The Page That Has Heard The Excuses

Ian Wright doesn't want to hear the 'rubbish' about United appointing a manager that has won trophies. Plus, there are no signs at all that the players have downed tools...

Last Updated: 18/03/14 at 12:15

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Slitting Your Lists
The fall-out continues from Manchester United's season of shambles, with every sports editor in the country understandably commissioning their own version of a 'Moyes Out' piece.

Neil Custis in The Sun handily hammers ten nails into Moyes' coffin under the headline 'Boring United', listing 'ten reasons why champs have turned into chumps'.

The good news for Moyes is that Custis thinks that if he can manage to address the problems with last summer's transfer business, the form of new signings Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata, the failing tactics of the team, the under-performing backroom staff, the negative team selection, the treatment of Nemanja Vidic, his touchline manner, the public admissions of transition, the ageing squad and the strike partnership between Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, then all might be saveable.

Is that all?

When Wright Is Wrong
Yesterday we managed to find who we thought was the only man to be defending David Moyes in (his friend) Mark Lawrenson. Fear not, Lawro has a soulmate.

Quite what Lawrenson thinks about that soulmate being Ian Wright in The Sun is another question entirely, but 'Wrighty' today claims that it would be a foolish move to give Moyes the chop now or in the summer.

It's 'an' opinion, sure, but Wright's reasoning is at least a little off kilter.

'To be honest, you could put any manager on the planet in charge and they would still be a world away - that's how big the rebuilding job is.'

Are we really saying that 'no manager in the world' (Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho, to name but two) would have put United in a better position?

Granted, Ferguson left Moyes with a squad on the ageing side, but United's team on Sunday still contained four players aged 23 or under (which is more than Liverpool's three) - this isn't quite a retirement home.

'Don't give me all that rubbish about he's [David Moyes] never won anything or how he lacks experience for this job.'

What rubbish would that be, Wrighty? The rubbish facts that state that Moyes has never won anything, and lacks the experience of a high-profile job such as this?

'OK, a Jose Mourinho or Guus Hiddink ticks those boxes but, if you go down that route, you are looking for a new boss again in a couple of years.'

When Wrighty says 'that route', we aren't sure whether he just means 'foreign', but we have our suspicions.

Either that or he believes that both are so notoriously flighty that they would leave a club like United even if things were going well.

Which is presumably why Mourinho stayed with Chelsea for three-and-a-half years (before being sacked, rather than leaving because he didn't fancy it) and Real Madrid for a further three. Oh and he did leave each of those clubs after winning almost every trophy available.

As for the flightiness of Guus Hiddink, his last five permanent jobs have consisted of four years at PSV (combining that with managing Australia to the World Cup), four years as Russia manager and a spell at Anzhi Makhachkala that only ended when the club invited itself into a world of financial f*ckwittery.

Between them, Hiddink and Mourinho have won 13 domestic titles, 12 domestic cups and three European Cups and both have experience of managing at the top level. But don't give Wrighty 'all that rubbish'.

Downed Tools
In theDaily Telegraph today, Alan Hansen throws in his tuppence worth on the Moyes/United situation.

'What Moyes needs more than anything right now is for the players to pull him out of a big hole. I still think they are playing for him, they have not downed tools and there are none of the tell-tale signs you see when players are not performing for their manager.'

No, Alan you're right, no tell-tale signs at all.

Well, apart from the performance that you spend your whole column (rightly) criticising. And the one against Olympiakos that you also mention. And against Stoke, Sunderland, Swansea, Spurs, Everton, Newcastle and West Brom.

And the fact that Robin van Persie was the Premier League's top goalscorer last season but looks utterly uninterested this season.

And the reported bust-up between Ryan Giggs over the manager's perceived negative tactics and training sessions.

But none apart from that.

If I Had A Hammer
Mediawatch doesn't have a problem with mindless daytime television programmes, but we are some way off considering them to be valid points of cultural reference.

The Daily Telegraph, however, seem to completely disagree, with Chris Bascombe's article on Liverpool casually comparing Brendan Rodgers' job at Liverpool to an episode of Homes Under The Hammer as if it's the most natural comparison in the world. No, really.

'Brendan Rodgers must be devoted to the BBC daytime show 'Homes Under the Hammer'.'

See, we told you.

'You know the one, where they go into an ageing property that's fallen into disrepair. After highlighting all the creaking floorboards and cracks in the ceiling, the presenters go back a few months later and the same place looks palatial.

'Liverpool is now the ultimate renovation project, so much so they should dispatch Martin and Lucy to Anfield to look in awe, point at the most attractive new features (like the Premier League table) and whoop 'look at what they've done here'.'

