Mediawatch likes David Beckham. We like his hair, we like his handsome face, and we believe his abilities as a footballer were often underplayed because of his admittedly fairly cynically enhanced 'image' or 'brand' or whatever else you want to call his commercial whoring over the years.
We also like that he will be donating his PSG salary to charity. However, we don't like the tonguing of his bottom that takes place in the papers this morning.
Neil Ashton in The Daily Mail reports that Beckham 'stunned the football world' with the charitable donation, going on to say that 'By the time he had finished delivering his first word in French, the Parisians had fallen for David Beckham.'
Martin Lipton in The Daily Mirror says: 'But as much as the gesture to give all his salary to a children's charity took the attention, it was the sheer enthusiasm of football's Peter Pan that caught the eye.' He goes on to call him a 'statesman.'
The front page of The Daily Telegraph's sport supplement calls him 'Saint David', The Daily Express says he chose PSG because 'he refused to tarnish his impressive haul of medals with a final relegation scrap.'
The usually sensible Oliver Kay writes in The Times: 'It is, of course, all about the brand - a move based purely on commercial considerations. For Paris Saint-Germain, that is. But for David Beckham, the latest move in his extraordinary career appears, first and foremost, to be all about football....He does not want to be on easy street, in a low-class league.'
Yes, donating this money is quite obviously a very good thing. But let's not pretend this is a purely altruistic gesture, eh? There are assorted tax reasons for the deal that we don't pretend to fully understand, plus Beckham's career is coming to an end - soon all he'll have is the 'brand', and what better way to enhance his 'brand' than be the guy who played for free and gave £4million to some French kids? And of course, he won't be playing for free - those image rights will keep him in sharp suits and croissants for five months.
A fine gesture, but quit with the saint schtick, yeah?
Eesh. We're annoyed, papers. You've turned us against lovely David.
Bringing Becksy Back
"We haven't made an offer, good luck to him" - Carlo Ancelotti, November 20.
"I know that he is leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy, but we are not interested" - Carlo Ancelotti, December 29.
Hats off to The Daily Mirror's Darren Lewis, who on Thursday wrote a piece predicting ten transfers he 'expected' to happen.
The players he predicted would move were Tom Ince, Peter Odemwingie, Jack Butland, Jonas Olsson, Brede Hangeland, Gary Hooper, Etienne Capoue, Pierre Emerick Aubemeyang, Willian and Tom Huddlestone.
Still, one out of ten isn't too bad. Is it?
From The BBC Website's deadline day transfer blog:
'17.48: League Two leaders Gillingham sign midfielder Anton Robinson from Huddersfield on loan until the end of the season.
'Gills boss Martin Allen also reveals he left a phone message for his chairman Paul Scally about a 'Premier League' club making an offer for one of their players.
"Mr Scally called my mobile 1.7 seconds later asking who it was and which club it was? I let him know it was from Lewes (Ryman Premier). The phone line went dead and I must say I laughed and laughed and laughed."
Whatever you do, don't call him 'mad dog', though.
As you'll probably know, Nottingham Forest were, after Peter Odemwingie, the second-biggest laughing stock of deadline day, after apparently cancelling a deal to sign Peterborough's George Boyd because he didn't have 20/20 vision.
Hats off therefore to the chaps across the Trent. The first story on the Notts County official website this morning was the following:
'Three members of Notts County's squad underwent eye tests at the West Bridgford branch of club sponsors Vision Express on Thursday afternoon...
'Hamza Bencherif, Liam Mitchell and striker Enoch Showunmi all paid a visit to the opticians and were delighted to be given the all clear by the friendly and helpful staff at Vision Express, who are in their third year as Notts County's away shirt sponsors.'
Just a coincidence, we're sure.
There were of course many amusing tales on deadline day. The obvious one was Odemwingie's odysessy, travelling from West Brom to QPR only to be turned away, but still giving an interview in which he referred to the Rs as 'we', and was then described as being 'at large' by a Sky reporter as if he was a feral dog or bank robber.
Then there was the lovely Sky lady at Norwich sagely informing us of a £9.2million bid by Norwich for Gary Hooper, when that turned out to come from a parody Twitter account of The Sunday Times hack Duncan Castles. Both Norwich and Celtic confirmed this story to be a nonsense.
However, by some distance the most underrated tale from Thursday was poor old Maarten Stekelenburg, the Roma goalkeeper, who thought he was on his way to Fulham.
Indeed, so convinced was he that he boarded a plan from Rome to London, happily tucking into his peanuts and gin & tonic, under the impression that the deal was on.
Yet those peanuts probably rose a little in his throat when he landed at Gatwick, where he was told that because Roma had failed to find a replacement, the deal was off. He was told he would have to return to Italy.
Upon landing, he told reporters in Italy that he would 'need some time to get over' the events of the day. No sh*t.
Pep Guardiola probably doesn't regret his decision to take over as Bayern Munich manager at the end of the season. Big club, lots of money, chance to win loads of trophies and stuff.
However, he got his first taste of the marvellous German press today, for the lead story on Bild's fussball section was a picture of Pep scratching his...well, Little Pep.
Quote Of The Day
"Listen I will tell you in English ok? Because my English is very bad, ok? I never gave a f*** about what you wrote and I will not give a f*** now what you are writing. So I don't give a f*** what you write or what you will write in the future. Write anything that you want. Ok. Ciao" - Mario Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola reacts to a kiss and tell story about his client.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'Nacho Born Filler' - The Daily Mirror.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'Mourners couldn't believe their eyes when a 101-year-old woman sat up and spoke - just as she was being put in her coffin. Peng Xiuhua wanted to know why so many people were in her house in Lianjiang, Guangdong province, China. Peng, who lived alone, had taken a tumble and hurt herself so her two daughters, who are in their 70s, were looking after her. However, 10 days later her daughters could not detect a heartbeat and her body had gone stiff so she was declared dead. The daughters gave her a bath, an undertaker dressed her and they were about to put her in her coffin when she came back to life. Peng said: "I am a lucky woman. Not only did I get to see how many people care for me, but I also woke up before they took me to the crematorium" - Orange.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters Joseph Lawson-West and Ed Taylor. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subjct field.