The Page That Is Sick Of B*nter Day

Little ol' Liverpool winning the Premier League, eh. Warms the heart right up. And Everton, of course, with all those Academy graduates in the team...

Last Updated: 01/04/14 at 13:49

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He'll Make You Think...
Whilst Mediawatch certainly doesn't buy all the bullsh*t about Liverpool being the overwhelming neutrals' choice to win the Premier League this season, we concede that it is refreshing to see a new team challenging for the title, particularly when they play an exciting brand of football.

However, Dave Kidd seems to firmly sit in the first camp, writing a Daily Mirror column that might as well be headlined 'Dave Kidd 4 Merseyide, IDST', but actually settles at 'Mersey beat revival is great for the soul of English football'. We already feel bilious.

'They told Liverpool they would never win the title again unless they matched Manchester United and Arsenal for 'matchday revenue streams'. That they would never return to their ****ing perch until they joined the 21st century. Yet now even the oil barons at Chelsea and Manchester City are nervous of them.'

Now look here, Dave. Brendan Rodgers spoke only days ago of Liverpool's '533 million supporters', and this is very much a global brand. This is a club with the 12th highest revenue in world football, who have spent £431m on transfers in the last seven years, are owned by a group of American sports investors and has a list of 21 official partners listed on the official website, the most recently added of which is XOLO, a regional marketing partner in India aimed to increase merchandise sales in the country through the use of smartphones. Last year, Liverpool was named as the most trusted football brand in India.

As for 'football romance', does this quote on the Liverpool website make you feel sexy?

'We believe that the partnership will bring many synergies and exciting opportunities to our consumers and partners.'

It kind of works if you just focus on 'exciting' and 'partners'.

Liverpool winning the league might well be seen as A Good Thing in certain quarters, but let's not get all misty-eyed over the 'soul of English football' shall we?


...And Think
Kidd doesn't stop there, because there are two clubs in Liverpool. Someone obviously had an open return train ticket, and decided to kill two birds with one stone.

'They told Everton that no club could play among Europe's elite with a local life-long fan at the helm.'

Who are these 'they', imposing all these rules that Mediawatch hasn't heard before? B*stards.

The majority of Kidd's argument surrounding Everton is their commitment to domestic talent, with their manager 'steeped in the British game'. Mediawatch rather prefers the term 'Spanish', but hey.

'Everton remain the Premier League's most rootsy outfit, with their thriving academy... Martinez has railed against the myth that British players lack basic technique and invariably fields a majority of natives.'

Of the 22 players with Premier League appearances for Everton this season, only eight are British, and we've generously included Tony Hibbert's three minutes there. Furthermore, Martinez has recruited eight players during his time at the club, of which one (Gareth Barry's loan deal) is British.

As for the 'thriving academy', Everton used six British players against Fulham on Sunday. Leighton Baines was bought from Wigan, John Stones from Barnsley, Gareth Barry from Manchester City and Steven Naismith from Rangers. Of the 14 players to play a part on Sunday, only Ross Barkley and Leon Osman came through the academy.

He hasn't finished yet: 'Everton no longer merely punch above their weight, they possess the butterfly float and the bee sting too.'

Mediawatch is (almost) speechless. Because, and we'll say this slowly for added effect, Kidd is comparing Everton being in fifth position to the rise and success of Muhammed Ali in terms of sporting symbolism.

Everton are fifth in the Premier League. They haven't made it into the Champions League just yet. And they have finished in the top four before, only to lose out in the qualifying rounds.

They promised that he'd make us think, but they didn't mention anything about open-mouthed incredulity.


No One Has A Clue (especially the Daily Star)
Mediawatch always enjoys going through the papers ahead of a big game, with each publishing their predicted line-ups. Only one bothers to include the word 'probably'.

Today is no different, with the Daily Mirror, Daily Telegraph, Guardian and Independent naming 16 different United players between them. We're going to assume that Ryan Giggs, Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick, Danny Welbeck, Shinji Kagawa, Darren Fletcher and Ashley Young won't all start in midfield.

The real fun starts when the papers have to guess the side that the foreigns will pick, with just seven papers sharing four different thoughts on Bayern's back four line-up alone.

