The Page That Has Become Pregnant By Osmosis

Comparing Robin van Persie taking off his coat to John Terry, the 'justice' of Liverpool winning the title and more...

Last Updated: 12/11/13 at 12:22

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Click Me, Click Me
Mediawatch trusts you (yes, even you with your hand down your pants) so we can have no qualms about revealing that Monday was a rather good day for Football365 in terms of 'audience engagement' (and there really is nothing sexier than 'audience engagement'). And so it should have been after the biggest game of the season so far on Sunday. We can only assume that other football websites did similarly well; there were a lot of Manchester United fans wanting to crow and a lot of Gooners desperate to hear mitigating circumstances.

Included loosely under the umbrella of 'other football websites' is the Daily Mail football website. We say 'loosely' because there was clearly a decision made at some point last year to bring the football coverage in line with the rest of the fantastically successful Daily Mail website and indulge in relentless, shameless click-whoring. It works. We're a little jealous.

But that click-whoring was probably not required on Monday when they took a picture of Robin van Persie celebrating a massive win over Arsenal (in which he scored the only goal of the game) and twisted, turned and pulled before coming up with this...

'You're not fooling anyone, Robin! Were there shades of JT's infamous Euro gaffe as substitute Van Persie strips out of his coat to celebrate against Arsenal?'

Yes, they are comparing Van Persie's celebrations at the final whistle at Old Trafford with John Terry putting on his full strip to loon about after Chelsea's Champions League win despite not actually playing in the game.

'The striker, who had been substituted in the 85th minute, decided it would be a good idea to join his team-mates on the pitch following the final whistle. Fair enough, but unfortunately for Van Persie the move looked reminiscent of John Terry's infamous celebrations after the 2012 Champions League final.'

To who? To the Daily Mail website's David Kent, that's who.

'Upon being hooked by David Moyes with five minutes left on Sunday, Van Persie seemed to be handed a coat and sat on the bench. When United had sealed the crucial three points eight minutes later, the 30-year-old looked to have already torn the substitute gear off in readiness to take the plaudits on the pitch. Robin, you're not fooling anyone.'

And David Kent, you're really not fooling anyone either. That, fella, was shameless bilge.

Lone Justice
Central to the Daily Mail website's quest for more and more clicks was the employment of Adrian Durham as a columnist. The TalkSPORT presenter's remit is seemingly to stir the general populus into a bubbling frenzy. He then blames 'hating websites' (who could he possibly mean?) when he gets abuse. Last week's Twitter threat of a bullet to his head was blamed not on the unpleasant Arsenal fan who made the threat but on these mysterious 'hating websites'.

Anyway, it's Tuesday so he's back. And he says that Liverpool deserve to win the title this season. Why? Because they have that easy-on-the-eye strike partnership of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge? Because that home kit really is lovely? No, because of Hillsborough. Yes, he believes that Liverpool should win the Premier League title because of Hillsborough.

'Football isn't decided by sentiment; it rightfully dictates that the team with the most points at the end of the season will be champions,' writes Durham sensibly, which really should put that idea to bed.

But he hasn't finished: 'But if there is one set of fans who deserve to win the title this season, it's Liverpool supporters. And this is why.'

He then goes on to detail the horrendous history of the Hillsborough tragedy with its lies and its smears. We are all shocked whenever the details of that day and the intervening years are recounted. But Durham goes a step further...

'It's about time English football paid back its debt to Liverpool Football Club. The Reds put England on the European football map in the 1970s and 1980s. And then England treated the club and its fans like dirt. May the best team win the Premier League this season, but if there is any justice and sentiment left in football, Liverpool will be champions come May.'

So English football has a debt to Liverpool that should be paid back with the title? Should every other club stand aside and allow that to happen in the name of 'justice'? We can't help thinking that Durham hasn't quite got a grasp on the way that competitive football works. He does have a helluva knack of generating clicks, mind.

Saints Alive
Durham's nonsense does not end there. After last week's glorious piffle about Arsenal signing Joe Hart on loan comes this on Manuel Pellegrini (though he calls him Pellgrini): 'It probably won't happen but I am desperate for Southampton to finish above Manchester City this season. Manuel Pellgrini can't be bothered to spend time on his English goalkeeper, frequently fields teams with no English players in the line-up, and as a club City don't seem to have any desire to produce good English players from its academy.'

'Frequently fields teams with no English players in the line-up'? He's done it twice. And they won 7-0 and 5-2. The Hartless bastard. He picked James Milner for the game against Sunderland and he was woeful and English.

