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Arsenal are criticised for 'claiming the World Cup', and won't make the top four because they're still missing Henry. Plus, Brendan Rodgers saw the scattergun coming...

Last Updated: 17/07/14 at 08:53

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Straw Man
Adrian Durham continues his one-man click w**re campaign on behalf of the Daily Mail with an astonishing (well, astonishing if it wasn't an Adrian Durham column) attack on Arsenal following their signing of 'Barcelona misfit' Alexis Sanchez.

'Arsenal are wrong to claim World Cup victory as theirs just because Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski, and Mesut Ozil were in Germany squad,' Durham begins. 'They are so desperate for more, they have hijacked Germany's World Cup success as some sort of trophy for Arsenal.'

Dear God.

'The reality is that a Chelsea player, Andre Schurrle, was more influential for Germany than the three Gooners combined. Yet I don't hear Chelsea fans trying to claim they won the World Cup. Probably because they aren't so desperate to claim any kind of football success as Arsenal supporters are.'

Mediawatch knows of, nor has read, any Arsenal fan 'claiming the World Cup victory as theirs', which makes all of the above a steaming pile of manure.

It's the classic straw man argument again, the perfect Durham hat-trick:

1) Fabricate a mood or situation.
2) Present it as fact.
3) Criticise it.

'Lukas Podolski is Arsenal's version of John Terry,' he continues. 'He put the kit on for the celebrations.'

Well yes, that's fair. Apart from that John Terry put on his kit (and sparked the longest-running s**t joke of all time) despite being suspended for the final. Podolski, meanwhile, was on the bench on Sunday, and could have been introduced at any time. It would have surely be considered bad form by Joachim Low had he donned a three-piece suit purely for the post-match celebrations.

An Adrian Durham column: where reason and facts go to die.

One Step Forward...
Michael Owen took to talkSPORT to air his views on the Premier League top four next season, and the headline view is that Arsenal are going to be the side to miss out.

Nothing wrong with an opinion, of course, but Owen's reasoning does seem to be slightly off-kilter.

"I have been really impressed with Arsenal's signing of Sanchez," Owen said. "They have been missing a bit of quality. The signing of Sanchez has made everyone sit up and take note. I really do rate him, he's a top player and it's a big step in the right direction.

"But, in no particular order, my top four for next season would be Chelsea, Man City, Man United and Liverpool. Arsenal haven't had any real stand out players in the last few years, like Thierry Henry. They have just lagged a step behind."

So Arsenal have made 'a big step in the right direction' but will finish lower than before? And they will miss out through a failure to replace Thierry Henry, who left seven years ago? Although they have finished in the top four in each of the seasons since he left? Okay, Michael.

Still, none of those quotes are as enjoyable as Owen's review of his summer, which made Mediawatch giggle...

"I've been watching horse racing, playing some golf and watching football this holidays though."

Should we have a whip-round?

On Tuesday evening Liverpool confirmed their fourth transfer of the summer with Lazar Markovic arriving from Benfica for around £20million (joining Emre Can, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert), as the club look to replace Barcelona-bound Luis Suarez.

Southampton's Dejan Lovren and Swansea's Ben Davies also look likely to join, whilst Antoine Griezmann, Jackson Martinez and Wilfried Bony are just several of an extraordinary number of players linked in recent weeks. Someone may need to oil the workings of the revolving door at Anfield.

With that in mind, Mediawatch thought it would revisit this quote from Brendan Rodgers, made in December regarding Tottenham's scattergun approach to replacing Gareth Bale:

"Obviously there have been difficulties from Bale leaving," Rodgers said. "It shows that when you have someone with that X factor, even eight, nine or 10 players can't replace that.

"That was why we fought like tigers to keep Luis here because he is a top player, he is a performer. There are many good players but very few who perform week in, week out to that level.

"Luis is a player that we want to have for many years and build a team around. I've got every confidence that will be the case. I think he is at the happiest point he has been. He is pillar of the group.

"I've got to know him as a human being as well as a player, and a lot of what was said about him in the past couldn't be further from the truth."

Well, that all went well.

Murphy's Law
Mediawatch likes nothing better than a pundit pondering a question before immediately answering it themselves, and Danny Murphy provides a wonderful example of the breed on the BBC Sport website.

Discussing his best moments of the World Cup in Brazil, Murphy wonders: 'Germany's Thomas Muller is quite unique. I've watched him a lot, and this is going to sound silly, but I'm not really sure what he is great at.'

Two sentences later, and Murphy has an answer: 'He is a goalscorer, who is fantastic at being in the right place at the right time.'

We'd start with that, Danny.

Club v Country
Mediawatch couldn't help but giggle at Jamie Carragher expressing the reasons for his disappointment at Arsenal signing Alexis Sanchez to Sky Sports News.

"I think it's a great signing for Arsenal,' Carragher began. "But it may impact on Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain."

"We're talking about young English players, but his predominant position for Barcelona is in the wide areas. For Chile, he played through the middle and he could do that, but I don't think he's an out-and-out centre-forward and that may have an impact on Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain getting in the Arsenal team."

That's a valid point, and it's good of Carragher to rightly pick up on the danger of young English players failing to get regular footba... oh, what's that?

"I'm disappointed he hasn't chosen Liverpool," Carragher also said. "I thought he may have become involved with the Luis Suarez deal, so it's a blow for Liverpool to lose Suarez and miss out on him."

But surely at Liverpool, Sanchez would be forcing one of Raheem Sterling or Adam Lallana out of the team? Or is that argument less important when it's Liverpool signing a world-class player...

No S**t, Sherlock

'REVEALED: Ex-Liverpool star Luis Suarez nearly joined Real Madrid last summer' - Daily Star.

So that's what that three-month palaver was about.

Headline Of The Day

'Rome Alone' - The Sun go clever on Ashley Cole's suggestion that English players are "scared" to move abroad.

Worst Non-Football Headline Of The Day/Week/Ever

'Thigh-flashing Esther and the battle of the Downing St catwalk' - The Daily Mail make Mediawatch want to scream the day after a number of women were promoted into ministerial positions within the Government.

Don't worry, the first paragraph does talk of 'offering a glimpse of thigh-high slit skirt'. Someone shut this s**t down.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A lawyer nearly choked on his Milkybar when he spotted a penis shape moulded into it.

'Sweet-toothed Robin Jacobs was tucking into his favourite snack while watching the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina when he spotted the bizarre image.

'The 31-year-old, from London, was shocked to see a penis shape where the horse's head was, next to the world famous Milkybar Kid.

'"It was a little bit surprising, I don't think I've ever seen anything like it before - that's for sure," Jacobs said. "What on earth is a penis doing on a kids chocolate bar? There's no point denying what it looks like. It is obvious - we can all see it."

'Robin, from South Woodford, London, bought the 49p bar from a Tesco store to tuck into while watching the World Cup final on Sunday.

'"It's a completely inappropriate picture. The penis in question is even bigger than the child - surely the people making the bar can see what it looks like. I still ate it but I was a little put off. I don't understand why it is there"' - Daily Mirror

Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters Girish Gopi, Damian McDonagh and Michael Ward and John Pilkington. If you spot something that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

So mediawatch spent a number of weeks in the build up to the World Cup criticising the British media for describing Adam Lallana as young, at 26, as opposed to inexperienced. Yet you don't hesitate at describing him as young when it suits your agenda! For shame
- redmanmullins

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