The Reds splashed out £50million to sign Keita in the summer bu hes already linked with a move away
Verruca salt We’re not saying that England’s European Championship qualifier against Montenegro has failed to truly capture the imagination, but this was the main headline on The Sun’s football homepage at 10am on Monday morning:
‘Welbeck performs famous Salt Bae celebration as crocked Arsenal ace chips in with cooking’.
Triple threat Over at the Daily Mirror website, they have opted for that modern classic: Take a new rumour, add old quotes and watch those delicious clicks roll in.
But as it’s international week, multiply that equation by three. Why would you write one shameless click-hungry piece when you can write three near-identical shameless click-hungry pieces?
The day after ‘shock claims have emerged’ that Liverpool could sell Naby Keita, there are obviously people Googling Naby Keita, so what does the Mirror produce between 08.27 and 10.10?
‘Jurgen Klopp explains why he dropped Naby Keita amid claims he’s selling £50m man’
All written by ‘Jake Polden’. All using old quotes. All basically using the same sentences.
‘Naby Keita has been linked with a shock move away from Liverpool after just one season’ writes Polden at 08.27. And then by 09.31, ‘Shock claims have emerged that Liverpool are set to sell Naby Keita after just one season’. Then at 10.10, ‘Naby Keita has been linked with a surprise transfer away from Liverpool’, as somebody belatedly remembers to put the word ‘shock’ into an online thesaurus.
08.27: ‘But it’s very unlikely the midfielder will sign for either Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund – the clubs he has been linked with – when the summer transfer window opens, especially when you consider what Jurgen Klopp has said about him in recent months.’
09.31: ‘He’s been linked with a move to either Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund, but is very unlikely to leave Liverpool given what Jurgen Klopp has previously said about his development.’
10.10: ‘The £50million midfielder joined the Reds at the start of the season but is reportedly attracting attention from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund after failing to nail down a place in Liverpool’s first team. Jurgen Klopp appears against the idea of selling Keita, and has not only previously played down his reasons for rotating him but also has a history of giving individuals time to settle into their new surroundings.’
At 08.27, Polden is quoting Klopp from ‘just a month ago’. You have to love the audacity of using the word ‘just’ there.
At 09.31, Polden is quoting Klopp from March 9, which apparently qualifies as ‘amid’ Sunday (March 24)’s claims.
At 10.10, Polden is quoting Keita himself ‘back in February of this year’. Which we can all agree ‘provide insight on his own future’.
As the Mirror’s sister paper the Liverpool Echo write of those Keita rumours: ‘The transfer window may be months away from opening, but already the silly season has started.’
Liverpool Liverpool Liverpool How do you sell a story about Birmingham City’s points deduction to a web audience dominated by Manchester United and Liverpool fans?
‘The part Liverpool played in Birmingham City’s nine-point deduction’, that’s how. Or at least that’s how, if you are the Daily Mirror.
To save you the Google, Birmingham thought Stoke might sell Jack Butland to Liverpool. Presumably because nobody at Birmingham had watched Jack Butland play last season.
Axe the question ‘GARETH SHOWS RUTHLESS SIDE’ is the rather large headline in the Daily Mail, prompting Mediawatch to wonder whether they missed the England coach bombing out Joe Hart, Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling, among others. He’s been really ruthless before, fellas.
‘Alli axed for Barkley as manager refuses to let standards slip,’ reads the sub-headline, prompting Mediawatch to wonder whether they had missed a) Southgate saying that Alli was a doubt for this latest England game with his hamstring injury and b) Southgate dropping Alli several times before.
Indeed, for all the bombast in the Mail’s headline, Alli has only actually started 17 of Southgate’s 32 England games. This is by no means the first time he has been ‘axed’, if indeed he has been ‘axed’ at all.
‘For this game against Montenegro Alli also seems like he might be out of favour, even if Southgate did stress on Sunday night that the Tottenham midfielder is still struggling with the hamstring problem that until recently had kept him on the sidelines.’
So you didn’t miss the injury quotes, you just decided to disregard them in pursuit of an ‘axeing’?
‘Southgate, of course, has dropped Alli in the past, albeit for clowning around on the bench in Amsterdam 12 months ago rather than a performance that did not reach his usual high standards.’
Hmmm. That’s a tad misleading; he played Alli for just 22 minutes across two friendlies in March 2018, one of which was that clash in Amsterdam. At that point it was very, very clear that Alli was struggling in England’s 3-5-2 formation.
Fast-forward to November 2018 and Alli started against the USA in a friendly but was then ‘axed’ by Southgate three days later for the 2-1 victory over Croatia that sealed Nations League qualification. Alli losing his place to Barkley is so unprecedented that it happened a full four months ago.
‘But losing out to Barkley, who so impressed when coming on as a replacement for the injured Dier against the Czechs, would feel more significant, and something that would definitely send a message not just to Alli but the entire squad.’
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