The Page That Eats Plastic Now

Everton have won through the 'sham' of abiding by the rules, whilst Super Frank was the difference. Plus Ian Wright makes ballsy relegation predictions with five games left...

Last Updated: 09/04/14 at 12:35

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Loan Wolf
Martin Samuel uses the majority of his Daily Mail column on Wednesday to rail against a loan system that has allowed Everton to bring Romelu Lukaku, Gareth Barry and Gerard Deulofeu, under the headline 'Everton fairytale has us hooked - shame it's built on £50m loan sham'.

To begin with, Samuel compares Everton's loans to the welfare state and open-door immigration, something Mediawatch thinks is such a surefire way to get Mail readers onside that we're surprised it isn't compulsory in all articles.

'What would Lukaku cost Everton? Let's say upwards of £25m,' writes Samuel.

'Deulofeu is a rising star in the Barcelona academy who has represented Spain at every level from Under 16 through Under 21, and was voted the Golden Player at the UEFA Under 19 European Championship. He wouldn't come cheap.

'Then there is Barry, a squad player at Manchester City and now 33, but even so he might have commanded £6m as a permanent transfer in the summer. Total: somewhere north of £50m, maybe as much as £60m.'

There is certainly an argument to be had regarding the fairness of the current loan rules in terms of avoiding FFP measures, but we can't help feeling that Samuel's view rather gets lost in the necessity to hoover up the clicks, hence making it a fairly personal attack on Everton.

There is no mention of Sunderland's five loans this season. Or Fulham's five. Or West Ham's four. Or Hull's three. Or Stoke's three. Or Aston Villa's two. Or Newcastle's two. We could go on. Presumably Samuel's rule is that loans are fine as long as those players don't turn out to be any good.

Mediawatch doesn't remember West Brom's climb to eighth last season being labelled as a sham with Lukaku at their club, nor United's two Premier League titles achieved when Carlos Tevez was on his two-year loan from West Ham, or Christophe Dugarry and Jurgen Klinsmann helping Birmingham and Spurs survive relegation struggles.

The loan rule could well be altered, although we don't actually see any issue when the rules are the same for all, but to turn that into an undermining of Everton's achievements this season seems pretty cheap.


To Be Frank

Oliver Holt picks out Chelsea's top performer from Tuesday's win over PSG and eulogises over his performance in the Daily Mirror. No, it isn't David Luiz, Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic, or John Terry. It isn't Cesar Azpilicueta, Willian, Oscar, Andre Schurrle or Demba Ba, either. It's Frank Lampard. We mentioned the other nine players because they were all given higher ratings than Super Frank just to the left of Holt's column.

'Lampard was at the heart of everything Chelsea did last night,' Holt begins, ignoring that the midfielder had been subbed by the time Demba Ba scored the Blues' crucial second goal, and had no hand in the other.

'The Chelsea midfielder will be 36 in the summer but still earns the trust of Jose Mourinho to put him at the heart of the biggest night of Chelsea's season so far.'

Nemanja Matic was cup-tied and Ramires was suspended after starting the first leg ahead of Lampard. So we'd say that 'earns Mourinho's trust over John Obi Mikel' would perhaps be a more accurate line.

'He picked out Hazard, Azpilicueta and Oscar with a series of searching balls and recycled possession neatly and efficiently.'

In his 66 minutes on the field Lampard played four passes to Azpilicueta and just one to Oscar. He didn't make a single pass to Hazard. As for recycling play 'efficiently', nine of Chelsea's other 12 outfield players had better completion rates than Lampard, who gave the ball away almost 25% of the times he attempted to pass it.

Mediawatch gets a strong whiff that this was a performance forced to reflect Holt's pre-determined conclusion rather than a conclusion drawn from a stellar performance. And not for the first time.


Meaningless

The pointlessness of post-match ratings is brought wonderfully to our attention once again this morning, courtesy of The Sun.

They somehow manage to give Chelsea's players an average rating of 5.4 against PSG's 6.6 for a game the Blues won 2-0. No Chelsea starter apparently played better than Salvatore Sirigu, Christophe Jallet, Lucas Moura or Ezequiel Lavezzi. We've heard of one player not deserving to be on the losing team - but four?


Insight With Wright

Ian Wright discusses the relegation battle in The Sun today, so we know that will really make prick your ears up and take notice.

Get ready for the insight, because Wrighty has really put his balls on the line this time, predicting who will go down with five matches to go.

'Cardiff and Sunderland are going down with either Fulham OR Norwich joining them. Those two clubs meet on Saturday and if the Canaries win then I reckon they will be the ones staying up.'

It's Mystic Meg all over again.


Unlikely

Slapped wrists all round at The Times this morning, with Rory Smith claiming that Frank Lampard took Chelsea's long throw-in for the first goal. Perhaps trying to help out Oliver Holt?

While that mistake is clearly minor and easily done, Matt Hughes' opinion piece on the game contains something slightly more bizarre, writing that Ashley Cole is 'unlikely to add to his 103 Champions League appearances at Chelsea.'

Presumably Hughes means except for the first leg of the semi-final, for which Branislav Ivanovic is suspended, meaning that Cole is almost certain to come in at left-back, with Azpilicueta moving to right-back.


That's A Big Part

Said Fulham captain Brede Hangeland on how Hugo Rodallega's goals could keep Fulham up:

"I'd like to think that Hugo can play a big part based on what I saw on Villa."

Given that Rodallega now has six Premier League goals since May 2011, we'd suggest that Hangeland is wise to focus very much on the 44 minutes against Villa and not the three years preceding them.


Needing A No. 2

'Sherwood: I Won't Be No. 2' screams the headline in the Daily Mail on a piece which discusses the next potential managers for the Spurs gig.

Quotes from Tim Sherwood in which he says that he doesn't want to be the No 2 at Spurs? None.

Quotes from Tim Sherwood regarding the Spurs job? None.

Quotes from Tim Sherwood? None.


Headline Of The Day

'Wonder Ba' - Whether or not the Daily Mail's effort is intended to be Wunderbar or Wonderbra, it's made Mediawatch think about Eva Herzigova a bit too much.


Non-Football Story Of The Day

'A middle-aged man had a skipping rope removed from his urethra and bladder by doctors in Hubei province after he'd reportedly inserted it there for "sexual pleasure".

'Invoking a mental image that will never be unseen, X-ray scans showed the skipping rope stuck in the narrowest part of the man's penis with 10 centimeters hanging out. The urologist in Yichang city said the surgery was especially complicated as the rope, 1.1-meters long and 4.4-millimeters thick, had knotted.

'The man in his 40s found it too hard to pull out after he'd inserted it and turned to doctors, who said that surgery was necessary to remove it. In the medical opinion of the Doctor (who was surnamed Dong), what the man did was "ridiculous"' - Shanghaiist

Thanks to today's spotter Alex Henshaw. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at theeditor@football365.com, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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