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Suddenly Ryan Giggs' future isn't that important, a maverick World Cup squad, and Michael Carrick surprised at the lack of banter...

Last Updated: 02/05/14 at 12:38

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Australian paper MX seem to think that Harold Bishop is in the running to become the next Manchester United manager.

Reported The Telegraph on Monday: 'Louis van Gaal's determination to appoint up to five coaches to his backroom staff at Manchester United is threatening to pave the way for Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti to become the front-runner for the manager's job at Old Trafford.'

And in The Telegraph's Friday follow-up: 'Van Gaal's coronation as United manager is days away, although the thorny issue of what happens to interim coach Ryan Giggs has yet to be resolved.'

From a potential deal-breaker to a 'thorny issue' in just four days. Mediawatch expects to be told of the 'slight inconvenience' of Giggs' future on Monday.

World Cup
There's some top work from David Maddock on the Daily Mirror's website as he names his preferred England World Cup squad.

Writes Maddock in a very excitable tone: 'Right, let's get it said from the outset - this is my starting XI: Hart; Chambers, Jones, Cahill, Baines; Henderson, Gerrard, Barkley; Sterling, Sturridge, Oxlade-Chamberlain.

'Yeah, yeah, I know. No Rooney. The fact is though, Manchester United have been rubbish this season, and in the big games, he hasn't turned up.

'Sturridge has. And he is a natural goalscorer with pace. Also I want to play one up with two pacey attacking players alongside, and in that system the pace of the Liverpool striker would be important.'

Mediawatch would also point out that Maddock is the Mirror's Liverpool correspondent, but surely that has nothing to do with his decision to start Sturridge and leave out Rooney...

As we're in a good mood, we're also going to give Maddock bonus points for selecting Nathan Redmond (one goal and three assists in 32 appearances) in his 23-man squad, including Adam Lallana as a striker, and picking a chap called 'Wellbeck'. Presumably he's talking about Dannny. Or is that too subbtle?

"It's not an easy thing stepping up from the dressing room like that. It speaks volumes for the respect he's got that there's not been much banter, he's not taken any stick."

It speaks volumes for football that Michael Carrick is surprised that new Manchester United manager Ryan Giggs hasn't been given any stick. What did he expect the players to do - set fire to his suit on the first day?

Easily Pleased
Carrick continues: "You're talking about Giggsy and Scholesy, they're legends at this club. To have their input is incredible. They're not the most vocal, but what they do say is just gold dust. It's listening to the very best. Of course, they said things when they were players. But it's different now they're coaches, there's that bit more authority. To have them say some of the things they've said has been just great."

If this 'gold dust' they're proferring is so great, it makes you wonder why Carrick never thought to listen before. Stick a man in a tie and he can get people to believe anything. Jesus should have tried that - he'd never have ended up on that cross.

Big Sam
Sam Allardyce has been busy defending himself from recent criticism, but Mediawatch can't help thinking he's fighting a losing battle.

"It is a nonsense," said Allardyce of the fans' frustrations. "Their perception is because we haven't won (in four games).

"When we went to Chelsea and they were all very, very happy that was based purely on a well-structured defensive ploy with little or no football at all. But it was still hailed as a great performance."

Perhaps that's because negative tactics are a lot more palatable against the teams at the top of the table, Sam. There isn't much to boast about after being so uninspiring in a 1-0 defeat to West Brom.

Allardyce saved his best for last though, adding: "We play to win when we play a game and if we don't play to win we play not to lose. Our biggest problem is that we haven't drawn enough in between the wins."

Mediawatch can't remember a manager ever bemoaning a lack of draws before. Especially not a manager of a club with only two wins in nine matches.

Along with Big Sam, Alan Pardew is under increasing pressure to be sacked at Newcastle, but he's intent on trying to headbutt himself out of this particular corner.

"If you're going to walk away, then you do not have the make-up to be a manager or a leader of men," said Pardew.

"If you're in the middle of a field, surrounded by armies, left, right and centre, you can't just say 'I've had enough now, sorry'. It doesn't work like that."

It's not really 'armies' though, is it Alan? It's an army. Your army, to be precise, the Toon army that has seemingly lost all faith in your command.

Slight Difference Of Opinion
'Old Boys For Brazil' blurts the Daily Mirror's back-page headline, who report that Roy Hodgson will stick with Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard in his World Cup squad.

'His choice is likely to mean heartbreak for rookies Luke Shaw and Ross Barkley...,' writes Martin Lipton,who includes the suggestion that Jermain Defoe(!) will be included.

This initially caused Mediawatch to gip, but we were then reassured that no-one really has a clue about the finer details of Hodgson's squad when we turned to Oliver Kay's report in The Times.

'The midfield department seems to be taking shape, which is likely to bring good news for Frank Lampard as well as younger players such as Ross Barkley...' Kay writes, thankfully without a single mention of Defoe.

Mediawatch should know better than to get itself worked up about guesswork. It will, however, be further investigating its fictional Spanish heritage if Defoe weasels his way into the squad.

Bizarre Line Of The Day
Writes Martin Lipton in the Daily Mirror: 'Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard will be asked to be the old veterans to help keep Roy Hodgson's World Cup virgin soldiers on the straight and narrow.'

He obviously hasn't heard those rumours about Raheem Sterling.

Quote Of The Day
"You can say it is a s**t season if you don't win trophies in a season at a big club, that is true." David Luiz isn't helping Jose Mourinho to disguise his second s**t season in succession.

Said Diego Simeone on his Atletico players: "I want to thank the mothers of these kids, because they were born with balls this big. Our reaction will remain in the memories of people."

Worst Headline Of The Day
'We'll Loic and learn' - The Sun.

Opportunistic Non-Football Story Of The Day
'KTLA's Courtney Friel was reporting about a fire near Los Angeles when a shirtless man entered the shot carrying a dog.

'Ms Friel pointed a microphone at the man, asking whether he lived in the area. The man then looked at Ms Friel and said: "'re super pretty, you wanna go on a date some time?"

'Ms Friel reminded the man that he was live on television and continued to ask questions about the bushfire that had broken out in Rancho Cucamonga.' - The Telegraph.

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