The Page That Could Luge

Can somebody tell David Moyes we're already in the second half of the season? Plus, The Sun's agenda on Mesut Ozil continues apace...

Last Updated: 13/02/14 at 12:08

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Seconds Out
"If there is one club in history who have been great at winning games in the second half of the season and putting pressure on the teams above it is Manchester United," said David Moyes while holding a fistful of straws after the 0-0 draw with Arsenal.

Does anybody have the heart to tell him that we're already seven games into the second half of the season and his resurgent United side have picked up just eight points? That's less than West Ham, Sunderland and Crystal Palace - and the latter pair have a game in hand.

But yeah Davie, any minute now...


What's The Story?
Once The Sun had decided that Mesut Ozil's floppery is the narrative, there could be no deviation from that story arc despite him being, well, not bad at all against Manchester United. The Daily Mirror probably called it about right in their player ratings when they said that Ozil (7) was 'better' and that he 'worked hard, looked dangerous, passed well'.

But according to The Sun's OZIL WATCH sidebar (and my word do they love a sidebar?), Ozil (5) was a 'peripheral figure' and the 'Invisible Man' at the Emirates, where he peripherally created seven chances, invisibly dribbled past four Man United players and even made two tackles - two more than Jack Wilshere.

But Mediawatch suspects that when you go balls-out with a back-page Wednesday headline about a '£42m flop', you really do have to stick to your guns on Thursday regardless.


Morning Glory
According to The Sun (with an agenda): Ozil 'barely touched the ball inside his own half'.

Acording to the Daily Mail (unusually without an agenda): 'The German was involved a lot more in the final third.'


Timing
The Daily Mirror columnist Brian Reade is 'at the heart of football'. Which is why he has written about the death of the Europa League just six days after comments from Mauricio Pochettino that form the springboard for the article, seven days before the next Europa League games and many, many years since anybody gave a flying love-make about Europe's secondary competition.

'At the little toe of football' might be a better tagline.


Liver Chops
Why you should never allow a Liverpool fan to write a Liverpool match report in a national newspaper...

Antony Kastranakis' opening paragraph in The Sun: 'THE LIVER BIRD must be renamed Steven.'

Bit of sick in the mouth, there.


Pointless Paragraph Of The Day
It's a close-run thing but this from The Sun is worthy of a coveted award: 'IF Spurs could play Toon every week they would stroll into the top four. Of course that will not happen but...'

They would also stroll into the top four if they could play Northampton every week. Of course that will not happen but...


Neil 4 Rene S.W.A.L.K
Rather appropriately for Valentine's week, the Daily Mirror's Neil McLeman is going all gooey over Rene Meulensteen, perfectly illustrating the danger of early deadlines for midweek games.

'Is Rene Meulensteen the new Roy Hodgson, except with a northern accent?' asks McLeman - a question we can almost guarantee has never been asked before.

'When the England boss took over at Craven Cottage in December 2007, he failed to win any of his first six matches and Hodgson's return to English football looked set to end in relegation. But he worked his magic with four wins in the final five games and last-day survival. Two years later they were in the Europa League final. Meulensteen has achieved his transformation in even quicker time.'

Is that the same Meulensteen who has won three of his 13 Premier League matches in charge and is currently in charge of a Fulham side rock-bottom in the Premier League? Is McLeman talking about the 'transformation' from 18th place to 20th?

But we save our true delight for this nugget on John Heitinga: 'Until last night the Dutch World Cup Final centre-back was unbeaten as a Fulham player. it is no coincidence.'

Number of Fulham games John Heitinga had played before last night: One.

It's no coincidence that Neil McLeman is better known as the Daily Mirror's golf correspondent.


We, The Accused
The Daily Mirror's Darren Lewis has learned nothing from the AVB/Neil Ashton debacle when the latter wilfuly misunderstood the then-Tottenham manager's use of the word 'we' when apportioning blame for Spurs' poor form. For Lewis has listened to Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong say "as a team we have to improve our finishing", put it on a spin cycle and come out with Bassong 'blasted his teammates for their failure in front of goal'. The headline? 'WASTERS...Skipper takes aim at misfiring strikers.'

It would be depressing if it wasn't so sodding predictable.


Headline Of The Day
'IT'S ALL GOING GRIM FOR GUNNERZzzzzzz' - The Daily Mirror.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'Gerro's just wonder-Ful' - The Daily Star.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A Louth man admitted having sex with his girlfriend's dog after a video of the act was found on a mobile phone. Wayne Bryson, 19, Harvey's Lane, admitted performing an act of sexual penetration with the Staffordshire bull terrier on January 17, contrary to the Sexual Offences Act. He also admitted to possessing 315 grammes of cannabis bush on January 22 when he appeared before Skegness Magistrates' Court.

'Nick Todd, prosecuting, said Bryson's girlfriend was looking for some photographs on an old phone of Bryson's when she saw the video of him having full intercourse with her dog. She took the phone to the police and Bryson was arrested. He was unable to give any reason to the police and claimed he had not done it before' - Grimsby Telegraph.


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