The news as told by the UK’s tabloid press – The Sun, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Star and News of the World.
The ghouls have been out fo Arsenal striker Danny Welbck. Last night, Arsenal manger Unai Emery told media that Welbeck had surgery on his badly injured ankle on Friday – the day after he was injured playing in the Europa League match against Sporting Lisbon. “He won’t be back with us for a long time,” the Arsenal manager said. Will he play again this season? “The doctor can answer that better than me,” replied Emery.
No need to ask the doctors. The Express knows it all. Since Welbeck got hurt, the “World’s Greatest Newspaper” has published 10 Danny Welbeck articles. It began by labelling the incident a “horror injury“, as many tabloids did. Today the paper downgraded things to a “nasty” injury. The facts keep on coming in the Express eVulture news service:
Danny Welbeck prediction made by injury expert after horror Arsenal scenes. DANNY WELBECK is facing around four months on the sidelines after badly hurting his ankle, says injury expert Ben Dinnery.
November 9 – article 2:
Arsenal news: Welbeck ‘may never play again’
Danny Welbeck in Arsenal injury horror… pics BT Sport didn’t want YOU to see – WARNING.
WARNING – these are the pictures BT Sport didn’t want you to see of Arsenal star Danny Welbeck’s horror injury.
Achtung! Achtung! Gather round to see something horrible. Bring a knife and fork to feast on Danny Welbeck’s remains. (The photos are pretty much the same as those carried by every newspaper, although one is cropped to show Welbeck’s ankle twisting.)
November 10: fact 2
Danny Welbeck injury: Arsenal fear forward will miss the rest of the season
November 10: fact 3:
“Welbeck is in hospital and will undergo surgery after breaking his right ankle, which will rule him out for the remainder of the season.”
November 10: fact 4:
“Welbeck’s latest injury setback is expected to keep him on the sidelines for at least four months.”
November 10: fact 5
Danny Welbeck: New Arsenal contract demand made after horror ankle injury
No, not by Danny Welbeck. This is the opinion of Perry Groves, the former Arsenal player. It’s not a demand. It’s just Perry filling in space on one of his media stints.
November 10: fact 6:
“Unai Emery readying £45 move for Danny Welbeck replacement”
It’s Lille’s Nicholas Pepe. Sorry, Danny, you’re finished. Get well soon, mate. Chin up!
Arsenal news: Unai Emery admits Danny Welbeck uncertainty with fresh injury update
Not quote RIP Danny Welbeck, then.
Manchester City attacker Raheem Sterling has a dog. The Daily Mirror presents this as news. Having priced the player’s home, the Mirror then delivers one of the most asinine lines ever to find its way into print. This, ladies and gentleman, is an “exclusive” from the self-styled ‘intelligent tabloid’. Go: “He follows a number of Premiership stars to buy dogs…”
How much is his home worth?
Raheem Sterling – is he ever not newsworthy?
Arsenal v Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League, and Danny Welbeck suffers a “horror ankle injury” that “leaves Arsenal team-mates shocked”. So says the Daily Mail. It looks pretty nasty. But the paper has no idea what the damage is. “Danny Welbeck out for the season?” asks the BBC. Dunno. Is he?
The Sun agrees that it is a “horror injury”. Welbeck contested a header and landed “awkwardly”. There was no blood. He was not unconscious, says the Beeb.
— Arsene H (@Arsene1034) November 8, 2018
The Sun then tells us it looks like a “broken or dislocated right ankle”. Which is it? He will “almost certainly be taken to hospital for treatment”. I might not be medial man but a broken ankle usually necessitates a trip to the hospital. The paper then adds: “The ex-Manchester United ace is also expected to now pull out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad for next weeks two matches.” Maybe. But if Wayne Rooney can get a recall, maybe a one-legged Welbeck still stands a chance of being selected to play. “It could well be his last appearance for the Gunners,” says the Sun.
Over in the Indy, their experts can confirm – or guess – that Danny Welbeck is “to have an x-ray”. When does an injured footballer not have a scan? But it must be bad, right? “The injury will almost certainly see him withdrawn from Gareth Southgate’s England squad for matches against the United States and Croatia,” says the website.
It might be bad. It might be a “horror” injury. Or it could be pulled ligaments. Or a bad sprain. Or a fracture – which, according to the NHS, involves placing the injured ankle in a protective boot for around 6 weeks. Welbeck might be ok to play in two weeks time for England, say the papers. Or maybe he’ll never play for Arsenal again, say the same papers.
They shoot horses.
Such are the facts.
UPDATE: Sky Sports: “Danny Welbeck “broke something in his ankle” during Arsenal’s Europa League draw with Sporting Lisbon on Thursday, according to head coach Unai Emery.
“We think it’s a serious injury. Every injury is different. He broke something in his ankle and it’s a different injury than another. Now he’s at the hospital and the news is at the moment we are going to wait, but we think this is a serious injury.”
Get well soon, Danny.
As newspapers tank, red-top tabloids try to translate splashy sensation from paper to the web. The Sun thunders:
“Manchester United flop Alexis Sanchez wanted by PSG in shock transfer, amid continuing Old Trafford struggles.” Sanchez wants out of his absurd £600,000-a-week contract? And PSG in their wisdom think Sanchez is worth the effort?! The story is full of zero facts:
PSG would be willing to take Sanchez off their hands as long as they can land him on the cheap or even on a possible free transfer. It is understood the idea of getting him off their books has been talked about by the United hierarchy.
A “source” from somewhere inside or at least stood pretty close by Manchester United say it all “could” happen. The source is unnamed. But they are chatty:
“It’s no secret he has struggled and not lived up to the expectations. He isn’t getting any younger and it might never work for him. There was interest before the club signed him but he preferred staying in England at the time. That may have changed now. One of their [PSG’s] top stars could go and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that a deal could be struck between the two clubs.”
Nonsense, then. But this is the desperate web and from that “exclusive”, we get the Daily Mirror thundering: “Alexis Sanchez transfer: Why PSG think they can sign Manchester United star on FREE.” Why? Dunno. But the guess is that he costs a lot of money in wages and is not all that good. And on it goes:
Daily Express: “PSG want to sign Alexis Sanchez from Manchester United on one condition.”
