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Martin Keown solves Chelsea's defensive problems and why Arsenal should fear Napoli tonight...

Last Updated: 11/12/13 at 12:27

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No Chance
Headline in the Daily Mail: 'We WON'T win the Champions League - Jose'

Actual quotes from Jose Mourinho: "If we reach the quarter-final, which is the next step, every team in the quarter-final has a chance to win it. But I think we are not considered one of the favourites."

Blues Blues
Martin Keown dissects Chelsea's set-piece problems in his 'Insight' column for the Daily Mail, but the former Arsenal defender struggles to find a solution for Jose Mourinho.

'I like John Terry and Gary Cahill as a pairing but they're not functioning as well as they should be and in part that's down to the players in front of them,' writes Keown.

'I think they also miss Didier Drogba's work at set-pieces. Even though he's a striker, he was fantastic at clearing danger. Maybe hanging on to Romelu Lukaku could have helped.'

As the Mail kindly informs us, 'Chelsea have let in six goals from set-pieces in the PL this season, just over a third of their total conceded. They let in six set-piece goals in the whole of last season.'

That's the whole of last season. After Didier Drogba's departure. So, yeah, missing his presence at set-pieces is definitely the issue.

And while we're at it, have comparisons between Drogba and Lukaku become so lazy that the latter can be expected to fulfil the same defensive role on free-kicks?

Numbers Game
Writes David Anderson in his Manchester City match report for the Daily Mirror: 'Substitute Alvaro Negredo was denied a fourth by Neuer, but it mattered not.'

It seems Manuel Pellegrini wasn't the only one struggling with the maths on Tuesday evening.

Slight Difference Of Opinion
'United's supporters continue to give Moyes their full backing, both vocally and with banners such as the one that read: 'Believe in yourself Moyes, the rest will follow.' The manager was also backed by a rendition of 'Come on David Moyes, play like Fergie's boys' and 'David Moyes's red and white army.'' - The Telegraph.

'Gloom, misery and concern filled Manchester United's supporters, players and, not least, their embattled manager last night...The atmosphere felt more like a wake than a Champions League match in front of a near capacity crowd' - The Daily Express.

Taking A Stand
Neil Ashton's 'Ash Wednesday' column for the Daily Mail online questions renewed calls for safe standing at English football grounds, but Mediawatch is struggling to be convinced by his reasoning.

'Those in favour of a return to terracing argue that it will improve the atmosphere at stadiums, but we are in danger of rewriting history at this point,' writes Ashton.

'In recent times, all-seater stadiums have provided some spine-tingling nights that are certainly comparable with anything from the past.

'Think Fenerbahce v Chelsea inside the Sukru Saracoglu in the Champions League in April 2008 when the noise from the home fans reached fever pitch.

'Back in England, the European Cup semi-finals at Anfield between Liverpool and Chelsea were magnificent occasions. Those sat in the Kop on those incredible nights have surely never sang louder for their team.

'They were special times, with the atmosphere enhanced by the enthusiasm of the supporters in their seats.'

Mediawatch is puzzled. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to object to safe standing, of course, but a bizarre recollection of the atmosphere in Fenerbahce's all-seater stadium for a Champions League clash against Chelsea in 2008 certainly isn't one of them.

Do a few examples of raucous occasions at all-seater stadiums prove that in general the atmosphere at matches wouldn't be improved by safe standing areas?

Speaking of noisy supporters, Neil Ashton continues the theme with his preview of Napoli v Arsenal in the Daily Mail.

'High up in the second tier, a band of 700 travelling fans, plus the 11 Arsenal players out on the pitch, must defy 50,000 screaming Italians,' writes Ashton.

'They cannot lose their nerve. Big teams have lost here in the past: Chelsea and Manchester City were beaten here two years ago when Walter Mazzarri was still the coach,'

But later, Ashton continues: 'Napoli are on a bad run and Benitez is under pressure.

'They have fallen away in Serie A, losing 3-0 at Juventus, beaten at home to Parma and drawing 3-3 with Udinese here on Saturday.'

So what the heck were those 50,000 Napoli fans doing when Parma and Udinese - as well as minnows Sassuolo - came to town?

Said Jose Mourinho: "Am I going to change the style and play more defensive style? No. Am I going to play David Luiz in front of the centre halves? No. Am I going to play on the counter-attack with Fernando Torres up front? No. We go in the same direction."

Am I going to continue to obsess about Rafa Benitez? Yes.

Quote Of The Day
Said Gus Poyet: "The Christmas parties used to be normal, then - and I include myself in this as well - some went over the top, and then it became an issue."

Mediawatch is trying its very best not to make a yule log joke.

Headline Of The Day
'Hell Freezes Over' - The Daily Mail.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'Shakh, rattle 'n roll' - The Sun.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'An amorous Italian couple's love-making became so noisy that a neighbour spread the word locally and even invited his friends to listen in, it's reported.

'The story came to light after police were forced to intervene in a row at an apartment block in the northern town of Reggio Emilia, local paper Gazzetta di Reggio reports. "Their moments of intimacy, perhaps a bit too noisy, aroused the interest of the 'classic' nosy and meddling neighbour," the paper reports. "Not content with listening to the couple's effusions, he spread the word in the local bar and even invited his friends around to eavesdrop," it says.

'The story reached its climax when the couple got wind of what their neighbour was doing and confronted him. A heated row ensued and the police were called. The neighbour is being investigated for possible disorderly conduct.' -

Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Zubair Timol. 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.

De Gea's Europa League target

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