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What happens 'when you play your football on the limits of courage', Steve Bruce for Man United and more...

Last Updated: 28/04/14 at 12:31

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Smudge
Paul Smith is 'an award winning journalist, media, PR and football consultant' and 'former chief football correspondent of two national tabloid papers'. He is also - as regular viewers of Sunday Supplement (masochists) will testify - a carbon copy of his very good friend Simon Jordan, all false tan and bleach-blonde hair. He has also never heard of Islam.

Smith's reaction to Demba Ba's celebration of a bowed prayer towards Mecca - which he repeats after every goal he scores - was the following: 'Odd celebration from Ba.'

Aye. It's only the recognised prayer of 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide, Paul. No wonder you were baffled.

What's really 'odd' is that his tweet has since been deleted.


Long Live The King
Note to journalists everywhere (and Michael Calvin of the Independent on Sunday in particular): It is wise to wait for the coronation before you polish the crown.

'Today might just be the first day of the rest of his life,' wrote Calvin of Jose Mourinho, a man he describes as a 'professional irritant' in a really quite vitriolic attack which takes in 'the liberalisation of Portuguese society following the so-called Carnation Revolution'. Of course.

'Neutrals will appreciate the symmetry of the baton being passed to a protégé, Brendan Rodgers, at Liverpool, the club on which Mourinho doted as a boy,' writes Calvin.

Actually, Michael, some 'neutrals' are a tad irked at being constantly told what they think and appreciate. And those neutrals are laughing at you right now.


Losing The Plot
'Just when you thought Jose had lost it, he proves class!' is the headline on Steven Howard's piece in The Sun. Woah there, fella. When you say 'you', Steven, what you actually mean is you, Steven.

Because anybody who thought that Mourinho - in the semi-finals of the Champions League and with victories over Manchester City (twice), Liverpool and Arsenal under his belt this season - had 'lost it', is a blethering idiot. And we don't want to be in that particular club, thanks.


Note To Brendan
"We were the team that wanted to win," is a sentence that sounds better when you actually, you know, win.


Bad Romance
'Liverpool v Chelsea: Steven Gerrard's cruel slip ruins Anfield's romantic notion,' is the headline on Paul Hayward's piece in the Daily Telegraph.

Oh do sod off.


Braveheart
Mediawatch has a little sick in its mouth this morning. Thank you Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail for these words on Steven Gerrard:

'When you play your football on the limits of courage, like he does, though, you always risk the occasional calamity.'

Presumably Jan Vertonghen also slipped against Chelsea last month because he was 'playing his football on the limits of courage'? Or did they both simply make a mistake?


Communication Breakdown
Shaun Custis in The Sun: 'The travelling Chelsea fans cruelly taunted Gerrard with chants of 'he's done it again'. That was a reference to the own goal he scored in the 2005 Carling Cup final.'

Steven Howard in The Sun: 'It came just four years after another slip by the Liverpool skipper at Anfield had allowed Didier Drogba to race away and score the first in a 2-0 victory that saw Chelsea take the title in 2010. Chelsea fans didn't let him forget it, either, as they chanted: "Steven Gerrard, he's gone and done it again."'

Just talk to each other, fellas.


INSIGHT
Martin Keown in the Daily Mail: 'I THOUGHT Jose would set up with two deep midfielders, as he did against Manchester City. That's exactly what he did.'

The man's a sodding genius.


Shear Madness
Mediawatch is not sure what is more astonishing in Alan Shearer's column about the Manchester United manager's job in The Sun. We're flip-flopping between Shearer citing his own experiences under Ruud Gullit (Dutch) as a reason not to appoint Louis van Gaal (Dutch) and the name of the man he would like to see replace David Moyes.

'If you asked me who should be manager I would say Steve Bruce.'

Yes, that's Steve Bruce. Having failed under David Moyes, Shearer is advocating the appointment of a man who won less than 30% of his matches as Sunderland manager and Sunderland are the biggest club Bruce has ever managed.

But he 'knows the club', you see. And anything, and we mean anything, is better than going down 'the foreign route'.


Old Boys
Jamie Redknapp is unsurprisingly touting Ryan Giggs for the permanent manager's job. He's a proper football man, you see.

'Does he really know more than Giggs about what United need?' asks Redknapp in the Daily Mail.

Perhaps not. But he probably - with his Champions League, Bundesliga and La Liga titles - has just a little more idea how to give them what they need. Which is kind of the point.


Small-Time Louis
In his weekend verdict column in the Daily Mirror, Mark Lawrenson writes that he would take Carlo Ancelotti over Louis van Gaal 'any day of the week'.

One of the reasons he gives is that 'Ancelotti is a big club man who knows how to handle big players'. As opposed to Louis van Gaal, who has only managed and won championships at small-time clubs with no superstar players like Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.


Sticking Out
On-loan Villa striker Grant Holt has understandably rallied to the defence of the only manager who would have considered giving him a game in the Premier League.

"It's always the way when things are going against you that people look at the manager. But we deserve the stick," says Holt.

No Grant, the man who signed you - a man who had scored two goals in 16 Championship games for Wigan this season - deserves the stick.

Happy to help.


Headlines Of The Day
'They think it's fall over...' - The Sun.
'Definitely, Maybe' - The Sun.


Non-Football Story Of The Day
'After tales of how a woman was knocked unconscious through a wall while having sex to men having been caught getting it on with bovines, comes a tale of a man who had a lizard removed from his penis. Apparently, he enjoyed the experience.

'The man, Shawn, from Chicago had been trying to prove to this wife that he was sexually adventurous by spending time outdoors naked. As he slept outside, a lizard managed to slither up his urethra and made itself comfortable there. Shawn, being a man's man, instead of being horrified, quiet loved the sensation.

'The lizard was finally removed when he went to the hospital after having trouble urinating. Initially he was reluctant to tell the doctors about the reptile, but when he was told that a catheter may have to be inserted, he confessed everything.

'"A catheter is like a truth serum. All of a sudden, the truth comes out," Dr Katrina Nguyen told "Sex Sent Me To The E.R." programme. "He found it awkward that he enjoyed the pleasurable sensation," Nguyen added' - India Today.


Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Edward Gladwin. If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at theeditor@football365.com

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