Mediawatch: Martial fee, Merson madness

Date published: Friday 4th September 2015 12:07

Mediawatch is already getting really sodding annoyed about the Anthony Martial fee, Paul Merson awards Arsenal a ‘B’ for cheating the fans and…


Warning: We May Mention This Again
This is going to annoy the very sh*t out of Mediawatch over the next four years.

Neil Ashton writes in the Daily Mail: ‘United spent a staggering £58m on 19-year-old Monaco forward Anthony Martial…’

They didn’t. They really f***ing didn’t.

And if they do end up spending £58m, he will have been so bloody brilliant that £58m will no longer be remotely staggering.


The Incredibles
We were not-so-secretly hoping that Metro football would spontaneously combust after the closure of the transfer window but the faeces continues to flow…

‘Incredible stats show Man United have made no progress under LvG despite heavy spending’ is the headline on a piece that begins ‘Does these stats show that Louis van Gaal is no better than David Moyes?’ and somehow gets worse.

And what are these ‘incredible stats’? Complex possession and length-of-pass stats? They must be truly ‘incredible’ to refute the small matter of a seventh-place finish being – on the surface – better than a fourth-place finish.

Here it is: ‘Van Gaal has spent a staggering £181.9million more than the Scot but has won the same number of matches.’



‘With little difference in results, it’s arguable that United would have been better off letting Moyes use the money rather than his successor.’

It’s ‘arguable’ but also utterly ‘mental’.


Cheat! Cheat! Cheat!
Paul Merson on Arsenal’s lack of summer spending on Sky Sports News: “It cheats the fans. The fans think ‘what are we coming for? We turn up every week, we pay the highest prices and what for? Top four? We might get a day out at Wembley again in the FA Cup.’ Wow-wee.

“There’s a saying in life: Keep on doing the things you do and you’ll get the same results. How different is this season going to be for Arsenal? It’s the same team that finished 12 points behind Chelsea last year. Why, this year, will this team finish above Chelsea?

“I can tell you now, there will be a phase this season when they’ll be unbelievable, win seven on the trot and play the best football you’ve ever seen. But at the end of the season, with this team and no signings, I’d be absolutely shocked if they won the Premier League.

“If you’re an Arsenal season ticket holder, you’re paying top dollar. It’s their money. It’s the fans’ money. It’s not Arsene Wenger’s money. It’s not the club’s money. It’s the fans’ money that they’ve paid to buy players,” he said.

“The whole idea of going to this big stadium that holds 60,000 people was to bring in top quality players. I don’t know [why Arsenal aren’t spending the money].

“Just put in a bid for Benzema. £75m. If Real Madrid turn around and say ‘we’re not selling him’, you can’t argue with that. You’ve put in a bid and if they turn it down or the lad doesn’t want to come, that’s the way it goes. But show something.”

A reminder that ‘expert’ Paul Merson gave Arsenal a ‘B’ grade for their summer transfer activity just two days ago. He ‘wrote’: ‘I’ll give them a B because the goalie is that good, but it should have been more. They needed a centre-half, a holding midfielder and a centre-forward – the spine of a team.’

So like Mediawatch on its French mock exam, they got a ‘B’ for ‘cheating’.


Spend! Spend! Spend!
Another reminder that Merson ‘wrote’ this on Manchester City: ‘They have bought well, but I am going to give them a B- for the money they have had to pay.’

So we can only assume that Arsenal would have been marked down if they had stopped ‘cheating’ and bought Karim Benzema for £75m.


Dyer Predictions
Merson is back on the Sky Sports website on Friday with his predicted league table for the season (Crystal Palace in fifth, Tottenham in eighth. *Bookmarked*). Our own favourite predictions include:

* ‘I love the Nathan Dyer signing…he could easily get in Tottenham’s team.’

…even though he couldn’t get in Swansea’s team.

* Newcastle ‘don’t want to be in a relegation battle’.

While Watford, Norwich and Sunderland presumably do.

