The merest hint of a potentially minor injury for Wayne Rooney last night will still have sent Fleet Street headline writers and picture editors into a flat spin. Here we review some of the tabloid conventions we may expect to see employed around such news:
1) The headline: A dramatic white out of black with a heavy emphasis on rhyme. Expect that rhyming pattern to be pushed precisely one word too far in an attempt to allude to a previous and almost entirely unrelated injury that did however mean Rooney missed some other important football matches once:
2) The 'We told you so' graphic: Used over the course of several days to a) fill space, and b) remind you they broke a story you actually saw break two days earlier on television. Note however the gratuitous attention to detail in magnifying the injured area and the slightly weak, nonsensical headline that in the cold light of day even they have realised was written in a bit of a rush. If you could zoom in you would also notice that among some pretty vague guesswork, certain key details were way wide of the mark in the first edition (click to enlarge...go on):
3) A totally pointless picture of an X-ray: It's probably not even anything to do with Rooney and on closer inspection will likely be the wrong foot altogether but let's not let that stand in the way of a visual staple of such stories:
4) The pseudo science bit: A pretty unspectacular diagram which, even with the bulk of the space given over to an image will still run out of steam early in its failed attempt to look convincingly scientific, as the combined minds of the subs desk draw on what limited knowledge they have of key components within the diagram:
What's that you say... he's probably going to be OK?