What stood out is that the headlines state that Macca says Liverpool’s got no chance of winning the league this season. Say it’s not so…
BBC: McManaman cool on Reds title bid; McManaman doubts Liverpool title chances (audio)
Daily Mirror: Macca in Liverpool blast
Setanta: McManaman writes off Pool chances
It’s not so.
The problem is that Macca didn’t write off Liverpool’s chances, and really didn’t say much that’s newsworthy. I recommend listening to the BBC’s audio, which is where the quotes seem to come from. And the transcript of that…
Macca - I think they’ll do as well as every single year. I think it’s important for Liverpool to win the Premiership. It’s going to be very difficult for them. I certainly think they’ll be in the top four, like every single year.
Interviewer - Is that good enough though for Liverpool?
Macca - Well, no, of course it’s not. Everybody who hankers on about the Premiership, the holy grail for Liverpool is the Premiership. For Chelsea and Manchester United, it’s the Champions League isn’t it? But because Liverpool haven’t won it in a significant amount of time, that’s important for them to win the Premiership.
Whether they will do this year, who knows? They've strengthened, but so have the teams above them who finished 15, 16, 20 points ahead of them have also strengthened, so it's going to be very difficult for them.
This is writing off Liverpool’s title chances? This is news?
It is going to be difficult. All the top teams have strengthened. Liverpool’s focus will be on the league, and it’s necessary that the team is competing for the title if not winning it this year. All of these things are pretty much common knowledge. But did Macca say anywhere that Liverpool won’t or can’t win?
It’s become too common for me to criticize the 'mainstream media' for their portrayal of events and quotes on this blog, and I’m cognizant of repeatedly striking the same note. But this is yet another case of putting words in someone’s mouth. Every time it drives me crazy, but this time it seems more egregious than usual.
When it’s someone like Macca, Liverpool fans are going to pay attention. I know Macca’s one of the lead commentators on Setanta this season, so he’ll show up in the news a fair bit more, and probably say some things that will rub Liverpool fans the wrong way. And that’s both fine and fair; he is a pundit now. But it’s a complete disservice to Macca, Liverpool, and Liverpool’s fans to portray these comments in this light.
Naturally, the headline and story from the Liverpool Echo focuses on McManaman’s comments about Torres (“Torres is right man for the job – McManaman”), and doesn’t mention his comments regarding the league until the end of the story.