manchester united Category
Today is 26th August, 2015 – the date that will echo throughout history as the day Sir Alex Ferguson joined the LinkedIn.
For those blissfully unaware, LinkedIn is a social networking site aimed at professionals. It is also responsible for generating almost 70% of the internet’s entire quota of unsolicited emails, but that’s really by-the-by. It is utterly useless.
Anyway, Sir Alex has created an account, billing himself as a “Director, Ambassador, Visiting Fellow and Author”. Yeah, we fibbed about the ‘dreamweaver’ bit. Apologies where due.
It should be visible here if you happen to be a LinkedIn member.
The 73-year-old former Manchester United manager has joined LinkedIn to coincide with the release of his latest book, ‘Leading’, in which he details the various managerial techniques he used to transform United into the global success they are today – screaming indecipherably in people’s faces, lacerating people’s eyebrows with flying Adidas Predators, that kind of thing.
Sadly, users will only be able to contact Sir Alex if they know him personally, thus depriving fans of rivals teams the opportunity to engage in direct slanging.
Damn shame. There could have been some decent mileage in that.
Manchester United under Louis Van Gaal will not be pretty to watch. The manager tells media:
“I divide football in four main moments, and we have two moments where the opponent has the ball and then we are at our best, I think. We proved that last year already and now we are continuing with a lot of clean sheets, so that is very important, but we have to improve when we have the ball.”
George Graham, where are you now?
But that’s doing the former Arsenal manager a disservice. Van Gaal’s method is more in the Sam Allardyce mould: keep it tight at the back and hit it long to the big man up front. And Marouane Fellaini is big. Is the Belgian happy to be United’s number 9?
“It’s not important where I play, it’s important to win the game,” Fellaini said. “It’s different playing in midfield to play as a striker or No 10, but I enjoy all the positions I can play. I am looking forward to doing well and scoring some goals.”
And he’ll score – so long as Romero’s ‘passing’ is up to it.
More scoops a -plenty in the trusty Daily Star, where journalism “clown” (source: Karim Benzema) Jack Wilson says Neymar wants to play for Manchester United.
Neymar wants to leave the mighty Barcelona for life under Louis Van Gaal in Manchester? Is he mad?
Jack Wilson has all the facts. And aside from the parts about Neymar wanting to play for Man United and Gerard Pique playing for Real Madrid (he plays for Barcelona at the Nou Camp; and unlike Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, the Spaniard never did use United’s interest to negotiate a pay rise) it’s all spot on.
With Belgian footballer Kevin De Bruyne seemingly all set to join Manchester City, Christian Ortlepp, Chief Reporter at German channel, Sport1, says Manchester United have moved for the Wolfsburg winger.
Ortlepp cites a fee of £55m.
The Express says the offer is £58m.
The Telegraph says Bayern Munich also want the 24-year-old former Chelsea player. Mark Ogden writes:
And De Bruyne’s reluctance to agitate for a move has opened the door for Bayern, who have maintained a long-term interest in the player. Paris Saint-Germain have also notified Wolfsburg of their interest in De Bruyne, but Bayern have made it clear to their German rivals that they will not make a formal move for the goalscoring midfielder until the end of this season.
That scoop has been addressed by Bayern Munich Club press officer Markus Horwick:
“We will definitely not be as active. That the Executive Board decided a long time ago.”
Wolfsburg are owned by Volkswagen, so they’re not exactly in dire need of cash.
Sky quotes Wolfsburg sports director Klaus Allofs:
“I want to stress that we are making every effort to convince him to stay. But we are equally serious about dealing with these issues should we have serious offers in front of us. Then we will discuss it and take a decision.”
This one will go to the wire.
Transfer Balls – a look at news of Neymar’s supposed transfer to Manchester United.
The Daily Star says United have bid for the Brazil and Barcelona star. Writes Leeroy Jenkins:
Bid made! Manchester United submit offer for Barcelona star Neymar
The paper has no facts and no source for its story.
