Depressingly grim Jenni Hermoso stuff from the Telegraph, while The Sun identify some giants roaming in tiny, ramshackle national leagues…
Wildly infuriating story from the Telegraph about Jenni Hermoso’s immediate reaction to Luis Rubiales kissing her on the mouth non-consensually after Spain’s World Cup win.
‘Spain’s women’s football team laughed and chanted “kiss” on the bus home from their World Cup win after Luis Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso on the mouth, according to video footage.
‘The jubilant players, high off their triumph over England’s Lionesses, can be seen drinking champagne on the team bus and looking at social media memes of the kiss on Ms Hermoso’s phone.
‘Ms Hermoso is seen explaining to teammates how Mr Rubiales “all excited, came to me and grabbed me like this”, demonstrating with her hands how he held her head for the kiss which has sparked fury in Spain and led to calls for him to resign.
‘Members of the team then start chanting “beso”, meaning kiss, and later “presi”, short for president, when Mr Rubiales himself walks along the aisle of the coach, saying he feels “embarrassed”.
‘It was unclear if Mr Rubiales was referring to the kiss.’
This is dreadful, snide shit. First, it places the focus and attention entirely on Hermoso and her reaction rather than the actions of Rubiales.
Second, it’s as close to meaningless as a thing can possibly be. A victim’s instant, initial response to any kind of assault before they’ve had time to fully process what’s happened is never compelling or conclusive, and especially not in this instance where the swirl of emotions and sensations Hermoso is feeling include ‘just won the actual literal World Cup’.
What matters is Hermoso’s official statement, which even specifically mentions time and initial feelings.
‘With time and after delving deeper into my initial feelings, I feel the need to denounce this act because nobody in any working, sporting or social environment should be the victim of this kind of unconsented behaviour.
‘I felt vulnerable and the victim of an assault, an impulsive sexist act that was out of place and without any kind of consent on my part.’
A video of her bewildered and laughing and drinking and celebrating winning the World Cup (really cannot overlook that this is the sort of thing that will spin a person out a bit) changes absolutely nothing.
But worse than the story itself is the way the Telegraph have trailed it on their actual front page.
“World Cup winner laughed over controversial kiss.” The front page of today’s @telegraph, placing full focus on the victim Jenni Hermoso’s reaction and away from the aggressor, her FA boss. Worth questioning if this editorial approach would differ if it was an England player. pic.twitter.com/F3Tq4U1J3T
— Colin Millar (@Millar_Colin) August 30, 2023
‘World Cup winner laughed about controversial kiss’ is such bullshit phrasing and designed purely to undermine and belittle her full version of events, while centring her rather than Rubiales in the story. They hope and know most people will see only that front page and won’t read the (scarcely better) full story.
And in answer to Colin’s question: as long as the player was a woman and the accused a man we don’t think being English would be enough to alter the Telegraph’s instincts on the matter.
They Might Be Giants
We covered Mason Greenwood’s transfer future at punishing length yesterday, pointing out just how disingenuous The Sun in particular were being with their insistence that United must get him out of the door by Friday or face a huge financial liability.
They don’t have to do that, because the clubs most strongly linked with Greenwood are in Turkey, and Turkey’s transfer deadline isn’t for another two weeks after England and most other top leagues.
But ah yes, top leagues. That’s the issue, isn’t it? The Sun did have to grudgingly admit that other options existed beyond Friday’s deadline, but Turkey were simply lumped in among a ‘ramshackle selection of tiny national leagues’ available to United and Greenwood after Friday, while Saudi Arabia were conveniently ignored altogether which is no longer really a tactic open to football. They are, whether you like it or not, very noticeable.
Anyway. Back to The Sun we go for the latest update: ‘Mason Greenwood offered lifeline by European giants after being axed by Man Utd.’
That would be ‘European giants’ Besiktas, then. Just wait until The Sun find out which ramshackle tiny national league they play in.
Meanwhile, in a further follow-up, here’s Neil Custis to tell everyone what we already knew.
‘There is no rush to get a deal done by this Friday when the transfer window in England closes as the Turkish deadline is not until September 15.’
So it’s not in fact the case that ‘Manchester United have just days to find a new club for Mason Greenwood or face losing millions’ after all. Though Mediawatch supposes that 16 days is still technically ‘just days’.
Custis’ piece, which in itself is absolutely fine and complete and correct and would be absolutely no problem at all if it didn’t follow all the absolute bollocks The Sun have been spouting on this for the last week, also mentions that there have been no inquiries from Saudi Arabia. Which really is much, much better than just ignoring that possibility altogether to compose an alarmist narrative.
The Sun intro on Spurs telling Harry Kane that it would be best if he didn’t come to training on the day he was flying out to Munich, so the team could concentrate on preparing for the game against Brentford: ‘Harry Kane was BANNED from Tottenham’s training ground just hours before he sealed his £104million move to Bayern Munich, according to reports.’
The Sun paragraph six on Spurs telling Harry Kane that it would be best if he didn’t come to training on the day he was flying out to Munich, so the team could concentrate on preparing for the game against Brentford: ‘Spurs have said Kane was not given any ban and insist he is welcome back any time.’
Mediawatch’s thoughts on ‘[Manager X]’s dream [Team Y] XI’ in which hypothetical signings are just willed into being and whacked into a new team are firmly-held and well-known. It riles us far more than it should.
But usually what annoys us is that it’s just far-fetched nonsense in which four spuriously linked high-profile names, no more than one of whom at most will ever actually join, are just inserted into the current line-up.
The latest instalment from the Mirror has managed to rattle us in entirely the opposite direction because we simply refuse to believe there is or could ever be a time at which Erik ten Hag’s ‘dream Manchester United XI’ is one that contains nine current United players plus Marc Cucurella and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. It might grimly be the least bad outcome that drab and dreary reality can deliver in the next 36 hours, but it is no man’s dream. Come on.