The Page That Had One Of Those Dreams

Adrian Durham carries the torch for the gingers and Martin Samuel tells us what we already knew...

Last Updated: 04/02/14 at 13:05

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How Did That Go?
'There was no parking the bus, the foot was on the throttle,' writes The Sun's Shaun Custis in his match report of Chelsea's win against Manchester City.

It's fair to say Custis and his colleagues did not see that coming.

No Difference Of Opinion
'Serb blows title race wide open' - The Sun.

'Jose's tactical genius halts City juggernaut and blows the title race wide open' - the Daily Mail.

'Bran blows race wide open' - the Daily Star.

'Ivanovic blows title race open' - the Guardian.

Writes Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail: '(Mourinho's) revelation, the statement he made to the rest of the league, was that Manchester City are not invincible. There should be no procession, no deference, no awestruck observation of their progress to the finish line. This team can be beaten.'

Try telling that to Cardiff, Aston Villa and Sunderland.

How Did That Go? #2
Said Sir Alex Ferguson after Eden Hazard chose to join Chelsea instead of Manchester United: "I see some values on players, like Hazard for instance. To me it was a lot of money. He's a good player, but £34m?"

The tagline on Dave Kidd's column for the Daily Mirror claims he'll 'make you think', but Mediawatch is only left scratching its head at the astonishing stupidity of his latest offering.

It appears that old man Kidd has discovered something about modern football. It seems - wait for it - that business and the game are now inextricably linked, with Kidd referring to this apparently recent phenomenon as 'wongafootball'. Surely 'wongaball' would have been better?

The nickname derives from Wonga's sponsorship at Newcastle, which is where Kidd's confused column begins. After mentioning Wonga promoting their £1.5million investment in Newcastle's academy, he writes: 'This is what happens when a football club is run purely for profit. This is wongafootball.

'A pay-day loans company imposes vast interest rates on society's poorest, then invests a relatively small amount of their ill-gotten gains into the development of footballers in the world's richest league.

'Then proudly boasts about it.'

Talk about conflating several arguments. Kidd might have a point (one that was done to death eight months ago) about Wonga's business practice, but why on earth shouldn't they announce their investment in Newcastle's youth system? This is simply how sponsorship works, not something that should leave the everyman's everycolumnist wide-eyed.

Kidd then continues to dissect Newcastle's sale of Yohan Cabaye, claiming in a saracastic tone that it made financial sense to cash in on the midfielder, which of course it did. It appears to be his view that Toon should have held on to a 28-year-old player who wanted to leave, had already been on strike, and was the subject of a £20m bid.

But Kidd then writes: 'Any of the Toon Army believing Ashley should break the bank in a reckless bid for Champions League football need only look 100 miles down the A1 to Elland Road to discover the true meaning of a laughing stock.'

It was at this point that Mediawatch began to get a splitting migraine. Is Ashley wrong or right to be mindful of business sense? Should Newcastle be ashamed that they sold Cabaye? We just don't know anymore, so perhaps it's best to leave the last word to Kidd:

'Wongafootball. It makes perfect sense. After all, when did Jackie Milburn ever make the FTSE 100?'

Plight Of The Gingers
Mediawatch isn't sure if Dave Kidd and Adrian Durham have had a bet to try and out-do each other's ridiculousness, but there is a certain familiarity in their columns on Tuesday.

Writes Kidd in the Daily Mirror: 'So a ginger manager wins a pile of domestic honours with the dominant club in one of Europe's weaker leagues and achieves a few excellent results in Europe. What happens next?

'Well, if he's Andre Villas-Boas at Porto, he gets to manage one of the Premier League's top clubs.

'If he's Neil Lennon, he remains stuck at Celtic, the target of missile-throwing Aberdeen fans while taking in a League Cup semi-final. And no English top-flight club ever seems interested.'

Yes, Dave, winning a one-horse race really should have attracted English clubs to the ginger beacon north of the border. And that's definitely more impressive than winning the Europa League.

And so to our old friend Durham, who also has a bee in his bonnet about the plight of British gingers.

