Mediawatch: Look how ‘frustrated’ Barkley is

Date published: Wednesday 11th November 2015 1:21

Revelations of the day

When you say ‘Revealed’, what you mean is ‘Just noticed’.

When you say ‘Revealed’, what you mean is ‘Looked up on WhoScored because it’s international week’.


Bad news, good news
‘The Premier League’s best creators – great news for Arsenal, not so good for United’ is how that second story (is a gallery still a ‘story’?) is headlined on the Daily Telegraph website.

Mediawatch loves the idea that Louis van Gaal might be blissfully ignorant of his side’s lack of creativity until he logs onto the Telegraph website.

The good news is that if he scrolls down, he will then be able to help them out with a question: ‘Is Sanchez on his way to Manchester United?’

Probably not, no.


Diminishing returns
Headline on the back page of the Daily Mail: ‘DR EVA CALLS ON HAZARD TO TESTIFY.’

Opening paragraph on the back page of the Daily Mail: ‘CHELSEA forward Eden Hazard is set to called as a star witness…’

Third paragraph on the back page of the Daily Mail: ‘Hazard, though reluctant, may be ordered to explain at an employment tribunal…’

Opening paragraph on p80 of the Daily Mail: ‘CHELSEA fear Eden Hazard will be called as one of Eva Carneiro’s star witnesses…’


Right on trend
‘Stats show surprise Liverpool star is the reason they’re conceding goals’ is the wonderfully vague story that is ‘trending’ on Metro football.

Click on the link – sorry, we had to – and you discover that Emre Can (is it a surprise he is a star?) has made two errors leading to goals.

So, to be accurate, stats show he is the reason they have conceded 14% of their goals. Are the rest coming later in the week?


Dear Jesse…
Mediawatch should never be astonished at anything on the back pages of the nation’s newspapers in international week but the Daily Star made us veritably laugh out loud.

They believe the biggest story in sport right now is that Manchester United winger Jesse Lingard – a 22-year-old with five Premier League appearances under his belt – has been ‘told to forget about a new contract’. Apparently ‘United bosses won’t give Lingard new deal’. They just won’t. You can’t make them.

Probably because he signed a new long-term contract in February.


Under the counter
‘ROBERTO MARTINEZ has warned Roy Hodgson his obsession with possession-based football could stop Ross Barkley from being a world-class talent,’ writes David Maddock in the Daily Mirror.

Except he really doesn’t, does he? What he does is describe Ross Barkley’s strengths – namely his “pace and power” on the counter-attack – and say that he will be ‘influential’ for England if they play to those strengths.

‘While Martinez is not the personality to make a direct attack on a fellow manager’s tactics, it is clear he feels Barkley is not being used to the best of his ability for England.’ writes Maddock.

Which is an odd thing to write about a player who has claimed two goals and two assists in his last four England appearances.

‘The midfielder has been outstanding this season at driving forward through the middle as Everton use lightning pace from defence to attack,’ he continues.

‘Yet England play a different game of ponderous, possession-based football for its own sake, often recycling the ball slowly inside and across, which frustrates Barkley and wastes his ability.’

a) Frustrates? Wastes? It’s gone really quite well considering.

b) How the bloody hell were England supposed to play a counter-attacking game against San Marino, Estonia and Lithuania?

Let’s take a look at a few quotes from Roy Hodgson…

“We can defend well in depth and make them come at us. Over the last 19 months the thing that’s pleased me most is the emergence of us as a counter-attacking threat. We’re not one-dimensional in any way. There are options. I think the emergence of these younger players with slightly different skills to what we had in the past gives us different options.”

Still think he has an ‘obsession with possession-based football’? Or could it just be that England have been playing limited opposition and you had two pages to fill?


Phillips screwdriver
The latest man (and the 77th in total) to be wheeled out to say that Jamie Vardy should play as an out-and-out striker for England is Kevin Phillips.

He ‘hopes critics are not as quick to write off the Leicester ace if he under-performs as they were when he broke into the England team’.

“In the season when I scored 30 I started a couple of games for England and because I didn’t score two or three goals in the games I started, people just said you’re not good enough. It’s brutal when you play for your country,” Phillips told The Sun.

Two or three goals? Just one would have sufficed, Kevin. Or possibly just looking vaguely like you might have possibly scored a goal.

Phillips started a match against Belgium at the Stadium of Light in which the first half was so bad that manager Kevin Keegan “went ballistic” at half-time; Phillips was substituted after 58 minutes.

He was given another chance against Malta and – as one report noted at the time – ‘had that slightly desperate look of all fringe players who have been left precious little time to impress’; he was substituted after 68 minutes.

It’s brutal when you play for your country and you’re sh*t.


Feel the power
Poor Jamie Vardy. And we haven’t said that very often recently.

He may have scored in nine consecutive Premier League appearances but – according to the Sky Sports power rankings – Laurent Koscielny and Virgil van Dijk are still in better form. Which will come as a surprise to anybody who watched Koscielny’s attempt at an offside trap on Sunday.


En route
‘Pep Guardiola on way to Premier League, says Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas,’ is the headline on MailOnline.

Actual quotes from Cesc Fabregas: “I have no doubt that Pep will test himself in the Premier League one day.”

Mediawatch: On way to death.


Good/Bad-time Charlie
Charlie Wyett in The Sun, November 5: ‘Roy Hodgson has seen his England plans torn apart by injuries to THIRTEEN of his squad.’

Charlie Wyett in The Sun, November 11: ‘ROY HODGSON’S preparations for Euro 2016 are NOT being wrecked by injuries.’

As you were.


Misleading headline of the day
‘Man United star says title-winning team-mate will leave in January’ – Metro.

It’s Victor Valdes; in fairness, they never said he won the title with Manchester United.


Wait a minute, there’s this…
‘Aston Villa, Newcastle, Norwich and Sunderland set for epic January transfer war’ – Daily Star website.

It’s Tom Lees. Tom sodding Lees.


Sid Lowe interviewing Vicente Del Bosque

Jonathan Wilson on the Premier League’s majestic muddle

Adam Hurrey on pundits influencing the Premier League

Thanks to today’s Mediawatch spotter Jordan. Mail us at theeditor@football365 and help us out, ladies and gents.

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