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...
1978 Called; It Wants Its Jokes Back
If you are unfamiliar with the work of 'sports betting's top tipster Derek McGovern' in the Daily Mirror, then Mediawatch envies you. Imagine a 1970s-style comedian from Runcorn (no doubt describing himself as 'a little bit blue') being given a laptop to record his mother-in-law jokes for posterity and you get McGovern. The Daily Mirror may be sporting a new look this week but McGovern is still rocking the old humour.
And today comes homophobia with a cultural reference straight out of 1978. Excellent stuff, Derek.
'Bug-eyed boss David Moyes allegedly turned Everton into The People's Club,' writes a man perpetually amused by himself. 'Now, on the evidence of Sunday's powderpuff performance, he's turning United into the Village People's Club.'
Yes, that does say 'powderpuff'. Yes, that does imply that gay people could not possibly be any good at football. And yes, it is 2013.
Everybody in football knows about The Goalkeepers' Union, membership of which restricts criticism of any other goalkeeper. There is also the lesser-spotted Centre-Backs Union which prevents football's headers and organisers from picking holes in each other's game. Martin Keown is a fully paid-up member of the club so when he put together his 'verdict of United's flops' for the Daily Mail, there was no mention at all of a centre-back pairing who allowed City to score four goals on Sunday with four balls delivered from the flanks into the centre-back area. Chris Smalling, Marouane Fellaini, Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young are all touted as weak links but not Rio Ferdinand or Nemanja Vidic.
Which is odd because on Sunday - in comments noted live as the derby match was actually taking place - Keown variously commented that 'the centre-backs haven't done enough there', 'Rio should deal with the the man at the back post' and 'the United centre-halves look mesmerised' as well as accusing Ferdinand of 'classic ball-watching'. And yet by Tuesday they are not cited in a list of United's 'problem areas'. Did he get a call from the union chief?
Rip It Up
Headline in The Daily Mirror: 'MANCS FOR NOTHING...ZABA LETS RIP AT ROO.'
Actual quotes from Pablo Zabaleta: "Rooney was one of their main players. He tried more than anyone else in the Manchester United team.'
Lets rip? It sounds more like he has a crush.
We know John Cross loves Theo Walcott. But surely even he doesn't think that losing Walcott - awful against Ukraine in England's last game - would be a 'massive blow' for Roy Hodgson. We'd go for medium-sized.
The History Boys
Sunderland's start to this season under Paolo Di Canio is nothing short of an unmitigated disaster but those keen to re-write the end of last season are way off the mark. Mick Dennis is on a mission in the Daily Express to debunk the 'myth' that the Italian played any part in Sunderland's survival. Frankly, he's wrong.
'That is the belief the club's hierachy cling to as they seek to justify appointing the Italian they sacked on Sunday. But is is tosh. Sunderland stayed up because Wigan imploded...The Black Cats stayed up by three points but finished a place lower than when Di Canio first strutted in, talking about hinmself far too much and in the third person.
'The final weeks of Martin O'Neill's reign were grim, and the trajectory was downwards. But they should have been persuaded that O'Neill would turn it around.,' writes Dennis.
So, O'Neill had picked up three points from eight games (0.375 points per game) before Di Canio arrived and garnered eight points from seven games (1.14 points per game) but we're supposed to believe that the Italian can take absolutely no credit for keeping Sunderland in the Premier League?
Had O'Neill stayed and carried on the same trajectory ('downwards', by Dennis' admission) then Sunderland would have ended the season with 33 points. No matter what happened to Wigan, that would have sent Sunderland down.
Dennis is right that Sunderland ended the season a place lower than when Di Canio arrived, but they also ended the season two points further clear of relegation after an end-of-season run that saw them pick up more points than eight other Premier League teams. They dropped a place simply because Aston Villa's form was even better.
Di Canio is many, many unpleasant things but Dennis is hardly covering hinmself in glory by suggesting that he did nothing to save Sunderland from relegation.
The Daily Telegraph claim that one player told Di Canio on Sunday: "All you have done since you got here is criticise us and the old manager. The difference is we liked him and would run through walls for him."
Run through walls? Simply winning a couple of games would probably have gone down better.
The Daily Star tell us 'exclusively' on their back page that 'JUAN MATA has accepted Jose Mourinho's criticism - and is ready to knuckle down at Chelsea'.
Thank f*** they broke that news. We thought Mata would just walk out.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'ROOSPECT US!' - The Sun.
Non-Football Headline Of The Day'
'Couple caught on camera having sex in a car while driving along expressway carried on even after realizing they were being filmed' - Daily Mail.
Non-Football Story Of The Day'
'A man is accused of setting a mobile home totally ablaze after the trailer's owner refused to give him a ride to town. After the owner, William Warren Jordan, 32, left the St. Augustine home with a woman, the report stated, his roommate, Harold Malcolm Netherland, 52, got all fired up and called him, threatening to burn down the mobile home, according to an arrest report from the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office. Netherland also phoned another man to blab about his plans to burn down the home, deputies said. Investigators determined the fire was arson after discovering two fire alarms had been removed from their installed spots before the fire could consume them, according to the Sheriff's Office. Netherland, who investigators described as "extremely intoxicated " in the report, might have forgotten a critical piece of information - the trailer was also his home' - Sun Sentinel.
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