Opinion: The Issue with ESPN and Julien Laurens

ESPN FC‘s fascination with Paris Saint-Germain is one that straddles the line between news and clickbait.

It’s unfortunate because, for those who don’t follow PSG as closely as we do and rely on the worldwide leader for their news, they’re being fed a lot of misinformation and opinion passed off as reporting. This is especially true if they listen to much of what Julien Laurens has to say.

Last Wednesday, the ESPN FC panel (Dan Thomas, Alejandro Moreno, Craig Burley, Shaka Hislop, Julien Laurens, and Frank Leboeuf) discussed the “incident” between PSG manager Thomas Tuchel and Kylian Mbappé.

In case you missed what happened, Tuchel took the Frenchman off in the 90th minute against Montpellier HSC and you could tell he wasn’t happy about it. Mbappé didn’t look at his manager and went directly to the bench with Tuchel trying to explain his decision to his star forward.

Keep in mind, this minor event occurred last Saturday and the panel decided to discuss what happened on the night that PSG defeated Galatasaray 5-0 in what was a brilliant performance. With them, there’s always controversy and unrest at PSG even when there isn’t.

By the time ESPN FC got around to discussing what happened, Tuchel had already explained his decision to the media and it seemed like everyone was ready to move on. Or so we thought.

ESPN FC decided to continue the debate (because PSG and controversy sell apparently) and base the entire conversation around pure speculation. For several of these panelists, there lies a deep hatred of PSG, the way they go about business, of Ligue 1, and Neymar Jr. This renders practically everything they say about PSG complete garbage.

Back to Laurens though, towards the end of the segment, the Frenchman used the word “theory” when delivering his thoughts on Tuchel leaving PSG after the season is over.

For Laurens, this isn’t the first time he’s gone on the record trying to predict the departure of someone at PSG. Last summer, he said that the capital club wanted Neymar out and that the Brazilian would likely leave Paris. Um, that didn’t happen.

Look, no journalist will bat one thousand when it comes to transfers; however, he operates on pure speculation.

For example, in the video in which he states that PSG wants Neymar out, he doesn’t go into detail. All he says is that it’s confirmed, not explaining if the source is close to the club or a fellow reporter. A journalist doesn’t have to name a source, but better wording can help the public understand who is giving Laurens the information.

Also, a good journalist is one to admit they’re wrong or explain when they get a transfer wrong, but there’s none of this. For many PSG supporters, they know to proceed with caution when it comes to the information given by Laurens. This article isn’t for them; it’s for the casual soccer fans that watch ESPN FC and don’t notice the inconsistencies in his information.

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Tags Kylian Mbappé media Neymar Thomas Tuchel
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