The Page That Is Just Like Elizabeth Taylor

Chris Smalling is a 'superstar', it was Roy's fault that Sterling so red, 'secrets' that are 'hammered home' and more...

Last Updated: 09/06/14 at 12:21

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The Page That Is Licking Its Licks

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Louis van Gaal must be feeling helluva stupid right now while Arsenal play four central midfielders and the Daily Star can reveal their next manager. Again.

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Malky Mackay is a proper football man; perhaps he can fight the Stalinist monsters from Zurich...

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Deep Impact
It was only a matter of time before the Daily Mail's Martin Samuel reached the obvious conclusion about Raheem Sterling - via an IMDB search of the word 'impact'.

'Sterling, who knows? Hodgson rejected the chance to start him against Peru or Ecuador and was faced with a young man so desperate to make an impression in that second game that he got sent off and missed the final match in which he was earmarked to start. And there is the folly of the impact substitute.'

Yes, that's right: It was Hodgson's fault Sterling made that silly challenge and got sent off.


Open Secrets
'REVEALED: SERETS OF ENGLAND'S FLIPCHART BRIEFING' is the frankly massive headline in the Daily Mail, who have a picture of said flipchart debriefing featuring such highly classified information as 'no injuries' and 'had best chances'. This flipchart - bizarrely and erroneously described as a 'tactics board' by The Sun - basically outlines what England players should and should not say when they talked to the media after the Honduras draw.

Which the media already knew because they talked to said England players after the Honduras draw.

Which begs the question: Why are they 'secrets' when, by the Daily Mail's admission, they are 'positive messages they were expected to hammer home as part of Team England's propaganda'? If they were still 'secrets' by Monday, that 'hammering home' didn't quite go to plan.


Desperate Times
At what point do you think Neil Ashton realised that promising a double-page spread on 'England's flipchart debriefing' was a tad ambitious? Was it...

a) When he found himself writing the words 'the flipchart recorded that England had the 'best chances' and that Hodgson was 'delighted with the workout'. This is all designed to be positive as England's players prepare for the World Cup finals'?

or

b) When he found himself writing the words 'they were also ordered not to talk about the individuals in Cesare Prandelli's team during interviews with the media. Keeper Gianluigi Buffon, plus Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Pirlo, Daniele de Rossi, Marco Verratti and Mario Balotelli are the stars in the Italian squad'?

or

c) Never. He truly believes this is the biggest story in football right now.

If you answered c), you are Neil Ashton. Congratulations.


Generally Speaking
The Sun claim that their columnists are 'the talk of football'. In Andros Townsend's case, the talk is 'how can a bang-average player with five England caps have a column in a national newspaper?'

Anyway, Townsend - with his five England caps, 42 Premier League appearances and absolutely no big tournament experience - writes on Monday: 'I don't want to generalise but it's usually the South American teams that resport to dirty tactics. And - at a World Cup - you have to be prepared for that.'

And he should know - he once played 57 minutes against Chile in a friendly.


Stern It Up
Much has been made in Monday's newspapers about the physical approach of the Hondurans - with John Dillon in the Daily Express bizarrely believing it relevant to re-live a tackle from a Uruguayan on Gordon Strachan from 1986 - but one paragraph in The Times has amused us possibly more than it should...

'It was the way Emilio Izaguirre followed up a foul on Daniel Sturridge by lashing the ball into the forward as he lay on the ground. "I didn't like that," Jordan Henderson said sternly.'

We hope he wrote a strongly worded letter of complaint.


A Lawro, Lawro Nonsense
Only a Liverpool fan - in this case, Mark Lawrenson in the Daily Mirror - would say with no hint of a smirk that no Italian player would get into England's first XI.

So no Andrea Pirlo over Jordan Henderson? No Ignazio Abate over Glen Johnson at right-back? Hmmmm. After Saturday's performance against Honduras, Mediawatch would take Italy's third-choice keeper Salvatore Sirigu over Johnson at right-back.


Caption Of The Day
From The Sun's '3 LIONS IN NO SHIRTS' story about England's players, essentially, going out in no shirts: 'Mobbed...Sturridge and, above, fellow superstar beachgoers - Smalling, Welbeck and Henderson.'

Yes that's Chris Smalling: Superstar.


Public Information Broadcast
For the 427th time: Adam Lallana is 26. That is not 'young' (Daily Mirror) in football terms.


Hend Of The Line
Headline in the Daily Star: 'I'LL HEND MY WAYS'.

Opening paragraph in the Daily Star: 'JORDAN HENDERSON has backed himself to go from England Under-21 flop to World Cup star.'

Number of times Jordan Henderson mentions the Under-21s: Do we really need to tell you?


Quote Of The Weekend
"I am not going to stop playing for England because I was moved out on to the left wing, am I?" - Wayne Rooney. We wonder what/who on earth he could be talking about...


Headline Of The Day
'TOGETHER IN ELECTRIC DREAMS' - The Daily Mirror. We're suckers for an 80s electro pop reference.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'ROY'S BOYS UP FOR BRUISE-ZIL' - The Daily Star.

Worst Headline Of The Day (Runner-Up)
'I'm taken Abate by England ' - The Sun.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A male thief clad in a dress, crotchless panties and a wig allegedly broke into a sex shop through the ceiling. The alarm was raised and the female store manager arrived at the scene and confronted the man at the adult store in Brisbane. The 34-year-old suspect pelted her with sex toys in a bid for freedom and scurried back into the ceiling. But it wasn't the raunchy 'robber's' lucky day as cops caught him on the roof.

'Police say a man has been charged with breaking and entering and possession of dangerous drugs. This isn't the first time a would-be pervy purloiner has been nabbed trying to pilfer sex toys. Last week another botched burglary saw a man in Cairns falling through a sex shop ceiling' - The Daily Mirror.


Thanks for nothing, people. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at theeditor@football365.com, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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