'Drogba hosts party for Chelsea players to celebrate last season's Champions League triumph...but Torres is a no show,' was the bombastic headline on the Daily Mail website last night.
'Chelsea's hero Didier Drogba hosted a dinner tonight in honour of the Champions League title victory he secured with is former team-mates in May - although Fernando Torres was conspicuous by his absence,' reads the opening paragraph from Neil Ashton.
Conspicuous by his absence, you say? Interesting. Presumably he snubbed the party because of a feud with Drogba? Or maybe he is in the depths of despair and refuses to spend time with his Chelsea teammates?
Or perhaps it was his son's second birthday and he opted to spend time with his family rather than receiving a seriously sh*t ring from Drogba.
Drog Days Are Over
When Mediawatch sees a big shouty headline of 'TORRES IS NO DROG' and the word 'EXCLUSIVE' on the back page of The Sun, two questions immediately spring to mind.
(Annoyingly, this also happens when we're off-duty. It's a problem.)
a) Is it really an exclusive?
b) Did Juan Mata really say that Fernando Torres is not as good as Didier Drogba, as implied by that headline?
The answer to a) is of course that the quotes are taken from an interview in French magazine So Foot so it's only - at best - an exclusive translation. And as for b)...well, we'll give you Mata's quotes and you can can decide.
"With Drogba we were conditioned to play in a certain way. With Fernando it's different. His runs aren't the same. He's not a funnel for our play like Drogba could be. He doesn't like the holding-it-up role. He prefers finding space and facing the goal."
So what Mata actually said was that Torres - described later as "one of the best strikers in the world" - is different to Drogba. So one striker different to another striker with the implication that Chelsea have to adapt to get the most out of that other striker? Hold the back page and call it an 'exclusive', boys.
Three Days Later...
Bizarre stuff from the Daily Mirror, who give a whole page over to quotes from Fernando Torres in Friday's newspaper. The quotes aren't bizarre, but we're wondering why it took Darren Lewis three whole days to lift them from FIFA's official website. Or perhaps he lifted them from a little site called Football365.com, where they appeared later on Tuesday afternoon with a credit to FIFA.com, oddly missing from the Mirror version.
But well done Darren, at least you didn't tag the quotes as 'exclusive'.
The Sun's Chief Grumpypants Steven Howard has written a terribly cantankerous column about the demise of the Premier League. You know the kind of thing - 'the Premier League bubble has burst...the standard of the top clubs is on the slide...a bad draw for both (Manchester United and Arsenal) and the Premier League could be without a club in the quarter-finals for the first time since 1995-96.'
This all sounded a little familiar to Mediawatch so we re-winded back to March and another 'hell in a handcart' piece from Howard, written ahead of Chelsea's second-round clash with Napoli...
'It could well be the last big Euro night for Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday...defeat for Chelsea...will be the first time since 1995-96 that no English club has reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League. And confirmation that English football is on the slide.'
How did that particular story end, Steven?
Kean As Mustard
Glancing further down the page from that March insight into the miserable mind of Howard, we see the headline 'Arise King Kean' in which then-Blackburn boss Kean is lauded for 'working something of a minor miracle at Ewood' while QPR 'seem to be paying the price for offloading Neil Warnock'.
How did that particular story end, Steven?
Poor Brad Friedel. Not only has he lost his No. 1 place to Hugo Lloris, but he has also become utterly invisible in the eyes of the fans.
Tottenham's official Facebook page are conducting a poll on Spurs' man of the match during Thursday night's victory over Panathinaikos. Leading the pack with 289 votes is Lloris. Who didn't play.
We're not sure who should be more upset - Friedel or the other ten players who actually did play for Tottenham but were deemed inferior to the man sat at home watching Emmerdale?
Slight Difference Of Opinion
'Arsenal believe they have won the battle to sign Crystal Palace's England wonderkid Wilfried Zaha. The Gunners will open the bidding for the striker in January and a deal is expected to be struck for about £12million' - The Daily Express.
'Arsenal are growing increasingly confident they have won the race to land Crystal Palace wonderkid Wilfried Zaha. The 20-year-old England international is a prime target for Arsene Wenger and the club will make a starting £9million offer next month' - The Daily Mail.
'Arsene Wenger is confident of winning the race to sign Crystal Palace wonderkid Wilfried Zaha. Gunners boss Wenger's scouts have been watching Zaha for weeks and the 20-year-old forward is keen on a move to the Emirates. Arsenal have put together a package in excess of £7million...' - The Daily Mirror.
To be fair, £12m is technically in excess of £7m.
Headlines Of The Day
'Bor-d'oh', 'PHEW DINESE' and 'MUCHO MICHU' - all in the Daily Mirror and all tickled us. Maybe we're just in that kind of mood.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'Ade to measure as Spurs move on through' - The Daily Express. When you're relying on people pronouncing things badly, it's by definition a poor headline.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A cartoon penis drawn on a blackboard has caused outrage in Slovakia after the rude image was unintentionally broadcast to the nation. The schoolboy humour failed to raise a smile from a selection of disgruntled viewers who were less than amused by the prank. Head teacher Maria Franikova was being interviewed in her classroom at a school in Poltar, Slovakia, about an upcoming strike. While the programme's editors failed to spot the cheeky chalk drawing lurking in the background, featuring a man with a penis as a nose, eagle-eyed viewers did.
'The TV station only realised its mistake after its switchboard was inundated with a raft of complaints from angry viewers complaining about the image. One angry viewer Miroslav Spak, said: 'I don't know whether this was a secret message from the teachers to the government or whoever, but it should have been wiped off the board. There are enough d***heads in politics without creating more,' he added' - Metro.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Peter Truman. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.