Ace of clubs
If guilty – and that looks increasingly likely – Jack Grealish has handed the tabloid press an absolute gift with his ridiculous and dangerous antics at the weekend.
He is an ‘ace’, you see. And anything an ‘ace’ does is massive news.
‘COVIDIOT’ is a cracking headline on the front page of The Sun, to be absolutely fair; they then tell us that ‘Ace tells fans ‘stay in’ then crashes car after 4am party’.
They double down on the ‘ace’ online with a headline of ‘PREM ACE CRASH Jack Grealish ‘crashes £80k Range Rover’ just hours after Aston Villa ace told fans to stay home over coronavirus’.
But we all know that the only people who use the word ‘ace’ in a football context are tabloid reporters. Literally nobody has said those words out loud. Literally nobody.
So we are taking these quotes from a ‘neighbour’ with enough salt to tackle a snow drift:
“The party had been going on all night. It was unbearable. The noise had only stopped a short while when, just after 8am, there were a series of almighty collisions which reverberated through the flats.
“Outside, Jack Grealish was stood next to his car rowing with a security guard. It was strange to see an England ace looking so unkempt and dishevelled. He looked unsteady and confused.
“There was an almighty row because Jack didn’t want to wait around but people wanted answers from him.”
It was ‘strange to see an England ace’? It’s a whole lot bloody stranger to hear anyone say the words ‘England ace’. And that’s even before you consider that he has never actually played for England.
Cry me a f***ing river
The back page of the Daily Mirror brings us the exclusive ‘news’ that ‘BT SPORT have told their star pundits they may not be paid because of the coronavirus crisis’.
First, how the hell is this classed as news? They will presumably not be paid because they will not be working, like millions of others around the country. If people on freelance contracts were being paid despite doing literally no work, then that would be a story.
Secondly, who gives a f***? We think Rio Ferdinand and Steve McManaman will just about avoid having to claim universal credit.
Also on the Daily Mirror‘s back page is the ‘exclusive’ news – widely reported elsewhere – that ‘PREMIER LEAGUE stars could be put under a strict quarantine lockdown in hotels for a month’.
What particularly amused Mediawatch was this sentence:
‘There is talk within football that the virus will reach its peak in three weeks’ time.’
There is talk within the whole of the UK that the virus will reach its peak in three weeks’ time, fella.
Breaking news: Not everything is football gossip.
The back page of The Sun focuses on Harry Kane and his ‘stark warning’ that he may not stay at Tottenham, while there is also space for Martin Blackburn’s tale about Jadon Sancho.
Apparently, Sancho ‘has been told he can leave by Borussia Dortmund – putting Manchester United and Chelsea on alert’.
Catch up, granddad. These are headlines from your own website over the last five days:
‘How Man Utd will line-up with Jadon Sancho next season but how will Solskjaer replace Paul Pogba in midfield?’
‘Man Utd ‘to win Jadon Sancho transfer saga ahead of Chelsea and Liverpool’ as Dortmund accept they will sell for £100m’
‘Curse of Man Utd’s No7 shirt was too big for Sanchez, but can Sancho be the heir to Best, Beckham, Ronaldo and Cantona?’
‘Man Utd ‘set aside iconic No7 shirt for Jadon Sancho to follow in Beckham’s footsteps as £100m Dortmund transfer nears’’
‘Jadon Sancho will not think twice about £120m Man Utd transfer and should jump at chance to join, says Berbatov’
‘Man Utd transfer for Jadon Sancho gets green light from Borussia Dortmund but German side refuse to let him go cheaply’
Your colleagues would have us believe that we are way, way, way past the ‘on alert’ stage. It’s almost like nobody actually has the faintest idea but everybody wants those sweet Manchester United clicks.
Talking of sweet Manchester United clicks, the top story on the Mirror football website is this cracker:
‘How Man Utd could line-up with Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish and Kalidou Koulibaly’
They do admit that it would be a ‘long-shot to suggest all three players will join the Old Trafford club in the summer transfer window’, and we will try to ignore that bizarre hyphen as we continue…
‘But, if United can pull it off financially, with the sale of Paul Pogba freeing up extra funds, then things could well be looking up for the Red Devils.
‘Here’s how we envisage United would line up with the three additions.
‘Man United XI: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Koulibaly, Maguire, Shaw, Williams, Fred, Pogba, Grealish, Sancho, Rashford’
Mediawatch suspects – though we may be wrong – that if they sell Paul Pogba, they probably will not be allowed to play him. We also suspect that they won’t abandon Bruno Fernandes so swiftly after he became their most important player.
Over at the Liverpool Echo, they are also shamelessly chasing sweet Manchester United clicks – this is not the time to be choosy – with this headline:
‘Liverpool are doing something Manchester United never could’
And it turns out that what Manchester United ‘never could’ is not actually ‘see their title put on hold because of a worldwide pandemic’ but ‘win lots of games by a one-goal margin’.
So we have fixed that headline:
‘Liverpool were doing something Manchester United never wanted to do’
Feel the force
But the award – were there such an award – for desperate headline of the day goes to the Liverpool Echo for this doozy:
‘Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp might be forced to make Chelsea transfer decision that he’ll hate’
So who will he be forced to sell to Chelsea? Or who will he be forced to buy from Chelsea? It seems odd that he will be ‘forced’ to do either.
Mediawatch suspects you could guess for approximately 427 years and still not come up with the actual ‘story’…that Klopp could be forced to sell reserve right-back Neco Williams just like Chelsea were forced to sell reserve right-back Tariq Lamptey.
For f***’s sake.
The F365 Show is on hiatus until the football returns. Subscribe now ready for its glorious comeback. In the meantime, listen to the latest episode of Planet Football’s 2000s podcast, The Broken Metatarsal.