The Page That Loves Its Calculator

Arsene Wenger is 'NOT UPSET', Roberto Martinez issues a dodgy guarantee and the 'daunting' 0.0868% chance...

Last Updated: 04/12/13 at 13:30

Swan Lack
We cannot imagine the top brass at BT Sport are happy this morning. And not just because somebody agreed to sign a massive fat cheque embossed with the name 'Michael Owen'.

The cause of their probable ire is the back page of The Sun, which is basically an advert for their Sun Goals app, boasting in massive font that the 'WEDNESDAY WHOPPER' of a fixture programme features '8 PREM GAMES NONE LIVE ON TV'. The advert is accompanied by an image from each fixture (and if a picture of Charlie Adam and Fraizer Campbell doesn't get you signed up, then nothing will).

Mentions of Swansea v Newcastle (which is actually live on BT): None.

That's the headline on the back page of The Sun (right at the bottom, underneath the advert).

Apparently Arsene Wenger has 'rapped the football pundits who say that Arsenal cannot win the title this season'.

As much as we would love to see Wenger rapping (nothing rhymes with 'pundit'), we suspect that these words - "I'm not upset by that at all" - in the third paragraph blow a hole in the whole 'SHUT IT' narrative.

At a push 'NOT UPSET' would have fitted in the same space.

Mediawatch loves a bit of maths so we were intrigued by Roberto Martinez and his calculations when he said: "To make the Champions League, I can guarantee you now, what you need to do is get an average of 1.94 points from the last 11 games."

We're a) fascinated to learn how his Everton side will pick up 21.34 points from 11 games and b) wondering whether Roberto realises that the first 27 games are kind of important too. After all, Liverpool averaged two points per game (more than 1.94, maths fans) in their last 11 games last season and we don't see them on ITV on a Tuesday night.

Martinez should have told Brendan Rodgers about his 'guarantee'.

Pesky Foreigners
The Daily Mail is in full conspiracy mode. 'IT'S A CARVE-UP' screams the back page as they report that 'Roy faces horror draw after Platini's meddling'.

Does he? Does he really? Or does he face an 11% chance of seeing his side put into a pot that could just as easily produce the 'horror draw' of Uruguay, Iran and Bosnia as Brazil, Italy and the United States. There's an 89% chance that none of that will happen at all and we will remain exactly where we always thought we would. What. A. Carve-Up.

We're just amazed it's not somehow Andre Villas-Boas' fault.

Times Table
Mediawatch thought better of The Times. They write: 'The nightmare scenario for Roy Hodgson became terrifying yesterday when Fifa opened up the prospect that England could draw Brazil, the United States and Italy in the World Cup draw on Friday. That "group of death" became a daunting possibility thanks to an unexpected switch in the pots.'

This 'daunting possibility' has a one-in-1152 chance of happening. Or a 0.0868% chance, if you prefer. Daunting.

Agenda Issues
Martin Samuel (ghostwriter of Harry Redknapp's autobiography, lest we forget) writes in the Daily Mail that he believes Andre Villas-Boas 'gets relatively little criticism' because he is a young, foreign manager. Mediawatch would hate to think how he would be treated if he were English.

'If Harry Redknapp had fallen to ninth as Tottenham manager, he would have been decried as tactically inept,' writes Samuel.

Let's take a walk down memory lane, Martin. Back in 2010/11, Harry Redknapp's Tottenham picked up just 19 points from their opening 13 games. This season, Tottenham have 21 points from the same number of matches. Redknapp's Tottenham happened to be sixth; Villas-Boas' Tottenham are now in ninth despite having more points.

Mediawatch does not have perfect recollection but we're buggered if we can remember Samuel attacking Redknapp for losing to Wigan, West Ham and Bolton.

Virgin Territory
From The Sun: 'ALAN PARDEW celebrates his third anniversary at Newcastle this weekend - revealing for the first time: I feared the sack last season.'

From The Daily Express: 'ALAN PARDEW has admitted for the first time that he was close to the sack at Newcastle last season.'

The first time...except for when he said in April after being thrashed 6-0 by Liverpool: "It is out of my hands. My job, until I am told otherwise, is to get this team as right it can be for next week, and that is what I will do."

Or when he said in May: "My job is to manage this football club with dignity, with honesty, which I've done, not just with the players but more importantly with our fans. Hopefully it'll be good enough to keep my job next year, it's a privilege and honour to be in this position. But that ultimate decision is not mine so we could get the points we need and Mike could decide he needs to move to another manager."

So the first time, except for that time. And that time. And probably some other times that we could find if we Googled for another three or four minutes.

Age Difference
Jose Mourinho is having rather a lot of fun trying some double bubble mind games with Manchester City and Arsenal, one of which has an "absolutely amazing squad" that cannot possibly be matched, while the other can be caught in two matches. Easy-peasy.

Mourinho says of City: "City don't have old players or very young players...nobody more than 30, nobody below 23."

City's centre-back partnership that faced Swansea this weekend: Joleon Lescott (31) and Martín Demichelis (32). Mind you, Lescott was only playing because Matija Nastasic (20) was unavailable.

Try harder, Jose.

Backhanded Compliment Of The Day
David Moyes on Roberto Martinez: "He is doing a very good job. He has very good players there. I always told them they could play without a manager because they are very well organised. But Roberto is doing a really good job keeping it going."

Martinez might point out that his signings - Romelu Lukaku, Gerard Deulofeu and Gareth Barry - have scored ten of Everton's 21 PL goals this season.

Headline Of The Day
'Will the Old acquaintance be forgot?' - The Daily Express on David Moyes v Everton.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'WE OWE EU' - The Sun. Why 'EU'? Because Tottenham owe Fulham for beating them and keeping them out of the Champions League, of course.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A man who emerged naked from a storage cupboard at a Premier Inn with a fire extinguisher hose up his bottom walked free after he told a court: 'I'm truly ashamed of myself.' Joseph Small, 20, threw his clothes off and grabbed the appliance from the fourth floor of the budget Leicester Square hotel. He then rammed the hose between his buttocks and began touching himself, Westminster Magistrates' Court heard. Small also urinated on the carpet and a lift door before having to be escorted down to reception by a member of staff who wrapped him in a towel. He then hurled abuse at the Bangladeshi man, barking at him: "This country has been taken over by Al-Qaeda - go back to Pakistan."

'While in the hotel lobby Small again urinated on the carpet in front of stunned tourists shouting proudly: "I come from Sheffield in England." His lewd acts caused £450 of damage to the lift door, carpet and the extinguisher. Small admitted criminal damage to property under £5,000, racially aggravated harassment, and outraging public decency. Prosecutor Darren Watts said that as well as telling Hassan to "go back to Pakistan", Small also called a special constable "Turkish" and his colleague "Romanian", before referring to another officer as a "paedo"'. Small had travelled down from his home in Sheffield with his uncle to do a deal on a used car. He told the court that he was "truly ashamed" of the October 31 incident and that he has many friends from different backgrounds' - Daily Mirror.

Thanks for nothing. If you do spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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Readers' Comments


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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