The Page That Is Long-Hauling It

Date published: Thursday 1st January 1970 12:00

The Page That Is Long-Hauling It

How Can I Hate Women? My Mum’s One

On Thursday, Mediawatch expressed its happiness at most of the media reaction to the treatment of Eva Carneiro. There were a couple of notable exceptions, but on the whole positive. And then Friday morning happened. And Jeff Powell happened on MailOnline.

‘The sisterhood are railing against Jose Mourinho for castigating Chelsea’s lady medic after her impetuous rush on to the Stamford Bridge pitch, which reduced Chelsea to eight outfield players for the crucial closing moments of Saturday’s Premier League draw against Swansea,’ Powell begins. Oh hey there Jeff, way to gently hint at what you really think.

‘Whatever the merits of the argument, the accusations that Mourinho is sexist are specious,’ Powell continues. ‘Chelsea’s manager is very much the family man. He adores his wife Matilde; he loves his daughter, of the same name, and son Jose. He is polite and charming in mixed company.

Mediawatch does not know whether Mourinho is sexist, either overtly or otherwise. But we do know that being ‘a family man’, ‘adoring his wife’ and ‘loving his daughter’ and being sexist are not mutually exclusive. All together now: Some of Jose’s best friends are women.

As for Mourinho being ‘polite and charming in mixed company’, one suspects that Carneiro might have different views on that subject after having “filho da puta” (son of a bitch) shouted in her direction. How thoroughly ‘charming’.

Mediawatch can just about stomach the views presented above, and indeed we are less than surprised by them. However, it is the tone of Powell’s piece which sits so uncomfortably. Phrases like ‘the sisterhood’, ‘Chelsea’s lady medic’, ‘Senorita Carneiro’ and ‘squeals of the feminists’ are steeped in precisely the same attitude that has made progress for women in football so bloody hard.

Ask yourself this question: Would Powell have written ‘Senor Carneiro’, ‘the brotherhood’, ‘Chelsea’s gentleman medic’ or squeals of the men’? Of course he bloody wouldn’t.

‘Mourinho will have the support of most football men – and perhaps a goodly number of football women’, is Powell’s pay-off line, again verbally reinforcing the gender divide (why not just support of ‘football’?).

Mercifully, reading the papers (including Powell’s own Daily Mail) over the last two days has presented Mediawatch with the opposite picture. Long may that continue, while Powell continues to wilfully leave his head firmly inserted into the sand.

Loan Wolf

On Thursday, Everton’s Roberto Martinez indicated his disagreement that players should be loaned abroad in order to gain experience.

“I don’t agree with that,” Martinez said. “The development of a young player should be closely monitored by his club and the moment they go abroad it becomes too distant. It’s very dangerous because they need to adapt to a lifestyle and a different football culture. There are many elements in a move abroad that can put your development at risk. It’s not healthy for their development.”

Funnily enough, it was Chelsea’s loaning of English players abroad that Martinez was so against. Can anyone think of a reason why Martinez might want to JOHN publicly criticise Chelsea’s treatment STONES of young English players? No, us neither.

It would therefore be interesting to hear Martinez’s thoughts on the development of David Henen, Lacina Traore, Gerard Deulofeu, Joel Robles, Marcelo Moreno and Jordi Gomez. That’s a list of players Martinez has brought on long loan deals from foreign clubs during his time in charge at Everton, Wigan and Swansea.

Mediawatch also presumes that Martinez was fuming when Swansea loaned 18-year-old Kerry Morgan and 19-year-old Chad Bond to Balaguer CF during his first season at the club. Or was that different because Balaguer was Martinez’s boyhood club?

Coq Up

“Considering the recent results we had before that, going really well in pre-season, it’s disappointing and it was not an Arsenal performance” – Francis Coquelin.

Au contraire, Francis. To a great many of us that was the epitomic Arsenal performance. The pledge, the turn and the prestige.

“It’s good that it happened in the first game so that now we can pull ourselves together with 37 games left” – Coquelin once more.

Reminder: It’s only good if it doesn’t happen again.

The Blame Game

‘Unlike other high-profile managers, the Frenchman [Arsene Wenger] has never looked for scapegoats,’ writes Mark Irwin in The Sun. ‘He always shoulders responsibility for disappointing results.’

“The intensity was high but it was a very bad pitch. The technical quality suffered as a result and that’s why you saw mistakes” – Wenger, November 2010.

“”There are a lot of post-World Cup injuries and not many soft tissue injuries,” said Wenger. “I gave them (the World Cup players) until August 11, Germany played the final on 13 July, that was a month and should be enough after a big competition” – Wenger, October 2014.

“We were unlucky with the referee on the first goal, but on the second goal we can only blame ourselves” – Wenger, October 2014.

“I think we weren’t very good and I think the referee was at our level” – Wenger, February 2015.

