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The first handshake-gate of the new season and a big snub for Louis van Gaal...

Last Updated: 07/08/14 at 12:25

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Shake It, Shake It, Shake It, Baby Now
Report the Daily Mail: 'Guardiola did not shake hands with his opposite number after some of the tackles made by MLS All Stars side at Providence Park'.

The season is coming, folks. We can almost taste it.

Constructive Interpretation
'PHIL SNUBS LVG' blasts the Daily Mail's headline. 'Neville quits as United coach to join Gullit on sofa of new-look MOTD.'

Below, Joe Bernstein writes: 'Phil Neville has turned down the chance to work under Louis van Gaal at Manchester United, preferring to sit on the television sofa next season for Match of the Day.'

Wow, that must really sting for Van Gaal. How will he ever recover from this embarrassing 'snub'?

Bernstein continues: 'His position under Van Gaal was likely to be more junior and less influential than it had been under Moyes.'

Ah, so it wasn't Van Gaal who was snubbed after all.

Silly Mediawatch for listening to the Daily Mail.

Big Shock
Headline in The Sun: 'LVG GETS A BIG SHOCK.'

Intro: 'Ryan Giggs admits even Louis van Gaal has been surprised at the sheer size of Manchester United.'

Actual quotes from Giggs: "He won't be overwhelmed but even he's realised how big this club is in the short space of time he's been here. But he's managed at the top level for a long time so he won't be intimidated or afraid of managing Manchester United."

It sure sounds like big Louis has had a big shock.

Brian Reade is no stranger to hyperbole ('The blue skies of summer are no more. Get ready for nine months of depression') but he's somehow managed to out-do himself in the Daily Mirror on Thursday.

As usual, Mediawatch isn't exactly sure what the point of Reade's outrage is and, as usual, we're not sure he knows either.

'The news that Steven Naismith has donated four season tickets to unemployed Evertonians stirred the soul on many levels,' he begins.

'In a summer when Jack Wilshere has been slaughtered for the heinous crime of putting a Benson & Hedges in his mouth, allowing society's football-hating moral guardians to claim these over-paid hedonists spit in the face of their adoring fans, it's nice to see the stereotype challenged.

'Although don't expect Naismith's gesture to be mentioned outside the sport pages, unless it's used as a stick to beat the next young lad who falls out of a night-club tipsy, has sex with a slapper or speeds in a Lamborghini (exactly what most young men would do, given half their wages) and has his role model credentials questioned.'

Relax, Brian. Is it really worth getting so worked up?

After all, it's only two weeks since you were happily sticking the knife in a pampered prima donna yourself, writing of Fernando Torres: 'It's no wonder Jose Mourinho has spent big on Diego Costa and wants to bring back Didier Drgoba. Or why, instead of moving, Torres sits in his country house counting his money. The only wonder is why he always has such a gob on him.'

The moral of the story: erm, we're not really sure.

'Alan Hutton's surprise recall from #avfc wilderness gets a spread in Mirror today, huge turnaround in fortunes!' tweeted Daily Mirror reporter James Nursey.

Is it indicative of Hutton's turnaround in fortunes, or merely of a) the desperate situation at Villa and b) a complete lack of news on Thursday?

Fonte Of Wisdom
'Jose Fonte has pledged his future to Southampton after refusing to join the player drain from St. Mary's,' report the Daily Mirror.

'Portuguese defender Fonte, 30, has given new boss Ronald Koeman a boost by opening talks to extend his Saints deal, which runs out next summer.

'Cardiff made two bids for Fonte and Hull also tried to lure him.'

Which roughly translates to 'Premier League footballer rejects move to Championship'.

As we've said, it really is no-news Thursday.

The MailOnline have managed to find some news-worthy content, of course, with the story: 'Lampard celebrates new City deal by taking Bleakley out to dinner.'

Mediawatch doubts Frank Lampard and Christine Bleakley have ever been out for dinner before. The lucky sods.

An insight into Blackpool's transfer policy, courtesy of the Daily Mail: 'Winger Edu Oriol, twin brother of new left back Joan, could sign from AEL Limassol.'

"So, Joan, have you got any brothers or mates who like to play?"

Laboured Intro
Writes Greg O'Keeffe in the Liverpool Echo: 'Elsewhere the rest of the nation tuned into the Great British Bake off, as amateur chefs embarked on another series of wondrous deserts (sic) and mouth-watering cakes. At Prenton Park, however, there was little sweet to savour from the Toffees. Everton looked decidedly under-cooked.'

Troubling Intro
'Divock Origi has revealed how Liverpool were spying on him from the age of 14' - The Sun.

Quote Of The Day
"If you are a singer, you just want to sing. You don't care whether it's the Palladium or the working men's club at the end of the street" - former Aston Villa boss John Gregory on how he ended up coaching in Kazakhstan.

"If the World Cup had ended in the quarter-final, you wouldn't ask questions about my ability" - David Luiz tries to convince everyone to forget Brazil's 7-1 defeat.

Worst Headline Of The Day

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A man who pretended to be a ghost by shouting "wooooo" at mourners in a cemetery has been fined.

'Anthony Stallard had been kicking a football around in a Hampshire graveyard with a friend, while also making spooky noises close to be people visiting the graves of their loved ones.

'Police were alerted and arresed and charged Stallard, 24, with using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause distress.

'Prosecutor Tim Concannon said: "He was throwing himself backwards, waving his arms about and going "wooooooo". I'm assuming he was pretending to be a ghost."' - Southern Daily Echo.

Thanks to Mohsin Kahn, Dai Thomas and James Irwin. If you spot something that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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Readers' Comments


sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

Rodgers: The pressure's on


eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

Neville: Reds need a rest


ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

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