Today, the Guardian has also taken up the story of Neymar’s mooted transfer from Barcelona to Manchester United. It says he might come to Old Trafford…maybe.
This story started life in the Sun, which told readers of “secret talks” to buy the 23-year-old Brazil and Barcelona forward.
The Sun’s Shaun Curtis said “a top Barcelona source” had told him that United have made a “discreet approach” to the La Liga champions.
United’s Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has been to Barcelona three times in the last two months. We all thought he was after signing Pedro.
Curtis reasons that if Neymar joined United “he would become the undisputed main man and a challenger for the title of World Player of the Year”.
Neymar’s current Barcelona deal expires in the summer of 2018 – and he does want a new deal but he’ll get one anyway. In June, the Mail told us: “Josep Maria Bartomeu will offer Neymar a new deal if he wins the election.”
The Mail added that Barcelona’s new chief was “ready to throw even more money at him to keep the 23-year-old happy at the Nou Camp”.
Might this story of a move to Old Tafford be a ploy – Neymar reminds Barcelona of his worth and engineers a pay rise? The old Sergio Ramos flip-flopperoo?
Whatever the thinking, that seems to comprise the background of the Guardian’s news that Neymar is “open to joining from Barcelona… although there is a recognition the transfer is unlikely to occur before the current window closes.”
The paper cites “sources close to the forward”, who say Neymar is “attracted by the size and history of United and the chance to play in the Premier League”.
He might also be excited about playing at Barcelona, or in Italy, or for Bayern Munich. The feeling at Pies Towers is that this one is not going to happen. We’re loathe to use the word ‘spurious’ but hey, if the shoes fits.
Indeed, GloboEsporte hears from Neymar’s agent Wágner Ribeiro who “afirmou não ter sido procurado e que tudo não passa de factoide por conta da proximidade do fim da janela de transferências na Europa, no próximo dia 31.”
Portuguese to English translation: It’s total balls.
The Daily Express says Brazil’s superstar footballer Neymar has agreed a new contract to remain at Barcelona. He hasn’t. His sucrrent deal expires in the summer of 2018 – but he does want a better deal. And he’ll get one. In June, the Mail told us:
Josep Maria Bartomeu will offer Neymar a new deal if he wins the election
The Barcelona president who has ended up in court over the club’s signing of Neymar is ready to throw even more money at him to keep the 23-year-old happy at the Nou Camp.
This follows the Sun’s wafer-thin news that Manchester United had made a “discreet” enquity about signing the player.
Seemingly unduanted by fact, the Sun leads its report on Man United 0-0 draw with Newcastle by declaring:
Neymar agent jets in Manchester United 0 Newcastle 0
Shaun Curtis, the writer who broke the news of the discreet approach that wasn’t all that discrete, now says:
NEYMAR’S international agent Pini Zahavi was at Old Trafford — on the day SunSport revealed Manchester United want the Barcelona superstar.
Do we know why Pini was there?
The Israeli super-agent told us: “I have nothing to say about this but it is normal such a giant club as Manchester United would wish to win the services of Neymar, the best player in the world. It would be astonishing if United pulled off such a coup, but they are making a play for him.”
Has Neymar sorted out his new pay deal as part of his enw contract with Barcelona. Ealier this summer, Sergio Ramos used Manchester United to engineer a better wage packet at Real Madrid. Might it be that Neymar is trying the same ploy?
Curtis then tells readers what Neymar would cost:
While his buyout clause is said to be £130million, SunSport has learned it could be up to £165m with add-ons.
Any word from United
Van Gaal remained tight-lipped after the Newcastle shut-out. He said: “You can mention every player but I cannot answer those questions.“I would like to make the squad stronger but not for any price and only for the right player.”
In other words: agent watches football match. Read all about it.
Transfer Balls: Manchester United Want Neymar
Hold the phone! Manchester United are in “secret talks” to buy 23-year-old Brazil and Barcelona forward Neymar, says the Sun. In a trice the secret talks are no longer secret.
