The Manchester City verdict is in! (It isn’t.) The punishments have been decided! (By some Liverpool Echo journalists.) Meanwhile, Everton were all set to smash their transfer record to sign a World Cup star before all the recent unpleasantness. Fifty-seven years before, if we’re counting.
A fun headline from the Liverpool Echo, which is just missing one key piece of information.
Transfer ban, points deduction, relegation – Man City punishments decided as Liverpool wait on Premier League
Punishments decided? We didn’t even know they’d been found guilty yet! This is huge. Until you realise the headline should actually read ‘Man City punishments decided… by assorted Liverpool-supporting Echo journalists’. Who, alas and alack, we don’t think actually get to make these decisions if and when the time comes.
Also, we know it’s the Echo and thus Liverpooling every story is kind of their job, but it really is striking how every story across all media about any potential punishment for Manchester City over alleged offences across a 10-year period in which Liverpool finished second in the Premier League to City precisely once is framed as a Liverpool story.
City’s punishment could end up being ‘Every employee and supporter of Manchester City Football Club to be fired directly into the sun’ and the next day’s coverage would still be ‘What does this mean for Liverpool?’
Elsewhere in the Echo, we think we may have a new clubhouse leader in the ‘dredging up and repackaging old quotes out of context’’ game.
For obvious reasons, Everton’s spending is news right now and the Echo give us a tantalising headline:
Everton were prepared to smash transfer record to sign World Cup star
The key word in that headline is ‘were’ and it is doing a great deal of heavy lifting. Because we’re not talking about a 2022 World Cup star here. Or even a 2018 one, or 2014 or… well, you get the idea with that.
We’ll give you a pound if you can guess the World Cup star in question here first try without cheating. As an extra clue, the record-smashing fee Everton would have apparently been willing to pay was £200,000.
Because the World Cup star Everton were at least theoretically willing to smash the transfer record to get was indeed 1966 Golden Boot winner Eusebio.
And how do we know this? Because of an article in the People written by Everton boss Harry Catterick a couple of months after the tournament.
Yes, that’s right. We’re using quotes from 57 years ago to do transfer stories now.
And the best part? This isn’t even an Arsene Wenger-style ‘Oh, we nearly signed him.’ This isn’t even a ‘showed him the training ground, posed with a shirt’ kind of tale.
It’s all built on one sentence in a wide-ranging (and genuinely interesting) piece by the then-Everton manager about English football’s reluctance to welcome foreign stars to its game. Given where we are now, it’s properly fascinating. But the Eusebio quote couldn’t be more equivocal and hypothetical.
‘If Eusebio of Portugal came on the market and it were possible for an English club to sign him then Everton could be interested – even if it cost £200,000.’
Two ifs, a hugely significant conditional clause and a could. It was basically a done deal.
For neither the first nor last time, one of the Daily Mail’s notoriously lengthy online headlines manages to lose the run of itself in a dense fog of grammatical confusion.
Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Micah Richards name their England starting XIs for Euro 2024… but clash over Harry Maguire, who starts at left back – and one pundit picks Phil Foden AND Jack Grealish in his team
We definitely don’t think Harry Maguire should start at left-back.
And while we’re here, the ‘clash’ over Maguire amounted to Shearer picking him alongside John Stones while Lineker and Richards opted for Marc Guehi instead. Lineker’s verdict on Shearer’s team? ‘That’s good and I wouldn’t argue with that either.’
Lucky for us all the Mail was on hand to expose yet more hate and vitriol from the loony lefty wokerati crisp-hawking bantersmith.
Least surprising sentence of the day
‘Jose Mourinho has revealed that he is open to managing in the Saudi Pro League.’