Daily Star: “Man Utd news: PSG eye Alexis Sanchez on free transfer.”
talkSport: “Manchester United transfer news: Paris Saint-Germain plot shock move.”
Manchester Evening News: “Manchester United winger Alexis Sanchez ‘eyed’ for Paris Saint Transfer.”
All utter tosh.
Such are the facts.
Update time on the lives and loves of Ant McPartlin (dontchajustlovehim!) and his now ex-wife Lisa Armstrong (boo! hiss! move on, luv!).
Ant admitted adultery. And the Star leads with the news that Lisa, who was monstered in the Press, is “gagged” from liking tweets calling Ant’s new true love and rock, one Anne-Marie Corbett, a “backstabber”. Rumours are that Anne-Marie’s lawyers “reportedly demanded” Lisa stops liking messages calling Anne-Marie things like a “husband-stealer” and “cretin”. Yeah, that’s what we thought: when did Twitter become so civilised and measured? Although the Sun does says Lisa liked a tweet calling Ant a “lying addict”.
But the really irritating thing is that the Star says Lisa is in line for loadsa cash “from Ant’s £62m fortune”. His fortune? Surely their fortune?
This soft-soaping of poor Ant continues via Simon Cowell, who harps on about Ant being “grumpy” and “depressed. “We’re living in a time now when people do get depressed or crack up,” says Cowell, who not only has huge grasp on human history but also a vested interested in the world siding with good-old Ant, “and it was harder for him because it was in public.” His alleged affair wasn’t in public. His drug taking wasn’t in public. His crashing into car carrying a family whilst he was well over the drink-drive limit was in public.
The Press has been very much on the side of Ant McPartlin, as he was “getting over an addiction to painkillers following knee surgery”; his condition connived into a campaign we all can take heart from; turning McPartlin from a man who deserves a private life into a role model; his plight told in his own words; a “source” assuring Sun readers that divorce would be “the right thing for his health”. This is “freakishly clean” Ant who in 2013 admitted to having taken drugs.
Cowell the historian might note than whilst come thing change others remains constant: famous man leaves long-suffering wife for blonde is a story as old as the hills.
Cancel the trip to Jose Mourinho’s hotel room in Manchester and the one-way ticket to Real Madrid, Eden Hazard will stay at Chelsea. The BBC says Chelsea will offer their best player £350,000-a-week to stay at the club. This, says the Express, will make Hazard “the highest-paid player in the Premier League”. Which is odd because the Express says Alexis Sanchez is the league’s number one earner on £500,000-a-week.
As the Express delivers the facts and then fact that counter those facts in a SEO blizzard of utter balls, the Express also says struggling Real Madrid want to hire Raheem Sterling to bolster a forward line missing Cristiano Ronaldo’s 50-odd goals a season. There are no facts to support the claim. The Mirror says Sterling wants more money to stay at Manchester City, who will of course find it down the back of the sofa.
Finally, the Star says Arsenal fancy taking Barcelona’s Brazilian winger Malcom, 21, on loan in January. That’s be the same Malcolm the press told us had agreed to join Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester United before he went to Spain.
More facts from the twilight zone of football reporting every day…
The sale of Manchester United is on! Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a man riding high on the news cycle for exercising an attitude to journalists that even Sir Alex Ferguson would consider a bit much, is “hoping” to meet Manchester United owners the Glazer family and buy the club for £4bn (Mirror) or £3bn (Sun). The Mirror confirms the story punched out by the trusty Daily Star last week. That scoop was based on“web football forums and Twitter”. So it’s a dead cert to be true.
Now the no less trusty Mirror takes up the news cudgel. If it’s facts you want, the paper says Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is worth £850bn. Sorry, fact. That’s the only one, and even it’s a guess. The Mirror says the Prince is “hoping” to meet United owners Joel and Avram Glazer in the Middle East in the next couple of weeks. Progress, eh. A few years ago, Saudi Arabia banned Jews from entering the country. Now they let them in. If they they let then out again in one piece, we’ll see.
Indeed, as the Mirror notes: “United’s co-owners know that they will have to tread carefully as the Crown Prince is embroiled in a tense diplomatic row over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.” The Saudis say Mr Khashoggi – a critic of the Saudi government – was killed in a fight at the Saudi consulate in Turkey. It’s unlikely the row was about United’s decision to offer Luke Shaw a new contract, but nothing is being ruled out.
But will the Saudis really buy United? On the back of this rumour, which the Mirror can’t substantiate with a single quote or fact, shares in the club traded on the New York Stock Exchange rose by over 5% to $27.65. Such is the power of the red-tops that when they spread a baseless rumour, City traders go ballistic.
Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, local journalists deliver the scores from last weekend’s matches: Chelsea 0, Manchester United 27.
Daley Smith is getting to be quite famous. On the run from police, Daley Smith has now upped his game by comparing his escape to the police search for Madeleine McCann. On Facebook, Smith says he’s going to throw a party when he reaches the milestone of 100 days at large. It’s been 88 and counting. But this is about the media’s favourite missing child, and the Sun says, “Smith has sparked fury with his sick posts about Madeleine McCann”. Do we need to hear the man’s sickness? Apparently, yes. He is “claiming: ‘It’s my personal opinion that her mum and dad covered the whole thing up’.” If the police don’t get him, doorstepping journalists, internet trolls or the McCanns’ lawyers might. (Just to state: the McCanns are not suspects.)
And now he’s added to the sickness with a poem:
“Cheshire police have got more chance of finding Madeleine Mcann [sic], I may as well be in Japan, they’ve even been harassing my nan, but everything hasn’t gone to plan. They’ve fucked with the wrong man, I feel like Peter Pan. So far I don’t know how far I’ve ran, but it’s been mad since this Journey began.”
Daley, who has been charged with possession with intent to supply class B cannabis and concerned with the supply of cocaine, according to police, seems fully aware of how using Madeleine McCann can further his own career, such as it is. Last night his account featured this ‘sick joke’:
That message was posted after Smith found a message from someone claiming to represent ‘Kennedy News’. All the photos in the Sun’s story carry the ‘Kennedy News and Media’ watermark, which seems odd given that you can see the same images for free on Facebook.
Madeleine McCann is missing. Daley James Smith is in the papers, on tour and on Facebook.
Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child. The Daily Record directs our gaze towards a Facebook Post we’re pretty sure nearly everyone missed. Lots of children whose names you will be more familiar with are mentioned in a post on a page run by the “Savage Banter Casuals”. Says the Mirror:
Paige Doherty and Milly Dowler among child murder victims mocked by ‘banter’ Facebook post.
And then more savage banter:
Madeline McCann, Kriss Donald, Holly Wells, Jessica Chapman and Keith Bennett are included in the so called ‘humorous’ social media quizz.
That, of course, is Madeleine McCann and a ‘quiz’. It’s always bet to spell a missing child’s name correctly. But when you’re incandescent with rage, mistakes are easy to make. Thanks to the Record reading an obscure Facebook post, we get to know of a “sick and vile” Facebook quiz “making fun of child murder victims” that “has been revealed”. That’s “revealed” as in ‘read’. And also seen: “The face of each child was photoshopped on top of the English football team, with the caption: ‘Sunday night quiz, name the full 11’.”
The Record reproduces the photo:
And then the paper helps quizzers with the correct answers. Spoiler alert!
Clockwise, starting from the top left, the tragic kids being mocked in the post are: Madeleine McCann , Tia Sharp, Paige Doherty (pictured twice), Steven Lawrence, Milly Dowler, Kriss Donald, Sarah Payne, Jessica Chapman, Keith Bennett and Holly Wells.
We then get a small story of each horrific case, and hear from Disgusted of Facebook telling us it’s “disgusting using murdered children’s faces as a joke”. Adding:
The post has now been removed and page administrators have apologised for causing offence.
So the Facebook page is not all that “savage” then. It’s actually just adolescent, sad and apologetic.
In other news, the Daily Mirror’s “Audience Growth Editor” hits the web with a story: “The Cry author says Madeleine McCann case DID inspire BBC drama.”
The scene where they react to Noah no longer being in the car prompted many viewers to compare the the show to Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.
Madeleine McCann went missing from her bed in a real-life horror show. Noah was made up.
In 2007, four-year-old Maddie disappeared from a holiday apartment in Portugal sparking a huge media campaign to find her, that’s still ongoing to this day.
Not so much. It’s more of a police investigation than a media campaign. But, sure, the media did turn the single-thread story of an innocent missing child into ‘Our Maddie’, “every parent’s worst nightmare”.
The Cry author told The Herald about the inspiration for her work in a story headlined “The Cry author Helen FitzGerald on how real-life heartache inspired BBC drama”:
THERE is a moment in the first episode of new Sunday night drama The Cry when Jenna Coleman’s character, a washed-out new mother weighed down with baby, buggy and bags, struggles up the steps of her tenement flat.
“I watched it thinking – my God, that was my life,” marvels Glasgow author Helen FitzGerald, upon whose novel the new series is based.
Yes, indeed – author bases work of fiction on own life’s experiences, ideas and thoughts. Who knew? But will that help “audience growth” as much as zooming in on the Maddie McCanna angle? As the Mirror works out which missing child gets the most clicks (who needs Facebook for “sick” stuff?), we learn that like The Cry, FitzGerald’s life was set in Australia, what with her having been born there.
Australian-born FitzGerald, author of a string of successful thrillers, is certain the roots of her novel – which has been adapted by screenwriter Jacqueline Perske – lie [sic] in her experience of new motherhood.
And Madeleine McCann, right? After 15 paragraphs of how her own life shaped her work, we finally reach the Mirror’s headline news:
FitzGerald, now 52, was a teenager in Australia in 1980 when Lindy Chamberlain was wrongfully convicted of murdering her nine-week-old daughter. She claimed she saw a dingo leave the tent where Azaria was sleeping, during a family camping holiday…
In 2007, four-year-old Madeleine McCann vanished from a holiday apartment in Portugal’s Praia da Luz, sparking another high profile media campaign in which accusations were levelled at Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry.
“I saw Lindy speaking on television to the McCanns, giving them support and I thought – what a terrible community this is, what an awful thing by which to be bound together.”
She adds: “I have always believed both of them. But thinking about their cases made me wonder – what kind of couple would get away with something like this? What would have to be going on behind the scenes in that relationship?”
And on motherhood:
“Does anyone remember Mr Chamberlain’s name?” she says, wryly. “Lindy was incredibly naïve and open and just had no clue, and she got slaughtered by the media. Her case was really the first example of trial by television.
“Women are always the target, especially when babies are involved. No matter how much we talk about parental or gender equality, that’s what happens.”
Actually, no. We can’t recall his name. Maybe that can be a quiz question? But he’s called Gerry McCann. But, then, he’s not the inspiration for the book and the TV drama as such as Lindy Chamberlain’s story was.
Spoiler: Lindy Chamberlain’s husband was Michael Chamberlain.
Fact: Madeleine McCann is missing. There are no suspects. If you know what happened to her, call the police. Please don’t speculate here.
Can the Daily Mirror reassess the quality of its “Manchester United” insiders” who were “convinced” Jose Mourinho was going to be sacked last weekend? The paper leads with United’s 3-2 win over an average Newcastle side lacking in top talent, hailing it as a “stay of execution”. The comeback from 0-2 down “papered over the cracks”.
David McDonnell saw United play for 70 minutes “without spark or purpose”. They were “abject”. But “from somewhere deep within themselves”, the players stirred for a “staggering Fergie-like 20-minute comeback”. It was a “miracle”. No word on Mourinho’s role in the resurgence. Not a peep about what the manager might have done at half-time to reform his side trialing by two goals. And nothing said on the Mirror’s story, as told by one David McDonell, that Mourinho is today looking for a new job.
As the Mirror memory holes the words “Mourinho Jose Mourinho set to be sacked this WEEKEND whatever Manchester United’s result vs Newcastle”, the Sun has its own exclusive. The Sun is the paper that has cheered longest and loudest for Mourinho. The team might be dull, but to the Sun it’s all part of the “RED-OLUTION”.
And so to the day’s scoop: “HOW POGBA SAVED JOSE”. The want-away midfielder saved Mourinho, how? “He told boss best way to spark fightback.” Pogba Tip 1: Tell Juan Mata to score direct from a free kick. Mata scores! The trust is less poetic. We hear that Mourinho listened to his players at half time. Pogba suggested a “deeper role for himself and brining on Fellaini”. Genius. Bring on the hairy elbow and lob it up into the mixer.
