Mediawatch on The Sun, pies, Giggs, Rooney and…

So what do you do when your betting company’s stunt backfires and a man prone to depression feels he has no choice but to resign from the club he loves?

What do you do when a man resigns on realising that eating a pie in the dug-out in the full knowledge that his friends have placed money on him eating a pie in the dug-out has not only landed himself in trouble but embarrassed his club?

What do you do when you have clearly encouraged that man to break betting rules while making him a figure of fun for his weight problems?

Why, you shift the blame, of course. You point the finger elsewhere. You attempt to whip up ‘fan fury’. You make your man feel really bloody special by referring to him twice as ‘roly-poly goalie’ on the front page of your newspaper. And you keep using the word ‘sacked’ because ‘resigned’ would suggest that your man absolutely knew he had made an error of judgement and that you too might be culpable.

As his former manager Paul Doswell reveals on BBC Radio 5 live that Wayne Shaw was “crying” on the phone when resigning from the club and was “very, very sorry about the whole situation”, The Sun were claiming that he was ‘sacked over snack’. Because of course getting sacked over eating a pie is ludicrous, right lads? Lads? Lads lads lads.

If Mediawatch weren’t so disgusted by The Sun’s deliberate obfuscation of the facts, we would be amused by their use of the words ‘novelty bet’ on the front page. Because of course ‘novelty bets’ are placed by ‘novelty gamblers’ who can win or lose ‘novelty money’.

We might also be amused at the idea that ‘hundred of hits’ on a petition to reinstate Shaw (can you reinstate a man who has resigned?) is being cited as evidence that ‘FANS were fuming’. Fans of what? Wayne Shaw? The Sun? Banter? Definitely banter.

The Sun are right to say that Shaw has been ‘HUNG OUT TO PIE’. They’re just wrong about the identity of the executioners.


Sack race
Mediawatch particularly enjoyed The Sun’s piece on ‘STARS WHO ‘GOT AWAY WITH WORSE” in which Chloe Mayer tells us that ‘A STRING of rule-breaking stars have dodged being sacked’.

Luis Suarez, Eric Cantona, John Terry, Joey Barton and Andros Townsend are the players who have ‘got away with worse’ and not been sacked.

Yes, all those not-sacked footballers were guilty of more serious crimes (apart from Townsend, which is a massive reach) than this other footballer who was also not sacked.


Dirty protest
According to the disgusted MailOnline, who have obviously never before seen a football changing-room…

‘The gloss was slightly taken off a wonderful FA Cup spectacle on Monday night when an image emerged of Arsenal’s dressing room following their 2-0 win over non-League Sutton United.

‘Gander Green Lane’s away changing area was in pristine condition before the fifth round encounter but the same could not be said following the encounter.

‘Half-empty bottles, used tissue and strapping were left on the floor by Arsenal’s millionaire stars while a bottle of milk was placed on a radiator.’

Forget the fact that Arsenal donated £50,000 and all their shirts to Sutton United (the Mail certainly have), THEY LEFT A BOTTLE OF MILK ON A RADIATOR. Philistines.


They come over here…
“I don’t think there’s enough [British managers] at the moment,” says British man (not a manager) who is out of work while other better-qualified actual football managers are appointed to English clubs.

Actually, Ryan Giggs (for it is he), there are loads of British managers. Of the 91 managers of Premier League and Football League clubs, 68 are British. That’s bloody loads. For maths fans, that’s 75%.

Oh, you’re not finished.

“There’s a lot of top quality foreign coaches in the Premier League, but there’s also a lot of quality British coaches and managers out there.

“If you don’t get the chance, you don’t get the chance to prove what you can do and see what you can do with a talented team.”

Oh. You’re only actually interested in the Premier League; you actually expect your first managerial job to be in the Premier League. Despite the fact that exactly zero (that’s 0%, maths fans) of the current 20 managers in the Premier League have been given their first managerial job in the Premier League. You want to be the exception.

After all, what Premier League club does not want to give a chance to a man whose only experience of actual management consisted of four games almost three years ago?

The reason, Mr Giggs, that there are only 91 managers cited above is that there is currently a vacancy at Blackburn. Fancy trying that or are they just not “talented” enough for you?

“I just think on the balance, there’s too many foreigners at the moment and British coaches probably just don’t get the chances.”

If only there were a recent example at a top Premier League club of an all-British managerial team ‘getting a chance’…


Taking the Michael
It seems apt that some utter guff from Ryan Giggs should be followed by some utter guff from Paul Scholes, who has started the campaign to get his old friend Michael Carrick a new contract. He tells Goal:

“He’s always in the right place, he plays his position brilliantly and when he came into the team from October onwards there were something like 16, 17 or 18 games maybe where they didn’t lose.”

Or 14.

“He had a big influence on people like Paul Pogba, he got the best out of him and [Ander] Herrera. He’s just tailed off a little bit over the last couple of weeks but I still think he’s got a part to play.”

The last three games in which Michael Carrick started alongside Pogba and Herrera:

Manchester United 1 Liverpool 1
Hull 2 Manchester United 1
Manchester United 0 Hull 0

The last three games in which Pogba and Herrera started without Carrick:

Leicester 0 Manchester United 3
Manchester United 2 Watford 0
Manchester United 3 Saint-Etienne 0

We think they’ll cope without him.


Defending the indefensible

This confusion about those crazy French would sit a little easier if we weren’t able to pick up a copy of the Daily Mail and see their own player ratings.

The Daily Mail’s total for Man City’s defence: 21
The Daily Mail’s total for Monaco’s defence: 23


Climbing down
(Excellent) headline on the back page of the Daily Mirror: ‘GOODBYE ROONEY TUESDAY’.

Sub-headline on the back page of the Daily Mirror: ‘China move next week will make England star world’s best-paid player.’

Sounds pretty unequivocal, yes?

Opening paragraph on the back page of the Daily Mirror: ‘WAYNE ROONEY’s record-breaking transfer to China has been sanctioned by Manchester United.’

Right. So it’s just been ‘sanctioned’; you’re not quite saying it’s going to happen now.

By the second paragraph it ‘could’ be completed and by the third ‘it is understood that at least two major Chinese Super League clubs are finalising bids to be made in the next 24 hours’.

Oh. No bid. And you don’t even know which clubs. Or whether Rooney himself would accept.

Still. Lovely headline.


Aye aye captain
The Sun’s
Dave Kidd could be right in saying that Harry Kane will be the next permanent England captain (though Jordan Henderson does seem rather more likely) but it’s a tad odd to say that ‘by the time time Kane was breaking into Tottenham’s first team as well as England’s Under-21s, Gareth Southgate had become impressed with his leadership qualities too’.

Firstly, because Kane made his first England Under-21 appearance fully eight months before he made his first Premier League start. And secondly, because Southgate was never quite impressed enough to make him captain.


A right Charlie

Burnley’s media manager there. Never underestimate the will of the Daily Mail to have a pop at Alistair Campbell.


Recommended reading of the day
Martin Samuel on the bookies who corrupted the romantic game
Sid Lowe on the reinvention of Steven N’Zonzi
Adam Bate on Manchester City’s flawed brilliance