At Mediawatch, we read this sh*t so you don’t have to, with everybody happy to claim Mason Greenwood clicks and pretend there are SHOCKS elsewhere.
In among the inevitable pictures of ‘stunning WAGs’ from the Manchester United awards night (who has ‘joined the no bra club’ today? How else could you possibly find things to w**k over on the internet?), there are clicks to be found in pretending that there has been a development in the Mason Greenwood situation.
Has there been a development in the Mason Greenwood situation? Has there f***. But Erik ten Hag spoke to The Times’ Henry Winter and the subject came up.
As Winter wrote:
‘Ten Hag says simply that the forward has “showed in the past that he is capable of doing that” front role, scoring 36 times in 130 appearances, but emphasises it is not his decision as to whether he returns.’
Winter uses the word ‘simply’ because, well, it is both a) simple and b) non-committal. Yes, Greenwood has scored goals. No, it’s not his choice whether he returns.
So of course…
‘Erik ten Hag drops biggest hint yet Mason Greenwood could sensationally STAY at Man Utd as talks over future continue’ – The Sun.
He really, really doesn’t. He says it’s not his decision if he returns (true) and says he is a player that has scored goals in the past (also true). There is no hint that he will STAY or LEAVE. Nothing. It’s anodyne and, as Winter writes, ‘simple’.
‘Erik ten Hag hints Mason Greenwood could stay at Old Trafford as he says he’s ‘shown in the past he can score goals for Manchester United’… but boss insists the decision won’t be his after rape and assault charges against the forward were dropped’ – MailOnline.
‘Erik ten Hag makes Man Utd transfer admission involving Harry Kane and Mason Greenwood’ – Mirror.
Well, he somewhat unsurprisingly says that “what we need besides Marcus Rashford is one extra player with scoring abilities whether it’s coming out of our own squad or we have to sign one”, but does that count as an ‘admission’ when Rashford has 30 goals and the next-highest scorers are Bruno Fernandes (13) and Anthony Martial (9)? It sounds more like a statement of pretty obvious fact.
Does he mention Harry Kane? Does he balls. But then you absolutely knew that already.
SHOCK of the new
There has been much talk of what Arsenal will do this summer, but the real click-tastic juice is in talk of transfer budgets. How much will Mikel Arteta have to spend? Well, thankfully we – and Arteta – now know.
‘Mikel Arteta discovers huge Arsenal transfer budget as Martin Odegaard attracts interest’ – Mirror.
Mediawatch does not know a great deal about the inner machinations of elite-level football clubs but we are pretty damned sure that Arteta’s first indication of his summer transfer budget was not when he read it in the Daily Mail.
That story in the Mail, by the way, is a curious egg.
‘Paris Saint-Germain interested in SHOCK move for Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard… but the Gunners are reluctant to let their star player leave as he is key to Mikel Arteta’s plans going forward’
Why the hell would it be a SHOCK that one of the richest clubs in the world is interested in a player who – by our reckoning – was the fourth best player in the Premier League last season?
‘Paris Saint-Germain have made surprise soundings over the signing of Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard.’
It would be rather more of a ‘surprise’ if they had watched Odegaard rack up 15 goals and seven assists in the Premier League and decided ‘non, pas pour nous’.
Arsenal are of course being strongly linked with Declan Rice, who ‘breaks silence on Arsenal transfer as Thomas Tuchel makes Bayern Munich call’ (football.london).
He’s talked about Arsenal? That feels like big news!
As early as the very first paragraph, this is revealed to be absolute bollocks:
‘West Ham United captain Declan Rice has spoken out on his future amid talk of a potential transfer to Arsenal or Bayern Munich.’
By the fifth paragraph, all pretence that he has ‘broken his silence on Arsenal transfer’ has been abandoned, the click long since gathered:
‘Asked if defeating the Italian side would be the perfect way to sign off on his time with David Moyes’ side, Rice told the Evening Standard: “I’ve not really focused on any of that, to be honest. My main focus this season, from the World Cup onwards, has been getting us out of a relegation battle and, of course, having one eye on winning this trophy.
‘”Everything else is just noise and speculation. Obviously, I can’t help that, it comes with playing. But my main focus is playing for West Ham and winning this final.”‘
It’s almost like he has not said anything about Arsenal at all. No doubt he will be breaking his silence again soon.
Man City team of the year
Garth Crooks has put together his BBC team of the season, and Mediawatch is shocked to discover he has not just named the 11 top-scoring Premier League players of the season. Which is a shame because we have an inkling that Aleksandar Mitrovic would make a fine goalkeeper.
Instead, Crooks has included Ederson, ‘who has quietly, but very effectively, played a blinder for Manchester City’. Except every statistic says that Alisson, David Raya or Nick Pope was the better goalkeeper this season. Indeed, Alisson saved his team 10 goals this season while Ederson cost them almost five.
He also includes Ruben Dias and writes that ‘he has been so effective since his arrival at Etihad Stadium that no-one mentions how much Manchester City miss Vincent Kompany any more’. Kompany left four years ago and City have literally won three titles since, fella. And ‘the Portugal international must be Guardiola’s first selection on the team sheet’ is a hell of way to describe a player who has literally played less than eight other City first-teamers this season.
In all, Crooks includes six Manchester City players (yet somehow not Rodri), which is a little on the generous side. We cannot question the inclusion of Erling Haaland, though writing ‘no more playing the wretched false number nine. City now have a proper centre forward and he makes all the difference’ is a tad odd when they have claimed fewer points and scored fewer goals since his arrival. But then Crooks is just a tad odd.