‘Petr Cech should not play in the Europa League final for Arsenal,’ writes Tony Cascarino in The Times. ‘Not because he is due to join their opponents Chelsea as a sporting director but because, at this stage in his career, he is a far inferior player to their No1 goalkeeper Bernd Leno.’
Okay. Fair enough. People have different views on this. We can all agree to disagree.
‘I’d almost go so far as saying that if a manager picks a second-choice goalkeeper in a game of such magnitude then it is a sackable offence. It’s total negligence.’
Woah there. So should Sir Alex Ferguson have been sacked when he played Ben Foster ahead of Edwin van der Sar in the League Cup final of 2009? Should Jose Mourinho have been sacked when he played Sergio Romero ahead of David De Gea in the Europa League final of 2017? Should Arsene Wenger have been sacked when he played David Ospina ahead of Petr Cech in the 2017 FA Cup final?
By Tony’s logic, then yes.
Mind you, this is the man who said that Eden Hazard should have been balled out by his Chelsea teammates after a panenka penalty he actually scored.
Apparently, Pep Guardiola is ‘caught up in a transfer frenzy, or a ‘transfer state or period of uncontrolled excitement or wild behaviour’, if you consult the dictionary.
And how has this wild behaviour manifested itself? Where has this uncontrolled excitement led?
Well, according to the back page of The Sun, it has led to Manchester City interest in two whole footballers, while Leroy Sane could leave for Bayern Munich and that both ‘may’ and ‘could’ lead to interest in a third footballer.
It might just be the shittest frenzy ever.
Luk who’s not talking
While The Sun are leading on a ‘frenzy’ featuring interest in two footballers, the Daily Mirror are opting for a Manchester United line. Sensible.
Headline: ‘ROM: DON’T RUIN MY INTER DREAM.’
Sub-headline: ‘Lukaku fears United will price him out of move as they bid to recoup £75M fee.’
Opening line: ‘ROMELU LUKAKU fears Manchester United could price him out of a dream move to Inter Milan.’
Quotes from Romelu Lukaku: None.
Quotes from ‘someone close to Romelu Lukaku’: None.
Suspicions that this is just a valiant attempt to create a back page on a quiet day: Plenty.
Here comes The Sun…
That Romelu Lukaku back page was written by Jeremy Cross, who now writes for the Daily Mirror as well as the Daily Star after a merger that appears to have left several people all doing the same job.
Relegated to the inside the Daily Mirror is their actual Manchester correspondent David McDonnell, who writes about a United ‘overhaul’ and then names a massive eight players who are interesting the club this summer: Harry Maguire, Kalidou Koulibaly, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James, Nicolas Pepe, Jadon Sancho, Adrien Rabiot and Declan Rice. It’s safe to say that he’s covering all bases there.
So, given access to the words of two correspondents who write almost exclusively about the Manchester clubs, what do the Daily Mirror website lead with on Friday morning?
‘Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tells Ed Woodward the four players he wants to sign this summer.’
It’s not Cross’s story, it’s not McDonnell’s story (only one of these four players is on his non-exhaustive list of eight); it is actually a re-write of a story from The Sun.
Is anybody else thinking that this industry is utterly f***ed when a national newspaper employs several people to do the same job and then their website gives precedence to a re-hash of a short story hidden on p70 of a rival newspaper?
Talking of the industry being f***ed; as of 12pm on Friday, this was the top story on the Daily Express website.
We clicked on the link expecting to read something about Antoine Griezmann. Silly, silly Mediawatch. We really should have known better.
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#MUFC are heading to Oslo this summer for pre-season friendlies! 🇳🇴
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 23, 2019
‘Is this Man Utd announcement the clue Paul Pogba could seal Real Madrid transfer?’ – Daily Express.
No; no, it’s not.
Breaking news from 2017
‘What Thomas Meunier has said about Manchester United amid transfer link’ – Manchester Evening News.
We can help you with that, guys. What you mean is ‘What Thomas Meunier said in 2017 about Manchester United that we can now re-surface when people are Googling ‘Manchester United Meunier’.
To be Frank…
The Sun’s Neil Ashton has written yet another column about how terrible everything is at Chelsea under Maurizio Sarri. The charges are – as ever – that he a) bores the players, b) has been mean to Gary Cahill and c) smokes. He’s basically evil.
Towards the end of Ashton’s rather long column (sssh), he turns to his most favourite subject: ‘If Lampard wins the play-off final against Aston Villa with Derby on Monday, it will be easy to champion this legendary figure in Chelsea history.’
That sounds a whole less gung-ho than a certain columnist who bombastically wrote literally a week ago: ‘HE is one game away from the Chelsea job that he so covets.’
Listen closely and you can hear the reverse beep of a big blue lorry.
The lowest of all the lows
There's shameless and then there's click-baiting somebody's death… pic.twitter.com/yO2veqIbyH
— Football365 (@F365) May 24, 2019
Her name was Leidy Asprilla and she deserved better.