The Blame Game
Mediawatch isn't quite sure why there is an obsession with finding someone to blame for Jack Wilshere's injury. It clearly wasn't Daniel Agger's fault, after he made a firm but fair challenge. After the initial pain it's easy to imagine adrenaline kicking in and masking the full extent of the injury for Wilshere. And it's too easy to blame Roy Hodgson and England physio Gary Lewin.
Still, there's plenty of hand-wringing around this morning, most notably from Henry Winter in The Daily Telegraph, who writes that Hodgson 'let down England, Arsenal and the player himself'.
The trouble is, Winter then goes on to make a series of very sound arguments for why that is just not the case, writing them off as somehow irrelevant and even confirming that an intial scan after the game revealed nothing more than a bruise.
With the sort of injury Wilshere suffered, what else could Hodgson or any of the England staff do other than say 'Does it hurt, Jack?' This was not a situation like Hugo Lloris at Everton earlier this season, when a clearly disoriented Lloris had been smacked in the head but insisted on continuing. Unless they whipped out a super-fast, super-powerful x-ray machine right there on the pitch, something that Mediawatch, admittedly not a medical professional, thinks seems a little impractical, they could do little else.
Equally Wilshere, desperate not just to prove his own robustness and disprove the perception of his fragility, can be forgiven for trying to play through the pain, if indeed he did feel any significant pain, or for simply trying to 'run it off'.
So everybody, just calm yourselves, yeah? There doesn't have to be someone to blame for everything.
So, So Angry
Arsene Wenger is variously described as 'angry' (The Sun), 'fuming' (The Daily Mirror) and 'seething' (The Daily Telegraph) about Jack Wilshere's broken bone in Friday morning's newspapers so we were expecting a volcano in his weekly press conference.
And we weren't disappointed. We think you'll agree that the angry/fuming/seething Wenger sounds just about ready to explode:
"It was accidental and he's out for six weeks. We want to help him to come back as quickly as possible. The tackle was strong but I think he went for the ball."
He definitely sounds like he is 'fuming with Liverpool star Daniel Agger' (Daily Mirror) in that opening gambit. And there was more when he was asked about possible compensation, and specifically the 'mega FA compo for crock Jack' (The Sun) they were demanding.
"Our finances are not our main worry at the moment. My main worry is for the player."
We don't think we've ever seen him - or indeed any other sane man - so angry.
There is something about the words 'open letter' that should make anybody with any self-respect cringe. You only write an 'open letter' when the people you are addressing have no real interest in what you have to say. Otherwise you'd just write them a real letter. Or ring them. Or message them on WhatsUpp.
Mediawatch could laugh at Moyes for his naked desperation, but instead we will simply highlight a remarkable coincidence...
Number of times Moyes uses the word 'we' in 280 words: 8.
Number of Premier League games lost by Man United this season: 8.
Are you sure you're part of a 'we', David?
Friend Or Defoe
Ian Wright in The Sun on Jermain Defoe: 'He is in my squad because I know exactly what he can do at international level and he can justify his selection.'
(And because he is one of my closest friends.)
There seems to be some confusion in John Cross' mind about what constitutes a 'revolt'.
The Oxford Dictionaries define a 'revolt' as 'an attempt to end the authority of a person or body by rebelling'. Does this sound like what Crossy is (exclusively) describing in today's Daily Mirror?
'MANUEL PELLEGRINI is facing an English revolt at Manchester City.'
Are they rising up to overthrow Pellegrini? Is James Milner planning a coup?
Or is a player who has been used just twice this season in the Premier League not planning on signing a new contract with a club that neither wants nor needs him?
Entirely coincidentally, revolting Englishman Micah Richards was linked with both Liverpool and Arsenal last year by a certain Mr. J. Cross.
And we suspect we don't need us to tell you which Daily Mirror hack included Richards in his proposed England squad for the 2014 World Cup just over two years since his last international appearance.
Concentrating is hard work if you're Paul Merson. For an insight into the simple mind of a simple man, read his Sky Sports predictions for the weekend:
'For Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert it wouldn't be like a normal week of training; you have to concentrate and be serious the whole time and that can be draining.'
Indeed. And so can making predictions. Go and have a lie-down, Merse.
Who Needs Research?
'Playing two up front with Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado is not working for Spurs,' writes Mark Lawrenson on the BBC website.
Tottenham's Premier League record when Adebayor and Soldado have played: Won 5, Drawn 2, Lost 0.
Samuel v Straw Man
Martin Samuel writes an awful lot of words in the Daily Mail defending Match of the Day and its male whiteness, which is exactly what Mediawatch would expect of a white man who writes for a politically right-wing newspaper.
So no, we're not surprised that Samuel would defend Match of the Day. We're not even surprised by Samuel's use of this sentence about the BBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics: 'You could have shot a cannonball through the media hotel and not killed a brother.'
Mediawatch can barely muster any enthusiasiam for taking Samuel to task for suggesting that women's tennis players could not analyse a men's match because they would be utterly confused as soon as they entered a fourth set or that Robbie Savage's views carry weight simply because he has played football. Samuel is a white man writing for other white men - he's preaching to a choir who is already singing his tune.
But what we will do is question why he felt the need to launch a defence of Match of the Day's white maleness at all.
Ah, it's here right here in the second paragraph of 35: 'Match of the Day is under siege again, but this time the enemy is within.
'Danny Cohen, BBC director of television, thinks there should always be a black panellist. Charlotte Moore, controller of BBC1, says women should have a regular role. Unless she plans on sacking Gary Lineker, that can only mean on the famous sofa.'
Let's take a quick look at what Danny Cohen and Charlotte Moore actually said...
Cohen: "If we have five people on a panel show, it shouldn't be five white men. I think the same thing of Match Of The Day. It's a very diverse sport and it shouldn't be like that."
Moore: "I would like a woman as a regular."
Samuel calls it 'death by quota' but read those quotes again and spot where either Cohen or Moore suggests a quota. One (Cohen) quite rightly believes that a sport with 20% black participation on the pitch should - not will - have closer to 20% black participation in the TV studio and the other (Moore) simply says what she would 'like' to see. No quotas are mentioned, never mind demanded.
Bizarrely, Samuel concludes his incredibly long argument against these straw men (and women) with examples of poor punditry from Garth Crooks and Ian Wright; Mediawatch concludes this section by saying that we're absolutely certain that Samuel is writing for the right newspaper.
Harsh Judgement Of The Day
FA Cup winner Kevin Ratcliffe on Roberto Martinez's Everton: "It's easy for them to catch the eye, but they've not won anything."
Headline Of The Day
'Rosler's out to hurt the one he loves' - The Daily Mail on the return of a legend.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'Debut will Ad to Shaw hype' - The Sun shows what happens when you try and crowbar two names into one headline: Nonsense.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'ONE husband returned to live with his wife after she chopped off his penis only to have his member dismembered again. Echinacities.com reports that Han Mou asked his wife for a divorce in Anhui, China. His wife, named Zhang, believed that he wanted a divorce because he was sleeping with other women. So she slipped him some sleeping pills, cut off his penis and flushed it down the toilet.
'She was arrested but let out on bail and the pair continued to live together with their children while Zhang awaited trial. Han Mou said he loved his wife but still wanted the divorce because her jealousy was out of control.
'Fearing that she would be sent to prison, he went out looking for a new partner to become a stand-in mother to his children. So Zhang crushed up some sleeping pills and put them in her husband's glass of milk. When he woke up he started screaming in pain and found out that she had chopped off "everything". Zhang called the ambulance and the police to turned herself in' - news.com.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Cameron Newlands. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at email@example.com