Shaun Curtis writes: “a top Barcelona source has told SunSport the Red Devils have made a discreet approach to the La Liga champions.”
Not that discreet was it. After all, the approach only made it into the country’s largest-selling tabloid. A cynic might see it as a load of PR balls, a story rooted not in a bid for Neymar, rather in a desire to assure Manchester United fans that the team are thinking big.
Aree there any fact to support the anonymous source who says Man United have have made a secret approach to buy one of world footballer’s star names. Any facts?
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has been to Barca three times in the last two months with all the talk being about United’s chase for Pedro. But, under the radar, Woodward has made an audacious bid for Neymar.
Man United never did buy Pedro, losing out to Chelsea for the winger’s signature, although the official Old Trafford line is that Van Gaal dropped his interest in the Spaniard at the 11th hour. Van Gaal has ben splitting hairs, telling media:
“When you ask me does Pedro fit into the profile, I cannot lie, then I say yes. I cannot deny that but I did not say I was interested — that’s the difference.”
Back to Neymar, of whom Curtis adds: “...the Brazilian superstar is well aware that if he moved to Old Trafford he would become the undisputed main man and a challenger for the title of World Player of the Year.”
Hispanic players dream of playing for Real Madrid and Barcelona. They do not dream of playing for Manchester United. But the Sun’s anonymous source has something to add: “United are one of the biggest clubs in the world so it is right they should be chasing a player who has the potential to be the best player on the planet.”
Chase away. You won’t catch him. But maybe the club’s shares will rise on the stock market and the fans will dream anew…
More news on Manchester United’s David De Gea, who is surely heading to Real Madrid. But having dropped the wantaway Spaniard, Man United manager Louis Van Gaal says he’s going to block any sale. The Dutchman told media:
“I think when Manchester United wants a player he shall come, besides when a club isn’t selling. It is the same with us. We are not selling De Gea.”
Van Gaal is pretty much the only Dutchman in top-flight football who speaks English worse than the English. But the end part of his tatement is clear: De Gea stays at Old Trafford.
The Sun is shocked. It has heard that Manchester United fans have been singing nasty things about wantaway goalkeeper David De Gea. Presented as an “exclusive“, the paper writes:
De Gea, 24, had arrived close to kick-off, hoping to sneak in unnoticed. But he was spotted by a handful of fans and greeted with a chorus of “f*** off you penny-pinching b*****d” as security went to let him in.
A handful of fans shouted abuse at a footballer. That’s an exclusive news story. It would have been a world exclusive had fans shouted abuse at a tree in a wood and made it fall down.
Onlookers said De Gea, who has yet to feature for United this season, looked visibly shaken.
Chelsea gazumped United
The Times‘ says losing out on Pedro is a “blow” to United. Oliver Kay says Chelsea outbid United for the Barcelona player.
Manchester United’s desperation in the transfer market has grown after they were gazumped by Chelsea in a £21.1 million deal to sign Pedro from Barcelona.
The Fabregas Factor
The aforesaid Kay adds:
Chelsea’s pursuit of Pedro was helped by Cesc Fàbregas, who, along with his girlfriend, Daniella Semaan, helped to persuade his former Barcelona team-mate that he should move to London rather than Manchester.
Mourinho Nicked Him
The Daily Mail says Pedro ‘snubbed” United because Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho talked him into picking the Blues.
The Other Woman
Another woman played a key part in the proposed deal. Marina Granovskaia, a long-time and trusted employee of Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, was also instrumental in getting talks started.
Not Fancying Van Gaal
The Daily Express says Van Gaal has a problem with Spaniards.
Louis Van Gaal’s brutal treatment of former Barca keeper Victor Valdes may have had an influence on Pedro’s decision while the presence at Chelsea of former Nou Camp star Cesc Fabregas is also likely to have been a factor.
Pedro is understood to have spoken to both players to help make up his mind.
