Martin Samuel now likes managers that criticise players, but wants everyone (other than him) to stop talking about gay footballers. Plus youth hostelling with Chris Eubank...
Arsene Wenger was fuming and seething, Ian Wright picks his mate, Martin Samuel takes on a straw man, John Cross reports on a 'revolt' and more...
Mediawatch knows that when you're trying to make a point, you'll use pretty much anything to back it up. Hell, maybe once or twice *looks over each should, bows head in sorry admission of guilt, checks watch to see if it's too early to start on the sherry, decides it is, takes a slug anyway* even we have done it. Occasionally. Every now and then. From time to time.
Along with the rest of The Daily Mail's staff Martin Samuel has, you'll recall, spent much of the last few months pounding on Andre Villas-Boas like a particularly troublesome tent peg in an especially tough bit of ground.
There was the time he said Villas-Boas was blaming his players for the defeat to Manchester City ('That is the marvellous thing about being AVB - there is always someone around to carry the can') when he actually said 'we'.
There was the time when he weirdly claimed Villas-Boas stopping crouching on the edge of the pitch was some sort of proof that he was a dunce (or, more accurately, suggesting it was 'a gimmick to make him look brighter than he is') even though a) he hadn't actually stopped and b) that probably had more to do with the camber of the White Hart Lane pitch, which means anyone crouching at one side can't see the ball on the other side, than anything to do with his brain matter.
There was the time he claimed Villas-Boas was 'the man who knew too little' and while admitting that his sacking 'may be considered harsh', the implication/explicit statements that Villas-Boas is a bad manager, shouldn't be in that job and was certainly not as good as the chap before him, whoever he might be oh and by the way he's got a book out, weren't exactly subtle.
Now though, Daniel Levy and other trigger-happy club chairman are the target, so he writes this morning:
'Now, Tottenham are struggling to secure a permanent replacement for Andre Villas-Boas. Is it any wonder? Who would rush to work with a board that gives a manager £107m to spend on seven players and then sacks him for not achieving consistency four months into the new season?'
That's the marvellous thing about being Martin Samuel - there's always someone around to back up whichever point you're making today.
Elsewhere in the Daily Mail, Samuel's partner-in-torment Neil Ashton is acting like Sherwood getting Adebayor to score three goals in a week is some kind of miracle, neatly forgetting that Adebayor is exactly the kind of player who can score three goals in a week if it takes his fancy.
Ashton writes: 'There was a twinkle in Tim Sherwood's eye when Tottenham's interim manager began talking about the enigmatic figure that goes by the name of Emmanuel Adebayor. It was a brief lesson in man-management, the sort of insight that can only be passed on if you have shared a dressing room with some tricky customers down the years.
'Sherwood has seen it all before after an 18-year playing career and more than 500 appearances for six clubs. You can't just enrol on a UEFA technical workshop and pick up this kind of stuff.
'For that reason Adebayor is putty in Sherwood's hands, playing as if his life depended on it during Tottenham's gung-ho victory at St Mary's.'
No, Adebayor was putty in Sherwood's hands BECAUSE HE'S NOT AVB. It's as simple as that. If Sam Bailey, Jeremy Vine or even Mediawatch had taken over Tottenham last week, the very first thing we would have all done is find Adebayor and tell him he's in the team because he's dead good and that. And none of us have made 'more than 500 appearances for six clubs' in order to glean this knowledge.
And as for Ashton writing about Adebayor's 'compassionate side' when 'he spoke movingly about his brother who passed away'...just how low are your expectations when being upset by the death of your brother is evidence of a 'compassionate side'? It's merely evidence that you have a beating heart, Neil.
To Sir With Love
Said AVB on December 13 about Roberto Soldado: "I don't think he lost confidence but I think as a striker you have to persist in trying to finish off the situations you are given. That final touch hasn't been there for him recently, bearing in mind he scored three today this will be a great boost of confidence for him."
Said Sherwood on December 22 about Roberto Soldado: "I don't think he's fazed about missing chances. Maybe next week it will be his time."
If you think that those innocuous comments show a similar level of support and empathy, then you are not the Daily Mail's Neil Ashton.
He writes of Sherwood's quotes: 'It was an arm around the shoulder, the sort of empathy that comes when your assistant manager, Les Ferdinand, happens to be the eighth highest goalscorer in Premier League history.'
Erm, sorry, what now?
Employ My Friend, Please
Just in case you didn't get the message from Samuel and Ashton, here's Jamie Redknapp in the Daily Mail: 'THERE is absolute no reason why Tim Sherwood should not be the next manager of Tottenham Hotspur.'
Mediawatch will now precis Redknapp's argument to save you the bother of reading it:
a) He's a 'football man'.
b) He's English.
He forgot c) He's my friend.
The Expert View
According to The Sun - and this is a direct quote: 'Winning 3-2 is better than getting stuffed 6-0 or 5-0.'
And that's why Tim Sherwood should get the job.
Benevolent Gesture Of The Weekend
"If I was offered the job, yes I would want to go back, even if it was for the sake of the club" - Glenn Hoddle, over ten years after leaving Tottenham with a win percentage of less than 40%.
Mediawatch like Mondays because Monday is Kastrinakis Day, the day when world football is 'uncovered'.
This week The Sun man has 'uncovered' that Atletico Madrid are quite good, largely because Diego Simeone is quite good.
He has also 'uncovered' - despite it not really being in his 'world football' remit - that Liverpool 'have won more league games this season before Christmas than any Kop side since 1990'.
You'd never guess for a minute who Kastrinakis supports, would you? See if you can 'uncover' this great mystery...
Maths With Manuel
"Everybody is talking because Arsenal scored three goals and Fulham scored two more, but, I repeat, we are improving," said Manuel Pellegrini this week. "If you see a statistic we are the third or fourth best defence in the league."
Or alternatively, equal sixth with Manchester United and Hull.
He's really not good with numbers, is he?
Party Like It's 2002
It is often said that Wales is around ten years behind the rest of the UK. That can be the only explanation for this opening paragraph from Phil Cadden in the Daily Mirror: 'ROSS BARKLEY bent it like Beckham to fire Everton into the Premier League top four.'
We're just a tad disappointed there are no references to Daniel Bedingfield or Darius.
Headline Of The Day
'Pellegrini content with City's lunacy after flight of The Crazy Bird' - The Times.
Worst Headline Of The Day/Year
'BUNGLE BOSS DOES U-TAN' - The Sun.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'An obese virgin hospitalised his girlfriend after his enthusiastic thrusts resulted in her head being bashed through a plasterboard wall. Gregg Casarona, who weighed in at a hefty 31 stone, feared for the worst after concussing Jen Gerakaris, who weighed just 8 stone at the time. 'My initial reaction was: "I killed her",' Mr Casarona told the New York Post. '"This is my first time. And Jen is dead."' After a couple of seconds, which felt like an eternity to the 21-year-old, his girlfriend pulled her head out of the wall and exclaimed: 'Why'd you stop?!'' - Metro.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Aaron Roles. We're now going on holiday for a few days...