‘Curls in,’ ‘drives in,’ and ‘pokes in’ from BBC Sport. Frankly, Mediawatch wishes it could ‘poke in’ like that. No, not like tha… ahh, forget it.
“This season Ozil is at the level of David Silva, but David Silva has been doing it for four or five years. They are very similar, both like to play in the pockets, both play in the No10 role and both left-footed. If I was going to talk about the difference between the two, Mesut Ozil turns games. David Silva runs games. That’s why I would Silva just ahead of him and that’s the level for Mesut Ozil to go to.” – Jamie Carragher, speaking on Monday Night Football for Sky Sports. Before Arsenal 2-1 Manchester City became a thing, obviously.
Asked which player he would prefer to play with, Carragher added: “Silva, every time. I still think Silva is a cut above him (Ozil).”
David Silva’s stats against Arsenal:
2 shots (both off-target)
41 passes at 87.1% accuracy
Mesut Ozil’s stats against Manchester City:
0 shots, but 1 impeccable duck
37 passes at 89.2% accuracy
4 tackles (more than any player except Fernandinho
As an aside, since Ozil joined Arsenal in September 2013, he has scored 11 goals and assisted 29 in 54 Premier League games; Silva has 22 goals and 20 assists in 69 games in that time. Is one really ‘a cut above’ the other?
But still, it was good to see Silva running the game, while Ozil was busy turning it.
Spot the difference
‘Roman Abramovich has told Pep Guardiola he will give him anything he wants to take over at Chelsea next summer.’ – Martin Lipton’s exclusive for The Sun.
‘Roman Abramovich is ready to pit his billions against those of Manchester City by trying to lure Pep Guardiola to Chelsea.’ – Neil Ashton’s exclusive for the Daily Mail.
‘Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will break the bank in an attempt to outbid Manchester City and land Pep Guardiola as his new manager this season.’ – Tony Banks’ exclusive for the Daily Express.
‘Chelsea will go all out to get Pep Guardiola as their next manager.’ – David Woods’ exclusive for the Daily Star.
The Oxford Dictionary gives one definiton of the word ‘exclusive’ as: ‘(Of an item or story) not published or broadcast elsewhere.’
Four stories, all from the same morning and all saying the same thing, cannot be claimed as an EXCLUSIVE, chaps.
It’s not about the money
‘Jose Mourinho will have to take a massive pay cut to land the Manchester United job’ – Daily Mirror.
‘Jose Mourinho is willing to take a £16m pay cut to be the next Manchester United boss’ – Daily Star
How does an unemployed man take a pay cut?
By hook or by Crooks
Garth Crooks has once again disappointed Mediawatch with a sensible selection for his team of the weekend for BBC Sport, picking a 4-1-3-2 formation, but with each player in their actual positions. His inclusion of Charlie Daniels at left-back may shock Harry Redknapp, who opted to put the Bournemouth man in central midfield in his selection for the Daily Telegraph, but we’ll let them sort that out between themselves.
But Garth Crooks is still Garth Crooks, and so he delivers plenty of Garthisms in his explanations. Here are the highlights:
* Crooks explains his reasoning behind choosing Daniels as basically because he scored a winning penalty against West Brom. A penalty that, by Crooks’ own admission, should not have been awarded.
* On John Terry: ‘To keep his team-mates on message in the midst of this reaction shows a quality I don’t normally associate with the Chelsea captain.’
Because leadership is something rarely attributed with England’s Lion, John George Terry.
* On Leicester, after selecting Riyad Mahrez: ‘Their change in fortune is extraordinary and demonstrates what is possible once players start to believe. So here’s the thing – do Leicester City actually believe they can win the title? The way Riyad Mahrez is playing he believes it. His two penalty conversions were slotted past Tim Howard with such confidence it was scary.’
So Leicester have shown what is possible when you believe, says Garth. But do they actually believe, asks Garth? The way Mahrez is playing, he believes, says Garth.
It’s like he’s having a conversation with himself. At this stage, he probably is.
Nacho, Nacho man
You, like Mediawatch, may have watched Arsenal’s win over Manchester City on Monday night. Some people not only watched the game at the Emirates Stadium however, they learned from it. Five things, to be exact.
The third of five lessons from The Sun is particularly eye-opening. Accompanying Mark Irwin’s report is the following:
‘After his abject first-half display, Spanish left-back Nacho Monreal is unlikely to join the long list of Arsenal players signed by Manchester City.’
Monreal completed more blocks, made more clearances, and completed the same amount of take-ons as opposite number Aleksandar Kolarov in the first half, while the Spaniard played a key role in a defence which allowed just one shot on target. Unlike Kolarov, he also kept a first-half clean sheet.
Monreal is only ‘unlikely to join the long list of Arsenal players signed by Manchester City’ because the Gunners won’t want to sell one of their best players.
Dagenham to the heart
“Guardiola’s going to leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season. I’d like to see him go to Dagenham and Redbridge. I think that would be a challenge for him. Let’s see if he can get them up to the Premier League; if he does that, we’ll all say he’s the greatest manager we’ve ever seen. See if he can do better than the lad who’s there now.” – Harry Redknapp, Friday, December 18.
‘Dagenham & Redbridge sack manager Wayne Burnett’ – Monday, December 21.
Now’s your chance, Pep.
‘Marko Grujic has agreed a five-year contract with Liverpool ahead of completing his £5million move from Red Star Belgrade.’ – Liverpool Echo, 10:00am on Monday morning.
“I find it strange that foreign media convey information that it’s already completed and I was set for medical examinations. The only truth is that I am on vacation. I read in the paper that I had signed and it’s all finalised. That’s interesting… because even I did not know.” – Marko Grujic, 5pm on Monday afternoon.
‘Liverpool join Arsenal and Chelsea in the the sign exciting young goal machine’ – a headline on The Metro website. Yes, ‘the the’.
You may find yourself asking: ‘Who is this goal machine?’ Well, wonder no more. Meet 18-year-old Charlton striker Ademola Lookman, he of three goals in five appearances.
If a machine had been invented with the sole intention of scoring goals, a return of two against Bolton and one in a defeat to Brighton would represent quite the disappointment.
‘Great minds…’ headline of the day
‘We’re Gunner win the league’ – Daily Mirror, and a website not too far from here.
‘Yes, it’s nearly Christmas. Get over it’ headline of the day
‘Awesome Ozil sleighs ’em again’ – Daily Mirror.
Worst headline of the day
‘Our halo won’t slip’ – Daily Mirror. Again. It’s a story about Odion Ighalo.
Recommended reading of the day
The Economist on why the English Premier League has been turned upside down.
Raphael Honigstein on Pep Guardiola.
Tom Mason on Savio Nsereko.
Thanks to Julian Glover and Ed Taylor. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at email@example.com, putting ‘Mediawatch’ in the subject field.