Another example of very poor football journalism came in last night’s London Evening Standard. Alongside a back page photo of Peter Crouch ran the headline “Branded an idiot for his clubbing, Spurs star is ready to stand tall”. Inside, the story ran beneath the head “I wasn’t an idiot to sign for Tottenham, insists striker“.
The first paragraph re-iterates the point, telling us further that “his manager Harry Redknapp recently called him an ‘idiot'”. Explosive stuff, that. Except that, in the penultimate paragraph, we find out what actually happened. Last month Crouch was pictured looking a bit dishevelled after a night out on the lash. England manager Fabio Capello is a bit of a disciplinarian about that sort of thing, so Redknapp advised Crouch to keep his head down with the words “you’re an idiot, move on”.
So, the back page “news” splash refers to something that happened a month ago, and it leads to a story inside which takes a harmless phrase completely out of context. No said Crouch was an idiot to sign for Tottenham, despite the claim in the headline, and in fact Crouch himself didn’t say it, despite the words “insists striker” clearly stating he did.
It’s not exactly The Sun and Gordon Brown, but even on a slow sports news day it’s a pretty poor effort.