The Daily Mail still can't find anyone to back their campaign, and Michael Owen showers us with gold dust...
Mario Balotelli was either badly behaved or had a knee injury, depending on who you believe, and the 'Hands Off' campaign gets big backing...
In order to fully understand The Sun's #dousproud campaign, Mediawatch consulted The Stable, which promises to tell us 'who's doing what in the world of commercial creativity'.
According to The Stable - and who are we to doubt The Stable? - 'the theme is that win, lose or draw, the UK just wants its boys to go out there and play their hearts out'. This was reflected in The Sun's original message of 'no pressure just #DoUsProud'.
Funnily enough, the 'no pressure' part of that rousing statement has been mysteriously airbrushed from the newspaper's coverage. But they're still urging England to #DoUsProud, so presumably there's no pressure at all implied by their SIX pages of coverage (including Steven Howard's column headlined 'Hodgson can't afford any more mistakes') under the heading 'IT'S DO OR DIE FOR 3 LIONS'.
Definitely no pressure there at all. Just do your best, boys. Or die.
A New Low
'EXCLUSIVE: Sportsmail's Neil Ashton says England must be more ruthless when they face Uruguay in second World Cup game.'
He's your own sodding journalist. You pay him. We should bloody well hope it's exclusive. Especially when it's such tactical goal-dust. More ruthless than when they lost 2-1 and scored just once from 18 attempts, do you think, Neil?
Alan Shearer is so convinced that Wayne Rooney should play centrally that he's been paid twice to say exactly that. After all, why have two opinions about different things when one will suffice?
So he tells The Sun: 'If he is not going to play Wayne Rooney in his favoured position either up top or just behind the frontman, then he shouldn't play him at all...I would have set up with him playing off Sturridge, with Adam Lallana and Sterling either side.'
And he tells the BBC Sport website: 'If Wayne Rooney does not play in the number 10 position behind Daniel Sturridge in England's next World Cup game against Uruguay on Thursday, then I would not play him at all...I would have him in behind Sturridge, where he has proven himself time and time again, and move Sterling to the right, where he plays for Liverpool the vast majority of the time.'
Seems pretty unequivocal, right? Erm, except if you were watching the BBC on Saturday night, when Shearer, Gary Lineker and Rio Ferdinand had this conversation:
Rio: "He's going for the England record, play him in his best position - number nine or number ten..."
Lineker: "But Sturridge played up front and scored, so you can't really question Roy's judgement."
Rio: "But his second best position is number ten. You've gotta get your best man in terms of goalscoring the chance to score goals."
Shearer (smugly): "But our best player was Raheem Sterling, who played in the number ten role and caused problems all night."
He must have slept on it.
Dropped A (Jackson) B**lock
Clarke Carlisle rather sells himself as the thinking man's footballer, on the basis that he did rather well on Countdown and seems capable of swallowing editions of both Roget's Thesaurus and the Oxford English Dictionary in one sitting. South American football, however, doesn't seem to be his strong suit, which is unfortunate around World Cup time.
Commentating on Switzerland v Ecuador on ITV on Sunday, Carlisle aimed to impress upon commentator Sam Matterface just how strong the Ecuadorians are.
"When Jackson Martinez can't get in the side," Carlisle said. "They must be pretty good."
Well yes Clarke, that and the fact that Martinez is Colombian rather than Ecuadorian.
Fact Of The Weekend
Courtesy of the MailOnline: 'A million England supporters packed into 32,000 late-opening pubs for 11pm kick-off, drinking 17.5million pints.'
Just the 17.5 pints each. That's definitely true. And absolutely nobody drunk wine or spirits. What do you think they are...pooves?
France v Honduras on Sunday was notable in that it marked the first time that a World Cup goal had been awarded by goal-line technology.
For everyone watching, this was a relatively simple process. The ball initially hit the post, before hitting Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares and crossing the line. All fine.
Unless you're BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce, that is, who doesn't trust technology one bit, getting himself tied up in a bizarre web of his own incompetence.
Pearce: "Look at this again. We've seen so many spurious goal-line technology replays. And it signals no goal! No goal has gone up on the screen. The fans have heard it, the Honduran players have seen it."
Martin Keown: "But it's a goal there..."
Pearce: "Oh goodness me, they've changed their minds now. Does goal-line technology work or doesn't it? Which replay are we supposed to believe? This was supposed to be a flawless system."
Keown: "Yes but it says the ball was over the line on the second instance."
Pearce: "The whole goal line technology debate will flare up again because it was not good enough, was it?"
No Jonathan it wasn't good enough. Not by a long shot.
Your Key To Idiocy
9.04pm - France's second goal awarded by goal-line technology. Within one minute everyone (except Jonathan Pearce) understands and accepts that the correct decision has been made.
