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...
The enemy within?
The Sun Says
Just after 9pm on February 4, Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet named the Liverpool-Debrecen Champions League tie from 2009 as one of the 380 European games under suspicion of match-fixing. Their report is quoted and discussed extensively on the internet.
On February 5, The Sun's back page claims the story as a WORLD EXCLUSIVE. Not just a UK EXCLUSIVE, you understand, but a WORLD EXCLUSIVE. Because of course Denmark is not in the world.
The exclusives do not end there in The Sun. Check out this ground-breaking 'exclusive' on the inside page...
'Millions will be bet on Real v Man Utd next week in the UK alone. In Asia, it'll be 100s of millions.'
Yes, The Sun have enlisted a 'gambling industry insider' to tell them that there's quite a lot of betting on football in Asia.
So does this 'gambling industry insider' have evidence of match-fixing? Well, no. But "you have to suspect sometimes that inside information about team news is being passed to bookmakers out there". He even admits that "in terms of match-fixing, you can only speculate".
So, to re-cap, that's The Sun exclusively telling us that a) there's quite a lot of betting in Asia and b) it's quite suspicious.
Mediawatch's favourite thing about this story? The 'gambling industry insider' was speaking 'on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals'. Alternatively, he was speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of everybody else in the industry soiling themselves laughing at his 'revelations'.
Business As Usual
Nottingham Forest chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi, February 1: "Alex and I talk every day, at least twice a day. We have a very good working relationship and it troubles me greatly that people think otherwise."
Nottingham Forest manager Alex McLeish on arrival at training, February 4: "Business as usual."
February 5: Nottingham Forest and Alex McLeish part company.
Headline on Jeff Powell's piece in the Daily Mail: 'As they run out at Wembley I'll be thinking of Bobby...still England's golden boy.'
Same as every other day, then, Jeff?
Oh Danny Boy
If Mediawatch was Wayne Rooney we would probably react to questions about Danny Welbeck's lack of goals (he's scored once in the Premier League this season) with a shrug of the shoulders and a 'well, he's not really very good is he?', but Mediawatch is a dick who doesn't play very well with others.
Rooney - being a much better team-mate - instead opted for the 'he's being played out of position' defence and insisted that "when he gets a run up front, he'll score goals".
Presumably, Patrice Evra's rash of four goals this season is because he's had a run of games up front. But never mind freakish left-back Evra, we really should compare Welbeck's record with other forward-thinking United players...
Robin van Persie in the PL this season: 90 shots, 18 goals. One goal per 5 shots.
Wayne Rooney in the PL this season: 61 shots, 10 goals. One goal per 6.1 shots.
Javier Hernandez in the PL this season: 31 shots, eight goals. One goal per 3.875 shots.
Shinji Kagawa in the PL this season: 12 shots, two goals. One goal per 6 shots.
Danny Welbeck in the PL this season: 29 shots, one goal. One goal per 29 shots.
He's really not very good, is he?
Blow Of The Day
According to the Daily Mirror: 'Manchester United's Premier League title bid has suffered a major blow - with Phil Jones set to be missing in action for a month with shingles.'
Number of PL games started by Phil Jones this season: Four.
Number of Man United players who have started more PL games than Phil Jones this season: 20.
Worst Hashtagging Of The Day
Tweet from Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror: 'Sean O'Driscoll pouring himself a large one and smiling ever so gently to himself. #nottinghamforest #owners'.
Just for all those people out there searching for '#owners', we presume.
Quote Of The Day
"The fans are angry with me because they heard about PSG's interest, but I am not responsible for that. I have never had any contact." - Bacary Sagna.
No Bacary, the fans are angry with you because you've been really quite shit.
Story of The Day
Charles Sale setting the 'Sports Agenda' as usual in the Daily Mail: 'Feeding the national team does not seem an exact science, judging by the England awards menu. The squad were served a chicken alternative to the main course of fillet of beef with a rich port sauce. But a lot of the players still tucked into the dessert of Bailey's-filled profiterole tower on sable biscuit.'
Worst Headline Of The Day
'Welbeck backed to be Roothless again' - The Daily Mirror.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A man caught having sex with a horse told police he was trying to make it pregnant with a "horse-man baby". Texan Andrew Mendoza confessed he "messed" with his neighbour's horse, after he was stood up by his girlfriend. The 29-year-old told cops: "I was at my house waiting for my girlfriend to call. I told myself that if she didn't call me I was going to to next door and mess with the neighbour's horse."
'After describing in detail his sexual escapade, Mendoza stunned officers in Wharton County, Texas, by claiming he was trying to impregnate the animal. He said: "I was trying to make the horse have a baby. I was thinking it would have a horse-man baby."' - The Sun.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Paul Healy. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.