Mediawatch: Salah’s ‘eye-watering fee’ and a Man United ‘agitator’

Date published: Thursday 26th April 2018 10:53

Cheap thrills
We can all look at the £38m signing of Mohamed Salah after his 43 goals and claim he is the football bargain of the century, but let’s not re-write history here, people; there was literally nobody proclaiming his purchase a £38m bargain in June.

So when the Daily Mirror’s back page promises to tell us ‘How Liverpool exploited Roma cash crisis to grab Player of the Year Mo for just £38M and pull off…SALAH OF THE CENTURY’ we want to scream that Liverpool did not grab ‘Player of the Year Mo’, they grabbed plain-old Mo, or ‘Chelsea flop Mo’ as some insisted.

David Maddock begins on Thursday: ‘LIVERPOOL cleverly seized on a cash squeeze at Roma to get Mo Salah on the cheap.’

Couple of things, David…

1) Roma owner James Pallotta said this week that “we can’t tell you that anybody else was calling for Salah at anywhere near that kind of price”; he clearly thought they had diddled Liverpool, even offering to buy Liverpool owner John W Henry lunch when he was “bitching” about the price.

2) You wrote yourself in June that £38m was an “eye-watering fee”.

In hindsight, they got Salah ‘on the cheap’, but let’s not pretend that we didn’t all think that was a sh*t-tonne of money in June.


Mo awards please
Mediawatch cannot help but think when Chris Sutton writes in the Daily Mail that if Mo Salah should ‘cap a sensational campaign by lifting the Champions League, he should be crowned the world’s best player’, that he has forgotten that a) it’s April and b) there is a World Cup in June.

Sutton continues: ‘His story is one of the most remarkable I have ever witnessed in football. For that reason it should be Salah – not the usual suspects – who should win the Ballon d’Or.’

Because the Ballon d’Or is famously awarded to the footballer with the most remarkable story.


Price of admssion
Across three pages of the Daily Mirror on Thursday morning, Alexis Sanchez ‘admits he is still adapting to life at Manchester United, Gareth Bale ‘has admitted for the first time that he could leave Real Madrid’, Christian Benteke ‘admits he is running out of time to rediscover his form’ and Isaac Hayden ‘admits Newcastle have upped their target – and want a top-10 finish’.

The last one has really shocked us, but we do admire his honesty.


Custis pie
The Sun’s Neil Custis is not a big fan of The Independent’s Jonathan Liew, having previously called him a ‘pompous twat’; you can check out that glorious exchange from last March here, and remind yourself of the wonderful context here.

So when Custis saw somebody he respected tweeting this on Wednesday night…

…his reaction was of course to plead with him not to tweet said endorsement, saying ‘Please Christian don’t promote this’.

A confused Machowski asked why and was told that Liew ‘has no respect for anyone let alone the 12 times European champions’ and ‘the writer slags multiple people off he doesn’t know and has never met, he’s a class one’.

And when Machowski tries to diplomatically extricate himself from this bizarre conversation, what does Custis do? He asks about the weather, of course. Now he really is a class one.


You make me agitated
It’s difficult only writing about Manchester United when Manchester United last played five days ago, so Mediawatch has some sympathy for Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News.

But if you’re thinking that ‘The Manchester United squad might have already been decided for next season’ sounds like a piece full of vague guesses about what might – yes, might – happen to United’s squad this summer, you would be right.

He tells us that ‘upheaval could continue in the goalkeeping department’, one player ‘also seems destined to depart’, ‘no more than half-a-dozen seem certain to leave’, while ’11 other teammates seem safe’. We are bursting at all of the ‘seems’ here.

Luckhurst’s series of educated guesses ends with the squad being divided into Untouchables, Safe, Doubts, Possible agitators, Going and Possible loans.

Of course, you stopped at the words ‘Possible agitators’, because you are a reasonable person and that is quite the phrase.

And who are these revolutionary Manchester United players who could urge others to protest or rebel?

Sergio Romero, Andreas Pereira and Anthony Martial, of course.

Yes, that’s Sergio Romero, the 31-year-old Argentine goalkeeper who has been Manchester United’s second-choice shot-stopper for three years, signed a new contract last summer and said: “Who wouldn’t want to be at the biggest club in the world?”

Apparently you Sergio, you possible agitator.


Bell ends
On Wednesday afternoon, Hector Bellerin called out MailOnline as ‘click baiters’ for implying that he and Alexandre Lacazette were ‘squaring up’ in training. Here he is…

So of course on Thursday morning, the Daily Mail print the picture alongside a story asking whether this was ‘AN EMBRACE of affection or signs that division is running deeper at Arsenal than just between Arsene Wenger and the club’s fans’. They call it a ‘tussle’, a ‘bust-up’, a ‘squaring up’ and a ‘heated debate’.

The final line of their story?

‘Bellerin later took to social media to dismiss the altercation, saying the clash as (sic) just ‘banter’.’

That’s not all he said, is it?


Arsene hints
So what of Arsene Wenger? Where is he going next? Thankfully the Express website are here to tease you…

‘Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger drops big hint over next job: This is where I want to manage’


“I hope these are not my last European cup games – my target is to play in Europe again.”

So his ‘hint’ is that he does not want to manage a completely sh*t club. That narrows it down.


Weird headline of the day
‘What Arsene Wenger quitting Arsenal really means for your wife – and why I’m taking charge’ – Daily Mirror website.


Recommended reading of the day
Jonathan Liew on Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid
Melissa Reddy on Julian Nagelsmann
Sam Wallace on Roma supporters

More from Planet Sport:

If you have a tennis pulse, Padel Tennis will set it ticking (Tennis365)

Sean Dundee: I should have worked harder; I wasn’t fit enough at Liverpool (Planet Football)

The 10 best walk-up songs chosen by teams for the Zurich Classic (Golf365)

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