Ronaldo, Man United transfers and some absolute piffle

Date published: Tuesday 2nd March 2021 11:34 - Sarah Winterburn

Work, work, work
Mediawatch often bemoans what is regarded as football news in 2021, but on this miserable Tuesday, we look instead to the front pages, where football (kind of) makes an appearance. A reminder once again that we are in the year of actual 2021. Believe us, that reminder is required:

Yes, the biggest news in the whole world – mid-pandemic – is that Cristiano Ronaldo, whose personal fortune is estimated to be worth £360m, does not do any housework. Who in their right f***ing mind thought that Cristiano Ronaldo did any housework? Or ‘chores’ as the Daily Star puts it as it is still 1973 and your missus has left you a list. The silly cow.



‘Ronaldo is not only a genius on the pitch but also a genius at avoiding housework.’

And do you know how this genius avoids housework? Is it really because he might get injured or is it because he is really, really sodding rich and really, really sodding rich people do not do their own housework. His ‘lover’ is also really, really sodding rich too, so she doesn’t do any housework either. Is she a genius too? Or do we reserve that term for men who somehow swerve the women’s work?

The Star even say that Georgina Rodriguez does everything in the house, omitting the rather important part of her quotes when she says that “we have a chef”. Of course they do. And housekeepers and gardeners and people to change the lightbulbs because the ceilings are 20 feet high. All of which rather spoils this fantasy about Ronaldo being some kind of hero because he has come up with an ‘excuse’.

Oh and extra ‘what year is it again?’ points for calling Ronaldo ‘winker’. Just the 15 years old, that particular reference.


Haal or nothing
The Daily Mirror have a back-page exclusive from Andy Cole. No problem there, it’s an age-old football journalistic tactic to ask old footballers about modern football teams. We would like to ask a few questions though as we look at this headline:


First question: When did top players come to United?

‘MANCHESTER UNITED have been told they can no longer just rely on their name to attract the best players in the world.’

Second question: When could they?

When Cole himself joined Manchester United in January 1995, the top five players in the Ballon d’Or list from 1994 were Hristo Stoichkov, Roberto Baggio, Paolo Maldini, Georghe Hagi and Tomas Brolin. None of those players joined Manchester United or even looked close to joining Manchester United.

United have traditionally been able to attract the best players in England – like Cole himself, Romelu Lukaku and others – but at no point in the last 30 years have they signed a top-five Ballon d’Or finisher within two years of them receiving that accolade. They simply do not have a history of signing the best players in the world.

There is clearly some traction in catastrophising events at Manchester United but let’s not pretend that them failing to sign Erling Haaland – scorer of a barely believable 43 goals in 44 games for Borussia Dortmund at just 20 – can be attributed to ‘their pulling power’ being ‘diminished’. They will probably fail to sign a player of Haaland’s worldwide renown because they have usually failed to sign a player of Haaland’s worldwide renown.


Fanta clause
Mediawatch can barely believe that there are people covering football who still believe that Erling Haaland can leave Borussia Dortmund for £65m this summer. We thought Neil Custis might be the last. And yet…

‘Erling Haaland: Champions League a MUST as Chelsea prepare to battle Man United and Man City for £65m transfer’ – Evening Standard.

Next year?

‘Chelsea and Manchester United will go head-to-head for Erling Braut Haaland this summer.’

Not for £65m, they won’t.

‘And Sunday’s dour goalless draw between the sides underlined just how much they both need a striker of the Norwegian’s pedigree.

‘They are not alone in pursuing Haaland, with Manchester City also identifying him as the successor to Sergio Aguero, while Europe’s leading clubs are poised to move as well.

‘The race for the 20-year-old is only intensified by a buyout clause in his Borussia Dortmund contract set at around £65million. It makes him attainable for just about any major club – even in a transfer market expected to be constrained by the financial impact of coronavirus.’

Not this summer, it doesn’t.

Perhaps somebody at the Evening Standard should have pointed James Robson towards this piece in the Evening Standard.


Blizzard of Oz
‘GARETH BALE’S goals against Wolfsburg and Burnley remind me of Mesut Ozil’s hat-trick against Ludogorets in 2016,’ writes Stan Collymore in the Daily Mirror, because of course that is an entirely logical leap to make (if you have an obsession with Mesut Ozil).

‘Some Arsenal fans were losing their minds over Ozil’s goals and, while one of them was quite brilliant, it was still a case of, ‘Er, it’s Ludogorets, not Real Madrid or Barcelona’.’

Because of course you should only ever celebrate goals against Real Madrid or Barcelona, which can be tricky if you do not play against Real Madrid or Barcelona, but rules are rules.

Collymore goes on to write ‘likewise, two-thirds of the way through Tottenham’s season, Bale’s best moments should have a higher watermark than goals and performances against two sides way below the top bracket’.

Agreed. But what the hell has that got to do with Ozil, who was coming off the back of a 19-assist Premier League season when he scored a hat-trick against Ludogorets in October 2016 to take him to a tally of six goals from ten games at the start of a season that would be his most prolific as a goalscorer? ‘Likewise’? That sounds like literally nothing like Bale.


Old man shouting at clouds of the day
Here he is.


Recommended reading of the day
Tor-Kristian Karlsen predicts the break-out stars of 2021

David Squires on whistlegate and referees under pressure

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