It’s oh so quiet. Ssssh. Ssssh.
“Although the midfielder has always refused to speak about a possible transfer, it did not prevent his coach Alex McLeish from criticising him publicly” – French newspaper L’Equipe on Moussa Sissoko.
We’ll ignore the McLeish-McClaren gaffe and instead focus on the claim that Sissoko refuses to speak about transfers, for that is where the real guff lies.
The following must therefore come from a different Moussa Sissoko:
“There are always a lot of rumours. I don’t pay much attention to them. I have an agent who looks after that. If something is to happen, it’ll happen. I’m ambitious. My aim is to play in the best clubs, play the Champions League, win trophies. There haven’t been any offers, so I’ll be at Newcastle until the end of the season. After that, we’ll see” – December 2014.
“The transfer market is open, so things can happen any day, but I am focused on Newcastle. If anything should happen, it will. I hope I’ll leave for a bigger club one day, but I don’t know when. England is my priority. If [Arsène] Wenger calls, I’ll have a man-to-man discussion with him and then we’ll see. Arsenal has always been the club of my heart” – January 2015.
“Look at those who play in my position: Blaise Matudi who did extraordinary things for PSG, Paul Pogba who is wonderful for Juventus, Yohan Cabaye who has just signed for Crystal Palace … Compared to me, they all play in big clubs. It could have been a good time to leave. There were discussions with Newcastle, but they were against me leaving.” – September 2015.
He mentioned it once, but he thinks he got away with it.
‘Man United boss Louis van Gaal and Roy Hodgson at loggerheads over Jesse Lingard’s England call-up,’ reads the headline on the Mirror Football website.
Quotes from Hodgson on Van Gaal’s comments regarding Jesse Lingard’s call-up: “I don’t think he was wrong to say that. Under normal circumstances, we wouldn’t have been considering Lingard, even though he’s a very interesting player. He gave his blessing without any problem. It would be unfair pushing that back on him.”
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Mediawatch isn’t saying the Daily Mail don’t believe that Manchester United will sign Matt Ritchie, but they do rather run of out steam as their story progresses:
‘Manchester United eyeing up shock move for Bournemouth star Matt Ritchie as Louis van Gaal looks to add pace to his attack.’
Wow, big news.
‘Matt Ritchie is being watched by Manchester United but no formal approach has yet been made.’
Ok, but still, it’s coming.
‘Bournemouth winger Matt Ritchie is among Manchester United’s list of January transfer targets.’
But they’re still ‘eyeing a move’, right?
‘Ritchie may not be the name at the top of United’s list but he is one they have looked at.’
Are they buying them all, then?
Summary: Nobody has a clue
Mediawatch enjoyed a little chuckle on Monday at four different papers attempting to predict how England will line up against France on Tuesday. Some predicted Dele Alli to start in attacking midfield behind Wayne Rooney, others thought Rooney would reprise his role behind the central striker Harry Kane, and the rest felt Rooney and Kane would start together up front. Tuesday is no different.
The Daily Mail, Daily Express, Guardian and Independent all believe England will start with a 4-3-3 formation, with Rooney the central striker, Kane on the left-hand side and Alli on the right-side of a midfield three.
The Sun also believe England will field a 4-3-3 formation, but with Kane on the right-hand side and Alli on the left of the midfield.
The rest go rogue. The Times predict a 4-3-2-1 formation, the Daily Star feel it will be a 4-2-3-1 with Alli in attacking midfield and Rooney the central striker, and the Daily Telegraph claim it will be a 4-1-2-1-2 formation. Funky.
Basically, it’s anyone’s guess.
“Like a young Burt Reynolds”
‘Gareth Bale ‘closer than ever’ to completing stunning Man United transfer’ – Daily Star website, November 17.
‘Man United boss Louis van Gaal to make stunning raid for Germany striker in January’ – Daily Star website, November 17.
‘Chelsea News: Stunning January exit, Blues to beat Man Utd to Ancelotti, defender signs’ – Daily Star website, November 17.
‘Transfer News: Liverpool thump Arsenal, Man United eye Argentine enforcer, Chelsea stunned’ – Daily Star website, November 17.
‘Liverpool News: Stunning Man United raid, Napoli contract talks, Spurs plot Brazilian deal’ – Daily Star website, November 17.
‘Stunned’ five times on the same morning? Mediawatch assumed one would get desensitised to the surprise element of such bulls**t after a while.
Through the filter
“Footballers go through stages when things don’t go well, it might be a few months, look at Iniesta last season,” said former Barcelona midfielder Xavi. “People were critical him; they said he wasn’t the same player. What happened in the Champions League final, the biggest game? He was fantastic.”
Put that through the Metro’s filter of hyperbole and what do you get? ‘Global icon compares Man United star with sensational World Cup winner,’ that’s what.
The glorious return of ace-watch
‘In-demand ace told by father and agent to snub club’s new deal as Arsenal eye January bid’ – Daily Star.
It’s Josh Windass of Accrington Stanley.
‘Matt Ritchie is being watched by Manchester United but no formal approach has yet been made,’ reads the first line of the aforementioned story on MailOnline.
Look three inches above to see the following URL: Manchester-United-make-formal-approach-Bournemouth-star-Matt-Ritchie
Ask a simple question
‘Could England be grouped with Rep.Ireland, Wales & N.Ireland at Euro 2016?’ – @SkyFootball.
Inaccurate headline of the day
‘Moyes speaks for first time since being sacked by Real Sociedad as he reveals he rejected “a number of jobs”’ – MailOnline miss out the word ‘publicly’.
The thought of Moyes not saying a word for an entire week has at least made Mediawatch giggle.
Recommended reading of the day
Michael Miller on Lassana Diarra
Luis Miguel Echegaray on Peru
Simon Kuper on Atletico Madrid