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No signs of an uprising at Arsenal, and more guff about 'gladiatorial' Suarez...

Last Updated: 26/03/14 at 12:33

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Blame
Headline on the BBC: 'Blame me for Man United decline - Moyes'

We don't think you need to worry about that, fella.


Trust
Following Manchester United's latest defeat, The Sun's Neil Custis gives his view on the champions' next move.

'They have to (trust David Moyes), otherwise they are admitting failure on a massive scale,' writes Custis. 'Failure of their greatest manager in his choice of his successor. Failure in themselves for trusting Alex Ferguson in that act and backing the decision when people like Jose Mourinho were banging on the door. Failure to stand strong and be patient when the clamour grows for change.

'They have to trust as they did in Sir Alex when the plot appeared to have been lost between 2004-06.'

Trusting a manager not to fail after he has failed at every juncture so far seems quite a risky strategy to Mediawatch, but it is the comparison with Ferguson's United between 2004-06 that really baffles us.

Let's have a quick look at the context: In 2004, United finished third with 75 points, 15 behind champions Arsenal. It wasn't a great season, given previous achievements, but it was still a damn sight better than the current campaign, in which the highest number of points the champions can achieve is 72 - their lowest ever total in the Premier League.

In 2005, United finished third again; in 2006, they were second with 83 points - enough to win the title in two of the last three seasons. This year they are set to finish seventh - dropping out of the Champions League for the first time since 1995.

This isn't trust you're calling for, it's a huge leap of faith.


R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
Mediawatch thinks we can all agree with Neil Ashton's fears about Arsenal's latest wobble on the MailOnline.

What is slightly more odd is Ashton's summation of the mood of Arsenal fans, who he seems to completely misrepresent in his Ash Wednesday column.

'There will never be an uprising here, their fans are not the type to revolt after being spoilt by Arsene Wenger,' writes Ashton.

'There is too much respect around this place for any Arsenal fan to speak out publicly against the most successful manager in the club's history.'

Well, that largely depends on how you define 'speak out publicly'. If such a phrase includes campaigns on social media for the manager to leave, chants such as "spend some f**king money", A4 posters urging Wenger to act, and scuffles breaking out between unhappy supporters on Tuesday, then it certainly looks as though there could be a revolt.


The Perfect Pair
You would be forgiven for being slightly pessimistic regarding England's chances at this summer's World Cup, but fear not, because the MailOnline's Adrian Durham is here to calm you down (which until now Mediawatch had considered to be impossible).

Durham believes that pairing Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney together in the same team is England's ticket to success, writing: 'Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard need to work together - when they do they're on another planet.

'Let me make a suggestion to Roy Hodgson: go to the North West, set up a meeting with your two main men - Rooney and Gerrard - and ask how to get the best from them. They will know, and their understanding could be vital.

'We may not go on to win it, but at least we will be trying to play some good football, and won't disgrace ourselves as we did in South Africa.'

Three things, Adrian:

1) You might have a point, but the strength of that point is somewhat reduced when the only example you use of them playing well together is a qualifying match against Belarus five-and-a-half years ago.

2) Do you not think that Roy Hodgson might already have thought of playing his best player and captain together?

3) When you say 'we won't disgrace ourselves as we did in South Africa', you do realise that during World Cup 2010, Rooney and Gerrard were on the pitch together for 342 of a possible 360 minutes.


This Again
The supposed rehabilitation of Luis Suarez has been a recurring theme throughout the season, with the Daily Mirror catching Mediawatch off guard on Wednesday by reporting that Brendan Rodgers believes the striker should be named Player of the Year.

There is arguably a debate to be had on the subject, but once again the issue is only presented from one perspective, as Rodgers offers his support to Suarez's cause.

'Of course, many of the Uruguayan's pages in football history have been made for the wrong reasons,' writes David Maddock, conveniently glossing over incidents of racism and biting. 'But Rodgers believes the time has come to reflect his gladiatorial influence on a magnificent title charge.'

Excuse Mediawatch for being blunt, but of course he sodding does.

'The Anfield boss believes the Player of the Year award would not only acknowledge Suarez's talent, but allow him to be recognised for the right reasons,' Maddock continues.

'"Certainly for him it would be a wonderful step forward in his life and his career if he were to get the Player of the Year award," Rodgers declared.

'"I think it's been nice for people to see the other side of Luis this season. People don't see he's a real quiet, humble guy off the field who becomes a gladiator when he crosses the white line."'

Mediawatch appreciates that it must be tiresome to read this again - and believe us, we take no pleasure in writing it - but what is this 'other side' Rodgers speaks of? We've seen Suarez score a s**t-tonne of goals and generally perform brilliantly in Liverpool's title challenge so, if that's the criteria for the Player of the Year award (which perhaps it should be), he stands as strong a shout as anyone.

But qualities such as being 'real quiet' and 'humble off the field' don't come into it - and if they should be considered, Suarez is destined to fail every time owing to his unscrupulous behaviour in the past and - let Mediawatch repeat this once again - complete lack of remorse. How can someone be 'rehabilitated' when they won't even acknowledge that they did something wrong?


Ask The Ref
In a week that has seen renewed calls for video reviews in football, Mediawatch rather enjoyed Mark Halsey's analysis of Michael Oliver's Manchester derby performance in The Sun.

'Danny Welbeck could have seen red for a scything 17th-minute foul on Pablo Zabaleta that ref Michael Oliver deemed only worthy of a yellow,' writes Halsey.

'He decided he was reckless. But, in my opinion, it was more than that and he should have gone.'

So Halsey, even with the benefit of TV replays, failed to spot that Welbeck slipped before crashing into Zabaleta, rather than it being a case of excessive force.

But yes, let's give the fourth official a monitor to double-check everything, because that will solve all the officiating issues.


Let's Pretend
Said Gus Poyet on returning striker Connor Wickham: "I would like Connor to look at this as though we have just signed him for the first time. He is a new player, nobody knows him and he is a young English striker with incredible power. We need something to happen and I need to find that season-changing moment. It could be Connor Wickham."

Mediawatch doesn't wish to speak out of turn, but one goal in 34 Premier League appearances suggests it probably won't.


Quote Of The Day
"He is just f-ing amazing! Absolutely f-ing amazing! It's just amazing. He's amazing" - Keira Knightley on - nope, you didn't guess it - Gary Neville, in Stella magazine.


Headline Of The Day
'All Over Ba Shouting' - The Sun.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'Wenger's Flam Hell' - the Daily Mirror.


Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A bizarre new product has hit the shelves to cash in on health fears over pollution in China - bottled fresh air.

'The bottled air is being collected at the Tianmu Mountain scenic spot in the county of Linan in China's Zhejiang province.

'And park managers have hired costumed characters - seen here in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province - to travel around the country handing out free bottled air to let people try it for themselves.

'Product manager Long Peng said: "The air in Tianmu Mountain is so fresh that negative oxygen ion is 3,300 per cubic centimetre, much higher than the normal level.

'"The problem is that there are not enough negative ions in daily life. All the modern things we have generate an over abundance of positive ions that make us feel tired, depressed and irritable."' - orange.co.uk

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