'You sometimes reach the stage where you wonder whether there's actually much point in England going' - has Steven Howard just become a parody of himself?
Why Brendan Rodgers is a better manager than Jose Mourinho and a call to take all the wingers to Brazil...
Football Bantz (Part One)
"It is non-stop," said Smokin' Jack Wilshere. "After the game on Sunday the physio, Colin Lewin, said 'you smoked that shot'. When I am getting angry in training they say 'calm down, have a fag'."
Football Bantz (Part Two)
When you've stopped squealing like a hen party, chortle these quotes from Phil Jagielka on Joe Hart:
"You just throw it in, especially losing 10-9 at table tennis and I'm waiting for the next point, you just say, 'Bayern Munich' or something. Stuff like that. That's just the kind of things you do. And obviously he comes back to me - and they [City] beat us 3-1 at the weekend, so I didn't have a leg to stand on!"
Imagine if the Bloomsbury Group had played ping-pong.
QPR manager Harry Redknapp, November 27: "I liked the look of us. The midfield was very strong - the three lads there looked very good. They are powerful and had bags of energy. There are some good points to come out of that. I feel more optimistic now than I did on Saturday. It is going to be tough, let us not kid ourselves. We've got a chance."
QPR manager Harry Rednapp, December 30: "It's going to be hard but I really believe we will do it. There's plenty of games left. It is not impossible. We have to believe we can go on a run of winning games. I'm still upbeat, I'm not down about it. I still believe we can do it.
QPR manager Harry Redknapp, February 11: "I am confident we can survive. I know it is going to be hard, and I think it will go to the wire but it is not impossible."
QPR manager Harry Redknapp, February 22: "Of course I feel we can do it. If I stop believing everyone does. I still think it is possible with 12 games to go and lots of points to play for. Six points can turn everything around so quickly."
QPR manager Harry Redknapp's book is serialised in the Daily Mail, October 9: 'Jose Mourinho would not have kept QPR up last season.'
Sustain In The Membrane
And why would Jose Mourinho have failed to keep QPR in the Premier League last season? Because of the highly-paid but lowly-motivated squad, of course.
Harry writes: 'The squad I inherited in November last year was poorly balanced, undisciplined and short of confidence. The directors and owners were nice people but they were naive in football terms and I think certain people they had trusted - agents and advisers - had let them down quite badly. They had probably never been around players, or indeed football before, did not know the market and had spent unwisely on some very average foreign imports.
'They had players on astronomical wages, being watched by crowds of 18,000 at Loftus Road. It wasn't sustainable; it wasn't right.'
So how did Harry move to address this problem? By signing Christopher Samba for £12m and giving him £100,000 a week of course. Now that's what we call sustainability.
Know What I Mean, Harry?
Redknapp has also expressed utter shock at the abuse he suffered when he joined Southampton as manager after leaving Portsmouth. Odd, by the way, that he said at the time of leaving Pompey that "it is something I have been thinking about for a while. I made it without any pressure from the chairman or the board" and now claims in his new book that he was 'shown the door by Portsmouth in 2004' and thus had every right to join Southampton.
'As far as I was concerned, I had done nothing wrong making the switch. I didn't want to leave Portsmouth. I had done a good job there; it was Milan Mandaric's decision to bring another man in. Southampton were the only other Premier League club within range of where Sandra and I lived - why shouldn't I work for them? Why should I have to move up the other end of the country? I had all these very reasonable thoughts in my head as I left my new chairman's house and I thought enough people would see the logic with me. If I couldn't work for Portsmouth, this really was the next best thing.'
Who would ever have predicted that there would be any kind of fuss? Well, Portsmouth director Terry Brady for one, who said at the time that the move would be "the highest betrayal possible". For some reason, he - and thousands others - just couldn't see the logic.
The Sun: A Democracy
'WHICH EX-OFFICIAL CARES MOST ABOUT THE GAME? YOU BE THE JUDGE' says The Sun.
Isn't it fair and even-handed of them to let their readers decide whether they will fall in line behind the ex-referee they are paying for a serialisation of his book and the ex-referee they are not paying for a serialisation of his book?
Mediawatch can see absolutely no evidence of their own bias in the accompanying 'news story' (headlined 'LOAD OF POLLOX!).
