Manchester United sent mixed messages by Antony as Kane’s ‘German nightmare’ is investigated

Editor F365
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag and player Antony, with Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane
Manchester United remain in turmoil

Antony ‘did not look happy’ coming into Manchester United training but was also laughing, all while an ‘Erik ten Hag succession plan’ was ‘left in tatters’


That’s gotta be Kane
This is, frankly, absolutely ludicrous headline work from the MailOnline which Sami Mokbel, the author of a fairly gentle piece on Harry Kane, cannot be too pleased with.

The gist of the article is simple: Kane has somehow gone another season without winning a trophy, but he will continue ‘relentlessly pursuing’ silverware because well obviously.

What that apparently translates to is actually…

Inside Harry Kane’s German nightmare: He lives in the Beverly Hills of Bavaria but his suffering just won’t stop. His friends reveal what’s REALLY going through the ‘cursed’ trophyless England captain’s head…

It is honestly hilariously dreadful. Mokbel does write a couple of paragraphs about how Kane’s reaction to defeat in midweek ‘offered a haunting insight into the pain he is enduring,’ adding that his trophy hunt is ‘a suffering that won’t heal’. And that is hyperbolic enough; there would have been a ‘dejected expression on his face’ if he had already won 20 trophies before Joselu rocked up with a couple of goals in the final minutes of a Champions League semi-final, and the bloke will eventually rack up a couple of pots once Bayer Leverkusen stop scoring in stoppage-time. The ‘suffering’ will probably ‘heal’ eventually.

But Christ, to extrapolate that into a ‘German nightmare’ is something else. And Mokbel doesn’t use the word ‘cursed’ once, despite it appearing in quote marks in the headline.

Perhaps the insight from his friends into ‘what’s REALLY going through’ Kane’s head is at least worth the hassle here.

‘What’s the next challenge? That’s what he’ll be telling himself.’

‘He will have a career like Zlatan [Ibrahimovic]. He will play until he’s 40, travel Europe and win trophies.’

Those are the two ‘friends’ to whom Mokbel has spoken – one is described only as a ‘source’ and the other is said to be ‘someone close to Kane’; they sound inseparable. And neither seem particularly perturbed about his wellbeing.

But it turns out what is REALLY going through Kane’s head is essentially that he is an elite-level and incredibly driven athlete. It is quite some revelation. And seems like a real ‘German nightmare’.

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Snub up the wrong way
Then to some wonderfully cheeky work from the Daily Mirror website with this:

Graham Potter snubs job offer with Erik ten Hag succession plan left in tatters

Seems simple. Graham Potter is in the running for the Manchester United job. He’s turned it down. Plans ‘in tatters’. Straightforward stuff.

But this is a Reach title and they tend to do just that. Because the news here is that Potter has turned down Ajax and it is the Dutch club’s ‘Erik ten Hag succession plan’ which has been ‘left in tatters’.

It was probably in ‘tatters’ when they went through two managers last season, long before the four permanent, caretaker and interim coaches they have had this campaign. But Manchester United clicks on a story which is barely relevant to them overrides all so there you go.


Glum note
Sticking with the ongoing situation at Old Trafford, The Sun website offers this:

Man Utd flops look glum as they’re hauled in for early morning training session as under-fire Ten Hag arrives at 7am

Breaking news: ‘Antony did not look happy about being called in early for training’ and ‘Casemiro also appeared looking glum’. We know this because those are the only two pictures included of any ‘Man Utd flops’ looking ‘glum’ or otherwise. And ‘people turn up to work at 7am without beaming smile on face’ is obviously noteworthy.

Quick question: Can you be ‘hauled in’ for a scheduled training session?


Five things I spotted about you
But in terms of scraping the Manchester United content barrel, the Manchester Evening News is rarely beaten.

‘Bruno Fernandes worry – 5 things spotted in Man United training as Arsenal title fear increases,’ is precisely the sort of nonsense everyone needs to get through a sleepy Friday lunchtime. And it does not disappoint.

The first thing is essentially that Lisandro Martinez trained. The second is that Marcus Rashford trained. And both, by the way, were smiling. Spotted.

Next is that a few academy players were ‘involved’, as has very much been standard this season. And quite brilliantly, one of the ‘5 things spotted’ was that Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay were ‘not spotted in any of the images released by the club’. So this is actually four things spotted and one thing not spotted.

The final thing was that ‘Antony and Amad were pictured laughing with each other, though the details as to why that was, of course, are unknown’. Which is a) remarkable tabloid padding nonsense and b) weird because wasn’t Antony ‘glum’ after being ‘hauled in’ for that session?

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Insult to injury
The bad news for Fernandes and McTominay is that they might be expected to feature at the weekend regardless of injury.

That is according to a back-page exclusive from Neil Custis in The Sun, who says ‘ERIK TEN HAG wants his walking wounded to play through the pain and avoid a massacre by Arsenal.’

He continues: ‘ETH hopes his stars will be more “robust” and put up their hands for selection when he assembles his struggling squad on Saturday morning unless they have a serious injury.’

So manager wants squad to play through pain barrier if a) necessary and b) possible. Much like pretty much any coach in the sport’s history. Unless he’s going to pick someone with a broken leg in his starting line-up, it doesn’t seem all that remarkable.


Welcome to the bus parade
The media is surprisingly fairly restrained when it comes to the Arsenal trophy parade stuff. And that is a welcome change from a few years ago, when most outlets pretended that title-chasing clubs could just rock up one day in a bus and plough through a town centre without any prior planning.

The potential for schadenfreude has generally been side-stepped but the Daily Mirror website dips its toes into those waters with this:

Arsenal fans despair as Premier League title parade plans confirmed – “We never learn”

Two ‘Arsenal fans’ are quoted, as is one Real Madrid supporter. All obviously posted their ‘despair’ on Twitter. And their musings to a combined 12,912 followers received seven likes.

That qualifies for the basis of a story. Of course the thoughts of two chronically online Arsenal fans shouting into a void constitutes news now.


Worst prediction of the day
‘Fabregas makes Man Utd vs Arsenal prediction: “Old Trafford is Old Trafford”‘ – Daily Mirror website.