Liverpool have a Jadon Sancho ‘boost’ and a Kylian Mbappe ‘blow’. Or not. Also, midfielders.
The Daily Mail back page promises to tell us ‘WHY CHELSEA SENT 30 EGGS, 6 APPLES AND 2 BOXES OF GRAPES TO TAMMY & CO’, as if it isn’t immediately obvious at a time when elite athletes need to stay healthy but have been advised, along with the rest of the population, to stay inside.
Go ahead, Kieran Gill…
‘Chelsea have sent jam-packed food hampers to the homes of their players for use during self-isolation.’
That back page made no mention of fruit preserves. Weird.
‘Chelsea, who are chasing Champions League qualification, did not want to put players at risk or to add to the chaos in supermarkets by having them shop for themselves.’
So ‘company assists employees in adhering to government instructions to stay at home’. Simple story packaged weirdly as some sort of mystery: solved.
In the Daily Mirror, Jermaine Jenas ‘never ducks football’s big talking points’ and the only thing people are discussing in the sport right now is…the ten best midfielders of the Premier League season?
Jordan Henderson and Kevin de Bruyne are fair picks. Jack Grealish, too. Even Adama Traore, Georginio Wijnaldum and Riyad Mahrez.
But James Maddison? It’s all well and good that he ‘oozes quality and has a swagger’, but he also hasn’t scored or assisted a single goal since New Year’s Day. And why are you telling us that ‘youngsters can improve, then go backwards a little’ when discussing a 23-year-old?
And Fred has been excellent recently, but a few stand-out performances do not make him ‘worth every penny’ of the £47m United spent after about 18 months of mediocrity.
As for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg being one of the ten best midfielders of the season, Mateo Kovacic, Joao Moutinho, Wilfred Ndidi, John Fleck and Dwight McNeil really want a word.
It seems as though the Daily Mirror have developed a knack for producing a back-page exclusive out of absolutely nothing, which is a particularly handy and convenient skill when most days involve a greater need than ever to produce a back page out of absolutely nothing.
On March 14, they told us that ‘Premier League clubs fear the season will not be completed’.
A day later, we were informed that ‘the FA Cup is in serious jeopardy with no decision on whether it can go ahead expected until next month’.
Then on March 16 came the dreadful news that ‘Gareth Southgate could see England games put on hold for a YEAR’.
By March 19, there was an idea that ‘dozens of games could be played behind closed doors just to complete the fixture list’, and ‘a fear’ that ‘NEXT SEASON could start in empty stadiums’.
The common theme was that, really, no-one has a clue when or how football will be played again; newspapers and their sources are no different.
Well, John Cross is back on Wednesday to explain how ‘the summer transfer window could stay open until January’.
‘With no guarantee this season’s fixtures will be completed, the window can only realistically open ahead of the start of the next campaign, so the deadline date of August 31 would have to be changed. It could mean football ends up with one long transfer window and a free-for-all.’
It sounds like educated guesswork dressed up as actual information because it is; this season will end later and next season will start later, thus the transfer window will shut later.
Forgive the cynicism, but when the end of the previous paragraph literally reads ‘no one is sure when football will start again, let alone when the transfer market will be back in operation’, you do start to doubt an exclusive which claims to tell us when the transfer market ‘could’ be back in operation.
Appear into the abyss
In an accompanying feature, Cross tells us:
Leroy Sane ‘looks set to complete’ a move to Bayern Munich.
It all ‘could leave Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future uncertain’, although ‘the current crisis could perhaps help’ Arsenal in their bid to keep him.
Manchester United ‘seems’ the likeliest destination for Jadon Sancho.
‘Set to’. ‘Could’. ‘Seems’. It really does sound like ‘some of the major deals appear to be firmly in place’ and not like the purest form of speculation possible.
And that all becomes headline news for the Liverpool Echo, who have a live blog to fill and hours to kill.
‘Liverpool news and transfers LIVE – Jadon Sancho boost, Kylian Mbappe blow, Malick Thiaw £7m clause’ sits atop their website.
The update, below Andy Lonergan driving a tractor, is that ‘Jadon Sancho is convinced he’ll move back to the Premier League this summer’ and ‘Liverpool and PSG are both said to be interested but Manchester United are believed to be leading the race for his signature’.
JADON SANCHO BOOST.
Kylian me softly
That ‘Kylian Mbappe blow’, by the way, is actually not revealed in the live blog whatsoever. The striker is only mentioned in the blurb, which says ‘Liverpool look set to miss out on Kylian Mbappe’. And considering Jurgen Klopp has repeatedly said they can’t afford him, that should surprise no-one.
Is the ‘Kylian Mbappe blow’ that Liverpool still won’t sign Kylian Mbappe despite sections of the media flogging the rumour to death?
One person in particular has been keeping busy during the global pandemic. Jon Boon is feature writer for The Sun and claims, on his LinkedIn profile, to produce ‘thought-provoking feature ideas’ that ‘drive the news agenda’.
His work over the past month alone includes:
‘Garay & his Wag reveal heartbreak of coronavirus diagnosis away from kids’ – March 25.
‘Meet the Serbian model Luka Jovic broke quarantine for and could face jail time’ – March 24.
‘TV star Leotta hears ‘ambulance sirens from sunrise to sunset’ in Milan lockdown’ – March 24.
‘Meet Michela Persico, the gorgeous Wag of coronavirus patient Daniele Rugani’ – March 12.
‘Wolves’ Wags include sex therapist who told players to masturbate before games’ – February 27.
‘Bayern Munich’s sexy Wags include a nutritionist, a hotel owner & dressage rider’ – February 25.
The ‘agenda’ is pretty clear, you can have that. But the only thought those headlines provoke is that whoever wrote them doesn’t understand what ‘Wag’ means, nor why it’s a f**king stupid term to use in 2020.
Also featured on The Sun’s website, most damningly under the headline of POPULAR ARTICLES:
‘Champions League streaker Kinsey Wolanski poses naked while stranded in Bahamas on luxury holiday due to coronavirus’
‘Brazil star Hulk ‘marries ex-wife’s stunning niece in whirlwind ceremony”
Does their target audience not know there are dedicated websites you can go to for that kind of thing?
Shock of the day
‘German legend Lothar Matthaus reckons another ideal destination for Sancho would be Bayern Munich’ – The Sun, Charlie Wyett.
Tomorrow: English legend Matt Le Tissier reckons another ideal destination for Lionel Messi would be Southampton.
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