Man United were so ‘misfiring’ in the Europa League final that they need to spend £200m on Harry Kane, says his biographer…
Old-school football journalists are odd creatures. All ego and puffed-up self-importance, getting news out first and then – more importantly – being recognised for getting that news out first, is seemingly central to their sense of worth.
So when Jack Pitt-Brooke of The Athletic ‘broke’ the news on May 27 that Tottenham and Mauricio Pochettino were in talks about a possible return for the PSG manager – prompting a gazillion tweets – the bods at The Sun were incensed because they believe they got their first with their own exclusive on Tuesday morning. Charlie Wyett’s colleagues started pointedly re-tweeting his original story two days later.
— Duncan Wright (@dwright75) May 27, 2021
— Tom Barclay (@TomBarclay_) May 27, 2021
Which is exactly how adult men should behave.
And then we end up here…with some pointed taking the pee out of the pointed re-tweets.
— Jacob Steinberg (@JacobSteinberg) May 27, 2021
What they could have actually pointed out is that Miguel Delaney of The Independent had already mooted (on Monday) the same story claimed as an ‘exclusive’ by Wyett on Tuesday morning but his words – ‘Some figures at the club are now seriously suggesting it could be worth returning to Pochettino. There is a feeling that he has found the nature of Paris Saint-Germain more of a headache to manage than expected, and may be open to it. Levy also feels the need for an exciting appointment, as a gesture to unhappy supporters as much as anything’ – were buried in a much longer piece about Harry Kane.
So Wyett’s exclusive really was not so exclusive, but clearly exclusive enough that everybody at The Sun is fuming that Pitt-Brooke got the credit that they feel they deserve as ‘great getters’ of stories.
Which is why The Sun‘s back page on Friday morning is also billed as an ‘exclusive’, because nobody else in the whole wide world knows that ‘DANIEL LEVY is confident he can pull off Mauricio Pochettino’s sensational return to Tottenham’.
Pitt-Brooke and his crew might know about the talks (who doesn’t know about the talks?) but he doesn’t know about the confidence. Only Wyett knows about the confidence. What a great get.
There seems to be a consensus of opinion that the return of Mauricio Pochettino might keep Harry Kane at Tottenham but talkSPORT are here with some chastening news on that front:
‘Mauricio Pochettino ‘will not go back to Tottenham’ if they sell Harry Kane with Argentine having unfinished business at Paris Saint-Germain’
And when we say ‘news’, what we actually mean are ‘quotes from Andros Townsend’. But there’s literally nobody we trust more than Andros Townsend.
The Art of Noise
There’s nothing funnier to West Ham fan and Sun columnist Andy Dillon than Mikel Arteta being up for a Manager of the Month award for a month in which he *checks notes* won all five of his Premier League games.
‘You’re taking the Mik’ screams the headline as Dillon jests about open-top buses and how ‘rocketing up to an eighth-place finish in the final furlong of the season is the stuff of immortals’ as if it’s Arsenal themselves who have asked for an award.
Pesky fact: The manager of the month nominees are literally the managers who have won the most points that month. Just that. And it will be won on this occasion by Jurgen Klopp (on goal difference).
But well done for eking out pretty much a full-page column on ‘Arsenal, eh? They’re a bit sh*t’.
This is the kind of story you are gifted when you write a book called ‘The Red Apprentice: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: The Making of Manchester United’s Great Hope’:
‘Ole Gunnar Solskjær wants to strengthen Manchester United in the centre-back, midfield, wide attacker and No 9 positions, with Pau Torres, Declan Rice, Jadon Sancho and Harry Kane among his preferred targets.’
Oh Jamie Jackson of The Guardian, you do make a lovely puppet.
Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole
Jamie Jackson then wrote a really rather desperate article imploring Manchester United to sign Harry Kane just so he does not sign for Manchester City, including these words:
‘For United to stop this happening is simple to suggest and extremely difficult to do: ensure Guardiola does not add Kane to a cadre bursting with the attacking talent of Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gündogan, Bernardo Silva, Ferran Torres and Gabriel Jesus by waving £200m at Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, and offering the player whatever terms he wants: £400,000 a week, the captaincy, shares in the club – go for broke to ensure City do not annex a footballer who could change the game for them, United and allcomers.’
He does concede that ‘the last point is an exaggeration’, which suggests that he actually believes that Manchester United should spend £200m on a 27-year-old striker. Which is mental.
He then writes of the Europa League final that ‘as Solskjær watched his misfiring side the eye went to the substitutes and who the manager could bring on to liven up the team’. Misfiring? We will just leave this here…
xG map for the Europa League final
120 minutes of…that pic.twitter.com/T0Mn4MUlD4
— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) May 26, 2021
If only they had a new £200m striker.
Exclusive of the month
No Jack Grealish on that Guardian list, but we learn from the Daily Mail‘s back-page exclusive (penned by Matt Hughes) that ‘MANCHESTER CITY have made Jack Grealish their No.1 midfield target and are are prepared to make the Aston Villa star English football’s first £100m player’.
Which will come as no surprise to the Mail’s very own Chris Wheeler, who actually broke the news in March.