player, one website, one week. TWELVE stories. And that’s only the tip of a iceberg sculpted entirely out of PR.


Martial matters
‘United face extra bill for Martial,’ reads the headline in the Daily Telegraph.

‘Manchester United could owe Monaco €80million (£61.5million) for the signing of Anthony Martial,’ a piece by Ian Whittell and Mike Whalley begins.

The breaking news is that we now have the exact details of Martial’s potential add-on fees. Apart from that it’s hardly fresh news.

From the The Sun (via the Daily Star) on September 2, when reporting that the total fee could be £58m:

‘There are three bonuses that can now be triggered, each worth £7.2m.

‘United will pay the first of them to Monaco if Martial scores 25 goals in the next four seasons. If he reaches 25 caps over the same four-year period, United will have to stump up another £7.2m.

‘United need to pay a further £7.2m should Martial win the Ballon d’Or by June 2019.’

For those interested in how the Telegraph have now taken Martial’s fee beyond the £60m mark, the simple answer is exchange rates. While €10 converted to £7.69 yesterday, it converted to 45p less in September.

Revealed: Exchange rates fluctuate over time.


I’m all outta glove
When the Press Association produced a list of the number of players at various Premier League clubs who wore gloves at the weekend, Mediawatch suspected that the following day’s papers would enjoy the whole affair. We were right.

‘We glove you City, we do,’ is the headline in The Sun, with the Daily Mirror opting for ‘Glove-in for Kev and Co’.

For reasons of brevity, here are The Sun’s ‘highlights’:

– ‘Man up quick, ditch your mitts’

– ‘Jurgen Klopp let his Kop side down with an embarrassing snood’

– ‘Manuel Pellegrini’s pampered stars have been fingered as the Premier League’s softest side’

– ‘Liverpool had a reason to laugh as the second-worst offenders were Everton’

– ‘We spotted 31 mitten-wearing wussies’

‘Pampered’! ’Offenders’! ‘Wussies’!

1) Who cares?

2) Mediawatch continues to be astonished at the media’s obsession with football players wearing gloves. In what world is a player wanting to be comfortable in order to perform at the best of his ability a bad thing? ‘HOW CAN YOU GIVE 110% IF YOU’RE NOT SHIVERING?’

3) There is also a vaguely unpleasant ‘all the Johnny Foreigns are soft as sh*t’ element to all this.

4) How have we now reached the stage where a manager wearing something to keep warm is ‘embarrassing’ and ‘letting his side down’?


There’s a straw man waiting in the sky
‘Shelvey’s no Gerrard,’ is the headline on a section of Martin Samuel’s Daily Mail column. “We know,” a thousand people reply in unison.

‘If Jonjo Shelvey truly was ‘very similar to Steven Gerrard’, as was claimed after his debut for Newcastle on Saturday, he would still be at Liverpool,’ Samuel writes. ‘If he was capable of filling that role, he certainly wouldn’t have been sold to Swansea in 2013. Liverpool were surely planning for Gerrard’s retirement by then. They wouldn’t have let a player go who was ready to assume the mantle.’

Very true, Martin. Unfortunately, nobody did say that Shelvey was ‘very similar to Gerrard’ in terms of his ability, or able to ‘assume Gerrard’s mantle’.

What Newcastle’s Moussa Sissoko actually said was that Shelvey’s “style is very similar to Steven Gerrard’s”. That’s a different thing altogether.

Another straw man has been cut down to size.


Cultural relations
Sunderland FC have an official partnership with Invest In Africa, a group of companies committed to address the challenges of doing business in Africa.

The club’s website gives the following message: ‘Through the Invest in Africa partnership, Sunderland AFC is committed to helping to transform the continent’s business landscape. Contributing and giving back to the communities in which the club operates is of primary importance. African fans are being welcomed into the family of Sunderland supporters in increasing numbers – but a key focus is to ensure that those supporters can see the impact their club is having in areas which need support.’

Quite what those ‘African fans being welcomed into the family of Sunderland supporters’ will think of the club hosting an evening with ‘comedian’ Roy Chubby Brown, goodness only knows.

A reminder of one of Roy Chubby Brown’s routines, from 2014: “We’ve got AIDS from West Africa; we’ve got malaria from West Africa; we’ve got pneumonia from West Africa and now we’ve got Eboli. Apparently the Africans got it because they were eating bats. No wonder them n*****s have got big lips!” There are many other examples Mediawatch could choose.

Sometimes, football clubs can be brilliant. Sometimes, they are so stupid and culturally insensitive that you want to cry.


Double tops
‘Gladbach are a top club. But if I were someday to go to a top, top, top club, I want to play there’ – Granit Xhaka.

Even the foreigns are learning from Harry Redknapp now.


Feel the struggle #1
‘Harry Kane has struggled against Wes Morgan, who has pace and strength and can be over-aggressive at times’ – Charlie Nicholas,

Kane has started three matches against Morgan; he’s scored four times. If that’s a ‘struggle’ he’ll battle on bravely.


Feel the struggle #2
‘This Liverpool team, as I’ve said often enough, can go away from home and play a pressing game but they are still really struggling to deliver when they’re expected to win’ – Charlie Nicholas,

Nicholas’ predicted score for the team “struggling to deliver when expected to win”? 4-0 to Liverpool.


Breaking news of the day
‘Tottenham stars Christan Eriksen and Eric Dier take a ride on the London Underground ahead of FA Cup clash with Leicester’ – MailOnline.

We’re (not) left wondering how Leicester players transported themselves 24 hours before the tie.


Quote of the (other) day
“It’s coming in the Premier League for the first time. He’s found out how difficult it is. We had to get him on at some stage. You can’t judge a man on one swallow” – Sam Allardyce on Jan Kirchoff.

Nobody nails a mixed metaphor quite like Big Sam.


Unsurprising opinion of the day
‘Theo Walcott must go down as one of Arsene Wenger’s greatest signings – and his best is yet to come’ – John Cross, Daily Mirror.

Mark Overmars, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Sol Campbell, Nicolas Anelka, Patrick Vieira, Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie, Kolo Toure, Freddie Ljungberg, Gilberto Silva, Bacary Sagna, Jens Lehmann, Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Petr Cech would all like a word.


Recommended reading of the day
Tom Adams on Petr Cech as the new Eric Cantona

Josh Wright on Gary Neville’s problems at Valencia

Melissa Reddy on joining the press pack

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