Mediawatch: Stamping on Memphis

Date published: Wednesday 4th November 2015 1:20

Walking in (and stamping on) Memphis
‘Have Manchester United paid £25million for a Dutch Ravel Morrison?’ asks Mike Keegan in the Daily Mail. Mediawatch had to steady itself; we hadn’t realised that wearing a questionable hat was now punishable by law. We then calmly said the word “no” in a loud voice.

Ravel Morrison:
– Received a 12-month referral order and was ordered to pay £1,445 in costs and compensation after admitting two counts of witness intimidation.

– Convicted of criminal damage for throwing his girlfriend’s mobile phone out of a window and advised to undergo domestic violence counselling.

– Fined for posting homophobic threats on social media.

– Been frozen out of four different clubs for his attitude.

Memphis Depay:
– ‘United career seems to have sputtered towards a halt’ – He’s been here three months.

– ‘Some downright anonymous performances’ – He’s been here three months.

– ‘The player himself has hardly helped matters. After the last run of international fixtures he refused to talk to the press which did little to quell the notion that he has a touch of the prima donna about him’ – Either that, or he’s sick of guff like this being written about him.

– ‘Stuck to their smartphones’ – He plays on his phone? The b*stard.

– Has 20 Dutch caps by the age of 21 and has 57 career goals.

‘At least Morrison did not cost anything,’ is Keegan’s conclusion. And thus ends the character assassination.


On BT Sport on Tuesday evening, Paul Scholes continued his verbal punching of Louis van Gaal, claiming in his post-match analysis that the Dutchman dislikes Michael Carrick.

“I don’t think Van Gaal likes Carrick,” Scholes said. “Because he doesn’t play him,” was the response when pushed to elaborate.

This season Carrick has started nine out 11 league games and two of four in the Champions League. Last season Carrick was unavailable for selection until November 2014 after picking up a pre-season injury. He played 14 times on his return before rupturing a muscle in January and being ruled out for a further four weeks.

“He is my captain so he brings a lot of experience but also a lot of composure,” Van Gaal said at that point. “I can use him in different positions and I like that. Because he is my captain he can transfer my philosophy on the pitch.”

Again in May of this year – after Carrick’s return coincided with United’s best spell of the season – Van Gaal stated:

“He is a player who can read the game – and that is what I am looking for, players who can read the game. Not only individually, but also for the team, because the team is more important. All the players can read the game individually, that is not so difficult. But to see it for the team is more difficult and not so many players can read the game for the team [like Carrick can].”

Last month after hearing Carrick had been called back into the England squad Van Gaal had this to say:

“He is a quality player and I am very happy for him when Hodgson thinks he needs him because he wants to play for the national team. I’m very happy for him because he is also able to play for me against Arsenal. He was not injured, I have said that already. It was a minor injury and tiredness. He is 34 years old so it is logical that he needs more time to recover as a player but I am very happy with him.”

To summarise, it is nonsense to suggest Van Gaal dislikes Carrick. Then again, speaking nonsense seems to be Scholes business nowadays. And business is good.


‘Chelsea reject shock £35m bid by Monaco for under-pressure manager Jose Mourinho,’ reads the headline on the Daily Mail website. Weirdly enough such massive news doesn’t make the paper.

‘Monaco made a startling approach for Jose Mourinho on Tuesday but saw a staggering £35million bid rejected, according to a shareholder,’ the story begins. ‘Alessandro Proto claims he met Roman Abramovich in London in a bid to prise away Chelsea’s beleaguered manager.’

Things to point out:

1) This isn’t news. It first came out on October 26, eight days before the Mail ran the story.

2) This story originates from Proto himself. So it’s just a man claiming something – a manufactured PR stunt.

3) Proto is just a shareholder. He doesn’t actually have complete sway at Monaco.

Proto is the man ’50 Shades of Grey’ is based on. This is €50m grades of horses**t.


When an another example doesn’t really work, just use it anyway
‘Newcastle enjoyed limited success with largely French acquisitions to come fifth in 2011-12’ – Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail on Aston Villa’s struggles with their new French players.

Surely Newcastle finishing fifth was a little bit more than a ‘limited success’?

It certainly was when Samuel was touting Pardew for the England job two months ago. Or was that success achieved in spite of the French players?


Sweet FA
‘Diego Costa will not be charged by the Football Association for his off-the-ball kick on Martin Skrtel,’ writes Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail. ‘Why? Replays plainly showed Costa pushing his studs into Skrtel as the pair fell to the ground in Saturday’s game at Stamford Bridge.

‘Costa has previous for violent play, too, and served a three-match ban earlier in the season. Yet the FA line is that referee Mark Clattenburg saw the incident and dealt with it at the time. Really? If he did he was the only one who didn’t believe it deserved action.’

Well not the only one, Martin. There was also that former professional referee. You know, the one who writes for the Daily Mail.

‘For me at full speed I doubt whether any referee would have dismissed the Chelsea man,’ wrote Graham Poll on Monday. ‘Replays might well have led to a red card but thankfully we still trust our referees to get the majority of decisions right. Clattenburg’s only real error was to let Lucas Leiva stay on the field after a clear second yellow card offence.’


Slow, slow, slow
“I watched the manager’s Holland team in the World Cup and from that I think I’m going to be his type of player” – Tom Cleverley, July 26, 2014.

What a visionary. Maybe Cleverley was actually right; he is a Van Gaal type of player.


Slight difference of opinion #1
‘Straining every sinew in that bull terrier neck, Wayne Rooney sent the ball past goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev. Just as well they didn’t drop him, then, as the manager was advised. Just as well United manager Louis van Gaal trusted in the maxim: class will out. And Rooney was class’ – Martin Samuel, Daily Mail.

Samuel might want to have a word with his colleague Chris Wheeler, who did the match ratings for the Daily Mail at Old Trafford. Only two Manchester United players were awarded a lower mark than ‘class’ Rooney.


Slight difference of opinion #2
‘Chris Smalling still has the odd bad moment. He suffers little slips that scare his mates and encourage opponents. Has come a long way but needs to work on concentration’ – Alan Nixon, The Sun. 

‘The Russians didn’t offer much in attack but whenever Smalling needed to intercept or win a heading duel he lapped it up. Late block was the highlight’ – Stuart Mathieson, Manchester Evening News.


Ten thousand spoons

Unsurprising quote of the day
“I like John Terry. I always have. I know I’m in a minority, but I’m allowed that opinion in a democracy. Perhaps I’m drawn to rebels? I’m a huge admirer of Joey Barton’s” – Richard Keys.

Rebels or [redacted] and [redacted]?


Ridiculous rumour of the day
‘Liverpool to beat Man Utd to unsettled Barcelona star by triggering £56m release clause’ –

Yes, Liverpool will pay £56m for goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.


Headline of the day
‘Right Garde’ – The Sun. Good.


Worst headline of the day
‘Zeroo to Heroo’ – Daily Mirror. Not good.


Recommended reading of the day
Paul Hayward
on the healing power of sport.

Bryan Kay on the MLS stars building schools in Sierra Leone.

Seb Stafford-Bloor on Fan TV.


Thanks to today’s Mediawatch spotter Robert Melia. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting ‘Mediawatch’ in the subject field.

More Related Articles