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...
Haven't I Read You Somewhere Before?
The Daily Mirror's John Cross likes to write about Arsenal - but not so much that he likes to write lots of different things about Arsenal. Why do that when you can write the same thing twice and get paid twice?
From ESPN, September 10: 'Kieran Gibbs must be a good antidote to the argument that English players do not get a chance in the Premier League.'
From the Daily Mirror website, September 19: 'Kieran Gibbs is the answer to Roy Hodgson's complaint that foreign players are blocking English talent.'
From ESPN, September 10: 'It might have looked bad for him when Arsenal bought a new left-back at the end of the January window at the start of the year. Gibbs got injured, Andre Santos was on his way out together with his prized Robin van Persie shirt, there was a growing injury list, and Wenger was forced into the market.'
From the Daily Mirror website, September 19: 'What is even more impressive about Gibbs is that in January it may have looked to an outsider that his place was in jeopardy. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger made a last ditch signing as he paid Malaga £8m for Nacho Monreal, a regular member of Spain's all conquering squad. Monreal was signed after Gibbs suffered another injury and Andre Santos was being dispatched - Robin van Persie shirt and all - out of the Emirates.'
From ESPN, September 10: 'Gibbs has one major asset over Monreal in my view: pace. While Monreal's class and pedigree is not in doubt, I remember seeing him really struggle against Andros Townsend at QPR towards the end of last season. Townsend's pace gave him the edge.'
From the Daily Mirror website, September 19: 'Monreal has had his opportunities. I remember seeing him come in at QPR last season only to get outplayed by Andros Townsend whose pace and direct running gave Monreal a torrid afternoon. Gibbs has a great asset over Monreal: pace.'
From ESPN, September 10: 'In fact, Chelsea full-back Cole, after playing against Gibbs for the first time a few years back, couldn't help but remark (in one of the very few times he stopped to speak to the media): "Where do Arsenal keep getting these left-backs from?" After Gael Clichy as well, it was high praise for Gibbs.'
From the Daily Mirror website, September 19: 'In a rare interview, Ashley Cole, by then at Chelsea, once told me his admiration for Gibbs and how Arsenal had produced another top quality left-back.'
From ESPN, September 10: 'More food for thought on home-grown players: when Ashley Cole was a youngster at Arsenal, he nearly joined Crystal Palace for £500,000 but they struggled to find the cash. Meanwhile, Silvinho, Arsenal's Brazilian left-back, was having passport problems and Cole got his chance.
From the Daily Mirror website, September 19: 'And similarly, Cole rose to the challenge at Arsenal. It looked as if he was going to be sold because Silvinho was first choice. If Crystal Palace had been able to find £500,000 and Silvinho hadn't lost his passport, Cole would have been sold.'
From ESPN, September 10: 'If Cole had gone to Palace then would he have become the player he is today for Arsenal, Chelsea and England?'
From the Daily Mirror website, September 19: 'Would he have got the same chances and made the same progression at Palace? We'll never know.'
Mediawatch feels robbed. We consulted Martin Keown's Euro Zone in the Daily Mail on Tuesday and were told that 'it's never easy to beat a German side' and that Chelsea would make light work of their group because Jose Mourinho 'will be really up for it'.
And there we were thinking he was an expert.
The Daily Telegraph has judged: 'Chelsea's Willian offers little to justify £32m scramble for his signature.'
He played 67 minutes. Yep, he's definitely sh*te.
Up And Coming
Tony Cascarino has made a discovery.
Writing in The Times, Cascarino comments that all this attention being paid to Mesut Ozil is hiding someone at Arsenal. They 'already have a player with the potential for stardom'.
So who is this child of hope? Given the number of youngsters pressed into action at Arsenal, there are a few to choose from. Serge Gnabry? Ryo Miyachi? Chuks Aneke?
Nope. Theo Walcott.
Right. Cheers Tone.
On The Same Page
Jeremy Wilson, Daily Telegraph Sport, p4: 'With Özil once again afforded the freedom to roam in the space behind Olivier Giroud...'
Jim White, Daily Telegraph Sport, p4: 'Ostensibly playing on the left, with Jack Wilshere patrolling the centre behind Olivier Giroud, Özil was not, in truth, ostentatious in his work.'
One theme of the summer in the media has been the supposed end of player power, with control being wrestled back by the clubs as Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney are given a slap on the legs and forced to stay. The Daily Mail's Neil Ashton was just one of the football columnists to pontificate on the subject last month when he wrote: 'With a new £5.5billion TV deal in the Barclays Premier League, the summer of 2013 will be remembered as the year when power shifted away from the mega-rich players and back towards the clubs.'
And yet, less than one month later, the back page of the Daily Mail tells is that 'WAYNE ROONEY has given his first indication that he may want to stay at Manchester United'.
Wait a minute, we thought he had no sodding choice.
'BRENDAN RODGERS has revealed the masterplan he reckons will see Luis Suarez hit the ground running next week,' it says in The Sun.
The word 'masterplan' puts Mediawatch in mind of Ocean's XI so we were understandably intrigued/aroused.
So what's this 'masterplan'? Over to you, Brendan...
"The idea is that, when Luis steps back in, it'll hopefully be seamless. We've organised games behind closed doors for him and, in between, he's had internationals too."
So the 'masterplan' is for a footballer to play football. It's sodding ingenious.
Mediawatch is struggling to feel much sympathy for Andre Villas-Boas in his whiney complaints about playing too much football.
"How can a game be scheduled after two days? It is putting the players' careers at risk of injuries," seethed AVB as he faces a Premier League match on Sunday and a Capital One Cup clash just 50 hours later.
We suspect that somebody looked at last season's Tottenham line-ups and noted that, even with a three-day gap, AVB made eight changes between the same two fixtures. And since then he has brought in 427 new players. We suspect they'll cope.
Maths With The Mirror
One thing on which we can all agree is that playing Thursday-Sunday-Tuesday constitutes three games in six days. Well, everyone but the Daily Mirror, who say AVB 'faces 3 games in 5 days'. He really doesn't, you know.
Headline on the Daily Mail website: 'Newcastle scout Ajax keeper Zoet as competition for No 1 Krul'.
Opening paragraph on the Daily Mail website: 'Newcastle United scouts watched 22-year-old PSV Eindhoven keeper Jeroen Zoet in their 2-2 draw with FC Twente at the weekend.'
Sheep, Sheep, Sheep Sha**ers
There was a point last year when the top bods at the Daily Mail website clearly decided that football was not the way to sell their football content. Thus, we started being 'treated' to pictures of footballers' wives in bikinis and salacious stories with only the vaguest of connections to the sport.
On Tuesday we arrived at this low: 'A 61-year-old IT worker appeared in court on Wednesday morning accused of trying to have sex with a sheep outside Tottenham's Enfield training centre. The state-of-the-art facilities are based on a 77-acre site in north London and Paul Lovell was caught with the animal close to the club's grounds on September 4, two days after Gareth Bale completed his move to Real Madrid. Andre Villas-Boas lead (sic) a Spurs training session on the day of the incident which was heard at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court.'
We're frankly amazed they didn't get Bale in the headline.
Headline Of The Day
'Boom Boom! Basel Brush Off Chelsea' - We're not too modest to take the credit.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'WALCOTE D'AZUR' - The Sun.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Kameel Gopal. If you see anything else that belongs on this page, mail us at email@example.com, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.