Unlike Manchester United, Everton will be playing in a mainstream European competition this season. Not that football writers down there in London seem to have grasped that: the Bill Shankly jibe that “There are two great football teams on Merseyside – Liverpool, and Liverpool reserves” along with Rafa Benitez’ remark about “small clubs” have blinded the hacks to reality.
Who f***ing says my sports writers are useless, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay
Nor, it seems, does the Daily Mail’s staff appreciate that Liverpool and Everton fans like to wind each other up, using any means at their disposal. What was once done using phone-ins – all that last-minute support for Graeme Souness just before Liverpool sacked him was from Everton fans – is now carried on via social media. And so it was with one of Everton’s loan signings last season.
Gerard Deulofeu was loaned to the Toffees last term by FC Barcelona. This season, he will again be loaned out, this time to Sevilla. Cue an opportunity for Liverpool fans to give the crowd across Stanley Park some stick. A Twitter account pretending to be Everton manager Roberto Martinez, but with the rather obvious spoof handle @SirBobMartinez, pretended Barca were not happy with Everton.
“Luis Enrique, FCB Coach: ‘Gerard Deulofeu wasted last year. They tried to kill his flair and vision. That won’t happen at Seville’ (Marca)” read the Tweet. Now, as the Nil Satis Nisi Optimum blog has discovered, Luis Enrique quotes aplenty can be found on the Marca site – but none about Deulofeu’s time at Everton. This minor fact checking inconvenience did not deter the Mail.
Yes, the Mail repeated the phony Martinez’ account’s phony Marca quotes, but soon someone realised they had fouled up and there was a re-write. However, and in this case there is a significantly sized however, the comments under the piece give the game away – and the claim “However, new Barcelona boss Luis Enrique didn't feel that particular loan spell aided Deulofeu's development and is far more confident of him progressing on loan this time around” is based on the fake quotes.
“Do all your research on twitter? You're a lazy journalist ... Has the article now been toned down? ... These quotes are fake it's coming from a twitter account. I'd expect journalists to do real research rather than use fake quotes from what was a parody van Gaal account but now changed to a parody Martinez account”. Oh dear!
So the Daily Mail has now matched the Sun in uniting the red and blue halves of Liverpool against the useless ignorance of the London media. The idea that Roberto Martinez would “kill” a player’s “flair and vision” is laughable. Next thing you know, the Mail will have forgotten that David Moyes no longer manages Everton. Because he went to Manchester United last summer. The ones not in Europe this time.
Daily Mail football journalism. Down to the same standard as its other journalism.