Mediawatch: New Merson, blind Sancho optimism and more…

Date published: Wednesday 29th July 2020 12:03


Every day we look at the football media, so you don’t have to. Because most of it is sh*te.


Transfer flashback
‘OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER is planning a £160million swoop to snap up Jack Grealish AND James Maddison this summer. And Manchester United’s boss hopes the fact the pair are close pals could tip the mega double-raid in his favour’ – Sun exclusive, February 12.

Still standing by this, fellas?


Super-size me
Put the bag of Revels to one side because Paul Merson has a new food-based metaphor.

Clearly he was so chuffed with this in March

“There’s a company out there that sells more burgers, more chips and more fast food than anyone in the world, but they still do adverts. That tells me you have to keep working to stay on top. When you win something, you’ve got to go and improve again.

“Some teams go and keep the faith in the squad that won and go from there, but you have to keep improving if you want to stay on top. The burger company don’t do adverts to sell stuff, they do it to stay on top. Liverpool will have to do the same and that may mean freshening up the squad.”

…that he returned in July:

“There’s a fast food chain that sell more burgers or chips than anyone else, but they spend more on advertising than anyone else. You’ve got to kick on.”

He’s happy with that.


Liverpool Man Utd Liverpool Man Utd
The golden ticket in terms of football traffic is crow-barring Liverpool and Manchester United into one headline. But the Daily Star website have unwrapped their chocolate bar, failed to find a golden ticket and instead manufactured one out of LIDL tinfoil with this headline:

‘Ryan Giggs explains why Liverpool fans are happy to see Man Utd in the Champions League’

Does he? That would seem odd.

Well, does he f***.

What he does is say that “you want to see Manchester United in the Champions League whether you support them or not” and the Star have taken ‘whether you support them or not’ to mean ‘Liverpool fans’. Because search traffic. Because desperation. Because this business is now basically factory work.


Transfer window
Over at the Manchester Evening News, the appetite for Manchester United transfer news is so strong that any and all things can be dressed up as such.

The headline? ‘Manchester United might have their first key signing for the 2020/21 season already’

The slug?

The piece? Bruno Fernandes is dead good, isn’t he?

The shame? None.


Have it!
‘Kai Havertz ‘sold on Chelsea vision’ after talks with Timo Werner and Antonio Rudiger’ is the Evening Standard headline, which then gets ramped up to ‘Transfer news LIVE: Chilwell demands Chelsea move, Havertz close, Grealish to Man United, Aubameyang latest’ as the former London-based newspaper embraces its place in the global race for Google search rankings.

So he is ‘sold on Chelsea vision’ is he? Those are quote marks, so who are you quoting?

Nobody, actually. Nobody at all. Because quote marks now mean absolutely nothing.

So where did they get this story? From it seems. And do they mention a vision, sold or not? Nope. They do, though, mention that he has had talks with both Werner and Rudiger…citing the Daily Telegraph and Bild from July 8 and July 9.



Netdi**s and Chil
Some newspaper journalists must wonder why they still bother cultivating contacts and getting exclusive stories.

The Daily Mirror’s James Nursey has bagged himself an exclusive – presumably via an agent – that Ben Chilwell will ask Leicester for a transfer to Chelsea this week.

So what’s top of the Mirror website’s football page at 11am on Wednesday morning?

‘How Man Utd could line-up next season after boss hands Woodward transfer wishlist including Sancho and Chilwell.’

It’s not just the hyphen that hurts.

Oh and we are very much on board with Manchester United simply not bothering with a defensive midfielder.


This is a low
‘Football Manager predicts season outcome if Man Utd sign Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish’ – Mirror.

Crucially, this ‘prediction’ is only valid if no other club signs any other player, making a ridiculous concept somehow even more ridiculous.


Red glass full
You have to (sort of) admire the Express website and their commitment to Manchester United transfer optimism. On Wednesday comes this classic:

‘Man Utd chief Ed Woodward’s key relationship that may lead to Jadon Sancho transfer’

You have to be wearing some bright red-tinted glasses to read this article in Kicker and decide it was good news for United.

Excuse the dodgy translation but highlights include:

* The headline: ‘Doubts about Sancho change.’

* ‘According to sports director Michael Zorc, this is a “pure media topic”.’

* ‘For the third in the table of the Premier League, the cards are on the table: he knows the price. Either he scrapes up 120 million euros – or he has to do without Jadon Sancho.’

* ‘The club on the island has had to put up with biting mockery: In the end, United always pays what is required.’

* ‘The rumor persists anyway that the 20-year-old would rather move to Liverpool than to Manchester because of the greater title chances.’

Third in the table. Biting mockery. But yes, Ed Woodward definitely has a ‘key relationship that may lead to Jadon Sancho transfer’.
F365 sh*thouse headline of the day
‘The ‘worst’ Premier League XI of the season’

It’s not though, is it?


Recommended reading of the day
Rory Smith on fathers, sons and football

Tony Evans on Jordan Henderson

Sid Lowe reviews this La Liga season

More Related Articles