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Man United's moral victory is looking vulnerable, while Mesut Ozil has no shame in celebrating his girlfriend's birthday...

Last Updated: 25/03/14 at 12:22

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Lost Clarification
Said Manuel Pellegrini in February: "If we only consider this season, there is just one club in Manchester and it is ours."

Said Pellegrini on Monday: "What I meant was that in this season the best team is Manchester City because we were at the top of the table. But at the same moment I said that we must recognise what United have done over the last 20 years."

Said David Moyes: "United had lots and lots of seasons of domination. I don't think I would have turned around and said we were the only club in Manchester because football changes, it goes in cycles."

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what happens when the media spin machine goes into overdrive.

War Chest
Mediawatch is intrigued by all this talk of Manchester United spending big in the summer. When Manchester City won the league in 2012, United still claimed a moral victory, having spent a fraction of their rival's total on transfer fees.

During the race to sign Eden Hazard that summer, Sir Alex Ferguson played up to the fans' claims, saying: "We know that City are going to spend a fortune, pay stupid money, pay silly salaries and all that. We know that happens. We can't do anything about that."

But now the champions are struggling, all that morality has suddenly been forgotten.

"This club has got spending power too," said David Moyes on Monday.

"City have got that. But I've not been told at any time that we don't have that and I do think that the club will compete (with City)."

So to recap: when United are on top, other clubs should be derided for shelling out big sums in the transfer market. But when they can't offer Champions League football and have to pay the big bucks, there isn't a problem.

At least that's cleared up.

He'll Make You Think
With the world and his dog voicing an opinion on Arsene Wenger's future this week, Mediawatch turns to the Daily Mirror, where Dave Kidd promises to make us think.

Kidd's argument is that Wenger 'needs to focus on the team sheet, not fret over balance sheets', which seems fair enough, but Mediawatch is a little confused by some of his reasoning.

'Luis Suarez was the player Arsenal needed most last season and they could have signed him,' writes Kidd. 'The Uruguayan wanted the move. It would have taken a British transfer-record fee but Arsenal could have afforded it.

'Yet their infamous, smart-Alec bid of £40m plus £1 exemplified Wenger's "spend every penny as if it were your own" approach. Now Liverpool - without Arsenal's vast matchday revenue streams - are contesting the title in swashbuckling 'Wenger' style.'

Yes, what a 'smart Alec' Wenger was, trying to pay what he believed was enough to trigger Suarez's reported release clause; a release clause that John Henry recently admitted existed when he said: "He had a buyout clause of £40m. Arsenal, one of our prime rivals, offered £40m plus £1. What we've that contracts don't seem to mean a lot in England - actually, in world football."

There are sticks with which to beat Wenger, but this certainly isn't one of them.

Kidd doesn't stop there, either, as Per Mertesacker also comes in for criticism.

He continues: 'Per Mertesacker was left blaming lunchtime kick-offs for Arsenal's thrashings at Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.

'"It looks like we don't fancy early kick-offs," he said. "We should apply to the FA to not play at 12.45pm away."

'The German signs an £85,000 a week deal, thanks to vast worldwide Premier League TV rights, then admits he doesn't "fancy" it when TV companies demand big matches are broadcast live on Saturday nights in Asia.'

Two things, Dave:

1) Why on earth should Per Mertesacker be expected to care what TV companies think in the wake of Arsenal's worst defeat of the season?

2) Have you never heard of the phrase 'tongue in cheek'?

Big Sam
Mertesacker and Wenger aren't the only ones to feel Dave Kidd's wrath in the Daily Mirror, with Sam Allardyce also given a stern lecture.

'After Wayne Rooney fired his missile of a volley from the Upton Park centre circle, even some Hammers players congratulated the Manchester United striker,' he writes.

'Yet Big Sam was heard groaning that it would never have happened had the referee 'done his job' and blown up for a non-existent foul on James Tomkins.'

Perhaps Allardyce should have been googly-eyed over Rooney's goal in his post-match interview instead. Mediawatch imagines that would have gone down a treat with the Hammers' board and supporters following a 2-0 defeat.

Said Rodney Marsh as he talks up a power shift in Manchester: "Fundamentally, City have signed better players than United in the last three or four years. United got Robin van Persie but I thought he was a desperation signing."

That's a desperation signing whose goals won them the Premier League last season, Rodney.

Headline on the MailOnline: 'Ozil, Bendtner and Sagna enjoy themselves on night out just hours after 6-0 Chelsea defeat.'

Intro: 'They may have laid low on Twitter and Instagram since their 6-0 defeat to Chelsea on Saturday, but just hours after the defeat some of Arsenal's players were all smiles at Mesut Ozil's girlfriend's birthday bash.'

They were smiling? Smiling after that defeat! And celebrating? Celebrating a BIRTHDAY of all things! Do they have NO SHAME?

A good analogy always goes down well in the media, like a round of frhiskeys at the Mediawatch Christmas party, so it's no surprise to see the papers carrying Arsene Wenger's quotes about Arsenal's 'car crash' on Tuesday.

Said Wenger: "An accident has happened, but that doesn't mean that you're not a good driver."

Mediawatch finds his analogy a little bit incongruous, however. Surely if you drive your car into a brick wall at 50mph while checking your make-up, skipping tracks on the latest Spandau Ballet CD - or whatever it is the kids are listening to these days - and sending a text to Thierry Henry that says 'Miss you bbz lol tb x', it means that you're not a very good driver at all.

Writes Ian Wright in The Sun: 'Some have asked me to call for Wenger to go. I will not do that.'

Good on ye, Wrighty. Sticking to your guns, not allowing your faith to be knocked by a bad result. It's refreshing to see you supporting Wenger when...oh, what's that?

Said Wright on Absolute Radio in December 2012: "There's a lot of deluded Arsenal fans, who are out in the wilderness, still saying "In Arsene We Trust" and all that. It is a unique position that Wenger is in - I think that any other manager in any country, in any world, with a record like this and no prospect of light at the end of the tunnel - they would have been gone by now."

Chin Up
Like Mediawatch, you might think that Swansea are struggling a bit under Garry Monk, but it sounds like the rookie boss is happy with his performance so far.

"You lose a manager generally because you're not doing well. That is the situation we were in so it was always going to be tough," said Monk.

"When I took over we were two points above the relegation zone, now we are four above it."

That may be true, but one win, two draws (one at home to a relegation rival) and three defeats during Monk's reign hardly suggests Swansea are heading in the right direction.

Quote Of The Day
"I didn't try and do anything bad to Leeds, to anyone - I just wanted to do something good. I'm so shocked that I feel like I will jump from the window right now. I feel so ashamed." - Massimo Cellino after he was barred from completing his takeover of Leeds.

Creepy Sentence Of The Day
'They may have laid low on Twitter and Instagram...' - the Daily Mail confirm where they get half their news stories.

Headline Of The Day
'Yann On The Run' - The Sun.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'What the Pell are you talking about!' - The Sun.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A woman was arrested in Soweto on Monday after she allegedly bit off a portion of a man's penis, Gauteng police said.

'"She was arrested at the police station after she followed the complainant to the station," said Constable Sibusiso Chauke.

'The two met at a tavern in Meadowlands, Soweto on Saturday.

'"The victim, aged 38, proposed to the suspect and she agreed. They also agreed to go to the victim's place of residence to have sexual intercourse," Chauke said.

'On arrival at the house, the woman told the man to unzip his trousers so she can perform oral sex on him.

'"He did so and she bit off a front portion of his private parts. He managed to push her [away]... He was taken to hospital and was released today [Monday]," said Chauke.' -

Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Wayne Peters. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at

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