* ‘I thought getting rid of Bradley Johnson for £6m was strange. He’s one of those midfield players that can chip in with a lot of goals.’

Johnson has scored scored six Premier League goals in 96 appearances. What you mean, Merse, is that he chips in with a lot of shots.


Don’t You Want Me, Chunky?
‘Pards and Monk could lead Lions…BUT WOULD THEY REALLY WANT IT?’ is the bombastic headline on Dave Woods’ (IN THE KNOW, INSIDE THE GAME) column in the Daily Star.

Mediawatch has an idea – why not simply Google ‘Alan Pardew England manager’ and ‘Garry Monk England manager’ to answer your question?

‘Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew reveals ambition to be England manager’ is the very first result for the former and as for the latter, click on one story from the Independent and you get this quote from Monk:

“To manage or play for your country, whichever way round it is, has to be the ultimate job doesn’t it?”


That could have saved you an awful lot of time, Dave.


Words/Phrases You Will Only Read In A Jeff Powell Column
* ‘with a kick like a mule’
* ‘accursed’
* ‘filthy lucre’
* ‘made a mockery’
* ‘garish limousine’
* ‘damned window’
* ‘prostituting the old profession’
* ‘husband’ (as a verb)
* ‘shenanigans’
* ‘obscene wealth’
* ‘moral reform’

We’re just missing a reprise of ‘we sell our birthright down the fjord to a nation of seven million skiers and hammer throwers’.


Old Man
Are there any cantankerous old men out there who can help us translate the final line of Jeff Powell’s plea for ‘someone with a kick like a mule to smash this accursed transfer window to smithereens’ on MailOnline? Send us an e-mail with the subject matter ‘grumpy old man’ if you can help.

Here it is: ‘With England falling below Wales in the FIFA world rankings for the first time ever – they now stand 10th and ninth respectively – the timing could not be more acute.’

Conversely, Mediawatch is not sure that sentence could be more obtuse. Is Powell really suggesting that England are below Wales in the FIFA rankings because of the accursed transfer window? And there we were thinking it was something to do with Gareth Bale. Silly Mediawatch.


Fawning Intro Of This Or Any Other Day
Dominic King in the Daily Mail: ‘Before Charlie Austin can begin, he wants to apologise. He has arrived a little late for our meeting and he feels obliged to offer an explanation. Had he blamed the slow moving roads of leafy West London, there would have been no need to doubt but Austin wants to give the true reason: his horse, Cautious Optimism, had finished second in the 2pm at Lingfield and he wanted to watch the race before settling down.

‘His honesty is admirable but over the next half hour, it becomes apparent that transparency and straight-talking are two of his main qualities.’

Let’s have a massive round of applause for the footballer not lying about something inconsequential.


Pass Master
Poor Hal Robson-Kanu. He apparently deserved just 6/10 for his performance against Cyprus with the BBC website saying: ‘Worked tirelessly with very limited service but could have done better with his passing on the rare occasions he found himself in space in Cyprus’s half.’

The caption directly above that pasting? ‘Hal Robson-Kanu had the best pass accuracy of any Welsh player (90%).’

Poor Hal Robson-Kanu.


Headline Of The Day


Worst Headline Of The Day
‘Goal star Roo Kane be Lions’ greatest’ – The Daily Star.


Non-Football Story Of The Day
‘When it comes to size of ‘manhood’ most men go by the mantra- ‘the bigger the better.’ Well, not always. Roberto Esquivel Cabrera, has the biggest penis in the world measuring 19 inches but he is not happy about it. The 52-year-old Mexican measured in at a whopping 18.9 inches (48.2cm), with a tip circumference of 10 inches (25cm), at certification by World Record Academy officials. However Cabrera (52) of Saltillo, says that women are afraid of of him and he cannot have a relationship.

‘Cabera told a local newspaper that his penis, which has a 10-inch circumference, is too long for him to kneel at church or work and he is living on assistance’ – Focus News.


Thanks to today’s Mediawatch spotters Ed Greening and James Kirk. If you spot something that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting ‘Mediawatch’ in the subject field.

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