We all know what The Daily Mail's like - filled with sensationalist, xenophobic fodder which often has to be read ironically.
As a result, the only part of one of their newspapers you’ll ever catch me reading is the sports section. Then, at least, I’ll be free from the crap they decide to conjure up for the sake of it….or am I?
I ask this as I recently came across a rumour which caught my eye. If reports are to be believed, Brendan Rodgers could be preparing a swap deal which would involve Hatem Ben Arfa departing for Anfield and Andy Carroll returning to Tyneside.
The question is, do we believe a source which is renowned for portraying anyone outside of Britain as a savage? Let’s just say that if this deal materialises in the summer, I’ll drive up to Newcastle and buy you all a pint.
In part, I say that because I refuse to believe said rumour. But I also say it because it’s a move which I really wouldn’t want to see happen.
The main reason is a pretty obvious one, and that is that Hatem Ben Arfa is an incredibly talented footballer. Injuries may have hampered his career at Newcastle a touch, but there’s no doubting that his technical ability on the ball isn’t rivalled by many in this division. In my opinion, a fit and confident Hatem would slot into the starting XI all day long.
And then there’s Andy Carroll, a player who I now see as incredibly damaged psychologically. His £35m move to Liverpool has been a complete flop and, bar a change in mentality, I can’t see it getting any better. What that also indicates is that the striker struggles to perform under a lot of pressure. If he were to make a return to Tyneside, he’d certainly feel the heat of the fans’ glares. Would he be able to handle that? I’m not so sure.
At last, the team has started to perform well again, so this rumour really is an irritating one. My reasons for rebuking this story are simple: I see Ben Arfa as an asset for the future of Newcastle United, and I can see Carroll being a potential liability. The window only closed a week ago, so give it a rest Mr Daily Mail Editor!