'You sometimes reach the stage where you wonder whether there's actually much point in England going' - has Steven Howard just become a parody of himself?
Why Brendan Rodgers is a better manager than Jose Mourinho and a call to take all the wingers to Brazil...
Let's Go Dutch
Mediawatch knows as well as anyone that you have to be a touch careful when it comes to throwing around accusations. So our eyebrows were raised by Steven Howard's piece on Robin Van Persie in this morning's Sun.
Howard laments Van Persie's latest injury, which is fine, but then puts the knife into the Dutchman before twisting it slightly.
'Those who followed Van Persie's injury-plagued career do know one thing - he won't be hurrying back.'
Crikey, that's quite a claim.
'As many Arsenal supporters grew to suspect, it could be as much a mental thing with Van Persie as anything physical.'
We're pretty sure it's a thigh twang Steven, and if you're claiming mental instability, you're on your own.
Howard then goes on to claim that 'Van Persie, like other Dutchmen before him, is loathe to risk himself if he feels anything less than 110 per cent'.
And now the national stereotype to complete a murky hat-trick. What does 'other Dutchmen before him' even mean? Are the Dutch notoriously slow to take risks? Has Howard been jilted by a lover named Lotte?
Goals, Goals, Goals
Jamie Redknapp makes a fair point in his Mail Online column regarding Manchester United's and Chelsea's midfields being of markedly different quality. It's an oft-made point on a well-trodden path (so well-trodden it's almost eroded to the point of actually revealing the earth's core), but hey, it's Friday, so we'll leave it at 'fair point'.
One thing did irk us slightly in Jamie's reasoning.
'Chelsea's midfielders have scored 26 Premier League goals this season while United's have scored just seven.'
That is of course true, but slightly broadens the definition of midfielder to include Eden Hazard, Oscar, Willian and Andre Schurrle, all of whom have operated in positions more akin to a forward this season.
Furthermore, goalscoring is surely more about the front six, rather than simply the job of the midfield, no? And those stats look remarkably different.
PL goals from Chelsea strikers: 3
PL goals from Manchester United strikers: 25
Mathematicians will note that adding the two totals together leaves United on 32 with Chelsea on 29.
A lack of bite in central midfield, yes. An often worrying lack of creativity (which Redknapp does mention), of course. But simply marking out a lack of goals is either rather too simplistic or a statistic created to suit an argument, ignoring the styles and strategies of both sides.
Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes... Erm What?
Spot the odd one out in Jamie Redknapp's list of midfielders that would cause David Moyes great envy:
'Eden Hazard was a £32m arrival from Lille, Oscar a £25m recruit from Internacional, Leverkusen's Andre Schurrle cost £18m, Willian was a £32m steal from under the noses of Spurs and now Nemanja Matic. Then there is John Obi Mikel, Chelsea's in-form anchorman...It all leaves Moyes casting envious eyes towards Mourinho and his midfield men.'
Probably could have left that last one out, Jamie.
Robbie Savage's column in the Daily Mirror disappointed Mediawatch, largely because it contains some perfectly valid and sensible points on Aston Villa.
Thankfully, however, Savage 'treated' us all to a second piece, rather inaccurately described as a 'bonus column' by the website. And that piece is a doozy.
Mediawatch isn't sure if it has ever read such a lack of insight. The 'column' in question consists of 102 words, and is headlined 'Why Manchester City can win the Quadruple..and why they won't pull it off'.
We'll save you the bother of reading it (although it wouldn't take long):
- Savage thinks that Manchester City 'can win the Quadruple' because they are still in all four competitions.
- Savage thinks that Manchester City 'won't pull it off' because it will be hard.
- Savage thinks the Champions League will be the hardest to win (City are 16/1 to win this tournament, 4/1 for the FA Cup, 11/10 for the Premier League and 1/2 to win the League Cup).
That's why Mr. Marmite gets the big bucks.
Romance Isn't Dead
Steve Bruce yesterday continued his one-man mission to convince the world that Hull owner Assem Allam is a good egg, using his spaffing of £14million on Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic as the example of why supporters should be onside.
