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Why did Zoopla wait so long to announce their disgust and the real reason for Man United's problems...

Last Updated: 21/01/14 at 13:16

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Zoopla Hoopla
A commendable gesture or a sponsor piggy-backing a controversial issue to raise their profile more than a two-year deal with West Brom ever could? Mediawatch knows exactly what it thinks of Zoopla's delayed response to Nicolas Anelka's 'quenelle' celebration, but the papers take a rather different view on Tuesday.

'Zoop Alors! Anelka Costs Baggies £3M Sponsor' blasts the Daily Mirror's headline, adopting a rather creative interpretation of events.

Inside, James Nursey writes: 'Nicolas Anelka played for West Brom on Monday, hours after shirt sponsor Zoopla ended their £3million deal in disgust at his 'quenelle' gesture.

'Zoopla, co-owned by Jewish businessman Alex Chesterman, called an end to their involvement with the club in protest at the gesture, said to be anti-Semitic.'

There is a difference between 'ending' a sponsorship agreement and choosing not to renew it, however, with the Mirror later admitting:

'The two-year deal with property website Zoopla was due to expire this summer and Zoopla confirmed they will not renew it.'

Zoopla might well be disgusted by Anelka's gesture but, if they were truly outraged, Mediawatch would have expected them to have their logo stripped from the front of West Brom's shirts for the clash against Everton. Instead, they have taken a half-measure - perhaps even a no-measure considering nothing has actually changed in their agreement - with Anelka swanning around in the Zoopla branding on Monday evening. How convenient.

But come to think of it, why did it take Zoopla three weeks to take a stand? Why did they wait to make their announcement until a day on which the only scheduled match involved West Brom playing live on Sky Sports? And why are the Mirror, among others, so gullible as to believe that Zoopla were positively, absolutely, definitely going to renew their sponsorship before Anelka's gesture?

It's all such a mystery.

Said Gary Neville on Sky Sports when questioning the club's reported move for Juan Mata: "If you took Paul Pogba, Marco Reus, Luke Shaw and Arturo Vidal - they would fit into Manchester United's philosophy. Lucas Moura would and Ilkay Gundogan and Julian Draxler would. They are young players who have still not reached their full potential and have the potential to go on to be world-class players. They are good players at the moment and that fits the Manchester United mould of how they have historically signed, more often than not."

Someone might want to tell Neville that Vidal is a year older than Mata.

Report the Daily Mirror: 'Ghana star (Sulley) Muntari is up for grabs at Milan following the sacking of coach Massimiliano Allegri.

'He was instantly axed and dumped on the bench by new boss Clarence Seedorf for Milan's 1-0 win over Verona on Sunday.'

Two things:

1) Considering Muntari hasn't featured for AC Milan since his sending off against Inter on December 22nd, how could he have been 'instantly axed' by Seedorf?
2) Muntari wasn't on the bench on Sunday.

Tim Sherwood has made an excellent start as Tottenham manager, but his impressive results thus far do not excuse the tremendous amount of bulls**t from Dave Kidd in his column for the Daily Mirror.

After mentioning the chant sang by Arsenal fans in their recent FA Cup win over Spurs - 'Tim Sherwood, he comes from Borehamwood, he ain't no f**king good' - Kidd continues:

'This was a song which summed up the weird 'reverse xenophobia' which has infected the Premier League and left it with only four English managers.

'Roy Hodgson refers to it as the "exoticism of the unknown" - the idea that Pepe Mel can roll up at West Brom to a fanfare while a former England international and Premier League title-winning midfielder can be ridiculed because he comes from a commuter belt town in Hertfordshire.'

Ah, the notion of 'reverse xenophobia', how Mediawatch has missed you.

Of course, you might think that Sherwood was mocked by Arsenal supporters because he's the current Tottenham manager (the chant is in fact some 15 years old from Sherwood's time as a player), or because Spurs were thoroughly outplayed, or because he has no credentials to become a Premier League manager, unlike Mel, who has been a head coach for over a decade at numerous clubs in Spain.

But you would be wrong.

As Kidd explains: 'There is a theory - espoused by Sherwood's mentor Harry Redknapp, though not by Villas-Boas - that football management is not actually rocket science, that the best managers do the simple things well.

'(Sherwood) understands the ethos of the club, 'To dare is to do' - words never written on AVB's clipboard.

'He just happens to come from Borehamwood.'

According to the tagline on his column, Dave Kidd will 'make you think'. Right now, Mediawatch is thinking very hard about flushing its head down the toilet.

