The Page That Is Expecting An Away Win

Luis Suarez is a changed man while Louis van Gaal must be a buffoon...

Last Updated: 15/01/14 at 12:34

Why Can't They Just Be Friends?
The world of football stopped on Monday evening to acknowledge Cristiano Ronaldo's Ballon d'Or victory, but amid the ceremony the Daily Mail's Matt Lawton was left with a nagging sense of regret: why can't Ronaldo and Lionel Messi be friends?

Wouldn't it fill the gaping hole in our lives if they could just get along?

'In Zurich on Monday night, Ronaldo and Messi did at least say the right things,' writes Lawton in his audition to join The Sun's 3am team.

'Ronaldo was deserving of his award, remarked Messi, and from the Real Madrid superstar came similar words of respect.

'But the body language was dreadful, with Ronaldo's girlfriend Irina turning her back on Messi's partner Antonella as the couples sat side by side. It was plain rude.'

And to think that Ronaldo and Messi are accused of putting trivial matters ahead of each other's achievements.

Congratulations the Daily Mail for dedicating a full page to their 'Invincibles MKII' story after finally realising that Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are pretty bloody good.

It only took two years and 28 unbeaten matches in which the pair have played 90 minutes together.

Next week: Luis Suarez is scoring goals like you wouldn't believe.

Honesty: Always The Best Policy
Speaking of Suarez, it seems we can forget his previous 'misdemeanours' because he's now changed man, according to, erm, Luis Suarez.

Said the Liverpool striker: "You work hard for the supporters and for the people. It's important because the last few months were a little bit difficult. Now I've changed and it's okay."

If you say so, Luis. Although perhaps saying you "want very much" to leave played a part in those difficulties, hmmm? Along with all that other stuff, of course.

Suarez continues: "About two weeks ago when I had an open shot at goal and hit the post it rebounded close to my hand, and I was about to go for it and then stopped.

"In the past, I would have gone for it. I tell you I am improving my attitude on the pitch because I know I was wrong in the past."

Oh, are we praising people for not being deplorable cretins these days?

In that case, Mediawatch wants extra credit for not mooning out of the bus window this morning even though the thought of doing so was almost irresistible.

Van Gall
Martin Samuel takes a quick glance at the Ballon d'Or voting, finds his angle and promptly writes in the Daily Mail:

'Louis van Gaal was tipped to be the next Tottenham Hotspur manager, before the appointment of Tim Sherwood. Indeed, some Tottenham fans were disappointed they got a novice, not an acknowledged tactical genius.

'Did you see the votes for the Ballon d'Or? Van Gaal, it seems, doesn't fancy Cristiano Ronaldo; or Lionel Messi.

'Say what you like about Sherwood, but even he could probably work out they can play a bit.'

Yes, Van Gaal's nominations (he voted for Franck Ribery, Thomas Mueller and Arjen Robben) must mean he's an absolute buffoon - unlike Sherwood - and don't at all appear to be a symptom of the tactical nature of the Ballon d'Or voting.

Although, how does one explain World Cup and European Championship winner Vicente del Bosque also excluding Ronaldo and Messi from his three picks?

The Sun boast an exclusive interview with Tottenham youngster Nabil Bentaleb on Wednesday as he discusses his promotion to the first team under Tim Sherwood.

However, Mediawatch wasn't at all surprised to stumble on the following tweet from Tottenham's programme editor Jon Rayner: 'Interesting to see Bentaleb's exclusive interview in The Sun today. Quotes lifted from my int with him in Saturday's match prog v Palace!!'

Remember, if The Sun tell you it's pasta, check under the sauce to make sure.

Headline on 'Four-Midable: Pellegrini says quadruple trophy triumph is City's target'

Quote from Manuel Pellegrini: "We're not thinking about winning the four competitions, we're just thinking about Blackburn in the FA Cup and then to try and win against Cardiff on Saturday."

Magic Of The Cup
Paul Lambert wasn't the first manager to be derided by the press for saying he prioritises Premier League survival over FA Cup glory, and he won't be the last. But what can coaches honestly be expected to say when the papers want to have their cake and eat it?

Darren Lewis' match report of Fulham's 3-0 victory over Norwich in the Daily Mirror is the perfect example. Rather than focus on the mystical wonder of the FA Cup - which the tabs are wont to do for weekend ties when there is little other copy around - Lewis writes:

'Rene Meulensteen toasted his biggest win as Fulham boss - but now faces a 300-mile trip for a fourth-round tie at Sheffield United.

'Darren Bent, Ashkan Dejagah and Steve Sidwell all netted as the west Londoners cruised through at a half-empty Craven Cottage.

'Now, however, the club's fight against relegation - Fulham have won just three of their last 13 in the League - will be punctuated with a long trip to Bramall Lane.'

Of course, despite Lewis suggesting that progression isn't ideal for Fulham's survival hopes, if Meulensteen rests players in the next round against Sheffield United we can expect him to be roundly condemned for not taking the cup seriously.

It's a lose-lose situation.

Looking Ahead
Mediawatch must apologise for being terribly late to this, but now it has been brought to our attention it would be remiss of us not include it.

Said Joe Kinnear in the Newcastle programme on Sunday: "(We want) to recruit players whose futures are ahead of them, not behind."

Strong logic.

No S**t Observation Of The Day
'City look as though they have been liberated by Pellegrini...' - Oliver Holt in the Daily Mirror.

Come to think of it, those 59 goals do suggest some rather impressive attacking performances.

'Emotionally reassuring though it was to see headlines saying 'Holt's A Proper Man' yesterday, I'm not convinced Aston Villa's new signing is the answer to their problems.'

Thank god Oliver Holt has finally had his say. The wait was excruciating.

To think the rest of us were sitting here in the blissful ignorance that Grant Holt might be exactly what Villa need.

Quote Of The Day
"Pogba is one of those players who leaves you speechless. After only three or four training sessions we were impressed by his enormous qualities. We looked at each other as if to say 'Are they blind in Manchester?'" - Gianluigi Buffon.

Turkey-Calling-For-Christmas Quote Of The Day
Said Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer ahead of tonight's FA Cup replay against Manchester City: "I hope Aguero is back, seriously. That would be great. We played against Alvardo Negredo and Edin Dzeko in the first tie and for our centre-havles that was a fantastic challenge. And if Aguero is playing it presents them with a different challenge.'

We're not sure whether Scott Dann shares his manager's sentiments.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'My Tiger feat or I'm Tiger beat, warns owner' - the Daily Mirror.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A British woman tried to sue her former lawyers because they failed to tell her the divorce settlement she wanted would cause the end of her marriage.

'Jane Mulcahy attempted to take action against two law firms that she had used, saying they did not make it clear what the outcomes of her divorce proceedings would be.

'It is believed Ms Mulcahy is Catholic and that her lawyers had not taken her faith into account, the Independent reported.

'She claims that judicial separation, which is less severe than divorce, should have been recommended instead.

'The details of the attempted legal action were revealed at an appeal court hearing after Ms Mulcahy objected to the outcome of her original case.

'Lord Justice Briggs, who presided over the appeal proceedings, said that Ms Mulcahy's claim was a 'striking' one and her case was rejected by the court' - the Metro.

Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters John Whelan and James Giles. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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