The Page That Is Blaming Its Incontinence On Laughter

Manchester United shouldn't pursue short-term signings in the transfer window and Mario Balotelli knows the English press so well...

Last Updated: 13/12/13 at 12:30

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How Mediawatch wishes that the Daily Mirror's tagline on Robbie Savage's column ('Mr Marmite...Love him, Hate him, You can't ignore him') weren't true, but the ubiquitous pundit is indeed impossible to avoid, especially when he's voicing such hare-brained solutions to Manchester United's recent slump.

'Instead of panic buys in January (often short-term solutions to long-term problems), he should go out and buy three or four world-class players next summer,' writes Savage as he advises David Moyes on his spending plans.

Hmmm. That seems to make sense to Mediawatch. Splurging your entire budget on a short-term solution certainly wouldn't be a great idea and...oh, hang on...

'How about Zlatan Ibrahimovic? He is a Cantona-type player who would give the Reds a real lift - and with Sweden missing out on the World Cup, he will not be worn out after a long summer.'

Ah. Warning Moyes that he shouldn't pursue short-term solutions and then advocating a blockbuster move for the 32-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic. That's Savage logic.

The curious thing is that Savage himself argues it would be foolish for Moyes to move for players who are closer to the end of their careers, suggesting United bid for Ross Barkley and Adam Lallana, before writing:

'And I wouldn't stop there - instead of Leighton Baines, who turned 29 this week, I would go for England's next left-back, Southampton's Luke Shaw.'

So United should pursue youth in a position they quite clearly need to strengthen and experience in a position for which they are already well-equipped?

We hope David Moyes is writing this down.

From Robbie Savage's Premier League predictions for the Daily Mirror on August 16: '8) Everton. I wish him all the best, but Roberto Martinez will find David Moyes a hard act to follow. Defensively, his Wigan side were poor and Goodison fans are not used to seeing their team spring leaks at the back. Martinez has plenty to prove.'

Robbie Savage's updated Premier League predictions for the Daily Mirror on September 5: 'Here is my FINAL forecast of who will finish where. No going back on this pecking order, I will stand or fall by this table...7) Everton (8th)'

Robbie Savage on the BBC, December 12: "Everton have done absolutely fantastic. I think they could finish in that fourth place. Fourth place is between Everton, Liverpool, Spurs, United. And I think at the minute, Liverpool injuries, United's home form is poor, Everton have taken four points away from home against Arsenal and United recently - I've got to fancy them, as we're speaking, for that fourth place.'

Taken Seriously
The Sun's self-appointed 'world football correspondent' Antony Kastrinakis has returned from his latest trip to the continent with a real bee in his bonnet about Arsenal.

'ARSENAL had a horror night - they lost, had a man sent off, dropped to second in the group and will now face a Champions League giant,' wrote Kastrinakis in his Thursday match report, and he continues where he left off on Friday.

'Arsene Wenger knows that Arsenal will never be taken seriously if they carry on losing the games that matter,' writes Kastrinakis, ignoring the obvious point that all games matter and Arsenal have been pretty good at winning this season. So good, in fact, that they beat Borussia Dortmund on their own patch and eased past Kastrinakis' beloved Liverpool in what was supposed to be a difficult top-of-the-table clash.

Kastrinakis continues: 'There is the old nagging chestnut that Wenger's boys always lose the games that matter. STILL.

'They were always on the back foot and, had Napoli's second goal come a bit sooner, it could have been curtains.'

But it didn't come sooner, did it? And it wasn't curtains. It wasn't even drapes. Or a net curtain. Arsenal are through, Antony! They made it! You can stop worrying.

Luck Of The Draw
Said Rafael on Manchester United's Champions League hopes: "I can remember last season when we also won the group and yet we played Real Madrid. I hope something like that doesn't happen again."

Don't worry, fella. Don't ask us how we know, but Mediawatch can assure you that won't happen.

The Big Question
Writes Darren Lewis in the Daily Mirror: 'He (Soldado) had connected better with his teammates here than he has done all season to give Villas-Boas a headache ahead of Sunday's clash with Liverpool. Does he stick with a striker who looks to have finally found his stride or opt for Defoe's superior pace and movement?'

That 'superior pace and movement' has helped Defoe to one goal in his last 26 Premier League apperances, Mediawatch will have you know.

Writes Arsenal fan John Cross on Arsenal's fixture schedule in the Daily Mirror: 'There should be no excuses...Rather than look for excuses, look to send out a defiant message with a strong result which will show everyone that Arsenal mean business this season.'

Said Arsene Wenger: "I think we have an opportunity to make the difference by playing first tomorrow. I don't complain about the timing of the fixtures, we don't use it as an excuse."

Happy, John?

Writes Paul Jiggins in The Sun: 'And with three of those coming from the spot, the joke doing the rounds was that the bookies had stopped taking bets on Soldado Pen finishing as Tottenham's top scorer this season.'

If that's the 'joke' doing the rounds, then you ignore it and hope it goes away. You do not tell it to your friends and you definitely don't include it in your match report for a national newspaper.

'Yes Uruguay have two of the most dangerous strikers in world football, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, to threaten England's progress,' writes Robbie Savage in the Daily Mirror.

'But they will not have an easy ride when Andros Townsend runs at their defence...'

One goal - which he admitted was a cross - from 46 shots and no assists in 13 Premier League appearances.

Perhaps Savage missed the memo; no-one talks about Townsend as England's 'symbolic pick' anymore after he last started a top-flight game for Tottenham over a month ago.

Quote Of The Day
"I remember our first pre-season tour with Wenger. We worked our socks off and at the end of the trip Wenger said we could all go out. We went straight down the pub and the French lads went to the coffee shop. Steve Bould went up to the bar and ordered 35 pints for five of us. After we left the bar we spotted all the French lads in the coffee shop and they were sitting around smoking. I thought "How are we going to win the league this year? We're all drunk and they're all smoking". We ended up winning the double" - Ray Parlour.

"I am sure you want me to say that Italy will beat England - and then remind me of what I said if it doesn't happen" - Mario Balotelli knows the English press so well.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'Goaldado' - The Sun.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'It is said laughter is the best medicine, but research has shown a sudden fit of the giggles could be bad for health, leaving some people literally in stitches.

'A study of the reported benefits and damage of laughter in patients from 1946 to the present day found a loud guffaw can causing heart rupture, torn gullets and incontinence.

'Researchers from Birmingham and Oxford universities concluded laughter can have serious health implications.' - The Daily Telegraph.

And to think Paul Jiggins is busy telling jokes.

Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters...oh, wait. None of you. Up your game, people. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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