Mediawatch: Please let Studge join Arsenal

Date published: Friday 5th February 2016 1:15

Player power
‘DANIEL STURRIDGE is ready to quit Liverpool in the summer’ – Daily Mirror ‘exclusive’.

‘DANIEL STURRIDGE is ready to quit Liverpool this summer over his fury at criticism questioning his desire to play for the club’ – Daily Mail ‘exclusive’.

It’s all very well for Daniel Sturridge’s ‘people’ to tell various journalists that their man is getting a tad upset that various Liverpool figures – including the manager – have expressed their frustration at his lack of fitness, but you do know he can’t just ‘quit’, don’t you? That’s not really how contracts work. Otherwise, Saido Berahino would just ‘quit’ West Brom and Loic Remy would just ‘quit’ Chelsea.

What is truly laughable about these glorified adverts for a player with ‘the qualities of a £60million striker’ (Mail) is the calibre of football club being linked with the erstwhile England man. John Cross mentions Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham in the Daily Mirror, while Neil Ashton and Sami Mokbel throw in Chelsea and Manchester City in the Daily Mail. So that’s every big Premier League covered then. Because what every big Premier League club needs is a footballer who never plays actual football.

‘Sturridge needs his next challenge,’ writes Ashton, ‘to be given the chance to resurrect his career and to hope for a change of fortune with another team.

‘Without that change, he will always be left wondering what might have been.’

So let’s get this straight: He needs a new club so they can all join together in ‘hoping’ that his luck changes? So it’s not Sturridge’s fragile body that is the problem, but his luck? A £60m striker available for £20m who just needs his luck to change? Where should Pep Guardiola sign?

Actually, not Pep, as – like a sobering drunk seeing things more clearly in the morning – the Mail have a little guide to where Sturridge may end up. They give his chances of joining Manchester City 1/5, Chelsea 2/5, Manchester United 0/5 and Tottenham 3/5. So that realistically leaves only Arsenal.

‘Sportsmail can reveal the Gunners showed serious interest in Sturridge in January 2013, but the financial implications meant they decided against pursuing a move. But Arsene Wenger could now revive his interest.’

He could. But it looks incredibly unlikely. Since January 2013, Sturridge has played 60 Premier League games; since the summer of 2014 he has played 17 Premier League games. We’re pretty sure that Wenger’s interest in Sturridge waned when he ceased to actually play football.

Still, please sign Daniel because people at Liverpool have been saying mean things about him.


The inevitable headline
‘Rumour: Arsenal want shock transfer of Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge’ – Metro.


Of course he would


Entirely unrelated quote of from December 2014
“I supported, when I was growing up, Arsenal. Because I was a striker. The players they had, the strikers they had at the time. Nicolas Anelka, Bergkamp, and then you had Thierry Henry, players like that, so yeah I looked up to those players” – Daniel Sturridge.


Company man
Paul Merson’s predictions for the three Premier League games shown live by Sky Sports this weekened: 3-2, 2-2, 2-2.


Merson: The big Revel
Paul Merson, November 20: ‘Stoke had a good result a fortnight ago against Chelsea but, like Everton, they are neither here nor there this season.
They lose at home to Watford then go and beat Chelsea, they’re a bag of Revels at the moment, but they do have the players.’

Paul Merson, December 29: ‘It depends on what Liverpool turn up, if we get the side that beat Leicester, then Sunderland have their work cut out to get anything. They are a bag of Revels at the moment, though.’

Paul Merson, January 31: ‘They are going well in the league and Shrewsbury are inconsistent – they conceded seven against Chesterfield and then beat Burton away. They are a bag of Revels.’

Paul Merson, February 5: ‘Which Everton are going to turn up? They’re like a bag of Revels, you just don’t know what’s coming.’

Paul Merson: Definitely not like a bag of Revels as you know exactly what is coming.


Foxing it up with Lawro
Mark Lawrenson has attracted good-natured criticism from West Ham fans (described by the man himself as “all good fun”) for BBC weekly predictions that would see the Hammers deep in relegation trouble. It goes without saying that Lawro has predicted yet another defeat for West Ham this weekend. Of course. Like predicting 1-1 in the weekend’s glamour clash, Liverpool to win and Everton to come unstuck, it’s classic Lawro. The predictable predictor.

But what Mediawatch would like to talk about is Lawro and Leicester City. That’s Premier League leaders Leicester City: Winners of just two of their last 20 Premier League games if Lawro’s predictions had proved correct. They are 17th in a table constructed from his predictions. 17th.

‘Claudio Ranieri’s side are not always going to outplay teams, but they have the ability to stay in games and then nick the winner,’ says Lawrenson this week as he predicts defeat at Manchester City. And yet he almost never predicts them to nick a winner.

‘If they do lose, it will not be the end of Leicester’s title bid, though. They have already shown us that they have got too many very good players for that to happen. Their team spirit is excellent and they will be very difficult to shake off.’

Which is presumably why Lawro expects them to be fully five points clear of West Ham in that final relegation place.


What’s £17.5m between friends?
Antony Kastrinakis in The Sun: ‘CHELSEA rejected a stunning £57.5million January bid for Oscar from Chinese club Jiangsu Suning.’

Jason Burt in the Daily Telegraph: ‘Chelsea are believed to have rejected an incredible offer of up to £75million for Oscar.’

Does £57.5m still sit in the range of ‘up to £75m’?


Cheeky punt of the week
Arsene Wenger on why season ticket prices will not decrease despite rising TV income: “The prices of players goes up so we need to supplement the ability to buy new players.”

Altogether now: What f***ing players?


Official media partner story of the day
‘ANDROS TOWNSEND sat in the Newcastle home dressing room yestereday and pointed at the names on the back of the shirts. “Look, some fantastic players,” he said.”‘ – The Daily Mirror.


Recommended reading of the day
Sid Lowe on Gary Neville’s humiliation.

Michael Cox on Chelsea’s slow recovery

Thore Haugstad compares Atletico Madrid and Leicester.

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