Give them a hand
On Wednesday evening, the MailOnline shed a light on perhaps the biggest, most worrying problem in all of football. No, not drugs, racism, sexism or match-fixing. Something far more dangerous, more damaging and more sinister.
‘The Premier League are ‘powerless’ to stop players and coaches putting their hands over their mouths when talking during matches,’ begins Mike Keegan’s exclusive. Or should we say ‘began’? The article was deleted after barely half an hour for some reason. Funny, that.
The old URL (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-6262377/Premier-League-powerless-stop-managers-covering-mouths-talking-matches.html) now redirects to a story about Steven Naismith hoping to earn his 50th Scotland cap. Hopefully he doesn’t talk with his hand over his mouth at any point.
‘In a growing trend that has drawn criticism from supporters and angered broadcasters who pay hundreds of millions to screen games, an increasing number of stars have started to cover their mouths to prevent what they are saying going public.’
Oh goodness. Has someone alerted the relevant authorities? Brexit negotiations can wait; this needs sorting instead.
Keegan does – ah, sorry, did – point out that broadcasters ‘are yet to complain to the league’, but he has spoken to one Sky source.
‘It’s infuriating. I would imagine conversations about it will take place soon because it’s angering more and more people.’
If that conversation lasts any longer than 10 seconds, and does not end with someone asking what all the bloody fuss is about, Mediawatch will eat one of its many hats.
‘We pay around £13million a match and want to give the viewers the full experience.’
Considering it has only ‘drawn criticism’ from fans, while it has ‘angered’ broadcasters, are the viewers really the priority here?
‘It’s blatant and it should stop. I can’t imagine we are missing out on life-changing pearls of wisdom but it is the principle. This is entertainment – imagine paying to go to the theatre and the actors start covering up their mouths.’
That really is the exact same thing, isn’t it? Imagine paying to go to the theatre and having Macbeth interrupted by Graeme Souness complaining about a lack of leadership.
‘The Premier League declined to comment but privately they believe there is little they can do to stop the trend.’
How do you know when they ‘declined to comment’?
‘Within the rules of the game there is no law to stop players from covering their mouths.’
…because it would be a f***ing stupid law.
‘Insiders say the fact that the trend has now spread to managers makes intervention impossible. “It’s a situation in which we are pretty much powerless,” a league source said. “Realistically there is nothing we can do – and now we have managers doing it, it makes it even harder.”‘
There is something you can do: get over it.
Writes Matt Lawton of Jadon Sancho for the Daily Mail:
‘The first press conference with an England player born in this millennium had a distinctly modern feel, not least because an iPhone that had not been switched to silent managed to ruin sections of the recording for the broadcast media.
‘In fairness they did not miss much, given that Jadon Sancho was pretty much how you might expect an 18-year-old to be when suddenly faced with a phalanx of TV cameras, microphones and some grizzly-looking journalists.
”Just take into account that he’s not done this before,’ the man from the FA politely pointed out, before a TV reporter did his usual thing of addressing the England footballer as ‘mate’. Given he was comfortably old enough to be his father, it must have made young Sancho mildly uneasy.’
Or, y’know, a little more comfortable after being addressed in a genial manner. If he had called him ‘d***head’, then he might have felt ‘mildly uneasy’.
Lothar to admit
With all this excitement over Sancho, The Sun have asked Lothar Matthaus to give us the lowdown from Germany.
‘The first time I saw Jadon Sancho he made me stand still. And that’s never happened before.’
Lothar Matthaus: an utter pain to take a picture with.
Get your Phil
Now to England’s other great hope. Paul Jiggins (no, not him) has spoken to Phil Foden (yes, him) for The Sun.
‘Phil Foden is aiming to fire England to Euro glory in 2020,’ reads the opening paragraph to Jiggins’ piece, and you know what’s coming next. Go on then, Paul. What’s he actually said?
‘Now the youngster, 18, has his sight sets [sic] on winning more silverware – this time with Gareth Southgate’s seniors at the European Championship in 2020.
‘He said: “Wow, what a year. It’s gone so fast. I look back on it with great memories.
“It’s a special moment to win the World Cup but now I want to win things at higher ages. I’ve got to keep doing it.”‘
He’s practically booked the open-top bus tour.
Pog eat Pog
After Tuesday saw the Daily Express website reach a record 100 mentions of Jose Mourinho on their football homepage, they are back for more on Thursday. He is top of their website at lunchtime.
‘Paul Pogba revelation: Jose Mourinho will HATE what Man Utd ace said on international duty’
What is this ‘revelation’? Was he actually Iker Casillas in disguise all this time?
Not quite. Pogba has actually just said: “It’s hard to concentrate, to start again, to hit hard, because we touched the stars. For us, it was the best trophy you can win as a footballer. But we like challenges too. We have goals. For example, I’ve never won the Premier League, that’s an objective. I’d like to do that.”
To be honest, Mourinho will probably just be happy that he was proved right after all this time. And that Pogba wants to win the Premier League.
‘Aston Villa are considering making Rui Faria their new manager, with John Terry as his assistant, according to Sky sources’ – Sky Sports, October 10, 5.01pm.
‘Rui Faria has ruled himself out of the running to become the next manager of Aston Villa, according to Sky sources’ – Sky Sports, October 10, 5.26pm.
‘Juventus have identified Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey as a summer transfer target as they look to reshape their midfield, according to reports’ – Daily Mail, March 26.
‘Aaron Ramsey is set to leave Arsenal at the end of the season after talks over a new contract collapsed…Chelsea, Manchester United and Juventus have all be credited with an interest in the Wales international’ – Daily Mail, September 26.
‘Juventus have entered the chase to sign Aaron Ramsey’ – Daily Mail exclusive, October 11.
Someone needs a new agent…
Not sure he's threatening to leave for Auschwitz, mind. pic.twitter.com/YL6Hcq3Z9L
— Football365 (@F365) October 11, 2018
Recommended reading of the day
Dave Hytner talks to Ben Thornley.