The Page That Has Been Delayed By Befuddlement

'Is Jose the new Di Matteo?' is the question. And it's a really confusing question. Plus the latest on 'sleevegate' and a story that's been exclusively read...

Last Updated: 28/11/13 at 12:38

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Dreary Barlow
'Is Jose the new Di Matteo?' asks the Daily Mail. 'No' is the short answer but we're willing to listen to Matt Barlow. Or we were until we realised he had written some absolute Grade A nonsense in which mere facts and numbers are entirely disregarded. Either that or he has a broken calculator.

'Mourinho's record is strikingly similar to Di Matteo's,' writes Barlow, next to a graphic that shows that indeed, their records in the first 12 Premier League games of the season are so strikingly similar that they are exactly the same. They both have 24 points from seven wins and three draws. Decent but unremarkable.

That's not good enough for Barlow...

'Comparing this season's results with last - and excluding promoted Hull and Cardiff - Chelsea are two points worse off.'

Erm, sorry, what? Barlow has decided to exclude results against Hull and Cardiff (both wins, of course) in a desperate attempt to come up with a number that's lower than Di Matteo's and justify his anger at 'shivering through Chelsea's shot-free defeat in Basle'.

Mediawatch has spent far longer than is healthy staring at Chelsea's results and we still cannot fathom Lawton's method. He has either...

1) Discounted two Di Matteo results from the first 12 matches of last season in order to sonmehow give him more points than Mourinho over ten games (excluding Hull and Cardiff because they won). This is confused by the fact that Di Matteo's Chelsea faced three teams who were relegated while Jose's Chelsea have faced just two teams who were promoted.

2) Compared results from Jose's Chelsea (excluding Hull and Cardiff because they won) with results in the exact same fixtures from last season. This is confused by the fact that Di Matteo was not in charge for the majority of those games. He would be comparing Jose's Chelsea with Rafa's Chelsea.

We are genuinely befuddled. The only thing we know for sure is that no, Jose is not the new Di Matteo.

Daily Ridiculous
The Daily Mail's anti-AVB campaign - led by Chelsea insider Neil Ashton - continues apace with the back-page claim that 'former Roma coach Luis Enrique is the shock name' being considered to replace the Portuguese manager at White Hart Lane.

This tweet from Tor-Kristian Karlsen - former chief executive at Monaco and long-time scout - sums up Mediawatch's feelings: 'The Luis Enrique/Spurs story (Daily Mail) is the most ridiculous piece I've read in quite some time.'

We should probably direct him to the fun times of 'Is Jose the new Di Matteo?'.

How Did That Go, Sourness?
Resident Mystic Greame Souness on Sky Sports: "They will go to Germany with the mindset of not getting beat - and that's a strange attitude for Manchester United because their approach under Sir Alex Ferguson was to try to win every game.

"I expect them to be cute and cagey against a Leverkusen team who are second in the Bundesliga after beating Hertha Berlin at the weekend. This will not be an easy game for Man United and I am very interested to see their mental approach."

Exclusively Read Elsewhere
The Daily Mirror's John Cross has allowed himself to be momentarily distracted from Arsenal's suits and sleeves and penned an 'exclusive' transfer story about Chelsea holding 'secret talks' with the agent of Porto's Colombian striker Jackson Martinez.

Mediawatch just wonders whether he exclusively read about these 'secret talks' in Portuguese newspaper A Bola or whether they only came to his attention when various websites - including Metro and ITV Football - reported those Portuguese reports on Wednesday afternoon.

Right To Bare Arms (Two)
Never fear though because Arsenal superfan Crossy has still managed to fill a whole page of the Daily Mirror with the latest on 'sleevegate'. In case you missed this on Wednesday, 'sleevegate' is the furore around Mathieu Flamini cutting the sleeves of his Arsenal shirt and simultaneously ripping up the grave of Herbert Chapman (or something) in the process.

(Our favourite part of the Daily Mirror's coverage is definitely the helpful circles around the arms of Mathieu Flamini (boo, hiss, spit), in case we were unaware of where he usually wears his sleeves.)

But it seems 'sleevegate' may be over. Phew. Cross reports: 'MATHIEU FLAMINI has agreed to respect Arsenal's long-running shirt tradition after getting his knuckles rapped over "sleevegate".' Presumably because Cross ended his column on Wednesday with the words: 'Mathieu Flamini: you have been warned.'

Wonderfully, Cross has clearly spoken to former Arsenal captain Frank McLintock in the hope of eliciting a 'How dare he fail to respect Arsenal traditions?' blast. But what did he get instead?

"There's 100 things more serious than someone wearing different sleeves."


Lessons Learnt
The Sun has an obsession with sidebars. 'IS ROONEY ALL THE RAGE...?' is the hot topic on Thursday as Mike McGrath gives bite-sized verdicts on the Manchester United striker who was really rather good against Bayer Leverkusen.

McGrath gives his bite-sized opinions on Rooney's TEMPERAMENT and EXCITABILITY (briefly giving Mediawatch the shivers) before his VERDICT: 'No signs of the red mist that Rooney sometimes gets when frustrations set in. So perhaps Roo has learnt his lesson from Cardiff and his clash with Jordan Mutch.'

Or perhaps, Mike, he had absolutely f*** all to be frustrated about; they won 5-0.

The Labour Party

Sub-headline in The Sun: 'He'll do level best'.

'Oh right, that explains it' moment in the opening paragraph: 'CHRIS HUGHTON once worked as a lift engineer - but he insists he will not be taking Norwich down.'

Luciano Becchio is in the Daily Mirror saying he is 'mystified' by his lack of action for Norwich. As Mediawatch is a helpful sort, we would like to offer an explanation: You're not really very good, Luciano.

You're welcome.

Moses Basket
Victor Moses has an incredibly selective memory. In his head, he went to Chelsea and played a whole heap of football. Bless.

"That's always been on my mind - to play games," says Moses in the Daily Mirror. "There was only a little spell at Wigan, when I first signed there, when I wasn't in the team every week. I've always gone to places for the football - places where I'm going to play. By playing, you learn."

Which explains why Moses joined Chelsea from Wigan in August 2012 when they already boasted Eden Hazard, Marko Marin, Juan Mata, Oscar and Daniel Sturridge. And then - inexplicably - started only 12 Premier League games that season. Just don't tell Victor.

Quote Of The Day
"I think he's the best manager in the world and I was a little surprised that Man U didn't come for him because I knew that Alex was going to retire. Alex had already told me that he was thinking of retiring and I was a bit surprised that Man U didn't. They have still got a great lad in David Moyes, let me say that, he's still a great manager, but Roberto now going to Everton, he will take Everton to places they can only dream about" - Dave Whelan on Roberto Martinez, who took Wigan to a place they could only dream about: The Championship.

Tweet Of The Day
'Scunthorpe fans asked not to dress as squirrels when former manager (injured by squirrels) returns' - from The Guardian.

Headline Of The Day
'Toffees in return to Alcaraz' - The Daily Mirror.

Non-Football Story of The Day
'A teacher in the US has hit the headlines after assigning his students with a book to read - titled 'The Baby Jesus Butt Plug'. California University professor Jordan Smith said his students selected the book in a "class vote" and it provided his class with great "academic value", The Blaze reports. The book, written by Carlton Mellick III, imagines a "dark and absurd world" where "baby jesus is a very popular anal probe," summarises' - Huffington Post.

Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters Matthew Rees and Zubair Umar. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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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.

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