"We should be singing his name from the rooftops."
Let's ignore the question of whether spending £14m on two strikers with seven league goals between them since the beginning of last year is worthy of such 'singing', and move on.
"We have no right to question him. He is entitled to run the club in the way he sees fit," Bruce concluded.
Indeed, and that includes changing the club's name, blackmailing the Football Association into allowing the change and telling fans that they "can die as soon as they want".
Still, at least he's got the club's best interests at heart. "I wouldn't allow the club to be in any risk," Allam said in November, "as long as I am not deprived of the opportunity to make money for it."
Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn't it?
A Lawro Laughs
We're not saying that the BBC are deliberately choosing guest selectors for Mark Lawrenson's prediction contest to make things reflect well on their man, but you do rather wonder how the BBC's Football Expert only has a lead of 270-218 this season when you examine the picks of some recent guests.
Fresh from last week's victory over Sly Stallone (who predicted a 17-0 win for Everton and failed to even pick scores for three other matches), and with recent success over Jason Sudeikis (Sunderland 24-0 Fulham) and Michael Palin (West Brom 8-1 Arsenal), Lawro is this week up against comedian Vic Reeves.
Reeves has opted for scores of 11-1, 5-5, 11-12, 0-10, 12-0, 2-20 and 400-1.
Nothing like hedging your bets, eh.
Lawro has at least helped out Michael Laudrup and Swansea this week, giving them a tip as to why they are struggling before presumably stroking his chin and flouncing out of the room.
'They still have not made the transition from being able to keep the ball so well to using it to make enough chances. That is the main thing they are lacking.'
A quick glance at the statistics shows that Swansea have actually created 214 chances this season, the eighth highest in the Premier League and more than Manchester United.
As an aside, in that same match preview for Swansea v Spurs, Lawrenson muses on Spurs' chances of victory. 'I think Sherwood will pick a team to try to win the game.'
He gets paid handsomely for this sh*t.
'It's Always Been A Dream Of Mine' #1
Little word of advice to new Hull signing Nikica Jelavic - if a press conference has been arranged in order to unveil your signing, it's probably best to try and sound a little excited.
When asked by one journalist present why he had joined the club, the Croatian's answer was perhaps a little too honest.
"Because it was the only concrete offer."
Ah, right. Cheers.
'It's Always Been A Dream Of Mine' #2
"Whenever I've played for Chelsea here at Villa Park the fans have been fantastic and have always created a great atmosphere." Ryan Bertrand expresses his delight at moving to Aston Villa.
We'll leave you to guess the number of times Ryan Bertrand has played for Chelsea at Villa Park in front of Villa fans.
Yep, that's right, none. Zilch. Zip. Zero.
Most Laboured Zing Of The Day
Courtesy of Steven Howard in The Sun:
'Cardiff Chairman Mehmet Dalman seems as deluded as owner Vincent Tan. He said of new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. "This is a great place for him to build his credibility."
Dalman should have said: "This is a great place for him to lose his credibility."'
Boom! Put your seatbelts on because you've stepped aboard the Bantz Bus. Our next stop will be ProperLOLZ Parkway.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'RV Me' - The Sun show that simple isn't always effective or best with their story about Robin Van Persie being injured.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'If you're struggling to break free from a coffee-fuelled caffeine boost in the morning, spare a thought for this young woman.
'Keyshia from Queens, New York, has become addicted to sniffing and chewing on urine-soaked diapers and says 'the more pee the better'.
'The 22-year-old hoards dirty nappies from both friends and strangers and takes them with her everywhere she goes.
''I love it, it just tastes amazing. I have one when I'm cooking in the kitchen, I have one in my drawers, I have one when I'm sleeping, I keep some in my trunk, I keep some in my pocket book ,' she explains enthusiastically.
''You know when you're walking into a room and you smell a strong smell like food and you kind of taste it? That's what it's like. The heavier ones that have more pee smell better.' - The Metro does a brilliant job in persuading Mediawatch against going for 'cocktails' this evening.
Thanks to today's spotters Harry Vale and Ben Stapleton. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.