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...
"I like to be at a top side and Chelsea is a top side with great potential. So I think it's a great opportunity" - Rafa Benitez, January 26.
"Everybody is interim because after you, there is another one. But in this case, they didn't have anyone, so why put 'interim'? It's just to say to everyone, 'Because he was in Liverpool and just in case, we will put interim and then we will wash our hands'. Why do you need to do that? The manager is the manager - one month, three months, seven months, he's the manager" - Rafa Benitez, February 27.
The Daily Mirror's Simon Bird and Oliver Holt were having a discussion on Twitter on Wednesday night about how Rafa's rant wasn't really a rant at all.
Holt said: 'Hate idea that when anyone speaks in anything other than a monotone peppered with cliches, it's a rant. Benitez' 'rant' just common sense.'
And Bird replied: 'A rant is to speak angrily/passionately and at length complaining about something. Does imply he's wrong. He's not.'
We did wonder how they would swerve that particular lexicographical landmine in their paper, and they manage it finely.
No...wait...the opposite of that.
'Rafa rant in full! Benitez faces sack after attack on Chelsea fans and Abramovich' reads the headline on The Daily Mirror website, above Bird's account of the press conference.
'Rafa Benitez faces the sack today after accusing Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich of undermining him in a sensational rant last night,' reads Bird's intro.
And in the paper Rafa's words are described variously as a 'rage', a 'slating', 'furious' and 'raging' again.
Bullet well and truly dodged there, then.
That's not the only piece of hyperbolic, weapons-grade bullguff on the back page of The Daily Mirror, mind.
'RED REBELS' positively howls their headline. 'Fergie faced unrest from United stars who missed out on Real glamour tie.'
And David Anderson's intro reads: 'Sir Alex Ferguson has moved to quell dressing-room unrest by telling his fringe players they can still play a key part in Manchester United's Treble quest.'
And here's what Fergie actually said: "It's very difficult to rotate the squad at the moment. They all wanted to play against Real and there were a lot of disappointed players.
"That was fantastic. It's a measure of their own confidence in themselves.
"In 1999 I left Paul out of the quarter-final against Inter Milan, yet he scored the goal that got us through. They players sense it could be a big year for them. They can suddenly find themselves playing in a final or an important league game because that's the kind of squad I have."
Sounds like quite some unrest there. Still, as The Mirror are one of the very many newspapers who have been banned from Old Trafford for discretions minor or otherwise, they probably figure they can write what the ruddy hell they like without repercussions.
Because we know you care, and we do these things for you to keep you sane and away from such dark corners of the internet, we thought we'd update you on how many mentions Gareth Bale gets on The Daily Mail football page.
Just the 26 today.
The gloss is fading, clearly.
Still, they do find room for another exciting addition to the Bale canon, with this vital story:
'Gareth Bale has been socking it to opposition teams all season, but now Sportsmail can reveal one of the secrets of his success.
'The Tottenham star, 23, has been spotted wearing special non-slip socks, which claim to help anchor a player's feet inside his boots, improving traction and increasing acceleration.
'The £24.99 'Trusox', which are imported from the USA, are also used by the likes of Chelsea duo Demba Ba and Victor Moses.
'They are marketed as helping to make players feel more secure and confident in their boots.'
They even provide a video clip instructing us 'how to wear' these socks.
Tomorrow: how Bale's choice of jockstrap is helping him get dip on those free-kicks.
'Why was Sir Geoff not at Upton Park as West Ham remembered Moore on 20th anniversary of legend's death' booms The Daily Mail, not even bothering with a question mark at the end of the headline.
And Charles Sale, whose four-paragraph article this furious headline tops, answers the question very succinctly. He was in America, where he likes to spend the winter months.
And your point is, Charles?
Ice Ice Mansiz
Remember Ilhan Mansiz? The Turkey striker who scored the winner for them in the 2002 World Cup quarter-final? Who then seemed to disappear with barely a trace?
Well, he's back. Not to football, but to ice skating. And with some style, it seems.
Mansiz's football career came to a premature and sad end after he was hit by a car, fudging up his knee something rotten. After he retired, he took part in Buzda Dans, the Turkish Dancing On Ice, and something beautiful bloomed.
Not only did he begin courting his dance partner Olga Bestandigova, but he developed such a taste for the ice that he is aiming to compete at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
"It was Oli during the show who saw my potential," Mansiz told The Guardian. "I always wanted to start a second sporting career after football but I never thought in my dreams it would be pairs skating.
"We are not expecting to get a medal but to be a part of the Olympics will mean much more than winning. It is also about encouraging people that no matter what, at any age, you can reach your dreams by believing and working hard."
Rather sweet, isn't it?
Quote Of The Day
"This agreement is the most civilised way to resolve matters like these. Nobody has won and nobody has lost. The deal shows the grandeur of both sides" - Vasco de Gama lawyer Silvio Capanema reflects on finally coming to an agreement with Romario over an eight-year-old contract dispute.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'Out the Torr' - The Sun, on Chelsea, Rafa and Fernando.
Non-Football Headline Of The Day
'Woman 'obsessed with necrophilia' accused of having sex on top of corpses' - The Independent.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A 101-year-old woman who "passed away" on Saturday, surprisingly came back to life after having been "dead" for 16 hours, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported. Peng Xiuhua, a centenarian from Shenshuidong Village in, Guangdong Province, lived alone and was supported by the village community, according to China.org.cn. She accidentally took a tumble ten days ago and hurt herself. Peng's daughters, who came to take care of the injured woman, claim that on Saturday they found that their mother had no pulse and she was not breathing.
'The woman, who was then declared dead, was taken to a funeral home. However, as she was laid in her coffin the next day, the old woman shocked everyone by suddenly opening her eyes, smiling and saying, "Hello, there." Needless to say, bystanders couldn't believe their eyes. But since Peng seemed full of life and as perky as ever, the preparations for the funeral were halted and the villagers arranged her a welcome back to life party instead' - GBTimes.com.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters Yusuf Dockrat, Graham Harris, Brian Hogan and James Dart. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at email@example.com, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.