Mourinho tells everyone that he and the team chatted for 10 minutes about this and that at half time. To seasoned Mourinho watchers this might look like the manager trying to exculpate himself from the mess. But to the Sun’s it’s honest Jose binding the team and securing victory. It “showed how they could all work together”. It also showed that Newcastle United – six defeats from eight played; two draws – can’t hang on to a two goal lead.
But as Jose and Pog hug in the Sun, the Mail says Pogba wants to leave regardless of Mourinho’s future. Looks like the miracle will only last if plucky minnows United can play huge-spending Newcastle at home every week…
Manchester United will sack Jose Mourinho today. As the Mirror told readers yesterday: “Jose Mourinho set to be sacked this WEEKEND whatever Manchester United’s result vs Newcastle.” So much for the thrilling comeback from 0-2 down against Newcastle. Indeed, the Mirror’s match report calls the match thrilling. It cocks an ear as “Old Trafford erupted and Mourinho’s name rang out once again”. But today he gets the sack.
The Mirror even had a live blog. As Alexis Sanchez scored the winner, it piped:
GOOOALLLL!!!! Young whipped the ball into Martial, who had drawn the attention of the defenders, but it makes it past them and Sanchez heads it in at the back post! Has that goal saved Jose Mourinho’s job?! Manchester United 3-2 Newcastle.
Has it saved his job? No. Because the Mirror said he’s getting sacked today.
Elsewhere in today’s in-the-know Mirror, we read that Manchester United bosses have “urged Zinedine Zidane not to consider any other managerial vacancies” because they are deciding on the future of manager Jose Mourinho. We also learn that Manchester United “could have to pay £29m to Mourinho if they sack the Portuguese”. But if United fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League, the bill is £10m.
Meanwhile, the Times tells us the Manchester United board texted Mourinho their support before yesterday’s match. Which, as the Mirror know, means he’s getting sacked…
After the the ‘ifs’ and ‘coulds’, news is that Manchester United will sack Jose Mourinho will be sacked after today’s match with Newcastle. the BBC has the scoop, although it’s one founded in the Mirror’s story: “Jose Mourinho set to be sacked this WEEKEND whatever Manchester United’s result vs Newcastle.” Win 19-0 in a match that will reverberate through time and Mourinho will be sacked. Play out a thrilling encounter, as Mourinho unleashes Sanchez, Pogba and Martial with the command ‘express yourselves’ and still be sacked. How can the Mirror be certain? After all, this is the paper that told us Arsenal Wenger had ‘set the date’ to leave Arsenal on June 30 2017. He was sacked a year later.
David McDonnell writes: “Jose Mourinho has lost the confidence of the Manchester United board and is set to be sacked this weekend.” And replaced by? Dunno. We also don’t know the identities of the “senior United sources” who gave the Mirror its story. We’re told Mourinho has “alienated players, fans and staff at Old Trafford”. And Mourinho “appeared resigned to his fate” in the pre-match press conference.
We’re then told that Man United chief executive Ed Woodward “is believed to have lost his patience in Mourinho”. Since when ie believing something a fact? We do know that those “senior” United insiders don’t include the most senior, nor the Glazers, who own the club. It’s all very woolly. And as for the all-important bottom line, Bloomberg notes:
Even though the club’s shares have slumped 17 percent since reaching a record high on the last day of August, they’re up 27 percent since the Portuguese manager took over in May 2016.
Mourinho the manager is damaged goods; but Mourinho the brand is doing ok.
And then we get more hunches: “Ex-Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is the favourite to succeed Mourinho, who is set to receive compensation of around £20million. Michael Carrick could be put in temporary charge.” United fans want Carrick as manager? And sd a £20m goodbye a reason for Mourinho to look “sullen”? Yes, he’s rich but you could always use a few million more, right.
Meanwhile, talkSport hears “United sources” say Mourinho won’t be sacked. The Indy agrees. Woodward is “keen to give the manager more time”. The Guardian says: “Manchester United have no plans to remove Mourinho.” And that’s how journalism works – one source makes a bold claim based on nameless sources; and the rest either repeat it or get their scoop by screaming”Nothing Will Happen!”
But it might happen one day. Mourinho will be sacked! You read it everywhere first…
When 21-year-old Raheem Sterling bought his mum a house the Daily Mail was unimpressed. Sterling was the “£180,000-a-week England flop” showing off a “blinging house he bought for his mum… hours after flying home in disgrace from Euro 2016.” Disgrace? Surely the Mail means disappointment at getting knocked out of the tournament only monocular die-hards thought England would win?
Fast forward two years and another Manchester City player is buying his dear old ma a house – cost: £2m. It’s 18-year-old Phil Foden. The teenager has yet to play for the full England team. And until he does he will be the great white hope. He’s only played 8 times for City in the Premier League. The Mail will surely goggle at the obscenity of it all. Or not:
The 18-year-old’s parents, Phil and Claire, are thought to have been involved in choosing the house and he is determined to keep the close-knit family together despite his emergence as one of England’s outstanding talents.
We never were told if Raheem’s mum, who raised him in less than salubrious surrounds, helped chose the bricks and furnishings for her “obscene” home (price: £3.5m), nor how the new home kept the pair together. But for Phil it’s all terrific:
The move is likely to change little for the player who has always lived at home, doesn’t drink and doesn’t yet drive. He takes cash, rather than cards, on nights out and is thought to have taken out a substantial mortgage on the new house.
Cash is king – he’s not in the least bit obscene.
Why are we not all talking about Phil Foden’s birthday cake? pic.twitter.com/ZRKucFjtum
— Macca (@The_Paris_Angel) May 29, 2018
Madeleine McCann – a look at reporting on the missing child. Today the Star brings ‘Our Maddie’ news on page 19. The paper says “official cash” to fund the search for the missing child has “dried up” – so “Scotland Yard is “footing the bill”. Is Scotland Yard an unofficial outfit, a private company or some kind of rogue agency?
Reading on we get a fuller picture: the Metropolitan Police is continuing its investigation – Operation Grange – without knowing if it will get more government funds. So all that’s happening is the Met is investigating the vanishing as it would investigate any other alleged crime. An unnamed Home Office wonk is quoted as saying requests for more funds are “being considered”.
