Catalogue of errors
Now this is delicious…
— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) July 1, 2019
Not the ‘scaredy cats’ thing, because that is bollocks, but Neil Ashton’s claim that ‘PENNY-PINCHING Arsenal have made a derisory £40million bid for Wilfried Zaha – with Argos-style payments over FIVE YEARS’.
The Crystal Palace fan is right that £40m is a ‘derisory’ bid, but there are a couple of issues with his opening paragraph. And crowbarring a couple of issues into just 19 words is quite some feat.
Firstly, quite a lot of transfer fees are paid in instalments (Moussa Sissoko to Spurs for one) but secondly – and most bloody importantly – you cannot pay for things in Argos over five years. It’s not the 1980s and Argos are not the Kays catalogue.
Mediawatch would love to see Ashton walk into an Argos store and try and pay for a new laptop over five years. Indeed, we would pay (in instalments) to watch that – presumably short – conversation.
At least somebody on The Sun online realised in time to expunge all mention of Argos from Ashton’s copy. But it does raise the question of how many people read that back-page copy from Ashton but were too scared to make a change before it went to print.
Talking of The Sun online, their big story on Tuesday morning is culled from GQ and their interview with Raheem Sterling.
‘RAHEEM STERLING has promised to be the father figure to his kids that he never had.
‘The Manchester City forward has spoken of his agony after his dad was shot dead at the age of two.’
Surely you mean ‘allegedly’ shot? It’s little over a year since The Sun implied that Sterling’s dad – if he ever existed at all – was never shot.
You know the one problem with all the talk of Wilfried Zaha and Arsenal? The one problem is that it does not really involve Manchester United or Liverpool, and everybody knows that nobody really clicks on anything that does not involve Manchester United or Liverpool.
Thankfully the Daily Star have solved that problem:
‘Why Arsenal deal for Wilfried Zaha could help Man Utd afford Harry Maguire’
Life through a LANS
Sound the ‘like a new signing’ klaxon for the Manchester Evening News have gone early:
‘Manchester United player Fred could be like a new signing next season’
Well he could be.
Good news bible
When you work for the Manchester Evening News on the Manchester United desk, you have to a) make every story about Manchester United b) give every Manchester United story a positive spin.
So that means Fred could be ‘like a new signing’, while ‘Juventus signing Adrien Rabiot could still be good news for Manchester United’.
Sorry, what? Are we supposed to believe that one of football’s most talented players joining Juventus is A Good Thing for Manchester United? Oh yes we are. Now this we have to see…
Obviously, it’s important to note that Manchester United never really wanted him anyway; there was only ‘tepid interest’.
‘The news will not come as a huge blow to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he himself has other targets to consider, and for fans it could well be a blessing in disguise.’
Yep. Why would he chase Adrien Rabiot when he could be targeting Sean Longstaff?
‘Rabiot’s fiery temper coupled with his lack of playing time might well have warranted caution from United in their approach, and regardless of his lack of transfer fee, it remains to be seen if he has the right attitude which Solskjaer often alludes to.’
‘United fans do have a right to feel jealous, mind. Not necessarily because of Rabiot’s unquestionable ability, but the fact the Italian champions have added both he and Aaron Ramsey to their squad this summer without the need for any transfer fees. Yet, the deal for Rabiot could turn out to be good news for United.’
‘Juve’s tendency to deploy three men in the centre of midfield means there will likely be less playing time for a numbers of players who would be welcomed at Old Trafford.
‘Miralem Pjanic, Blaise Matuidi, Sami Khedira, and Rodrigo Bentancur will all be eager to play regular football next season and if there chances are limited then an exit might suit them.
‘Throw former Liverpool midfielder Emre Can into the mix and United could potentially have five new central midfield options to consider as a direct result of Rabiot’s move to Turin.’
That word ‘potentially’ is doing an awful lot of work in that sentence.
But we really should stop being so cynical and simply say well done to Manchester United for cleverly avoiding free transfer Rabiot and basically giving themselves the choice of five world-class central midfielders who would all jump at the chance of giving up a challenge for Serie A and Champions League titles to join United’s battle for fourth and the Europa League.
The Sun exclusive, June 16: ‘MANCHESTER UNITED may be forced to pay Marcus Rashford £350,000 a week to fend off Real Madrid and Barcelona. The striker is negotiating with Old Trafford bosses as he enters the final 12 months of his contract.’
The Sun exclusive, June 23: ‘MANCHESTER UNITED will trigger their 12-month extension option in Marcus Rashford’s contract to KO any plans of an immediate exit. The England striker has stalled on signing a new deal as he demands a staggering £350,000-a-week from the club.
The Sun, July 2: ‘MARCUS RASHFORD aims to get Manchester United “back where they belong” after signing a new four-year contract worth £200,000 a week.’
It turns out that they were exclusively writing nonsense.
Dumb and Ndombele
This happens everywhere – and complaining sees us slipping precariously into ‘old man shouting at the clouds’ territory – but seriously, this is a rotten headline on the Daily Express website:
”That’s going to be a problem’ – Tottenham boss Pochettino told of Tanguy Ndombele issue’
They know what they are doing; the suggestion is that those quotes come from Mauricio Pochettino on hearing about an actual problem/issue.
Only when you click do you find out that Pochettino has been ‘told’ by Steve Nicol – on ESPN – that he does not believe that Ndombele and Moussa Sissoko can play together.
And now it’s too late and we are sobbing.