The Perez narrative
On the back page of The Sun on Monday was the headline of ‘NOT READY’, followed by the sub-headline of ‘Perez ‘snub’ storm’, with Britain’s best-selling tabloid more than ready to hang Lucas Perez on the back of some idle speculation from the Sky Sports commentary team that he had refused to warm up for West Ham. Crucially, they were ready to hang Perez even though Manuel Pellegrini had already denied the story.
So while the opening paragraph said that ‘MANUEL PELLEGRINI rejected claims Lucas Perez refused to play as a sub in yesterday’s victory at Everton’, the image, headline and sub-headline told an entirely different story. By the second paragraph, they were claiming that ‘furious Hammers fans called for Perez to be sacked after TV cameras appeared to show the forward opting not to warm-up when asked’. The words ‘appeared to show’ are doing an awful lot of work there.
On Monday afternoon Perez himself issued a statement denying the story. So where is that story in Tuesday’s Sun? On the back page? Don’t be daft. No, Perez’s quotes are tacked onto the bottom of a Jack Wilshere injury story six pages away from the back page – no headline, no image, no shame.
And apparently ‘there were reports Perez…had refused to warm up’. Yes, there were reports…on the back page of your sodding newspaper.
Mediawatch loves that Stan Collymore is billed by the Daily Mirror as the ‘the man who always speaks his mind’. It turns out his mind is full of sh*t.
He writes on Tuesday that ‘IF Wolves don’t get in the top eight this season it will only be because they have dropped off significantly as a team, and as individuals, rather than not having the ability in the first place’.
I mean, they’re ninth now so they need to do a little more than just not ‘drop off’. But carry on…
‘They have everything in their armoury to be able to win 85 to 90 per cent of home games…’
Sorry but we have to stop you there. Winning 85 to 90 per cent of home games would mean winning 16 or 17 of 19 home games. To put that achievement into context, only five teams have managed that in the last five Premier League seasons – Manchester City (twice), Spurs, Chelsea and Liverpool.
And Wolves have already failed to win two of their three home games. So by Collymore’s reckoning, Wolves ‘have everything in their armoury’ to win at least 15 of their remaining 16 Premier League games at Molineux, which includes clashes with Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham.
Frankly, it will be embarrassing if they fail. They ‘have everything in their armoury’, after all.
Advice of the day
From Rio Ferdinand on Tottenham in The Sun: ‘Spurs need to just concentrate on winning the Premier League.’
Excellent advice from a football expert. Yes, they should definitely concentrate on what is now a 50/1 shot.
Phil yer boots
When not bizarrely urging Manchester United fans to stop singing about Anthony Martial scoring ‘again’ because he rarely scores, the Daily Mail‘s Martin Samuel is getting his knickers in a twist about Pep Guardiola’s non-use of Phil Foden.
‘Pep Guardiola did not consider Phil Foden good enough to come on when Manchester City went 3-0 up at home to Fulham after 47 minutes on Saturday; or after 54 minutes when he introduced Gabriel Jesus; or after 67 minutes when he brought on Ilkay Gundogan; not even on 74 minutes when he plumped for Riyad Mahrez. Yet Guardiola advises Gareth Southgate that Foden is ready for England.’
Probably because England are not as good as Manchester City, Martin.
‘Cynics might say it’s a ruse, no more. City have one of the country’s brightest prospects in Foden and he would be getting a game at many Premier League clubs now.’
Would he? Only four 18-year-olds have played at all in the Premier League this season; none of the other three 18-year-olds play for elite clubs.
‘Foden, at 18, is the same age as Paul Gascoigne when he broke through as a Newcastle regular but at this rate of progress the chances of him making England’s senior team any time soon are slim.’
True enough. But Gascoigne was playing for a Newcastle side that had just finished 14th. And his rivals for a midfield berth were Neil McDonald, Brian Tinnion, Kenny Wharton, David McCreery, Gary Megson, Paul Stephenson, Ian Stewart, Ian Bogie and Alan Davies.
Oh and it would be another three years before he played for England. Because this was 33 years ago and quite a lot has changed since then. Except maybe Martin Samuel.
‘Foden is City born and bred but the club cannot presume that means he will never have a decision to make. So when Guardiola says Foden could play for England now he is absolving responsibility.’
Or he is just telling the truth about the different standards of England and Manchester City. One of the two.
Not news of the day
You will astonished to learn that Jurgen Klopp ‘would not swap his attack for any in the world’. This is presumably massive news because the Daily Mirror have splashed it on their back page.
Mediawatch would have been rather more interested if Klopp had listed a number of strikers for which he would happily hand over Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and his old gran.
Now that would be a back-page lead.
On the Mirror website, they have taken it a step further with a headline of ‘Klopp wants Reds very own MSN instead of PSG’s Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani trio’.
Mane, Salah and No, That Doesn’t Stand For Firmino?
Somebody tell them MSN is not an acronym for a set of any three strikers. Actually, don’t; this is funnier.
From The Sun: ‘MANCHESTER United ace Marouane Fellaini sent flirty messages to an ex-Love Island star – only to be warned off by her boyfriend.’
Let’s see those ‘flirty messages’ in full:
‘The World Cup semi-finalist sent two messages to her private Instagram inbox, asking: “Hey. How are you?”‘
The dirty, dirty bastard.
Gunner go lower…
As soon as Mediawatch saw that Steven Caulker could be on the verge of joining Arsenal Kiev, we knew somebody would not be able to resist. Step forward talkSPORT, you shameless sods:
‘Transfer news and gossip: Former Tottenham man ‘to join Arsenal’, Raheem Sterling’s Man City future in doubt and more rumours’
Yes, because the quote marks definitely mean you haven’t been really, really ‘sly’.
Recommended reading of the day
Rory Smith on Red Star Belgrade
Richard Jolly on Inter Milan v Spurs
Jacob Steinberg on Thomas Tuchel