I can’t recall who wrote the piece but sometime ago I read an article on the reliability of the various media sources.
The writer talked of how some years ago he discovered the Economist and how he would devour the content week after week.
That is until the magazine wrote a piece on something that the reader actually had intimate knowledge of.
Suddenly he was confronted with a magazine that he had trusted printing a story that he knew had giant size holes in it.
He never felt the same again about the Economist but it did teach him to take everything that he reads and hears with a pinch of salt.
In the world of football we know that we are bombarded with speculation and unsubstantiated stories ever day. But on Wednesday the Daily Mail out did its normally questionable story lines with suggesting that Manchester United – and other Premier League clubs – were ready to bid and match Torino’s asking price of $9M for a player called Alen Stevanovic.
Normally this story would just be passed over as just another unknown being linked with a move to a big club. Except in this case it was not an unknown player – certainly not to anyone who watched MLS last season and in particular Toronto FC.
Last season Stevanovic was on loan from Torino to Toronto FC and was, to say the least, underwhelming in his displays and attitude. He managed 12 appearances for TFC and completed ninety minutes only four times. Bill boarded as an attacking midfielder he failed to score.
How much of an impression did he make with Toronto fans? “Waking the Red,” a TFC fans website, described him as possibly the worst #10 in MLS last season. Of the 40 players who pulled on a TFC jersey last season the website rated him #32.
Certainly not what you expect from a player so highly touted by the Daily Mail in their story.
Others would pick up on the story in the UK and Stevanovic even morphed into a tricky left winger later in the day.
The thing is I have no idea how well or how poorly he is playing for Torino but the statistics hardly offer a portrait of someone tearing up the league and on the cusp of a major move to one of the biggest clubs in the world.
This season Stevanovic has started and completed 4 games for Torino. In another 24 games he has started but failed to complete the full ninety minutes. That alone would cast doubts on how well he is actually playing.
He has scored three goals – hardly an impressive total for someone listed as an attacking player.
In a world of hype this might be one of the most ridiculous transfer stories of the year – and it is only March. Or come next season perhaps I will be forced to eat a large helping of humble pie.
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