The Page That Thinks He Was Showing Off With His Homemade Naan

Choosing the right stick to beat David Moyes and Alan Shearer's tips on being a successful manager...

Last Updated: 06/01/14 at 13:13

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Perfect Ten
Said Paul Lambert: "We don't have a specialist attacking midfielder - I call them number 10s."

You can stop stroking your chin, Paul. So does everybody else.


Context
Things went from bad for worse for David Moyes with Manchester United's FA Cup exit to Swansea on Sunday, but Mediawatch can't help but feel a little sorry for the manager amid condemnation from the papers.

'Consider these statistics,' writes Chris Wheeler in the Daily Mail. 'Sir Alex Ferguson went out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage just once in his 27 years at the club.

'The Barclays Premier League champions and record 11-time Cup winners have lost at Old Trafford five times this season, including four of their last six at home.'

It certainly doesn't make for pleasant reading, but an examination of the context provides at least some defence for Moyes.

If you consider that Ferguson's solitary third-round exit came as recently as 2010 in a home defeat to Leeds - who were in League One at the time - then the argument that Moyes inherited a team already in decline carries even more weight.

Meanwhile, United might be the 'record 11-time Cup winners', but they last lifted the trophy in 2004 with a 3-0 win over Millwall. As Ryan Giggs said before a quarter-final defeat to Chelsea last season: "We've a great history in the competition but in the last 10 years we definitely haven't done ourselves justice."

Moyes obviously deserves criticism for United's sorry season to date, but his performance thus far has been poor enough without unnecessary and unfair comparisons to Ferguson at every juncture. It's about choosing the right stick.


Logic
Fear not, David Moyes, for the Daily Mirror's Alan Nixon has come up with a plan as to how you can instigate a quick turnaround in Manchester United's fortunes.

'Alejandro Pozuelo, Jordi Amat, Chico Flores. You would only know about them if you lived in Spain or watched the right TV channels,' writes Nicko.

'What a good job Swansea have Michael Laudrup and his agent mates to turn to - and David Moyes should take note at Manchester United.

'There is no need to splash fortunes on big names to turn round the problems at Old Trafford, just gifted players who are comfortable on the ball and on this stage.'

That's right, Davie. Never mind the fact that Swansea are 13th in the Premier League and have won only twice at home all season - you should be looking to copy their signings in January. That'll soon have you back in the title race and on course for the Champions League.


Four Four Tim
Tim Sherwood's insistence that Tottenham were not outnumbered in midfield against Arsenal may have bordered on the delusional, but the Spurs manager still isn't prepared to concede any ground in explaining his tactics.

"I didn't see us playing 4-4-2," said Sherwood after a disappointing defeat.

"We just had 11 numbers on the field and tried to rotate and fill up every area of the field. I don't know what you are saying about 4-4-2.

"Manchester United have been playing your 4-4-2 and won everything for the last 10 years."

Two questions, Tim:

1) If you weren't playing 4-4-2, then why do you feel the need to defend the formation by citing Manchester United as an example of its success?

2) Have you watched Manchester United in the last ten years?


Narratives
After saying he'd rather avoid the FA Cup to focus on Premier League survival, Paul Lambert has been widely derided following Aston Villa's loss to Sheffield United on Saturday.

It's no surprise that the Daily Mail have grabbed their pitchforks and rushed to the front of the queue, blasting Lambert with their headline: 'Great debuts, unlikely heroes and Lambert is hit by a deliciously fitting giant-killing...DO YOU GET THE CUP NOW, PAUL?'

However, despite staunch criticism of the manager for his perceived lack of respect for the FA Cup with Budweiser, it's worth noting that Villa made fewer changes than 16 of their Premier League rivals for their third-round tie.

But who cares about facts when the papers already have their angle?


Pressure
Writes Mark Lawrenson in the Daily Mirror: 'You don't give someone a six-year contract to replace the most successful boss you have ever had and then throw him overboard after six or even 12 months.

'That is why I believe there is no pressure on Moyes regardless of the club's league position and yesterday's cup defeat.'

We all know that Manchester United stand against the immediacy of modern life, but 'no pressure'? No. Pressure? That's certainly not the story Moyes' face told on Sunday.


Managerial Ingredients
If, like Mediawatch, you're mistaken in thinking that tactical acumen is the most important aspect of being a successful football manager, let Alan Shearer enlighten you.

'I am actually really pleased that young guys like Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) and Tim Sherwood, my old Blackburn captain, have been given a chance in the Premier League,' writes Shearer in The Sun.

'It doesn't matter where you start out as a boss, it is all about your personality.

'You can do all your coaching badges but they don't teach you how to deal with a player who refuses to play or is late for training.'

If you did all your coaching badges (unlike Shearer and Sherwood) then you would know they include extensive training on man-management as well as tactical instructions. But why have skills in both when you can get along just fine with a big personality?

At least Shearer is on hand to explain why he was such an unmitigated disaster as Newcastle manager.


Least Appealing Offer Of The Day
Notice on West Ham's offcial website: 'Sunday afternoon's defeat at Nottingham Forest was tough for all to take, but particularly for one tearful young man in the away end. Everyone at West Ham United shares this young man's disappointment and are grateful for the large numbers of fans that made the trip to the City Ground. To show the Club's appreciation for the travelling Claret and Blue army, the Board, manager and captain would like to offer this young fan and his family a chance to watch an upcoming fixture at the Boleyn Ground from the Directors' Box.' Having to watch West Ham and meet David Sullivan? Don't upset the poor sod even more.


Quote Of The Day
"I maintain there are no divers at Chelsea. The reason we have had two yellow cards for diving is the referees are very good and at other clubs, where there are really divers, they're not booked. These are isolated episodes, with the referees attacking it and the manager supporting them" - Jose Mourinho simultaneously tries to take credit and point the finger at other clubs after Ramires and Oscar's cautions for simulation in successive matches.


Runner-Up
"Theo's a bit smarter than me, I suppose" - Jack Wilshere on Walcott's 2-0 gesture to Spurs fans.


Worst Headline Of The Day
'Deep Fried' - the Daily Mirror. At first we thought it was a joke about Moyes being from Scotchland, until we realised they're talking about Wilfried Bony.


Non-Football Story Of The Day
'Police had to use olive oil to free a naked man who became trapped in a top-loading washing machine.

'The unctuous intervention was part of a 20-minute rescue operation mounted in Mooroopna, Victoria, to pry the man from the hiding place he had planned to use to surprise his wife.

'"He was very well wedged in there and we were concerned for his health and wellbeing," Shepparton police sergeant Michelle De Araugo told Shepparton News.

'"It was just a game gone wrong. It would be fair to say the gentleman was very embarrassed."

'Firefighters, paramedics and SES officers also assisted the rescue' - the Guardian.

Thanks to everyone who sent the non-football story of the day. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at theeditor@football365.com, 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...

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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.

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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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