Who's The Boss?
Amid his talk about Luis Suarez damaging Liverpool's brand on Thursday, we missed this little gem from Ian Ayre, when asked if there was any animosity towards Arsenal and how they handled their bid for Suarez in the summer.
He said: "That's the transfer market. Trying to get players, making offers for players, it's all part of the game. Everybody does the same thing in football, everybody's trying to achieve the same thing, we're all trying our best to buy the best players for the best price.
"Anyone who says it isn't and makes a big noise is not really being honest."
We think someone needs to have a word with their boss.
Interesting feature in The Sun this morning, detailing the number of changes each Premier League club made to their team for their League Cup games.
'Who took the Capital One Cup seriously?' asks the paper, although Mediawatch is a little unclear about what the feature is designed to prove.
Liverpool, for example, made two changes and lost. Southampton made 11 changes and won. Swansea made ten changes and lost. Sunderland made four changes and won. Manchester City made ten changes and won, as did Chelsea.
So does taking a competition seriously mean selecting a few different players, or does it mean playing well enough to win?
We're not sure, and we suspect the chaps at The Sun aren't 100% clear either.
Interesting piece on ESPNFC this morning about Phil Jones.
Musa Okwonga writes: 'In football, the concept of "big-game players" is a familiar one. In baseball, they call them "clutch". One of baseball's most clutch players of all time, the New York Yankees' Mariano Rivera, has just retired, amid much reverence.
'And rightly so; Rivera, a pitcher who won five World Series titles with the Yankees, was a closer, someone who you brought onto the field to protect a lead in the game's final stages.
'He was just about the most reliable person you could look to if you ever needed a guaranteed result. Which is where we come to Manchester United's Phil Jones.
'Jones is emerging as one of the most "clutch" players in English football. Last night, he was sent in against Liverpool in the Capital One Cup, accompanying Ryan Giggs in a two-man central midfield. And, in a game bearing an unusual undercurrent of pressure, he helped his team to a 1-0 victory.'
For those unfamiliar with baseball, Mariano Rivera is regarded by just about everyone who has ever watched the game as the greatest who ever lived in his role. He has been an 'All-Star' 13 times between 1997 and 2013. He has the highest number of 'saves' of anyone who's ever played the game. It's not really important to know what a 'save' exactly is, other than to say Rivera has 652 and the next guy on the list has 601, and the next guy 478. To give an illustration of the regard in which Rivera is held, at every away ground he has played at this season, the opposition has held a ceremony saying goodbye, giving him gifts ranging from a bike to a chair made from the bats he has broken with his pitches down the years.
Sorry Musa, but we reckon Phil Jones has a way to go before you can compare him to someone like that.
Position Of The Fortnight
Reports The Daily Mail website: 'Arsene Wenger has paid the ultimate accolade to Michu by likening the Swansea crowd favourite to Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp.'
And here's what Wenger said: "I see him like a little bit, position-wise, like a Bergkamp, more than an up-front striker."
So what he actually said is that Michu and Bergkamp play in the same position.
By that rationale, Mediawatch would like to pay William Prunier the ultimate accolade by likening him to Franco Baresi.
Wrapped Up In Books
Hats off to The Sun, who bring us a big EXCLUSIVE! this morning.
'Arsene Wenger has revealed what drives him on - the fear of being Mr Average,' writes Vikki Orvice.
And there are some lovely and quite interesting quotes from M. Wenger in the piece, revealing that he worries about the welfare of his fans, that he 'feels very average' when he doesn't deliver results and comments that 'everybody has an opinion on the internet straight away.' Quite so, Arsene.
However, arguably more interesting than Wenger's words is the bit where Orvice credits where they came from - a booked called 'The Manager: Inside the Minds of Football's Leaders.'
EXCLUSIVE! To anyone without access to Amazon. Or a Kindle. Or who can't read a book.
Further to a fine piece on this fine site about the nature of language, and how football makes a mockery of it by very clearly misappropriating words, we'd like to talk about 'talks.'
See, 'talks' to Mediawatch suggests something very serious. The UN has 'talks.' Governments have 'talks.' There were 'talks' at Yalta, and Versailles, and Potsdam. Those were all held in the aftermath of wars.
'Talks' therefore does not seem an appropriate word to use about football, and in particular football transfers.
Nevertheless, The Daily Mirror reports this morning: 'Arsenal have held high-level "good natured" talks with Liverpool since the Luis Suarez transfer saga.'
And here's Stan Kroenke to explain the circumstances of these 'talks': "We were at a media conference in Sun Valley this summer, both of us were there. Before I was getting there - and we have a lot of friends in common and I know John pretty well - people were already texting me, 'John says you can have Suarez.'
"Of course, John hadn't said anything. They were just trying to get it all going. It was good-natured ribbing."
So, some mates text some other mates, ergo 'high-level talks.'
For Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt and the reorganisation of Europe after World War Two, read Kroenke, Henry and the suggested transfer of a bitey footballer.
Reads a headline on The Daily Mirror website: 'Villas-Boas adds spice to Tottenham vs Chelsea by revealing he and Mourinho no longer speak.'
This, incidentally, was something that Villas-Boas first revealed in August. August 2012.
Adding spice indeed.
Writes Charles Sale in The Daily Mail:
'There was some consternation in the Manchester United boardroom after the Capital One Cup win over Liverpool during the draw for round four. United directors' growing trepidation - until they were paired with Norwich - concerned facing neighbours Manchester City again after that heavy home Premier League defeat last Sunday.'
So they were slightly concerned that they would draw a difficult team, until they drew a slightly less difficult team?
A ripping yarn, and no mistake.
Headline Of The Day
'Hue to cry off' - A 'labour of love' for The Sun.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'OJ Simpson has reportedly been caught stealing cookies from a prison cafeteria. The Huffington Post says the former gridiron great was recently caught with a stash of over a dozen oatmeal cookies. According to Fox News Radio, Simpson, who is serving a 33-year sentence for armed robbery at Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada, tried to smuggle the cookies into his cell after lunch.
'An inquisitive guard noticed Simpson was hiding something under his prison clothes. When questioned, Simpson allegedly confessed to the theft. "OJ just stood there with a goofy grin on his face as the guard kept digging inside his shirt and throwing the cookies on the floor," a source told The National Enquirer. "When the guard started pulling cookies out of OJ's shirt, the other inmates started laughing so hard they nearly fell over" - Orange.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters Peter Gasston, William Pitt and Mark Halfnights. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.