Pick me, pick me, pick me
Swansea City could indeed be contemplating the appointment of Ryan Giggs as manager, though appointing a managerial rookie to replace a managerial rookie would go against the first rule of manager/girlfriend appointment: After a bad experience, always go for pretty much the exact opposite.
Hence, local Welsh reports (and the bookies) all suggest that Gus Poyet – a man with experience of fighting relegation – is the favourite for the job.
As Chris Wathan writes on Wales Online: ‘It is looking increasingly likely the club will place an emphasis on experience of the challenges of the Premier League as they seek a quick end to relegation worries.’
So that would appear to rule out a man who has only ever managed four Premier League matches.
That the ‘news’ of Swansea’s interest in Ryan Giggs has largely been written by Manchester-based correspondents – Mark Ogden of The Independent and Neil Custis of The Sun, in the main – is curious but unsurprising. The more cynical amongst you might suggest that rumours of Ryan Giggs being wanted by another Premier League club suit Ryan Giggs above just about anybody else.
Giggs Custis, the coach ‘would want assurances about his future at Old Trafford – and the possibility of him taking over at from Van Gaal – before rejecting the chance to manage full-time in the Premier League’.
So, to re-cap: In order to ‘reject’ a job that he a) has not been offered and b) is not really qualified to do, he needs to be told whether he is actually wanted at Manchester United.
Wouldn’t it be easier just to ask?
Ryan Giggs: The press release
Other highlights from Neil Custis (taking precious time out from stroking David Moyes) in The Sun:
* IF OLD TRAFFORD lost Ryan Giggs from the touchline, it really would feel like the old United was going too.’
Would it? Even if we accepted that ludicrous statement, you then tell us he ‘cuts a brooding figure on the bench’. Make your mind up, fella.
* ‘In a recent interview he granted to this paper, there were so many subjects deemed off limits that it really made you wonder. Giggs’ advisors did not want to put him in a position where he was undermining Van Gaal – but at the same time did not want him associated with how the team is playing.’
Which is how you get to sentences like ‘increasingly, he is witnessing a Manchester United totally at odds with what he remembers’. Obviously, Custis is just guessing what Giggs thinks. He has absolutely definitely not been told what Giggs thinks. Or what Giggs wants Manchester United fans to believe he thinks. Oh no.
* ‘If Giggs did go, it would be a damning indictment of Van Gaal’s regime.’
* ‘Giggs has always been a deep thinker about the game.’
We just did a little sick in our mouths.
* ‘It is Giggs, however, whose visible presence on the touchline reminds us of what Sir Alex once built.’
Wait a minute, we thought ‘he must not be allowed’ to get up from the bench, where he ‘cuts a brooding figure’?
* The Swansea job is a good one and such an opportunity may not come around again in the near future.’
Or indeed now.
Ain’t no party like an early party…
Daily Mail say Man United have cancelled their Christmas party, after Daily Mail said it had already been held. pic.twitter.com/fP0SpD1Xt5
— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) December 10, 2015
Sometimes Mediawatch simply needs to introduce you to like-minded individuals.
John Cross exclusive, Daily Mirror, Friday: ‘ARSENE WENGER has made Victor Wanyama his No. 1 target in January.’
Arsene Wenger, 10am, Friday: “I rate the player but we are not on the case.”
Mediawatch has to quietly admire Mark Lawrenson’s stubbornness.
‘It is a long time since Everton lost – their last defeat came seven games ago, against Arsenal on 24 October,’ begins his prediction on BBC Sport for this weekend’s clash with Norwich.
So what does he predict? A 2-1 defeat.
And where are Everton in a league table constructed from all Lawro’s predictions? 16th.
We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Lawro, Lawro more nonsense
* ‘Crystal Palace have been inconsistent too but the difference seems to be that, when they really need to win a game, they usually do.’
And why, pray tell, do sixth-placed Palace ‘really need’ to beat Southampton when they didn’t ‘really need’ to beat Everton or indeed Sunderland?
* ‘For me, Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores does not get enough credit.’
Watford’s position in Lawro’s league table? 18th. We think what you mean is ‘from me’.
* ‘Leicester seem to be the only team trying to win the title at the moment. Because nobody expects them to be at the top of the table, they are playing without any pressure.’
And yet Lawro has – in recent weeks – predicted Leicester to lose against Swansea, Manchester United, Newcastle United, West Brom, Crystal Palace, Southampton, Norwich, Arsenal and Stoke. Nobody was expecting them to be at the top of the table, but most of us have got used to the idea by now, Mark.
The 1-1 count
1-1 draws predicted by Lawrenson this season: 47.
Actual 1-1 draws (not including the forthcoming weekend): 16.
‘Journalism’ of the day
— Mirror Row Zed (@MirrorRowZed) December 11, 2015
We’ll hear you out until you mention ‘facts’. Oh. Fifth word.
‘Football expert’ Paul Merson writes…
* On Manchester United: ‘The easy thing is to keep clean sheets, but you’ve got to score at the other end.’
Prediction: 1-1. Not that bloody easy, then.
* On Tottenham: ‘I think Spurs are getting into that mould at the moment, they’re maybe a tad tired, and they look to be going out with the attitude of making sure they don’t lose the game before they go out to win the game.’
Prediction: 3-0. Of course.
* On Everton: ‘I think they’re better suited away from home. I know they’ve only won twice away this season, but they do create a lot of chances.’
Need we even tell you that Everton have picked up fewer points, scored fewer goals and created fewer chances (a difference of around two shots per game) away from home? Thought not.
* ‘Sunderland are probably looking at this and seeing it as must-win after the defeat at Arsenal, but Sam Allardyce is a fantastic manager, different class and will do the job regardless.’
Regardless of what? We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Don’t just write down everything he says; sometimes it’s gibberish only intelligible to similar, largely redundant life forces.
Ask a simple question
Will Arsenal win a trophy this season? If you think yes or no, let us know why! That's our first question from 10am on #SSNHQ
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) December 11, 2015
And if you are amongst the 95% who think ‘maybe’ or ‘well, it’s difficult to say’, keep your bloody gobs shut.
Hear no evil
Mediawatch has a perhaps unhealthy obsession with Neil Ashton’s ‘WHAT I’M HEARING’ feature in the Daily Mail. Ear to the ground and all that.
What he is ‘hearing’ this week:
* Steve Coppell has ‘just been named as Anton Du Beke’s successor for the prestigious role of golf captain at the children’s charity, the Variety Club,’
* Bit-part Southampton player Gaston Ramirez is not happy with Southampton’s medical department. Incidentally, there are not enough hours in Mediawatch’s day to document Ashton’s digs at Southampton since the ‘DREAMWRECKER’ took over.
* Ashton forgot to mention Bradley Allen when praising Tottenham’s Academy staff last week.
So what he is ‘hearing’ is that a) a former manager of the club he supports is doing charity work, b) a minor Premier League player is unhappy with his club and c) he is quite forgetful.
If only we had his contacts.
Recommended reading of the day
Rory Smith on data giving Arsenal the edge
Michael Walker interviews Jean-Marc Bosman
Seb Stafford-Bloor on Gerard Deulofeu