And Van Gaal briefed the media against David De Gea?
The Telegraph says Chelsea performed a planned “hijack”:
While [Ed] Woodward was haggling with Barcelona, Chelsea were putting ‘Operation Pedro’ into practice with Granovskaia conducting discreet negotiations with the Spanish club and, with the permission of Barca, Mourinho and Fabregas both speaking with the forward directly.
But The Local Paper Knows What Really Happened
The Manchester Evening News says that Pedro did not “snub” Man United. Pedro was not seduced to London by Mourinho or any number of women. He was not “hijacked”. No. The local Manchester paper says Pedro is not playing for Manchester United because club manager Louis Van Gaal rejected him. Yeah, really.
We are supposed to believe that Ed Woodward, the United executive vice-chairman, flew to Barcelona to buy Pedro, only to be recalled at the 11th hour because Van Gaal realised the 28-year-old three-time Champions’ league winner was not wanted.
Oh, and in any case, Van Gaal has his heart set on Sadio Mané, the Southampton forward, who United bid for before they went to see Pedro in Barcelona.
— Alex Goring Crook (@alex_crook) August 19, 2015
Such are the facts.
Pedro was shoo-in to join Manchester United, said all the British Press. But the Barcelona winger has joined Chelsea for a fee of £21m.
Did the mainstream media see this one coming? No.
On Augsut 13, the Indy stated:
Pedro to Manchester United: Barcelona winger verbally agrees to join United after late interest from rivals Manchester City
Sky Sports is so behind the news curve it reports today: “Pedro and Manchester United agree personal terms.”
Maybe Sky is right and Pedro did agree terms with Man United. Maybe Pedro told them ‘no’ and Manchester United agreed not to take it personally.
But the M.E.N. says we’re wrong because “Louis Van Gaal kills Pedro deal.”
@mattwynnmedia I think Chelsea Arsenal and Liverpool sent Van Gaal as A Trojan horse to destroys us from within check his bank statements
— Trevor W Fallon (@w_fallon) August 19, 2015
The Manchester paper reports:
United were happy to pay Pedro’s buy out clause and it appeared to be a simple transfer to complete. But LVG has decided he no longer sees the forward as the man United need.
So Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice chairman and deal maker, went to Barcalona, met the club and player’s reps, and was then recalled by Van Gaal because he went cold on the player? It has nothing at all to do with the theory that Pedro preferred working with Jose Mourinho, playing for Chelsea, living in London and avoiding the hammer-headed, vain Van Gaal. When Chelsea came calling he dropped United like, well, Van Gaal dropped Robin Van Persie. The offical line is that Van Gaal called all the shots and dumped Pedro.
Poor old Chelsea get the sloppy seconds (surely Champions’ League winning Spain winger – ed) while Man United buy… Well, any ‘top’ player with no alternatives keen to get rich.
After all the talk of Pedro to Manchester United, the Barcelona winger has joined Chelsea for a fee of £21m.
The BBC says the 28-year-old is flying to London to finalise terms on the transfer.
Or as Sky Sports says in its news today:
Pedro and Manchester United agree personal terms
And as the Star stated just yesterday:
They really don’t have the foggiest, do they.
One day when Bastian Schweinsteiger is on the after-dinner speaking circuit, he will surely hark back to his days at Manchester United. Speaking to German newspaper Bild, Schweinsteiger has given us all a hint of the kind of anecdotes we can expect from the German midfielder:
“The English have a special sense of humour. This I immediately experienced in the dressing room.
“As I walked with two plates while eating, suddenly a teammate asked me ‘Basti, what time is it?’ – Hoping I would automatically turn my hand to look at my watch.”
Funny? Or just special? But the actual funny part is Schweinsteiger’s review of the big English gag:
“That’s quite entertaining.”
He’s deadpan. He’s the German Jack Dee
Manchester United “hope” to sign Pedro from Barcelona this week, writes the Times. They are determined to get their man. Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman, is in Barcelona, looking to sign the 28-year-old for a £22 million fee.
