Mediawatch: Tim’s been telling porkies again

Date published: Tuesday 12th April 2016 11:48

Following in my footsteps
Mediawatch didn’t think that even Tim Sherwood would have the nerve to take credit for Tottenham’s wonderful season. We were wrong.

“I gave a lot of those players their debuts so he has been able to see them first hand in the Premier League, and see that they can do the job,” Sherwood told BBC Sport in an extended PR campaign interview.

Funny you should say that, Tim. Because by “a lot of those players” you mean ‘Nabil Bentaleb’.

Yes, Bentaleb is the only current Tottenham player given their first-team debut by Sherwood; he’s played 168 minutes of Premier League football this season.

Never change, Tim.


Smile like you didn’t mean it
The following are extracts from Gary Lineker’s interview with the Guardian:

‘“Well,” he says, a little cautiously. “People make mistakes. They say stupid things. He did it and he apologised.”

‘Can you really write a racist remark off as a mistake, though?

‘“I think it depends on how you say it, and where you say it,” he says. “But I know footballers, and they are generally really not racist at all. I’ve heard things said on football pitches that players clearly don’t mean, whether it’s racism or just an abusive comment in the heat of the moment.”’

Firstly, how do we know that those players didn’t mean those words when the only evidence we have is that they said them and then quickly apologised when it got them in trouble?

The ‘heat of the moment’ principle might explain why such things are said, but it doesn’t excuse them. Why would somebody who isn’t racist and doesn’t hold racist thoughts say something racist, whatever the ‘heat’ of any moment?

‘He exhales and searches for the right words. “Fundamentally, footballers don’t look around a dressing room and think: ‘He’s a black player … he’s Japanese.’ They don’t think like that. They think: ‘He’s a good player, he can help, he’s not very good.’ I’m not trying to defend anyone’s actions,” he adds, “but there are going to be isolated incidents because it’s an emotive, passionate sport.”’

Mediawatch cannot state this strongly enough, but ‘footballers’ is a catch-all term for a profession, not a state of mind. There are lovely footballers and there are sh*tty footballers, and there are countless footballers that sit somewhere in between.

England is a country where racist views are, sadly, still held by a minority, with representatives in every industry in the country. Are we really to believe that footballer is the only career which is squeaky clean of such abhorrent views?

Finally, the “emotive, passionate sport” defence is not applicable in the slightest in Vardy’s case, unless he really f**king likes playing blackjack.

“I’m not trying to defend anyone’s actions,” is where Lineker got it right. Just a bloody shame it was followed by a “…but”.


Wright for the wrong reason
Mediawatch can think of about 38 reasonable reasons to have a pop at Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United tenure. In The Sun, Ian Wright manages to miss all of them.

‘Look at how so much has fallen into Van Gaal’s lap since he took over,’ writes Wright. ‘Players like Jesse Lingard, Cameron Borthwick-Johnson, Marcus Rashford and Timothy Fosu-Mensah.’

Woah, nelly. If Borthwick-Jackson and Fosu-Mensah ‘fell in Van Gaal’s lap’, it’s because umpteen other United players had fallen from that lap into the club’s treatment room.

As for Jesse Lingard, he’s a) been injured for a year of Van Gaal’s tenure and b) isn’t very good. His return to fitness is hardly something to make Manchester United fans or Van Gaal emit a satisfied sigh.


Guessing games
Mediawatch enjoys the ‘how they line up’ predictions on the day of a big game, and Tuesday provides an excellent edition.

The Daily Mirror present Paris St Germain in a 4-3-3 formation, with Marco Verratti returning from injury to join Adrien Rabiot and Thiago Motta in midfield. Angel Di Maria plays on the right of a front three.

The Guardian and Daily Mail draft Di Maria into that three-man midfield, with Lucas Moura part of the front three.

The Times pick Javier Pastore in that midfield instead of Verratti, with Di Maria this time on the left of the front three.

The Sun mix things up a little by going for a 4-4-2 formation. PSG haven’t used that formation in Europe since a 3-1 away defeat at Barcelona in 2014. Rabiot plays as a right winger.

However, all this pales into insignificance when you open the Daily Star. They predict that both David Luiz and Blaise Matudi will start, although do change PSG’s team from the first leg by dropping Edinson Cavani for Lucas Moura.

Presumably the Star didn’t get the memo about Luiz and Matuidi being suspended.


Watch us rock the Schmeich
MailOnline have continued their trend of snappy headlines on Tuesday: ‘Kid Kasper used to pose with his dad next to his haul of medals with Manchester United. Now King Kasper has stepped out of Peter Schmeichel’s shadow in a bid to create father-and-son title history.’ And breathe.

If the headline is a mouthful, the story isn’t a lot better.

‘Everybody wants Leicester City to win the Premier League, right? Well, apart from Tottenham supporters, whose club is the only one left which can realistically challenge for supremacy,’ it begins.

