The Page That Almost Ate A Bullet

The day England returned home in a hearse and reward for 'phenomenal' Rooney...

Last Updated: 15/11/13 at 12:12

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The Page That Felt The Wind In His Hair

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Sacking David Moyes will cost United £200million (sort of) (not at all). Plus United are now as bad as Chelsea and Manchester City, in that they want their managers to be successful

The Page That Skipped Breakfast

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Mediawatch is dizzy after reading so many U-turns on David Moyes, while Tim Sherwood spotted Christian Eriksen first...

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Willing Runners
Chris Waddle previews Ronaldo v Zlatan Portugal v Sweden in the Daily Mail on Friday, but his knowledge of the two players teams leaves much to be desired.

'So who will it be? I can see Portugal dominating possession, so a lot will depend on how Sweden defend and how effective they are at set-pieces and on the counter attack,' writes Waddle.

'They are renowned for their spirit and will go all the way to the 92nd minute of the second leg, if need be, but their goal threat really does boil down to how much impact Ibrahimovic can make.

'They are not short of willing runners, but Ibrahimovic isn't exactly surrounded by oceans of flair players and may have to create as well as finish chances, if they are to go through.'

So bags of 'spirit', plenty of 'willing runners' and a lack of 'flair players'? Anyone would think this preview was written by someone who knows bugger all about Sweden or Portugal.

Dark Days
Forgive Mediawatch if its memory is not what it used to be, but we considered England's defeat to Germany at the 2010 World Cup to be nothing more than one disappointing result. A blip, if you will. A sound thrashing, but a sound thrashing when injuries had left England with Matthew Upson in defence; a sound thrashing to a brilliant opponent who then saw off Argentina 4-0 and only lost 1-0 to arguably the greatest team in history in the semi-final.

However, The Sun see things rather differently.

'June 27, 2010, Bloemfontein - the date Frank Lampard dares not think about,' writes Steven Howard on Friday.

'On one of the blackest days in English football, Germany thrashed Fabio Capello's side 4-1 in the World Cup last 16 in South Africa and sent them back home in a hearse.'

Yes, it well and truly was the death of the English game. Quite how the Three Lions rose from the dead to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 is beyond Mediawatch.

'At the time it felt as if this was as bad as it could get. That there was no hope for the future,' Howard continues, forgetting all those occasions when England didn't even qualify for summer tournaments.

'The end of the so-called Golden Generation. The end of all hope.'

There's hyperbole and then there's writing for The Sun.

No Hopers
'You'll never win in Brazil' farts the back page headline in The Sun.

'Chile boss Jorge Sampaoli has written off England's World Cup chances,' writes Mike McGrath.

Actual quotes from Sampaoli: "Brazil will be more suited to a South American team, although the power of European teams means you have to take care."

And on England's hopes: "They have a good side with a good chance."

No Pressure
Said Roy Hodgson on England's newcomers: "The rehearsals can be as good as you like, it's when you step out on stage on the first night that it really counts. It's a big night for them and unfortunately if they do fail spectacularly and do really badly, it will be held against them."

No pressure then. Just go out there and enjoy it.

Rooward, Or Something
'Manchester United plan to have Wayne Rooney locked up on a new £52million contract by the New Year,' is Neil Custis' rather odd intro in The Sun.

'Old Trafford chiefs were stalling after the striker's troubled end to last season.

'But Roo's phenomenal form has convinced them to match his £250,000-a-week wages on a fresh four-year contract long before his current deal runs out at the end of next season.'

What 'phenomenal' form is this? His one goal in the last four matches, or two in the last seven?

Ah yes, sorry, Mediawatch forgot that Rooney has been running around a bit lately.

Ref Justice
As it's international week and there isn't a great deal happening in football, Robbie Savage turns to the banal discussion of referees in his column for the Daily Mirror.

'Referees need to buck up their ideas because their standards are falling unacceptably low in the Premier League,' writes Savage.

'People go on about how hard it is to be a ref, and how officials only get one look at incidents in real time instead of slow-motion TV replays.

'But in my opinion, two decisions last weekend - at Stamford Bridge and the Liberty Stadium - were so poor that it is time we stopped mollycoddling them.'

In a tedious article that Mediawatch has read a thousand times before, the only truly interesting thing Savage has to say is his sly barb at Graham Poll.

'I fear we're going back to the bad old days of Graham Poll,' he writes. 'The man who gave three yellow cards for the price of two.'

But Mediawatch must question Savage's logic when it comes to finding a solution to these godawful refereeing decisions that are damaging our beloved game. A game that has somehow survived and thrived through every over-stated refereeing bungle in the past.

'When players at the top of their profession make big mistakes, they get dropped - just ask Joe Hart,' Savage continues.

'Yes, Premier League referees are sometimes relegated to a beat in the lower divisions when they drop a clanger, but why are they not more accountable for their errors?'

So, by extension, does Savage want a microphone shoved in Hart's face so he can explain why he's been so pants recently? Or has Mediawatch misunderstood his point, if indeed there is one?

'It's a cushy number,' Savage concludes of the refereeing profession.

Mediawatch would argue it's not as cushy as Savage's handsome reward for such trite opinions.

Paying Public
Said Dean Windass in The Sun when giving his verdict on Ronaldo or Zlatan: "I'd pick Ronaldo all day long. He's one of the players you'd pay to see."

Wow. Imagine that. Actually f**king paying to watch a game of football.

And imagine thinking 'well we can't decide until we've asked Dean Windass'.

Quote Of The Day
"To be really happy we would have to have finished in first place in our zone or at least in second place. We beat a team that is no more than a group of buddies who were rejected because they couldn't play rugby in New Zealand well and they had no choice but to switch to soccer." - former Real Madrid striker Hugo Sanchez wasn't happy with Mexico's celebrations after they beat New Zealand 5-1 in the first leg of their World Cup play-off.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'Don't Roo Medel with our Pitbull' - The Sun.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A student stapled his testicles as a forfeit after losing a game of Fifa 13.

'Nathan Bells's cringe-worthy challenge came after losing the Xbox match to friend Saber Da Silva.

'The student took the painful punishment as part of a 'Fifa Forfeits Sunday' event held at his halls of residence. Mr Bells, 20, studying at Leeds University, said: "It brought a tear to me eye. I usually beat Saber. He got lucky."

'The eye-watering moment he jammed a staple into his scrotum was broadcast on student news website, The Tab. "It was hilarious," said Mr Da Silva. "Nobody has turned down a forfeit yet."' - the Metro.

Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters Leon Puszka and Richard Podmore. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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