When Bale is good, it's down to the manager. Apart from when it's Villas-Boas...
An easy mistake to make, it's not all about Paolo and tears...
Who's Making Brendan Look Ridiculous?
There's a weird thing happening with Brendan Rodgers. Well, you probably knew that, but a weird thing happening with his quotes from a press conference he gave on Thursday.
Here's how most places (in this case The Guardian) reported his words on scouting young Scousers, rather than 'sexy' Spanish stars:
"My big thing is getting young players in here from the local area in Liverpool. Look at the history here - Carragher, Gerrard, McManaman, Fowler and Owen."
And here's how The Daily Mail reported them:
"My big thing is getting young players in here from the local area.
"Boys from Liverpool. If you look at the history here: the Carragher, the Gerrard, the McManaman, the Fowler, the Owen..."
You may not think that adding a definite article at the start of every name matters, but it does. Specifically because it makes Brendan sound much more...well...ridiculous. So has The Mail added them in to try and make him seem more ridiculous, or did everyone else remove them to make him seem less ridiculous?
It's a vital issue and the public has a right to know. If only Leveson was still hearing evidence.
Oh, and Michael Owen is from Chester, Brendan. Cheers.
Jamie Redknapp writes a piece in The Daily Mail this morning that comes around every few months, asking where the English 'Silva, Mata or Cazorla' is.
It's a rather pointless exercise, but we're more interested in the pictures the paper used to illustrate the story. As is standard with these sort of tales, they have grafted the heads of the three Spaniards onto three players in England kits.
With the help of a little deduction, the players they have chosen appear to be James Milner, Leon Osman and Steven Gerrard.
Well, we found it funny anyway.
'Manchester United are in pole position to sign Wilfried Zaha, the Crystal Palace forward, before the close of the transfer window this month' - The Times.
'Manchester United have made first contact with Crystal Palace about the purchase of Wilfried Zaha...there are early indications that they will have no competition in their pursuit of him' - The Independent.
'Manchester United expect to land Crystal Palace starlet Wilfried Zaha for £12million by the end of this month's transfer window' - The Daily Mail.
'Sir Alex Ferguson has blown Arsenal and Spurs out of race for Wilfried Zaha with a £12million package' - EXCLUSIVE! in The Daily Mirror.
How Local Media Works
Michael Laudrup was speaking about Danny Graham, and a possible move away from Swansea, on Wednesday. Here's what he said:
"I haven't heard anything about anyone not being here. Danny is in our squad for the game, of course. Apart from that, I don't want to talk about transfers.
"I know it is January and you will ask me questions all through this month, but I think the game against Chelsea is so important for us that we should not talk about anything apart from Chelsea. It's a huge game for the players, for the club - for all of us."
Here's how most sources, in this case specifically The Press Association, reported this story:
'Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup has denied that Danny Graham is on the verge of a move to Sunderland.'
And here's how North-East based paper The Chronicle reported the same words:
'Swansea boss Michael Laudrup has refused to quash talk of Sunderland target Danny Graham leaving the Liberty Stadium.'
A Doo Ron Ron
The Times picks out a number of reasons as to why Aston Villa's season could be going south. And scribe Peter Lansley chooses the lack of one defender as one of the reasons:
'The absence of Ron Vlaar has been critical. If the Holland defender is the six-million dollar man - and let's hope they can rebuild him because this calf injury has kept him out since November - then the $64million question is when will he be back?'
Villa have played 15 games with Vlaar this season, winning three and losing seven, keeping three clean sheets. Without him, they've played 12, winning five and losing four, keeping two clean sheets.
No Comment Required
Paolo di Canio has a column on The BBC Website. We'll let that sink in.
And now it has sunk in, observe a few choice cuts from the latest edition.
Paolo on money, and confectionary:
'Football can be greedy - that is typical in an industry where there is a chance to make lots of money. But I would rather be paid one pound to manage a team that has a good plan to achieve success than be paid lots of money to manage a club where the team and plan is not very good.
'I have to confess though, I have not always been like this. When I was a boy I stole my brother's bike and sold it to buy some pick-and-mix sweets for me and my friend. I did share the sweets, though, so it was one bad action and one good action.'
Paolo on Joe Cole, and Paolo:
'I played alongside Roberto Baggio and for me Cole was as good as him at 16. He was an amazing talent and the fact he did very well at West Ham and moved to Chelsea proved that he was a very good player.
'He was one of the most talented players at West Ham and the fact his development was while Paolo Di Canio was there I am sure helped him.
'He will probably say it didn't, but a lot of young players, like Michael Carrick for instance, have said that Paolo Di Canio helped them, so I am happy to think that in their achievements there is a little bit of Paolo Di Canio in them.'
Paolo on Christmas, and druids:
'Before Christmas I also went to Stonehenge for the winter solstice. Swindon had just beaten Tranmere 5-0 and I waited until 4am before going there to see the sunrise.
'It was raining and I didn't see anything, so I left and went straight to training.'
Laugh, but don't forget he has a tattoo in tribute to Benito Mussolini.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'Carlos The Hackles' - The Daily Mirror.
'You'll get nowhere playing Loic that' - The Daily Mirror. Again.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A carpenter in Argentina survived after a three inch nail was accidentally shot into his heart. The 19-year-old, who has not yet been named, was rushed to hospital in the capital of Buenos Aires last Monday after the bolt was unwittingly fired by a colleague into his chest. He had been working at a wooden pallet factory in the Cañuelas area when the accident occurred. An X-ray image released clearly shows the deadly device piercing his heart chamber. He underwent two hours of "major surgery" at El Cruce Néstor Kirchner Hospital.
'Doctors decided not to remove the nail straight away as it was "acting as a stopper and preventing a haemorrhage", said the hospital's executive director Arnaldo Medina. Instead, Dr Marcelo Nahín told La Nacion newspaper: "In the operating room, we proceeded to open the breast bone very carefully. "[This is] because there was a risk of hitting the nail and enlarging the heart wound. With the nail visible, we performed a manual removal of the foreign body, which was embedded in the anterior right ventricular." Dr Nahín said yesterday: "The patient has recovered well and he is now off the ventilator." Mr Medina added that only three people in the world had ever survived such an injury - in the U.S., Australia and Poland' - The Daily Telegraph.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters Sean O'Hanlon. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.