Mediawatch: Coutinho better than Ozil? Harumph

Date published: Monday 16th May 2016 11:52 - Sarah Winterburn

Land of contortion
‘FOR the Premier League’s executive chairman Richard Scudamore, this was a day like no other,’ writes Neil Ashton in The Sun. ‘To squeeze this fixture into the schedule after the chaos at Old Trafford is the work of a contortionist.’

Only if said contortionist was set the task of escaping from a slightly snug jumper, Neil.

Monday would have been logistically too soon, Wednesday was out of the question because you cannot clash with European fixtures and so Tuesday was the only solution. The thought process must have taken all of 27 seconds.

Houdini? Houcouldhavepossiblyf***edthisup?


Philippe the first
Opinions are never wrong – if the Guardian’s Scott Murray believes Sam Allardyce and Virgil van Dijk are the manager and player of the season, then who are we to argue? – but Mediawatch cannot help but raise an eyebrow at ex-Tottenham man Garth Crooks’ choice of Philippe Coutinho in his BBC team of the season.

With eight goals and five assists, Coutinho has apparently been ‘amazing for Liverpool this season’. Mesut Ozil with his six goals and 19 assists to help Arsenal into second? Sh*t, clearly.


Danny, the champion of physical contact
Garth Crooks on Danny Simpson (better than Hector Bellerin, obviously): ‘He’s always struck me as a player who takes great delight in making physical contact with his opponents.’

And indeed the mother of his child, who he attempted to throttle.


Close but no cigar
The Daily Mail’s Matt Lawton was a little smug when Roy Hodgson named his England squad on Monday morning.

What he doesn’t mention is that if you bought the Daily Mail on Saturday you would have found out that ‘Marcus Rashford will be invited to train with the England squad ahead of Euro 2016’ and that ‘Hodgson intends to name a 23-man squad with a list of standby players’. What he didn’t mention was that Rashford would be named in a 26-man squad.


Shameless headline of the day
‘Sturridge discusses Liverpool star’s exit as Klopp works on summer deals’ – Express online.

The story? Dean Sturridge “can’t see Benteke staying at Liverpool”.

Mediawatch is torn between tears and applause.


Slimming world
Mediawatch is genuinely impressed with the efforts of Sun man Neil Custis to lose 32.6lbs (a massive poo ‘long walk’ after his initial claim that he had lost 30.2lbs) but perhaps he could have lost 32.6lbs without making up a ‘challenge’ with a man – Louis van Gaal – who never took up said ‘challenge’. You can’t ‘win’ a challenge when you’re the only one competing, Neil.

Also, perhaps he should have a word with the folk at the online Sun and ask them to delete the original story of said ‘challenge’ from January 14, as it clearly states:

‘The Sun’s Man United correspondent has vowed to lose 28lb by the end of May. Can under-fire Van Gaal and his sixth-placed side beat that number? The winner will get to donate £1,000 from Paddy Power to a charity of their choice.’

Where is the £1,000 going, Neil? It’s a quite phenomenal effort to lose over 32lbs and still contrive to lose a challenge that never really existed.


Cartography daily
You will not be surprised to learn that the hungry Custis is feasting on the news of Manchester United’s failure to reach the top four by writing that ‘Louis Van Gaal’s reign has simply not been good enough – and that is being kind’.

Quite right, but this line amused Mediawatch: ‘Now fans will once again be reaching for the maps to work out where their European opponents come from.’

a) Once again? The last time Manchester United started a season in Europe’s ugly step-sister of a competition was 1995/96.

b) It’s 2016; we have the internet.


Oh Harry
‘Arsene Wenger deserves enormous credit for finishing above Tottenham Hotspur in the league, but I know which squad I would rather have. Being brutally honest, Arsenal are very lucky to have finished the season second and Arsene needs to buy some players over the summer to get anywhere near Spurs’ – Harry Redknapp, Daily Telegraph.

Never, ever change.


I’m a West Ham fan, get me out of here
What happens when you invite a West Ham fan to a Chelsea leaving party:

‘JOHN TERRY is not the only one at Chelsea who does not know if he is coming or going.

‘When the digital clocks on two giant screens at Stamford Bridge clicked to 26 – his shirt number – fans rose making their feelings clear about the captain as he ponders a new contract offer.

‘All very well of course but when a clock says 26 it means the match is in the 27th minute.’

Is The Sun’s Andrew Dillon seriously suggesting that Chelsea fans should have applauded John Terry when the clock ticked over to 25? One thing we learned from that match report? Dillon really didn’t want to be at Stamford Bridge while the Hammers were making a cock of things in Stoke.


England for the English
“An English manager getting into the Premier League now would have to do it via promotion from the Championship,” said Sam Allardyce on BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme. That would be Sam Allardyce, an English manager who got into the Premier League without being promoted from the Championship. If you cannot think of an example when you’re the example, you are beyond hope.

Also, the six English managers appointed before him to Premier League clubs were Steve McClaren, Tim Sherwood, Chris Ramsey, John Carver, Alan Pardew and Neil Warnock. None required promotion from the Championship to get the job; all but one have been a disaster.


It can only be Jiggins…
‘RONALD KOEMAN saw his Saints go marching into Europe – as Palace’s Alan Pardew went home on a STEAM TRAIN. But both bosses now have plenty to choo-choo over’ – comedy Cockney Paul Jiggins, The Sun.


Recommended reading of the day
Ray Parlour on losing an eating competition with Steve Bould

Nick Miller on Roy Hodgson picking Jack Wilshere

Jack Lusby on Nathaniel Clyne’s case to be Liverpool’s POTY

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