However, the final word must surely go to the Daily Star, who confidently pick Brazilian Dante in central defence for Bayern. Presumably that's the same Dante that is suspended for this evening's game. Top work.


Opta-mism
Mediawatch quite likes statistics, but we know only too well the danger of using a small sample size, then extrapolating that size to make an over-arching (and highly debatable) conclusion.

Take this beauty last night from Sam Allardyce, speaking before last night's victory over Sunderland:

"We've taken 15 points in the last eight games - nearly two points per game - and that's about a top-six finish in the Premier League."

The statistic is correct because West Ham had taken 15 points from their last eight games and, as Allardyce handily points out, that is almost two points per game.

However, it's the 'top-six finish' that grates a touch. Because 'finish' implies the end of the season, when all games have been played. And whilst West Ham have taken 15 points from their last eight Premier League games, they took just eight points from the first eight games of the season (relegation form), six points from the next eight games (also relegation form) and eight points from the eight games after that (still relegation form).

Allardyce has responded impressively to West Ham's dire start to the season, but let's not get too carried away, fella.


Unterhund
Ryan Giggs: "As players we don't see ourselves as underdogs, we see ourselves as Man Utd playing at home in the Champions League."

Unfortunately for Ryan, those two facts are not mutually exclusive. Dictionary.com describes underdog as 'the competitor least likely to win a fight or contest'.

Given that United are 6/1 in places to win just the home leg against Bayern Munich this evening, we'll let you be the judge of whether United's 'underdogs' tag is fair.


Click, Click, Click
Even Mediawatch grows weary of its national service to cut through Adrian D****m's steaming bullsh*t in the Daily Mail so you don't have to, and today is one of those days.

'It's about time Arsenal did English football a favour and took a break from the Champions League. In recent seasons they haven't bothered trying to win the competition,' says Durham in a piece saying that Everton deserve a chance over Arsenal. That's not how the rules work, of course, and these things are decided by league position, but as we said, it's D****m.

'For four successive seasons now the Gunners have failed to make the quarter-finals which is a disgrace. If Everton's rich European history is any measure, they will at least give it a proper go.'

Everton have failed to reach the quarter-finals in each of their last six European campaigns, a run stretching back to 1985. That includes only one in the higher level of the Champions League when they failed at the qualifying stage.

As ever, D****m loses the battle against basic logic.


Easy Answer
'So, what is Bayern Munich winger Ribery doing with a police officer at Manchester Airport?' asks the headline on the Daily Mail website.

"He's being helped through a crowd of supporters," Mediawatch guessed. And we were right.

And that, boys and girls, is their sixth most popular football news story. Are we doing it all wrong?


Rant Of The Day
"Leeds have got £18m in wages for the players. For a sh*t team like that you should have spent £5m on wages. The team is sh*t. He [chief executive David Haigh] is a f**king devil. What has he done in his life?

"I sacked him [Brian McDermott]. I said 'Ciao, get the f**k out of here. I don't understand him, his eyes, he seems like a strange guy."

After failing the Football League's Fit and Proper Person test, we can't help feeling that Massimo Cellino is taking his anger out on the wrong people.


Headline Of The Day
'WWWDWWWDWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWD' - The Daily Mirror spell out Bayern's Bundesliga season to make Mediawatch gulp.


Worst Headline Of The Day
'Tor Blimey It's a Loan' - The Sun go smelly on Fernando Torres. Or should that be Taurres?


Non-Football Story Of The Day
'Top job-seeking tip number one: Don't send in a snap of your penis with your application.

'That's what a Texas man reportedly did this week - and he ended up being ticketed for obscene display or distribution as a result. The unnamed work hunter reportedly emailed his resume and the improper picture to the state-run Texas Workforce Solutions agency.

'It was picked up by a 25-year-old female caseworker, who - disgusted - contacted cops. The Dallas Observer reports that police tracked down the man from his email address and cited him for the class C misdemeanour, according to the Dallas Observer.

'Dallas police spokesman Demarquis Black revealed that the man, perhaps unsurprisingly, remains out of work. "I think I know why he can't find a job," he added.' - New York Daily Times

Thanks to Patrick Donnelly. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at theeditor@football365.com, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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