Durham continues: 'By contrast Southampton are prolific with the talent they are producing. They even sign Englishmen - Jay Rodriguez for example. Even the foreigners they bring in are eligible for England - look at Morgan Schneiderlin. He's as French as Boeuf Bourguignon but because he's lived here so long Roy Hodgson can pick him. Well done Southampton.'

This summer Southampton signed Dejan Lovren (Croatian international, not eligible for England), Victor Wanyama (Kenyan international, not eligible for England) and Pablo Osvaldo (Italian international, not eligible for England). But yeah, well done Southampton. And really well done Adrian.

Shift Work
We would have liked to have left Durham there but he will insist on squeezing one last piece of nonsense out of his column.

'Talking of Wenger, why did he sacrifice Aaron Ramsey at Old Trafford? Was it just to feed the ego of his expensive star, who failed to turn up anyway?
Strange decisions. Message to the Arsenal boss: when you're getting the best out of a player like Ramsey, keep him in his best position, and shift Mesut Ozil out to the right. I do hope Wenger is strong enough to handle world class players. If he isn't, it's pointless signing them.'

Note to Durham: Ramsey has not started a game in the position currently occupied by the ego monster that is Ozil all season. That is by no stretch of the imagination his 'best position'. He has operated in a withdrawn role in central midfield - and scored 11 goals - for the majority of this phenomenal season and was shifted out wide against United (as he was against West Brom and Crystal Palace) to allow Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta to play together in the middle. But that really doesn't fit in with the anti-Wenger agenda, does it?

It'll be our fault if he gets another death threat from Mr Tah.

The Heat Is On
Ian Wright supports Arsenal; he might have mentioned it. He also has a short memory; he might have forgotten to mention that.

So when he writes in The Sun that he's worried about Arsenal showing nerves this early in the season - 'If they're suffering with any jitters and doubts now, what on earth are they going to be like come March and April when the heat is really on?' - Mediawatch feels duty bound to ask whether Wrighty remembers what happened in March/April last year when Arsenal were in fifth, five points behind Chelsea and seven behind Tottenham, who had just beaten them at White Hart Lane. The heat, we're sure he'll agree, was really and truly on.

So what happened? They won eight of their last ten Premier League games, that's what. As you were, Wrighty.

'ROY BUG ALERT' is the headline on the back page of the Daily Mail, who clearly know exactly what they are doing after the 'space monkey' furore sparked talk of a dressing-room mole.

The story - on the back page! - is that 'ENGLAND'S World Cup build-up has been plunged into disarray by an outbreak of a stomach virus at their training HQ'.

Yes, their build-up to next year's World Cup has been 'plunged into disarray' by having to train in a different place several days before a friendly against Chile and fully seven months before the actual World Cup.

At least we'll have an excuse if we don't win the damned thing.

What A Looker
Phrase we never thought we'd read in a paragraph (in the Daily Mail) about Phil Jones: 'Handsomely equipped.'

Quote To Make You Wince
"I'm gutted for Hartdog" - Micah Richards.

Headline Of The Day
'Glove you Long time' - The Daily Mirror strike gold with Boaz Myhill's love for Shane Long.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'Verm's vow' - The Daily Star. We just hate those four-letter abbreviations. Weng? Verm? Gerr? Sickening.

Non-Football Story of The Day
'A man has been jailed for 11 months after having sex with a swimming pool raft and his neighbour's inflatable pumpkin. Edwin Charles Tobergta, 34, of Hamilton, Ohio , pleaded guilty to one count of public indecency - but admitted to more than a decade of weirdness with inflatable items. He was arrested on June 15 after he stepped out of his backdoor, naked, in broad daylight and in view of a number of children, and had 'sexual relations with a rubber lilo'. And this wasn't the first time Tobergta had been nabbed for his weird blow-up fetish. He was arrested in in August 2011 for a similar offence, after having sex with a pink swimming pool raft. In 2002 he was caught having sex with an inflatable pumpkin that was part of a neighbour's Halloween display. Judge Charles Pater called Togberta's actions "lewd", "obscene" and "something society's not going to tolerate. Before being sentenced, Togberta said "I do want to apologise for my actions, I'm sorry. I'm ready to get my life together and quit all this nonsense."' - Daily Mirror.

Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Mark Williamson. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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Readers' Comments


may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Please Stop Telling Us What To Think


ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

Wenger hails important win


s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

De Gea's Europa League target

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