Hyperbole of the day
‘Despite Conte’s complaints he has spent heavily — forking out an initial £129million for Alvaro Morata, Antonio Rudiger and Bakayoko. All three are settling in at Chelsea, arriving during another difficult period for the head coach.
‘Conte has to manage his way through this, to capture the imagination again with some impressive early-season results. Without them, it could be time for another golden handshake’ – Neil Ashton, The Sun.
Yes that’s right. If Chelsea don’t start the season strongly they should sack Antonio Conte.
After all, it’s not as if there is a recent example of a Chelsea team managed by Conte starting the season off slowly but it all ending very well indeed.
Out on Bale
Are you a Tottenham supporter a little worried that their club seems to be wobbling on the eve of the season? Well fear not, for The Sun’s Paul Jiggins has the answer. And Paul Jiggins is ‘Sunsport’s man at Spurs’, after all:
‘With Spurs suddenly looking vulnerable, Levy needs to do more than merely ensuring the current playing squad is retained. He needs to make a statement. And there would be no bigger one than taking up the first option Tottenham have on buying back Gareth Bale if and when he becomes available.
‘Levy still wears the £86m sale of the Welsh wizard to Real Madrid four years ago as a badge of honour. Buying Bale back would be an even greater one.’
Do you not think that might be a little easier said than done, Paul? If it were that easy for club’s outside of the financial elite to pay £90m for a player while simultaneously building a new stadium, do you not think others might have tried it? And that is ignoring the elephant in the room of whether Bale actually wants to come back to Tottenham next summer.
Still, what could be better than Tottenham offering to pay £90m for a superstar former player at the age of 29, offering to break their wage structure for him to join, getting rejected and then having a squad asking why if the club will break the wage ceiling for Bale they won’t do it for them. It truly is a faultless plan.
Actually, why don’t they buy Cristiano Ronaldo while they are there?
Thinking of you
“WTF is Danny Rose thinking?” tweeted Sir Alex Ferguson’s favourite lapdog,’ writes Dave Kidd of Gary Neville in Friday’s The Sun. Neville probably prefers multiple Premier League winner and England’s most-capped right-back, but we’ll let that slide.
‘Well every early-rising Sun reader knew exactly what Rose was thinking because the England left-back had opened his heart in a wide-ranging interview praised for its outspoken honesty.’
Firstly Dave, it’s a rhetorical expression, as you well know.
Furthermore, while Mediawatch can understand some of Rose’s frustrations, we do enjoy the idea that he was ‘opening his heart’ in that interview rather than agitating for either a whacking great pay rise or a move away from Tottenham. All that love was too much for one heart to hold.
‘Every year I select my 10 players to follow for the Premier League season,’ writes Jamie Redknapp in the Daily Mail. ‘I try not to go for all the obvious players and my picks aren’t necessarily the best, either. They are the players to look out for to see if they can make a big impact.’
Good on you, Jamie. Steer clear of the household names, big-money signings and look for something a little different. Scratch below the surface.
Erm, Jamie? JAMIE, quickly before you go. You know you said you wanted to avoid the obvious players? Well you’ve included Virgil van Dijk, Alvaro Morata, Alexandre Lacazette, Romelu Lukaku and Wayne sodding Rooney.
Fourth or fifth
‘Arsenal are Arsenal: they always come around fourth or fifth every season, or they have for the last decade or so, and I think they’ll probably do the same again’ – Michael Owen to BT Sport.
Arsenal’s positions in ‘the last decade or so’ (let’s say the 13 years since winning the title):
Second – two times
Third – four times
Fourth – six times
Fifth – one time
‘Fourth or fifth every season’. Sure.
High and dry
We’re all rooting for the Daily Telegraph’s Jason Burt here, standing tall in the face of a storm of Kylian Mbappe to Paris St Germain reports:
Sorry to pour cold water on reports but PSG not now going to bid for Kylian Mbappe. More on @TeleFootball
— Jason Burt (@JBurtTelegraph) August 9, 2017
Been told again – in case there was any doubt from yesterday's story – that PSG will not be signing Kylian Mbappe this summer.
— Jason Burt (@JBurtTelegraph) August 10, 2017
Are PSG on the verge of signing Kylian Mbappe? I may live to regret this but I am told – again, again – that this is news to them.
— Jason Burt (@JBurtTelegraph) August 10, 2017
'Kylian Mbappe's father persuades him to join PSG in £160m deal' – today's transfer gossiphttps://t.co/EI6WqqoW0H
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) August 11, 2017
He’s sat right there, guys.
The price is right
‘Sky Sports have retained their Football League rights for at least three years for a price that might disappoint clubs in the three divisions,’ writes Charlie Sale in the Daily Mail. ‘It is understood that Sky have paid around £120million-a-year, an increase on the £90m-a-year terms of the current deal but nowhere near the numbers being bandied about before the tender.’
Bandied about by people like you, Charlie. Exactly a week ago you wrote that ‘The Football League are set to double their domestic TV rights money to at least £180million a year with the bid deadline earlier this week.’
You went and got their hopes up…
Numbers, with Phil Neville
— Stupid Pundits (@StupidPundits) August 10, 2017
‘Reveals’ and ‘admits’ of the day/week/ever
‘Mertesacker reveals his love of Guinea pigs and Wenger admits he’s a fan of the dark’ – MailOnline.
Headline of our times
‘ Zlatan Ibrahimovic dives into the ocean from yacht on French cruise with partner Helena Seger and agent Mino Raiola’ – The Sun.
But did he jump a shark after he’d dived in?
Recommended reading of the day
Guardian’s things to look out for on the opening weekend.
Sid Lowe on Gerard Deulofeu.
Paul Hayward on Manchester City.