Greg Clarke announced on Thursday that there would be a “fundamental” review of the FA. The embarrassing fiasco – and that’s being kind – involving Eni Aluko was compounded by comments from Andy Woodward, who accused Clarke of revealing details of a confidential meeting between them.
The Daily Mail cover Clarke’s in-depth comments, and accompany their article with a sidebar: ‘HOW SPORTSMAIL TOLD THE STORY’.
The snippets contained in this rundown include: ‘No humility, just laughable, oafish and excruciating’, ‘Shambolic chiefs routed by MPs over Aluko affair’ and ‘How can any player of any colour or gender have faith in FA now?’.
Mediawatch has spotted an omission. Why was the headline to Martin Samuel’s piece on August 18 – ‘REAL SCANDAL OF ALUKO’S CASE IS THE WASTED CASH’ – not used? Weird, that.
It is also a wonder that they didn’t think to mention their chief sports writer’s comments on Sunday Supplement either, as covered here. That is exactly ‘how Sportsmail told the story’, after all.
‘Deep down, the Football League know that according to the rules Arsenal and Manchester City should be out of the Carabao Cup. They just can’t possibly admit that, because it would make them look even more incompetent than they already appear. And that’s going some. So they’re doing what they always do. They’re making it up as they go along’ – Martin Samuel, Daily Mail, October 27.
Were they ‘making it up as they go along’ when Brentford and Portsmouth made two substitutes in extra-time in round one but were unpunished? Were they ‘making it up as they go along’ when Bristol Rovers, Bournemouth, Brighton, Burnley and Cardiff made two substitutes in extra-time in round two but were unpunished?
Or are they ‘making it up as they go along’ now an elite Premier League side has done the exact same thing, will go unpunished for the exact same reason, but are an easy target for misplaced outrage?
It’s almost as if the rules were the rules and are the rules. And none of them were broken.
Worried about Ray
“It’s a very wise move because if they do play him and it does snap, then he’s got a massive problem. It would be two months [out] minimum, then you would have to recuperate, get your fitness back, take a couple of games to get back into it. I think it’s very wise” – Ray Wilkins, Sky Sports.
Well yeah, Ray, it is a good idea not to pick a player who’s injured. Top spot.
To predict a starting XI five years into the future is a thankless task. So thankless that most people would simply choose not to do it. But the Daily Mirror are not most people, and they accept the challenge of guessing who could start for England in the first game of the 2022 World Cup, should they qualify.
In goal is Jordan Pickford. A wise choice.
At full-back are Joe Gomez and Kyle Walker-Peters. Both slightly less likely than Pickford, but they are parts of their club’s first teams. There is every chance it will happen.
The two centre-halves are Dael Fry and Joel Latibeaudiere. Fry is a regular for Middlesbrough and at England youth level. Latibeaudiere has one England U18 cap, but is definitely going to displace John Stones in the next five years.
In midfield are Nathaniel Chalobah, Josh Onomah and Phil Foden. None are outlandish suggestions, although all three breaking through at the same time is obviously unlikely.
In attacking midfield is Dele Alli. Up front are Harry Kane and Rhian Brewster. Poor Marcus Rashford.
So, to conclude, only two current England players will retain their places within the next five years? And Joel Latibeaudiere is the future of the nation? Grand.
You might have noticed that the draw for the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup was delayed on Thursday. A live Twitter feed was scheduled at 4pm, but 105 minutes later, a pre-recorded video of the draw was released.
The Daily Mail lead on the situation on their back page on Friday, and took the opportunity to offer an important clarification.
‘Twitter and the EFL were forced to apologise after the Carabao Cup was struck by yet more embarrassment yesterday, with the quarter-final draw delayed by an hour and 45 minutes following a ‘minor technical glitch,’ reads the first paragraph.
‘As A Question of Sport captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell – who were blameless – stood ready to draw the balls, fans were left fuming when it was announced that the 4pm start had been moved back an hour.’
And there was Mediawatch thinking that Dawson had gone rogue and refused to put his member away and Tufnell had taken the EFL hostage.
Elsewhere on the Mail’s back page, Charlie Sale is generating plenty of intrigue. ‘New York meet for the Big Three, but why weren’t City, Chelsea or Spurs invited?’ reads the headline.
Mediawatch has to rifle through the newspaper to finally find the story, buried on the last page of their football section. Excellent.
‘English football’s traditional Big Three clubs – Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool – have held talks in New York, further eroding collective top-flight power.
