Manchester United are the only club with a decent academy and never just spend money on foreigners. Oh no. And Jeff Powell writes about what he knows best...
The Mail do an about turn on Ronaldo's future, throwing poo at a wall and...
We wonder, did Michel Platini run over Martin Samuel's cat? Perhaps bullied him as a child? Maybe Samuel isn't really a West Ham fan, but has a Torino tattoo underneath that big beard.
For The Daily Mail big dog seems to have an uncanny ability to blame UEFA's big dog for absolutely everything. Making the Premier League uncompetitive (his old line used to be that Platini was implementing the system that helped Lyon to seven consecutive titles - a line that disappeared since Lyon stopped winning), taking the World Cup to Qatar, global warming (probably) and now match-fixing.
Yep, this one is his fault too, it seems. Samuel writes:
'There is a reason it is impossible to fix the Derby, but a bumper at Huntingdon is vulnerable. The moment UEFA president Michel Platini flooded an elite competition with no-hoper contestants, the Champions League became a corruption scandal waiting to happen.
'Season 2009-10 saw the introduction of Platini's 'champions route', with five teams from smaller European nations receiving a golden ticket to the ranks of the elite. At face value it seemed a noble idea but, as usual, its creator had not anticipated the flaws.'
Samuel says that it was because of this that Debrecen are one of the 680 under investigation by Europol for match-fixing. They're rubbish, and didn't stand a chance in a group that contained Liverpool, Fiorentina and Lyon, so they're susceptible and vulnerable to unscrupulous bookies, see? And it's Platini's fault they're in the competition anyway, so it's his fault. Stands to reason, innit?
It's true that Debrecen are not exactly a footballing powerhouse. But then again neither are Belarus's BATE Borisov. Or Romania's CFR Cluj. Or, dare we say it, Romania's Steaua Bucharest. Not these days, anyway. Those three clubs were in the 2008/09 Champions League, all finishing bottom of their respective groups, winning one game between them. Weaker teams making it into the Champions League group stages is not a new thing, so why blame Platini?
In any case, it seems Platini can't really win with Samuel. The Mail man's big problem with the financial fair play regulations is that by effectively banning outside investment to challenging teams, they keep the rich and powerful rich and powerful. Which is a reasonable argument. So surely allowing smaller and weaker teams into Europe's top competition so they can gain some experience and perhaps eventually challenge is one way to stop the dominant from staying, well, dominant, right?
Still, if this piece annoys him, at least Samuel will know who to blame.
All Down To Harry
Sometimes Mediawatch doesn't need to do a great deal. With this thought in mind, here's Adrian Durham's column from The Daily Mail website, in which he credits Harry Redknapp for Andre Villas-Boas and Gareth Bale's careers.
He writes: 'There are some Spurs fans who refuse to credit Harry Redknapp. Instead they point to Harry's alleged wish to send Bale out on loan.
'After a serious ankle ligament injury, and then a knee operation, a loan spell would have made sense, but Harry was forced to put him in the first team when Benoit Assou-Ekotto suffered injury.
'Under Harry Redknapp, Gareth Bale became a star player dominating games in the Barclays Premier League and in Europe.'
Not the strongest argument for Harry sprinkling his magic dust, is it? He was going to get rid of Bale, then he had no choice but to play Bale, and then Bale played really well. It's not like Harry spotted the latent talent in Bale and threw him into the team? Indeed, at around the time of Bale's storming performances against Inter in the Champions League, Redknapp still thought Bale would be a left-back in the long-term.
Durham continues: 'So I hope after the win at West Brom on Sunday, in which Bale scored a brilliant winner, Spurs fans and Villas-Boas remembered Redknapp for turning a weakling who couldn't win a game in a Tottenham shirt, into one of the most feared and sought after players in Europe.
'Spurs, and Villas-Boas in particular, owe Harry Redknapp a huge debt. Thanks to Harry, Villas-Boas is rebuilding his reputation in the game.'
Yep. Everything Villas-Boas is doing now is down to Bale, and thus down to Harry Redknapp. That's exactly how all of this works.
Reports The BBC Website:
'Hodgson has had to contend with strikers Jermain Defoe and Daniel Sturridge pulling out of his squad because of ankle and thing injuries respectively...'
Maybe Silvio Isn't The Bad Lad Of The Family
"I called Kevin-Prince Boateng a little while ago and I congratulated him for his reaction against the disgraceful episode of racism that took place in the stadium of Pro Patria in Busto Arsizio. I am very happy by Milan's reaction and be assured that in all games where we experience episodes of this kind, Milan will leave the field" - Silvio Berlusconi offers a sensible comment on the issue of racism, January 4.
"Okay, we are all off to see the family's little nigger. He's a crazy head. All the young ladies are invited as well - you can even have a chance to meet the president" - Silvio's brother Paulo, February 6.
On The Same Page
"He's only 21 and a fantastic talent...He'll get better and better than he is now, which is a scary thought. He has the potential to become one of the best in the world" - Steven Gerrard on Jack Wilshere.
"I'm anxious in some ways and, while delighted with his form and the way he plays and sharing everyone's enthusiasm about his quality, I want to play it down a bit too. I wouldn't like to see him have to take a backward step because all of a sudden his name is being put forward as the saviour of the English football team" - Roy Hodgson on Jack Wilshere.
From The BBC Website's interview with former Blackburn striker Matt Jansen:
'Q:What's the best bit of banter you have heard?
'A: I remember David Dunn would cut the ends of the socks of whoever was in the shower so when they came out everybody was watching knowing what was going on as they tried to pull their socks up.'
Oi oi! All aboard the banter bus! It's banter central with Larry the Lashtronaut! Let's climb on the back of the Bantersauras Rex! Let's fly away on the ROFLCOPTER! Steady on, because tonight's going to be a large one with Bazza, Wazza, Dazza, Mazza, Gazza, Johnno, Steveo, Bobbo, Robbo, Dobbo, Smiffy and Ballbag! Oi oiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!
Quote Of The Day
"Now, we're (PSG) not only good, but we're handsome too" - Zlatan Ibrahimovic welcomes David Beckham to Paris.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'Strach to the future' - The Daily Mirror.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'Pittsburgh police were called to the scene of a bizarre car crash in which an out-of-control BMW slammed into vehicles and crashed into a pole. Officers were baffled when the offending driver turned out to be a six-year-old girl. The little lass reportedly took her mother's BMW to visit her father. Pittsburgh police's Jerry Parker said: "The girl decided she wanted to visit her father, who lives in a different location. She picked up the car keys and got in the car and drove away." The girl drove her mother's car for about 1km before she lost whatever control she might have had.
'Bystander Rommie Hawkins said: "It kept going. I thought she was going to hit me, but then she stopped just in time, and as I observed, she was this little kid. She couldn't have been more than eight or nine. "I was like, 'Stop! stop!, stop!' She looked at me and she took off but stopped again. I started running up the hill, telling her to stop." The toddler's cruise ended when the car hit three parked vehicles and stopped against a utility pole. The little girl was not hurt. Investigators didn't know how the girl new how to start the car and drive' - Wheels24.co.za.
Non-Football Quote Of The Day
"It's amazing, but she was pretty tall for a six-year-old" - Pittsburgh police's Jerry Parker.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Richard Perham, Gregory Errington and Wayne Peters. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.