The Page That Likes Its Lemons To Drizzle

Robbie Savage has two completely different ideas about beating City, Lawro has two different opnions, Tony Pulis is a 'tactical genius' and...

Last Updated: 03/02/14 at 16:01

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One Man, Two Opinions
Mark Lawrenson, the Daily Mirror, January 27: 'Jose Mourinho is perhaps the only man with the firepower to shoot down Manchester City at the Etihad.'

Mark Lawrenson, BBC website, February 3: 'I don't think Mourinho will go to the Etihad and fight fire with fire to try to combat Manchester City's attacking power.'

Only one of those Mark Lawrensons is right.

One Man, One Opinion, Two Payments
Robbie Savage, the Daily Mirror, January 31: 'The Blues still need one more player to help make them unstoppable as they look to clinch an amazing Quadruple...I still think City need a top-class left-sided centre-half alongside Vincent Kompany. If they do that - although I am surprised Joleon Lescott hasn't played more - they would be unstoppable.'

Robbie Savage, the BBC Sport website, February 3: 'Chelsea's best move, then, is to frustrate City but, when they do go forward, to prey on the left side of Manchester City's central defence. City are one player short in that position for me. I think that to go to the next step - to be real contenders for the Champions League - they need to improve that area of their team.'

Attack And Defence
Mind you, we laugh at poor Robbie Savage when he says the same thing twice and we laugh at poor Robbie Savage when he changes his mind.

Witness this from his 'How Spurs can beat Man City' tactical masterclass on the BBC Sport website last week: 'Taking the game to City is definitely Tottenham's best bet because if you try to hold them off, they will always break you down in the end.'

Seven days and a 5-1 drubbing later, Savage is now giving Chelsea advice about the best way to beat City: 'To deal with Manchester City, I think Jose Mourinho will have to park the bus, sit deep and try to hit them on the counter.'

Mediawatch would admire him more/at all if he just admitted he didn't have a f***ing clue, and who was the idiot who thought it was a good idea to give him a tactics column anyway?

Analyse This
Savage needs to take lessons in tactics talk from Jamie Redknapp, who answers the Daily Mail's question 'Who will win the midfield battle?' with typical insight: 'CHELSEA and Manchester City have two of the best midfields in the Premier League, so expect fireworks. It's a crucial area of the pitch and whoever dominates the middle could win the game.'

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why he is paid the big bucks.

No-one Likes Us
Oh Jose. Oh clever predictable Jose.

His latest schtick is that a) Manchester City should have won more since being taken over by Sheikh Mansour and b) it isn't fair that nobody loved Chelsea and most everybody likes this City side.

"I'm not sure if it's because it's taken them six years to get to this stage while we won straightaway," says Mourinho with what we can only assume was a half-smile and a shrug.

What Jose clearly knows but does not acknowledge is that a) it actually only took City four years to win the title after the Mansour takeover, b) Mansour bought a club that had just finished ninth while Roman Abramovich bought a club that had just finished fourth and c) City play some damned fine sexy football.

Tony Award
Unsually for an Arsenal fan, the Daily Mirror's John Cross has the ridiculous horn for Tony Pulis, who he touted for Manager of the Year several times during his Stoke reign and as recently as last week for his efforts at Palace. He loves him as much as any man can love another man who has a baseball cap sewn onto his head.

But Mediawatch suspects that love has blinded him to the, you know, actual football. He writes after Palace's 2-0 defeat at Arsenal: 'Only when a piece of magic from Santi Cazorla opened up the Palace defence to release Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to score two minutes after the restart did the game change. But wven then Pulis responded. Off came Cameron Jerome, Barry Bannan came on and Marouane Chamakh switched to being a conventional centre-forward.

'The tactical switch worked and Palace came back again. It was Pulis the tactical genius.'

Erm, sorry, what? Pulis took off the only player who had tested Wojciech Szczesny ('their sole real opening', as Martin Lipton writes in his match report abut three inches to the left on the same page), brought on a midfielder who did nothing of note, Palace did not manage another shot on target for the rest of a game they lost 2-0, and Pulis is a 'tactical genius'?

Mediawatch is not sure it loves its mother as much as Crossy loves Pulis.

No Compare
"I don't really want to compare Wilfried with Cristiano, " said Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after an excellent cameo from the youngster against Norwich.

Very sensible, Ole, very sensible indeed.

Oh. Wait a minute.

"...but he has quick feet like Cristiano, he is brave like Cristiano and wants to go forward.

"Cristiano worked every single day. I have never seen anyone work as hard as him. Before training, after training, he was an exceptionally dedicated man. For me and everyone who has been at United he is the one we talk about because he has done it.

"He proved to everyone what being dedicated gets you, having a chef to cook your food, dedicating your whole life to football and being the best player in the world. It's an example to everyone. I am not afraid of using Sir Alex Ferguson or Cristiano as an example when I have to because to get the best out of your talent you need to be dedicated."

Imagine what he would have said if he did want to compare Wilfried with Cristiano.

The media love-in with Tim Sherwood continues apace. He's not foreign and he doesn't use a clipboard, you see.

'STEVE BRUCE believes that Spurs under Tim Sherwood have far more menace than the safety-first outfit under Andre Villas-Boas,' writes Darren Lewis in the Daily Mirror.

'If Tim Sherwood is to earn his spurs as a manager, it will be by upholding the proud Tottenham tradition for open attacking football,' writes John Edwards in the Daily Mail under the headline 'Bruce backing refreshingly attacking Sherwood to succeed at Spurs'.

So what did Bruce actually say after Hull's 1-1 draw with this wonderful attacking Tottenham side?

"I haven't seen enough of them to say they are a better team but they are different. AVB wouldn't have played with two up top. In fact, you could say they played four up top, really. They played the two strikers, Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado, they played Aaron Lennon high and Christian Eriksen off the front. So Tim's philosophy is: "We're going to come here and beat you." And good luck to him. It's quite refreshing to see."

Indeed, it must have been very 'refreshing' indeed for Bruce to take a point against this swashbuckling Tottenham (who managed fewer shots on target than Hull) after losing twice to AVB's 'safety-first' side earlier this season. No sodding wonder he approves.

Emmanuel 5
Mike Morgan's 'SOLDUDO' piece in The Sun ('WHATEVER Tim Sherwood said to bring out the best in Emmanuel Adebayor, he must deliver the same message to Roberto Soldado') might have carried more weight if he hadn't given Soldudo a higher player rating than the 'outstanding' Adebayor.

Little Bit Of Politics
Bizarre off-piste stuff from Neil McLeman in the Daily Mirror in his player ratings for West Ham v Swansea: 'Adrian: Not the only unemployed Spaniard in London.'

Headlines Of The Day
'GOOD KOP BAD KOP' - The Daily Star.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A woman in Shanghai's Minhang District on Thursday cut off her boyfriend's penis in his sleep, allegedly because she suspected he was going to break up with her, reports. The 30-year-old woman surnamed Tu is nine years older than her boyfriend, Xia, according to the report, and because Xia's family disapproved of the relationship, he decided not to bring her back home with him for the Spring Festival.

'As soon as Tu discovered that he'd only bought one railway ticket for himself, she assumed that he was going to break up with her, so when Xia was passed out drunk in bed, Tu took a knife and cut his penis off. Witnesses say that the man arrived at the Shanghai No. 5 People's Hospital around 3 a.m. in an ambulance along with a policeman who was carrying his severed penis in a thermos flask filled with water' - Shangaiist.

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