Wan week later
Remember a whole week ago when Neil Custis wrote in The Sun that Manchester United had a ‘broken squad’?
‘Right now the biggest task for United is not bridging the gap between themselves and Manchester City and Liverpool.
‘The worry is keeping the likes of Wolves and Leicester at bay.
‘They are heading for mid table – not top of the table and the two signings made so far – Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace for £45m and Dan James from Swansea for £15m — are not going to change that quickly.’
But all that miserable pessimism was before Manchester United beat Perth Glory 2-0 and Wan-Bissaka had 45 excellent minutes against the Australian champions. Now everything is brilliant again and Wan-Bissaka ‘looks like a hero in the making’.
Mind you, he is mostly a ‘hero in the making’ because his nickname is The Spider and The Sun man has decided that is basically interchangeable with Spider-Man.
Note to Neil: It’s not.
‘SPIDER-MAN looked a Marvel on his Manchester United debut.’
Well, not really his debut. And he’s not called Spider-Man. Carry on…
‘Now Red Devils fans will be hoping he can deliver some superhero displays back at Old Trafford.’
Oh Jesus. This is bad.
Custis then goes on to tell us that Wan-Bissaka ‘made an impressive bow’ (against Perth Glory), and then reels off some stats that apparently marks ‘some start for the £50million full-back’ (against Perth Glory).
Which is when we find out that Manchester United apparently agreed a £5m add-on to their initial £45m fee if Wan-Bissaka completed 35 of his 37 passes in 45 minutes against Perth Glory in his first pre-season friendly.
Spare the Burch
Shed a tear today for Damian Burchardt, freelancer at The Sun online. Here he is; he has a nice smile.
On Sunday he wrote an ‘exclusive’ story about a fee being agreed between Manchester United and Leicester City. Here is that story. It made quite a splash.
On Monday, he opened his copy of the actual Sun and found his story tweaked ever so slightly.
‘SunSport understand that United will pay Leicester £60m for Maguire, 26, with an extra £20m available in add-ons’ became ‘Leicester finally agreed to sell the England defender in a deal worth £60m up front with £20m in add-ons’.
And ‘The Foxes have already found a replacement for their leader with Lewis Dunk, 27, set to join from Brighton in a £45m swoop’ became ‘And Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes will use £45m of the cash to prise Lewis Dunk from Brighton’.
Oh and the byline of ‘Damian Burchardt’ became ‘Tom Barclay’. Ouch.
With Harry Maguire possibly maybe about to join Manchester United, according to Damian Burchardt/Tom Barclay, the next step for The Sun Online was to ponder exactly how he will fit into Manchester United’s defence. Exactly where will Manchester United play their £80m centre-half? You might think the answer is obvious but…
‘Three ways Man Utd’s defence could set up with Harry Maguire on verge of completing £80m transfer’
Three ways? Are you sure?
‘If United have a clean bill of health come August 11 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is likely to start both of his new signings alongside Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw.’
Right. That seems likely. So what are the alternatives?
Well it seems that one alternative is that Maguire plays in a back three with both Lindelof and Eric Bailly. So far so quite unlikely, but it is at least another option.
And the last? Well apparently one ‘way Man Utd’s defence could set up with Harry Maguire on verge of completing £80m transfer’ is to not play him at all and inexplicably field a defence of Diogo Dalot, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Ashley Young.
Oh and ‘judging by United fans’ reaction on Twitter, Red Devils’ supporters will not be happy if their side start like this against Chelsea’. You don’t f***ing say.
Still, you got Man Utd, Harry Maguire, £80m and transfer into another headline. So whoop-de-bloody-doo for you.
Talking of crowbarring Harry Maguire into a headline, here are the MEP on Manchester City:
‘Man City already have a Harry Maguire-style centre back in Taylor Harwood-Bellis’
Is he big? Yes.
Does he have a massive head? Oh yes.
Is that headline based largely on those two observations? Yes. Yes, it is.
We will absolve the MEP’s Stuart Brennan of any guilt for that ridiculous headline as he only actually mentions Maguire once in his piece; he has clearly been done by a sub.
But we cannot forgive him for writing this absolute guff about Manchester City being almost blameless for the general increase in transfer fees. Largely because he has based his entire piece on research conducted two years ago by Liverpool fan Paul Tomkins.
And yet he never mentions once that Tomkins – who ‘devised a clever method of calculating football inflation’ – calculated that City spent the equivalent of £73m on Eliaquim bloody Mangala.
The value of nothing
‘Paul Pogba’s true value revealed as Man Utd slap £180m price tag on star’ is quite the headline on the Daily Mirror website. We smell pure A-grade bullshit.
And yes, we were right to trust our noses because this truly is all kinds of nonsense…
‘United are allegedly not listening to any offers under £180m for the player, but according to a study by AS that fee is almost £100m above the real value of the player.
‘AS looked at the websites Transfermarkt and CIES Football Observatory, which use data and analysis to provide transfer value estimations.
‘Transfermarkt put his value at €100m (£89.7m), while Football Observatory believe it is around €105m (£94.2m). Therefore looking at the two together AS believe Pogba’s value is €102.5m (£92m).’
A ‘study’? They looked at two websites, added two numbers together and then found the average. Since when does that count as a bloody ‘study’? When you want to ‘reveal’ a ‘true value’ of a very SEO-friendly name, obviously.
On that basis, we look forward to Real Madrid accepting an offer of £58m for Raphael Varane.