Two Premier League games called off constitutes a ‘crisis’ as one in 90 positive tests is a ‘ripping through’. Here we go again…
We’re not saying that it’s a slow week for football news but The Sun website‘s big football story on Tuesday morning is that somebody drew a cock in the mud on Wayne Rooney’s car.
Though at least they have the picture of the beknobbed car; the Mirror website are splashing with the story – ‘Wayne Rooney’s car smeared with abuse after ‘refusing to move it’ at Christmas market’ – without a picture, making it inevitable that readers will click through to The Sun. Pricks abound.
Obviously, Manchester United not playing on Tuesday night has KO’d a lot of football coverage, while the complete lack of a cracked badge club bigger than Everton has left December feeling a little flat so far, so let’s all pretend that the United postponement is part of a ‘Covid crisis sweeping the Premier League’.
It’s literally only the second Premier League postponement, so we’re not sure that constitutes either a ‘crisis’ or a ‘sweep’. There are fears that Britain is currently seeing 200,000 new infections a day so let’s not pretend that Brentford v Manchester United being called off is anywhere near a ‘crisis’.
There’s talk of ‘a record 42 positives confirmed across the top flight’ in The Sun but what is missing from that particular statistic is any kind of context. What they should also possibly mention is that 42 positives came from 3,805 tests, which means that around one in 90 came back positive. That does not sound like a ‘sweep’ to Mediawatch, especially as last week’s ONS figures estimated that one in 60 people in England would test positive.
On The Sun website, the ‘sweep’ is upgraded, as ‘Covid rips through top-flight with Man Utd the latest casualty’. The ‘latest’ of two. Which is only one more than the number of errant hyphens in that headline. Can a rate of one positive in 90 tests really be described as ‘ripping through’? It can if it’s Manchester United and we have decided to engage full disaster mode.
Knife is knife
That Sun website story is a chop-and-shop version of the story on the back page of the Daily Mail, in which we are exclusively told that ‘PREMIER LEAGUE clubs fear this season could be shut down’. We’re sure this is a genuine fear but we’re not sure that vague fears from unnamed Premier League clubs can ever be deemed exclusive. Fans, players and clubs all might fear this season will be shut down; actually, come back if somebody is NOT a little fearful that might happen because they are probably a fool.
But right now this is scaremongering and once again we get told there is a ‘record single-week tally of 42 positives’ without the context of the number of tests.
‘It adds to the chaos caused by Omicron, with Tottenham postponing two matches last week, while Leicester and Norwich considered calling off their games last weekend.’
That’s one hell of a long-arse way of saying there have been two Premier League games called off.
On the inside pages of the Mail, we are told that the Premier League is ‘on a knife-edge’ (after two games were called off).
It seems a little bombastic, especially to those of us old enough to remember this time last year, when the Mail were telling us that ‘Premier League clubs have discussed the possibility of stopping the season for two weeks in January to prevent a spread in coronavirus cases’.
SPOILER: They didn’t.
And on MailOnline:
‘EXCLUSIVE: Premier League SHUTDOWN fear: Teams worry that spiralling Covid cases – after record high of 42 in a week – could halt the season with stars having to wait for booster jabs and emergency protocols back in force’
Pretty sure the emergency protocols are in place to prevent a SHUTDOWN rather being a symptom.
It ain’t over ’til it’s over
The problem with those kind of stories is that they get re-hashed with extra sauce so the Mail’s doom-mongering becomes even darker by the time you get to the Express website:
‘Premier League clubs ‘fear season could be over’ following rapid rise of Omicron variant’
Now? Somebody had better tell the four clubs scheduled to play on Tuesday night.
Do Ron Ron Ron
Obviously Ronaldo was a major problem for Ralf Rangnick this weekend when he scored his 13th goal of the season for Manchester United and Tuesday brings a ‘message’ from the German, according to the Mirror website.
‘Ralf Rangnick’s challenge to Cristiano Ronaldo and forwards as new Man Utd takes shape’
Shall we look at that ‘challenge to Cristiano Ronaldo and forwards’ in its entirety?
“It is not only the back four or the two sixes or the goalkeeper, the whole team has to defend in unison, together as a team.”
Challenge Ronaldo. Is he up to it?
Over at the Express website, they’re busy pretending that lots of exciting things are happening at Manchester United.
‘Man Utd’s ‘clear’ January transfer stance spells trouble for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer regular’
After several tortuous paragraphs, we learn that Manchester United have made it ‘clear’ that Diogo Dalot cannot join Roma on loan, which apparently ‘spells trouble for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer regular’ Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Mediawatch is pretty sure that Wan-Bissaka will already be well aware of the correct spelling of ‘trouble’ after he missed three Premier League games that were won by Manchester United in his absence.