Steven Howard in The Sun: 'The one-time Special One was supremely relaxed, at ease, and seemingly, at peace with both himself and the world.'
Martin Lipton in the Daily Mirror: 'At first glance he appeared careworn, a pale shadow of who he used to be. Stepping in front of the world's cameras, Jose Mourinho seemed cowed, no longer the Special One, just another manager.'
No longer special? Mediawatch thinks it's quite bloody special indeed to simulataneously appear both 'relaxed' and 'careworn'.
A Cross To Bear
"When they play against teams that drop deep, they can have a bit of trouble because Real aren't a team that crosses the ball a lot," says Nemanja Vidic in The Sun under the headline 'THERE'S NO REAL PLAN B'.
"If you get players behind the ball, it is difficult for them to get through and they have to shoot from distance because they don't have many crosses."
Crosses Manchester United attempted v Real in the Bernabeu: 18.
Crosses Real Madrid attempted v United in the Bernabeu: 40.
You may also recall that Real Madrid scored from one of those rare crosses.
We know you weren't actually playing in that game, Nemanja, but you probably should have been paying a wee bit of attention. Mediawatch is kind of hoping that he plays in the second leg just to see the look of perpetual surprise on his face.
Also failing to watch that first Real v Manchester United game was the Daily Mail's Northern Football Correspondent Ian Ladyman. He writes on Tuesday:
'Sir Alex Ferguson's visit to the Nou Camp to see Real Madrid beat Barcelona in the Spanish Cup last week will have told him several things that he already knew and some that may have surprised him. The form of the Argentina attacker Angel di Maria may fall into the latter category.'
We suspect that even if Mr Ladyman didn't notice Angel Di Maria put in the cross for Madrid's goal, set up two other chances, have five shots and dribble past United players four times at the Bernabeu, Sir Alex probably did.
Question Of The Day
What's the most uncomfortable thing about Mick Dennis' 'Why United have sold their souls' diatribe?
a) That the Daily Express have published a whole page of bile about United 'fans' (and yes, he does put the word in quote marks) on the day of their biggest game of the season?
b) That Dennis writes about United fans not living in Manchester and yet it takes him 22 paragraphs to admit that he's a Norwich fan who does not live in Norwich?
c) That a picture of Shinji Kagawa (who scored a hat-trick against Norwich) is captioned 'TOURIST ATTRACTION'?
Or is there a d) hidden in several hundred words of bitterness from a man who watched his team lose 4-0 at Old Trafford without registering a single shot?
Professional Arsenal fan Ian Wright wants Stan Kroenke to talk. Which is fair enough. He wants him to 'start answering some questions and tell everyone what his detailed plans are for Arsenal' and 'explain why he is not prepared to go the extra mile for excellent players'. Again, fair enough.
But what's this? 'He must also tell us what he thinks of Tottenham's progress because they are favourites to finish in the top four.'
So Ian, you want Arsenal's majority shareholder to come out and say that Tottenham are doing really rather well considering the exits of Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart? For all its relevance, you might as well ask him about his favourite crisp flavour or whether he would make naughty with Kerry Katona if you could guarantee that nobody would find out (of course he would).
Utter Non-Story Of The Day
This may be a new low for Charles Sale in the Daily Mail...
'Luis Suarez's non-appearance for his ESPN man-of-the-match presentation after his hat-trick in Liverpool's 4-0 win over Wigan sparked speculation that commentator Jon Champion's 'cheat' comments after the Uruguayan's handball FA Cup goal against Mansfield was still an issue.
'However, Suarez never does TV interviews straight after a game because he is not confident enough about his English.'
Headline Of The Day
'Hancock's half-time lowdown on Jose' - The Daily Express. Nice.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'Madrid Not A Ron Man Team' - The Daily Express.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'Angered that a Walmart employee refused to honor a "dollar-off" coupon, a Florida woman allegedly retrieved a handgun from her car and waved the weapon at several store employees, police allege. The confrontation at the Crawfordville store began Friday afternoon when Mary Frances Alday, 61, sought to use an Internet coupon. Alday became "extremely upset" when a Walmart assistant manager, Tracy Stockslager, told her of the retailer's policy not to accept such online coupons, according to a Wakulla County Sheriff's Office report.
'After having her coupon bid rejected, Alday allegedly called Stockslager "a bitch and other foul names" and intentionally struck the worker with a shopping cart. As Alday was escorted out of the store, she reportedly warned Stockslager, 48, not to follow her...as several Walmart employees watched from the store's entrance, Alday appeared outside her car "waving the gun in the holster," reported investigators. Alday then removed the weapon - a loaded Smith & Wesson .38 Special - from the holster and pointed it "at all the store employees and stated 'I have something for Y'all.'" The Walmart workers "retreated back inside the building due to being in fear for their lives."' - The Smoking Gun.
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