Mediawatch: Jack Wilshere and the giant ‘outburst’

Matt Stead

Pep talk
‘Pep Guardiola last night signed a new three-year Manchester City deal. The Etihad boss will get a slight pay rise on his current contract’ – The Sun.

‘Guardiola…has committed himself to the club until 2021. And the City boss, on £15m a year under his original contract, has seen that figure rise by £5m a season’ – Daily Mirror.

Mediawatch now finds itself praying for ‘a slight pay rise’ of £5m a year in a few months.


Hit the road, Jack
On Thursday evening, Jack Wilshere tweeted about his omission from England’s World Cup squad.

‘Think its about time I had my say,’ he began. ‘It goes without saying that I’m naturally incredibly disappointed to have been left out of the England squad for the World Cup. I’ve felt fit, sharp and strong all season and believe I should be in the squad! And given the chance I could have made a real impact.

‘However, I have to respect the manager’s decision and would like to wish the whole squad all the very best for the tournament. I will always be an England fan and will be supporting the boys with the rest of the nation.’

Nothing controversial there. No blaming the manager, no kicking up a fuss. There is a belief that he would have been an asset – it would be weird if he didn’t – and there is disappointment. But, crucially, there is an acceptance and understanding of the decision. As Wilshere himself says, he ‘will be supporting the boys with the rest of the nation’. There is no ill-feeling here.

Not unless you read the back page of The Sun, who splash ‘WILSHERE’S RUSSIA RAGE’ on their back page. The midfielder has ‘slammed’ Gareth Southgate, you see.

Or perhaps you read the Daily Mail, who cover the ‘JACK BACKLASH’ on their back page. The midfielder has ‘hit out’ at Southgate in a social media ‘outburst’.

Alternatively: footballer expresses regret at not being chosen for major international tournament, but pledges support to those who were. Saucy.


Laying down the Law
If you still think that this was not a ‘backlash’ or ill-advised ‘outburst’ from Wilshere, allow Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph to educate you.

First of all, ‘releasing statements’ is a slight exaggeration. He didn’t assemble the media for a press conference, he sat at home writing a couple of tweets to his followers. Unless Matt Law would be willing to consider his own tweet as ‘releasing a statement’ in response to Wilshere’s?

As for the claim that this ‘is a prime example of a footballer ignoring good advice’ and being ‘let down by bad advice or no advice at all,’ that feels like a pointed comment. ‘Shame he left a good agent and ignored others who wanted to help him’ confirms that theory.

This is not the first time Law has questioned Wilshere’s choice of agent. In a Telegraph article from April 2016, he implored the midfielder to ‘heed advice from outside his inner circle’. Law was critical of the ‘hands-on approach’ his father had taken to representing him, stating that ‘the message has still not got through to Wilshere to keep his head down’. You’ll forgive Mediawatch for suspecting that Law’s anger at Wilshere’s tweets is nothing more than an excuse to make the same point. Is that agent a pal, Matt?

It should be noted that Law did praise Wilshere in that 2016 article for ‘fronting up to both his fans and his critics’, as ‘that is something to be cherished in an age when too many footballers are perfectly happy to hide away’.

Turns out ‘fronting up’ became ‘released statements’ in two years.


Big Sham
Sam Allardyce has been talking to Jim White on talkSPORT:

“I think that what happens in the game of football today, there’s a huge, huge pressure on the manager from all angles. I think that huge pressure is building and building even greater because of money. It’s brought more instability than ever before.”

It’s also brought you £9m for six months’ work.

“I think, if you look throughout the season, the ones who have suffered the most are the managers.”

Everton fans disagree.


Manuel labour
But the fun did not stop there.



Manufacturer crisis
‘Only the FA, who have car manufacturer Vauxhall as one of their major England sponsors, could have announced the World Cup squad via social media featuring youngsters on public transport. The FA explanation was that the Under 17s, one of the target markets for the Twitter/Facebook/YouTube initiative do not drive.’

Absolute nonsense. As in Mediawatch is staring at how weird this is and might continue to do so throughout the World Cup. The implication that the Football Association included public transport in its squad video to appease a car manufacturer is sensational. Surely public transport is the enemy of the car?

Only Charlie Sale can manufacture something from absolutely nothing when he has Daily Mail column inches to fill. Hat doffed.


Crystal clear
‘Crystal Palace have a plan to keep Wilfired Zaha as Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool target winger’ – Daily Mirror.

Is it changing his name?


Storey time

Just over an hour after ‘signing off for the season’…

Never change.


Recommended reading of the day
Sid Lowe with Bojan Krkic.

Mark Ogden on the FA Cup final.

Matt Barlow on Billy Walker.

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