Remembering 'Chelsea confident Wayne Rooney will NEVER wear Manchester United shirt again' and noting that being foreign means you can't do maths...
Martin Keown solves Chelsea's defensive problems and why Arsenal should fear Napoli tonight...
Rooney v Bale v Football
Number of mentions of 'Rooney' on the Daily Mail's football homepage: 30.
Number of mentions of 'Bale' on the Daily Mail's football homepage: 28.
Number of mentions of 'football' on the Daily Mail's football homepage: 26.
Never Can Say Goodbye
The Sun have the big exclusive on Wednesday morning: Apparently, Gareth Bale is joining Real Madrid. It's come straight out of left field. Frankly, we're trembling.
'GARETH BALE has told pals his Tottenham career is over - and that is why he failed to turn up at training yesterday,' writes Shaun Custis, shattering the myth that Bale did not turn up for training because he woke with a slight headache.
They quote a 'White Hart Lane source' as saying: "As far as Gareth's concerned, there's no reason for him to come back. He has already said his goodbyes and everyone expects him to join Real Madrid."
Mediawatch wonders whether it was the same 'White Hart Lane source' that told The Sun back on August 3 that 'SPURS players asked Gareth Bale to autograph their shirts in an emotional farewell yesterday' because Bale would be gone by the time they returned from a pre-season friendly in Monaco?
And yes, that was an 'exclusive' too.
In The Know
The Sun are in self-congratulatory mood on Wednesday morning - 'WE TOLD YOU' they scream, citing an August 2 story that 'Rooney would quit United if the supporters booed him'.
So because the United fans didn't boo him and he hasn't quit United (not that it was ever his choice), they were right. THEY TOLD YOU.
We're weeping here.
What A Difference A Week Makes
The Daily Mirror, August 21: 'Chelsea have been offered a glimmer of hope in their bid to sign Wayne Rooney. Mirror Sport understands Jose Mourinho has been told that Manchester United ARE prepared to do business - but only if they can find a replacement for the unsettled striker. The Special One has made clear his intention to make a third approach for Rooney before the transfer window slams shut, with sources close to the club suggesting it would be at a ceiling of around £30million. Champions United have already made contact with the west Londoners to make clear their position, but without slamming the door totally shut. Manager David Moyes is becoming increasingly irritated with the constant chatter linking his centre-forward with the Stamford Bridge club, and increasingly frustrated at having to deal with the issue.'
The Daily Mirror, August 28: 'WAYNE ROONEY has been forced into a humiliating climbdown in his bid to leave Manchester United...their refusal to sell to Chelsea means he is resigned to staying put...with United boss David Moyes and the club's hierarchy adamant he would not be allowed to leave, the forward has been forced to back down and accept their stance.'
It's not Rooney who should be forced into a humilating climbdown.
Coming Around Again
Mediawatch has twice drawn attention to Oliver Holt's memory loss this summer, the Daily Mirror scribe seemingly forgetting that Wayne Rooney has once before tried to leave Manchester United and been foiled. It doesn't fit the chosen story arc of the dramatic end of player power, you see.
Now the Daily Express' Mick Dennis is banging the same drum, writing: 'FOR years, probably decades, football folk have told us: "You can't keen an unhappy player." Well, it turns out that you can. This has been the summer in which clubs have fought back against what we all believed was the irresistible force of player power...'
Mediawatch is starting to think it dreamed October 2010.
Mediawatch is intrigued by the newspapers' portrayal of this Wayne Rooney business, with some (The Daily Express and The Daily Star) describing Rooney's refusal to hand in a transfer request as a 'snub' to Jose Mourinho. And there we were thinking that a man who had been told he could not leave rather sensibly decided not to officially ask to leave.
We like Martin Samuel, but questioning the inclusion of Danny Welbeck in Roy Hodgson's England side but then advocating Phil Jones at centre-back after three Premier League starts in that position last season (the last was that 5-5 draw with West Brom) is a true test of our respect.
Splash That Cash
Headline in The Sun: 'RAMSEY CASHES IN'.
Sub-headline: 'Aaron fires Gunners through and then tells Wenger to spend big.'
Opening paragraph: 'AARON RAMSEY urged Arsene Wenger to splash the cash on new players as Arsenal's injury problems mounted up.'
Actual quotes from Aaron Ramsey: "We have a lot of quality in the team even if we are short on numbers...hopefully one or two additions will strengthen the squad and mean that we are able to rotate."
Big, big talk.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is not want to throw around praise willy or indeed nilly. So after watching his Liverpool side get pegged back from 2-0 to 2-2 against League One Notts County before eventually winning 4-2, he was reluctant to give anyone any credit.
"I think I can only give plaudits to two groups really. One is my players because with ten men and being pegged back to two each, to show that character and commitment and fight to want to get through, it's a big credit to them," said Rodgers on Sky Sports.
"And I think you have to give a big credit to Notts County..."
Right. So that's everyone then.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'JORDAN WON'T BE A WIG-GONER' - The Sun.
Inexplicable Worst Headline Of The Day
'RAM-MING SPEED!' - The Daily Star befuddle us with this Adil Rami headline.
Non-Football Headline Of The Day
'Sex Boxes Open In Zurich, But Will Anyone Come?' - International Business Times.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'PETA has urged the National Buffalo Wing Festival to ban pregnant women from its upcoming wing-eating contest because of a study linking poultry consumption to smaller penises in the unborn. "Pregnant women may want to think twice before chomping on those chicken wings, or their sons could come up short," PETA Associate Director of Campaigns Lindsay Rajt said in a release. The festival runs Saturday and Sunday in downtown Buffalo, N.Y. PETA pointed to the Study for Future Families, which determined that phthalates, chemical compounds that can be found in chicken, may diminish genital size. The study gauged the amount of phthalates in pregnant women and measured their male offspring's sex organs between 2 months old and 3 years old. However, expecting moms interviewed by Your News Now suggested PETA's warning was half-baked. "I think that it's silly," said Heather Albert of North Tonawanda. "I ate poultry when I was pregnant and I have two children and they are perfectly fine."' - Huffington Post.
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