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Jeff Powell will be annoyed if Manchester United draw Monaco in the Champions League this season (so will Monaco), whilst Joe Hart hits out at the FIFA rankings...

Last Updated: 05/09/14 at 12:10

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The Loan Danger
On a day when Roy Hodgson's potty mouth is the biggest football story, Jeff Powell appears on the Daily Mail website like a shimmering oasis in the proverbial desert. God bless that man.

Powell's principal annoyance is the bastardisation of the loan system. It's clear that there is a genuine and valid cause for complaint, with clubs aiming to circumvent FFP rules with loan deals. Unfortunately, that point gets lost in an argument muddled in the extreme.

'Cristiano Ronaldo says he would love to play for Manchester United again, one day.' Powell begins. 'Lionel Messi has vaguely mentioned United as one of the very few clubs other than Barcelona whose shirt he would even remotely consider wearing, one day. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Arjen Robben, Thiago Silva, and Neymar [have done the same]. The way the transfer mania is going it could happen for all of them, for just one day each.'

Could it? Could it really? On Thursday Ronaldo merely mentioned that he could come back to Manchester one day, not for one day. Mediawatch assumed that Powell was simply over-exaggerating for effect, but he then continues that same argument.

'We have reached the scandalous point at which clubs the size of United are allowed to borrow leading players for a season or so, then why not for one match? Sounds crazy? No more lunatic than the beg-and-lend lunacy upon which the transfer window has just closed.'

Well yes, actually, a lot more 'lunatic'. Currently players can only move to Premier League clubs loan within transfer windows and can only be registered for three clubs in a year. The guidelines may indeed not be stringent enough, but they go beyond the scenario Powell is suggesting. Far beyond.

Still, our man does have an example of the 'lunacy' of the loan system: Monaco's Falcao joining Manchester United. And this is where Powell really goes off-piste.

'Falcao is touted as one of the best forwards in the world,' Powell concludes. 'Yet Monaco have leased him out to United like a hire car. It is not players and deals like this for which the loan system was invented.'

'So, can we be sure what Falcao's position will be should United meet Monaco in the knockout stages of this season's Champions League? Have hands already well-greased been shaken on his non-participation agreement?'

As for hints at corruption between the two clubs with the phrase 'hands already well-greased', well, we're just going to leave that one there, but it's worth mentioning that this 'agreement' Powell mentions is so watertight that Manchester United made proactive plans last season to ensure that Falcao would not meet Monaco in the Champions League during this campaign.

The Daily Mail and Jeff Powell - the only ones not to notice Manchester United's decline last season.

Helping Out
From the Daily Mirror website's review of Leicester City's 25-man Premier League squad, as written by Arash Hekmat:

'Leicester City have enjoyed an impressive start to the new campaign despite a run of tough fixtures, holding Everton and Arsenal to draws at the King Power Stadium. A big part of that is down to their new arrivals, with club-record signing Leonardo Ulloa off to a particularly impressive start for the Foxes, Matthew Upson helping to shore things up at the back and Esteban Cambiasso adding plenty of experience and glamour to the City squad.'

Number of minutes played by Matthew Upson in the Premier League this season: 0
Number of minutes played by Esteban Cambiasso in the Premier League this season: 0

'A big part' indeed.

Missing Out
'Sir Alex Ferguson hosts Jose Mourinho, Manuel Pellegrini and Co at annual managers' meeting in Nyon... but Louis van Gaal misses out on gathering of elite' reads the headline on the Daily Mail website.

Oooh juicy, that's quite the zing for Van Gaal, to be ignored in a meeting of 'elite' managers. Especially when it was hosted by Ferguson, the man whose era of dominance he is now trying to replicate.

Apart from that Van Gaal couldn't have attended the event if he wanted to.

'The meet-up is often exclusive to bosses whose sides are in European competition this term, which would exclude Van Gaal.'

Still, Mediawatch supposes that 'man doesn't attend meeting that did not apply to him' isn't as much of a story. Got to satisfy those SEO bods somehow.

Medi A. Watch

There is something oddly enjoyable about reading through a list of Premier League footballers' middle names, Mediawatch fully accepts, but it takes a leap to get from there to the Independent's 'The most embarrassing middle names in the Premier League' article. A big leap.

So, laugh at Phil Jagielka for having a reference to his Polish heritage through his Grandfather's name Nikodem. Ha ha!

And remember to tease Danny Welbeck for 'Nii Tackie' and Mario Balotelli for 'Barwuah', allusions to their Ghanaian parentage. It sounds foreign so it's funny!

And mock Rio 'Gavin' Ferdinand, because 'Rio Gavin is as much like an oxymoron as two names could get.' Really.

Interesting, perhaps. 'Embarrassing'? Nope.

Rank Outsiders

'Rankings Are Cuckoo' screams out the headline in The Sun, regarding Joe Hart's confidence of a result against Switzerland, describing the goalkeeper taking 'no notice of the rankings'.

Number of mentions of FIFA's world rankings being 'cuckoo' (or any other synonym): 0
Number of mentions of FIFA's world rankings: 0

Headline Of The Day

'Roy Of The Ravers' - The Daily Mirror get the glowsticks out.

Non-Football Story Of The Day

'A man who denied drink driving was rumbled after officers found him 'clenching' the car keys up his bottom.

'Kyle Cooper, of Haywood Road, Accrington was arrested by police minutes after they had been involved in a car chase, a court heard.

'When quizzed by the officer he denied driving the car, claiming he was a passenger and refused a road-side breath test.

'Burnley Crown Court heard how police could not find his car keys but when they searched him thoroughly at the station they found them.

'Forklift truck driver Cooper was 12-month community order, ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and disqualified from driving for three years. He was also fined £600 and given a curfew order and suspended sentence until November 22 this year' - Accrington Observer

Thanks to Graham Harris, Daniel Gallagher, Gareth Frier and Mark Williamson. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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