The first Cutts is the deepest
Manchester United are back in training on this fine Monday morning. And that can only mean one thing – a Daniel Cutts ‘exclusive’ on The Sun website about their training regime.
This time last year: ‘JOSE MOURINHO has booked his Manchester United squad in for double sessions this week at the start of a brutal pre-season training regime.’
‘Double sessions’? Like every other team in pre-season? ‘Brutal’.
A year on with a new manager and: ‘OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER is planning brutal double training sessions for his Manchester United flops this week.’
It’s almost like every manager plans exactly the same thing every pre-season.
But exactly how ‘brutal’ is this brutal training regime?
‘The squad will be put through their paces with a session in the morning and afternoon for the first five days.
‘Solskjaer has been planning how to get his side into shape over the summer with the help from his backroom staff.
‘It is understood United will start training at around 10am, hitting it hard before heading for lunch at 12.30pm.
‘The players will then have a rest for an hour before their afternoon session from 2pm onwards.
‘They will then leave at around 4pm for home before doing it all over again the following day.’
Yes, that is a full four-and-a-half ‘brutal’ hours of work every day for five days. Somebody call Amnesty International.
Of course, Alexis Sanchez is one player escaping these inhumane 22.5 hour weeks because he is on Copa America duty, which is bizarre as Cutts ‘exclusively’ told us in May that ‘Alexis Sanchez is looking to cut short his holiday and return to pre-season early in the hope of getting fit and forcing a move away from Manchester United’.
Cutts definitely knows/guesses/forgets international tournaments.
Luk who’s talking
One man who did turn up for Manchester United training was Romelu Lukaku. Except he did not turn up to train, of course. Lord no.
The headline on the Daily Mirror website reads: ‘Romelu Lukaku set for transfer talks as Man Utd return to pre-season training.’
Surely everybody will be too busy being brutalised to talk. Are you sure? Here’s the opening paragraph…
‘Manchester United have reported back for pre-season training at Carrington with Romelu Lukaku set for showdown talks over his future.’
Yep. They sound sure. This is definitely not utter speculation.
Ah, here’s the sixth paragraph:
‘It could be a day of significant movement for Lukaku, who is expected to hold talks with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United bosses at Carrington regarding his future after they returned to start pre-season.’
‘Could’ and ‘expected to’. Not quite ‘set for’ is it, fellas? Still, you got ‘transfer’ in the URL, so you definitely win the clickety-click battle.
The Sound and the Fury
Mediawatch is very much enjoying The Sun’s reporting of the 2019 Women’s World Cup, which they are now covering in exactly the same fashion as a men’s World Cup. Which means absolute nonsense like this on the back page:
‘PHIL NEVILLE is furious after USA spies were caught snooping around his Lionesses’ World Cup hotel’
Yep. So ‘furious’ that this was his actual quote:
“It doesn’t give them an unfair advantage. It has no bearing on the game. I thought it was quite funny. I was thinking ‘What are they are doing’. But it’s not etiquette is it? It’s not something my team would be doing.”
The Daily Mail called him ‘temperate and dignified’. Which does not sound too ‘furious’.
But The Sun stuck that through its patented Back Page Bollocks Machine and that quote became:
“It’s not good etiquette. It’s not something I would allow from our organisation.”
The ‘furious’ Phil Neville magically no longer thinks it was basically a) funny and b) pointless.
Spies like us
Read further and it becomes clear that the United States were not sending spies, but were instead merely checking out the hotel because they will stay there if they beat England and reach the final. It was described simply as “planning ahead” by the US coach Jill Ellis. Which seems sensible.
The headline on the back page of the Daily Mirror?
‘UNITED SPIES OF AMERICA’
And on the back page of the Daily Mail?
‘US spies in the Lionesses’ den’
Well, the women did want to be on the back pages. This is progress, people.
United States of Arrogance
‘ARE THESE AMERICAN STARS TOO ARROGANT?’ is the question asked by the Daily Mail. Because nothing annoys the Daily Mail more than confidence from women. How dare the three-times world champions and world No.1 ranked United States believe they are the best in the world? Know your place, ladies.
‘They are so unpopular that even the French will be backing England.’
Well, they did literally just beat France; that’s usually how this works.
Ian Herbert has been riled that United States striker Alex Morgan ‘has more followers on Instagram than Virgil van Dijk, Tottenham Hotspur or Pele’. Well, this is going to shock you, fella, but the United States is absolutely massive.
We’re not entirely sure why that makes her ‘arrogant’, mind. Should she limit her followers so she has fewer than these great sporting heroes and institutions?
Well, ‘the question is whether the side’s superstardom has actually made them a little too confident’, apparently.
Mediawatch suspects it’s the ‘one defeat in 43 games over two years’ which has made them confident, rather than their Instagram followers.
Herbert writes that Phil Neville ‘clearly likes (Megan) Rapinoe’s competitive instinct’ but then writes:
‘But you imagine the England manager would have been less than delighted to hear a player of his own say – as US defender Ali Krieger did last week – that ‘we have the best team in the world, and the second best’ in reference to their reserves.’
So it must have been a different Phil Neville who said last month: “We’ve got to have the confidence and arrogance. We’ve got to. My players aren’t arrogant people. I would like a little bit more arrogance from them in terms of puff your chest out, we’re England.”
At least the manager of England women understands that this is actually sport, and not a competition to be the most humble and ladylike.
Chelsea’s new technical and performance advisor Petr Cech gave some incredibly bland quotes over the weekend. Here are the best of those quotes on Chelsea’s managerial situation:
“The situation is open, Frank is one of the candidates. We still have several days before the first team starts preparing. We would like to resolve the issue of the coach.”
If you read those dull, dull quotes and and decided that this was the appropriate headline:
‘GET THE CECH BOOK OUT FOR LAMPS’
…and that Chelsea are ‘in a hurry to get legend in the hot seat at Stamford Bridge’, or that Petr Cech ‘have revealed Chelsea are desperate to get Frank Lampard installed as their new coach’, then congratulations, for you work for the Daily Mirror and you are phoning this shit in.
No sh*t tweet of the day
— Man United News (@ManUtdMEN) July 1, 2019