With Friends Like These...
Here's performance psychologist Michael Finnigan on the BBC Sport website, talking about his old mucker David Moyes:
"I know David Moyes. I have not changed my mind about him one bit. He is absolutely awesome - but he is not the kind of guy you can just drop into a situation and expect him to grasp it all instantly.
"You have to give him time to get his arms around it and really understand it. That is who he is. Your due diligence would tell you that. I am pretty sure Everton chairman Bill Kenwright would say Moyes' first couple of years at Goodison Park were not easy because he was getting used to everything."
So, to conclude: He's awesome. But very, very slow on the uptake. Moyes owes you a pint, Michael.
"They can't change horses in mid-stream because the first one is not doing very well," concludes Finnigan.
No, you can't do that in horse racing, Michael. But you can do that in football. Which is a different sport.
Rumour Has It
Neil Custis on the back page of The Sun: 'ROBIN VAN PERSIE insists he IS happy with David Moyes and wants to spend the rest of his career at Manchester United. There have been stories of Van Persie disliking training under boss Moyes and rumours that he might leave in the summer.'
'There have been stories'? Just where did these stories come from, Neil? Who's been spreading these dastardly rumours?
Maybe he's talking about this rumour-mongerer on this week's Sunday Supplement: "I think it could come to a point where United sell him at the end of the season...there have been problems with the training because the training used to be tailored to him and it's not anymore. And there was another issue when David Moyes rightly said everyone starts with a clean slate and you have to prove yourself to me and he didn't like that either because he thought he was above that."
Mediawatch suspects we don't need to tell you who said those particular words.
Oddly, Custis has left the following Van Persie quotes out of his report in today's Sun: "What I need to address are the situations when people are taking it upon themselves to think for me, make assumptions, or interpret things as if they are me.
"Last time I checked, my head was still attached to my body, so I'm the only one who knows exactly what I'm feeling and that is not what I or the fans have been reading."
Mediawatch cannot fathom for a second why those quotes were ignored by a man we always thought was the the lesser evil of the Custii.
Ah, here's Custis again - making a preposterous case for the sacking of Manuel Pellegrini on the grounds that he's not as good as the sacked Roberto Mancini. Except the case that Custis makes is that Pellegrini's first season at City is not quite as good as Mancini's second full season at City, when you may remember that he won the Premier League.
Mediawatch is pretty sure that Custis realises that the Italian wasn't sacked for what happened THAT season. But rather the season when they picked up three points - yes, that's three points - from six Champions League games.
But Custis has an excuse: 'Last season, they found themselves up against Real Madrid and eventual finalists Borussia Dortmund, not quite Viktoria Plzen and CSKA Moscow.'
Odd how he misses out Ajax (Mancini's City picked up just one point from two games) and eventual winners Bayern Munich (Pellegrini's City picked up three points from two games) from that little comparison.
Custis continues: 'City have played 26 games this season and have scored 69 goals. After the same number of games under Mancini in the title-winning season of 2011-12, they had scored 67 - but conceded eight less and had six more points.'
What he doesn't say: And after the same number of games under Mancini last season (after which he was sacked), they had scored 48 - but conceded three less and had four fewer points.
And just in case Custis' argument didn't already look ridiculous, it's accompanied by a graphic that clearly shows that Pellegrini's first 26 Premier League games in charge have yielded 24 more goals and 11 more points than Mancini's first 26 games. So Pellegrini is officially better than Mancini's beginning and end.
But apart from that it's an absolutely flawless theory. Pellegrini out.
Mediawatch was utterly unsurprised to open the Daily Mirror to read Robbie Savage making the exact same argument as Custis. And when we say the exact same argument, we mean the exact same argument...
'People can accuse me of sticking up for my mate Roberto Mancini, but he was sacked for winning the FA Cup one year and the title the next - so where does that leave Pellegrini?'
It probably leaves Pellegrini pointing out that Mancini won absolutely f*** all last season, that's where.
They Don't Speak For Us
Says Robbie Savage: 'NEUTRALS would like to see Liverpool win the Premier League...'
Would they? All of them?
An Injury Of Convenience
And still it continues - even after both Arsene Wenger and Mesut Ozil confirmed the German's hamstring injury, The Sun's Steven Howard is writing of Arsenal's 'claim' of a 'very convenient injury'.
After all, what better time to lose your most creative player - who was man of the match with a goal and an assist in a match that gives Arsenal their best chance of silverware - than ahead of matches against Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea when you're already missing Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey? It's so damned convenient.
The Sun - unsurprisingly for a newspaper that features Ian Wright and Harry Redknapp among their columnists - has been very firmly in Tim Sherwood's corner (he's a propah football man, after all) since his appointment but they've taken their support to extremes with their 'GUTSY OR GUTLESS?' sidebar...
'After the grenade was hurled in their laps by the manager who accused them of not caring enough, the team responded to the enormous and very public kick up the backside.'
Oh they responded alright. By losing 3-1 at home. But yeah, well done The Timinator.
Blast Of The Day
Headline in The Sun: 'SHUT IT JOSE.'
Opening paragraph in The Sun: 'YAYA TOURE has told Jose Mourinho: Keep your big trap shut.'
Actual quotes from Yaya Toure: "He must give respect a little bit. He is always talking about everyone and that is not correct."
Quote Of The Day
"The players were funny because it was a typical training-ground reaction, a bit of gallows humour. They are quite pleased that the gaffer has 'got it' in a nice way" - Alan Pardew.
Headline Of The Day
'PORT AND LEMONS!' - The Sun on Tottenham's failure.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'SWEAT ON SERG' - The Daily Star. Unpleasant.
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