'A new low' for Balotelli (going outside the house when injured), the Metro explain the Champions League maths and even Wrighty's miserable now...
Frank Lampard is both lethal and irreplaceable while Jamie Redknapp admits he's stating the obvious, Steve Bruce gets credit for naming his best team and...
The Signature Shorn Dome
Mediawatch presents extracts from this piece, about Sports Illustrated journalist Grant Wahl, without comment.
- 'Grant Wahl's shirts and jackets are custom made in India. His shoes are cobbled in Argentina specifically for his long, narrow feet. And his jeans come from a boutique brand in his hometown of Kansas City. One doesn't become the country's preeminent soccer writer by ignoring the details.'
- "I don't think my friends all realize how particular I am on this kind of stuff. I don't really advertise it," Wahl says with a laugh, drinking coffee during an early-morning interview at his airy, second-floor apartment in the NoMad neighborhood of Manhattan. "I just think it's good to look good."
- "I keep it simple. I'll take a garment bag for jackets and shirts, and a smaller carry-on for everything else," says Wahl..."It's not that complicated. Nice jeans, good shirt, nice jacket and you're set. If you do it the right way, you don't have to take a lot of stuff."
- 'He'll be able to launder clothes at his home base, a São Paulo hotel, near where the U.S. men's national team will stay. From there, he'll fly back and forth to game sites, utilizing his carry-on. And if the U.S. gets eliminated, he'll move to Rio.'
- "I don't think I ever dressed like a schlub on the job, but I certainly know other guys who maybe don't think about how they dress as much," Wahl says. "I think it helps a little bit if you're in that mixed zone (where media members jockey for post-game interviews) and a player is coming through and they know what I look like."
- 'Wahl's signature shorn dome helps as well - "Even when it's cold, I won't wear a hat," he says - but his reputation is what really gives him an upper hand.'
Well, no comment, other than to wonder what's become of journalism and to scratch our heads in complete and total bafflement as to why the f*cking f*ckety f*ck anyone would give two f*cking f*ckety f*cks about what sort of clothes a journalist might wear.
Indeed, while Mediawatch has plenty to say about journalists, we're pretty sure that 99% of them have the self-awareness to realise that what sort of threads they're packing to take to Brazil is about as relevant as an octopus that predicts football matches, that even discussing such things would make them look ridiculous and put their credibility lower than the heels of their specifically-cobbled Argentinean shoes, and that an interview with a website called 'Jeans And Ties.com' is therefore probably one they could pass on.
But yeah, presented without comment.
Words In His Mouth
We don't pretend to know what goes on in Roy Hodgson's owlish head. Other than the smug knowledge that he can turn the whole thing all the way around if he wants, while the rest of us have to cope with merely left, right and forwards.
Mediawatch did find it rather curious that Hodgson was quite so effusive about Wayne Rooney's performance against Ecuador last night, and not just because Wayne's showing was, we can probably all agree, decent but not much more.
Nevertheless, Hodgson said after the game: "Rooney and Lampard I thought were immense. It's hot out there, they have got a lot of young players around them and I thought they really showed their maturity and we saw the benefit of that."
The reason Mediawatch thought that a bit odd was how reticent Hodgson had been about saying anything beyond platitudes about Rooney before the game, when presumably he was trying to limit the pressure and dampen any expectation on his striker.
Hodgson said on Tuesday: "The fact is, with respect, you [the media] make him an exceptional player when you want to make him an exceptional player and then when you want to make him a player that you don't think should be in the team, you do that as well.
"You're saying he's an exceptional player. I'm not saying if he's exceptional or not. I have picked him because he is a very good player and I think it's wrong of you, quite frankly, to suggest you use words about him and you either want me to refute them or agree with them. I don't think you should put me in that position."
So he's immense but not exceptional? An attempt to cool any media hyperbole is followed by some, well, hyperbole?
We realise that isn't funny, so here's 50 Cent throwing a baseball.
The Daily Mail are all over the place on Rooney this morning. One edition of the paper gives Rooney 6/10 but nominates him as their 'star man', despite four players receiving a higher mark than him, and then there's Martin Samuel's verdict:
'Wayne Rooney scored but laboured...Played on the left, supposedly to get his fitness back to peak but in a role Hodgson now says he may occupy in Brazil, he was far from his best.'
Star man indeed.
Also in The Daily Mail, Neil Ashton sensibly writes, about the James Milner: Right-Back experiment:
'That's what these games are for and the fact it didn't really work is no biggie.'
Of course, that note of perspective might be slightly more worthwhile if it hadn't come in the middle of a piece in which Ashton compares the decision to 'putting your finger in a live electrical socket', remarking 'To think that a two-time winner of the Barclays Premier League is not considered good enough to play in his own position for the national team is a remarkable call', while calling the selection a 'mistake' and 'not a viable alternative.'
But yeah, no biggie.
Punditing: Part One
Hats off to Glenn Hoddle who, while punditing for ITV on Wednesday, tried to explain away England's defensive issues by commenting that the players involved didn't know each other very well.
Well, apart from the two chaps who have played for the same team since 2011.
Punditing: Part Two
Noted John Hartson:
"There's a school of thought that suggests that the absence of a strong Rangers team in the Scottish Premier League has made it a bit easier for Celtic recently."
Well done big man, take the rest of the day off.
Intro from The Sun: 'Georgios Samaras is backing Greece to become underdog sensations again.'
Quote from Samaras: "Anything can happen."
Quote Of The Day
"I said it four months ago that I will work on Cristiano Ronaldo seriously and rule him out of the World Cup or at least prevent him from playing against Ghana and the best thing I can do is to keep him out though injury. This injury can never be cured by any medic, they can never see what is causing the injury because it is spiritual. Today, it is his knee, tomorrow it is his thigh, next day it is something else" - 'Witch doctor' Nana Kwaku Bonsam takes credit for Ronaldo's knack woes.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'CrOXed' - The Sun.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A man posting on a Japanese marriage advice forum has said the reason for his wife divorcing him was that he didn't enjoy the Disney film Frozen. He writes that his wife became obsessed with Frozen after a friend introduced her to it, prompting her to see it at the cinema numerous times. He was eventually cajoled into going along with her, but afterwards said that it was only "OK", and he "didn't really care for it personally".
'Perhaps inspired by the self-empowerment message in the film's central anthem Let It Go, the woman then said: "If you can't understand what makes this movie great, there's something wrong with you as a human being!" before saying that she wanted a divorce. He says she now won't talk to him directly, but mediates through their parents.
'The man states on the forum (ominously titled The Gravesite of Married People) that there were no pre-existing issues in their marriage, and that he earns enough for her not to have to work. Forum users have since offered advice such as: "If you've got that much money, you should hire a private investigator to look into what she's been up to. I bet she's seeing some guy on the side," and "That's just weird. Do you think there's some other reason she ran out that she's not telling you about?" - The Guardian.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters David Walker and Theodore Apraku.. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.