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Arsene Wenger and Manuel Pellegrini have already handed the title to (third-placed) Chelsea, whilst Robbie Savage thinks that eight consecutive wins would help Arsenal...

Last Updated: 07/02/14 at 12:43

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The Blame Game
Steven Howard has decided who is to blame (because somebody of course has to be blamed) if Arsenal don't win the title this season in today's Sun. Spoiler: It's all on the manager.

'When Jose Mourinho went to the Etihad on Monday he produced a tactical masterclass. When Arsene Wenger went to the Etihad, Arsenal conceded six.'

Of course that's true, but it's an easy game to play. Mourinho went to St James' Park and lost 2-0; Arsenal won. Arsene Wenger took a side to West Ham and won 3-1, but Mourinho couldn't even score against a team that had conceded 28 goals in their last nine games. Portuguese idiot.

'Basically Mourinho can change personnel and his game plan from match to match. Arsenal can only play one way.'

Yes, Wenger is notoriously inflexible using a 4-2-3-1 (or variation of) in every Premier League fixture this season.

And Mourinho is notoriously flexible, using a 4-2-3-1 (or variation of) in every Premier League fixture this season.

And Wenger is notoriously inflexible, playing Jack Wilshere in four different positions and Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky in different positions in the front four depending on opposition. Or playing Lukas Podolski as a wide forward. Or using one or both substitute full-backs as 'wingers' to shore up the defence.

And Mourinho is notoriously flexible, saying in September: "I'm not going to change. We want this team to play a certain way, and that's what we're going to do."

What was that again Steven? 'So, if Arsenal miss out, then surely Wenger must shoulder the blame.'

Given that Arsenal were fourth favourites for the title before the season began, Manchester City and Chelsea have spent £224million between them this season (and £969million in the last five years) and yet Arsenal are currently top of the pile, we rather think Wenger won't be shouldering too much blame. We actually think most (reasonable) spectators would think he's done pretty bloody well this season.


Can't See The Woods For The Trees
Hot on the heels of Steven Howard is David Woods in the Daily Star, who criticises not just Wenger but also Manuel Pellegrini for his management.

'First it was Arsene Wenger, then Manuel Pellegrini. Arsenal and Manchester City may be first and second in the Premier League table but their managers are having a right good go at handing the title to Chelsea.'

Mediawatch could rant and rave about such utter c*ckwash for hours, but we will settle for the pithy response. In what way is Pellegrini (eight points dropped in last 15 PL matches) and Wenger (12 dropped in 15 PL matches) 'handing the title' to Mourinho's Chelsea (12 dropped in 15 PL matches)?

Do us a f*cking favour.


He Who Shouts Loudest (Hopefully Gets A Sore Throat)
'Cleverly hidden behind all the glitzy hype and grasping propaganda about the self-proclaimed Greatest League In The World is that this has been achieved by a dumbing down of standards.

'Unless you are a dyed-in-the-wool supporter of one of the clubs, you can lose the will to live. Many matches are morasses of clumsy ball control, wayward passes, Neanderthal tackles, lumbering movement and missed chances

'What that really tells us is that the good are not as great as they would have us believe. Chelsea, by Jose Mourinho's admission, are not the force they used to be. Yet they are still up there.' - Jeff Powell, MailOnline December 27th 2013.

'This was the intense concentration and relentless effort which is required to compare with the best football being played in the world today.

'This is the closest the English game has yet come to responding to the modern German blitzkrieg which powered Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund to last season's Champions League final.

'Mourinho is looking to combine the best of the Spanish and German virtues... the adroit interplay of Barcelona and Real Madrid harnessed to the power of Bayern and Borussua (sic). The game never stops evolving. Nor does Mourinho.

'Chelsea are challenging the goal-scoring flair of City and the near-ethereal artistry of Arsenal with athletic, technical excellence. It is a pity that Manchester United are not able at the moment to bring their old Fergie dynamism to the equation.' - Jeff Powell, MailOnline, February 6th 2014.

So is it spent force or the closest challengers to Bayern Munich's greatness, combining the best aspects of Bayern, Dortmund, Barcelona and Real Madrid, Jeff?

There's changing opinions and there's changing opinions. It's almost as if Powell just needs to make grandiose sweeping statements in order to make his voice heard (or column read).


