What on earth is Rowley going to do without his Popinjay...?
It seems Mike Ashley's sausage fingers were nothing to do with that...
Frank: Not Aung San Suu Kyi
Frank Lampard is a very good footballer. There's a very convincing case to be made that Chelsea are making an error by not offering him a new contract. But it's easy to see why they are releasing an expensive 34-year-old.
Three fairly straightforward, uncontroversial statements.
However, reading the papers this morning, you'd think this was all some major scandal. The Daily Mirror kicks off their match report of Chelsea's win over Stoke with some Lampard bottom kissing, calling the man who scored a penalty at the weekend a 'legend', saying he played with 'authority and influence' and calls the decision not to offer him a deal 'bizarre'.
The Daily Mail, The Daily Express and The Times also lead their match reports on some fairly nondescript quotes from Petr Cech, in which he basically says, 'Yeah, he might still stay - that'd be nice, eh?'
It's a familiar theme, continuing from Martin Samuel's column in The Daily Mail last week, in which he wrote:
'Frank Lampard did not always represent Chelsea, but it feels as if he did. The Lampard years at Stamford Bridge are the greatest in history and for as long as he wished to play, there should have been a place for him on the staff.'
Lampard is not a political prisoner. He is not being evicted from his house. He is not being unfairly sacked and thrown out onto the street. He is not being persecuted in any way. Chelsea are not taking his children away or taking his car or saying he's not allowed to walk around with shoes on. A football club has decided not to keep one of their footballers. He's not Aung San Suu Kyi.
So...you know...stop it. Please?
Second Cousin To Harvey The Rabbit
Journalists are often fond of stroking their chins and wondering whether Twitter is more trouble than it's worth for footballers, but it's more frequently the scribes themselves that get themselves into trouble when it comes to the 140-character world.
Take Wilfried Zaha. The papers are all desperate to be first with the story on the Crystal Palace winger's next move, so there were sh*t-fits all round when a screengrab purporting to be a tweet from Zaha saying 'Looks like I'm on my way to the top of the Premier League' appeared.
This of course was taken as gospel word that he was off to Manchester United - The Daily Mirror website carried such a story, while The Sun reports this morning that Zaha was 'guilty of an own goal' with the tweet and that he later 'backtracked' when he said he'd said 'no such thing'. The Daily Express went with the tweet on their back page, while it forms part of The Mirror's EXCLUSIVE! story on United meeting Palace about the player.
The trouble is, it was a fake. A hoax. A phantom, an apparition, second cousin to Harvey the rabbit.
As this picture will show you.
An own goal indeed.
January 9: Barcelona president Sandro Rosell says David Villa isn't for sale: "I completely rule out the transfer of Villa during the winter market. He is ours and we need him, there is a lot of the season left."
January 13: Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova says David Villa isn't for sale: "David is not going to leave. We are very happy with him."
January 14: Goal.com EXCLUSIVELY report: 'Arsenal have abandoned their pursuit of Barcelona striker David Villa, Goal.com can reveal.'
Writes our old friend the self-appointed European football correspondent of The Sun Antony Kastrinakis:
'Vicente del Bosque has hailed Pep Guardiola and delivered a thinly veiled but damning verdict on Jose Mourinho.'
And then later on in the piece:
'Although he did not mention Mourinho by name...'
We won't bother reading any further, if it's all the same.
One To Keep On File
Writes Alan Hansen in The Daily Telegraph:
'I believe that it is an absolute certainty that Kompany will be cleared by the FA, though. His challenge was not two-footed and the ball was won cleanly, so I do not understand how the referee could even contemplate issuing a red card.'
We'll see, Al.
Writes Garth Crooks in his Team of the Week on Romelu Lukaku:
'The Belgian was the only player to net more than one goal (he bagged a brace) at the weekend...'
Someone's forgetting about Jon Walters...
With One Voice
Writes Daniel Taylor in The Guardian:
'Rafael Da Silva has morphed from an error-prone kid into a man. Patrice Evra had his best game of the season.'
Writes Jamie Jackson in The Guardian:
'Real's coach will instruct Cristiano Ronaldo to collect the ball and run directly at Rafael Da Silva and Patrice Evra, who were both vulnerable on Sunday afternoon.'
Quote Of The Day
"I think I'm doing a great job here if I'm honest and I'm hopeful of bringing a couple more players in this week" - Neil Warnock shocks nobody by the rather high opinion of himself after Leeds lost 2-0 to Barnsley, who were bottom of the league and without a manager on Saturday.
Tweet Of The Day
'Only pleasure to be derived today is the thought of those tight-arsed City fans who refused to pay £62 to watch their team crush us' - Piers Morgan once again shows that he understands the common man.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'Firefighters rescued a frisky couple who had fallen over a wall and down a steep embankment. The pair, in their 30s, were reportedly "in an amorous position against a stone wall" when they came a cropper in the Yorkshire Dales town of Hawes on Saturday lunchtime. While the couple in their 30s were leaning against a stone wall, the woman fell backwards over it. As the man tried to grab her, he went tumbling too and they both slipped down a steep bank on the other side. The man suffered possible abdominal and leg injuries and was flown to hospital by air ambulance. The woman was taken by road to hospital with pelvic injuries.
'A North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: "It would appear that a couple in their 30s were getting a little bit amorous against a stone wall at the side of the road when unfortunately the lady has slipped backwards and fallen over the wall and down a steep embankment on the other side. Unfortunately as she has fallen the male has attempted to get hold of her but the momentum has pulled him over as well. They have both fallen down the steep embankment" - Yorkshire Evening Post.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters Barry Moran and Ed Malyon. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.