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The misunderstanding that led to Joe Kinnear's exit and more Chelsea fan fiction from the Daily Mail...

Last Updated: 05/02/14 at 12:39

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Meet The New Man
As part of their coverage of Michael Laudrup's sacking, the Daily Mail pen 'three things you should know about Garry Monk' - the man set to take charge of Saturday's South Wales derby.

'1. Contracted as a Swansea player until 2015. The defender has played more than 250 games for the club but only one this season.'

Good start. It sounds like he should bring some stability.

'2. Monk (right) is one of three current players to appear for Swansea in all four divisions of the Football League.'

So he's a club stalwart? He'll understand the importance of Saturday's derby, then.

'3. Two weeks ago he was involved in a row with fellow defender Chico Flores in training. Police were called but the club denied Chico threatened Monk with a brick.'


'And then it ended, in just 29 words. Twelve more than were used at the bottom of the message to remind us all that tickets were still available for Kings of Leon on May 31,' writes Martin Samuel of Joe Kinnear's departure in the Daily Mail.

'Maybe that was the cause of the confusion. Kinnear overheard that Newcastle had got the Kings of Leon, thought Ashley said the Kings of Lyon, presumed another batch of top quality French players had already been secured and, job done, knocked off for the rest of the year.

'It's an easy mistake to make. Well it is in some quarters.'

Time for a holiday, Martin?

Matic Trick
Samuel also discusses Chelsea's move for Nemanja Matic in his Daily Mail column, following the midfielder's man-of-the-match performance against Manchester City.

After recapping Matic's career path, Samuel writes: 'This is the most astonishing high-wire act. Had Matic flopped, had City won, Abramovich would not be human if he didn't feel resentful, if he did not think of it as good money thrown after bad.

'Mourinho had it all to lose on Monday night, but he backed his judgement, and triumphed. Even so, it took balls.

'Imagine Brendan Rodgers walking in to John Henry at Liverpool. "I'll tell you who we need, John. Stewart Downing. I've talked to Sam Allardyce and he says we can have him for £32m. I reckon we should go for it."

'Like that. But braver, because one imagines Abramovich does not put up with too many days when the joke's on him.'

Mediawatch trusts that it doesn't need to go into the many and varied reasons as to why Samuel's example is nothing like Chelsea's move for Matic. It also trusts that your head is equally as sore after reading that.

Fan Fiction
After his ode to John Terry last Wednesday, Neil Ashton comes up with another original idea today, this time lauding Terry's Chelsea teammate Ashley Cole in his column for the Daily Mail online.

Although it has been clear for some time that Jose Mourinho doesn't fancy Cole (he's started ten of 24 Premier League matches this season), Ashton writes that Monday's snub was the final straw, pondering whether the left-back could return to Arsenal when his contract expires in the summer.

'With a backpack slung over his shoulders, Ashley Cole slipped out of the visitors' dressing room at the Etihad on Monday evening and clambered aboard Chelsea's team bus,' writes Ashton.

'He looked and sounded fine, checking his walk to flick his head and say 'all right' when he recognised a sympathetic face in the corridor.

'He wasn't miserable or mardy, even after watching Chelsea's stunning 1-0 victory over Manchester City in its entirety from the substitutes' bench.

'But with his worldly footballing possessions crammed in to that rucksack it looked and felt as though he was ready to go. Cole's work at Chelsea is done.'

This reads like a Directioner's crush letter, with Terry and Cole the Larry Stylinson of Ashton's affection (Yes, Mediawatch keeps up to date with pop culture).

But the most important thing to remember when penning fan fiction, is the views of your audience. Ashton might be feeling giggly after Cole acknowledged his presence in that corridor at the Etihad, but there isn't much sympathy around for a player most regard to be a bit of a twunt.

Perhaps keep this sort of thing to the diary, next time.

Saying that, it seems Ashton's ode to Terry has worked a treat, as he reports that the Chelsea skipper is set to sign a new one-year deal. Congrats all round.

Cue the music.

Can anyone work out what the Daily Mirror's Martin Lipton thinks of Chelsea masseur Billy McCulloch, who Jose Mourinho claimed delivered the team-talk on Monday?

'To be honest, McCulloch is more in the mould of Norman Wisdom than anything else. A slapstick clown.

'Sending in the clown changed everything. The body language and manic attitude meant even those players who didn't get what McCulloch was saying couldn't help themselves from following the guffaws of Terry and Co.'

Slight Difference Of Opinion
'One suspects that some of the foreign players, who can't understand his (McCulloch's) 100mph English, delivered in a Cockney accent, are bemused more than anything else' - the Daily Mirror.

'An eyewitness told SunSport: "Bill has a strong West Country accent, so it's hard to understand if you're not English."' - The Sun.

"He was screaming so much in Scottish I didn't understand it." - Jose Mourinho.

How hard is it to place an accent?

Time Lapse
Friday: The transfer window closes with Arsenal signing only Kim Kallstrom on a short-term loan.

Five days later: Oliver Holt pens his column for the Daily Mirror. He writes: 'All they (Arsenal) did was sanction a loan move for a Swede with a broken back who will not play until March.

'They should have bought while they were in a position of strength. Maybe they couldn't have got the top, top striker they wanted in January, but they needed to be pragmatic.'

Thanks. For. That.

The Big Questions
Holt also uses his Daily Mirror column to complain about the media training of footballers in England compared to American pros.

'Why is it that English football breeds players so lacking in confidence when it comes to interacting with anyone outside their peer group?' asks Holt.

'Is our state education system failing them? Perhaps, but then state schools in America's inner cities are challenging environments too.

'I blame the Premier League clubs. As far as I can tell, media training consists of trying to advise players how best to say nothing.'

Can you honestly blame them?

This Just Emerging
From Mediawatch on January 15: 'Congratulations to the Daily Mail for dedicating a full page to their 'Invincibles MKII' story after realising that Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are pretty bloody good. It only took two years and 28 unbeaten matches in which the pair have played 90 minutes together.'

The wooden spoon goes to The Sun, who only took another two weeks to cotton on. Well done. Well done, indeed.

Quote Of The Day
"I love Italian food. Carbonara and other dishes. It's good for my job I can't eat too much" - Anderson.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'Arsenal's Sag Hopes Are Rising' - the Daily Mirror.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'Who knows how, but an armed robbery suspect has been found despite being the subject of what's been described as the "worst police sketch ever."

'Incredibly, a patrolman from the local sheriff's department claimed he recognised the man from the utterly crap cartoon-like depiction.

'Glenn Edwin Rundles, 32, was arrested last week and has been charged with aggravated robbery, indecent exposure, and burglary, the eParis Extra reported.

'Lamar County Sheriff's Department had released the picture last week in the hope of tracking down the mugging suspect and it received worldwide condemnation for being totally rubbish.' - the Huffington Post.

Thanks for nothing, people. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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