Sit down and let the usually sensible Chris Bascombe of the Daily Telegraph tell you why Andrew Robertson ‘could be the most important signing of the Jurgen Klopp era’.
Let Chris talk you through how the signing of Robertson would be more significant than those of Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah. And actually, ‘never mind if RB Leipzig eventually grasp the insanity of rejecting £66 million for Naby Keita, Virgil Van Dijk takes his appeal to be released from Southampton to Amnesty International or even Kylian Mbappe fancies a couple of years on Merseyside before he settles in Madrid’. It’s all about Hull left-back Andrew Robertson.
‘Robertson has something more valuable than any of these players: a Scottish passport. History tells us Liverpool are far more fashionable when donning a touch of Tartan silk. Robertson extends a tradition sadly undermined since Liverpool’s golden era.’
Yes, he does say that Robertson’s Scottishness makes him a potentially more important signing than if they managed to lure £100m-plus-rated French teenager Kylian Mbappe to Anfield. If only he were called Cillian McMbappe.
Bascombe walks us through a misty-eyed tour of the great Scots to play for Liverpool, before ending with this sodden paragraph…
‘Nevertheless, while Robertson arrives as one of the more low-key Liverpool recruits – with none of the expectations or fanfare of more expensive signings – his capture will have most appeal to the romantics who cherish Scottish influence at Anfield. His arrival will surely make Dalglish smile most, and have the likes of Liddell and Shankly nodding most approvingly as they perch on their cloud.’
Quick question: Were they nodding approvingly on their ‘cloud’ when Liverpool signed Charlie Adam and Danny Wilson too?
Mor, Mor, Mor
You know what’s infinitely better than stories about Alvaro Morata? Stories about Alvaro Morata’s attractive sister, of course.
This is absolutely textbook from the shameless Daily Star: ‘Alvaro Morata’s sister ‘melts’ in OUTRAGEOUS selfie as Chelsea move looms’.
A few questions…
Is it OUTRAGEOUS to take a ‘snap a selfie of herself with cross-eyes as she sizzles in the Madrid heat’?
Is an image posted four days ago still within the internationally agreed boundaries of ‘looms’?
And if we cry really quietly at our desk will anybody notice or even care?
‘CHELSEA say they have agreed to pay a club record £58million for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata’ – Daily Mail.
‘Chelsea have pulled off an incredible transfer coup by agreeing an initial fee of £58million with Real Madrid for Alvaro Morata’ – Daily Telegraph.
‘Chelsea are on the verge of bolstering their attack for their Premier League title defence after agreeing a club record deal worth an initial £58m with Real Madrid to sign the Spain forward Álvaro Morata’ – The Guardian.
‘CHELSEA have agreed a club-record £65million deal for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata’ – The Sun.
‘ANTONIO CONTE took his summer spending to £140million last night after agreeing a deal for Alvaro Morata. The Real Madrid striker will cost Chelsea £67m’ – Daily Mirror.
If you are now suspecting that the Daily Mirror plumped for £67m to push Chelsea’s ‘summer spending to £140million’, then you would be exactly right.
You know the rule: Make those numbers BIG.
£70m £70m £70m
The figure of £58m appears to be the ‘right’ one, given that it was reported by the Telegraph, Times, Guardian, Mail and Sky Sports.
But The Times have irked Mediawatch for reporting that Chelsea ‘have agreed to pay Real an initial £58m’ but then using this headline:
‘Chelsea to spend £70m on Morata’
Well they could. But that would probably mean that they have won the Premier League, the Champions League, Morata has scored 100 goals, won the Golden Boot and potentially the Balon d’Or, so they almost certainly won’t.
It’s sensationalist, misleading and frankly, we expect better.
We certainly expect better than this from Matt Hughes:
‘Morata will become the third most expensive player in English football after Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku, who joined Manchester United for £89million and £75million respectively, when he completes his move to Chelsea…’
Are we just ignoring £59.7m disaster Angel Di Maria never happened now? Louis van Gaal would probably like that.
Or have we just decided that we are going to use the BIGGEST number because BIG numbers are sexy, even in The Times.
Every day’s a school day
If you really must insist (and lots of websites do) on ‘learning’ five things from pre-season friendlies, it’s a good idea to actually, you know, ‘learn’ some useful stuff. Take Arsenal’s penalty shoot-out victory over Bayern Munich as an example. You could perhaps learn whether Krystian Bielik and Mo Elneny are viable centre-back options (they’re not), whether Ainsley Maitland-Niles could challenge Hector Bellerin and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as a right wing-back (probably not) or how Alexandre Lacazette fares as a striker in a 3-4-3 formation (a little lost).
Or you could, like John Cross in the Daily Mirror, learn that it’s hard to play football when it’s hot, and that the Shanghai Stadium is quite large.
Mediawatch will give Cross some credit for even trying to write something vaguely tactical…
‘If they can find the right balance between attack and defence – maybe the back three will help – then Arsenal have’
We can only presume that he passed out from the heat before he could finish that thought. Or perhaps he got distracted by the size of the stadium.
Don’t know much about algorithms
‘DELE ALLI is the most valuable young player in the world – according to a new report’ – The Sun.
‘KYLIAN MBAPPE is the most valuable young player in the world – according to everybody else’ – Football365.
Why do you think Jonjo Shelvey has not been playing for England despite their need for central midfielders?
Is it because…
a) His ‘face doesn’t fit’.
b) He has been playing in the Championship.
c) He has that ridiculous ‘aren’t glasses funny?’ celebration.
If you answered b), then congratulations, you are capable of logical thought. You also have something in common with Jonjo Shelvey himself, who says: “They’re not going to pick a player in the Championship.”
If you answered a), then commiserations for you are Sun reporter David Coverdale who writes: ‘The Newcastle star fears he will be snubbed – because his face doesn’t fit.’
Unfortunately, the sub-editors at The Sun clearly did not read as far as Shelvey’s own quotes, so the various headlines read ‘TOON ACE ON SNUB’, ‘Shelved’ and ‘JONJO: 3 LIONS FROZE ME OUT’.
Obviously it’s c) anyway.
Presumably The Independent’s Kishan Vaghela wanted Jermaine Jenas to say that Tottenham would struggle to finish in the top four. He presumably wanted him to cite ‘the move to Wembley Stadium, a lack of activity in the transfer market and the strengthening of their rivals’ as reasons for this failure.
And then when he said nothing of the sort, he presumably thought ‘f*** it’ and wrote it anyway.
Awful intro of the day
‘ENGLAND’S Lionesses wrecked Nicola Sturgeon’s birthday as they hammered the Scots…’ – Daily Mirror.
Yes, that is definitely the ‘hot take’ from an international England side winning their opening match of a major tournament 6-0.