In other news: there is no news.
Theresa May, the woman who graduated from Ronald Searle’s St Custard’s when they let girls in, is dancing for her country. The Mirror is strictly unimpressed – she’s no Ed Balls, a towering figure who at least had the decency to be booted from the Commons before drying humping the dance stage. It was “strictly shambolic” when May danced her way on to the stage at the Tory Party conference – a nod to her dancing on a trip to South Africa.
Wasn’t she “back in the groove”, as the Daily Mail appraises on its cover, it spotting our “boogie-woogie PM” adding a dash of humour to a performance that’s too often drier than a nun’s laundry? But as Abba blared, the Mirror awarded her four zeros from the judges for her “dad dance”. She has “zero credibility”. Her rivals are plotting to “dance on her grave”, which is the kind of proper scoring we demand from our pro-celeb judges. A perfect cha-cha-cha or death to whathisface from Casualty.
No, says the Mail. May is not running “scared” of Jeremy Corbyn’s “hope and vision” (Mirror). She has “danced her way back to authority”. She promised “better days ahead”. She “savaged” Corbyn’s “betrayal of his own party” and the anti-Jewish racism that thrives under his leadership. May delivered a “barnstorming speech” says the Star. She told us that “austerity is over”. Her’s was an “upbeat message” (Sun) in which she “eviscerated” Labour. She “did her party proud”. We should “admire her staggering resilience”.
So “Let’s all dance to May’s tune” (Express). For most tabloids, it’s the only record playing…
Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita was stretched off the pitch in the Reds’ 1-0 Champions League defeat by Napoli. Keita was taken to hospital in Naples. He “underwent a number of precautionary health checks”, says the Liverpool official website. So what’s wrong with Keita? “It is his back,” says Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager.
And then the speculation began. Liverpool fans’ website Empire of the Kop says “Keita might have paid the price” for Napoli’s pitch, which they say was “really poor and nowhere close to being appropriate for a top-level game”. The Mirror says he “caught” his foot on the “rough” playing surface. But Keita has a history of back problems, having missed some of Liverpool’s pre-season tour to the United States last July after aggravating an existing back problem on a flight. Why blame Napoli?
But for top-level speculation, website Football Italia wins. “Sky Sport Italia and Radio Marte both confirm he was rushed to the Cardarelli hospital for tests on his heart,” says the site. No links to Sky Sport Italia is provided. But another Liverpool fan site does have links. It ups the ante, screaming: “According to confirmed reports, the Guinean felt faint and there were concerns within the medics that he was suffering a heart attack.” Confirmed reports? No. A single tweet:
— Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) October 3, 2018
Any concerns over Keita’s heart were routine. Medics most likely also checked his breathing, blood and urine. Look out for headlines telling of “Keita Kidney Scare”, “Keita Lung Horror” and “Keita Mystery Virus”. The Sky Sports Italia website makes no mention of any heart issues. The mention was made by Gianluca Di Marzio, a reporter for Sky Italia, who tweeted the above: “#Liverpool, Naby #Keita trasportato d’urgenza in ospedale: scongiurati problemi cardiaci, gli aggiornamenti.” Which simply says, there were no heart problems. put that through the SEO blender and the Bleacher Report can thunder: “Jurgen Klopp: Naby Keita Has Back Injury After Heart Scare Initially Feared.”
Another tweeter adds:
Naby Keita went to hospital after a heart problem scare during the defeat against Napoli.
Luckily, ‘no heart problem was revealed on examinations made immediately after he arrived at the hospital’. pic.twitter.com/AnjeT3LcZP
— Jack Gill (@jacklfcgill) October 3, 2018
One moment you’ve a bad back, the next they’re carrying you off to the morgue. Such are the facts.
Did you tune in to BBC Radio 4 show on fathers and daughters to hear Madeleine McCann’s father, Gerry McCann, as he “weeps uncontrollably”, as the Daily Star says he did? TV loves tears, from cake baking shows to pro-celebrity dance contests, no broadcast is complete without a close up of someone crying. But does it work for radio? In “MADDIE DAD BREAKDOWN” the Star leads with Gerry McCann saying how he “believed in heaven”. The man who along with his wife, Kate McCann, met the Pope when the hunt for his daughter was in full cry, is religious. Want more news?
The front-page story continues on Page 5. The Star’s editorial says “Gerry McCann’s heartbreak over missing Madeleine must touch every parent’s heart… Listeners will have sobbed along with Gerry as his tears flowed.” All of them? Having spent 11 years watching the parents and now listening to them, many people will be interested in the actual investigation and what happened to an innocent child? Well, the Star says the Metropolitan Police should get more cash because “we may be looking for a serial offender” and “it could be money well spent”. May. Could. Reporting on the disappearance of a missing child continues to be sensationalist and speculative.
The Mirror also leads with Madeleine McCann, and news that Gerry “dreams of hugging” her again. Over pages 4 and 5, we’re told Gerry McCann wholeheartedly believes his daughter is alive – “a view backed up up by Scotland Yard’s plea for more funds to probe the mystery.” What plea? There has been some newspaper talk of funds running low and police considering applying for more. Indeed, the Star says there is a “debate” over whether police will request more funds or not. If there is a plea for money – and does Scotland Yard plea or merely ‘apply’? – the Mirror has no details about it. It would be useful to know what progress police think will be made with more fund.
The Sun picks up the radio broadcast, and pretty much transcribes the whole thing:
“I couldn’t get the darkest thoughts out of our minds, that somebody had taken her and abused her. I remember just being in the bedroom – the two of us just completely distraught. It was almost feral, the reaction and the pain, feeling helpless, alone.”
And amid the pain and the emotion, the Sun surmises the story so far:
“A number of potential leads have emerged since the little girl vanished, but none amounted to anything and no arrests have ever been made.”
Can you arrest anyone when all you know is that a child vanished?
This is the BBC’s story, and it’s useful to see their take on it:
Madeleine, then aged three, disappeared from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007, sparking a worldwide search for her whereabouts.
A search stoked by a media feeding frenzy.
Mr McCann was speaking to BBC Radio 4 for a programme about the relationship between fathers and daughters. He said that he was sure immediately that his daughter had been abducted.