Eight Is The Magic Number
Robbie Savage has nailed his colours to the mast. After predicting all season that Manchester City would win the league, the headline on Mr Marmite's column in the Daily Mirror screams out his latest thought: 'I'm backing Arsene to clear final hurdle this season'.

Strong stuff. Apart from the fact that Savage actually doesn't say anything of the sort.

'Four wins out of four from that lot [Liverpool, Manchester United, Liverpool, Bayern Munich] and Arsenal will believe.'

'Win all four of those [Bayern Munich, Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City] and it will be Arsenal's title to lose.'

Yes, that's right. Savage has spent an entire 500-word column explaining that if Arsenal win their next eight games in a row (something no team in England has managed this season) including victories home and away against the European champions, they will be confident of winning the title.

Sometimes, Mediawatch just does a silent cry at our desk. Today is one of those sometimes.


24 Little Hours
Mediawatch isn't one to dig up old graves, but when those graves were only dug yesterday and turned out to be filled with pure balderdash rather than a human body then hey, pass us a shovel.

'Vidic Fury Over Contract Snub' blerted out yesterday's headline in the The Sun, as you will no doubt remember. Manchester United's Serbian captain 'had been left fuming', they went on to claim. 'Angry' was also used.

Quite wrongly, as it appears 24 hours later, with Vidic rather calmly stating that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season: "I have decided I will move on at the end of this season. I want to challenge myself again."

As for the 'fury' with Manchester United? Well, "I'm not considering staying in England as the only club I ever wanted to play for here is Manchester United" probably clears that up.


Gun For Hire
'We'll Out Gun Arsenal' is the headline on the back page of the Daily Express, attributing such an attitude to Brendan Rodgers before Liverpool's match against Arsenal (they fail to accept that 'outgun' is actually one word rather than two, but who cares when you're making a cr*p joke, seems to be the message).

Actual quotes from Brendan Rodgers: "We'll always respect every opponent and none more so than the leaders. But we'll come into the game looking to perform and win.

"In the game at the Emirates we weren't at our best, Arsenal were the better team. But certainly in terms of our confidence and belief we have at home, we will hopefully have a result which will put us up to 50 point mark."

Mediawatch can almost hear the sound of the bullets.


Just Leaving This Here
Each week Robbie Savage brings us his 'story of the week'. We're going to leave this here, with the reminder that this is a man that gets paid to write a sports column in a newspaper.

'Despite all the encouragement I could muster, my wife Sarah wouldn't budge when we were offered the chance to appear on TV show Mr And Mrs. When I asked her why she was reluctant to go on telly, she replied: "It's not my cup of tea - in any case, you've been on that programme before."

'That's news to me - to the best of my knowledge, the missus is my first and only wife. She must have been thinking of Family Fortunes.'

It's the fourth time in three months Savage has used a story of his wife's 'scattish' nature as his 'story of the week'. Not quite sure Lewis Carroll or Road Dahl would be worried just yet. If they were alive.


Quote Of The Day
"I feel that the manager has been disrespectful to me. He always keeps his forwards on whether or not they are playing well, so I don't know why he is doing this to me." - Hugo Rodallega opts for the 'Yes I played sh*t, but we all always play sh*t' reasoning after his half-time substitution against Sheffield United in midweek.

The Colombian's five goals in his last 54 Premier League games (and only three since joining Fulham) might provide more of a clue.


Misleading Headline Of The Day
'I'll Never Spend A Penny On Him' - The Daily Mirror create a rather obscene picture of Arsene Wenger and Luis Suarez.


Deserved Congratulations Of The Day
Pop on a party hat, because Mediawatch feels it necessary to offer our hearty congratulations to Jeff Powell.

In his aforementioned comparison of Chelsea's performance against Manchester City with that of Bayern Munich, he managed to resist the urge to use the term 'blitzkrieg' for a 11 whole lines before eventually giving in to the urge.


Worst Headline Of The Day
'Shere We Go' - The Sun forget that it isn't pronounced Jack Wilshear. Forgetful sods.


Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A man allegedly torched his own apartment in retaliation for being banned from masturbating in front of open windows.

'Kenneth Haskins was told by his building's managers to 'stop performing sex acts' in full view of his neighbours.

'However, believing the ban was 'unfair', the 58-year-old then tried to burn the property to the ground, it is reported.

'Haskins was charged with arson after fire investigators found flammable liquids had been used in both the kitchen and the bedroom to accelerate the flames.' - The Metro

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