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Man United can't do right for doing wrong, and Louis van Gaal really didn't want to join Tottenham...

Last Updated: 03/09/14 at 12:37

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Can't Do Right For Doing Wrong
'To sit at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon and watch Manchester United outplayed by Swansea City was to feel a rising sense of bewilderment,' wrote the Daily Mirror's Oliver Holt on August 19.

'Everyone knew they needed to sign four or five world-class players this summer to have a chance of bridging the gap that had opened up between them and the rest. Instead, they signed two very expensive prospects, Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera - then fiddled while their empire burned. And now the gap between them and the rest has not narrowed. It has widened.'

Writes Oliver Holt in today's Daily Mirror: 'United has gone from a club associated with long-term planning and stability to the ultimate short-term, panic-driven basket case. This summer, they have instituted a galactico policy in all but name. The last few months have been a triumph for style over substance. Give it another six months and they'll be charging fans to get into Old Trafford for the presentation of the next star name.'

So United needed to sign four or five world-class players, but when they do sign world-class players it shows they're a panic-driven basket case? We're glad that's clear.

How Did That Go?
Said Tom Cleverley: "I watched the manager's Holland team in the World Cup and from that I think I'm going to be his type of player."

Is it just Mediawatch, or does Louis van Gaal really want to get his point across about rejecting Tottenham?

"If I had gone to Tottenham the job would not have been as enormous as here at United," he said.

"I could easily have gone to Spurs. But I chose the biggest challenge of all the jobs in football. And I really wanted to join the number one club in the country, not Tottenham.

"Financially Tottenham was kind of as attractive as Man United. But in my eyes Man United is still the number one club in England. Tottenham really is not."

It's okay, Louis, we get it.

Loan Moan
There's plenty of consternation in the papers about the number of loan moves on deadline day, with Martin Samuel unsurprisingly leading the whine in the Daily Mail.

Samuel is certain that the trend is a bad thing, but he isn't exactly sure why. One thing that bothers him is Sebastian Coates smiling for the cameras at Sunderland 'as though a true commitment has been made'. Because of course, we all know that loan players have absolutely no dedication to professionalism.

What really bugs Samuel, though, is his old foe Michel Platini and his silly FFP.

'As the only change in the structure of European football is financial fair play, that has to be the inspiration for this rash of loan transfers,' he grumbles.

'So football hasn't been saved from the precipice by financial fair play, but has merely deferred the plunge with the hope of better times ahead.'

Samuel's argument is basically that because this is something new, it shouldn't be trusted, even though loans make perfect sense at a time when clubs are trying to meet UEFA regulations.

It's an argument as vacuous as Coates' smile when he was unveiled at Sunderland.

As usual, Mediawatch doesn't know where to start with Adrian Durham's Daily Mail column, such is the inexplicable amount of nonsense it includes.

On Welbeck, Durham writes: 'If you're one of those people who simple adds up a tally of goals and decides if a player is good or not then Welbeck isn't for you. But if you analyse the game with more depth, then you see the worth of Welbeck.'

Never did Mediawatch think it would see Adrian Durham effectively say that goals are overrated, but it seems he quite fancies himself as a Jonathan Wilson sort. How sweet.

After discussing Welbeck's strengths, Durham concludes with a customary dig at Arsenal, as is his wont.

'And there's a bigger significance in this transfer,' he writes. 'Signing an English player, nurtured and developed through the ranks at Manchester United is Wenger's way of tipping his 'chapeau' to the greatness of Ferguson.

'It's an admission that Wenger knows that despite coming close, the Arsenal manager can never emerge from Fergie's enormous shadow.'

That's the same Ferguson who signed Robin van Persie in 2012 when he sought the missing piece for a title challenge. But no, it's Wenger who needs to acknowledge Ferguson's greatness when it comes to developing players.

All About The Money
Durham also has a bee in his bonnet about Tom Cleverley and Fabio Borini after the pair rejected transfers to stay at Manchester United and Liverpool.

'If you could go and have a chat with 11-year-old Tom or Fabio, and suggest to them both that one-day they might turn down a move because they wouldn't be paid £60,000-a-week (in Cleverley's case) or £90,000-a-week (in Borini's case) and they would think you were an idiot,' he writes.

'They are players who have chosen to pick up money training all week, without the special feeling of playing in front of thousands of fans who have handed over heard-earned cash to watch them play.

'I'm told Cleverley wants to play football. I'm left asking, 'How much?''

Well, considering he's now joined Villa on loan, it looks like that answer is 'a lot'. But don't let that stop you.

Incidentally, if Mediawatch asked the 11-year-old Adrian Durham if he'd like to write about football only to provoke readers with childish simplistic opinions, we wonder what he'd answer.

Actually, that sounds like great fun to an 11-year-old.

Is this the thickest opinion of loan deals you've ever heard?

'When United signed Wilfried Zaha 18 months ago, they immediately loaned him back to the Selhurst Park club, and Palace became the first club in second tier history to have a £15m Manchester United player help them secure promotion,' writes Adrian Durham.

'Completely unfair on the rest of the challengers who missed out. In effect, United paid for Palace's promotion because there was no way they would have gone up without Zaha.'

If not, it certainly comes close.

Laboured Intro Of The Day
Writes the Daily Mirror's Oliver Holt: 'Wayne Rooney wore a burgundy polo shirt for his first official engagement as England captain. Roy Hodgson sat next to him at the pre-match press conference for tonight's friendly with Norway with his arms folded. Rooney, called upon to be the new statesman of the English game, also sat with his arms folded. Rooney crossed his right arm above his left. Hodgson crossed his left arm above his right. It is funny the things you notice after a World Cup failure, when any sort of success seems a long way away.'

Quote Of The Day
"The prospect of working under the manager and Roy, who were both fantastic midfielders, made the decision to come to Villa an easy one" - Tom Cleverley on the 'easy' decision to join Villa, a move that wasn't completed until 17 hours after the deadline.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'Clever Dick' - The Sun have a new name for Tom Cleverley.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A man in his sixties was taken to hospital after a ring became stuck on his penis.

'Firefighters were called by doctors to East Surrey Hospital in Redhill to help remove the ring - with a hacksaw.

'Emergency services arrived at the scene at around 5.45pm on Friday.

'One firefighter told the Surrey Mirror: "It was more of a keyring-style ring than a finger ring. We had to cut it off, we ended up using a hacksaw."

'Fortunately for the patient, the procedure was successful and the ring was safely removed' - The Metro.

Thanks to Jonathan Ellis, Brian Tansey and Anthony Heywood, who all sent the same thing. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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