Mediawatch: Is this Pirlo? Xavi? Heskey?

Date published: Wednesday 6th January 2016 1:19

Ask a simple Joe Allen question #1
‘Was that really Joe Allen? Liverpool’s £16m man finally shows why Rodgers called him the “Welsh Xavi” with no-look assist for Ibe’ – MailOnline (‘s top sports story).

Yes, it was Joe Allen.


Ask a simple Joe Allen question #2
‘Is Joe Allen Liverpool’s Andrea Pirlo or Emile Heskey in disguise?’ – The Sun website.

Nope, neither. He’s Liverpool’s Joe Allen.


Give me a reason
‘Gareth Bale to Man Utd: 11 reasons why the transfer could happen,’ reads the headline on the Daily Telegraph website.

That didn’t ring a little bell in Mediawatch’s mind; it set of a whacking great alarm.

‘Three reasons Man Utd must sign Gareth Bale at all costs’ – The Sport Review, August 22, 2015.

‘REVEALED: The TEN reasons why Gareth Bale WILL join Manchester United this summer’ – Daily Star, May 14, 2015.

‘REVEALED: The FIVE reasons Man Utd target Gareth Bale’s Real dream has become a nightmare’ – Daily Express, May 14, 2015.

‘8 reasons why Gareth Bale is actually still class’ – Metro, May 13, 2015.

‘Man Utd Transfers: 7 Reasons Why Gareth Bale Will Join In The Summer’ – WhatCulture, April 24, 2015.

‘Gareth Bale: Five reasons why Manchester United could sign Real Madrid forward’ – Manchester Evening News, March 19, 2015.

‘Five reasons why Gareth Bale would enjoy a move to Manchester United’ – Manchester Evening News, January 28, 2015.

Think this topic might be exhausted now.


Keep your options open
‘Pep Guardiola looks destined for Manchester City after confirming he is to manage in the Premier League’ – Antony Kastrinakis, The Sun, January 6.

‘Pep Guardiola has not signed his Manchester City contract – because of Manchester United. In private, Guardiola tells friends his dream is to win the Champions League with the biggest clubs. He did it first with Barcelona and hopes to this season with Bayern Munich – and then potentially United’ – Antony Kastrinakis, The Sun, January 6.

‘Arsenal can pull off a miracle and land Pep Guardiola. “Do you imagine how much fun it would be for us to go to Arsenal and coach a squad full of so much attacking talent that matches our philosophy completely? But it is not the most probable option.” That is what Pep told a close friend very recently. Pep would listen to Arsenal’ – Antony Kastrinakis, The Sun, January 6.

Amazingly, Kastrinakis is claiming Guardiola’s probable move as an ‘exclusive’. Look forward to the ‘as we told you in January’ when Pep’s decision is finally announced.


Summary: Someone’s not got a clue
‘Get Bale… NOW: ‘Confident’ Man United to bid £75m this month with Real Madrid star’s hero Giggs key to sealing blockbuster deal’ – Daily Mail, January 6.

‘Gareth Bale has no plans to leave Real Madrid in the wake of Rafael Benítez’s sacking’ – Guardian, January 6.


‘Chelsea make giant £44.2m offer to sign incredible star in remarkable deal,’ reads the headline in the Metro. Oh good.

‘Chelsea have made a £44.2million offer to finally sign Everton’s John Stones, according to reports,’ the piece begins. ‘The Blues have been chasing Stones since the summer when they made three offers to bring him to Stamford Bridge. Everton rejected all of them, but Chelsea are determined to do business, and Fichjaes (sic) says they’ve now made a £44.2m bid to get the deal done.’

So to Fichajes. Mediawatch at least has the decency to spell the name of such an august media outlet correctly. Have some respect, guys.

‘The Chelsea not forget Stones and provides €60m for him,’ is the first line of a dodgy Google translation. But what’s this?

‘Several British media talk of an offer of €60m, which would be very difficult to reject. We’ll see if during this January the young defender changes city.’

So Fichajes say the British media is reporting a €60m bid. Yet the only outlet doing so is the Metro website, who themselves quote

Go get a room (and stay there).


Feel the power
Mediawatch doesn’t want to dwell for too long on Sky Sports’ power rankings, but we do have four short questions:

1) Do West Ham really have five of the 14 most in-form Premier League players?

2) Are Bacary Sagna and Yaya Toure Manchester City’s most in-form players

3) Has Kyle Walker really been better for Tottenham over the entirety of this season than Dele Alli?

4) Is the only reason that Bournemouth’s Adam Smith is at No. 4 because the byline on the piece indicates it was written by ‘Adam Smith’?



Saving Facey
‘Roberto Martinez rates Everton’s ‘Fab Four’ at £250million,’ begins a piece in The Sun by David Facey.

Actual quotes from Martinez: “We’ve got players at 21 and 22 like Stones, Barkley, Lukaku, Deulofeu, who, if you wanted to buy them with experience at 26, then you’re talking about probably £250m expenditure.

“So we need to be aware we have got top, top talent but they still need support and trust and confidence in their decisions.

“We are playing a part in their development and that is vital to help them through and become the players they can be.”

Guess ‘Roberto Martinez thinks Everton’s ‘Fab Four’ at £250m in five or six years if they are still this good and are looked after properly’ didn’t quite have the same ring to it.


Saved you a click
‘Arsenal’s new-look predicted XI after January transfer window moves for Mohamed Elneny and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang,’ reads the headline on the Metro website.

It’s the same XI but with Mohamed Elneny and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The clue was in the headline, really.


Ray of sunshine
Ray Wilkins hasn’t got a coaching gig at the moment, and we’re not sure Roy Hodgson will be on the phone after seeing his England team for Euro 2016 on Sky Sports. A few things:

1) England to start with three strikers – Rooney, Kane AND Vardy. If it’s up there, we’ll give you the money ourselves.

2) If Kyle Walker starts at right-back, we’re not watching.

3) Poor Eric Dier might need a little more support than Ross Barkley and Dele Alli as the other two midfielders.

4) What does Chris Smalling have to do to convince people that he’ll be in Hodgson’s first team?


Worst headline of the day
‘Rafa Benitez and Jose Mourinho: An imaginary WhatsApp chat between the great out-of-work managerial minds’ – Daily Telegraph.


Meaningless line of the day
‘If football matches, like boxing, were decided by judges, Liverpool would already be at Wembley’ – One of the five things ‘learned’ by The Sun from Stoke vs Liverpool.

They’re not, though.


Least surprising news of the day
‘Head coach Steve Evans will be live in the @SkySportsNewsHQ studio this morning talking #lufc from 10am-12 noon’ – Leeds United.


Recommended reading of the day
Dan Brigham on a year of Alex Neil.

Iain Macintosh on Everton.

Piers Edwards on Jean-Pierre Adams.

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