I like driving in my car…
Mediawatch knew it was only a matter of time before Manchester United’s problems were blamed on cars and money. After all, how can footballers be reasonably expected to perform on a football pitch when they earn big money and drive fancy cars?
Because of course all table-topping Liverpool’s players earn a modest £35,000 a year and drive a fleet of red Skoda Kodiaqs.
The Sun’s Neil Custis and Richard Moriarty have been telling us for months that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is crazy mad with his Manchester United ‘flops’ and now we see why: They earn more money than he did and drive fancier cars than Sir Alex Ferguson would ever have allowed.
Let the old men of football rise up in anger against these young men with these fancy cars that they must only drive when they are playing at a level that is deemed acceptable.
‘SIR ALEX FERGUSON told his players to forget about searching for the money at Manchester United because it would find you.
‘The message was simple: Do the business for me and you will be handsomely rewarded, so concentrate on your football and don’t worry about it.
‘So quite what he made of Andreas Pereira, 23, driving into Carrington in a white Bentley would be interesting.’
If Ferguson did have any opinion on Pereira driving a Bentley – paid for with his own money, presumably – it would probably be that an average player like Pereira should be nowhere near the Manchester United first team. But as he is a first-team player, you would very much expect him to be driving that kind of car.
There is a famous story about Ferguson forcing a young player to sell his Bentley because he had just turned professional, but Pereira is 23 – as his helpfully detailed in the piece – and he has started six of United’s eight Premier League games this season. At this stage, he can drive whatever car he wants.
If you are looking to apportion blame for this mess, Mediawatch suggests that eyes might be cast towards a United hierarchy and Solskjaer who have contrived to make Pereira a first-team player, not towards a footballer who has merely accepted the wages that come with being a Manchester United first-team player.
Shush yourself, Mediawatch. It’s far easier to blame the players with all their money…
‘After the 1-1 draw against Arsenal, he told his players not one of them would have even got on the bench in his day.
‘And following Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Newcastle, he told them they had: “No fight, no energy, no desire, no commitment, no conviction.”
‘But they still have big cars, big houses and big money.’
Were they supposed to sell those big cars and big houses and give away that big money because they have started losing games? Did they deserve those trappings in January when United were winning games but not in October when they are losing them? We need some kind of guide.
‘Who in this team deserves the trappings of being a United player? Fred, on £120,000 a week, has one goal and two assists since signing in June 2018.’
They signed him for £52m and gave him a wage that reflected that price. Again, blame the club and not the player.
‘Marcus Rashford penned a new deal in the summer that guarantees him £41.6million, even if he does not score again.’
Well, we are pretty sure that if Rashford does not score a single goal between now and next summer then he will be sold by Manchester United (and there will be plenty of takers), who were merely protecting their investment when they gave him a massive contract in the summer after months of The Sun insisting that Real Madrid were interested.
The idea that Rashford will carry on merrily playing for United until 2023 without scoring another goal and yet picking up his wages is utterly ludicrous.
But not quite as ludicrous as this sentence on Anthony Martial:
‘Has Anthony Martial done enough to see his weekly pay rocket to £200,000, as it did with January’s new contract?’
And it’s at this point that Mediawatch turns the clock back to January to find a piece from one Neil Custis in The Sun about that new contract.
‘Red Devils may have done the smartest business of the transfer window by landing the Frenchman on a five-year contract.’
From ‘the smartest business of the transfer window’ to a sign that ‘Ole’s players have too much, too soon’ in just nine months? Welcome to the confusing world of Neil Custis and his relationship with Manchester United.
‘Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal among sides at risk as Premier League face having Champions League automatic spots cut to just three places’ – The Sun.
But Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have finished fourth just twice between them in the last six years’ – Mediawatch.
Timing of the day
‘Pep Guardiola vows to quit Man City if ‘things don’t go to plan’ with champions eight points behind Liverpool’ – The Sun.
‘I’d step aside if things weren’t going to plan’: Pep Guardiola tells Manchester City chief he will QUIT if his side fall apart as they fight to catch Liverpool’ – Daily Mail.
Pretty sure the book from which the ‘vow’ is lifted – out later this month – was not written when Manchester City were eight points behind Liverpool.
But we’re also pretty sure that sticking ‘Liverpool’ in a headline increases clicks roughly tenfold.
Still, at least they’re not pulling in clicks about Guardiola and Liverpool with quotes from a book published five years ago. Who would do that?
Here’s something we prepared earlier…
Of course, the Mirror would do that. And we almost have to admire their timely ‘story’ about Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy published on Wednesday morning just as Twitter blew up with this piece of brilliance…
This has been a burden in my life for a few years now and finally I have got to the bottom of it…… pic.twitter.com/0YqJAoXuK1
— Coleen Rooney (@ColeenRoo) October 9, 2019
Within the half-hour, the Mirror had sourced a story from The Times in 2016 and published this:
‘Wayne Rooney ‘warned’ Jamie Vardy about wife Rebekah in England showdown talks in 2016′
Cynical bloody genius.
‘No sh*t’ story of the day
‘DAVID MOYES is open to a return to Everton…’ – Daily Mirror.
Unemployed man wants job.
Recommended reading of the day
The Guardian pick the next generation of Premier League footballers
Daniel Storey on the fall of Monaco
Seb Stafford-Bloor on Tammy Abraham