“We can only help so much, 99 per cent is down to the individual. We can push them over the line with the one per cent we can give, but 99 per cent is them having the responsibility to make their own life. You have to stand up to be strong enough, to fight, to show that you have the courage and that you’re not inhibited because you’re under pressure, and that’s the difficulty of the modern player” – March 2015.

“I think so [We’d have challenged without injuries] but it’s easy to say,” he told Sky Sports. “I’ve said many times we had big injuries at the start of the season after the World Cup. It took us some time to find a good balance in the team we dropped some points because of that” – Wenger, May 2015.

“We know fitness wise, West Ham were ahead of us, they had already played competitive games. You never get the same intensity” – Wenger, August 2015.

So that’s pitches, injuries, modern players, referees, the World Cup and the Europa League, all from the first page of Google. But Wenger doesn’t play the blame game?


August 5: “Soldado is in my plans but he did not come here because there was a problem with his back. He is in our plans” – Mauricio Pochettino.

August 14: Roberto Soldado joins Villarreal.

We suppose that is technically a ‘plan’.

Nothing To See Here

‘Soldado goes for ‘nothing” – Daily Express.

Apparently putting inverted commas around something means you can make £12m equal ‘nothing’. By the same token, Mediawatch ‘knows’ Scarlett Johansson.

Shot (And Word) Shy

Says Mark Lawrenson as part of his BBC Sport predictions column: “What Van Gaal has got is a team that does not give the opposition many chances and I think they will do enough at the other end too.”

BBC Sport lists Tottenham as having nine shots last weekend, the same number as… erm.. Manchester United.

However, it’s the insight the ‘BBC Football Expert’ saves for Swansea that is worth waiting for: “Swansea were really impressive against Chelsea, especially going forward.” That’s it.

Presumably it’s nuggets like those that saw Swansea finish 19th in a table of last year’s results based on Lawrenson’s predictions. They got 26 points all season; he was picking week-by-week.

You’ve Lost That Feeling

Says Ian Holloway, as part of his Championship predictions column for Sky Sports: ‘Preston have got that winning feeling of their own; they’ve been absolutely fantastic so far. I’m going for an away win’

League matches played by Preston this season: 1
Wins: 0
Goals: 0
Shots on target: 2

‘Absolutely fantastic’ might be a hyperbolic bridge too far.

Sticking with Holloway’s feelings, and Mediawatch had to giggle at the following prediction from Holloway, on Reading vs Leeds: ‘I’ve got a funny feeling this could be another draw for Leeds but I’ve plumped for an away win.’

So you think it’ll be a draw? But you’ve gone for an away win? Fancy Reading too, Olly?

Join Us

‘Sergio Aguero: Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool will join Chelsea and Man City in title race’ – Daily Express.

Mentions of Arsenal: 0
Mentions of Liverpool: 0
Mentions of Manchester United: 0

Staying Grounded

“You have to be realistic. If I’m honest, I don’t think it’s that realistic to say we’re going to be playing European football next year” – Seb Larsson breaks some bad news to Mediawatch and Sunderland supporters.

And we thought they would finish in the top six.

Important Clarification Of The Day

One of Mediawatch’s favourite ever headlines was from the Daily Star on August 13, 2014 (bugger, we missed the first anniversary yesterday): ‘Robin Williams dies, Aaron Ramsey scores – has the Arsenal star’s curse returned?’

Thankfully, Ramsey seems to have taken the whole thing in his stride. This is his quote from the latest issue of Sport magazine: “The most ridiculous rumour I’ve heard is that people die after I score. There have been loads of occasions where I’ve scored and somebody has died. That’s just a crazy rumour.”

Phew. Good to know.

Inexplicably Bad Acting Of The Day/Week/Ever

You may well have seen this already but, if not, Mediawatch urges you to click this link and watch former Premier League referee Uriah Rennie on ITV daytime quiz show Freeze Out.

It’s the most wooden acting Mediawatch has seen since Simon Callow played ‘Oak Tree 1′ in Howard Davies’ Tree Forest Lumberjack at the National.

Headline Of The Day

‘Keep Your Effen Big Nose Out’ – The Sun on Xherdan Shaqiri and Stefan Effenberg. Wonderful.

Non-Football Story Of The Day

‘Japanese police have arrested a man accused of bursting into a lawyer’s office and cutting off his penis with garden shears before flushing the organ down a toilet.

‘Local media reports said Thursday that Ikki Kotsugai, a 24-year-old Tokyo graduate student, may have been acting out of revenge over his wife’s romantic involvement with the 42-year-old victim with whom she worked.

‘Police said Kotsugai, who was arrested shortly after the alleged attack, burst into the lawyer’s office in Tokyo’s Minato Ward at around 7:40 a.m. Thursday. He punched the unnamed lawyer several times before prying off his pants and then severing his “lower body part” with the shears.

‘Kotsugai told police that he flushed what was severed down the toilet’ –
Loads of you sent in the NFSOTD. Naughty. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting ‘Mediawatch’ in the subject field.

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