Just as Erik ten Hag ‘drops’ a striker with six goals in his last 11 games, a €60m transfer target hints that he would like to join Man Utd.
It is a substantial mistake to think that the biggest piece of Man Utd news the morning after they played an actual game would pertain to said match. This is 2022, when football only gets in the way of football coverage.
Opinion pieces, quotes from the manager or players and pundit reaction be damned, because…
‘Brazilian wonderkid Endrick hints at sensational Man Utd transfer after copying Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal celebration’
The Sun website have this remarkable breaking update on the future of one of the world’s most sought-after players.
‘BRAZILIAN wonderkid Endrick has fuelled speculation about a transfer to Manchester United after copying Cristiano Ronaldo’s celebration.’
Further down, it is added that ‘with United not the only club monitoring Endrick, it will come as welcoming news that he could be open to a Man Utd transfer via following Ronaldo.’
He would definitely convey his interest in joining Man Utd by emulating the celebration of someone who will probably not be at Old Trafford within the year.
And that, dear reader, is the sum total of this ‘hint’: someone did the same celebration as Cristiano Ronaldo. So now they will obviously reject Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and numerous other clubs to join Man Utd, who will happily put €60m on the table for a 16-year-old. Sensational stuff.
There is clearly something in the celebratory water, because the MailOnline sell some Martin Keown words thus:
‘The way he celebrated the goal he’s basically saying ‘don’t forget me”: Kieran Tierney’s winner against FC Zurich was a reminder to Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta of what he can do, claims Martin Keown, with Scot having fallen down pecking order’
Think he was probably saying ‘I’m very happy about scoring my first goal in 11 months, having recovered from knee surgery in the summer,’ rather than ‘Oi, Mikel, pick me over that Takehiro Tomiyasu fella’. But there you go.
The long con
Mediawatch gets that the Europa League is often scoffed at, but this from Mark Irwin of The Sun is a nonsense:
‘Arteta’s problem is convincing the sceptical supporters that the Europa League is a competition actually worth pursuing while all the talk centres around their surprise title challenge.’
It is a major trophy. Not sure any actual supporter will need persuading that Arsenal should try and win it. The Premier League is the priority but come on.
Drop it like it’s hot
But back to Man Utd we go to find this doozy of a story from the Daily Mirror website:
‘Erik ten Hag explains why he dropped Marcus Rashford for must-win Man Utd clash’
Go ahead and tell us why you ‘dropped’ a forward who has scored six goals in 11 matches, Erik, you big fool.
“We have to cover more games. Rashford also had a muscle injury a couple of weeks ago and a number of games are coming, and we need him. He’s so important for us.”
Well that seems absolutely fair enough. It turns out ‘dropped’ is not a synonym for ‘obviously and understandably rested’.
Of your cake and eat it
And then there’s this from the MailOnline:
‘I don’t think any Manchester United fan could of ever predicted that’: Fans are left baffled after Erik ten Hag brings on Harry Maguire as a STRIKER as they chased second goal in latter stages against Real Sociedad’
Basing entire articles around tweets is one awful but now completely accepted thing but do we really need to transcribe uncorrected typos in the headline?
Writes The Sun‘s Jordan Davies of West Ham‘s 3-0 win over FCSB:
‘Cruelly, 18-year-old academy graduate Divin Mubama was denied a goal on his senior debut, with his deflected header being awarded as an own goal for defender Joyskim Dawa.’
The Daily Mail‘s Kieran Gill has a similar line how ‘it cruelly went down as an own goal’, while Roshane Thomas of The Athletic says Mubama ‘cruelly had his first senior goal ruled as an own goal
Because it absolutely was and his header was going wide without the deflection. How ‘cruel’ to class an own goal as an own goal. Didn’t UEFA realise it was an 18-year-old making his debut?
‘Jurgen Klopp needs forgotten man “ready” for Premier League to step up amid transfer call’ – Daily Mirror website.
Not sure Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, starter of 11 Premier League games since the beginning of the 2020/21 season, is the man Jurgen Klopp ‘needs’. Even if he is obviously ‘one player who could sure up the midfield’, expert defensive anchor that he is.
Strangest ‘just after’ of the day
‘Gerard Pique announces SHOCK retirement from football – just five months after split from Shakira and with Barcelona’s fans booing him over pay cut row – with legendary defender set to play his last game at Nou Camp on Saturday’ – MailOnline.
Retiring ‘just five months after’ breaking up with Shakira? Good lord. Those things are clearly related.
Here’s a challenge for you. See if you can figure out which of these two outlets is despised on Merseyside and which is basically a fanzine:
‘Liverpool handed Champions League boost as Manchester City and Chelsea face nightmare last-16 draw’ – Liverpool Echo.
‘Liverpool face nightmare Champions League last-16 draw… with Bayern and a reunion with Sadio Mane the most likely tie’ – The Sun.
‘Manchester United undroppable at risk of suspension in Premier League fixture vs Aston Villa,’ fears the Manchester Evening News, who bring the ‘undroppable’ tally of Man Utd players to at least 18 since September 2020.
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