No Premier League football so what’s on the back pages? Harry Kane non-exclusives, scaremongering and the Mason Greenwood blame game…
With the Premier League season over, no English interest in the Europa League final and the FA Cup final several days away, Mediawatch is fascinated by what dominates the back pages of our nation’s newspapers. And frankly, it’s a lot more fun to look at those than do the usual dive into the cesspit of clickbait.
The Sun have an exclusive claiming that ‘HARRY KANE will stay at Spurs for a final season – if he cannot get a move to Manchester United’. Our first thought is ‘no sh*t’ and the second is to wonder how this could possibly be an exclusive. Anybody who knows football knows that Kane has no interest in moving abroad and, as the Mirror said on Monday, ‘the fact Kane could be a free agent next year may put off foreign clubs from making a huge bid now and it seems highly likely that he will stay at Tottenham for at least next season’.
It ‘seems highly likely that he will stay at Tottenham for at least next season’ on Monday and by Wednesday, it is apparently an ‘exclusive’ that he ‘will stay at Tottenham for a final season’. It’s only an exclusive if your audience does not use the internet and has never met another person who uses the internet. Which is handy because that is exactly The Sun’s target audience.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror have decided to jump upon a trending theme after Tuesday’s claims that Mason Greenwood will STAY.
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) May 30, 2023
How the hell is this back-page news? Manchester United have been canvassing opinions on this since charges were dropped against Greenwood in February. Indeed, The Sun revealed at the time that United were consulting sponsors, while ESPN wrote that the club ‘will canvass player opinion from their men’s and women’s teams before deciding whether to reintegrate Mason Greenwood’.
What irks Mediawatch now – on a day when this is only ‘news’ because Ten Hag was asked about Greenwood on Monday – is that inflammatory sub-headline of ‘United chiefs to ask fan groups, the women’s team and commercial partners whether Greenwood should have any future at the club’.
We are pretty sure that they will ask (or more likely, have already asked) the men’s team who have to work directly with Greenwood, the coaches, the staff at Carrington and Old Trafford and anybody else who has a direct interest; the only reason to highlight ‘commercial partners’ and the ‘women’s team’ is to pander to a certain breed of fans.
But well done, you have given the idiots somebody to blame if the club decides that Greenwood should never play for Manchester United again.
Over at the Daily Mail, this might be the most Daily Mail back-page (but really front-page) headline ever: ‘RACE IS ON TO STOP CUP FINAL ANARCHY.’
Which is a really bombastic way to say that part of the Wembley security plans are to stop potential pitch invaders with ‘sprint stewards’, which are pretty routinely used at Premier League matches.
So what is the precedent for this potential ANARCHY?
‘Two men have been charged after a Just Stop Oil protest at the Gallagher Premiership rugby union final at Twickenham on Saturday.
‘There, activists invaded the pitch and threw orange paint powder during the first half of the match between Saracens and Sale.’
Yes, that definitely sounds like ‘a state of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of authority or other controlling systems’. It will probably lead to a military coup.
Genuinely making Mediawatch laugh was this from the Daily Express:
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) May 30, 2023
We really did feel our jaws/Joaos drop to the floor when we heard that Mauricio Pochettino had decided not to complete a permanent £80m-plus deal for a player who got sent off on his Premier League debut and then scored four goals and claimed no assists in 20 Chelsea games. How could he be so ruthless?
‘Mauricio Pochettino has instantly stamped his authority at Chelsea by telling the club he does not want to sign Joao Felix on a permanent basis.’
Who the f*** would anyone want to sign Joao Felix on a permanent basis? They paid a £9m loan fee, his entire £250,000-a-week wages, and he was never anything more than okay. Not signing him for over £80m is not ‘stamping authority’; that’s just common sense.
Apparently, Felix is ‘the first high-profile casualty of new head coach Pochettino’s impending mass clear-out’. You can’t be a sodding ‘casualty’ when you’re not actually an employee of the club. Is Denis Zakaria a ‘casualty’ too? Watch this space.