The Mail REVEAL that Louis van Gaal likes to practise passing, Ian Wright forgets a whole season and there's an obsession with Joe Hart...
Steven Gerrard's close friend says he's really good, Oscar is the new Frank Lampard (ish), Roberto Martinez answers a question and more...
Oooh, Aren't I Controversial
Another Adrian Durham column on the Daily Mail website on Tuesday, and another attack on an Arsenal player. This week it's Per Mertesacker's turn.
Mediawatch is simply resorting to a list of ridiculous statements, largely because we're growing really f**king weary of it too. Again, we're reading it so you don't have to. So please don't:
- 'Per Mertesacker is not up to it in the Premier League'
- 'He's making Igor Stepanovs look like Tony Adams'
- 'Arsene Wenger will have to [drop Mertesacker], if he's got the guts to do it'
- 'Keep sticking the big flopping German on the bench week in week out, or stick him in the Gunnersaurus costume to give him time on the pitch at the Emirates'
Yes, after Mertesacker's first match following no pre-season football, it's probably right to never pick him again.
It's not that Durham is deliberately courting controversy, though. Oh no. It's because 'observers can see through the chest-beating, badge-kissing exhibitionism for what it is'.
And Mediawatch can see Durham for exactly what he is, too. The rent-a-gob standard-bearer for an element of the media increasingly satisfied to resort to 'he who shouts loudest, wins' as a means of judging worth. And we're sick of it.
When Three Becomes None
Despite the fairly apparent opinion of supporters, Arsene Wenger has previously stuck to his guns over his unwillingness to bring another striker in at Arsenal.
"We have [Yaya] Sanogo who will be an important asset, we have Giroud, we have Lukas Podolski, we have Joel Campbell who can play centre forward. We have Alexis [Sanchez] and [Theo] Walcott coming back. Let's not forget that," was Wenger's pretty comprehensive response when asked this weekend.
However, the ankle injury suffered by Olivier Giroud may indeed force Wenger to invest.
With that in mind, let's play a quiz: How many strikers will Arsenal now buy?
a) 0 - Wenger will trust his other options
b) 1 - One striker injured, one recruited.
If you answered d) then congratulations/commiserations, you can work for the Daily Express in their rumour mill department. "Arsenal lining up amazing TRIPLE swoop with Olivier Giroud facing long lay-off," screams their headline.
Loic Remy, Edinson Cavani and Loic Remy are the three forwards in question. You may notice that two of those names are the same, but we're only passing on the message folks.
'LOIC REMY, Edinson Cavani and Loic Remy are all on Arsenal's hit list as they seek to beef up their frontline,' says the Express. Twins, perhaps?
Perhaps Mediawatch should be tipping its hat to them for their commitment to trying to get a first class seat aboard the clickwh*re Express (oooh that works, actually), but instead it just made us tut, sigh and curse such a blatant exercise in click-garnering.
The Formation Of Opinions
Martin Keown gives his opinion on Manchester City v Liverpool in the Daily Mail in the form of that most dreary of means, the 'marks out of ten' system, but it was his assessment of Manuel Pellegrini that caused Mediawatch to smile the most.
Awarding Pellegrini 8/10 (that appears to be the highest you can get, drawing him level with Stevan Jovetic and Gael Clichy), Keown piles on the praise in pithy manner: "Went with two strikers and it paid off and you have to applaud that attacking instinct."
Two things, Martin:
1) It was a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Jovetic operating off Edin Dzeko.
2) It's also exactly the same formation as City have been playing since Pellegrini took over. We can probably stop applauding it now, especially for home games.
In the Daily Mail, Jamie Redknapp admits to being mightily impressed by Manchester City on Monday evening, so much so that he can't believe people have automatically chosen Chelsea for the title.
'Last night, City had Aguero, Fernandinho, Kolarov and Milner on the bench,' Redknapp says. 'I wonder if too many people have been too quick to hand Chelsea the title this season.' Yeah, bloody 'people'.
'People' like Jamie Redknapp, who wrote a fortnight ago: 'City are still one of the teams to beat, but the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal will come on stronger this time. I think they may finish second. Chelsea are my team to beat this year. They should have won it last year.'
Mediawatch has had a three-day break enforced by the long weekend, so forgive us for harping back to Saturday in order to bring you this little gem from Steve McManaman, acting as a pundit on BT Sport for Aston Villa v Newcastle, regarding Philippe Senderos.
"Senderos had a fantastic World Cup," Macca claimed.
Mediawatch is fully aware of the hyperbole of modern punditry, but to define five goals conceded in 81 minutes for your entire tournament's work as "fantastic" is stretching the term just slightly.
Said Harry Redknapp, in offering an excuse for QPR's
slow terrible start to the season: "You don't get anywhere shouting and screaming at people. We only had 13 senior players at the start of pre-season, we needed to bring some new faces in quickly and we've done that well. I suppose the only way is up now."
Mediawatch is intrigued by this mystical, mysterious unlucky 13 figure that Harry has pulled in defence of current under-performance. QPR's first day of pre-season was July 14th, as reported by the club's official site.
At that time, the club's website reported the following players in the first-team squad: Brian Murphy, Rob Green, Julio Cesar, Gary O'Neil, Esteban Granero, Mo Shariff, Danny Simpson, Armand Traore, Clint Hill, Yun Suk-Young, Nedum Onuoha, Richard Dunne, Matt Phillips, Joey Barton, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Alejandro Faurlin, Karl Henry, Junior Hoilett, Adel Taarabt, Charlie Austin, Loic Remy and Bobby Zamora.
Pick your 13 from those 22. But it's definitely the 'depleted' pre-season squad rather than the shonky 3-5-2 with the slowest central defenders available that's to blame.
Work Hard, Play Hard
Mediawatch giggled with glee at Tony Cascarino's summation of Lukas Podolski in The Times, amused by the thought of Arsenal fans choking on their lunch whilst reading it.
"If you were to give me the choice of Mezut (sic) Ozil or Lukas Podolski I'd pick the latter every time," Cascarino begins. Okay, well that's ballsy. Carry on.
"Ozil is more technically gifted but Podolski offers more work-rate, hunger and desire, is the better team player and more likely to get you a goal."
Podolski as the hard-working and hungry team player. Either Lukas has a brother or Cascarino has been watching a different player to the one we (and presumably every Arsenal fan) have seen.
Worst Headline Of The Day/Month/Ever
'Martinez will bag Eto'offee' - The Sun never fail to surprise with their commitment to crowbarring of players' names. Filth.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'Firemen in the Malaysian city of Kota Baru showed they were up for the job when called upon to remove a steel ring stuck around a man's penis.
'Zaki Ismail, from the fire station here, said they received a call from the emergency room of the Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital at about 7:25 a.m. on Sunday.
'Zaki said the ring, which was made out of stainless steel, looked like a vehicle spare part.
'"We were concentrating on the job of removing the ring. The man was also unconscious at the time. We had to go back to the station to get the right tools to perform the procedure.
'When asked how the ring got stuck over the man's penis, he said he was unsure as he did not have details' - Inquirer.net
Thanks to Chirag Patel and Darragh G. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.