The dangers of writing at half-time
‘FORGET Total Football. This was Total Control.
‘Spurs were schooled as Ajax dished out a football education with a masterful, measured performance.
‘They were too clever, too cute, too intricate for these Tottenham darlings in a ridiculously one-sided semi-final first leg.’
Unlike Neil Ashton of The Sun – because of course it is Neil Ashton of The Sun – we waited until full-time before passing judgement on this ‘ridiculously one-sided’ 1-0 win from Ajax.
But of course the scoreline can be deceptive and even 1-0s can be ‘ridiculously one-sided’. Of course they can. So let’s look at some of the other statistics, as helpfully provided by The Sun themselves.
Passes: Tottenham 476 Ajax 458
Possession: Tottenham 51% Ajax 49%.
But of course that means nothing, because maybe all Tottenham’s possession was in their own half?
Touches in opposition box: Tottenham 30 Ajax 22.
Oh so maybe Ajax just got more shots away? Maybe Spurs somehow managed to have sterile possession within Ajax’s box. Sounds weird but…
Total shots: Tottenham 12 Ajax 10.
But of course it’s all about the shots on target. There must have been a gulf…
Shots on target: Tottenham 1 Ajax 2.
It doesn’t sound like Ajax had ‘ruthless, compelling passing and possession stats’. And it doesn’t sound like ‘Ajax just boxed Mauricio Pochettino’s players inside their own penalty area’. Or at least not after half-time, by which time Ashton had presumably packed up and gone home.
All of Me…
Sorry but The Sun’s use of the word ‘LEGEND’ to describe Aaron Ramsey made Mediawatch do a) a double take and b) a little bit of sick in its mouth.
From a legend to an ace…
‘Arsenal ace issues quit threat unless Emery offers guarantee’ shouts The Mirror and we’re intrigued. Arsenal have had a rotten couple of weeks and maybe Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette or Mesut Ozil are beginning to recoil at the prospect of another year in the Europa League. Aces, all of them.
Stand down, it’s Emiliano Martinez. Fourteen-appearances-in-eight-years Emiliano Martinez, who is currently on loan at Reading and who has spent the last six seasons away from the Emirates.
“I just want to know if they trust me. If they want to give me the chance to become number one, I will stay there, no doubt.”
It’s not the most frightening ultimatum we’ve ever heard.
The Daily Star sure do love a SHOUT almost as much as they love to get Tottenham, Ajax and/or Champions League in the same headline for SEO purposes…
‘Jan Vertonghen PASSES concussion tests after gruesome Tottenham head injury v Ajax.’
‘Christian Eriksen pinpoints BLAME for Tottenham defeat to Ajax in Champions League tie.’
(SPOILER: Tottenham are to blame. Sorry, BLAME.)
‘Arsene legend TROLLS Tottenham after Champions League loss to Ajax.’
And our favourite…
‘Spurs ace Jan Vertonghen FORCED OFF after HORROR Champions League injury – GRAPHIC IMAGES.’
Inside voices, guys.
Going for a throng
The Sun’s website is decorated with pictures of the violence from Tuesday night’s Champions League game between Spurs and Ajax. Not nice, obviously, and the unpleasant atmosphere was reported by plenty of Tottenham fans who attended the game. Still, this snippet slipped past the subs.
‘Thousands of Ajax Amsterdam fans had thronged Leicester Square earlier in the day to celebrate their team’s first foray into the final four of European football’s elite club competition for 22 years.’
They did what to Leicester Square?
Warning of the day
Headline on the back page of The Sun: ‘VIRGIL’S READY FOR MESSI.’
Opening paragraph on the back page of The Sun: ‘LIVERPOOL star Sadio Mane warned Lionel Messi: You won’t beat Virgil van Dijk tonight.’
Big words (not literally, it’s The Sun).
Actual quotes from Sadio Mane: “We are incredibly lucky to have Virgil. He is a great player and he is giving everything to the team. Hopefully, they will not get past him.”
You say tomato, we say tomato. You say ‘warning’, we say ‘hopeful prayer’.
Newsflash: Sometimes footballers just don’t say any shit that’s interesting.
Attila the shun
Nothing lowers Mediwatch’s pulse quicker than the Messi-Ronaldo debate, but The Daily Star have earned our click this morning.
‘Cristiano Ronaldo SHUNNED by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp in Lionel Messi GOAT claims’
They’re still shouting.
Jurgen Klopp has been busy completing his pre-match press obligations in Barcelona and, smartly and without tempting fate, he’s been rather respectful of Leo Messi’s abilities. Makes sense, doesn’t it? No need to poke the apex predator in the eye or play with its tail…
“Messi would be the player at number one. Cristiano Ronaldo is in that for sure but the rest we have to see.”
But – yes – that’s quite the SHUNNING for Cristiano Ronaldo. And that’s also quite the URL: Cristiano-Ronaldo-Liverpool-Jurgen-Klopp-Lionel-Messi-Champions-League-rumours-gossip.
Break that internet. Break it good.
Vroom for improvement
Still, Ronaldo is at least the leading football story over at The Sun website. He’s a bought a car, you see, a really shiny, expensive one.
‘Cristiano Ronaldo is the reported secret buyer of a one-of-the-kind £10million stunning Bugatti.’
Is he now. It feels like there might have been enough drama in Tuesday night’s Champions League game to work off – Ajax’s performance, that unpleasantness with Jan Vertonghen – but this is quite the splash. Cars, football, Cristiano Ronaldo standing around awkwardly in the pictures: lads, lads, lads.
‘But it seems Ronaldo will not be able to drive off into the sunset until 2021 as the company still needs to finalise some small details on the prototype’.
Be sure to update us if those details are sorted sooner, guys. After all, the only thing more interesting than Messi v Ronaldo is Prototype Details v Ronaldo.
Pretty wild that Copa90 can go from "these views are at odds with our fundamental ethos" to 'yah he'll be back soon don't worry fam' in about two weeks. pic.twitter.com/6mfmJcHCJK
— Maxi Rodriguez (@FutbolIntellect) May 1, 2019
So glad we took down that Copa90 Mediawatch special as a gesture of goodwill.
The ‘we hope you understand’ is a lovely touch. Translation: Sorry we had to punish somebody you like for saying some horrendous stuff. We have realised in the last two weeks that you don’t really care about that horrendous stuff. Please keep liking us.
Recommended reading of the day
Barney Ronay on Donny van de Beek.
Miguel Delaney on Liverpool
Alec Fenn on concussion