The Sun conduct an 'experiment' and Adrian Durham knows how to spice up romance...
Steven Howard manages to be miserable at the Emirates, Jose Mourinho spouts some nonsense and Robbie Savage tries to help David Moyes...
There are Big Conclusions being drawn about the League Cup game between Arsenal and Chelsea last night. Very Big Conclusions, from people with Very Big Opinions.
Steven Howard grumpypants in The Sun concludes: 'I think we may have been here before. A decent team turns up at the Emirates and Arsenal are rolled over. Just as they were the previous week when they were beaten by Borussia Dortmund. So much for all the purple prose penned about Arsene Wenger's Gunners as they turned over some ropey, wrong-end-of-the-table side to hit the top of the Premier League.'
Neil Ashton is similarly conclusive in The Daily Mail: 'Chelsea are through to the quarter-final of the competition and yet it feels like something so much bigger took place. Arsenal under the lights at the Emirates inside a week. Not good enough.'
And Martin Lipton concluderates in The Daily Mirror: 'The wait goes on for Arsene Wenger. Nine years without a win over Jose Mourinho. Nine games too. And it looked like being nine years without a trophy for the Gunners boss.'
So, there we have it. They're flat-track bullies, 'not good enough' and condemned to another pot-free year despite only having been eliminated from one of the five they could compete for this season.
And this after a game between their second string (of their starting line-up, Mediawatch reckons on current form three, at a push four, would be in their first-choice team) and Chelsea's second string.
Sure, it raises questions about the depth of their squad, but seemingly writing off Arsenal after such a result looks as dumb as the straw men that our venerable hacks have constructed arguing they're definitely back and will definitely win the league this season.
A Mug's Game
Hats off to The Daily Mirror's Derek McGovern, who has seemingly done the impossible by making himself even more odious than we thought he was before.
McGovern, a betting columnist, writes how gambling is actually a terrible thing and can ruin lives, citing the likes of Paul Merson and John Hartson, problem gamblers spurred on by a combination of too much money, too much spare time and people encouraging them to gamble.
McGovern obviously can't get through the piece without making assorted terrible (in both quality and taste) jokes, such as 'I should gamble because it was gambling that killed my grandfather - a fruit machine fell on him. With his dying words he said he was just grateful it wasn't a fruit.' Assuming he isn't actually talking about a pineapple, that's a clever, subtle and arch reference to homosexuality there, comedy fans.
He then goes on to reference Tony Kelly, who 'was on TV this week telling how gambling wrecked his career.' Cautionary tales all over the place.
So what's the crux of this gambling column by a gambling 'expert' littered with examples of how the lives of assorted problem gamblers have been f*cked up by gambling? Why, it's to plug his new gambling website, of course, which he informs us 'offers a cure for those with gambling problems - a 66-1 poke in tennis's Paris Masters.'
Headline from The Daily Mirror: 'Swans' anger at derby ref.'
Intro from The Daily Mirror: 'Mike Dean has controversially been appointed referee for the potentially explosive south Wales derby between Cardiff and Swansea on Sunday.'
Quotes from the chair of the Swansea Supporters' trust: "He was hit by a coin which was unacceptable, but then he gave a penalty which seemed to Swansea fans as a way of appeasing the crowd."
Quotes from anyone actually at Swansea: none.
Wilfried Zaha was allowed to play for Manchester United last night, after apparently being frozen in carbonite since joining them in the summer, as United assistant Steve Round was ever so proud:
"He's gone out there and experienced what it's like to win at Old Trafford," Round said.
Given Zaha was part of the Crystal Palace team that beat United a couple of years back, he very nearly knows more about winning at Old Trafford than some of his coaches.
Mediawatch was interested to see Alan Pardew's comments about Chieck Tiote's recent brush with the law, that saw him escape a spell in the big house, but sentenced to 180 hours community service for purchasing a shonky driving licence.
"There are times when international players come abroad and don't actually understand the rules," Pardew said.
"We try to help them and try to push them in the right manner, the right way, and we'll just make sure he gets the right advice going forward.
"I think it was a misunderstanding."
Tiote was found to have met a man at Brussels airport, from whom he purchased a fake Belgian licence, which he then sent to the DVLA when attempting to get a British one. Tiote paid his man £12,800 for that Belgian licence.
That's...that's a hell of a misunderstanding.
Writes Luke Edwards in The Daily Telegraph:
'Manchester United finally remembered why they spent £15million on Wilfried Zaha's potential yet were reminded that it is far cheaper to produce your own as Adnan Januzaj delivered another sublime performance in a comfortable win over Norwich City.'
This would be the Januzaj who was 'produced' from Anderlecht two years ago.
Writes Martin Lipton in The Daily Mirror:
'Yet, even a week after its release, it reads like the plinth under the statue of Shelley's 'Ozymandias', found in the desert. "My name is Alex Ferguson, king of kings. Look on my works, Ye Might, and despair."
He's talking about Fergie's book, in case you weren't sure.
Childish Giggle Of The Day
'Henry: Hoops are hurting' - The Daily Mirror. You can get a salve for that, Karl.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'Capital Juan Cup!' - The Sun.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'An Australian civil servant has lost a bid for compensation for an injury incurred while she was having sex during a work trip. The woman was injured when a light fitting fell on her and a colleague while they were having sex in a motel. The claimant initially won compensation from government insurer Comcare. But the High Court overruled that judgement, saying the woman's employer had not encouraged her to engage in the activity that led to the injury.
'The woman says she suffered damage to her nose, mouth and a tooth and psychological trauma after the light fitting was pulled from its mount. But after a lengthy legal battle, four of the High Court judges ruled against the woman, with one judge dissenting.
"When the circumstances of an injury involve the employee engaging in an activity at the time of the injury, the relevant question is: did the employer induce or encourage the employee to engage in that activity?" the court said. "On the facts of the respondent's case, the majority held that the answer to that question was 'no'." The woman, who has not been named, has no further right to appeal' - The BBC Website.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters Joe Smyth and Paul Gormley. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.