Roy Hodgson is asked the perfect question, Mr Grumpypants is back, Jamie Redknapp hates making comparisons. Plus Ace-watch, you lucky things...
England fans targeted for muggings and rapes, United go from credit to crisis in seven days and the curse that's not a curse...
Mediawatch appreciates this is a difficult time of year for football news - you should witness the panic in the F365 offices every day at around 3.30pm when we finally acknowledge that the transfer gossip published at 9am has to be replaced as the top story on the site. On Monday we ended up making a joke about David Moyes finding the toilets and on Tuesday we had to pretend we had new information about Edinson Cavani. We didn't. Whatever appears there at 3.30pm on Wednesday - don't judge us. We have no contacts. We're only really good at being a little bit arsey.
National newspapers should be different. They employ journalists on high wages to bring them the big stories, the exclusives, the scoops. So imagine the reaction in the offices of The Sun when Neil Custis (the less evil of the Custii) filed his 'ROO WANTS TO GO' story for Wednesday's newspaper, using quotes from Mike Phelan that apparently 'blow the lid off the Rooney saga'. The reaction should have been fourfold:
a) He doesn't really say he wants to go, does he? He says: "Wayne is at the greatest club you can be at. Why would you want to jeopardise that unless you want a fresh challenge and you feel that challenge isn't being met by Manchester United." That is a comment that suggests literally zero inside information.
b) 'Blow the lid off'? Really? For f***'s sake, Neil.
c) Wait a minute. You say this 'sensational claim' was made 'last night'? But weren't these quotes on BBC Radio 5 live on Monday night on the aptly named Monday Night Club?
d) What happened to these other quotes from Phelan? "What will be will be. I haven't got a clue."
What was the actual reaction in the offices of The Sun? They put it on the back page of course.
Over at the Daily Mirror, their reaction to the tricky 'what the hell do we put on the back page? It can't be just tennis' question is to ask their chief football writer Martin Lipton to give them the latest on the Edinson Cavani situation. But in the absence of any 'latest', he simply tells us what we knew months ago: Cavani will cost £53m. We have known this for months because Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has said it on a daily basis for as long as Mediawatch can remember (not long. We drink).
'COUGH UP £53M FOR CAV, JOSE' screams the back page of the Daily Mirror, adhering to the tabloid rule that the word 'Jose' should be crowbarred into any and every headline, regardless of the story. 'PSG bid forces up Edinson price tag,' is the sub-headline.
Firstly, De Laurentiis says there has been no bid ("We have not had a direct offer from PSG") and secondly, how on earth can a price tag set by a release clause be 'driven up' by this non-existent bid? Oh and thirdly...back page?
Mediawatch broadly agrees with Oliver Holt in the Daily Mirror about Wayne Rooney needing a new challenge and a fresh start. Mediawatch quite often broadly agrees with Oliver Holt but thankfully for our own self-respect, he always says something stupid to re-establish the gulf between us. This week he simply chooses to ignore something rather important that would spoil his stance that it's time for the selfless and dedicated Rooney to leave.
Holt writes: 'In an age where footballers are easily cast as egotistical glory-hunters, Rooney has proved himself the ultimate team player for the Old Trafford giants. He has accepted being played out of position for long periods without complaint. He has excelled all over the pitch. He has run himself into the ground...so it is obvious that leaving a club that has brought him so much success is not something to be considered lightly.'
Can you guess what Holt has forgotten/ignored in his 38-paragraph column? Clue: It happened in October 2010 and resulted in a new £250,000-a-week contract.
You may remember that a month ago the Daily Mail did an 'audit'. We glibly asked at what point a 'count' becomes an 'audit' as someone had clearly just added up the number of English players who had played for each club in the Premier League last season. We gasped at the discovery that Wigan had only used three players! We reeled at the knowledge that only five of Arsenal's 26 Premier League players were born in England! We thanked the Daily Mail for their 'audit', without which we would never have guessed that non-English players dominate our top flight.
But the table produced by that extensive 'audit' showed that a few teams are bucking the trend, with Southampton, Norwich, Liverpool and Tottenham the top four clubs for using English footballers. Almost half of Spurs' 28 league players last season were English.
Which makes Neil Ashton's Daily Mail online column - headlined 'Spurs used to go for the full English...so, why have they now lost their homegrown appetite?' - look just a tad ridiculous. If only he'd read the 'audit'.
You may have heard that Bournemouth are playing Real Madrid in a pre-season friendly. You may also have heard that it is - according to the Cherries chairman Eddie Mitchell - a "well-earned gift to our fans for their unwavering dedication".
Mediawatch loves gifts; Mediawatch would not pay £60 for our own gifts.
We present to you the subjects of the front and back pages of the Daily Star over the last seven days...
July 3: Big Brother and Wayne Rooney
July 2: Big Brother and Leighton Baines (to United)
July 1: Big Brother and Wayne Rooney
June 30: Jessie Wallace and Wayne Rooney
June 29: Big Brother and Andy Murray
June 28: Big Brother and Gareth Bale (to United)
June 27: Big Brother and Wayne Rooney
Mediawatch suspects the man who put Andy Murray on the back page has since been fired.
Vomit-Inducing Line Of The Day
'Football with Brazil in full flow is a land of smiles' - Oliver Holt, Daily Mirror.
Worst Headline (Well, Technically It's A Caption) Of The Day
'IS IT A BIT CHILEAN HERE?' - The Sun on Manuel Pellegrini's first day.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'An eccentric Italian from Erith who laughed as a court heard how he tried to lick a commuter's ankles could have the smile wiped off his face with a jail sentence. Carlos Spigno, 50, of Blyth House, MacArthur Close, rubbed the train passenger's feet ignoring her pleas to stop. He lurched forward to lick her ankles then thrust his hand up her skirt. It was only when the woman hit him and threatened to call the police that Spigno ran off, clutching his bottles of wine and brandy. He insisted the woman had allowed him to fondle her feet but was convicted by the jury at Blackfriars Crown Court. Spigno had infuriated Judge Peter Clarke by turning up an hour late for court and blamed 'the wind' for slowing down his bicycle. When his offence was being described Spigno yelled: 'All this talk is not relevant' and was told he would be sent to the cells if his outbursts continued' - News Shopper.
Penis Story Of The Day - You Have Been Warned
'A Dover man is alleged to have sunk his teeth into his neighbour's penis - biting it "like it was a sandwich" ....in a row over music. Jason Martin drew blood after stooping down to bite the manhood of Richard Henderson, it was claimed. Mr Henderson told a jury that his penis had been bitten "like it was a sandwich", causing him "excruciating pain". He was asked what it was like and replied: "I have never experienced that kind of pain to this day and I don't want to experience it ever again." Photographs of the injury were later shown to the six man-six woman jury after they were told "they don't make pleasant viewing!" - Kent Online.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Simon Hannaford. If you see something that belongs on this page, mail us at email@example.com, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.