After being told by his wife Kate that their daughter was missing, Mr McCann said “automation kicked in” and he began searching the apartment.
“We started searching more widely really quickly and then very quickly raised the alarm,” he said.
“You’re in this quiet little holiday resort – that seemed idyllic – out of season and I certainly didn’t speak Portuguese so I asked [our friend] Matt to go to reception and ask them to call the police.”
“I couldn’t get the darkest thoughts out of our minds, that somebody had taken her and abused her,” he continued.
“I felt that every moment that we couldn’t find her was worse.
“I remember being slumped on the floor and starting to call some of my family members and just saying: ‘Pray for her.'”
And the “plea” for money:
The Home Office said last week it is currently considering a police request for an extra six months’ funding for Operation Grange.
Such are the facts.
The Sun’s Neil Curtis blames Paul Pogba for Manchester United’s 1-1 home draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers. United were leading until the 53rd minute – Fred scored following a super touch by Pogba – when Joao Moutinho hit a superb shot from the edge of the penalty area that arched and dipped past David De Gea.
Here’s the goal. You might notice how Luke Shaw fails to block the cross. And Wolves worked the ball very well, getting forward in numbers and unnerving United with their power and precision. But to Curtis this was all about Pogba’s “gaffe”, for which Jose Mourinho gave him a “dressing room dressing down”.
— FootyMotion (@FootyMotion5) September 22, 2018
Inside the paper and Ian Wright joins in the attack on Pogba. In a double-page spread entitled “Pogba must stop putting the boot into Jose, Wright says Pogba must “end his war of words with Jose Mourinho”. He talks of Pogba’s “latest public attack” on his manager. He “threw his gaffer under the bus”. This harks back to yesterday’s Sun story in which Pogba “launched an astonishing attack on Jose Mourinho’s tactics”. What did he say? “At home we should attack, attack, attack,” said Pogba. “That’s Old Trafford. We are here to attack. Teams are scared when they see Man United attacking and attacking. That was out mistake.” So why aren’t they attacking? “I can’t tell you because I’m a player,” says Pogba. “It’s not me… we should move better.”
Astonished? No. United are dull to watch. Pogba’s a very good player but not the world beater the marketeers tells us he is. And Mourinho at United is an uneasy fit. But from the off the Sun has been cheering on Mourinho like a well-paid PR:
United look strong and positive. The first pass is forward once more not sideways or backwards merely to keep possession. Mourinho is trusting the players abilities, letting them breathe.
In his £250m splurge, LVG made two that excited but could not get the best out of either in Angel Di Maria and Memphis Depay. Mourinho has made four and so far Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Eric Bailly have been immediate hits. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is yet to start.
Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan have left. Pogba apparently wants to leave. And Bailly has been a disappointment. But in the Sun Mourinho is much better than Louis Van Gaal.
Jose really can do no wrong in the Sun…
Compare and contrast the Daily Mirror’s stories today on Cristiano Ronaldo and the FIFA Best awards. Ronaldo was up again for the top gong he won last year and the year before that. This time he was against Real Madrid’s Luka Modric and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah. Who won? Modric did. He’s been brilliant for Real and Croatia. The Mirror’s reporting has been less than great.
Story 1: “Why Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi won’t be attending the FIFA Best awards in London.”
It had been reported that Messi would be attending despite not being nominated for Best Men’s Player, but now he won’t be at the awards
The Portuguese played for Juventus at Frosinone on Sunday night , and has another fixture for his new club at home to Bologna on Wednesday.
Story 2: “Cristiano Ronaldo delivers for Juventus in telling reminder of his greatness before Best FIFA Awards”
Cristiano Ronaldo delivered a telling reminder of his greatness just before the Best FIFA Awards. On Monday, Ronaldo will be suited and booted and on his way to the Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank.
So he will be there?
PS: The awards are bunkum. To illustrate how silly they are, Salah won for the Puskas award for the best goal last season – better than Gareth Bale’s strike in the Champions’ league final, when the pressure as on and it really mattered. Oh, puh-lease…
The Fifa Puskas nominees were voted for by the public:
Here were the 10 nominees:
Gareth Bale (vs Liverpool – Champions League final)
Denis Cherychev (vs Croatia – World Cup)
Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (vs AEK Athens – Greek Cup semi-final)
Cristiano Ronaldo (vs Juventus – Champions League quarter-final)
Giorgian De Arrascaeta (vs America MG – Brazilian Serie A)
Riley McGree (vs Melbourne City – A-League)
Lionel Messi (vs Nigeria – World Cup)
Benjamin Pavard (vs Argentina – World Cup)
Ricardo Quaresma (vs Iran – World Cup)
Mohamed Salah (vs Everton – Premier League)
The tabloids are tucking into the Labour Party conference in Liverpool. Let’s take a look at see how they’re treating the issue of rampant Jew hatred in self-styled anti-racist party. We’ll begin with the Mirror, which mentions zer Jews on page 5, where they feature under “Joke of the Day”. MP Stella Creasy was at the Jewish Labour Movement meeting. Noting Corbyn’s comments about “British Jews failing to understand ‘English irony'” – no, not Zionists but Jews. The Mirror knows who Corbyn meant – Creasy quipped: “I was going to say something about how good it us being a Jew in the Labour Party at the moment, but someone told me you guys don’t get irony.”
On page 4, we hear Jeremy Corbyn’s response to being accused of being an anti-Semite. “Are you an anti-Semite,” the BBC’s Andrew Marr asked Corbyn. “No, absolutely not,” he replied. But a fair few of his friends and allies might be.
Jews are all over the Mail’s cover. Well, one them is. Luciana Berger, the Labour MP routinely attacked for being a Jew, was accompanied by two coppers as she attended an anti-Semitism all in Liverpool, her home city. The story continues on Page 6, where we learn that the coppers were carrying Tasers. Now we hear more from Creasy, and it’s not all that funny. The Mail finds space to include what the Mirror could not. Says Creasy:
“Nazism doesn’t turn up fully formed wearing black shiny boots and black shirts and goose-stepping. It builds bit by bit, it gains little by little, it paints itself as the victim – it paints its victims as the enemies, as traitors, the “other”. It rejects those norms and conventions on anti-Semitism that we have worked so hard to defend. That is the threat that we face if we do not confront this.”
