Coming or going
Now we’re not saying that the Daily Telegraph were trying to squeeze as many separate URLs as possible out of their ‘Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to leave Arsenal? Seven destinations and seven replacements’ gallery, but you do wonder when one of the suggested destinations that he could leave Arsenal for is… Arsenal. Oh yes.
Still, one of the possible ‘replacements’ for Oxlade-Chamberlain is Kylian Mbappe. Have they ever watched either of them play?
Mediawatch could never be accused of labouring a point over and over again, but the rise of ‘footballer with their partner’ stories this summer, usually based on a single social media post, is pretty pathetic.
The Daily Star’s latest effort scrapes even further into the barrel, barely even trying to relate it to football. ‘Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s girlfriend Perrie Edwards shows off her body on holiday,’ is the headline.
‘Click through the gallery above to see photos from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s holiday with girlfriend Perrie Edwards – and some of her best Instagram photos,’ the piece concludes. For ‘best Instagram photos’ read photos of Edwards in as few clothes as possible, naturally.
It’s all just absolutely pathetic, and an embarrassment to the industry.
Troll with it
‘AROUSING: John Terry trolls Cesc Fabregas over romantic holiday snap kissing partner Daniella Semaan in very small shorts’ – The Sun.
That’s right, it’s an entire news story based on John Terry leaving a comment on an Instagram photo saying: “Great picture… not sure about the shorts.” That’s not what trolling is, guys.
The Sun have sent Paul Jiggins to Poland for the European Under-21 Championship, and their man was tasked with a ‘Tammy Abraham watch’ alongside his match report of England’s game against Slovakia. It didn’t go well for the Chelsea youngster.
Jiggins writes that Abraham’s movement ‘is arguably the weakest area of his game’, that his goal threat was ‘disappointing’, that he could ‘have done with getting in some better positions in front of goal’ and that ‘on this showing he is not good enough for the Premier League’. Ouch.
Not sure whether Jiggins was watching the same game as the Daily Mail then, who wrote that ‘Tammy Abraham was beacon of hope up front for England, causing Slovakia problems with his height and pace.’ That’s some difference.
Still, even Jiggins himself is open to persuasion. Shimmy down six inches to his match ratings, and Abraham is rated as England’s best player. By now he’s a ‘true lion’.
Maybe the Premier League isn’t the natural habitat for lions?
The party line
Think that VAR has been criticised after almost every game of the Confederations Cup? Think that the new system is struggling to bed in? Think that, even if it does eventually become commonplace, VAR could have done with a smoother beginning? Well then you aren’t FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
“I am extremely happy with VAR so far,” Infantino said after the latest controversy during Australia and Germany. “We have seen how video assistance has helped referees to make the correct decisions. This is what VAR is all about.
“The VAR tests during this Confederations Cup are also helping us to improve the processes and fine-tune communication. What fans have been waiting for over so many years is finally happening. This is a milestone tournament. Video Assistant Refereeing is the future of modern football.”
Never doubt FIFA’s inability to bury their heads deep, deep down into the sand.
‘We need you, Giroud’ reads the Daily Mirror’s headline on the future of Olivier Giroud.
Actual quotes from Arsene Wenger:
“It has been a frustrating season for him because he has not played a lot. And when he has played well, he has not always played the next match. He has won us a lot of points when he has come on because he has scored lots of times. He has qualities that our team need.”
Needing a particular player and needing the things they (and others) do isn’t quite the same thing, is it? Don’t get comfortable just yet, Olly.
A national disgrace
Writes Charlie Sale in his Daily Mail Sports Agenda column:
‘England, third favourites for the European women’s championships, have a bowling alley in the team hotel at their Utrecht base. Broadcasters are hoping to get footage of the girls in any ten-pin challenge.
‘In contrast, England’s men weren’t prepared to let anyone know about their darts competition at Euro 2016 — let alone film it.’
Anyone suspicious that Sale is searching a little too hard for that stick to beat the FA/England team with?
When you find him, ask him how to spell his name. pic.twitter.com/L5EJ1V4RGt
— Football365 (@F365) June 20, 2017
Needless to say, I had the last laugh
— michael owen (@themichaelowen) June 19, 2017
Truly sensational, as is the quote from Owen on the Manchester-based law firm’s website:
“I’m delighted to have been appointed as an ambassador for @GowingLawUK. I’ve known the team there for some time now; they are a North West based team but with a nationwide reach and have over 22 years experiences so, if you need to make a claim you are in good hands with them.”
1) Is there nothing that Michael Owen will not do for money?
2) What the chuff does a law firm need a former footballer as a brand ambassador for?
Misleading headline of the day
‘Cristiano Ronaldo speaks for the first time after Portugal draw with Mexico’ – Metro.
Accidental plural of the day
The new Mrs Wilshere ❤️ on Saturday I married the women of my dreams! Thank you to everyone who came and made the day so special ❤️ pic.twitter.com/n8zHDHGTcQ
— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) June 19, 2017
You’d thought the vicar might have spotted the bigamy.
Worst introduction of the day
‘PAUL POGBA may have just challenged the world’s fastest man to a race across the Great Wall of China’ – The Sun.
We’re sure on tenterhooks.
MailOnline bullet point of the day
‘On Thursday, Pogba performed the dab on the Great Wall of China’ – MailOnline.
Recommended reading of the day
Paul Doyle on English heavy metal football conquering Europe.
The start of FourFourTwo’s 50 best managers in the world 2017.
David Squires on 25 years of the Premier League.