'GRAHAM POLL dragged refereeing into the gutter yesterday with a vitriolic, personal attack on a former colleague who dared to speak out. Ex-ref Poll launched a nasty tirade against Mark Halsey, who bravely lifted the lid on refereeing standards in a blockbuster Sun exclusive yesterday.'
Wait A Mo, Hayward
'Jack Wilshere is wrong - Mo Farah is proof we should embrace Britain's diverse society' is the headline on Paul Hayward's piece in the Daily Telegraph. It's nice because the Telegraph get to use a lovely picture of lovely Mo Farah with the Union Jack. But it's utter nonsense of course.
Farah came to England from Somalia at the age of eight to join his British father. Adnan Janusaj came to England at the age of 16 to get paid to play football for one of the richest football clubs in the world.
Only a fool would compare the two. And it's not Jack Wilshere who is the fool in this particular scenario.
Those Who Came Before
Hayward begins his piece by writing: 'The horse bolted 12 years ago, when Jack Wilshere was nine. Slamming the stable door would be impossible as well as small-minded. When the Football Association appointed Sven-Goran Eriksson as England manager in 2001 it erased forever the concept of the country's team as a single-nation entity, drawn only from English maternity wards.'
No Paul, that particular horse bolted in 1873 when Indian-born Alfred Goodwyn played in England's second ever international match. He is one of 33 players born outside of England - including John Barnes, Tony Dorigo, Wilfred Zaha and Owen Hargreaves - who have represented England.
Wilshere is perhaps misguided in saying that "the only people who should play for England are English people", but Hayward is equally misguided in thinking that Eriksson spelled the beginning of the end for that particular ideal.
Headline in The Sun: 'WE DON'T NEED YOU, JAN.'
Erm, no. What Jack actually said was 'WE DON'T WANT YOU, JAN (or any of your kind).'
The Rain In Spain
"If I went to Spain and lived there for five years I'm not going to play for Spain," says Wilshere.
No Jack, you're not good enough.
Mediawatch broadly agrees with Oliver Holt in the Daily Mirror (those words are so hard to type) about the fuss made over Jack Wilshere's smoking. But after the big old massive hullabaloo Holt made about Stuart Broad not walking in the Ashes, there are some things that should set off even Holt's minimal hypocrisy meter...
'We have enough difficulties trying to forge a winning England team without trying to turn our players into pariahs for nothing,' he writes.
Hyperbole Of The Day
Headline in the Birmingham Mail: 'Aston Villa war of words: Matt Kendrick reveals bitter claret and blue bust-up.'
Bloody hell. Has Christian Benteke punched Andreas Weimann in the face? Has Paul Lambert called Ron Vlaar a nincompoop?
Let's find out...
'Aston Villa's European Cup winning heroes have become embroiled in a bitter feud with the Aston Villa Former Players Association after forming a breakaway group.'
'RICKIE LAMBERT is not ready to let his England fairytale end. Critics have tried to burst his bubble since his surprise first cap in August,' writes Darren Lewis in the Daily Mirror.
So who are these critics who have tried in vain to burst his bubble?
Headline in the Daily Mirror when Lambert was first called into the squad: 'IS HE ALL WE'VE GOT?
New Man Of The Day
Financial expert David Bick on Sky Sports News: A lot of the ladies who don't tune into football normally tune in en masse for the World Cup. Alcohol and sales of beer go up, barbecue sales get a lift and sales of TV go up."
Presumably the 'ladies' are drinking Babycham rather than beer, David.
Headline Of The Day
'JACK ORDERS A FULL ENGLISH' - The Daily Star on familiar ground.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'Jav hints at United Chic-out' - The Daily Mirror.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'There are not many questions that can shock a journalist into writer's block, but Mumsnet managed that this morning by asking whether its Facebook followers owned a, wait for it, penis beaker. A penis beaker. A message board user, apparently posting under her real name, had posed the same question in a bid to find out whether she and her husband were alone in this most unusual of unhygienic practices' - Metro. And for those of you with puzzled faces, here is the full post: 'We have a dedicated post-sex cleanup area on the bedside table. A box of tissues, a small bin, and a beaker of clean water for temporary cleaning/dunking while the bathroom is occupied by me. Apparently our penis beaker is strange and not the done thing'.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Mark 'Bucko' Buckingham. If you see anything that belongs on this page, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.