And we get to hear from Berger, whose word were ignored by the Mirror. She told the meeting:
“There are Jews in this country who do not feel safe. We expect attacks that come from the far Right… but this year more than ever we have experienced attacks from the Left… Despite a last-minute and what I believe to be utterly shameful attempt to sabotage the IHRA definition and examples [the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism], Labour has at last adopted it, albeit with that unnecessary caveat. What matters now is draining the swamp. We need to see the Labour Party step up the investigations into complaints of anti-Semitism and get a faster, fairer, more transparent system of internal party justice.”
Berger says Labour is awash with a “tsunami of anti-Semitic hate”.
“If we have to spend another six months like we have spent the last six months, patiently explaining to new Labour Party members – and some old ones – that Hitler didn’t want to help the Jews, or that the Rothschilds don’t run the world banking system, or that the Jews didn’t finance the slave trade or that me and other Jewish MPs are not Mossad operatives, or that it’s not cool to desecrate the mass grave of the Warsaw ghetto with ‘woke’ slogans, we will be no further forward.”
More on page 16, where the Mail calls Labour the “new nasty party” as the party descends into a “sewer of anti-Semitism”.
In the Sun, it’s Jews on page 4. Corbyn, we read, refused to apologise to British Jews for hanging out with Jew haters and Jew killers, questioning their Britishness and liking an anti-Semitic mural. We hear Labour MP Rosie Duffield tell the Jewish Labour Moment: “I defy anyone who repeats anti-Semitism trope you see the social media arena to go there [Auschwitz] and say and feel the same things.” And then we spot an actual Jew. It’s Maureen Lipman, the actress, a former Labour party supporter. Lipman, we read, told a rally Corbyn is an anti-Semite. The Sun reports that Lipman’s new job on Coronation Street has attracted the attention of “Corbyn-backing viewers” who want her to be boycotted and sacked. Raus! Nationalise the soap industry!
Lastly, we turn to the Express. In page 5, we read: “Leader dodges anti-Semitism apology”. Why apologise for what you believe in? The Express says the anti-Semitism “dominated” the Labour conference – although not what the Mirror saw of it – adding:
At a packed rally on the conference fringe, some of Mr Corbyn’s harshest critics on the issue voiced their anger, singling out Unite boss Len McCluskey for accusing Jewish leaders of “truculent hostility” and PCS union chief Mark Serwotka for suggesting Israel fuelled Labour’s anti-Semitism row to distract attention from its own “atrocities”.
Labour MP Dame Louise Ellman said: “For major trade union leaders to not only smear the Jewish community and Jewish people for speaking out against anti-Semitism but then trying to blame them for it, I think we are entering into very dangerous waters… They are playing with fire and I call on them to withdraw those appalling statements.”
Here’s Marr with Corbyn:
Farewell Chas Hodges, aka Charles Nicholas Hodges (28 December 1943 – 22 September 2018), the piano-playing half of the brilliant Chas and Dave. Even Arsenal fans enjoyed his hymn to Tottenham Hotspur, Ossie’s Dream, when the little Argentine hoped to “win the Cup for Tott-ing-Ham”.
The songs were brilliant, like this love song:
But Chas Hodges did not die because he lost a “battle” with cancer. The Mirror’s trite take that the Chas and Dave star died because he lost a fight with a deadly disease is the worst of journalism.
Deeper into the cut-and-paste Wikipedia balls on the career of a very talented musicians, the Mirror adds: “He and Joan – an original Playboy bunny and actress – put up a united front as they battled cancer together, along with their children and two grandchildren.” No. She did not battle cancer. The children did not battle cancer. Chas did not battle cancer.
So entrenched is that hackneyed balls about ‘battling cancer’ that the Sun commissioned a feature published yesterday. Deborah James told Sun readers: “I hate ‘battle chat’ when it comes to cancer…”
We don’t lose people, friends don’t succumb to it, loved ones weren’t too weak and they certainly didn’t lose their battle. It’s clear, you can’t fight your OWN cancer. It’s not something we win or lose, it’s out of our control.
Even suggesting to people they can is unhelpful and naive.
One day one and in the very same Sun:
More battles with ‘cancer battles’ soon. In the meantime, here’s a message from Chas to anyone using the dread phrase ‘battle with cancer’…
When Ronaldo was sent off on his debut for Juventus in the Champions League, not only did he weep like a child being told off by his mum in front of his mates (source: @BeadedGenius), but he was sure to miss the games at Manchester United. The Daily Mirror announced: “Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off in tears as his Champions League debut for Juventus turned sour. The Portuguese superstar will miss the chance to tackle his former club Manchester United at Old Trafford.”
Problem was that the Mirror doesn’t know the rules. The Premier League’s dishes out an automatic three-game ban for violent conduct. Uefa gives only a one-game automatic ban, with no right of appeal. Uefa regulation 50.01 says “in case of serious offences, the Uefa control, ethics and disciplinary body is entitled to augment this punishment”.
Ronaldo’s red card-worthy offence was softer than Jordan Henderson’s bikini line. So an earl bath and a one-match ban is most likely the sum of his punishment. One day on and the Mirror has picked up the story, reporting today: “Ronnie is clear to face Reds. Cristiano Ronaldo can play against former club Manchester United in the Champions League despite his midweek red card.”
The Mirror makes no mention of its earlier error, nor does it identify the source of its new-found knowledge. Compare and contrast the following:
BBC – September 20: “The Portugal forward appeared to pull Valencia defender Jeison Murillo’s hair…”
Mirror – September 21: “[Ronaldo was sent off] after appearing to pull Valencia defender Jeison Murillo’s hair…”
BBC: “But former Red Devils midfielder Darren Fletcher expects the Champions League’s all-time top scorer to play both games against his old side. It was a soft sending-off for Ronaldo, but the letter of the law says you probably cannot do that, so I think the one-match ban will probably stick,” the Stoke player told BBC Radio 5 live. “He will feel like he was letting his team-mates down in that moment, but I expect him to play in both games against Manchester United.”
Daily Mirror: The exact same quote but with no source attributed.
‘Chequers’, the half-backed ‘Remain by another name’ plan for the UK’s departure from the EU, is dead. The result, says the Mirror, is a Government “in crisis”. The message is clear: it’s us, not them.
