What on earth is Rowley going to do without his Popinjay...?
It seems Mike Ashley's sausage fingers were nothing to do with that...
100 Per Cent
The Sun's Rob Beasley is one of those journalists that we suspect doesn't actually like football very much anymore. A radio appearance shortly after the Olympics - in which he joined the chorus of voices saying how ghastly the world's most popular sport in comparison to athletics and such - reinforced this view. He sounded like a man at a very low ebb.
He probably isn't likely to enjoy the game much more this morning, after Pep Guardiola's move to Bayern Munich was announced on Wednesday.
For Beasley wrote in The Sun on Sunday just this past weekend:
'PEP GUARDIOLA will decide to become Manchester City manager in the summer.
'Guardiola has opted for City as he is convinced they can become a force to rival his former club Barcelona.
'The hottest property in world football will snub interest from Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and AC Milan to replace Roberto Mancini at Eastlands at the end of the season.
'...last night a top source in Spanish football revealed: "It is 100 per cent certain that Guardiola is going to City this summer.
"And when I say 100 per cent I don't mean 99 per cent, I mean 100 per cent!"
The Position, 'As Been Filled
And so in denial is Mr Beasley that he writes on The Sun website today (it's not in the paper):
'AC MILAN are plotting to hijack Jose Mourinho's summer return to the Premier League...Mourinho may be restricted to three clubs - Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.'
Pretty sure that position has been filled, Rob.
Of course, it would be unfair to single out Beasley on the Guardiola story.
Other gems over the past few months have included:
'Pep Guardiola wants to be the next manager of Chelsea. The former Barcelona boss plans to return to the game next summer and has made it clear to friends he sees his future at Stamford Bridge' - The Daily Mail, November 4.
(Which was contradicted shortly afterwards by...)
'Pep Guardiola is apprehensive about committing to Chelsea as he fears it would scupper his chances of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United' - The Daily Mail, November 24.
'PEP GUARDIOLA is ready to snub Chelsea because he wants to boss Manchester United' - The Sun, November 25.
'Pep Guardiola has a preliminary agreement to take over at Manchester City, a FIFA agent has claimed...FIFA agent Francois Gallardo has told a Spanish radio station that City are already plotting to replace manager Roberto Mancini. "Guardiola has a pre-deal to be the next manager of Manchester City," he claimed. "No matter if Milan or whoever make offers to him" - The Daily Mirror, November 29.
'Paris Saint-Germain targeted Pep Guardiola to take over next summer...sources close to PSG claim that Guardiola had already been sounded out by the French club - and signaled he might be ready, willing and able to answer their call' - The Daily Mirror, December 3.
'Pep Guardiola is ready to snub the blue half of Manchester - for the red. The Daily Star Sunday revealed this month how Manchester City told Guardiola to name his price to replace Roberto Mancini. City sporting director Txiki Begiristain met with the Spaniard but the former Barcelona boss told friends it is the United job he wants' - The Daily Star, December 30.
'Pep Guardiola last night signalled he is ready to go head to head with Jose Mourinho in the Premier League as he admitted he wants to coach in England too' - The Daily Mirror, January 16.
We could go on, but you get the point. Nobody really had a clue what Guardiola was going to do, and for the most part it didn't occur to anyone that he might want to manage anywhere but England.
Yearning For The Return Of The Tactics Truck
Andy Townsend was in rare form commentating on the Manchester United v West Ham FA Cup replay on Wednesday evening.
We greatly enjoyed him complimenting Wayne Rooney on a 'great finish' (open goal tap-in from four yards, if you haven't seen it), but he also noted:
"Carlton Cole's stood on the penalty spot, roll it back to him and he's got a side foot from seven or eight yards."
No wonder Rooney is so sh*t at penalties if the spot is in a different place at Old Trafford to everywhere else. It'll throw his timing all off whack.
Noted Danny Mills on BBC Radio 5 Live:
"Jordan Spence's hand is away from his body. That clearly stops the ball going into the box and creating an opportunity for Manchester United.
"I do not agree with all this chat about whether it was intentional or not."
The laws of the game, however...
Intro from The Daily Mirror: 'Alan Shearer has blasted money-grabbing Loic Remy for not taking up the chance of becoming a Newcastle hero.'
Actual quotes from Alan Shearer: "I am surprised to see Remy go to QPR instead of Newcastle. I would have a good guess that financial things had a part to play."
And fresh from sticking his neck way out on that one, Shearer had a thing to say about Demba Ba leaving his beloved Newcastle for Chelsea, too:
"He will believe he has a better chance of winning things there and at the moment he probably has."
Tin Foil Hat Wearer Of The Day
"Manchester United controls the media, they are powerful and the media will always help them" - Luis Suarez reveals his thoughts on the...sorry, excuse us for a second, there's a Mr Gill on the phone.
Worst Non-Football Headline of the Day
'Where there's smirk there's fired' - The Age on a story about a man sacked for grinning in a disciplinary hearing.
Non-Football Insanity Of The Day
You'll probably have read all about it already, but if not, this tale about American footballer Manti Te'o and his fake dead girlfriend is astounding.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A middle-school science teacher fired after students learned she had appeared in pornographic movies had hoped not just to get her job back, but to set a precedent for people looking to escape an embarrassing personal history. A three-judge commission put a decisive stop to both, saying firmly and unanimously that Stacie Halas should not be in the classroom....Judge Julie Cabos-Owen said such a past matters in an age when technology makes porn easy to access and hard to bury.
"Although her pornography career has concluded, the ongoing availability of her pornographic materials on the Internet will continue to impede her from being an effective teacher and respected colleague," Cabos-Owen said...Halas was fired in April from her job as a science teacher at Haydock Intermediate School in Oxnard after online videos of her in porn were discovered by students and teachers. Student claims that the teacher was moonlighting as a porn star were initially dismissed after school officials said they couldn't find any images of her on the Internet - but they were using the school's computers, which don't allow access to porn' - CBC.ca. Wait until you get home before Googling her, yeah?
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters Dylan Durie, Gareth Morris, Lawrence Bbosa and David Nicholls. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at email@example.com, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.