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...
Fire In The Hole
Ian Wright is firmly in the corner of Rio Ferdinand in his Sun column. He 'knows for a fact' (see below for a hint as to how he might know) that Ferdinand would return for England. And Wrighty wants him back right now.
He 'writes': 'Rio earned the last of his 81 caps against Switzerland in June 2011 and, over the course of time, has lost some of his pace. But as he has continued to show, the guy has not lost his quality.
'As he illustrated with his shoving of Fernando Torres in Sunday's FA Cup tie with Chelsea, he still has some fire in his belly.'
Erm, wait, what? He 'illustrated with his shoving of Fernando Torres' that he 'still has some fire in his belly'?
And there we were thinking that shoving a man from the back when he's running away from you illustrates that you're nothing more than a c...oward.
'Snubbed Rio Ferdinand would be ready to answer an England SOS call from Roy Hodgson...it is understood the Manchester United centre-back remains keen to play again at international level,' says the Daily Mirror.
Do you 'understand' because he said this - "I'm not being picked. The manager hasn't picked me. If I got picked I'd pack my bags and go straight there" - just last month, perhaps?
It's obviously terribly cryptic so it's very, very clever of you to 'understand', fellas.
S*** Life Of Brian
Perhaps Mediawatch is a heartless bastard. Actually, scratch that, Mediawatch is a heartless bastard. We definitely must be more heartless than most because we don't really understand this outpouring of grief and disbelief at the sacking of Brian McDermott.
'MADNESS' screams The Sun, who describe it as 'another bonkers Premier League sacking'. The Daily Mail bemoan the sacking of am 'affable' man and 'one of a dying breed'.
Now McDermott might be a lovely bloke but he was managing one of the worst teams we have ever seen in the Premier League. This season they have averaged 39.7% possession, a 69% pass completion rate and just 9.7 shots per game. They are worse than Stoke. They are awful.
So awful in fact that in the last month they have provided the pathetic opposition for Stoke's only win in ten Premier League games, Wigan's only win in eight (that was a 3-0 dicking at home) and Villa's second win in 12.
'Bonkers'? 'Madness'? Accurate words indeed to describe the media reaction to an affable man being sacked for doing a pretty poor job.
It's Because He Looks Like A Thumb
You only need to spend five minutes looking at the Daily Mail's website and its 'sidebar of shame' to understand just how obsessed they are with image. But Mediawatch is still surprised (only slightly, mind) to see this obsession creep into the sport columns, with Sportsmail writer Chris Cutmore responsible for some particularly unworthy drivel on Tuesday.
'Zingarevich was educated in Berkshire but he didn't marry a local girl-next-door - he went for a Victoria's Secret model,' writes lifelong Reading fan Cutmore as he muses over Brian McDermott's departure.
'And Zingarevich wants his football club to be the equivalent. He wants a leggy blonde, some eye candy, a trophy he can show off.
'A bald 51-year-old with glasses doesn't quite fit that image.'
So let us get this straight; because Anton Zingarevich has an attractive wife he also wants Reading to have an attractive manager? And it's taken him around ten months to decide he just doesn't find McDermott sexy? There are no words. Perhaps Cutmore should stick to explaining why Kim Kardashian's new shoes make her look fat.
And Sticking With The Mail...
'Need a perk, Roberto? City boss Mancini spends two hours in a coffee shop as he aims to bridge 12-point gap to United' farts the website's headline above possibly the most trivial, steaming pile of dung Mediawatch has ever had the misfortune of reading.
Scribe Andy James uses the next 300 words to inform readers that Roberto Mancini did indeed go for a coffee at a well-known chain on Monday but, sadly, he doesn't specify what type of beverage the City manager imbibed. We'll just have to wait for the follow-up article. They sure know how to reel you in, don't they?
Durham For The Hat-Trick
Frankly there is too much to include from Adrian Durham's hackneyed defence of Harry Redknapp, jibe at Arsenal and bizarre criticism of East Anglian clubs, so Mediawatch has selected some choice highlights for your delectation.
On Gareth Bale, Durham writes: 'He was also useless, Spurs never won when he started games, he was bullied off the ball, and unfit for the Premier League. Harry coached him, worked with him, and developed him into the player he is. Harry was the first to play him in a free role, the first to encourage him to fly down the left wing.'
On Jack Wilshere's latest injury set-back: 'My opinion is that Wilshere is being run into the ground yet again. I hope I'm wrong. And I hope this is just a short-term problem for one of the finest English players around. If it's another long-term injury I would suggest Jack Wilshere considers leaving for a club with a bigger squad where he can get the rest he needs more often.'
And finally, on Norwich and Ipswich (who drew 0-0 with Durham's beloved Peterborough at the weekend): 'What is going on with the two biggest clubs in East Anglia? Norwich and Ipswich are boring. There are different ways of surviving when you take charge of a club in trouble...but Mick has gone into Portman Road and wiped out any remote trace of decent football.
'And up the road, Norwich are leading the way in Europe. No other club in the top five leagues on the continent has had more 0-0 draws. The investigation into the death of football in East Anglia continues, but Chris Hughton and Mick McCarthy have been taken in for questioning.'
It's almost as if he only writes this tripe for the hits. But fear not, Mediawatch reads his column so you don't have to.
Mediawatch's Favourite Ever Opening Paragraph
From Jamie Rednapp in the Daily Mail: 'SURELY only one thing can stop Luis Suarez from being voted as the Players' Player of the Year...his fellow players.'
And the only thing that's stopping Jamie Redknapp winning a Pulitzer is the committee that awards Pulitzers.
We like Mikel Arteta. We like Mikel Arteta a lot. We like his hair and his smile and his wife. We like his honesty in the interviews published in today's newspapers about Arsenal's season not being "acceptable". But we don't think he understands how the record books work.
He says in the Daily Mirror: "I'd like to put a note at the end of the season to say it's been a weird season."
So if Arteta gets his way, at the bottom of the Arsenal page in the Sky Sports Football Yearbook next season, there will be an asterisk and two words.
Not An Advocate Of Violence
You may have seen a spat on Twitter between former Sheffield United footballer/boxer Curtis Woodhouse and a troll which wonderfully culminated in Woodhouse tweeting the road sign of @jimmyob88 (AKA 'the master') and 'the master' then making a mess of his pants and backing down ('i am sorry its getting abit out of hand i am in the wrong i accept that').
You may not have seen this supportive tweet from Joey Barton: 'I'm not an advocate of violence but what @woodhousecurtis has just done is hilarious!'
We'll leave that with you.
Question Of The Day
'David Bentley admits he absolutely LOVES being hated by opposition fans,' says The Sun.
Does he also absolutely LOVE being hated by his own club's fans?
Best Headline Of The Day
'Mac the knifed' - The Sun.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'We Can Munick It' - The Sun.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A passenger was left speechless after a train driver made a special announcement on the intercom - for her to stop bellowing so loudly on her mobile phone. The train was halfway through its journey when the driver announced over the Tannoy: "This is a special message to the lady travelling in first class in the middle of the train. "Please refrain from shouting on the phone as you are annoying other passengers." The embarrassed woman on the London Euston to Milton Keynes route promptly ended her call - to the delight of her fellow commuters' - The Daily Mirror.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Eamonn Young. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.