This is simple. If you are announcing right now that Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund have agreed a fee for Jadon Sancho then you are not telling the truth. Perhaps it is old-fashioned to be irked by people not telling the truth to garner clicks, but surely there is a line that should not be crossed. There is undoubtedly exaggeration, there is undeniably obfuscation, but when did it become okay to say something has happened when it has not?
Manchester United have not agreed a fee for Jadon Sancho. The only reference to Sancho in a LIVE blog on the Evening Standard that claimed as such in its headline was to a Bleacher Report FOUR days ago in which he speculated that ‘perhaps we are looking at around £85 million, which converts to approximately €95 million, as the sort of figure that might make this deal possible’.
He said ‘perhaps’ and ‘sort of figure’ and he did not suggest for a second that a deal had been agreed. And yet in 2020 it is apparently okay to turn his educated half-guess into a LIVE headline.
We see you Sun…
‘UNITED LIVE 9am Man Utd transfer news LIVE: Sancho LATEST, Rice deal is ON, Chilwell, Mings and Skriniar updates’
The ‘Sancho LATEST’ on Tuesday morning is STILL what Dean Jones wrote on Friday.
‘Manchester United have reportedly agreed a £85million transfer fee with Dortmund to sign Jadon Sancho.
‘The England international is a long time Red Devils target, and the club were expecting to pay upwards of £100m to get their man.
‘But according to Bleacher Report, United have negotiated themselves a deal that remains under the club-record £89m spent on Paul Pogba.’
Seriously? Is it so hard to follow the links and read the actual bloody words?
Coulda Woulda Shoulda
While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer himself admitted that Manchester United did not deserve to beat an excellent Southampton, his greatest cheerleader is having none of it. Here’s Neil Custis in The Sun:
‘As manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer predicted it could indeed all come down to their final game of the season away to Leicester.
‘But if they do just miss out this moment will haunt them.
‘They could have had this won convincingly.’
Southampton had more shots than Manchester United, more possession than Manchester United and a higher xG than Manchester United, but yes, United ‘could have had this won convincingly’.
‘For the first time in a while this team lost its concentration,’ made us laugh at least. Did he even see the Bournemouth game?
Year of the Pog
Mediawatch is surprised that Custis did not castigate Paul Pogba too harshly for his part in Southampton’s opener, but we cannot say the same for the Express and their match ratings:
‘Man Utd player ratings: One star gets 9 but Paul Pogba flops in 2-2 draw with Southampton’
‘Paul Pogba 5 (Fred 69): Made the mistake which led to Armstrong’s goal and nearly cost his side just minutes later when he gave it away again. Subbed with 20 minutes to go’
He literally played the pass which directly led to both Manchester United goals but 5/10 seems absolutely fair.
Nothing sums up the clash between newspaper and web journalism better than the Daily Mail awarding Harry Maguire 7/10 – only Anthony Martial rated higher – for his performance against Southampton, never once mentioning him in their match report, and then this being the actual top headline on the MailOnline football page at 11am on Tuesday:
‘This guy is the more expensive David Luiz with a bigger head’: Harry Maguire mocked for ‘marking Aaron Wan-Bissaka’ at the corner where Southampton snatched a late equaliser to dent Manchester United’s top-four hopes’
Best of luck to any Daily Mail journalists trying to interview Maguire in the coming weeks.
‘Sir Alex Ferguson suffers face mask gaffe as he attends first Man Utd game since lockdown’ – Daily Star.
Seriously, have some f***ing respect.
Line of the day
‘Leeds United are football’s equivalent of The Sex Pistols’ – Stan Collymore, Daily Mirror.
We have nothing to add.
What Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail finds interesting and what we find interesting are obviously poles apart…
‘Having embarked on a run of five straight defeats, failing to score in four of them – and with Manchester United up next – it would be interesting to hear Crystal Palace’s views now on relegation by points per game.’
Would it? We’re not sure it would.
‘Back when football was locked down, the six clubs at the bottom found no support for the idea relegation shouldn’t be decided by random mathematical calculation.’
Ha. Reducing the simple equation of PPG (which basically assumes that your record would continue for the rest of a curtailed season) to a ‘random mathematical calculation’ is really quite something.
‘Comfortable mid-table clubs like Palace, who had nothing to lose, were very bullish about the restart and relegation being part of it – even if the season could not be completed. Ultimately, a vote on the issue was never taken because the Premier League feared it would be too divisive.
‘Yet, with Covid-19 very much still with us, it would be negligent not to have a process in place to deal with any future curtailment. Would Palace – or Burnley, Sheffield United, Southampton, even Leicester – be bold enough to vote for PPG when it could now be their club that falls by simple arithmetic with the season incomplete? If put to the test before the next campaign, the vote might be rather different.’
Well it probably would be, yes. Because the circumstances would be entirely different. You would not decide a table on PPG after ten games, for instance. But with basically three-quarters of the season played, there was no doubt that was the only sensible option, as decided by pretty much every curtailed league in the world.
Palace losing a few games makes basically sod all difference; their PPG is still a great deal higher than your beloved West Ham, Martin.
Recommended reading of the day
Daniel Storey on Leicester City’s collapse
Jonathan Liew on Jordan Pickford
Recommended watching of the day