Lolly Licked
Dave Kidd continues his nonsense in the Daily Mirror, writing of Joe Lolley's recent move to Huddersfield: 'We are used to Premier League clubs showing disrespect and contempt for the FA Cup but when non-League sides stop caring, the game is really up.

'Joe Lolley scored Kidderminster's winning goal against Peterborough - which earned the Conference club a fourth-round trip to Sunderland - and was promptly sold to Huddersfield the next day.

'Surely young Lolley could have stayed put until the end of the Cup run?'

Yes, how foolish of Kidderminster to put their financial security over a one-off tie against Sunderland. Don't they care about the magic of the cup?

In addition, the sale of Lolley was actually agreed before that cup tie, with the actual move presumably delayed so he could take part in said cup tie. Surely playing Lolley in a game he could have been injured in, thus jeopardising the deal, means they do care about the FA Cup, no?

That's Him Told
Headline in the Daily Mirror: '£135k A Minute...City boss tells seldom-seen striker: It's time to show fans you're worth the cash.'

Actual quotes from Manuel Pellegrini as he prepares to play Stevan Jovetic against West Ham: "He was a very important player in Italy and I still believe he will be a very important player for us. It's very difficult to be happy when you're not playing and you have so many injuries, but he's conscious that he will be 100 per cent fit and demonstrate why he's here. We are trying every day to give him trust so that his bad luck will finish soon."

Durham Logic
It's Tuesday and so the Daily Mail online have allowed Adrian Durham to type out whatever bulls**t comes into that head of his in the good name of click-baiting.

This week, Durham continues his curious obsession with Arsenal, claiming that the Gunners are 'carrying' Mesut Ozil when they should have signed Christian Eriksen instead.

'That huge spend on one player didn't need to be made,' writes Durham. 'If Wenger casts his eyes across north London he will see Christian Eriksen, an £11m 21-year-old controlling games, in charge of midfield, defending and creating, as Tottenham enjoy a golden run of form right now.'

Note the 'right now'. As usual, Durham's opinion is based on the immediate impression of Ozil and Eriksen's contrasting performances at the weekend, rather than the fact that Ozil, with the second-highest number of assists in the Premier League, has been a hugely important part of Arsenal's lengthy stay at the top of the table.

And as for this steaming pile - 'Ozil is a terrific player but his reputation is built largely on his international performances' - Durham would do well to remember that Ozil was crucial in Real Madrid's success under Jose Mourinho, contributing more assists than any other player in Europe's top five leagues during his three-year stay.

Where Did It All Go Wrong
The relentless examination of Manchester United's problems has certainly become a little tedious, so Mediawatch was delighted to see Neil Custis come up with a novel reason for David Moyes' woes in The Sun.

'When predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge, he had total control over all aspects of the club and ensured their global popularity never got in the way of the football,' writes Custis.

'On the very day it was announced he was quitting, the club revealed it had branched into the realms of Facebook and Twitter. That was just the start.'

That's right folks, joining social media is a 'clanger that has turned United into Everton'. Although it doesn't explain why Everton are five points above the champions in the table.

Definition Of Showdown
Dictionary definition of a showdown: 'An event, especially a confrontation, that forces an issue to a conclusion.'

Neil Custis' definition of a showdown in The Sun: Football manager discusses fitness issue with injured player.

Laboured Intro Of The Day
Writes Ian Wright In The Sun: 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going so they say - and if that's the case Manchester United's under-pressure players should be touching 100mph right now. Unfortunately for new manager David Moyes, too many of those pulling on red shirts look as if they are out for a Sunday afternoon drive.'

Quote Of The Day
"They won't want to play us every week and we wouldn't want to play them every week." Mediawatch agrees with Gary Cahill. An eternity of Manchester City v Chelsea seems a little excessive.

Worst Headline Of The Year

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A man in Edmonton, Canada, was allowed to board a flight after a pipe bomb found in his bag was confiscated by airport security, it appears.

'A security guard at Edmonton International Airport even tried to hand the bomb back to the passenger, CBC News reports.

'The passenger in question, 18-year-old Skylar Vincent Murphy, was on his way to Mexico when the explosive device was found by airport security in his bag. A guard was reportedly caught on camera passing the bomb back to Murphy after inspecting his carry-on luggage. Apparently the teenager refused to take it back even when told he could keep it.

'The bomb was said to be 15cm long and filled with gunpowder. The teenager claimed to have forgotten it was in the bag after making it with a friend for fun some months before.

'He subsequently pleaded guilty and was fined 100 Canadian dollars' -

Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters Brian Sexton and Mike Coxon. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, 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...

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.

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