To his credit, Durham at least understands the limited significance of Celtic's achievements following Rangers' fall from grace, but he then drags his crayons outside the lines when he discusses Jack Colback's exclusion from the England team.

Writing for the Daily Mail online, Durham complains: 'Why doesn't anyone talk about Jack Colback for England? Is it because he's ginger?

'How many gingers have worn the Three Lions with any success? Alan Ball in 1966 of course. But since then Ray Parlour scandalously won only 10 England caps, Paul Scholes quit England because he was being wasted on the left, and that's about it.

'I'm not saying Colback should be picked because he's ginger. But he certainly shouldn't be overlooked because of the colour of his hair.'

Perhaps the England team should have a ginger quota like the Daily Mail. How else can you explain Adrian Durham having a column?

Headline on the Daily Express football website: 'REVEALED: How a mobile, TV & iPad helped Brian McDermott return to Leeds.'

Beneath, James Dickenson writes: 'On Friday night the 52-year-old received a phone call from a lawyer acting for prospective new owner Massimo Cellino saying he was being sacked.

'Assistant boss Nigel Gibbs took charge of Leeds' 5-1 win over Huddersfield on Saturday, which McDermott watched on television.

'To cap a remarkable turnaround, the former Reading boss then read about his reinstatement as Leeds manager on his iPad.'

So McDermott watched a football match on TV, has a mobile phone and knows how to use an iPad. What a hi-tech media whizz.

I Never Said Those Things
After he was reported as saying that several Manchester United players are looking to leave Old Trafford on Monday, Anderson took to Instagram to claim that his quotes were fabricated.

"I'm shocked and surprised with a supposed interview that never existed," he said.

"I never gave any interview, much less to say bad things about a club that I love, a club where I grew up and that gave me so much. Shame on you!!!!

"I'm like a fan and love the club.

"Goodnight Manchester."

The Brazilian either has an incredible double or a very short memory.

Question Of The Day
'Are players from Burnley good enough for Arsenal?' asks Adrian Durham in the Daily Mail. 'It would be pompous and ignorant to suggest they can't be.'

Or, alternatively, bloody stupid to suggest they are.

Pointless Question Of The Day
'Jose...modern man or a relic? The Special One showed he still has what it takes in the big games with a tactical masterclass to get the better of Pellegrini once again.'

Have The Sun really considered that one of the best coaches in the game might be a relic?

Quote Of The Day
"Jozy had a magnificent game at the weekend. I was so sad that he didn't score that chance. They practically gave it to him. Somehow, we need to try to get him a goal. Maybe we need to beat the keeper and give it to him to tap in" - Gus Poyet kills Jozy Altidore with kindness.

Said Rene Meulensteen: "I'm not at all worried that people see Alan as a manager in waiting. I brought Alan into this club as part of my team. He's as much responsible as myself, Ray Wilkins and all the other coaching staff. We're all in this together."

Keep telling yourself that, Rene.

Word Of The Day
M is for Masterclass.

Worst Headlines Of The Day
'Bran The Bomb' - The Sun.

'Jose proves he knows how to upset apPELL cart' - The Sun.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A jealous 80-year-old church caretaker in Singapore was today jailed for a day and fined for a brawl with his girlfriend's landlord inside the church.

'Lim Song Chong, who suspected his girlfriend was in a relationship with her 65-year-old landlord Cheong Yee Mun, threw a kitchen knife at him in a brawl on holy ground.

'He hurled the 20cm-long knife at Cheong, who escaped being hit by hiding behind a pillar at the Glad Tidings Church.

'Lim also threw an umbrella, a pocket knife and kitchen scissors at the landlord, who retaliated by chucking a fire extinguisher at his "very, very frail" rival, The Straits Times reported.

'None of the projectiles hit their intended targets and police arrived to separate the two Singapore seniors' the Deccan Herald.

Thanks to today's spotters Zubair Timol and Pete Gill. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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Readers' Comments


lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'


e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on


urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

bale doubt
Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

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