European Council boss Donald Tusk (who voted for him – you?) told a meeting of EU politicos in Salzburg, Austria, “It will not work.” Over pages 4 and 5, we’re told “Europe turns its back”. We learn that May had a “row” with Tusk. You get an inkling of how easy that might be when you see a photo he posted on Instagram in which we see the wonk mansplaining some cakes (surely offering Mrs May a slice of sponge – ed) and adding the “barb”: “A piece of cake, perhaps? Sorry, no cherries.” We then hear the condescending one say: “In October we expect maximum progress and results in the Brexit talks, and then we will decide whether conditions are there to call an extra summit in November to finalise and formalise a deal.”
You know that guff about ‘taking back control’ – wasn’t all guff was it?
Over in the Star, on page 3, we see a bit of kissing. May “winces” as Jean-Claude Juncker (you vote for him?) greets May. But she’s not wincing. She’s smiling. Maybe it’s the fumes?
The Sun sits on the fence and calls the EU a bunch of “two-bit mobsters”. French PM Emanuel Macron and Tusk are dressed up like mafioso. Rather than a defeat for May, we’re told the EU enforcers “ambushed” her with a “cack-handed attempt to sign-up to Brussels unacceptable terms there and then”. But May “refused to budge”.
By page 10, the Sun’s front-page news has morphed into the paper’s editorial. The EU is a “protection racket”. The EU has “refused to compromise”, “insulted the Prime Minister”. The EU “ignores their own citizens”. All the EU wants is to “punish us” for standing jp to them. But the country should ready itself for a “clean-break Brexit” – what other papers might call a “no-deal Brexit”.
Whoever decided May would wear red today (probably May!) against the backdrop of EU suits absolutely nailed it. pic.twitter.com/MXwq5tmACT
— Mark Di Stefano 🤙🏻 (@MarkDiStef) September 20, 2018
“I won’t roll over on deal,” are May’s words on the Express‘ cover – which turn out to be words said by an unnamed source. She was “shaking with anger” as the EU “bullied” her. She was “furious”. We hear Macron “crow”: “Brexit is the choice of the British people, pushed by those who predicted easy solutions. Those people are liars.” But they’d be our liars, you French ****. Step away!
And then it arrives. The EU, the outfit created to control Germany and to help Germany keep its impulses in check, is given the full Nazi treatment. The paper notes on two pages that the venue for the May’s speech to EU leaders was used to film the Sound of Music’s song ‘So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye.” The Von Trapps sing the song as they plot to escape Nazi persecution. A Mail writer evokes visions of Nazi stormtroopers at the Felsenreitschule theatre in Salzburg. He tells us the EU’s game plan is to get Britain to vote again in a second referendum and “zis time to vote ze right way”. The Mail’s message to Brussels: “Tell ’em to get stuffed.”
Or as the Sun once put it in those halcyon days before the referendum, “Up yours Delors!”
We’ve come a long way, baby….
While the Mirror’s leads with a tale of a President’s boring sex with a porn star who failed to deliver on the laminated, pneumatic fantasy, the Sun’s lead story tells of another President trying to **** a model, this time with rat poison not boxcar mushrooms.
Russian model Anna Shapiro, 30, and husband Alex King, 43, were dining at Prezzo in Salisbury when he came seriously ill. The shiny suits “fear” it was a rat poison attack. And as they scour the world for more ghost-like, Russian steeple enthusiasts, a “terrified” Shapiro says he “believes” she was targeted by “Putin’s assassins”.
And there the story goes limp. Belief is not fact. Shapiro says she turned her back on her country and so Putin wants her dead. And then we read that “security sources believe Anna and Alex may have been attacked with strychnine.” Believe. May.
We don’t know what happened to the couple. But more photogenic visitors to Salisbury are advised to wrap up.
Mesut Özil’s agent, Erkut Sögüt, says Germany’s Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller and Toni Kroos are wrong in their to-deadline assessments of the Arsenal midfielder’s decision to quit international football. Kroos told Germany’s Bild that he’s studied Ozil’s lengthy statement about his reasons for quitting the German national team and spotted a “lot of nonsense”. In that statement Ozil spoke of the “racism and disrespect” he felt had been meted out to him by the German fans and FA.
Sögüt told German magazine 11Freunde: “Neuer indirectly accused Mesut of not having worn the German jersey with pride. This is unacceptable. Müller did not understand the whole discussion. And Kroos, as a seasoned national team player, should explain what he means by ‘nonsense’.” Adding: “There are only two explanations: they are either naive or scheming.”
All a bit messy. But that’s not all. As Germans debate to what extent if any they had it in for Ozil, the Daily Mail‘s Craig Hope makes Ozil the main thrust of his report on Arsenal’s 2-1 victory at Newcastle United, in which the German scored the decisive goal (A “cool finish” – Evening Standard). Below the headline “OZIL THE ORDINARY”, Hope writes:
“He scored and won the acclaim of his teammates, but to assume all is right now in the complicated world of Mesut Ozil would be premature… Ozil was just about superior to anyone on the opposition”.
He was. But not when you look at the scores the Mail gives for each player: Ozil gets a 6.5 out of ten, making him worse than Newcastle’s Federico Fernández (7) and on a par with Newcastle’s Dummett and Ritchie. The Newcastle Chronicle says of Fernandez (6): “Had a great first half but blotted copybook with needless foul on Aubameyang to concede free-kick which turned the game on its head.” The Mirror (Ozil 7; Fernandez 5; Ritchie 4, Dummett 6) says of Ozil: “GOAL. Buzzed around linked up play and a lovely calm finish to polish the game off.”
But here’s Hope in the Mail:
There was some good, some bad about Ozil here. One smart Cruyff turn on halfway left his minder floundering. But that is what he does, his ability on the ball acting as deception against his indifference off it. There was one instance where he refused to chase back, seemingly miffed at the non-award of a free-kick after a palm in his face, while his number of attempted passes – 38 – was less than teenager Matteo Guendouzi managed in 45 minutes.
Well, those numbers of passes might be because Ozil tries most of his in the opposition’s half – often around a packed penalty box – and Gunedouzi makes a lot of his in his own half, most often to Arsenal defenders stood behind him. Does Hope think Guendouzi should get the chance his passing deserves and play in Ozil’s position?