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'You sometimes reach the stage where you wonder whether there's actually much point in England going' - has Steven Howard just become a parody of himself?

Last Updated: 06/03/14 at 12:46

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Memory Loss
Four seconds after picking up The Sun, Mediawatch is bubbling. Not because of 'LALLAND OF HOPE AND GLORY' (if it's wrong to like that, we don't want to be right) but because Charlie Wyett has indulged in that usual tabloid trick of believing Everything Was Better In The Past.

'Boss Roy Hodgson believes he has the raw materials to replace the Golden Generation who have virtually all left the internatiinal secene,' writes Wyett.

'But his side were not showing they could emulate the likes of Beckham, Owen, Ferdinand and Scholes before Sturridge netted his 82nd-minute winner.'

Two things:

a) The key word in that sentence is 'winner', Charlie. England won.

b) The Golden Generation who were largely at their peak at the 2002 World Cup warmed up for that tournament with one win (over Paraguay) in their last SIX friendlies. They drew with Sweden, Holland, the might of the Korea Republic and Cameroon, and lost 2-1 at home to Italy.

Mediawatch doesn't have access to 12-year-old copies of The Sun but we're pretty damned sure they weren't lauding a 'Golden Generation' in 2002. It's rather more likely that they were saying 'they're not as good as they were in 1990, you know'.

Gruumpy Old Men
Mind you, Wyett sounds positively cheerful in comparison to Chief Grumpypants himself, with Steven Howard - becoming a parody of himself - wet-farting: 'You sometimes reach the stage where you wonder whether there's actually much point in England going.'

Has anybody checked on him today?

On The Wings Of Love
Mediawatch brought you Martin Samuel's obsession with wingers yesterday and he continues apace today. He now believes that England should play a 4-4-2, a formation he described as 'moribund' when Fabio Capello tried that tactic in 2010.

Writes the 2014 Samuel: 'Poor old Sturridge had to do the dog work, while the player who would eventually make the difference - Southampton's Lallana - sat kicking his heels until arriving to save the day in Jack Wilshere's place.

'Only then, with a flying machine on either flank and Sturridge and Danny Welbeck through the middle, did England create enough chances to explain why they were going to the World Cup, and opponents Denmark were not.'

Now Mediawatch is a massive fan of Lallana, which is why we take issue with Samuel's use of the phrase 'flying machine'. Lallana ain't no flying machine, Martin. He's a hell of a lot better and a whole lot more subtle. And we're not entirely sure he played on the wing against Denmark either.

But yeah, wingers are great (until we get over-run by Italy in Manaus).

Old King Cole
Thought Luke Shaw was excellent on Wednesday night? You're a fool.

Writes professional Chelsea cheerleader Neil Ashton in the Daily Mail: 'Leighton Baines is England's left-back now and either Cole or Shaw will be joining him on a plane bound for Miami and then on to Brazil in May. Based on this, Cole is still streets ahead.'

On The Same Page (Part One)
From the Daily Mirror website's 'Seven Things we learned from England vs Denmark' by Frank Smith: 'Sterling may have been given the man-of-the-match award at Wembley but too often his end product was substandard - as it often can be - and that was highlighted when he failed to score from close range just before half-time. Time is running out for Hodgson and his players and Henderson and Sterling should lack back on tonight as a missed opportunity.'

From the Daily Mirror's player match ratings by John Cross: 'Raheem Sterling: MotM. A huge positive for England. Busy, lively, quick. He popped up all over the pitch. He's definitely playing his way into England's World Cup XI.'

For possibly the first time in history, Mediawatch is happy to side with Crossy.

On The Same Page (Part Two)
From Matt Barlow's column in the Daily Mail: 'Young players are emerging even if Jordan Henderson and Jack Wilshere did not dazzle.'

From Sami Mokbel's match ratings in the Daily Mail: 'Henderson: Carried his brilliant form for Liverpool to Wembley.'

We Know International Weeks Are Slow But...
This from the Birmingham Mail...

'Former Birmingham City striker Kevin Francis was once a producer on cult British horror movie Legend Of The Werewolf starring Peter Cushing.

'Or was he?

'If you are to believe the Wikipedia entry on the former Blues star he was once the producer of the 1975 b-movie, and also had a hand in 'Dracula Has Risen From The Grave' and 'The Ghoul'.

'It has of course been incorrectly listed. This Kevin Francis is a British film and television producer.

'The former Blues star Kevin Francis is happily living in Calgrary where he is a Police Officer.

'He played for his hometown club Blues from 1995-1998 and scored 21 goals in 94 games.'

There is no barrel left, it has been fully scraped.

Quote Of The Day
"I wish to thank all fans who support me but the others should be ashamed because I am a born winner and always played my heart out for the national team" - Edin Dzeko.

Question Of The Day
'Recent reports suggest that you are Darwin's missing link. Can you shed any light on this?' - What happens when MailOnline do a #tackleKeown chat.

Headline Of The Day
'Lalland Of Hope And Glory' - The Sun. We're sticking with this.

Worst Headlines Of The Day
'Vidic goes his merry Serie A' - Metro: The only people who think that 'Serie A' is pronounced remotely like 'merry way'.

'Lame Lions late to make Dan-mark' - Metro. We know it's free guys, but...

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'Police arrested a New Mexico woman accused of beating her mother in the head with a sex toy during argument over the weekend. The Smoking Gun reported that Sheryl Claffy called police late Sunday night to say her 35-year-old daughter, Cara Claffy, had struck her in the head with a vibrator at the Albuquerque home they share.

'The 60-year-old Claffy was bleeding from the head when police arrived and told them her daughter was in a pickup truck parked outside. But police found only a man in the driver's seat, although officers noted "an electric vibrator" on the passenger-side floorboard. Investigators did not offer additional details about the device.

'Officers found Cara Claffy leaving a nearby house, and she denied striking her mother. She said her mother told her she'd struck herself in the head with the sex toy' - Raw Story.

Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters Andy Nuttall, Elliot Newstead, Glen Hillsmith and John Herbert. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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Readers' Comments


think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip


e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

Benteke ignoring speculation


n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

Shaw told to shape up

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