A Parody? It Seems Not
It's Jeff Powell day in Mediawatchland, and he provides us with another few gems this morning.
The lead item for his column on The Daily Mail website is a character assassination of Rafa Benitez. Now, Mediawatch is not Rafa's biggest fan (we don't support Liverpool), but Powell produces the sort of industrial strength, full-fat bullsh*t that could quickly turn us into as big a Rafa acolyte as even the most cuckoo corners of Red & White Kop.
Firstly, Powell describes Benitez as 'The Ego', announcing that his appointment was always going to fail when paired with the all-controlling Roman Abramovich.
'Authoritarianism and arrogance. Since when were they happy bed-fellows?' muses Powell, safe in the knowledge that no manager with a massive ego has ever survived working under Abramovich at Chelsea.
Powell goes on to say that Benitez 'blames everyone but himself' when things go wrong but 'is never slow to claim the credit' when they go right.
Without any apparent irony, Powell then goes on to dismiss Benitez as a clown by listing his failures, and shrug off his successes with the old 'it was the players' line.
Example: 'Two La Liga titles with Valencia brought him to deserved prominence - but he had inherited a particularly gifted group of players from his predecessor at the Mestalla.'
See? Nothing to do with him. Let's ignore that Valencia hadn't won La Liga since 1971 before Benitez arrived, and give all the credit to his squad.
Then there's the absolute hallmark of the nonsense argument - 'remove/marginalise the parts of the subject that don't suit my case.'
Powell writes: 'Liverpool is perceived as the zenith of his career but he surely would have been shown the Anfield door seasons sooner, for under-achieving in the Premier League, but for that Champions League miracle on the banks of the Bosphorus in 2005.'
Well, yes, of course Benitez may have been sacked had he not won the Champions League. But hey - Sir Alex Ferguson would probably be out on his arse by now had he not won all those league titles.
If it was anyone else, Mediawatch would think that a column in which a man is criticised for taking all of the credit for the good but none of the blame for the bad, but then gives the same man all of the blame for the bad but none of the credit for the good was a parody. But this is Rowley Birkin QC, writing a 'brilliant new commentary' which 'tackles the big issues across the wide world of sport.' We should really expect nothing more.
Making A Stand
Another Friday staple for Mediawatch is Mark Lawrenson's predictions column, in which he goes up against whichever saucer-eyed, confused celebrity they have roped in this week to test his football knowledge. He has thus far been out-predicted by rugby man Kevin Sinfield, rap singer Wretch 32 and Hulk Hogan.
However, Mediawatch simply refuses to read or engage with the column this week, on moral grounds. We're making a point. Taking a stand. Fighting the good fight.
Why? His opponent in prediction is Piers Morgan.
Enough is enough.
Maths With F365
From the Big Weekend column on a site not a million miles from here:
'Speaking of the Southampton boss, he has now been in charge for five games, only winning one. Of course, it's a short amount of time, and those five games have featured three draws and two creditable performances in the two defeats.'
The award for most curious passage of the day goes to David Anderson in The Daily Mirror, who writes as part of his interview with Arouna Kone:
'Appearances are deceptive with Kone - a bargain £3million buy from Levante in August - and his dyed hair suggests he is another El Hadji Diouf.
'But he pulls up the sleeves of his training top to reveal no tattoos or jewellery.'
Credit Where Credit's Due
'Brutal move by Abramovich to sack Di Matteo 6 months after he won Champions League. Shouldn't be surprised though. It's how Chelsea operate' - Oliver Holt on Twitter, November 21.
'First, they announced in the morning that they had appointed Rafa Benitez to replace Roberto Di Matteo, who won the Champions League six months ago' - Oliver Holt in The Daily Mirror, November 23.
'Benitez versus a squad of players who pretty much won the Champions League by running the show on their own and who are famously independent' - Oliver Holt in The Daily Mirror, March 1.
Brendanism Of The Day
"I've made him sort of my architect within the group. He and I communicate a lot, so I get a feeling" - Brendan Rodgers on Luis Suarez.
'That Explains A Few Things' Quote Of The Day
"We don't plan for anybody. It is always the same - focus on our strengths and forget about your opponent" - Arsene Wenger responds when asked if he has any special plans for Gareth Bale.
Headline Of The Day
'Interim, interim, they've stuck the knives interim' - The Daily Mirror gets credit for this one, largely because we've been trying to think of something along these lines for two days and couldn't come up with anything that worked.
Non-Football Headline Of The (Other) Day
'Man flashes at bus driver, then removes false teeth and steals schoolboy's basketball' - KentNews.co.uk.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'Police in the border city of Mexicali say they have recovered a powerful improvised cannon used to hurl packets of marijuana across a border fence into California. Police told the Televisa network that the device was made up of a plastic pipe and a crude metal tank that used compressed air from the engine of an old car. The apparatus fired cylinders packed with drugs that weighed as much as 13 kilos, police said. It was confiscated last week after US officers told Mexican police that they had been confiscating a large number of drug packages that appeared to have been fired over the border. Mexican police on the border have recovered a series of similar devices in recent years' - The Guardian.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters David Cook. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at email@example.com, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.