Michael Owen: Blogger
Michael Owen wrote a blog on Wednesday. It's...well...it's...let's just say it's not one to read while operating heavy machinery.
You can read it yourself if you like, and to be fair he means well, but we did enjoy him doubting that Twitter would be an appropriate place for debate on the basis that 'the 140 character limit...would mean lots of bullet points rather than a proper debate', which is a paragraph below a list of Michael's thoughts in bullet points.
We do wonder about Owen's argument though, which basically says that youngsters should be treated like they were when he was a lad.
He writes: 'I'm not sure there is much wrong with the old system. Yes, tweak it here and there but letting a kid go to school, have a kick about in the yard and return home to train after school doesn't seem too wrong to me.'
Which of course would be more valid if England had a long and glorious history of producing great technical players in the past. Which it doesn't.
Still, Mickey tweeted this week that he's about to start his 'training' for that BT punditry gig...so that's something to look forward to.
A Load Of Bologna
Hats off to The Sun, who put two and two together and gets 54, somehow, when trying to link Roque Santa Cruz with Stoke. On the basis that Mark Hughes is their manager and, y'know, he's bought the dreamy Paraguayan a couple of times before.
Vic Holly writes: 'ROQUE SANTA CRUZ could yet be heading to Stoke after his wife vetoed a proposed switch to Hamburg.'
And they even have quotes! Bully for them!
Hamburg sporting director Oliver Kreuzer claimed: "Roque would have loved to come and play for Hamburg but his wife, for personal reasons, opposed the transfer.
"It's really a shame because Roque would have fitted in very well with us but we have to accept the decision."
Alas, they didn't quite get the quotes that would have been most relevant - specifically from Mr Santa Cruz himself.
"I think the talks with Bologna will have a positive ending," Santa Cruz told Corriere Dello Sport. "I have every confidence there will be no major problems. I have already told the German club that my first choice is Bologna.
"I like their offer and the economic aspect is not essential for me. I'm more interested in the way of life for me and my family, and Bologna is a beautiful city. I've also had an offer from Turkey, but I have chosen Italy and I hope a deal will be closed in the next few hours."
FIFA rankings day is Mediawatch's least favourite of each month. For a start, we're not sure why anyone really pays attention to them, as if they matter.
However, even worse than that are the people that inevitably pipe up with 'COLOMBIA AT NUMBA FREE?!?!?!?!???!?!???!!!!!!!!1 YOU IS AVIN A LAFF SEPP BLATTER LOLZ #LOLZ!' or similar, as if their subjective and probably fairly ill-informed views carry more weight than FIFA's objective system of working out the rankings, which is based on, you know, how many games a team has won.
It spills over into the papers too, usually as a stick with which to beat England - wherever Roy's brave boys are placed.
Take The Daily Mirror, who scoffed back in February: 'England are now the fourth best team in the world according to the latest rankings published by FIFA. Roy Hodgson's men have risen two places after last week's memorable 2-1 win over Brazil who remarkably remain down in 18th place.'
And today, when the latest rankings were released, they chuckle: 'OFFICIAL: ENGLAND WORSE THAN GREECE - England will crash out of the world's top 10 teams today - and find themselves ranked below Ivory Coast and Greece.'
The phrase 'really can't win' springs to mind.
Summary: Nobody Has A Clue
'Manchester City are considering an £18million move for Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo' - The Daily Mail.
'Manchester City were close to a £23.8million deal for Alvaro Negredo last night' - The Times.
'Manchester City are closing in on signing Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo...in a deal that could cost as much as £28m' - The Daily Express.
It's rather odd that after months of Andre Villas-Boas and Daniel Levy saying that Tottenham wouldn't be selling Gareth Bale, along with absolutely no indication from the player (aside from the odd vague mention that he might want to play abroad one day) that he wants to leave, that it took a report in Marca to convince the English press that Bale won't be leaving Blighty this summer.
The Sun describes Marca as 'Real's mouthpiece', solemnly holding up the paper as the last great bastion of Spanish truth. We invite them to take a look at this list of cast-iron Marca stories, which if you can't be bothered to click features announcements from the paper that David Villa, David Vila, Cesc Fabregas, Fernando Llorente, Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero, Wayne Rooney and Franck Ribery were all definitely on their way to Madrid.
Reports The Sun:
'SWANSEA have signed Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey in a £5million deal.
'Boss Brian Laudrup swooped for the midfielder after he fell down the pecking order at Liverpool last season.'
Welcome Of The Day
"We have got to make sure that the make-up of our squad is right and obviously part of that is making sure that we have so many British players in there. We have got to do that - there is no choice because they are the rules" - Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins makes sure Jonjo Shelvey knows we was recruited for his ability and nothing else.
Worst Headline Of The (Yester)Day
'Cash n Barry' - The Sun.
Lovely Non-Football Story Of The Day (No Penis Story Today)
'A blind couple have told how they found love and got engaged - after their guide dogs became an item. Claire Johnson, 50, first fell for Mark Gaffey, 52, when her dog Venice became friendly with fellow guide dog Rodd at Guide Dog Training classes. The two dogs - both aged three - became inseparable and soon their owners, who are both registered blind, followed suit. After an 11-month whirlwind romance, the couple, from Stoke-on-Trent, got engaged and are due to get married next March - with their dogs acting as ring-bearers. Gaffey, who has been blind since birth, first met Claire when she took her dog Venice to a two-week Guide Dog Training course in Shrewsbury last March.
'He said: "During the training our two dogs, Rodd and Venice, seemed to know something we didn't. They were always playing together and nuzzling up together. The trainers said that they were the love and romance of the course, and they brought us together. We could have easily missed one another by a week because it was a residential course and we just happened to be put on the same one. It's ironic we met there because we discovered that we only lived a mile-and-a-half away from each other but had never met. We were purely in the right place at the right time. I have never believed in fate, but it does seem like it was meant to be' - The Daily Telegraph.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Brian Byrne. If you see something that belongs on this page, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.