It's A Daily Mail Thing
Mediawatch is loath to bore you with another bitch about Match of the Day, but it would be remiss of us to ignore the paranoia of Gary Lineker in his interview with the Guardian.
Lineker has been in waspish form of late, repeatedly criticising England's performances under Roy Hodgson, and he is typically defiant when asked about the usual complaints over MOTD.
"I listen and take it. Sometimes I can agree with it but by and large it's criticism without telling me what the (fault) is," said Lineker.
"I always ask: 'What would you do?' Match of the Day has fundamentally improved since we got the contract back - but football is so emotive and that's why people are never going to be entirely satisfied.
"But we're bucking the trends on highlight shows for sport - audiences are down everywhere and, considering the excessive football on TV, it's remarkable we generally hit between six-to-seven million every weekend."
Remarkable, perhaps, or to be entirely expected considering Match of the Day is still the only free-to-air Premier League highlights programme in a country with a population of 54 million.
The interviewer then suggests that there is 'now a deeper dissatisfaction' with MOTD than Lineker is prepared to acknowledge, at which point his paranoia really begins to take hold.
"I don't think there is," said Lineker. "I think it's a Daily Mail thing - and their anti-BBC issue.
"The only thing that has been levelled consistently against MOTD, particularly in the Daily Mail, is that there's a cozy atmosphere and it's the same people every week."
Anyone would think Lineker is being deliberately obtuse in ignoring the vast number of complaints over MOTD's lack of insight and weak analysis that swarm across social media every Saturday evening - while he's tweeting about what a great show it is, Mediawatch should add - but it seems he really believes what he's saying.
"It's as penetrating and acute as it possibly can be," Lineker continues.
"It is ex-players but do you want to go down the journalists' route on MOTD?" he asks when it's put to him that a contrasting voice might aid the post-match discussion.
"I don't even see anyone in this country writing in a tactical or analytical manner. We've got some wonderful writers but I don't think MOTD's quite right for that."
So there you have it. A man who presents the most popular football show in the country spends so little time reading about the game that he can't even spot the huge volume of tactical analysis that's available.
There is clearly no willingness to change, only a desire to defend.
The Soul Of British Football
Said Alan Pardew in 2006: "I saw a headline saying Arsenal are flying the flag for Britain. I kind of wondered where that British involvement actually was when I looked at their team. It's important that top clubs don't lose sight of the fact that it's the English Premier League and English players should be involved. But, to some extent, we could lose the soul of British football - the English player."
Number of English players who started for Newcastle against Everton on Monday: Zero.
'Any doubts about Simon Mignolet handling the step up were blown away when he saved a penalty at Anfield on his debut,' writes Ian Wright in The Sun as he eulogises over Liverpool's form.
Yes, because we all know that only keepers at the top end of the table can save penalties.
'Wenger's Invincibles? Overrated. Check the records, they lost to Middlesbrough, Chelsea and Manchester United that season,' whines Adrian Durham in his Daily Mail column.
'Mourinho bringing the title to Chelsea for the first time in 50 years back in 2005? So what. With the money he had available he should have dominated the Premier League AND the Champions League with Chelsea, but he didn't.
'But Liverpool winning the Champions League in 2005? Now that is what I call a seriously brilliant achievement, and, for me, that is what makes Rafa Benitez the best foreign coach ever to have worked in England.'
For a professional troll such as Durham, this is the excruciating truth in the way everything has to work. There cannot ever be good without there also being bad. It is impossible to praise something without criticising something else.
What a tedious existence that must be.
While Andre Villas-Boas' substitutions in Spurs' 1-1 draw against Chelsea were certainly questionable, Adrian Durham is so blinded by his hatred of the man who took Harry Redknapp's job that he misses the point entirely in the Daily Mail.
'Andre Villas-Boas should ban himself from taking Christian Eriksen off,' writes Durham.
'Had the Spurs manager been brave and kept the Dane on the pitch against Chelsea I have no doubt Spurs would have won.
'But he swapped Lewis Holtby for Eriksen to stiffen up the midfield to try to stop Chelsea dominating. The change didn't work - Andre Schurrle went clean through and only a stunning save from Hugo Lloris kept Spurs level.'
Surely if Villas-Boas had intended to 'stiffen up the midfield' he would have brought on Sandro rather than Holtby, but what does that matter to Durham when dropped points set up an opportunity to criticise Villas-Boas?
'And then Fernando Torres saw red and Spurs seized the initiative again. Had their playmaker been on the field, he might have pulled the strings to seal the win,' he continues.
In other words, Villas-Boas should have been able to see in the future. He should have envisaged Torres' sending-off and consequently left Eriksen on the pitch for that last ten minutes when Spurs dominated.
What a feckless arse Villas-Boas is, not being able to see into the future. That's exactly what 'Arry would have done.
'The Everton Invincibles go marching on, but I am left with one question? Why does Leighton Baines shrink when he plays for England?'
That's two questions, Adrian, and only you can answer the first.
Season After Season After Season
Said Graeme Souness on Aaron Ramsey's goalscoring form: "I played with a guy who got 25 goals every season from central midfield in Terry McDermott and Ramsey should be scoring goals if he wants to call himself an attacking midfielder. They haven't got a world centre-forward, so the midfielders have to chip in with goals, it's as simple as that."
Terry Mac's best ever season: 22 goals in 1980/81.
'Martin Jol fears he is a dead man walking at Fulham,' writes John Cross in his Daily Mirror EXCLUSIVE.
'The Dutchman privately believes it is now just a matter of time before his two-year reign at Craven Cottage is terminated.'
How can a man's private thoughts be the subject of an EXCLUSIVE? Can John Cross see into Martin Jol's brain?
Quote Of The Day
"The main difference we have under Kevin Ball is we have seen more of the ball. Ball and ball and ball and ball - and happiness and more happiness and the ball" - Carlos Cuellar gets a little giddy after Paolo Di Canio's exit.
Needless Kicking Of The Day
'Moyes won't screw up like I did,' bellows The Sun's headline on an interview in which Wilf McGuinness gives his backing to David Moyes.
Headline Of The Day
'We Don't Need To Talk About Kevin' - The Metro.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'I'm Shin Line For The Chop' - The Daily Mirror.
No S**t Sherlock Analysis Of The Day
'That's all very well, but City need to eradicate their problems on the road and find consistency soon' - some bloke Nick Miller on Bleacher Report.
'Team must win games in order to win league' shock.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Darren Hill. If you see something that belongs on this page, mail us at email@example.com, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.