9.08pm - Richard Keys takes to Twitter. "That wasn't in. At any time. Told you this technology wasn't fool proof."
9.39pm - Keys is back. "Got us another angle. It was in."
Would that be the same 'angle' that FIFA released within a minute of the goal being given?
Presumably this is just all another conspiracy. Never has the phrase 'fool proof' been more deliciously used.
Sterling Fact Of The Day
'7. He could see the Wembley arch from his family home in Harlesden, west London.'
Sometimes there's a reason why we 'didn't know' the 'things that we didn't know about England World Cup star Raheem Sterling'.
Sterling Nonsense Of The Day
Never mind 'things that we didn't know about England World Cup star Raheem Sterling', The Sun's Steven Howard should have a list of 'things you really should know about Raheem Sterling if you're a football journalist'. Like, for example, his position on the pitch.
In his 'exclusive' (of course) story about Wayne Rooney wanting to play in the middle - because Howard is the only one who knows - he writes: 'Raheem Sterling was a big success in the No 10 role behind Sturridge against Italy, but he could go back to his usual left-wing spot to accommodate Rooney.'
No. of Premier League games started by Sterling for Liverpool last season: 24.
No. of Premier League games started by Sterling for Liverpool last season on the left: 5.
No. of Premier League games started by Sterling for Liverpool last season in the middle: 6.
Mark Lawrenson thinks we're all getting a tad carried away with Raheem Sterling as he writes in today's Daily Mirror: 'For my money, I think we are going a bit overboard with Sterling at the moment anyway. He is very inexperienced at this level. In any other team, Rooney would be playing at No. 10. So why not for England?'
Very sensible. So you definitely wouldn't catch Lawrenson putting him in a list of 'top 10 youngsters to look out for in Brazil' and writing that 'it is a measure of his improvement that he is being seriously talked about as No.10 for England' or suggesting that 'this is his opportunity to hit the heights on the world stage'. No siree. He'd never get carried away.
Martin Samuel is spoiling for a fight but has been foiled at every turn by Roy Hodgson in the past two weeks. It turns out that Hodgson was planning to use Raheem Sterling after all (Martin Samuel, June 2: 'If Friday is any indication, he will be the roll of the dice, the get-out-of-jail card. He is where England go if Wayne Rooney is not producing again or Danny Welbeck has exhausted his limited possibilities') and not play the 'limited' Welbeck as a No. 10 (Martin Samuel, June 11: 'Welbeck is not a No 10, traditionally the position of creative playmaker. England have three players capable of occupying that slot, four if one includes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain'). It turns out that Samuel was getting his substantial knickers in a twist for nothing.
So where does one turn when all else fails? To John Terry, of course. That's where Hodgson let his country down. Of course.
What's In A Name?
Headline on MailOnline: 'Glen Johnson and Leighton Baines fell short against Italy...England should look to James Milner and Luke Shaw vs Uruguay'.
Well, they do call him 'Mad Dog'.
From Robbie Savage on the BBC after Honduras v France on Sunday night: "I remember '62, the Battle of Santiago."
Robbie Savage was born in 1974.
Put-Down Of The Day
Robbie Savage: "At Leicester City, Thierry [Henry]'s Arsenal used to hate it when we got stuck in and gave them no space, didn't you Thierry?"
Henry: "We managed."
Given that the aggregate score between the two teams during Savage's time at Leicester was 29-8 in Arsenal's favour, we'd definitely say Arsenal 'managed'.
'Football' Photo Caption Of The Day
From MailOnline (of course): 'Slim pickings: Ronaldo has less body fat than supermodels, one of whom is Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.'
And she's wearing skimpy underwear.
It's football news, folks.
The Hunt Is Gone
From the Birmingham Mail's latest Wolves transfer update: 'Middlesbrough's Lukas Jutkiewicz is the latest name in the frame, although any swap deal involving Kevin Doyle or Stephen Hunt appears unlikely.'
Mediawatch would say 'very unlikely' as Stephen Hunt left in June 2013.
Headlines Of The Day
'They think it's ball over..it is now' - The Sun on goal-line technology.
'GAUL-LINE TECHNOLOGY' - The Daily Mirror.
Non-Football Story of The Day
'A glamour model who drunkenly attacked two police officers is refusing to carry out community service because it is 'too tiring' for her. Sophie Pearl Dalzell, 20, from Manchester, was ordered to 400 hours of litter-picking after the 2012 assault. Months later, she was hauled back to court for skipping probation meetings to get a second breast enlargement in Belgium.
'It came after she refused to wear an electronic tag for a separate offence because it interfered with her adult TV work. Now, with 180 hours of community work left to complete, Dalzell has declared she has ground to a halt because she 'just can't physically do it'' - MailOnline.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters Tom Sperrink, Philip Holland and Wayne McGuire. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org