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Providing a link to one piece we disagree with and not to another. Hypocrites, we know...

Last Updated: 05/11/13 at 12:13

A Link
Not to let you behind the curtain too much here, but the author of today's Mediawatch is white. Thus, we feel rather uncomfortable arguing with John Barnes, a victim of horrendous racism throughout his career, on this particular subject.


Barnes writes an extraordinary piece in The Guardian, the tone of which is set from the very first line:

'I'm not interested in what happened to Yaya Touré at CSKA Moscow - as far as I'm concerned their supporters can abuse who they want.'

Blimey. Barnes does go on to explain that English people have bigger concerns than racism in Russia, given the racism that is still endemic in football and indeed society in this country, which is of course true, but as far as we're aware we don't have a finite capacity for outrage against outrageous things. We can be 'interested' in both things, we think.

Barnes goes on: 'As soon as someone like Touré or Danny Rose gets abused in Eastern Europe there is shock and outrage from players, clubs and the authorities, yet no one is speaking about the people living in inner cities like Brixton who, because of their appearance and their background, have become completely disenfranchised from society...

'...if I was someone like Touré or Rose I'd feel embarrassed if I had to look at someone who was suffering genuine racism and take their sympathy. A millionaire getting booed in Russia is nothing compared with generations of people never getting the chance to better their lives and those of their children.'

Again, there's a point in there somewhere, but it's surely counter-productive to imply that footballers have little right to complain about being racially abused because they are rich and there are other people disenfranchised. Does money give you a racism shield? What's the limit? What level of wealth does someone have to reach before he is no longer allowed to be offended by racism? £1million? £5million?

If footballers like Toure and Rose simply ignored abuse, would that not make it worse for everyone else? If we are to accept the notion that footballers are role models, would them reporting abuse not potentially encourage these people living in Brixton to stand up as well?

He continues: 'Personally, I don't blame Suárez or Terry for what they did - they are simply products of a society and environment that allows them to think it is OK to speak about certain people in a certain way.'

Odd then, that many other footballers and indeed people in general that are products of this society and environment can get through the day without calling someone a black c*nt. Excusing those found guilty of racist abuse because they're a product of a society is, if you'll excuse us, a cop-out.

Of course, Barnes raises a number of important issues in his column, and they are issues that should be debated. In the interests of pith, we have obviously only included extracts from the piece here, so we encourage you to read the whole thing and make your own mind up.

No Link
We won't be providing a link to Adrian Durham's piece on The Daily Mail website as he once again hefts the hod of hot bullshit onto his shoulder and pours it into the eyes of an unsuspecting public. Or, actually, since they should know all about Durham's hot bullshit already, an entirely suspecting public.

Durham has some advice for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. It's simple advice with apparently no potential obstacles.

'You can talk about another striker or maybe another defensive midfielder but I think what they need is someone with experience of winning the Premier League title, because not one player in their current squad has done that.

'And that's why Arsene Wenger should take Joe Hart on loan in January.'

There you go. Simple as that. No issues here. Apparently Manuel Pellegrini 'has no right to stop Hart moving in January'. He does, Adrian. That's sort of how this works. He has every right to not lend the England goalkeeper to a potential title rival. And that's ignoring the fierce logic of Arsenal replacing their in-form keeper with an out-of-form keeper.

Durham also seems to blame Pellegrini for Hart's woes, calling the City boss a 'keeper killer' and writing:

'Not once has Pellegrini backed Hart with conviction this season....The mistakes of Javier Garcia and Matija Nastasic have gone unnoticed as Pellegrini has happily let Hart take all the blame because it fits with his agenda.

'Hart deserves some of the blame for sure, but Pellegrini has treated him disgracefully by making him the fall guy.

No matter that Hart's form had been circling the drain long before Pellegrini arrived - it's Pellegrini's fault because 'he wants to bring his own man, Willy Caballero, from his old club Malaga'.

