The Sun stir the ‘Dent Alexander-Arnold’ pot…

Date published: Tuesday 11th June 2019 11:58

Mediawatch can only presume that everybody who works at The Sun assumes – perhaps correctly – that anybody who reads that comic for reasons other than Mediawatch is not on Twitter.

How else to explain how that ridiculous ‘what happened to equality?’ tweet sent on Sunday evening by Rebekah Vardy becomes an ‘EXCLUSIVE’ in The Sun on Tuesday morning?

Just wait to they spot that there are millions of these ‘tweet’ things.


Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole…
According to the back page of The Sun, ‘Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is ready to up his offer for Aaron Wan-Bissaka to £50MILLION.’

Mediawatch can pretty much guarantee that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is ‘ready’ to do nothing of the sort; he doesn’t have that sort of sway. Or that sort of cash.


Black magic
Mind you, at least the picture of Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the back page of The Sun is actually Aaron Wan-Bissaka.


Knock knock
Trent Alexander-Arnold was excellent against Switzerland; we can all agree on that. As Neil Ashton writes in The Sun, his ‘stats were off the scale’. Well, except the stats about tackling (he didn’t do any) and the stats about pass completion (his 73.8% was the lowest among all the England starters), that is, but what do they matter when you are trying to suggest that Gareth Southgate has inexplicably given the Liverpool full-back a ‘confidence knock’.

‘Dent Alexander Arnold’ is the headline on a piece which bizarrely suggests that Southgate saying “there’s still a bit to do defensively on positioning and awareness” is somehow having a massive pop at the 20-year-old converted midfielder (‘he’s asking for even more’) who freely admits he is still adjusting to being a full-back. The England coach calls his crossing “fantastic”, but we should ignore that because Southgate has apparently given him a ‘confidence knock’ by not anointing him his nation’s no. 2 in perpetuity. On Kyle Walker:

‘The Manchester City ace, 29, should be fighting for his place but Southgate has made it clear he will take some shifting.’

Couple of things:

a) he is ‘fighting for his place’, as evidenced by TAA starting against Switzerland and…

b) he should ‘take some shifting’; he has been largely sodding excellent for England and Southgate probably has a memory that stretches back more than a week.

Still, why have any perspective when you can call him ‘Dent Alexander Arnold’ and make a two-page mountain out of a tiny molehill?


Don’t waste time on the trip side
Contrast that story with John Cross in the Daily Mirror, who used exactly the same quotes to come up with an article that begins:

‘GARETH SOUTHGATE has finally found someone to Bend It Like Beckham.

‘Trent Alexander-Arnold has the potential to be the best crosser of a ball since David Beckham and now has the chance to establish himself as England’s right-back for the next ten years.’

But what about his confidence, Crossy? Hasn’t that taken a ‘knock’ from that cruel bully Southgate?

‘England boss Southgate clearly has a soft spot for him…’

Oh. Spot the journalist who is not out to cause trouble in the England squad…


Flip that switch
Mind you, whoever told John Cross that ‘GARETH SOUTHGATE is ready to get ruthless with England’s players unless they can prove they can handle the pressure’ is a back-page lead needs to remind him that a story is not really a story if exactly the opposite is far, far more interesting.

Wake us up when Southgate says he is ready to stick with England players even when they go a bit sh*t.


Fantastic Mr Foxes
The Daily Mail talk us through ‘how England can take the final step’ and conclude that England needs a new midfield, an alternative to Harry Kane, Trent Alexander-Arnold to replace Kyle Walker (of course), a settled centre-half partnership and more young players, so not much at all really; book the victory bus for July 2020.

As for those youngsters, Sami Mokbel and Dominic King write: ‘The ones most likely to develop are Foden, Mason Mount and Aaron Wan-Bissaka but do not be surprised if Leicester pair Maddison and Demarai Gray receive opportunities in the next 12 months.’

Yes, we will try to contain our astonishment when two players who were in the England squad last autumn are recalled in the next 12 months.


Bench press
‘David de Gea cuts a lonely figure as he’s left out by Spain AGAIN after United form plummeted with Old Trafford exit looking likely’ – MailOnline.

Which is a hell of a way to say that David de Gea was on the bench for Spain.

Oh, and as of 10am on Tuesday morning, that was apparently the biggest story in football.

Over to the Daily Mirror website now and the revelation that ‘David de Gea has been told he is no longer Spain’s guaranteed No.1’.

He probably got the gist the third time he was sat on the bench, fellas.


Love and understanding
‘Jose Mourinho open to shock THIRD spell as Chelsea manager with Maurizio Sarri to join Juventus this month’ – The Sun online.

‘SunSport understands he would seriously consider making a third return to Stamford Bridge.’

Mediawatch understands that he’s unemployed, has cocked up his last two jobs and is not in a position to be ruling out any bloody job.


Inside information
On the back page of The Sun, we are told that ‘CHELSEA will demand a top-four finish from their new boss – even with a transfer ban and the loss of star man Eden Hazard’.

Now that’s journalism. However did they discover that a club that has previously sacked a manager for finishing second would demand a top-four finish?


Recommended reading of the day
Stuart James on Daniel James

Tom Victor on that half-time team talk from Phil Brown

Max Rushden on being a pitch-side reporter


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