The Page That Thinks Certain People Are Gossips

Brendan is still holding out hope on Salah while Savage nails another prediction...

Last Updated: 24/01/14 at 12:23

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Salah, la
There might be a story on Chelsea's website stating that a deal has been agreed for Mohamed Salah, but Brendan Rodgers isn't giving up hope that Liverpool can still sign the winger. No, siree.

"I'm not sure whether that deal is definitely done yet or not," Rodgers told talkSPORT on Friday morning. "The young guy is a good player. We have tracked him for a number of months, the club has been watching him and I have been to watch him.

"It is one where the agent of the player and the clubs were talking but if the deal can't be done, the deal can't be done. I know the club has been working very hard to get players in. I'll leave that to them and see how they get on."

Sure, Brendan. Things might be getting steamy in that other bloke's car as you press your face against the glass in forlorn hope, but don't worry, she's definitely coming home for tea.


Pablo, Honey
Speaking of love affairs, Neil Ashton continues his bromance with Nicola Cortese in the Daily Mail as he reports on Dani Osvaldo's bust-up at Southampton.

'The incident took place just a week after executive chairman Nicolas (sic) Cortese quit the club and was replaced by owner Katharina Liebherr,' writes Ashton.

Note that he's so troubled by the thought of a woman running a football club, wrecking dreams willy-nilly, that he reassures himself by referring to Nicola Cortese as 'Nicolas'.

He continues: 'Despite claims it is business as usual, sources at the club cannot recall an incident as violent as this before. Cortese ran a disciplined ship, but his departure has created uncertainy (sic).'

Not only is this story terribly written, it also lacks any semblance of logic. If the wonderful Cortese was so intent on running a 'disciplined ship', he should have known that signing a striker with, erm, 'extrovert' tendencies was always going to be a risk.

He certainly would have realised that when Osvaldo was fined £40,000 and banned for three matches by the FA for his part in a brawl against Newcastle in December. Disciplined ship, indeed.


Predictions
To be perfectly honest, Mediawatch is awfully tired of Robbie Savage. We suspect even Robbie Savage is tired of Robbie Savage, but it would be remiss of us not to dissect his pearls of wisdom for the Daily Mirror.

Savage's biggest problem is that he seems to forget how the internet - or memories - work, as he reminds everyone of his genius prediction skills.

'Fans who laughed at me after the summer window, when I said United would finish fifth, are not so vocal now,' writes Mr Marmite.

'But just as I appeared to be a lone voice in the wilderness five months ago, I do hold out some hope for Moyes in the transfer market if Mata proves to be the first of several new signings.'

Mediawatch would like to point out that Savage tipped United to finish third in his pre-season predictions.

And in his revised predictions at the start of September? Third again.

How we wish you were a lone voice in the wilderness, Robbie.


Discipline
Savage isn't finished blowing his own trumpet (what a horrible image) as he turns to Paul Ince's dismissal at Blackpool.

'Sadly it all ended in tears for Paul Ince at Blackpool - and I take no pleasure in being proved right that indiscipline was his downfall,' he writes.

'After Ince served a five-match ban himself, for an altercation with match officials in the tunnel, and then five of his players were sent off in one week, I warned it was always liable to undermine the Tangerines' fine start in the Championship.'

Boy, you really nailed that one, Robbie. No-one else could have foreseen that indiscipline would lead to Ince's downfall.

What next? If Manchester United keep losing, David Moyes could get the sack?


Form Without Context
Writes Martin Lipton in the Daily Mirror: 'De Gea's blunder may not have been part of a pattern of events from the outside, but according to number crunchers at Opta, the Spaniard is not just performing worse than Wojciech Szczesny, Petr Cech, Joe Hart and Hugo Lloris. He is, in fact, performing worse than 18 top-flight keepers.'

Lipton continues: 'The men in front of De Gea are also castigated by Opta. The figures suggest Jonny Evans is the only United defender in the Premier League's top 20.'

In what respect are De Gea and Evans underperforming? Opta don't 'castigate' anyone, they assemble data for journalists to analyse and interpret. It seems Lipton has forgotten this key part of the process.


This Just Emerging
Obviously a story as sensitive as Mohamed Salah refusing to shake hands with Israeli players requires a careful touch, so the Daily Mail send in the fastidious Neil Ashton - who can't even spell his beloved Nicola Cortese's name - to report on the details.

'Chelsea's £11million move for Egypt winger was last night mired in controversy after it emerged he has twice refused to shake hands with Israeli players,' writes Ashton.

'Owner Roman Abramovich, chairman Bruce Buck and director Eugene Tenenbaum are all Jewish and will be concerned by Salah's actions.'

Two things, Neil:

1) There is a big difference between refusing to shake hands with an Israeli and refusing to shake hands with someone who is Jewish.

2) This story didn't 'emerge' last night. What you mean is that you've only just found out about an incident that occurred in August.


Question Of The Day
Why is Robbie Savage writing about his new puppy in his column for the Daily Mirror?

'The missus takes her on the school run, wraps her up in woolly overcoats and treats her like a daughter.'

May the seas rise and claim us all.


Understatement Of The Day
"Ultimately we haven't done it and penalties are always a bit of a lottery. Having said that, we should still be disappointed with the execution of our penalty kicks" - Darren Fletcher.


Worst Headlines Of The Day
'Opportunity Ox' - the Daily Mirror.

'Albert docks with Baggies' - The Sun.

'Twitterati Must Ignore Sad Trolls' - the Daily Mirror. Anyone who uses the word 'Twitterati' should immediately have their internet access revoked. Anyone who refers to racists as 'trolls' doesn't understand abuse.

'Thought all footballers were selfish? Read on...' - the Daily Mail. No, we didn't actually.


Non-Football Story Of The Day
'Mannequin makers have seen a huge rise in shops demanding fatter child models.

'The shocking surge in plus-size youth dummies has raised concerns over Britain's obesity crisis .

'Dimensions for a standard seven to eight-year-old child mannequin are 4ft tall with a 26in chest and 22in waist. But the plastic displays requested now are 20% larger.

'Vicky Chatten, of mannequin manufacturer Displaysense, said: "We've had a 300% increase in calls from retailers looking for much larger child mannequins aged between four and 10.

'"It is quite shocking and a trend that is on the increase."' - the Metro.

Thanks for nothing, people. 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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