Jordan Henderson being named Ajax captain would have been so ’embarrassing’ and ‘disappointing’ that it apparently still needs saying despite… not actually happening.
Mediawatch occasionally wonders precisely how certain content-farmers will get anything done at all once Elon Musk completes his life’s goal of pointlessly f***ing Twitter directly into the sun.
Without Twitter (it will never be X to us, because Mediawatch will always carry itself with a certain quiet dignity) how would they be able to rustle up a story about how ’embarrassing’ and ‘disappointing’ it would be if Jordan Henderson was named captain of Ajax?
Worth a closer look anyway, this. Because The Sun’s Twitter-enhanced story headlined ‘Ajax slammed as ’embarrassing’ as Jordan Henderson set to receive huge honour after just three weeks’ is their p*ss-weak attempt to move on a Mirror story from the previous night.
The Mirror headline mentions Liverpool because they are a Reach publication, brazenly pretending that being captain of Ajax equates to a ‘Liverpool privilege’ because he was once also captain of Liverpool. Crowbars up!
Both stories say Henderson is ‘set to be named the new captain of Ajax’. Both only later reluctantly mention the quite important additional detail of ‘while actual captain Steven Bergwijn is out injured’. Always a stretch to describe being made captain of a football team as a huge honour given its largely ceremonial nature, but stand-in captain absolutely doesn’t justify this level of attention.
The Mirror at least ‘understood’ that it could eventually be a more permanent arrangement because everyone at Ajax is so very impressed by how brilliant Jordan Henderson is. Fine. But that wouldn’t be after three weeks. That would be later, presumably after sufficient time has passed for it to cease to be embarrassing or disappointing to people with double-figure social-media follower counts.
Still, though. It probably isn’t ideal to be naming a player as captain – even a stand-in captain – in just his second game. Definitely worth noting, anyway. Especially if you can get Liverpool in the headline or pretend someone significant rather than just someone off of Twitter has called it embarrassing.
Back to The Sun, though, for the chaser:
Despite the reports, Henderson was not handed the armband against Heerenveen on Sunday.
Although the 33-year-old started the 3-2 away defeat, Steven Berghuis was named as captain for John van’t Schip’s side.
Embarrassing and disappointing indeed.
And then Trigger made a face
But at least The Sun’s ‘disappointing’ and ’embarrassing’ quotes were from tweets they actually had in the story. The Daily Star go one further with the big news from Villa Park not being Manchester United’s third straight win and renewed Champions League ambitions but of course Casemiro’s reaction to getting booked.
Man Utd fans think Casemiro’s reaction to getting yellow card is ‘funniest thing ever’
Sacrilege anyway, when we all know that the funniest thing ever has been decided by multiple Channel Five clip shows with Stuart Maconie on them, and the answer is and will always be Del Boy Falling Through The Bar.
But the important thing here is that even these Man Utd fans know this, because that ‘funniest thing ever’ quote – and it is a quote in the headline – appears in not one of the five tweets that make up essentially the entirety of this story.
Surely this is some kind of new low? Quotes that aren’t actually contained anywhere in the copy are bad enough in regular content, but quotes that aren’t quotes in twitter-filler like this? Come on, now.
Mediawatch will never stop repeating this, despite it being so obviously futile: you can’t just put quote marks around any old bunch of words you feel like. And you can quote us on that.
Daily Mail headline:
Erik ten Hag claims Douglas Luiz’s shimmy celebration might have FUELLED Man United’s late winner against Aston Villa
Daily Mail intro:
Erik ten Hag admitted that Douglas Luiz’s shimmy celebration may have spurred his Manchester United players to beat Aston Villa and close the gap in the race for the top-four.
Erik ten Hag quote:
“I don’t have an opinion about that. I haven’t spoken to the players. Maybe it’s fuelising, I don’t know. I don’t think it is important. It is about us, we have to think about our game and not the opposition.”
Admits nothing – and absolutely doesn’t claim anything of the sort – in response to leading question obviously and desperately intended to make him do so. Remember when words had meanings?
Gunner do it
We love a ‘Five reasons why…’ feature here, so we take no pleasure in identifying a couple of issues with the Daily Star’s effort on why Arsenal CAN win the title. We get it, trying to pretend Man City aren’t yet again doing what they always do is hard but necessary for all of us.
Let’s start at the start here, though. Point one: confidence.
Arsenal are brimming with confidence right now. Transitions are slick, movement is seamless and shots are pinging off boots like golf balls off concrete. It shows just how much the players have bought into Arteta’s various philosophies, and there’s a titillating sense they could still go up another gear or two.
Questionable similes aside, this seems reasonable. But we can think of a pretty big elephant also brimming with confidence in this particular room. They’ve also thought of that, though.
…while Man City are stringing wins together, their blushes have been spared by a few late goals recently. If this trend continues, momentum will be well and truly with the Gunners.
This… is a stretch. ‘Stringing wins together’ is one way of glossing over ‘six straight league wins’ (Arsenal’s current slick-transitioned, confidence-brimming, seamlessly-movemented, golf-balls-off-concrete run is four, for what it’s worth) and 10 straight wins in all competitions for a team legendary for doing precisely this at precisely this time of year season after season after title-winning season.
What about those late blush-sparing goals, though? City have taken the ultimately decisive lead in those six games in the 53rd, 14th, 90th, 16th, 53rd and 71st minutes. We’re only seeing one goal that fits even the stretchiest definition of late here, and that was an injury-time winner at Newcastle (a fixture Arsenal lost). It’s a goal we’re absolutely certain would be described by the Star not as blush-sparing fluke but rather a hallmark of champions if tasked with writing about why City CAN win the title.
For comparison, Arsenal have taken their decisive leads in their four-game winning run in the 11th, 65th, 67th and 32nd minutes. It’s almost like it’s quite similar, really. Still, though, momentum well and truly with Arsenal if these runs continue.
There follow some less troublesome ones about the lack of domestic cup distractions – debatable how beneficial it actually is, but an undeniable point of difference against City and Liverpool, fine – and a very fair one about the new-found ability to beat their direct rivals. But we do once again have to take issue with point five, and again it’s because of the inevitable comparison it invites.
Point five is simply ‘Mikel Arteta’. Now we can all – apart from Richard Keys, but forget about him – agree Arteta is proving himself to be a very good football manager. But the manager with no league titles to his name is not something we would necessarily be wanting to draw any attention to here, let alone put down as a significant tick in the Arsenal column, in a fight against two managers who have quite famously won several.
Sorry to be pedantic (not sorry) but we can’t have this Mirror headline.
Man Utd star Rasmus Hojlund matches sensational record Nicolas Anelka set at Arsenal
The intro immediately backs down.
Rasmus Hojlund has become the second-youngest player in Premier League history to score in five consecutive games.
So… he hasn’t matched Anelka’s record, has he? Anelka was 19 when he scored in five consecutive games for Arsenal and Hojlund is 21. And 21 is older than 19, isn’t it? Arsenal fans won’t stand for this, because if there’s one thing Arsenal fans are infamously on top of it’s how ages work.
Another classic from the bulging files of Technically Correct Daily Mirror Headline Mischief on this crisp Monday morn.
Son Heung-min makes Tottenham title claim after Kevin De Bruyne’s five-team statement
Son Heung-min insists Tottenham have not spent a second thinking about a title challenge.