You know it’s a slow news day when…
‘FOXY FIXTURE: A year ago Leicester played Lincoln, Mansfield, and Rotherham – this year they play Barca, PSG and Man Utd’ – The Sun.
These fixtures have been announced for months, guys.
‘Nothing proves what a 12 months it has been for the all-conquering Foxes by comparing their pre-season fixtures,’ the piece begins in utterly nonsensical fashion.
Nothing, that is, apart from the whacking great Premier League trophy sat in a cabinet at the King Power Stadium.
You really know it’s a slow news day when…
‘Watch out Premier League! Manchester United show off new time-keeping partner TAG Heuer’ – MailOnline.
Yeah, it’s a slow news day…
‘Bit hot over there, lads? Liverpool stars tuck into ice cream as Fowler play (sic) baseball on latest leg of US tour in San Francisco’ – MailOnline.
The Daily Telegraph produced some piping hot online debate on Monday afternoon. It’s one of the inevitable by-products of running a live blog for a whole summer on one club’s potential transfer activity.
‘Takuma Asano, Serge Gnabry and Joao Virginia have been called up for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
‘Gnabry featured on loan for West Brom last season, but has impressed Arsene Wenger this pre-season, and has been tipped for a more important role at the Emirates this season. His departure for the Games leaves Arsenal a man short in their midfield, and could even force Wenger’s hand in the transfer market.
‘Who would be a suitable replacement? Either Alexandre Lacazette and Riyad Mahrez could probably do the job. Many would feel Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also capable, but the forward today distanced himself from a move to the Gunners.’
After wiping tea from computer screen, Mediawatch mused over those considered, serious, broadsheet words. We then spat out tea again. Messy business.
Here are a list of things you have to ignore for those paragraphs not to be considered complete arsewater:
– Even if Germany reach the final of the competition, Gnabry will return on August 21, meaning he will miss Arsenal’s opening two league games of the season. You don’t replace players for that reason, unless you’re an idiot.
– Gnabry last played a league minute for Arsenal in February 2014. For someone that needs to be replaced by Aubameyang, Arsene Wenger sure hasn’t used him much.
– Gnabry was on loan at West Brom last season, so how will they replace Gnabry? Pele? Alfredo di Stefano? Mr f**king Blobby?
– All sense of logic.
‘Riyad Mahrez could probably do the job’ of replacing Gnabry. You almost have to admire the Daily Telegraph’s big brass balls as they walk into the equivalent of Willy Wonka’s factory for online debate.
Mediawatch has some sad news about BBC Sport’s Danny Mills: he is beginning to morph into Robbie Savage.
On Tuesday, we are told how Mills has ‘strong opinions’ on the cancellation of Manchester United’s friendly against Manchester City? How can anyone have a ‘strong opinion’ on a friendly cancellation?
But it is Mills’ view on the England manager’s job that sticks in throat the most. He says there is “no realistic way” England could appoint a German manager.
“Imagine the songs, the banners if we had a German and lost the first game to Slovakia,” Mills continued, whistling the theme tune to the Great Escape. “It wouldn’t be worth thinking about.
“Because of what the FA have done with the coaching pathways for young coaches, if they then suddenly put a foreigner in charge, they’re saying ‘there’s no point aspiring to be at the top because you’re never going to be there’.”
Firstly, the point on foreigners and young coaches is possibly valid, although it is perfectly logical to appoint a foreign coach as a reaction to the lack of current available talent. It hardly blocks you appointing an Englishman in the future. Just ask Roy Hodgson, Steve McClaren and Sam Allardyce.
As for the point on a German manager, stop talking such rot. It is this insular view of Germany and Germans as a nationality that holds England back, and not just in a sporting context. The assumption that large swathes of people would resort to casual racism at the first hint of disarray is dangerously sweeping.
“If we had a German.” They’re not f**king pets, Danny.
A headline for our age
‘QUALITY TWEET Joe Allen joins Stoke City: Potters troll Deluded Brendan Twitter account with brilliant response after confirming transfer’ – The Sun.
When you see your ex with a new partner pic.twitter.com/2ed1k8VVF7
— Deluded Brendan (@DeludedBrendan) July 25, 2016
So what was the ‘brilliant’ response?
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) July 25, 2016
God that’s absolute gold.
The Daily Mirror’s chief sports writer Dave Kidd is grumpy, because it’s pre-season. In fairness, so are we.
Kidd lists three reasons for his grouchiness, and here they are in full:
2. Grown men getting excited about squad numbers.
Eight links for you there, Dave. Have a word.
China in their hands
On Tuesday, Sky Sports announced a deal to broadcast the Chinese Super League for the next three years. Various betting streams that have until now screened the league’s game to their users at no cost are reportedly gutted at the news.
As part of the announcement, Skysports.com produced a piece on some of the league’s biggest and best.
‘As Sky Sports adds the Chinese Super League to its unrivalled live football schedule, we look at the big names soon to be on display.’
Among those ‘big names’, emboldened for effect, are Gervinho, Stephane M’Bia, Jo, Obafemi Martins, Demba Ba (erm, have you been watching the news), Ricardo Goulart, Alan, Nikica Jelavic (who is not even in the Chinese Super League) and Asamoah Gyan.
Sky Sports: The home of sh*t Chinese football.
Mediawatch has previously passed comment on Daniel Cutts’ uncanny ability to land exclusives for The Sun football website. He’s done it again.
‘Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium pitch to be relayed – after Coldplay concert attended by boss Pep Guardiola helps to destroy it,’ reads the headline on Tuesday’s ‘exclusive’.
Here’s a headline from Manchester Evening News from July 14: ‘Man City relay hi-tech pitch after summer of mega concerts’.
‘Manchester City’s pitch has been relaid after a summer of mega-concerts at the Etihad. The stadium has become one of the UK’s top venues for the biggest artists from around the world – and this year hosted four days of Stone Roses gigs and two from Coldplay. It has become common practice for the club to relay the pitch after a summer of shows.’
So it was re-laid ten days ago, like almost every other summer. Cheers The Sun, you nailed it.
Recommended reading of the day
The first few parts of FourFourTwo’s top 50 current managers list
Juan Arango on Sandra Rossi
Chris Nee on Louis Schaub
Thanks to Mediawatch spotter Hugh Christopher. If you spot anything on this page, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting ‘Mediawatch’ in the subject field.