The Page That Can't See A Bloody Thing

How did the cameras spot Fergie wearing his brilliant disguise? And more 'insight' from Martin Keown...

Last Updated: 08/01/14 at 12:37

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Laboured Intro Of The Day
Writes Louise Taylor in the Guardian: 'It is approaching four years since the afternoon Manchester United left Sunderland without their expensive match-day suits after a burst sewage pipe in the away dressing room season caused tens of thousands of pounds of damage.

'That spill prompted the incineration of treasured personal possessions as well as clothes but at least United were well insured. David Moyes was protected by no such reassuring insulation on Tuesday night as any restorative properties contained in the wind whipping in from Wearside's North Sea beaches were thoroughly lost on his players.'

The Man In The Hat
Following her rather strained intro about insurance policies, Louise Taylor then refers to Sir Alex Ferguson's presence at the Stadium of Light as an unwanted distraction for David Moyes.

In her match report for the Guardian, Taylor writes: 'With a hat pulled down over his eyes, the old knight peered down on Moyes from the directors box, looking suspiciously like a potentially most annoying back-seat driver.'

It seems a preposterous idea - or perhaps a convenient excuse - that Ferguson's mere presence at matches is inhibiting Moyes' progress, but the papers have seized on this notion amid mounting pressure on the incumbent.

Under the headline 'Ferguson is fast becoming unwanted distraction', Mark Odgen writes in The Telegraph:

'Sir Alex Ferguson was supposed to have plans for an enjoyable retirement, largely centred around wine, horses and travel, yet it appears as though he has chosen pain and misery ahead of pleasure by becoming a big black cloud forever hovering over David Moyes.'

If that initially seems a peculiar suggestion - which it should - Odgen's piece then takes an even more bizarre turn:

'Perhaps Ferguson has cottoned on to the suspicion that he is becoming an unwanted distraction, judging by his attire at Sunderland, semi-disguised under a navy blue flat cap.'

A navy blue flat cap, you say? Tell Wally to pack his bags, there's a new hide-and-seek champion. He disappeared right before our eyes between Bryan Robson and Sir Bobby Charlton. A hiding place so obvious that no-one would dare to look.

Well, no-one except the assembled photographers and TV cameras on Tuesday night, of course.

Writes Matt Lawton in the Daily Mail: 'United might bemoan the decision to award a controversial penalty for what seemed a relatively innocuous foul by Tom Cleverley on Adam Johnson, but United deserved to lose here against a Sunderland side now boasting only one defeat in eight.'

Mediawatch wouldn't be too boastful about a run that includes draws against relegation rivals West Ham, Norwich and Cardiff as well as victory over Carlisle in the FA Cup.

Given Sunderland's perilous position, that solitary defeat - a 1-0 home loss to Aston Villa - was probably the most significant result in their last eight matches.

A Differing Focus
Said Manuel Pellegrini on Tuesday: "It's not my first thought to win a trophy. It's to play the way I think is the best way to win a trophy."

Said David Moyes before Manchester United's FA Cup exit to Swansea: "My record in the FA Cup is not too bad. But it's not enough. I need a trophy."

With Theo Walcott seemingly ruled out of the World Cup, Martin Keown draws up a list of alternatives for England in his 'Insight' column for the Daily Mail.

Andros Townsend leads the way, of course, but Mediawatch is somewhat puzzled by Keown's suggestion that the winger 'was almost handcuffed under Andre Villas-Boas'. This is the same manager who gave Townsend his big break at Spurs and played him in 14 of his 16 Premier League matches in charge this season.

The quality 'insight' doesn't end there either, with Keown then suggesting that Kyle Walker - a right-back, if we need to remind you - could start in Walcott's place on the wing.

'People have spoken about Leighton Baines playing in front of Ashley Cole and Kyle Walker ahead of Glenn (sic) Johnson on the right might work,' muses Keown.

'It is slightly different and would offer a defensive resilience.'

Let Mediawatch stop you there, Martin. If you've seen anything of Walker this season (or Johnson of late), then you'll agree that defensive resilience is possibly the last thing that combination offers.

'Arry's Price
'Loic Remy will cost Newcastle up to £16million, according to QPR boss Harry Redknapp,' report the Daily Mirror.

'Redknapp said: "If someone came and offered £15m or £16m for him I'd sell him if it was my choice, but it's not."'

So basically, Redknapp is readily admitting that his asking price is utterly meaningless.

Why Can't Football Be More Like Cricket? #258
Writes Oliver Holt in the Daily Mirror: 'Ways of behaviour in cricket are veering towards football too much for the liking of many. But at least in cricket, fans and players can still engage in exchanges on the boundary without moral indignation taking hold.'

Fit To Wear The Shirt
Following Manchester United's third defeat in succession, the Daily Mail rate last night's first XI and compose a list of who should remain at the club and 'who should Moyes off-load'.

As well as deciding that Danny Welbeck should be sold despite having 'very few opportunities to score', the Mail also group Jonny Evans and Rafael in the list of players Moyes needs to ship out.

If ever there was an obvious reason to ignore these rate-and-slate pieces the papers love to assemble, then this is it.

Slight Difference Of Opinion
Said Wayne Hennessey after making himself unavailable for Wolves' 1-0 defeat to Gillingham last Friday: "Whatever I say is not going to change what I have done but I am sorry. I have apologised to Kenny (Jackett) but I also wanted to apologise to the club and the supporters who have always been great with me."

Said Karl Henry, Hennessey's former teammate, on Twitter: '@WayneHennessey1 is a fantastic professional who has been treated like sh*t by Kenny Jacket.@OfficialWolves'

Weakest Reinforcement Of The Day
'Even Arsenal's Jack Wilshere was tipping Sunderland to win on Twitter' - The Sun.

Really? The Jack Wilshere? Oh, then it must have been a near-certainty.

Commendable/Perhaps Slightly Foolish Quote Of The Day
"I was aware of Juventus' interest and they are a massive club but I didn't want to leave West Brom" - Saido Berahino.

Quote Of The Day
"I thought the referee was going to blow in our direction for the first goal. I couldn't believe he gave a free-kick. It was a terrible decision. We are all just laughing at them at the minute. Maybe I have got to understand that's what happens at Manchester United - they are certainly not giving us much at this moment in time" - laugh all you want, David Moyes, but you're kidding no-one with that stance.

Worst Headlines Of The Day
'Stadium Of Bite' - The Daily Mirror seize on Fabio Borini's goalscoring celebration.

'Moydered' - The Sun.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'Mothers in China have been warned against selling bars of soap made from their breast milk, it's reported.

'It appears some mothers are manufacturing soap from milk left over after feeding their babies, according to Taiwanese news website Want China Times.

'In advertisements posted on Chinese e-commerce website Taobao, the entrepreneurs claim the soap "whitens and protects skin," with one mother telling a reporter from a Hunan-based news website that she has sold over 300 bars.

'Doctors are not quite so keen on the soap, Want China Times says. While breast milk has a rich variety of nutrients, the active matter is destroyed when manufactured into soap, one doctor is reported as saying. It remains possible that viruses which cause disease could still be present in the finished product, the unnamed medical professional said' -

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

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Readers' Comments


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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