Where Art Thou Frank?
According to The Sun, darling of the English media Frank Lampard was 'rested' on Wednesday night while Juan Mata and David Luiz were 'benched'. Subtle.
The Sun continue: 'The area of concern is replacing Lampard. Ramires is sound but John Obi Mikel is not a long-term solution.'
Three things, fellas...
a) Ramires is Lampard's usual partner (not replacament) and he is rather more than sound.
b) Chelsea have won four of five games not started by Lampard this season.
c) You're right about John Obi Mikel; that's probably why they bought the currently injured Marko van Ginkel.
Finally, It's Happened To Me
Neil Ashton is right to laud Arsenal's defence in his piece for the Daily Mail website (it's Thursday Neil, do we have to have the conversation about Ash Thursday not being a thing again?) but his timing is rather askew.
'Naming the famous Arsenal back four is easy: Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny and Gibbs,' writes Ashton.
'It has taken Arsene Wenger years to replace the brilliant defence he inherited when he took over in September 1996. He has finally done it. Whether it is by luck or judgement, he has four defenders who are old school in their approach: they simply do not want to concede goals.'
Finally? This Arsenal defence has conceded nine goals in ten Premier League games this season. Rewind a year and they had conceded eight. The 'finally' is that people have just started to notice that they're actually quite good.
'Incredibly they must now be considered the best central defensive partnership in England. Seriously, name a defence that can compete with them?' writes Ashton.
Mediawatch will take your challenge and give you Jose Fonte and Dejan Lovren, who have conceded four goals in ten Premier League games for Southampton this season.
Once again...you're welcome.
The Daily Mail asks all the big questions. Like 'at what age are we okay to show pictures of a girl half-naked on a beach?', 'how can we blame immigrants for Jennifer Aniston's new haircut?' and, today, 'the alternative Premier League table...so, who comes out on top when they clubs go head-to-head on Twitter?'
If you're thinking 'surely they've not written a story that purely lists the number of Twitter followers each club has and made spurious conclusions' then you're not familiar with the Daily Mail website's work. For that is exactly what they have done.
'Arsenal, proud leaders of the League, are also the most popular club in the country when it comes to social media. More than three million people follow Arsene Wenger's team, which must be hard to swallow for the north London neighbours,' writes Janine Self. 'Tottenham have 691,458 Twitter followers, putting them sixth out of the 20 top flight clubs in England.'
Yes, we imagine that's much, much harder for Tottenham to swallow than the five-point gap to Arsenal in the real table.
More not-so-subtle irony from friend of Mediawatch Adrian Durham on his 'Drive' show on TalkSPORT on Wednesday evening; whilst inviting callers to 'discuss' Ashley Young's latest heinous felony (the discussion basically being that hanging is too good for him), one of the guests on the show - apparently to talk about Manchester City's great win the night before - was one Mr Francis Lee.
Rage, Attack, Slam And Blame
Headline on the back page of The Sun: 'AVB LUKAKU RAGE.'
Headline on the back page of the Daily Mirror: 'AVB SLAMS LUK OVER LLORIS KO.'
Headline on the back page of the Daily Express: 'AVB attack on Lukaku.'
Headline on the back page of the Daily Star: 'I BLAME LU.'
Actual quotes from AVB: "He's a young player and wonderfully gifted - but I think he could have jumped over perfectly. I want to believe that Lukaku's leg was not left late to clash into Hugo's head. And I am disappointed Lukaku has not got into contact with Hugo."
Give the man space...he's going to explode.
Hart Of Stone
Several newspapers have taken a punt on who will be in Roy Hodgson's squad on Thursday with Saido Berahino, Luke Shaw and Ravel Morrison amongst the touted names. But the Daily Star's David Woods is obviously not one for a simple punt. He's gone for the full 'head on the block' craziness...
'ROY HODGSON is ready to give a vote of confidence to goalkeeper Joe Hart by sticking with him for England.'
He's going to look a damned fool if he's got this one wrong.
For The Love Of Sven
Here's a wonderful story - as revealed by The Guardian - culled from every version of Sven-Goran Eriksson's new autobiography except the Norwegian edition:
'"We soon found ourselves naked on the sofa," Eriksson explains. "She had not said anything about being married but suddenly the door opened and there was a big man: 'Who the hell are you?' he said. I said: 'I think it is probably best if I leave,' and he replied: 'I think it probably is.'"
'Eriksson was forced to leave the flat without jacket, wallet, mobile phone or shoes. Luckily, he found a pair of basketball shoes, size 46, in the stairwell. "I normally, like Maradona, wear shoes the size of 39 but what choice did I have? I had to borrow them," Eriksson writes. "What would have happened if a photographer had seen me, walking around in just a shirt with basketball shoes seven sizes too big? That would probably have created a few headlines."'
In summation: First half good, second half not so good.
Quote Of The Day
"We had 11 shots before they scored and sometimes it was like they were defending with four legs, but football is a game of results" - Jurgen Klopp accurately describes the curious limbs of Per Mertesacker.
Word Of The Day
Klopp-trapp: Coined by The Sun's Mark Irwin. We're fans.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'WUNDERBAAR' - The Daily Mirror. And no, putting AAR in yellow does not rescue this stinker.
Actually No, This Is Worse
'MICHU'S IN AGO-KNEE' - The Daily Star.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'SCHOOLBOY had sex with his dog on a public common in front of shocked onlookers, a court has heard. The 15-year-old was seen on his knees and witnesses said he appeared to be aroused, a judge has been told. When he realised he had been spotted, the teenager wiped his stomach with his T-shirt then zipped up his jeans and fled, the court heard...One witness, who stood 20 yards away from the boy at the time of the alleged offence, told the court she first thought it was two people having sex. She told the hearing: "He was kneeling and the best way I can describe it as the dog was in a missionary position." She said she was "confused and then horrified" when she realised it was a dog. "He had his trousers around his hips. He appeared to be aroused, " she said. When asked by prosecutors what the boy was doing, she told the court: "It was a rhythmic movement - back and forth. The whole episode was about five minutes."...Another witness to the alleged attack, Agniszka Fyele-Sapinska, said she felt "sick to her stomach". After walking back from a children's playground, she said she first saw him on his knees with the dog. "He was a bit bigger than normal. He was having difficulty zipping up that area."' - The Daily Star.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Gerry McGreevy. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting Mediawatch in the subject field.