Mediawatch: Busby Babes, Fergie’s Fledglings, now…

Date published: Friday 26th February 2016 1:06

Manchester United team Midtjylland

Mediawatch’ll fix it
There is a proliferation of ‘five things you didn’t know about Marcus Rashford’ and ‘who is Marcus Rashford?’ articles but Mediawatch is yet to see anybody point out the most interesting fact about the 18-year-old: He shares a birthday with Jimmy Savile.

 

I have a dream (team)
The Sun
are very smug indeed that they can advertise their Dream Team fantasy game after Premier League top scorer Jamie Vardy revealed that he plays the game. After we get over the astonishment at Vardy being a Sun reader, we read on:

‘JAMIE VARDY has revealed the secret to his success – he needs the points for his Sun Dream Team!’ they trumpet on their back page.

“I play the Sun Dream Team. I’ve got myself in there. I’m not going to lie. I can’t tell you the whole squad but I have got a strikeforce of me, Lukaku and Harry Kane.”

Perhaps somebody at The Sun could now explain to Premier League top scorer Vardy how he has fewer Dream Team points than Olivier Giroud, Wayne Rooney and, erm, Daley Blind.

 

Carry on The Sun
At least one of The Sun’s raft of middle-aged men got all giggly at Louis van Gaal’s use of the word ‘horny’. It’s like sexy and stuff, isn’t it? Makes you think of boobs and fannies and willies. When you haven’t touched another naked human being since 1987, that’s pretty damned exciting.

So cue ‘HOW HORNY WERE UTD?’ and a sidebar featuring ‘goal lust’, ‘penetrating’ (he he), ‘turn on’, ‘slammed home’, ‘getting in the box’ and ‘lovely climax’.

But we suspect Mike McGrath (we are utterly astonishing that anybody agreed to a byline on this tosh) reveals a little too much about his own sex life when he also included ‘peaked too soon’, ‘a rush job’, ‘a big flop’, ‘Viagra’ and, finally, ‘a Rash’. Poor Mike.

 

Young, English and playing football
‘Such is the lot of a young English footballer at a major Premier League club that you can never be sure when, or even if, your chance will arrive,’ writes Dave Kidd in the Daily Mirror, taking the opportunity afforded by a good news story to bemoan modern football and its propensity to reward the best players rather than simply those who are homegrown.

Could he have picked a worse time to make that point? A full list of young English footballers used by Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham this season:

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Luke Shaw, Donald Love, Joe Riley, Jesse Lingaerd, Nick Powell, James Wilson, Will Keane, Marcus Rashford, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Cameron Humphreys, Tosin Adarabioyo, Patrick Roberts, George Evans, Brandon Barker, Raheem Sterling, Calum Chambers, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Tom Carroll, Alex Pritchard, Josh Onomah, Harry Winks, Jon Flanagan, Joe Gomez, Connor Randall, Joe Maguire, Jordon Ibe, Jordan Rossiter, Sheyi Ojo, Kevin Stewart, Cameron Brannagan, Jerome Sinclair and Ryan Kent.

When or when will they get a chance?

 

Quiz time
Writes Richard Tanner in the Daily Express: ‘AFTER the Busby Babes and Fergie’s Fledglings step forward…’

Honestly, if you guess this alliterative monstrosity in under an hour without the help of Google or an actual copy of the Daily Express, award yourself a massive wa*k.

 

He built this city
Mediawatch always suspected that Mark Lawrenson’s problem with West Ham (his BBC predictions place them in 18th this season) was actually a problem with them dispensing of the services of good old Sam Allardyce.

Lawro has bizarrely predicted victory for the Hammers this weekend but he is aghast at the notion that they could give a less-than-welcome reception to their former manager.

‘There is talk Allardyce might get a mixed reception from the home supporters on Saturday but, as a West Ham fan, why would you boo him? He kept your team in the Premier League and made some good signings who are still there.’

Allardyce was at West Ham for four seasons; he spent almost £85m on incoming transfers in that time. Two weeks ago West Ham played Norwich and just five of their 18-man squad were Allardyce signings: Adrian, James Collins, Aaron Cresswell, Enner Valencia and Andy Carroll.

In just a few months, Slaven Bilic has built almost a whole new football team that does not make your eyes bleed.

And there’s the very small matter of this from Allardyce last year: “The fans were being brainwashed into thinking that, historically, the club had a particular style of play which was akin to Barcelona, which was potty. I once called the supporters deluded and I stand by that. I don’t know who invented the West Ham way phrase, but it’s a millstone around the club’s neck.”

Still baffled, Lawro?

 

Expert prediction of the day
‘If Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge turn up, then they will give City a real game but if they don’t, then I think Manuel Pellegrini’s side might win comfortably’ – Mark Lawrenson, BBC Sport, February 26.

 

Hanging tough
Paul Merson predictions, Sky Sports website, February 12: ‘It proved to be another tough round of predictions last time out with the Magic Man managing just one correct score and two correct results.’

Paul Merson predictions, Sky Sports website, February 19: ‘It proved to be another tough round of predictions last time out with the Magic Man predicting just three correct results.’

Paul Merson predictions, Sky Sports website, February 26: ‘It proved to be a tough round of predictions last time out with the Magic Man managing just two correct scores and one correct result.’

Sky Sports: Where ‘tough’ is a synonym for ‘sh*te’.

 

Autopilot
There’s something wonderfully old-fashioned about Sky Sports ‘expert’ Paul Merson, happily going along predicting results based on what he kind of thinks might be happening…

On West Brom v Crystal Palace: ‘I’m going for a 1-1 draw again as Pulis does not lose too many against the sides in and around him.’

Pesky fact: West Brom have picked up two points from three games against Aston Villa, Swansea and Newcastle since January 23.

On Tottenham v Swansea: ‘I worry for Swansea because I don’t think they are defensively very good.’

Pesky fact: Swansea have conceded just eight goals in their last six games. The same as West Ham.

Based on how ‘tough’ he finds it, Mediawatch suggests that he perhaps does the tiniest bit of research. Ridiculous right?

 

Ask a simple question

 

Recommended reading of the day
Miguel Delaney on Arsenal’s confidence.

Jason Humphreys on the rise of TSG Hoffenheim.

Nick Miller’s interview with Tony Evans.

 

* It’s Louis’ Litter. F***ing hell.

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