Mediawatch: Souness, Sturridge and the BBC’s massive ‘oops’

Date published: Thursday 20th July 2017 7:42

I’m yours
“I would like to be at Chelsea for the next 10 years, for me the most important thing is to be happy. I like the club, I like the players, I like the fans, I like the Premier League a lot. If somebody tells me I’m going to make ten years at Chelsea, I would say yes” – Jose Mourinho, February 2015.

“I am ready for this. I am ready for the next 15, I would say. Here? Yes, why not?” – Jose Mourinho, July 2017.

Will he last more than ten months this time?


Disproving your own point
Arsene Wenger is keen to reinforce Arsenal’s message that the club will not sell Alexis Sanchez this summer, and on Tuesday afternoon used the apparent differences between Sanchez and Robin van Persie as evidence for why the former will stay. Van Persie was also sold to a Manchester club in the final year of his contract, and helped them win the Premier League title.

“Every case is different,” Wenger said. “Van Persie was going from 30 to 31, when he left he had one year on his contract. Sanchez is younger.”

Van Persie was indeed going from 30 to 31, but not when Arsenal sold him; he was 29 at the time of sale.

Sanchez is indeed younger in 2017 than Van Persie was in 2012. But only by 163 days. Nice try, Arsene.


Stay now
Still, Wenger is certainly firm on Sanchez’s future. He says he is staying, so staying he is.

After all, it’s not as if in 2009 Wenger said that Emmanuel Adebayor would be staying, before eventually being sold to Manchester City.

And it’s not as if Wenger said in July 2011 that Samir Nasri was “very happy at the club and is committed to staying”, before Nasri was sold to Manchester City a month later.

And it’s not as if Wenger said in July 2011 about Cesc Fabregas: “Cesc loves the club. We know the Barcelona story goes on for years but we have to close that.” Fabregas was sold to Barcelona the next month.

And it’s not as if Wenger said in March 2012 that “our plan is to keep Robin van Persie, because he is the leader of our club”. Van Persie was sold to Manchester United.


Adrian. Adrian
From the Daily Telegraph’s transfer window club ranking. Yes it’s a gallery. (Tell you what, we’ll let you know when it isn’t a gallery. Easier that way):

‘Zabaleta brings experience and a history of actually winning things to West Ham but he’s not at his peak any more. The same can be said for Joe Hart. Why West Ham feel like they need Joe Hart when Adrian – a seriously underrated goalkeeper – is on the books is unclear.’

It’s probably because Adrian played so poorly at the start of last season that he lost his place to Darren Randolph and spent 22 league games on the bench.


Peak Telegraph
Producing four galleries in 24 hours with a total of 66 separate URLs is pretty standard for the Daily Telegraph website’s new age, but it’s when you read a headline like ‘The strangest Premier League pre-season photos of the summer’ that you really do wonder whether they have merged with the Daily Star. Another is ‘How long does each Premier League manager have left to run on their contract?’, spread over 21 webpages. They’re not even trying.

Mediawatch isn’t saying that the feature was put together in a rush, but ten of the 13 ‘strangest’ images are of Arsenal and the other three are Manchester United.

Alternative headline: ‘Here are some hastily assembled images look just please click on it we really need the traffic’.



It’s the worst of all the bad mistakes.


Danny’s song
Graeme Souness doesn’t work at Liverpool anymore, so he doesn’t watch them in training every day. Still, that doesn’t stop Souness from knowing exactly what is wrong with Daniel Sturridge. And he was only too happy to tell Talksport:

“If Daniel Sturridge didn’t have these issues of keeping fit, he’d be the first name on the team sheet. I think he’s got amazing qualities, but he just can’t get himself fit.

“I saw a game towards the end of the season and the camera panned on Sturridge and it showed him warming up, and it was pathetic. He wasn’t stretching properly, he was just going through the motions.”

Sturridge has certainly suffered with injury problems, but that was hardly the issue last season. Sturridge was available for 27 of Liverpool’s 38 league games.

“If that’s him preparing for a game, if he’s like that every day in training, you’ve got to get that right first of all. That’s the first thing I’d look at – his training. You can get away with it in other positions, but not as a striker, when you’ve got to be bang at it and be explosive from the very first minute – something is going to go.

“I’m watching this kid warm up and I’m thinking, that just might be his problem. Try and get that right first, warm up properly, train properly, because the boy has exceptional talent and there are very few people out there with that kind of ability.”

So having misdiagnosed Sturridge’s issue last season, Souness has extrapolated what he saw for a few seconds on the touchline in the middle of a match to Sturridge’s training every day and thus his entire attitude.

It’s certainly not what James Milner thinks, who said that Sturridge was a better trainer that Sergio Aguero and incredibly sharp in training.

It’s also not what Scott Schrimscher, a trainer who worked with Sturridge in America, thinks. He described Sturridge’s “incredible work ethic” in training.

Still, what do they know? Souness thinks you’re lazy and unprofessional, Daniel, and that’s that.


All White on the night

Sure Sky Sports, with their promise of being ‘First. Fast. Now’ are delighted that their broadcaster is boasting that another outlet will do just that.


Unsubtle insinuation of the day
‘Manchester United may be one of the richest clubs in the world – but they reportedly don’t want their travelling support staff on the US tour drinking in the bar on their tab during their stay in Los Angeles’s fabled Beverly Wilshire Hotel – because the prices are so expensive. Coincidentally, United’s entourage in the hotel includes bon viveur club ambassador Bryan Robson’ – Charlie Sale, Daily Mail.



Paragraph of the day
‘It is that time of year again. The anticipation is breathless as faces roar in slow-motion and high-definition on TV adverts, while the Manchester club treat the BT and Sky cash in the manner of drunken sailors on shore leave in a knocking shop.’

We’ve said it before, but grumpy Dave Kidd is the best Dave Kidd.


Worst headline of the day
‘Thomas who? Mahrez sends message to Wenger after sublime Leicester strike’ – The Metro.

Can’t face a world in which a player scoring a goal for his club is ‘sending a message’ over a transfer.


Recommended reading of the day
ESPN’s most influential people in football.

Nick Ames on Milan.

Ondra Paul on Marcelo.

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