Martin Samuel has a (foolproof) system to give Arsenal a tougher draw, whilst Roy Hodgson is now the same person as Adrian Durham...
Successful manager Martin Keown has some wise words for Louis van Gaal. The Dutchman is comparing unfavourably to Brendan Rodgers on 'clarity of vision'...
Killing An Abstract Concept
Mediawatch was a happy soul whilst walking to work this morning, gleefully anticipating the 'death of tiki-taka' being claimed by all and sundry. In fact, most of the papers have thankfully given Real Madrid the credit rather than denouncing an abstract concept. Phew.
Except Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail, that is.
'Real Madrid did not just defeat Bayern Munich last night,' Samuel begins. 'They laid waste to an ideal, a philosophy.'
'Pep Guardiola watched from the touchline as his theories were taken apart. Possession statistics were meaningless, tiki-taka was bunk.'
It was a sh*t result for Bayern and Guardiola. A really sh*t result, in fact. Pep's side defended set pieces badly, and were punished for doing so by a Real Madrid side with a phenomenal array of attacking talent.
But this is a manager in his first season at a new club in a new country after a year out of the game. He has won the Bundesliga in record fashion and has the chance to complete a domestic double in the DFB-Pokal final.
This is also just Guardiola's fifth season as a first-team manager and he has won four league titles, five other domestic trophies, two Champions Leagues, three UEFA Super Cups and three Club World Cups. He could retire at 43 and still have a better roll of honour than almost any other manager in world football. Clearly Real Madrid found a way to punish Bayern for their ineffective display, but to suggest that this defeat 'laid waste to an ideal, a philosophy' is ridiculous.
We remember reading similar articles on the 'death of tiki-taka' (not by Martin Samuel, we must add) when Switzerland beat Spain in the 2010 World Cup and Inter beat Barcelona in 2010. Sometimes, teams can have off-days without their complete ethos and style being derided.
Pray For Wayne
Now we're not saying that Wayne Rooney's agent Paul Stretford has had a quiet word in someone's ear, but one of the back page stories in the Daily Mail did make Mediawatch titter this morning.
'Wayne Rooney worried Robin van Persie will be Manchester United's No 1 striker if Louis van Gaal becomes manager,' reads the headline that indicates Rooney's wonderful sense of self-entitlement.
'Wayne Rooney is concerned about Manchester United's plan to install Louis van Gaal as manager, because of the Dutchman's close relationship with Robin van Persie.
'The United frontman is believed to be worried that the situation could revert to how it was during Sir Alex Ferguson's final season in charge, when Van Persie became United's first-choice striker. Rooney was forced into a secondary role and nearly left the club, feeling he was being frozen out.'
Yes, poor Wayne. He was frozen out under Ferguson after only once handing in a transfer request and his performances declining, forced to play second fiddle to the Premier League's top goalscorer.
He then suffered the ignominy of being forced to swallow the bitter pill of signing a new contract worth £300,000 a week, making him the highest paid player in the country.
Looks like Rooney and Stretford missed a trick. Amidst all the stipulations over him being captain, main striker and transfer advisory, someone forgot to include a 'place on the managerial appointment committee' clause. Idiots.
'Roy Crock Headache' screams The Sun, a clunky headline that makes little grammatical sense. The tagline 'Hodgson gamble dilemma' doesn't either - who stole all the verbs?
'Roy Hodgson is facing up to an England World Cup injury nightmare,' begins a piece by Shaun Custis.
'The Three Lions boss had vowed not to take any stars to Brazil that were not 100% fit. But with the casualty list showing no signs of easing, Hodgson may have to gamble against his better judgment.'
Casualty list, you say? Have Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and Gary Cahill come down with the dreaded metatarsalitis? No, no they haven't.
The five players mentioned by Custis are Kyle Walker (who may have been unlikely to have gone to Brazil as a second-choice right-back with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones providing cover), Andros Townsend (one Premier League start since November, and unlikely to have been taken), Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana.
That's the Adam Lallana who last missed a Premier League match on December 14th.
Not exactly panic stations quite yet.
Tim Sherwood has been getting rather grouchy of late in response to other managers "touting for his job."
"Every press conference I do it's 'This manager's coming in... Van Gaal, then Hoddle, this one and that one. Some of these managers are actually touting themselves for my job and I don't think that's right."
Now Mediawatch isn't the biggest fan of Sherwood's abilities, but he's got a point. Only yesterday Ajax manager Frank de Boer claimed that he has been approached over the Spurs gig.
Glenn Hoddle isn't in agreement though, despite not even being directly accused by Sherwood of "touting" himself.
'I read yesterday that Tim Sherwood is having a go at managers "touting" themselves for his Tottenham job and has decided to include me as one,' Hoddle wrote in a web column dedicated to him talking about the Spurs job.
Fair enough then Glenn, you haven't mentioned joining Spurs recen... oh, what's that, there's more to this column.
'I have stated many times in numerous interviews that I have been a Spurs supporter from the age of eight, played for the club from the age of 11, have played for Tottenham, managed Tottenham and would never turn my back on Tottenham. If they asked me, I would help them.
'And they did ask me: The club asked my opinions. And I spoke with them when Andre Villas-Boas was sacked, and again they asked my opinion.Of course, it is now a well-known fact that the club asked about the possibility of me taking over until the end of the season.'
Good for you Glenn. You keep schtum.
We love fun here at Mediawatch towers. Fun fun. Fun and games.
With that in mind, play a game of 'Spot The Miracle' with this morning's Daily Star. Is it:
a) Turning water into wine
b) Walking on water
c) John Terry recovering from rolling his ankle in time for tonight's second leg against Atletico.
Sometimes our games are too easy, aren't they?
Headline Of The Day
'Harriott's On Fire' - The Daily Mail cover Callum Harriott's brace for Charlton last night very nicely indeed.
Non-Football Headline Of The Day
'Homophobic Ku Klux Klan leader arrested for having sex with cross-dressing black male prostitute' - The Irish Independent spell things out clearly.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
Fears are growing a huge, rotting blue whale lying on the beach of a Canadian town could explode.
Residents in Trout River, Newfoundland, have appealed for help in removing the 25m (81ft) whale beached next to a community boardwalk.
They say it is emitting a powerful stench that is spreading through the town of 600 people and have asked the province's environment and government services departments for help.
'This is about the fact that this whale is blowing up on the beach. It has gases trapped inside of it,' Trout River's town clerk, Emily Butler, told the Telegram. 'Until we get some definite answers back, this still remains a situation that we haven't been given a final solution on.'
She added: 'If that whale does explode, we don't know what danger that would be to our infrastructure, the longliner itself, or to people.' - The Metro
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Alan Stapleton. If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com