Footballers on holiday
‘Chelsea’s unsettled boss Antonio Conte goes all James Bond on beach holiday with wife Elisabetta in Italy’ – The Sun.
‘Goes all James Bond’ means ‘wears swimming shorts when swimming’, just so you know. And yet when Mediawatch ‘goes all Superman’ by wearing pants over trousers, it gets funny looks in Sainsburys.
According to The Sun, that is the most important football story at midday on Wednesday. Strong.
Mediawatch doesn’t often venture onto the continent to source its targets, but we’re making an exception. That’s because on Tuesday, French sports newspaper L’Equipe’s front page ran the headline ‘Ca commence bien!’ (‘This is starting well!’) along with a picture of new Lille coach Marcelo Bielsa.
For those unaware, the French media enjoys a difficult relationship with Bielsa, which roughly translates as they have no time for him whatsoever. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that, but L’Equipe’s latest effort really does take the p*ss. Their sarcastic headline is a reaction to Bielsa not being present on the first day of Lille’s pre-season training.
It takes L’Equipe until a small paragraph on page three to reveal why Bielsa wasn’t present at training: His mother passed away recently and so he had to be back in Argentina for family reasons.
What an unprofessional b*stard.
How many times have we done this?
‘Arsenal fans rejoice as Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez help launch new 2017/18 kit,’ is the Daily Telegraph’s headline, sitting second on their football homepage at 11.30am.
The first thing to say here is that the headline is totally misleading. The story contains no evidence of Arsenal fans ‘rejoicing’ – no tweets, no nothing. It’s simply a headline used to make people click and that stinks. You used to be better than this.
Secondly, how many sodding times have we been here before. The Telegraph say that: ‘Neither Ozil or Sanchez are yet to sign new contract extensions with rumours linking both players with moves away from the Emirates. The pair’s presence in the promotional material for the new kit will give Arsenal fans renewed hope that they will both extend their contracts with the club. Arsenal fans will hope [Hector] Bellerin’s participation in the shoot suggests the right back is ready to reject any advances from Barcelona and remain in London.’
It certainly stopped Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez, Robin van Persie, Shinji Kagawa, Danny Welbeck, Alex Song and Raheem Sterling leaving. Oh.
And an hour later…
Have Arsenal accidentally revealed Alexis Sanchez will leave this summer?https://t.co/pPLFu5Tqa5
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) June 21, 2017
Make your minds up.
We are THE pedantic media-based column
As part of that kit launch Arsenal sent out a press release, as is custom. What isn’t custom is a list of claims presumably conjured up by some marketing executive who thinks that proper football supporters would consider this anything other than embarrassing tripe:
‘We are THE legendary white sleeves.
We are THE ones who always pick the cannon when we are playing Monopoly.
We are THE ones who know the real ‘Dennis the menace’. He’s not a cartoon, he’s a genius.
We are THE ones who call our uncle Arsène even if his name is John.
We are THE ‘Invincibles’ even when we are playing against mates on a Sunday.
We are THE ones who since 1919 have never known the second division.
We are THE 228 times Thierry Henry found the back of the net.
We are THE ones that are never wrong but always Wright.
We are THE ones riding our motorbikes with Petr Cech’s helmet.
We are THE 13 time winners.
WE ARE THE ARSENAL’
Mediawatch is not going to forget the phrase ‘We are THE ones riding our motorbikes with Petr Cech’s helmet’ for a long, long time.
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Regular Mediawatch readers will know that the Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel has an axe to grind regarding Southampton, and he grinds again on Wednesday. Sorry for that image.
‘Among the names being considered for the Southampton job is Mauricio Pellegrino, an Argentinian coach who left Spanish side Alaves last month.
‘Pellegrino is highly rated having taken the club to ninth in La Liga while reaching the final of the Copa Del Rey, which he unsurprisingly lost to Barcelona. He did all this on a very tight budget, too. Much like the man Southampton sacked, Claude Puel, who took the club to eighth in the Premier League and also reached a final, the EFL Cup, which he unsurprisingly lost to Manchester United.
‘Puel also had to run a tight ship, considering every good player Southampton get, they sell.
‘One might even argue Puel’s was the greater achievement.’
A few things that Samuel didn’t care to mention:
– Alaves only got promoted from the second tier last season. Getting them to ninth was a phenomenal effort.
– Alaves reached the Copa del Rey final for the first time in their history.
– Alaves have the second-lowest wage bill in La Liga, and finished ninth. Southampton have the eighth highest wage bill, and finished eighth.
– Puel wasn’t sacked for reaching the EFL Cup final, but for the largely disappointing football (ask any fan), falling out with senior players and achieving the club’s lowest points total for four years.
Still think Puel’s was the greater achievement?
Changed your tune
‘Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo destined to rejoin to Manchester United because of his love for the Premier League club’ – Neil Custis, The Sun, June 17.
‘THE clock is ticking for Jose Mourinho and he does not want anything to delay him. Which is why the Cristiano Ronaldo soap opera may have to become a sideshow’ – Neil Custis, The Sun, June 21.
That’s definitely the main reason Ronaldo won’t be joining.
Fee fi fo fum
‘Tottenham demand £50m from Manchester City for Kyle Walker’ – Daily Mirror, April 30.
‘Man City closing in on £40m deal for Kyle Walker’ – Daily Mirror, June 4.
‘Kyle Walker could be priced out of a move to Manchester City as Tottenham are now demanding more than £60million for him’ – Daily Mirror, June 7.
‘Tottenham place £45m price tag on Manchester City target Kyle Walker’ – Daily Mirror, June 20.
£65m next? Or down to £35m?
Shock headline of the day
‘Cristiano Ronaldo re-thinking his Real Madrid escape, after Florentino Perez finally leaps to his defence following tax evasion claims’ – The Sun.
Coming 19 hours after The Sun’s headline of ‘Cristiano Ronaldo wants super-agent Jorge Mendes to force through return to Manchester United’, you’ll colour us many different shades of shocked. Who would have thought it?
Exclusive of the day
‘EXCLUSIVE: Samir Nasri shows embarrassing bulge in his shorts on holiday with model girlfriend Sharina Gutierrez in Los Angeles’ – The Sun.
2) It would only be ’embarrassing’ if he was walking around Debenhams with his chubby, not on holiday with his girlfriend while a cameraman with a long lens takes blurry photos.
Recommended reading of the day
Eric Devin on Corentin Tolisso.
Jack Pitt-Brooke on Mohamed Salah.
Rachel Brown-Finnis on Manchester United’s lack of women’s team.