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The dream team of Cascarino and Redknapp (Redarino?) 'analyse' England, and an unwanted guest lingers...

Last Updated: 20/11/13 at 14:32

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Heading Against A Brick Wall
Understandably the papers are full of the fall-out from England's shot-on-target-less defeat to Germany last night, but rather than merely repeat the obvious lines from all and sundry, we will simply go to the guru, the tactical shamen with the answer to all of England's woes.

In The Times, Tony Cascarino highlights two burning issues with England. The first is a lack of quality in central defence given the goals conceded in the last week: 'England just do not look like keeping a clean sheet.'

Cascarino handily ignores the fact that only Spain conceded fewer goals than England in European World Cup qualifying (and they played two games fewer), and also omits to mention that in the last four games that Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka have played together (England's first-choice pairing) we have conceded one goal. But don't worry, because T-Casc has the answer.

'I have said before that it is time for the England manager to do something radical...shifting Steven Gerrard into the back four, and with every game that goes by, the evidence mounts.'

Yes, that's the answer to our problems with defensive solidity. Move our captain into a position in which he has never played (and won't do at club level) six months before a World Cup.

Cascarino doesn't stop there, however, because he has England's second conundrum to solve.

'Apart from Wayne Rooney, there is not a single player at Hodgson's disposal who you would back to score from a header.'

Well yes, that is true. Apart from Jay Rodriguez, Steven Caulker and Daniel Sturridge, who have more headed goals than any other Premier League players this season.

And Rickie Lambert, who scored four headed goals in the league last season and also scored with a header on his debut against Scotland. Or Danny Welbeck, who scored a header in the same game. Or Lambert again, who scored with a header against Moldova in September. Or Frank Lampard, who scored a header in Moldova away in qualifying. Or Sturridge again, who scored a header against San Marino in March. Or Joleon Lescott, who scored against France in the Euros last summer. Or Andy Carroll, who did the same against Sweden.

Point suitably laboured, admittedly, but 'analysis' suitably questioned.

Are You Fitting Comfortably?

Do you want to play a game? Good. Can you name the six players Harry Redknapp mentions in The Sun that could 'fit comfortably into the Germany team'?

Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole and Steven Gerrard would be early guesses we'd wager, with Leighton Baines and Glen Johnson probably coming slightly further down the list, but the last one is a real gem.

Step forward... Kyle Walker. That's the same Kyle Walker who doesn't fit particularly comfortably into the England team.

What's that I hear you cry? What about the Ballon D'Or nominated Phillipp Lahm? fear not, 'Arry has the answer.

'Admittedly Germany have Phillipp Lahm but doesn't he play in midfield for them rather than at right-back?'

Two things:
1. Of the nine matches played by Lahm in Germany's World Cup qualification group, Lahm played eight at right-back. He played the other at left-back and spent no time as a midfielder.
2. If Lahm was indeed operating in midfield, we imagine he would be moving back rather sharpish were Kyle Walker Germany's other option.

An Unwanted Guest

Perhaps it is wearing us down, perhaps he has made us weary, or maybe Adrian Durham's Daily Mail column isn't quite so offensive this week. It would, however, be remiss not to at least touch on such a resource.

The bee in Durham's bonnet this week is the presentation of a golden cap to Frank Lampard to mark his 100th cap, labelling the friendly against Chile as 'the Frank Lampard exhibition game'.

Durham then proceeds to attack Roy Hodgson for his sentimentality in playing Lampard simply because he has been good in the past.

'I respect what he's done but we're supposed to be preparing for a World Cup, not having players making special guest appearances.'

It's an interesting definition of 'guest appearance' given that, before these two matches, Lampard had made an appearance in nine of England's last ten games. Almost a farewell tour.

A New Low

There are few things more disgusting to the Daily Mail than the abuse of the England captain's armband.

'The captain's armband is often passed around for fun during friendlies, but last night England reached a new low,' they opine.

So what happened? Did Steven Gerrard rip it off his arm and stamp it into the dirt? Did Joe Hart put it between his rear cheeks and mime the action of defecating onto the pitch? No, even worse than that.

'Kyle Walker, asked to pass it to Joe Hart by the departing Wayne Rooney, decided to chuck the red armband to his keeper rather than give it to him.'

Yes that's right, the entire premise of their criticism is that he threw a piece of material, rather than passed it. And it gets worse.

'His throw was short and the armband fell on the grass between them.'

Send them both to the tower. Off with their heads.

On reflection, their description of 'a new low' is actually pretty spot on.

No-one. Except them. And them. Twice.

Speaking after his side's 9-0 win over San Marino U21s, Gareth Southgate was quick to defend the evident weakness of the opposition.

"Everyone will say the opposition is poor, but no-one has scored that many against them."

Apart from Germany, who beat San Marino's U21s 11-0. Or Spain, who beat them 10-1. Or Spain again, who beat them 14-0.

Statement of The Bleeding Obvious
'Keepers are there primarily to stop the ball going into the net.'

Neil Ashton has only gone and cracked the whole bloody goalkeeper thing in the Daily Mail.


From a site not a million miles from here: 'Galaxy ace heads to England.'

The 'ace' in question is JackMcBean. A (required) quick Wikipedia search tells us that 18-year-old McBean has moved from the US to England to have trials with Wolves and Blackburn.


Unsuccessful Litigator Of The Day

When asked about England's lack of shot on target against Germany last night, Roy Hodgson stood up, smugly adjusted his waistcoat, put hand on hip and went all Frank Galvin on the interviewer. Badly.

"What about Townsend's shot that hit the post? Is that not on target? I rest my case."

No further questions, your honour.

Football Quote Of The Day

Per Nielsen, speaking about the methods of new Fulham coach Rene Meulensteen.

"He made players tell him what animal they wanted to be on the pitch. I said I would be a tiger. The other players responded and Meulensteen drew the starting line-up with a tiger, fox, elephant , giraffe and other animals.

"All I could think was that we were sending an entire zoo onto the pitch. We Went on and lost 4-0."

Who picks an elephant?

Worst Headline Of The Day

'Don't Mention The Score' - The Mirror

Or, don't mention references to a conflict that finished 68 years ago.

Football Headline Of The Day

'The Three Ronnies' - The Mirror make amends about two inches above.

Non-Football Story Of The Day

'A tongue-in-cheek viral ad for a protein shake that featured men who appeared to be masturbating has been banned.

'The ad, for sports drink For Goodness Shakes, was embedded in a marketing email. The email asked the question "What's going on here?", followed by the video, which showed the upper bodies of men who appeared to be masturbating in public places.

'At the end of the video it was revealed that it was a protein drink being shaken, and the line "We shake for you ... the protein shake without the shaker."

'The Advertising Standards Authority investigated the ad after a complaint that it was likely to cause serious or widespread offence. The shake's maker, My Goodness, said that its protein powders required "vigorous and constant shaking" to turn them into smooth shakes.

'The company said that the video was a humorous take that used the old comedy technique of "it isn't what you think it is". It added that the video had not been advertised using general broadcast media, such as TV, so it was unlikely to have been seen outside the target market of "sports-interested adult males" who would relate to the video.

'The ASA said the video "alluded to masturbation" with a scene that indicated that a man had "ejaculated" onto a woman's back. - The Guardian

Many thanks to Neil Patrick and Greg Foster. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting Mediawatch in the subject field.

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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