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The figures that should shame England, Wayne Rooney has got worse this season and the wonder of scouse maths...

Last Updated: 09/01/14 at 13:23

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Ain't That A Shame
'THESE are the figures that shame England, Premier League football and struggling champions Manchester United,' writes friend of Mediawatch Antony Kastrinakis in The Sun's most bombastic opening paragraph.

And what are these figures that shame us all, Antony? 'New stats-based research has identified Europe's top 50 footballers', apparently, and there are only seven Premier League players, two Englishmen and one Man United player. Oh, the shame.

This 'stats-based research' has of course been done by 'boffins'. And what have these 'boffins' done? They've looked at Opta stats, of course.

And come up with the best 50 players in Europe - which includes Carlos Vela, Antoine Griezmann and Dejan Lovren but does not include Lionel Messi, Gareth Bale, David Silva, Yaya Toure or Sergio Aguero.

Is there somebody in Madrid currently writing that Spain should be embarrassed because 'boffinos' have only included one Real player on their definitive list of the top 50 players in Europe? Or are we the only ones burdened with a ridiculous Kastrinakis?

Fountains Of Wayne
Talking of statistics, the Daily Mail include Wayne Rooney on a list of Man United players who 'aren't at the same level as last season' on the basis that he has scored every 162 minutes rather than every 155 minutes.

That's Wayne Rooney, United's player of the season by about a gazillion miles and - according to the boffins - one of the best 50 players in Europe.

Mediawatch loves a stat but sometimes you just need to stop looking at numbers and use your actual eyes to watch actual football.

Hanging Tough
Back in November 2012, the Daily Mail told us: 'Arsenal players will be forced into taking significant wage cuts if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.'

And now in January 2014, The Sun 'exclusively' tell us on their back page that 'MANCHESTER UNITED's flops are facing wage cuts of up to 25 PER CENT' if they fail to qualify for the Champions League, describing the move as a 'get-tough policy'.

Aye, that'll be a 'get-tough policy' that was introduced three years ago, 'does not apply to every senior player' and is pretty standard across all Premier League clubs in Champions League contention. All of which they admit on page 56.

But yeah, great exclusive, chaps.

Scouse Maths
Still think it was embarrassing that Liverpool paid £35m for Andy Carroll? Then you're a fool.

The Daily Mirror's Liverpool-supporting columnist/campaigner Brian Reade is here to right those wrongs...

'Ask anyone what the most laughable performance in the January window was and the answer will be Liverpool's £35million splurge on Andy Carroll three years ago. And, in isolation, they'd be right. But if you analyse all of the Anfield club's transfer business that month, it's becoming one of the most profitable windows ever.'

Erm, okay. Please explain, Brian...

'They got £50m for Fernando Torres, £6m for Ryan Babel and spent £57.5m on Carroll and Luis Suarez, leaving them down £1.5m. Since, they've recouped £15m for Carroll and, if Suarez leaves this summer, a minimum of £70m must be paid - meaning the most disastrous window would end up showing a profit of at least £83.5m. And thanks to Suarez, Torres and Babel were never missed.

'Funny old game, football.'

Ladies and gentlemen...scouse maths reaches the national media, while the rest of us weep and repeat the words 'Andy Carroll' and '£35m' until we finally go to sleep.

Just don't mention a) wages, b) that Luis Suarez could yet do something ridiculous that makes his value plunge or c) that they did have to actually pay for Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel in the first place.

Golden Age
There's a disproportionate number of West Ham fans in the national football media.

Which is why sentences like this from Neil Ashton in the Daily Mail - 'The golden age of supporting West Ham is over' - continue to appear in our newspapers about a club that has not finished in the top six since 1999, the top three since 1986 and the top two since, well, never.

You do know they didn't actually win the World Cup, don't you Neil?

No Sh*t Sherlock
'DAVID MOYES is banking on Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie to salvage his first season at Manchester United' - the opening paragraph of David McDonell's 18-paragraph piece on United on the Daily Mirror is an eye-catching belter.

Mind you, it could be worse - you could be Richard Tanner in the Daily Express, claiming that story as an 'exclusive' from Lou Macari.

Wolff In Scholes' Clothing
Headline in the Daily Star: 'WOLFF CAN BE JUST LIKE SCHOLES'.

Opening paragraph in the Daily Star: 'OLE Gunnar Solskjaer wants new boy Magnus Wolff Eikrem to be Cardiff's Paul Scholes.'

Number of times Solskjaer mentions Paul Scholes: Do we actually have to tell you?

Quote Of The Day
West Ham defender George McCartney sees the positives in 6-0 defeat at Man City: "There wasn't much in it for the first ten minutes."

Timing Of The Day
Congratulations to West Ham for the full-page advert in London editions of Metro on Thursday, advertising tickets for the second leg against City from just £42. Bargain.

Headline Of The Day
'Duffer in the Puffa' - The Sun.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'There is Nor way we will sell Wes' - The Daily Star.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A domestic dispute over space aliens escalated Saturday morning when a lingerie-clad New Mexico woman allegedly pointed a silver handgun at her boyfriend, a weapon she retrieved from her vagina, where it had been placed while the accused was performing a sex act, police allege.

'To make matters more strange, the arrested woman is the most recent ex-wife of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy, author of "The Road" and "No Country for Old Men."

'As detailed in a probable cause statement, Jennifer McCarthy, a 48-year-old artist, argued about space aliens with her 53-year-old beau, whose name was redacted from the document released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office. When questioned by deputies, McCarthy reportedly acknowledged that she "did have a gun at the time" the couple was yelling at each other.

'McCarthy's boyfriend told investigators that following the argument McCarthy departed her Aventura Road residence. Upon returning to the home, he told deputies, McCarthy went into her bedroom and later emerged "wearing lingerie and a silver handgun in her vagina." She then proceeded to "have inner course with the gun," according to the court filing.

'While using the gat as a sex toy, McCarthy reportedly asked her boyfriend, "Who is crazy, you or me?" The probable cause statement, drafted by Deputy Chris Zook, does not indicate whether McCarthy's boyfriend dared to answer that query' - The Smoking Gun.

Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Robert McDermott. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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e was right to leave, but not just because of the money City were coming into. If I remember rightly he had a reasonable amount of chances to shine at City, but he never passed the bloody ball. Loads of aimless dribbles and 40 yard shots and not much else. I would say that if he had learnt to be a bit more of a team player he may have done better at City.

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h! And.... has it gone in!?' Well John, it is quite literally your job to tell me, so stop phrasing it as a question.

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