Oh goodness, they've even name-checked the presenters using only first names, suggesting that these are famous public figures that we should all recognise. Mediawatch doesn't know who 'Martin and Lucy' are, and we hope we aren't alone.

'There's always that climactic moment where they get a fresh valuation. "Well, given this place was worth just £210 million a few years ago, with just a little more work and if things continue as they've done so far, I'd say you're comfortably looking at a £500 million institution in the not too distant future."'

It's rare that such an accusation can be made, but Mediawatch is speechless.

A Complete Embarrassment
Adrian Durham believes that Spurs supporters should be 'embarrassed by their football club' because they have not won the FA Cup in 20 years. He tells us as much in his MailOnline column

But what's this, from a certain columnist's piece from February 18, in which he got annoyed about Arsenal's lack of success?

'Please don't include the FA Cup as meaningful success for Arsenal. It'll be a good day out for the fans, but that's all. They've waited too long to settle for the trophy Wigan won last year.'

And what's this, a little further down today's piece?

'Wembley occasions are wonderful, but it should be for true showpiece games - FA Cup and League Cup finals.'

So it's an embarrassment for Spurs not to win the FA Cup, but it doesn't count for Arsenal to win what you describe as a 'showpiece' trophy? Who knows what to think? (Mediawatch knows exactly what to think).

The Worst
Durham continues his Spurs rant with a pop at Sandro, who he claims went missing against Arsenal on Sunday.

'Spurs have Sandro; a player who seems to show more care and precision with his hair than his passing.

'He gave the ball away for Arsenal's goal on Sunday, got booked, substituted and actually contributed very little else to one of Spurs' biggest games of the season. Candidate for worst Premier League Brazilian ever? Possibly.'

Three things:

1) Describing anyone who has worn a beard ponytail as taking 'care and precision with his hair' is an abomination
2) Players such Cristiano Ronaldo seem to take care in their appearance. It doesn't necessarily (at all) have any bearing on performance
3) Even for a man that makes a career out of peddling guff, calling Sandro possibly 'the worst Premier League Brazilian ever' is unmitigated faeces. Cacapa at Newcastle United, Anderson Silva at Everton or Rafael Schmitz at Birmingham, anyone?

Posh W*nk
Just Imagine for second sitting or standing next to Adrian Durham at a football match, watching your beloved Peterborough United play.

'Having watched Posh put in a totally inept display last week at home to Bristol City - they were so bad I refused to celebrate our goal.'

Peterborough's goal came before half-time to get his side back into the game at 2-1 down in a match against ten men, three days after a 4-2 home win cemented their place in the play-offs. And Durham refused to celebrate because they were playing badly, before making space in his column to call them 'journeymen lower league footballers with far less talent and ability'.

Sigh, sigh, and sigh again.

Probable Overstatement Of The Day
'If United go out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage, and then lose against City, Moyes could pay the ultimate price' - We know Fergie looked unhappy in the stands on Sunday, but can't help feeling just sacking him would be a fairer response, whatever Alan Hansen may think.

Headline Of The Day
'Life In The Old Drog' - Simple, but effective, from the Daily Mirror.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'South Australia cricketer Daniel Worrall has been suspended for "bringing the game into disrepute", otherwise known in layman's terms as scratching a penis and testicles into a wicket being prepared for an upcoming match.

'"We are extremely disappointed in Daniel's actions, it's not in line with the behaviour we expect of a Redbacks player," SA Cricket's appropriately named high performance manager Jamie Cox said on Tuesday. "We do believe this out of character for Daniel. He regrets his behaviour and has accepted the penalty."

'Worrall has been suspended for four one-day matches or Twenty20 fixtures for breaching Cricket Australia's code of conduct. It remains unclear how the penis and testicles will affect the batting surface' - The Guardian. That last line.

Thanks to Jonathan Pile and all of you beauties who sent in the cricket/penis story. Well-trained. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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Readers' Comments


his is brilliant! All these years of moral ambiguity, grey areas of offence and we have a simple, easy to follow guide to right and wrong. What did you do today? I kicked the face off a panda . Oh well, you didn't rape, kill anyone or abuse a minor, knock yourself champ.

megabrow (cufc)
Redknapp leaps to Mackay defence


wonder if he'd feel the same way if he wasn't a white, non-jewish heterosexual male. Because Mackay has basically insulted everyone else!

Redknapp leaps to Mackay defence


heers Harry. I was wondering if he'd murdered anyone

Redknapp leaps to Mackay defence

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