The Page That Saw The Tail

Oliver Holt thinks it was just like that night in Barcelona, The Times damn Phil Jones with very faint praise and The Sun investigate something very commonplace...

Last Updated: 02/04/14 at 12:16

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Magic Moments
After describing a 3-0 home win over a very average Olympiakos side as 'one of the great evenings in their rich European history' and 'one of the magical nights in United's European history', Mediawatch suspected that Oliver Holt would get a tad carried away in the Daily Mirror after United contrived to draw at home to Bayern Munich.

And so it came to pass...

'There were moments when what happened at Old Trafford last night threatened to stun the football world.

(Of course there were more 'moments' - Holt never has one or two 'moments' when he could have three or four).

'There were moments when it felt as if it was Manchester United v Bayern Munich in the Nou Camp all over again.'

Erm, sorry, what? Unless Holt is referring to United being comprehensively outplayed by Bayern Munich in both those matches, Mediawatch cannot see too many similarities. In 1999 the English double winners were 1-0 down going into the final minutes of a Champions League final; in 2014 seventh-placed United were 1-0 up after 58 minutes in the home leg of a Champions League quarter-final. Two totally different scenarios that happened to feature the same two teams.

And it really wouldn't have 'stunned the football world' if United had held on to their 1-0 lead at home to the European champions for more than nine minutes. Not unless the football world is really very easily stunned.

Holt, Holt, Holt
Astonishingly, Holt actually cites four 'moments' in his Manchester United piece - a massive departure from his usual unstinting dedication to the 'Rule of Three'.

But fear not, he has not abandoned his winning formula; in his Jose Mourinho column today there are three things 'it is said' about the English press and their relationship with the Chelsea boss and there are three things Holt 'dislikes' about Mourinho.

Phew. All is as it should be.

When Will I See You Again?
'It could be the last time we see Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic together,' says The Sun. Presumably because it went so badly against Bayern.

Damning With Faint Praise
From The Times' verdict on Phil Jones: 'If his game intelligence and positional play matched his effort, he would be almost the complete defender.'

So he's only lacking the basic skills of a defender? So, so close.

Surprise Surprise
'It was once again baffling to see Giggs in the starting line-up, of course,' writes Ian Ladyman in the Daily Mail.

Ladyman would have been a whole lot less baffled if he had checked out his own newspaper on Tuesday - they had Giggs in their predicted starting line-up.

When Sunderland banned The Sun - ridiculously for getting a predicted starting line-up bang on the nose - they vowed to get their revenge in two very different ways...

a) By pathetically referring to them only as Derland. They've taken the Sun out of Sunderland, you see. This revenge was presumably the brainchild of an eight-year-old boy and his giggling friends.

b) By setting 'investigator' Dan King on the case to expose any dodgy financial dealings. F*** you, Derland.

The latter results in an 'INVESTIGATION' that has revealed that 'DERLAND have signed away the rest of their Premier League income for this season to their bankers'.

Sounds pretty shocking, right? And more than a tad dodgy.

Unless, of course, you read on all the way to the ninth paragraph, where Dan King admits: 'Derland are far from alone in using deeds of assignment, which are completely legal, to pledge future income to lenders. They reached a similar agreement with Barclays in November 2012 and other clubs, such as Everton, have even signed away their money for NEXT season.'


Mediawatch must have missed the 'Dan King INVESTIGATION' into Everton.

Old Pals Act
The Sun have previously claimed Rob Beasley is 'the man who knows Jose best' and it certainly seems that way as he claims an exclusive on Mourinho's in-depth version of a bust-up with Zlatan when he was manager of Inter Milan.

The Daily Star's David Woods obviously falls far short of Beasley in Mourinho's eyes but he has claimed an exclusive of his own - a 'pal' of Mourinho's telling exactly the same story.

Mediawatch is prepared to go out on a limb here: That 'pal' is Beasley, isn't it?

Bloody Hell
Headline in The Sun: 'KOLAROV: MY MANC HELL.'

Actual quotes from Aleksandar Kolarov: "I was thinking about a move because I didn't play a lot. But I didn't want to go."

Mediawatch has a story about its own Manc Hell; it doesn't involve earning tens of thousands of pounds a week and only being on the bench of the Premier League champions; it involves vodka, bananas and a man named Michael.

Headline Of The Day'
YOU DIRTY SCHWEIN' - The Daily Mirror.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'United provide joys for Moyes' - The Times. Ouch.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A MAN who was told to sacrifice parts of his body to become rich willingly let a vicious hyena EAT his penis and his toes. Chamangeni Zulu was mauled by the animal while he was out in the African bush, but he actively sought out the attack after some "advice" from a witch doctor. Zulu, who is aged between 20 and 24, claims he was told that losing parts of the body would result in untold riches.

'He told the Times of Zambia: "I came from Malawi and when I arrived in Chipata I met some business persons who told me that the best way to become rich was to sacrifice parts of my body. I went to a bush where I was instructed to be naked and a hyena came to me and started eating my toes and eventually my manhood was eaten."

'After the attack took place, Zulu managed to crawl to a road where he was spotted by passing police officers who rushed him to Chipata General Hospital. The incident took place last month and Zulu confirmed he had lost three toes as well as his genitals. He currently remains not rich' - The Daily Star.

If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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