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If you're a regular reader of Mediawatch, you'll know by now that Robbie Savage likes to talk about his predictions. You'll also know that his predictions are determined by how far back he can remember - which is roughly one game. Arsenal win at the weekend: they're his new title favourites. Arsenal lose: it doesn't look good for the top four. You get the gist.
So, it's little surprise that Lionel Messi - pivotal to Argentina reaching the World Cup final and scorer of four goals, including two match-winners - fails to make his team of the tournament after a quiet night against the Netherlands. 'Lionel Messi has been subdued,' writes Savage for the Daily Mirror, 'and unless Argentina get a superhuman performance out of him on Sunday, I can't see them beating Germany.'
Except he can, because he also writes (as if we're hanging on his every word): 'I tipped them (Argentina) before a ball was kicked, so I can't desert them three days before the final.'
Bully for you, Robbie. But remind us, how did this prediction go? 'I fancy Cameroon to get out of their group behind Brazil and, if they do make the last 16, they have got enough about them to give whoever they play out of Group B - either Spain, Netherlands or Chile by the looks of things - a scare.'
Finally, in an expert display of covering all the bases, Savage concludes: 'Last week, I said a European team would break one of football's longest-running jinxes and win a World Cup on South American soil. I still think it will happen, but it might be a long night.'
A Germany or an Argentina win: he tipped it and he's bound to let us know.
Writes Savage on the retirement off BBC Radio 5 Live commentator Mike Ingham: 'What are the secrets of his success? It's not all about him - and he doesn't mind allowing his summariser to get a word in edgeways.'
There's a lesson in there somewhere, Robbie.
Told You So
Said Diego Maradona on July 2: "Messi is very lonely. The Argentina midfield falter much and do not take initiative. If Messi does not take it forward we will fall in the next round as that will be to blame for Argentina's catastrophe."
Said Maradona after Argentina beat the Netherlands on penalties: "Masche(rano) was exceptional. When I said Argentina were Masche and 10 more, they laughed. Now they can laugh all they want."
That's right, Diego, we're still laughing at you.
The Daily Mail doesn't get much more Little Englander than when it's discussing reasons to support Argentina or Germany in the World Cup final and Mediawatch wasn't at all surprised by Rob Draper's advocacy of Argentina because 'they are not Germany and don't send their wives down before breakfast to put towels on all the best sunloungers'. Haha, LOL, etc.
We did raise an eyebrow, however, at the positive spin on getting behind the Germans: 'If it wasn't for them there would be no Dads' Army or 'Allo 'Allo.'
Even Goebbels would be proud of that one.
Did You Know...
That Hayden Mullins once kept Javier Mascherano out of the West Ham team? Apparently one is about to play in the World Cup final while the other has recently signed for Notts County. How amazing!
Obviously Mediawatch understands the point Neil Ashton is making in the Daily Mail but, being a childish sort, we still enjoyed the juxtaposition of these two paragraphs:
'"I thought I had slipped, I thought I wouldn't make it, but I tore my arse on that move, the pain..." he admitted after his perfectly executed tackle inside the area prevented the Dutch flyer from homing in on goal.
'Mascherano has worked long hours in the Argentina boiler room over the years, toiling away at three World Cups in that screening role in front of the back four. Finally he has his reward.'
Mediawatch wouldn't exactly call that a 'reward'.
Said Manchester City's new signing: "It won't be difficult to adapt to Manchester, the climate is like in Porto."
Like most people, we expect, Mediawatch saluted Arsenal on Thursday night for pulling off the signing of the summer so far as Alexis Sanchez arrived in a £35m deal from Barcelona.
Most people, that is, except for the Daily Mail, who seem distinctly unimpressed by Sanchez's unveiling. Indeed, there is not a single mention of the transfer on the paper's back page, nor does it feature until nine pages inside the cover, coming after news of Marouane Fellaini's new haircut and a spread on Alan Hansen's retirement.
We can only conclude that Arsenal are only of interest to the Mail when Mesut Ozil's played s**te.
Over-Estimating-Your-Own-Importance Quote Of The Day
Writes Robbie Savage in the Daily Mirror: 'The only consolation I can offer Brazil is that two of their players make my 2014 World Cup XI.'
Thanks for that, Robbie. We're sure they feel a whole lot better now.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'Alexis Sale To Arsenal' - the Daily Mirror. Shoehorning an irrelevant celebrity's name to make a headline - always the worst.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'The mayor of a Mexican fishing town has married a crocodile in an elaborate ceremony where the bride wore white and guests danced with the reptile.
'The reptile is a princess, according to local tradition, and it is hoped the nuptials will boost catches of fish, shrimp and other seafood along the Pacific coast.
'Before the ceremony, the wedding party walked with the crocodile bride through the southern Mexican town of San Pedro Huamelula.
"It's my wish to marry the young princess," mayor Joel Vasquez Rojas said as the pair tied the knot. He then danced with his new wife in his arms before guests joined in. One local resident explained the importance of the ritual.
'"As young people, this means a lot," said Eduardo Zarate. "It's the greatest treasure our ancestors have left us."
'Members of the local council pay for the wedding festivities, which include dancing and fireworks. Those who do not pay face a fine' - orange.co.uk
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