What’s in a number?
The Sun Online, February 8: ‘De Gea on verge of signing £100m contract at Man Utd that will make him world’s ninth best-paid player…The Spaniard regarded as the best keeper in the world is set to commit his long-term future to United earning a whopping £400,000-a-week over five years.’
The Sun Online, February 11: ‘Ramsey signs £400,000-a-week Juventus contract to make him the world’s eighth best paid player.’
Hmmmm. Something is not adding up here. And it quickly becomes clear what the problem is…
Somebody really cannot count.
And that’s even before we point out that not every month has exactly four weeks. Which is something most of us learn by about eight (or nine).
‘ANTHONY MARTIAL admits Manchester United players will enjoy Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment as permanent boss’ – Neil Custis, The Sun.
“Okay, you’ve got me, take off the thumbscrews…I admit it, we will enjoy Solskjaer’s appointment as permanent boss.”
‘ANTHONY MARTIAL has admitted it is easier to play for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer than for Jose Mourinho’ – David McDonnell, The Daily Mirror.
“You’ve got me now…I will tell you absolutely everything…I admit it, it is easier to play for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.”
Part of him must at least be relieved it’s all out in the open.
Counting the number of words in response to a particular question is the online media’s new jam. A very low or very high number of words is the key here, while those words being ‘angry’, ‘shocking’ or any other emotive adjective of your choice certainly helps.
The Daily Mirror website follow all the rules with their headline of ‘Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s surprise 7-word response to latest Man Utd job question’.
And we’re already confused as we know Solskjaer gave a much longer answer to that question, as detailed here.
So we read the piece. And after a lot of preamble we get to those ‘surprise’ seven words:
‘When asked about his feelings on his prospects for being named United boss full-time, Solskjaer responded: “You need to change the script now.”‘
Hmmm. Mediawatch knows that wasn’t Solskjaer’s full answer to that question, so it’s a little cheeky to suggest that he was quite so blunt.
‘He continued: “There’s still a few more months left of this season to do whatever we need to do.”‘
Oh, you’re not even pretending. You just counted the first seven words, which does actually qualify as a ‘surprise’.
Neil Custis on Jose Mourinho, Sunday Supplement, August 2018: “He has made them relevant again. This is a top manager who is being picked apart and being called a dinosaur. He beat all of the top six last season, Spurs in the (FA Cup) semi-final, got to an FA Cup final, which they probably should have won.
“The League Cup final when they beat Southampton was the best game I have seen at the new Wembley. The Europa League final against Ajax he got tactically spot on. And this bloke is getting pulled from pillar to post, it is ridiculous.”
Neil Custis, The Sun, February 2019: ‘Forget the Europa League, a very poor relation of this competition. It is the Champions League where it’s at…For a club that used to be feared in Europe, they have become also-rans, something Solskjaer aims to change.’
From ‘relevant’ to ‘also-rans’ in little more than a hop, skip and a jump. Welcome to the world of the Manchester United manager lickspittle.
Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole…
‘For Solskjaer, it is the next stage of the audition, a recall as actors have it. We have seen he can motivate, he can play the Manchester United way, he can do it against the best in the Premier League; but what about the elite of Europe?’ asks Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail.
Sorry, did we miss the games against Liverpool and Manchester City? Until United play the best in the Premier League, we’re not sure we can claim ‘he can do it against the best in the Premier League’.
Along with most of his journalistic brethren, Samuel is ready to see Solskjaer appointed. And although the headline reads ‘This is the one, Ole. Get past PSG and the job is yours’, it’s this sentence that stands out:
‘To some extent, Solskjaer has won already, just by allowing Old Trafford to feel good about this tie.’
Why even play the game? Just give him the bloody job. And a life peerage.
Caption of the day
On a picture of Maurizio Sarri in The Sun Online‘s piece about a clear-the-air meeting at Chelsea:
‘Maurizio Sarri looked to be pondering as he strolled the training pitch in casual clothes.’
He really should have worn a lounge suit. Sack him.
A Certain Ratio
Stan Collymore is here to tell you in the Daily Mirror that Tottenham ARE in the title race. And how does he know?
‘Their points-to-games ratio is pretty much on a par with Manchester City and Liverpool.’
That’ll be the table then.
The Walking Dead
At least somebody at the Daily Mirror worked out (at 9.25 according to the edit) that something was a little spooky about this sentence from our Stanley:
‘When (Solskjaer) opens his mouth it’s almost as if he has been possessed by the ghost of Sir Alex Ferguson.’
That would be the very-much-still-alive Sir Alex Ferguson.
Sour taste of the day
‘Emiliano Sala’s ‘secret lover’ speaks out following Cardiff striker’s death’ – Daily Mirror online.
You must feel super-proud when you clickbait a man’s death by implying he led some kind of secret double life.
She literally talks about walking down the street in Nantes with him, you ghouls.
Recommended reading of the day
David Squires on Sarri and Chelsea
Seb Stafford-Bloor on Wolves