‘Having dinner together in Italian restaurant Locanda Verde in the trendy Tribeca district last week were Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, Liverpool’s principal owner John W Henry, Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and club-owning Glazer brothers Avram and Joel.
‘The unlikely dining companions made no secret of their summit, choosing such a popular eatery that they were photographed by an Arsenal fan.
‘The likely topic was the distribution of Premier League overseas TV rights, with their meal occurring just seven days before a second meeting of clubs.
‘This was later cancelled because the 20 are in deadlock — split 11-9 against changes wanted by the Big Six, when a 14-6 majority is needed.
‘But a Big Three union in the Big Apple changes the dynamic, when it had been the Big Six agitating for a larger share of TV money.
‘Arsenal said Gazidis was in New York to see owner Stan Kroenke and it had been a dinner to discuss NFL meetings.
‘United said Woodward was catching up with the Glazers around the same NFL talks, while Henry was there for the ‘common interests’ of the Premier League.’
Mediawatch has a few questions:
- How does a meeting between the owners or chief executives of three clubs ‘further erode collective top-flight power’?
- How can you claim they ‘made no secret of their summit’ simply because an Arsenal fan managed to capture a grainy picture of the meeting?
- By suggesting a ‘likely topic’, are you admitting that you have absolutely no certain idea what the conversation was about?
- To repeat the question you yourself pose on the back page: ‘Why weren’t City, Chelsea or Spurs invited?’ They aren’t even mentioned in the story.
- Who the f*** cares?
- How much did the meal cost?
Thankfully, Sale provides a non-answer to the last question. ‘There is no indication as to which of the multi-millionaires picked up what would have been a sizeable bill, with prices for wine going up to $960 (£730) for a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino 2000.’
Please do keep us updated, Charlie.
Paul the other one
In his Premier League predictions for Sky Sports, Merson offers his support to Everton caretaker manager David Unsworth:
“It’s his first game and you usually get a boost but Everton showed a lot of fight under caretaker boss David Unsworth at Chelsea in the Carabao Cup.
“I would give him the job on a permanent basis. If you cut him open, he bleeds Everton blue. That’s what the fans want, someone with passion for the club.”
Unsworth for the Everton job? But he’s never managed before, Paul? What’s he know about digging in in the Premier League?
‘Chelsea want to bring Carlo Ancelotti back to Stamford Bridge as they plan Antonio Conte exit’ – The Sun, October 27.
‘Everton want Carlo Ancelotti to replace Ronald Koeman as manager… but Italian wants Swansea boss Paul Clement as his No 2’ – The Sun exclusive, October 24.
‘Carlo Ancelotti set to snub Everton and replace Luiz Felipe Scolari as Guangzhou Evergrande boss’ – The Sun, October 24.
‘Carlo Ancelotti to snub Italy as the ex-Chelsea chief prefers Premier League return’ – The Sun, October 23.
‘Carlo Ancelotti will snub AC Milan in hopes of returning to Juventus in summer – and has turned down luxurious offer from Chinese Super League’ – The Sun exclusive, October 16.
Looks like someone has Carlo Ancelotti’s agent’s phone number.
I am legend
Reads the headline on the Daily Mirror website:
‘Liverpool legend believes Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona deal is already done’
Who is this ‘Liverpool legend’? And what is the intel he has on Barcelona’s transfer business?
‘Jason McAteer claims Liverpool have already agreed a deal to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.’
Heck, maybe Jason McAteer is mates with Ernesto Valverde. You never know.
“They will come back for him in the summer. I’ve got no doubt about it. I think the deal, possibly, has already been done.”
Truly stunning insight.
You can tell it’s a Friday when…
‘Liverpool stars arrive at training ahead of Huddersfield encounter… as defender Ragnar Klavan rocks up with bumper hanging off his Mercedes’ – MailOnline.
Sale away, Sale away, Sale away
Charlie Sale has a Sports Agenda in the Daily Mail, and is not afraid to wear it on his sleeve. In fact, that might be a poor choice of words.
‘The current thinking is for the England team playing Germany at Wembley on November 10, the even of Remembrance Day, to wear the poppy emblem on armbands,’ he writes.
‘But after all the fuss in getting FIFA to finally accept the symbol honours the war dead rather than being political, surely it should be on the shirts, as Premier League teams do.’
The term ‘poppycock’ has never been more apt. Honestly, we’re doing this again.
Recommended reading of the day
Nick Miller on Mario Balotelli and Nice.
Matt Dickinson interviews Gary Neville.
Ian Ladyman on Mauricio Pochettino.