The Page That Still Doesn't Quite Understand

Andre Villas-Boas should have been challenging for the title but fifth is fine for Sherwood, whilst Moyes 'never had a chance' at United. Of course not...

Last Updated: 19/03/14 at 11:50

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Changing His Tune
You may recall Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail's topsy-turvy relationship with Tottenham, and principally their former manager Andre Villas-Boas. Back in December, the Portuguese manager publicly accused Ashton of "insulting my integrity, my human values, my professionalism" after he was fiercely criticised for what was perceived to be a poor start to the season.

'There is a certain expectation at White Hart Lane, a culture at the club that has been passed down through generations of managers and supporters,' Ashton wrote on Villas-Boas in November. 'To Villas-Boas, it has become anathema.

'With expensive recruits, this was the season when they were supposed to kick on and challenge for the Premier League title. No-one doubts that football has evolved, but the modern Villas-Boas model is already in need of an update.'

Quite the attack, we're sure you will agree.

With that in mind, we assumed that Ashton would be pretty unimpressed by Tim Sherwood too during his time at The Lane, given that Spurs were 'supposed to kick on and challenge for the Premier League title'. After all, Villas-Boas left the club when they were still only five points off the top four - they are now seven points away, having played three games more than Manchester City directly ahead of them.

But - and you're not going to believe this - Ashton has suddenly changed his tune. Who would have thunk it?

'This season, if Tottenham's coach Tim Sherwood finishes fifth, where they are currently positioned in the Premier League, that would be about right based on their current wage structure,' writes Ashton today.

'They have loftier ambitions (and who doesn't in the Premier League), but finishing fourth or higher is tough on these terms.'

Yes Neil, you're right, let's give Sherwood a big old English pat on the back for keeping Spurs on course for a fifth-place finish, three months after hounding Villas-Boas for not challenging for the title. Right-o.

And what of those 'expensive recruits' that Villas-Boas should have got playing together in a bid to win the league?

'Tottenham's transfer activity last summer created expectation, but it is unrealistic to expect them to settle in straight away. All of them were overseas imports and between they had never played a game in the Premier League until they arrived at Tottenham. They need time.'

Even by normal standards, Mediawatch is standing back in amazement at the brass balls on display once again.

Not A Chance
With journalists queuing up to announce that the end is nigh for David Moyes at Manchester United, Oliver Holt provides something of a defence for the beleaguered manager in the Daily Mirror.

'I hope that somehow, there can still be some dramatic turnaround and that Moyes survives, then prospers,' writes Holt.

'Because despite United's shocking performance against Liverpool, I still believe he deserves time. A lot more time.'

While Mediawatch agrees with Holt's pertinent argument that Sir Alex Ferguson 'acted as an apologist for the Glazers for too long', Moyes has certainly been given a fairer shot than his column claims.

The pay-off line states that 'David Moyes has never really had a chance', but that is so completely false that even the man himself would blush at the suggestion.

Perhaps there is a case that Moyes 'never really had a chance' of challenging for the title in his first year in charge, but it should go without saying that he was expected to lead the champions to a higher position than seventh - 18 points behind the leaders and 12 off the pace in the race for fourth.

Moyes inherited a squad (and coaching staff, which he chose to remove) that won the Premier League by an 11-point margin last year and, over the course of two transfer windows, he has added supposedly £65m worth of talent. He has been backed publicly and repeatedly by the current team and United alumni, and he has watched as other top-flight managers have been given the sack for under-achieving and yet failed to remedy United's decline at every offering of salvation.

To say he 'never really had a chance' is really quite absurd.

A wonderful insight into the hard work that goes into newspapers getting their scoops on the Daily Mail website today, who publish a story headlined 'Fletcher becomes the THIRD United star to send his son to train with rivals Man City'.

Adam Crafton is listed as the 'author', and we congratulate Adam for his hard work in tracking down the story. He must have stalked Darren Fletcher for weeks, probing him for a quote, continuously attending sessions at the Manchester City academy and...ah, this is awkward.

Less than 48 hours before the Fletcher scoop, the Mail website published a similar story, headlined 'Van Persie and Neville let their sons train with MAN CITY, not United.'

One of the comments on that story was from a user named Supersonic, who wrote: 'Darren Fletcher's kid is at City's academy too.'

The Daily Mail website, where commenters below the line are writing the news.

Missing The Point
Hull's owners were obviously left angry after the Football Assocation rejected their application to change the name of the club from Hull City to Hull Tigers, but we can't help thinking that Ehab Allam (son of owner Assem) is missing the point spectacularly.

'Currently, there are six teams in the Premier League with City in their name and, with the exception of Manchester City, all of those are in a similar league position to us,' Allam told the Hull Daily Mail.

'We need something that makes us stand out.'

You already have that, Ehab. It's positioned just a single word before 'City' in the club's name, and begins with H.

No-One Has A Clue
Mediawatch finds constant amusement in the 'How They Line Up' features before a big game, all the papers wisely stating what the team will be despite it not actually being named. Note the lack of 'we think' in the phrase 'How they line up'.

With that in mind, we did rather giggle that between The Times, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and The Sun we have five different papers with five different teams, including 16 different players. Nani, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Young and Ryan Giggs could all start, apparently.

It's almost as if no-one has a clue.

The definition of 'exclusive' is 'belonging to a particular individual or object and to no other; not shared'.

Note to the Daily Mail website: If you're going to claim something as an 'exclusive', don't name the publication where you got the quote from, and then put a picture of the publication below.

From their story headlined 'EXCLUSIVE: Martinez is 'more tactical' than Moyes, says young Everton star Barkley': 'When asked how Moyes and Martinez compare, Barkley told Match of the Day Magazine...'

Tut tut.

Headline Of The Day
'Heirs Of The Drog' - Two in two days for the Daily Mirror on Didier Drogba. Now let's hear no more about it.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'Tim Needs First Ade' - The Daily Mirror fail to remember the rule that if you can't deliberately mispronounce a name to yourself without grimacing in pain, it shouldn't go in.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
Tuesday's morning news in Denver got a little weird after a split-second faux pas had viewers -- and even the news anchors -- stupefied. During a segment on the Seattle helicopter crash, Denver's Fox affiliate KDVR accidentally flashed a picture of a random penis across viewers' TV screens.

The news team was using the social media website Twitter to show photos from today's helicopter crash in Seattle, but a seemingly minor typo caused an embarrassing genital gaffe.

The unfortunate error seemed to occur because of a small typo by one Twitter user whose tweets are in Spanish. The KDVR producer was searching the term "komo," the name of a Seattle news station. They misspelled the word "como" -- a Spanish word for "how" or "what" -- and voila, the source of the errant penis.

'The photo was mistakenly broadcast by our control room,' a statement read. 'It did not come from the tablet many viewers saw being used by one of our anchors. We apologize for the inadvertent broadcast of the image and we are taking immediate steps to prevent such an accident from happening again.' - International Business Times

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