Will unvaccinated players be BANNED? Probably not but…
Isn’t it fun to speculate that unvaccinated footballers will soon be banned from football? Even if there is no suggestion…
Love it when a ‘plan’ comes apart
Mediawatch misses the days of ‘Covid chaos’ disrupting football plans (remember when England were ‘plunged into crisis’ because Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell had to quarantine ahead of a game they eventually won 1-0 during the Euros?), but thankfully we are back there again, courtesy of The Sun‘s back page.
Now it’s got an added sprig of holly and a garland of tinsel as we are plunged into ‘FESTIVE SEASON COVID CHAOS’. Merry Christmas, everybody.
To re-cap, Tottenham have so far cancelled one Europa Conference game and potentially two Premier League games are in doubt. It’s ‘FESTIVE SEASON COVID CHAOS’ and a ‘FRIGHTMARE BEFORE XMAS’, alright.
Clearly, somebody at The Sun realised that the postponement of one third-tier European clash did not actually constitute a crisis so why not stir up the anti-vaxxers and Facebook experts who still buy The Sun with talk of a ‘Shock new plan to ban unjabbed players’.
Now a ‘plan’ is defined as ‘a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something’ so we can assume from this – and the Sun website‘s ‘BANNED’ and ‘VAX…OR AXE’ bombastic banners – that this is indeed a detailed proposal.
Ha, ha and indeed ha. Is it f***.
The very first paragraph reads thus:
‘PREM club bosses fear they could be BANNED from playing unvaccinated players under the new Covid crackdown.’
It took literally four words for the ‘plan’ to actually become something merely ‘feared’ by Premier League club bosses. Mediawatch fears six-legged dogs driving cars but we’re not sure we could stretch to declaring that a ‘shock new plan’.
Four paragraphs in and those ‘fears’ are downgraded to ‘growing concerns that players who are not double vaccinated may fall foul of tighter guidelines’. Stick around and it might be a ‘niggle’ by the end of the (f)article.
Actually, stick around only as long as the tenth paragraph and you get this doozy of a line:
‘There is currently no suggestion that the Government envisages a clampdown on the activities of unvaccinated players.’
There is no suggestion?! Apart from you absolutely suggesting, nay bloody claiming, that there was a ‘shock new plan’ on the back page of your newspaper?
Over at the Daily Mirror, we are told that ‘SPORT could go into meltdown next week with tens of thousands of fans forced to show vaccine passports’.
Well, vaccine passports or a negative test to show that they are not carrying a highly infectious disease into a crowd, yes.
Does that mean sport could go into ‘a disastrous collapse or breakdown’? Really?
Helpfully, we are told that such rules are ‘already a requirement in Scotland’, so we can check really quite quickly whether the rules – brought in at the end of September – have caused a ‘meltdown’ in Scotland.
Looking at the attendance figures for Hibs and Rangers this season, we would say a firm ‘no’.
But don’t let that get in the way of ridiculous scaremongering.
We know Neil Custis misses Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – we all do a little bit – but pretending Mason Greenwood is utterly flawless because ‘his predecessor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knew what Greenwood could do which is why he labelled him the best finisher in the club’ is just bizarre in The Sun.
‘The thing with Greenwood is he makes everything look so simple no matter what the problem.
‘Left foot, right foot, close in, edge of area, he is a danger all round the box and scores all kinds of goals.
‘Greenwood is devoting himself to firmly establishing himself in the first team again, at the expense of his international aspirations.
‘This player will be a star for club AND country going forward.
‘In Rangnick’s 4-2-2-2 formation he could play in one of the two number ten roles as well as up front, such is his ability to run from deep, pull this way and that, cut in, the lot.
‘Greenwood is a great example to all of those coming through as to what can be achieved.’
Pesky facts: Mason Greenwood has scored four Premier League goals this season from 32 shots. Other players to have scored four Premier League goals this season include Hwang Hee-Chan (nine shots), Reece James (10), Roberto Firmino (10), Pablo Fornals (16) and Conor Gallagher (20). Right now, Greenwood can count himself slightly more effective than Christian Benteke (33).
A right Charlie
And what was the Daily Mail headline on Manchester United’s draw with Young Boys of Berne?
‘Savage Jnr’s cameo can’t lift Ralf kids to Euro win.’
He played for about three minutes and touched the ball five times; it would have been a bit of a sodding ask.
Happily ever after
Back to the Mirror, who hit pay dirt with this headline this week from Agenda man Jake Polden:
‘Ralf Rangnick makes public U-turn after phone call to leave Man Utd sparks exodus fears’
So much to unpick here but the ‘public u-turn’ is about Edinson Cavani, who Ralf Rangnick is excited to welcome back from injury for Manchester United despite saying in 2020 – of Zlatan, not the 34-year-old Cavani – that “it’s not my style to focus on a 38-year-old player”.
As for the ‘phone call’…it had absolutely nothing to do with Rangnick at all; the call in question was from Cavani to Boca chief Juan Roman Riquelme back in January when he was not playing regularly under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
So not really a u-turn and in no way related to a phone call made by somebody else a long time ago.