Mundo Deportivo says Woodward has met Albert Soler, Barça’s director of sporting institutional relations, and director Raul Sanllehí where they discussed Pedro.
Sky says the deal has been done. Sort of. Sky Sports’ Balague told Revista de La Liga.
“I understand a deal between the player and United is already in place and all that is left is for United to put the €30m on the table. They are just negotiating how they are going to pay it, with installments or an amount up-front. They are very close. I’m not sure whether Barcelona will try one last time with Pedro and say ‘don’t go’, but it seems his mind is already made up.”
The Manchester Evening News says that Pedro is not the star player United fans dream of:
Louis van Gaal is believed to be somewhat hesitant about bringing in Pedro because of his pace, but the Dutchman is eager to increase the attacking options in his side.
And Marca reminds us that no deal is done until it’s done:
The striker wants a more prominent role at Barça. Luis Enrique wants him to stay at the Camp Nou, but competition for places is tough at the club.
Why would anyone leave Barcelona for Manchester United under Van Gaal? Does that medical include a test for mental competence?
How’s life treating Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney? After United had completed these routine defeat of Aston Villa at Villa Park (in their last 40 league matches, Villa have won once, lost 29 and drawn 10), the papers shone a light on the nation’s main man.
All but one news source thought Rooney was poor:
Daily Mail: “Wayne Rooney is on his way to being burnt out and the Manchester United captain looks as ineffectual as he has ever been”
Daily Mail: “Manchester United need a new striker: With Wayne Rooney out of sorts, Louis van Gaal needs fresh firepower to boost title hopes”
The Guardian: “Loose passing, wasteful finishing and a particularly bad night for Wayne Rooney kept the hosts in the game”
ESPN: “There were hopes that Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney would rediscover some form against Aston Villa on Friday night… Remarkably, though, he was even worse than he was against Tottenham last week. His lack of mobility, touch and pace prevent him from leading the line successfully. When you compare him to strikers at rival clubs, like Sergio Aguero, the gap in quality between them is embarrassing.”
The Times: “They need more, of course — not least from Wayne Rooney, who looks short of fitness or confidence or both”
MEN: “Manchester United fan ratings: Rooney struggles”
BBC: “Striker Wayne Rooney was supposed to be the main man up front this season but the early signs have been a little worrying for United. As in the opening game against Tottenham the United and England skipper struggled to make an impact leading the line. And it was not until injury time that he touched the ball in the opposition penalty area”
And the one that disagreed:
The Sun: “SUN STAR MAN — Wayne Rooney, Manchester United”
Wonder which newspaper wants Rooney as its next columnist?
Is Nicolas Otamendi going to play for Manchester United? Or is the Valencia defender off to play for Manchester City?
There’s been lots of talk about Nicolas Otamendi joining Manchester United. Stories like: “Manchester United AGREE deal to sign Valencia star Nicolas Otamendi”; “Deal done: Man United target Nicolas Otamendi agrees move, will be announced today” (both Daily Star); “Nicolas Otamendi to Manchester United: Club agree to sign £36m-rated centre-back” (Independent); and “Real Madrid believe Manchester United have sealed Nicolas Otamendi transfer” (Daily Mirror).
It turns out these stories are all utter balls because the Daily Mail says Manchester City are “close to completing the £28.5m signing of Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi, 27, with City defender Eliaquim Mangala, 24, likely to go to the Spanish club on loan.” Although, the Express says the fee is £35m.
Is Thomas Muller heading to Manchester United?
The Sunday Express leads with news that Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller, 25, wants to join Manchester United. Readers learn that United have had a £60 million bid rejected this summer but Bayern manager manager Pep Guardiola is “prepared to cash in”.
The Telegraph says the bid was £50m.
