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Paddy Barclay performs a u-turn on David de Gea, and Jamie Redknapp and AVB pat themselves on the back...

Last Updated: 21/03/14 at 12:18

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Wibble Wobble
After praising David De Gea's performance against Olympiakos, the Evening Standard's Patrick Barclay was awfully surprised to be taken to task by Manchester United supporters on Twitter on Thursday.

Tweeted an exasperated Barclay: 'Please keep up...I've been an admirer of De Gea for years. Just thought he made a poor start, as everyone did.'

But United fans weren't impressed, with one asking: 'Re-writing history Paddy? You said he wasn't good enough for MUFC.'

'Even by Twitter standards, that's utter bollocks. Where did you get such a diametrically wrong idea? Don't tell me - Twitter?' snapped Barclay.

Hmmm. Perhaps it could be from The Times podcast in August 2011, Paddy, when you said:

"The goalie is like a jelly. He isn't physically capable. He's Heurelho Gomes without the shot-stopping.

"I can't see what he's got. I have to say, I'm looking forward to Man United-Stoke, when is it? How on earth could Ferguson and all his millions of goalkeeping [scouts] Tony Coton still there? Whoever. He's had Alan Hodgkinson over the years. How on earth they could have watched this boy, week in, week out, and then signed him for the first team. I just don't know. It's always a risk signing a goalkeeper from Spain, and Ferguson should have known this."

But no, what a diametrically wrong idea it is to suggest that Barclay has completely changed his tune on De Gea.

Karma Chameleon
It never ceases to amaze Mediawatch that Glenn Hoddle, who left his last managerial job almost eight years ago, is always listed as a candidate when the Tottenham, England or England Under-21 positions become available. It seems that simply by keeping his face in the media, Hoddle is seen as a viable option. But if his cutting percipience on Tottenham's Europa League exit is anything to go by, clubs should continue to steer well clear.

"Tottenham spent £110m replacing Gareth Bale and Tom Huddlestone with a deluge of new signings in the summer. Good players, but not great ones," Hoddle is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail.

"The club have bought the wrong type of players, proving that throwing money at new signings is not always the answer."

What this also proves is that respected football pundits can make even the most obvious statement, months after everyone else, and still find themselves on the back page of a national newspaper the following morning.

Hoddle continued: "There needs to be a better strategy to provide more stability. The issue is building a team with the right blend, the right style, and that hasn't happened yet. The team lack vision."

These are the views of a man who had only a marginally better record than Christian 'ticket to my dreams' Gross as Spurs manager, and whose signings included the £5m Goran Bunjevcevic and the £7m Helder Postiga. Go on, give him a job.

For anyone who knows even the slightest thing about football, Jamie Redknapp's columns in the Daily Mail can be incredibly tedious, with Friday's thoughts on the Champions League a case in point.

Writes Redknapp on Atletico Madrid: 'Atletico have a real aggressive nature to their team this season. Last year Jurgen Klopp was the unknown man but this year it's Diego Simeone.'

That's right, folks. Forget his Europa League victory with Atletico in 2012, forget his Copa del Rey final success over Real Madrid last season, forget transforming Atletico into La Liga title contenders - Simeone is apparently 'the unknown man'.

Hot Tip
'I said last year they'd win it and I still think they will be the first team to retain it,' Redknapp continues as he assesses Bayern Munich's chances.

What's that, you said that a team who had played in two of the previous three finals could go all the way last season? Oh, well done. Give yourself a big pat on the back.

Credit Where Credit's Due
Speaking of patting oneself on the back, Mediawatch is impressed by the gall of Andre Villas-Boas on Friday as the former Chelsea coach claimed credit for the club's Champions League win in 2012.

"I've always had success wherever I've been," said Villas-Boas following his appointment at Zenit St Petersburg.

"When I didn't finish the season with Chelsea, the club ended up winning the Champions League. You have to give the players credit, but I was the one who built the team."

Yes, Andre, and when you left they were fifth in the Premier League (17 points behind leaders Manchester City) and 3-1 down following the first leg of the last-16 tie against Napoli.

