‘Garry Monk misses training as pressure mounts at Swansea’ read the tweet from the Daily Mirror’s John Cross on Wednesday lunchtime.
That tweet linked to a (since deleted) piece: ‘Garry Monk did not go into training at Swansea today. It is understood that he missed the session because of personal reasons.’
Oh no, said Swansea:
— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) October 21, 2015
By Thursday morning, the Daily Mirror carries a story by John Cross on Garry Monk which includes the following line: ‘Swansea yesterday moved to deny the manager had missed training by posting pictures of Monk taking a session at the club’s training ground.’
Well yes, your accusation.
Heart breaker, soul shaker
Read the headline on Goal.com before Manchester City’s match with Sevilla: ‘Under-fire Jesus Navas ready to break hearts at boyhood club Sevilla.’
He’s going to break their hearts? The big bully. The big bully with wonderful eyes. Wonderful blue eyes.
Actual quotes from Navas:
“It’s going to be something very special, it’s going to be something beautiful. The truth is they’re the team I’ve supported all my life, where I’ve grown up, so it’s going to be something very special and very emotional. Seeing them grow year on year, doing well and now enjoying the Champions League – where they’ll get to know themselves better – pleases me a lot.
“They have a game against us. We’re just focusing on getting the victory and the three points. It’ll be a very tough game but as I say I’m thinking about our qualification. Hopefully they also have the opportunity to do it and that both teams can qualify.”
Put your hands up, bend your knees
‘What are we to make of Wolfsburg’s demand of £46m for Kevin De Bruyne, a player who was given his chance and could not stay in the team at Chelsea? Mourinho has proved to be a considerably better judge of players suited to English conditions than the recruitment arm of Manchester City in recent years — and £46m is an awful lot of money to bet on reversing the form’ – Martin Samuel, Daily Mail, August 9.
‘The £54million paid for De Bruyne in the summer raised eyebrows as well as the market, but it appeared money well spent here. If the Belgian can give City the edge against an assured European side such as Sevilla, who knows what impact they may yet have in this tournament? After 90 minutes, the left foot of Kevin De Bruyne solved the issue of Manchester City’s continued inertia in Europe. De Bruyne could have been unnerved, or snatched at his chance. He wasn’t, he didn’t. He finished like £54m-worth of player’ – Martin Samuel, Daily Mail, October 21.
Which is why writing him off based on his spell at Chelsea was more than a little previous.
Poor David Anderson of the Daily Mirror, whose Vincent Kompany piece looked far better before Manchester City scored their late winner against Sevilla.
‘Kompany is just too crucial to be rested,’ reads the headline on Anderson’s piece. Kompany has been rested for City’s last two games, both of which they have won.
Since the beginning of last season, City’s win percentage when Kompany starts is 48.6%. Without him it’s 74%. Think Manuel Pellegrini just about got away with it.
On the same page
‘Joe Hart started the season in exceptional form,’ writes Neil Ashton in the Daily Mail, the first of his five things he learned about Manchester City beating Sevilla. ‘Things have changed.’
Might want to have a word with colleague Mike Keegan then, who ranked Hart as City’s joint-best player.
Where are you? Let’s be having you
Elsewhere in his ‘five things’ piece, Ashton passes comment on the atmosphere at the Etihad on Wednesday (which was disappointing).
‘The Etihad stadium still feels like Champions League nights are a necessary evil. These games should be the start of adventure… we were left with the feeling that City fans would happily trade a win in the Champions League for victory at Old Trafford.’
They’d rather win at the home of their bitter rivals and title challengers than beat Sevilla in the Champions League group stages? The bastards.
Said Glenn Hoddle in a video for Unibet before the match against Sevilla:
“Manchester City have been poor defensively all season. It’s now eight games without a clean sheet.”
Two things, Glenn:
1) It was actually only seven games without a clean sheet before last night, hence the statistic on screen next to you that reads ‘City have no clean sheets in their last seven matches’.
2) Saying City have been defensively poor ‘all season’ ignores their five consecutive clean sheets in August and September.
Reads the back page of the Daily Star: ‘Man City…2 Seville…1’.
Close, but Real Betis might have something to say.
Selling you short
Yesterday Mediawatch expressed its disappointment at the way in which Rob Draper’s piece on Pep Guardiola was sold by MailOnline. It’s all about the funny lookalikes.
Another day, another example, and Pete Jenson’s match piece from the Parc des Princes about the battle between Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is really given the treatment.
It contains 18 feature-sized images (strangely only two from Instagram), one video and is sold on the football homepage as ‘Ronaldo hugs pitch invader on tough night’. Sigh.
‘City didn’t create a chance until the 87th minute when Rico went full length to his right to save a long-range effort from Toure’ – Steven Howard, The Sun.
No. of Manchester City shots vs Sevilla – 16
No. of shots on target – 6
Ask a simple question
‘How can Alex Neil’s Norwich City bounce back this weekend?’ – Metro.co.uk
By beating West Brom at home.
From a site not a million miles from here
From the CSKA Moscow vs Manchester United match report: ‘At the other end of the pitch former United midfielder Zoran Tosic fired an early shot wide and Mario Fernandes caused Matteo Darmian problems with his pace down the flank.’
Darmian didn’t have much opportunity to respond to those ‘problems’, given that he spent the entire 90 minutes on the United bench.
Note to selves: Always read through PA copy.
Most Steve Evans quote of the day
“I think the players saw a corner turned when Steve Evans walked in” – Steve Evans, following Leeds’ 1-1 draw with Fulham.
Mediawatch is the only one in this city allowed to refer to itself in the third person.
Enjoyably tenuous link of the day
‘Jurgen Klopp furious with FA for treating Adam Armstrong’s England Under-19s ‘like horses’ – Coventry Telegraph.
That’s one way to make Klopp’s comments on Jordan Rossiter about your club.
Laboured intro of the day
‘Paul Clement made a Rovers Return – but he would have been better sat in the Coronation Street boozer of the same name’ – Alan Nixon, The Sun. He really wouldn’t.
Headline of the day
‘Handles…Messiah’ – The Sun go all oratorio on Anthony Martial.
Recommended reading of the day
Daniel Norman on La Cantera – Factory Bilbao
Rich Jolly on Manchester becoming English football’s financial capital
Amy Lawrence on Arsenal’s youngsters