The German champion’s chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is wary of Premier League cash, telling media:
“The Bundesliga has to be careful not to fall further behind. We would be out of our minds to sell Muller… It’s difficult. Everyone knows our old friend Louis van Gaal. He is very stubborn in those things. Maybe he thinks that there is a price where Bayern will start to ruminate but there is no price at all. As I said because of our partners and our really good financial situation we are completely resistant. There is no price, Thomas Muller has four years more on his contract. There is no one, not here or anywhere, who can explain to me why we should sell Thomas Muller.”
But he wants to join, right? The Express reports:
“Muller has confided in friends that he is interested in a move to United alongside Schweinsteiger who has been delighted with his Old Trafford welcome. Muller knows that his wages would enjoy a hefty rise.”
Is that the ploy: confide in’ friends’ who betray their pal’s trust by telling media that the star could earn a lot more at another club thus triggereing a pay rise? Are those nameless friends also employees of Muller’s agent?
The Metro reads the Express‘ “exclusive” and thunders: “Thomas Muller desperate to make Manchester United transfer.”
Helpfully, Thomas Muller was happy to talk about the rumours after scoring twice in Bayern’s 5-0 tonking of Hamburg. Asked if Van Gaal was after signing him, Muller replied:
“I don’t know, you have to ask him. I am the wrong man for this question.”
So. He’s not desperate to join Manchester United, then.
Spanish goalkeeper David Ge Dea has, says the Sun, told Louis van Gaal he does not want to play for Manchester United. The hammer-headed Van Gaal is quoted:
“We’ve talked with him, he was fully agreed with our decision. We have a goalkeeping coach, Frans Hoek. He had a meeting with David De Gea and he asks him ‘Do you want to play?’.
“No. So then I have to take the decision. It is a process.
“We had been observing him in preparation, he was not so good, he was not the same David de Gea as before. He was my best player last season. According to the fans, he was the best of the last two years.”
Why would Van Gaal share that informaion with the media? Is he trying to shame De Gea into staying at Old Trafford?
Transfer Balls: Adama Traore signs for Aston Villa, completes for Liverpool and agrees Manchester United move
Transfer Balls: It’s been a busy summer for Barcelona’s Adama Traore. Those experts in the mainstream Press have been tracking his movements:
July 26, The Metro: “‘Manchester United paying release clause to seal Adama Traore transfer”
July 28, The Metro: “Why Arsenal need to beat Bayern Munich to the transfer of Barcelona’s Adama Traore”
July 30, The Metro: “Liverpool officials fly to Barcelona to complete Adama Traore transfer”
August 1, The Metro: “Southampton plot to hijack Liverpool’s transfer move for Barcelona winger Adama Traore”
August 2, The Metro: “‘Everton set to hijack Liverpool’s transfer move for Adama Traore”
August 3, The Metro: “Adama Traore travelling to Liverpool for medical ahead of transfer”
August 3, Daily Star: “Barcelona’s Manchester United target set for Liverpool medical”
August 5, The Metro: “‘Adama Traore has dinner with Stoke officials ahead of possible transfer”
August 7, Daily Mail: “Adama Traore is being linked with Stoke and Liverpool… Adama’s release clause in his Barcelona contract has dropped to £4.2m”
August 8, The Metro: “‘Adama Traore convinced he is making Liverpool transfer”
August 11, Daily Mail: “Adama Traore close to £12m Aston Villa switch from Barcelona”
August 11, Daily Telegraph: “Liverpool transfer rumours and news: Barcelona star Adama Traore emerges as top target”
August 11, Daily Telegraph: “Adam Traore is flying in for talks with Aston Villa on Wednesday as he prepares to complete a £7 million move.”
Transfer Balls realises that in footballing terms The Metro is now working as the Daily Telegraph’s feeder club. Following the DT’s news that Arsenal had signed Karim Benzema from Real Madrid last Friday – and were paying him less than Theo Walcott earns – the paper tells is readers that Benzema is not coming.
Arsene Wenger will surprise Arsenal fans by moving for PSG striker Edinson Cavani – and not Karim Benzema, according to reports.