And as for 'building the team', only two of Villas-Boas' signings - Gary Cahill and Juan Mata - appeared for Chelsea in the final against Bayern Munich.

Said Tim Sherwood after Tottenham's Europa League exit to Benfica: "People speculated but I think it's evident the players are on my side and the side of the club. My little rant has done them no harm."

Matches since Sherwood's rant: Three.
Number of Spurs victories: Zero.
Defeats: Two.

Lawro Bites
On West Ham, in his BBC predictions: 'I can't believe other teams don't look at that and think "what are we doing sacking our manager?"'

On Sunderland: 'But Sunderland will just stay out, only because they got rid of Paolo Di Canio early enough in the season to get an improvement out of Gus Poyet.'

On his friend David Moyes and Everton's current league position: 'Roberto Martinez was allowed to bring in six or seven very good players. That's why they're better. Would they be in a different position under David Moyes? No.'

Surely they would be at least one place lower in the table had Moyes not left for seventh-placed Manchester United in the summer? Oh, and Martinez has made a profit of £16.5m on transfers this season.

And finally, on Tottenham and Tim Sherwood: 'He started extremely well but Tottenham's problem isn't the manager, it's not knowing the best team. It's held them back.'

Isn't it the manager's job to know his best team, Mark?

Also, what are you doing in Crimea?

Solid Record
Said Sam Allardyce ahead of West Ham's clash against Manchester United on Saturday: "We'll try and burst their bubble. Obviously it's a big challenge - but normally we do well against United."

West Ham's last victory over Manchester United in the Premier League: December 29, 2007.

Mediawatch is a big fan of RTE's football coverage and, in particular, presenter Bill O'Herlihy, who made quite the gaffe before the Manchester United v Olympiakos clash on Wednesday.

After reading the Guardian's Rumour Mill column, O'Herlihy was aghast at the report on David Moyes' scouting methods, not realising that these words by Daniel Harris were written in jest: 'The former Manchester United manager David Moyes spent 10 months watching 39,432 players a total of 5,097,301 times, only to sign Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata.'

Enjoy his disbelief here.

Heinous Story Of The Day
Intro from the Reading Chronicle's special report on football hooliganism: 'Football hooliganism may be thought of as a relic of a previous age when gangs of denim-clad skinheads held the game to ransom and names like Hillsborough and Heysel were symbols of its ills.'

Mediawatch is in utter disbelief at how this came to be published.

Tweet Of The Day
Gary Lineker, after watching Lionel Messi's performance against Manchester City on March 12: 'Messi makes me realise how s**t I was!'

Lineker on Thursday night: 'Soldado makes me realise I wasn't that s**t.'

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'Fresh off the back of recent celebrity-turned-DJ Joey Essex is Liverpool and England footballer Steven Gerrard, who reportedly wishes to try his hand at the dance music game.

'The midfielder, 33, is in fine form on the field at moment, hoping to secure Liverpool's first league title win in 24 years, but it seems his post-career plans are already in place.

'According to a close friend, the Liverpool captain has been getting DJ lessons for a few years and has even played under the pseudonym of DJ Stevie G at Merseyside nightclub Garlands.

'"There were 2,000 clubbers dancing along to Stevie's mixing skills. He loved it and he's really good too. Stevie thinks that playing in front of big crowds at nightclubs can replace the buzz of playing football in front of big crowds."

'With a World Cup in Brazil to worry about first, it's best Stevie G stays out of the clubs for now but we certainly look forward to when he's selling out Amnesia in Ibiza.' - Shouldn't that be the sussudionym of DJ Stevie G?

Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters Samuel Rowley, Glen Hillsmith, Aidan Crawford and Richard Kurt. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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K FIFA we're done, you can ban us now

Barcelona transfer ban upheld


h Daniel. I could spend hours on this subject putting the world to rights. You can even take a step back and ask why football fans (and society in general) have this need to know that something will happen before it actually does. There are times this important, when it comes to things like war, food production and natural disasters. A man you've never met changing his job? Not so much.

Time To Burst The ITK Bubble


reat article. Hits the nail on the head. Encapsulates why I don't read tabloid newspapers anymore. The only thing worse is the 'told you so first' headline when they get lucky.

Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

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