Durham goes on to unfavourably compare the way Pellegrini has treated a man out of form with the way Arsene Wenger did, writing of the Arsenal manager: 'His man-management of Aaron Ramsey has been brilliant, and he could do the same for Hart. Wenger backed Ramsey in the face of fierce criticism from Arsenal fans last season, and that's what Hart needs right now.'

No matter that, when faced with an out-of-form goalkeeper in Wojciech Szczesny last season, Wenger did exactly the same as Pellegrini, dropping the Pole for his compatriot Lukasz Fabianski.

Indeed, in September Szczesny said it did him some good: "Lukasz was in better shape at that moment in time, he came in and did really well. I worked really hard to get back into the team and when I did I thought I did pretty well. It was good decision by the manager.

And again in October: "Looking back now it was a good lesson for me, one that I needed at the time."

If you insist on searching out that whole piece in the interests of context, it's on your own head.

No Protection
David Moyes is worried about Adnan Januzaj. He's worried that the big boys are being mean to him. He's worried that the big boys are kicking him. And he wants someone to protect him.

He said: "I do think Adnan is going to need a little bit of protection or we are going to find that he is getting kicked up and down.

"I do think he deserves a little bit more than he is getting at this present time."

Righto. Not uncommon for a manager with a delicate flower of a player in his ranks to ask for some protection for said flower. Still, Moyes was asked to clarify his comments.

"It is not a case of asking for protection," he said.

Oh. So he's not asking for protection then?

"We are just saying that somewhere along the line, people will need to let the boy, if he is going to keep playing in the fashion and style we want, he is going to have to get some protection from it."

Ah. So he is asking for protection then?

"But we will never ask for any."

So he...ah never mind.

A couple of points to The Sun and scribe Andrew Dillon, reporting the following quotes from Jan Vertonghen.

When asked if he was a utility man for Spurs, he said: "It feels like that sometimes. I can play at left-back and I can help the team at times. But everyone knows I am not a left-back.

"Once there are injuries, I'm the first to fill in the gap. Sometimes it's better if you can only play in one position."

1) Those words in no way constitute a 'dig' or a 'swipe' at Andre Villas-Boas 'in a clash over tactics'.

2) It's not an EXCLUSIVE! if you attribute the quotes to Belgian TV.

Reports The Newcastle Chronicle, in a story linking Yohan Cabaye with Roma:

'Whether Cabaye would swap the Premier League for the less fashionable Serie A remains to be seen.'

Aye, why on earth would he swap a basket case club in the north-east of England for the Serie A leaders who play in Rome?

'It's A Good Job You're Pretty' Quote Of The Day
"I love English pop rock. I love The Beatles, Coldplay, Green Day" - Olivier Giroud.

Maths Quote Of The Day
"Saipan is 13 years ago" - FAI big cheese John Delaney on Roy Keane's spat with Mick McCarthy in 2002.

'We See What You Did There' Intro Of The Day
'Jermain Defoe says he still loves West Ham - just eight weeks before the opening of the January transfer window' - Neil McLeman in The Daily Mirror.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'Hughton...we have a problem' - The Daily Mail.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A group of five French teenagers have been arrested after drunkenly stealing a circus llama named Serge and taking on him on a tour of Bordeaux via the city's tram system. The animal was abducted by the youths early on Thursday morning after they wandered into a closed-down circus. The quintet had recently exited a club in Bordeaux, a city renowned as the country's wine capital.

"We went in and played with the animals," one of the five, named Mathieu, told BFM TV. "We ended up taking a llama with us." The group had originally set their hearts on taking a zebra home, but after the beast proved too stubborn they happily settled for the more amenable Serge.

"It walked with us like a good dog would have," said Mathieu. The group took the animal onto Bordeaux's tram system but were rumbled after passengers reported the llama's presence to a ticket inspector.

"He moved along the tram and we couldn't hold onto him," said Mathieu. "The inspector made him get off and tied him to a lamppost." Reports are confused as to what happened next but it seems the teenagers proceeded to bid their new friend adieu, leaving him in the care of the inspector' - The Independent.

Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Alex Gibson. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Please Stop Telling Us What To Think


ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

Wenger hails important win


s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

De Gea's Europa League target

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