The DT shamelessly adds:
While many expect Wenger to make an official bid for the Real Madrid forward, the Arsenal manager is said to be lining up an offer to sign the south American star instead.
Many expected Benzema to join Arsenal? Or as the Telegraph put it:
Readers now learn:
…now Arsenal are ready to free Cavani from his PSG days by making their move, according to the Metro.
Er, no. What the Metro says is:
Lee Hurley writes:
If you were to believe the press reports over the past 24 hours Arsenal are ready to bid for Edinson Cavani (again) and Karim Benzema has/is flying in for a medical with the club.
You means Press reports like this one:
And this one:
The Cavani reports seem to stem from Spain, an unlikely point of origin for a player who is currently in France but being linked with England, while the Benzema reports seem to come from Twitter – a hotbed of nonsense at the best of times (although a goldmine for information if you have your bullsh*t filter tuned correctly).
The Telegraph prefers a bullshit pipeline from The Metro.
“We’ve observed him in training and matches and he’s not the David De Gea of last year. De Gea tries and does his utmost best, but it’s a difficult situation. Now we have to play our first match and I want players who can focus only on the match and he is not capable to do that.”
De Gea is dropped, then, for Man United’s opening game of the season, a home banker against Spurs (they never win at Old Trafford).
The Telegraph says he “apologises to Manchester United for his dismal form”.
He’s lent his name to an open letter:
“I write this note to thank all the Manchester United family for the great support received during the year I’ve been part of this Club. I’m aware things didn’t work as we all expected and believe me, I feel really sorry about it.”
Football Balls: Daily Telegraph stirs Manchester United and Manchester City row in Ogden-Silva twitter schism
The Daily Telegraph is 160 years old. To mark the newspaper’s birthday on June 29, it thundered: “Telegraph at 160: Serious, popular and pioneering.” And now full of utter balls.
Take the erudite and routinely insightful Mark Ogden’s story on Manchester United and Manchester City. Ogden had scored an interview with City’s Spanish star David Silva. The Telegraph’s headline told readers:
“David Silva: United’s glory days are now over – they are in City’s shadow now”
“Manchester United have reached a ‘verbal agreement’ with Benfica over centre-back Nicolas Gaitan, according to The Metro”
The phrase “according to The Metro” might be one of the most meaningless in journalism. All you can deduce from it is that Gaitan has not signed for Manchester United. He’s also not signed for Liverpool, where the Liverpool Echo bills him as a “playmaker“.
But who is Gaitan? The DT knows:
The Argentine will cost around £21.1m and would provide Louis van Gaal with badly needed reinforcements in defence.
He’s a defender? Maybe. Hold on a moment while the DT’s ‘expert’ types ‘Gaitan’ into a search engine and ammends the copy to read:
Manchester United have reached a ‘verbal agreement’ with Benfica over attacking midfielder Nicolas Gaitan, according to The Metro… The Argentine will cost around £21.1m and would provide Louis van Gaal with another option up front.
Over in The Metro the news is also changed:
The Argentinian winger is also believed to be on the radar of La Liga outfit Valencia, but United will have first refusal on the 27-year-old, according to reports in Portugal.
In Van Gaal’s 3-5-2 formation, this would see him deployed at left wing-back, a position Ashley Young made his own last season. Luke Shaw will also be hoping to stake a claim for this role come August.
Such are the facts when a new player arrives on the transfer balls cycle.
The Daily Mail is aghast. The paper is upset that Manchester United’s new kit features a plunging neckling that could reveal a woman’s decollage. The headline shouts:
Manchester United kit maker Adidas defends ‘sexist’ plunging neckline of women’s shirt
Michael Gadd writes:
Manchester United’s new kit manufacturer Adidas has defended claims that the plunging neckline on the women’s version of the home shirt is sexist and inappropriate for football.
How inappropriate? This inapppropriate!
Good job the Mail’s there to make things right.