‘Liverpool fans might secretly be hoping for a late collapse too. Because should Leicester finish the season in the position they are in now, it will mean that two different members of the Schmeichel family have lifted the top flight title since Anfield last held the prize back in 1990.’

Really? Are Liverpool fans honestly against Leicester winning the league because they are worried about the son of a former Manchester United goalkeeper (with no connection to the club itself) having a winner’s medal? United fans must be torn, given that Schmeichel Jr. also played for City.

‘Kasper Schmeichel became his own man a long time ago, growing understandably tired of forced comparisons to his dad Peter,’ the piece continues, presumably unaware of the irony in that last sentence. ‘But it is impossible to escape the romance imbued in father and son each leading their team to England’s top trophy.’

Yeah, you can’t move for people going on about Ian Wright and Shaun Wright-Phillips.


Prepare for the wurst…
Mediawatch can’t quite believe that Paul Jiggins’ Manchester United scoop didn’t make The Sun’s print copy. Not when he’s so obviously got the inside track.

‘Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson throws a banger after flops drop a clanger against Tottenham while watching the Masters,’ reads the snappy headline. Oh yes.

‘Sir Alex Ferguson was so angry at Augusta when he saw Manchester United had crashed 3-0 at Tottenham that he threw his sausage sandwich down in disgust.

‘The former United boss was tucking into his bangers during a break while watching the final round of The Masters golf at the famous course in Georgia. The Scot checked on his mobile phone in the VIP section to see the result of his old Red Devils’ match at Spurs.

‘A furious Fergie flung his half-eaten sandwich down on his plate when he discovered they had lost to three late goals.

‘An onlooker said: “He was looking on his phone when he suddenly threw his sausage down on to his plate in anger. He’d obviously seen the United result.”’

A few things:
1) The story claims that a sandwich was ‘thrown’, yet the quote makes mention only of a sausage but no bread product. All we’re asking for is journalistic accuracy.

2) Fergie ‘flung’ his sausage/sandwich? How far away from his plate was he?

3) It’s that word ‘obviously’ that unnerves Mediawatch most. Rough translation: ‘Probably. I’d guess.’


…And the inevitable Daily Star reaction
‘Revealed: Sir Alex Ferguson’s astonishing reaction to hearing of Man Utd’s defeat to Spurs’ – Daily Star.

Like pigs in s**t.


He’s back… or is he?
‘Wayne Rooney returned to the Manchester United fold on Monday night in a display suggesting he looks fit enough to at least claim a spot on the bench at West Ham. Paddy McNair netted the only goal moments after Rooney was replaced, but his senior was fairly sharp and will offer his manager another option as the top-four scramble becomes ever more desperate. He looked lively at Old Trafford, knitted possession well when dropping deep and provided subtle moments to remind, even with his legs not yet up to full speed, the brain is’ – Daily Mail.

‘Rooney worked hard but was clearly lacking in match sharpness and did not come close to scoring’ – Daily Mirror.


C-c-called a U-turn
‘Bilic is on a mission to make sure any blame for a failure from his team to make the top four this season is laid firmly at the door of referees… Bilic damages the reputation of referees and officials by blasting them consistently’ – Adrian Durham, MailOnline, April 12.

Good for you Adrian for taking a stand against the criticism of referees. It’s a tough job, and the last thing we need is those in high-profile positions lambasting them.

Oh, one more thing Adrian. Who do you think wrote this last year?

‘Officials are making it more and more difficult for those of us who defend them from inevitable criticism. Some of the errors made have been astonishingly bad, and have left me wondering two things: do they actually know the laws of the game? And secondly, are they actually watching the game properly?

‘Honest mistakes are fine, but these are the kind of blunders which if translated and applied to other jobs would get people sacked or killed.’

Do as he says, not as he does. Actually, just try to ignore everything he does or says.


Logic of the day

“Mourinho is, obviously, a fantastic manager. For what he has done, for what he’s conquered… there’s no doubt he’s an incredible professional. He is, probably, the only one with the necessary credentials to coach Manchester United.”

Quite right, Dwight Yorke. Good to see you’ve finally realised that – whatever his flaws – Mourinho is more logical option than Ryan bloody Giggs. Oh what’s that, you haven’t finished?

“…But if I was in a position to decide something, Ryan Giggs would be my manager.”



Mistranslation of the day
‘The former United boss was tucking into his bangers’ – The Sun.

That means something very different where Mediawatch comes from.


Recommended reading of the day
Swiss Ramble on Tottenham.

Barney Ronay, also on Tottenham.

Julien Laurens on PSG.


Thanks, hugs and kisses go to Ryan Grimes and Charlie Lovell. Want more of the same? Send your suggestions to with ‘Mediawatch’ as the subject line.

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