The Page That Has One Hell Of A Pie

We made a bit of a boo-boo about Luis Suarez, Oliver Holt asks for a 'tweak' and then calls it a 'gamble' and Neil Ashton wants Hodgson out because he didn't pick James Milner...

Last Updated: 20/06/14 at 12:08

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From Football365, June 17: 'England Right Not To Fear Half-Fit Suarez.'

Sorry.


Brother Luis, Luis, Luis
Luis Suarez was excellent against England in scoring two goals. What Luis Suarez did not do on Thursday - or indeed at any point during a phenomenal season when he scored 31 Premier League goals - was redeem himself. He still used racist language towards Patrice Evra; he still bit Branislav Ivanovic. Playing very good football does not equal redemption and Mediawatch boiled inwardly and outwardly (thankfully, we have an outlet) every time that was suggested last season. And it was suggested roughly once a week.

Now Suarez has reacted to scoring two goals against England by screaming 'told you so' as if he has made a phenomenal and inarguable point.

"Before the game too many people in England laughed about my attitude over the last few years. I want to see what they think now," he said.

Firstly, Luis, people weren't 'laughing' about your 'attitude', they were disgusted. Secondly, do you really want to know what we think now? We mostly think you're a complete arse who just happens to be very good at football. Just like last week.


When Does A Tweak Become A Gamble?
Mediawatch almost broke tradition and wrote something positive on Thursday about Oliver Holt who, along with his Daily Mirror colleague Martin Lipton, was providing a nice counter-point to The Sun with considered, positive analysis of England's World Cup campaign.

Now we're rather glad we refrained.

It only took one poor performance for Holt to revert to knee-jerk type, writing about the 'sobering night for Roy Hodgson' and twice referring to the failed 'gamble' ('the decision backfired badly') of moving Raheem Sterling out to the right.

Quite why it's a 'gamble' playing Sterling in the position he primarily occupied for Liverpool last season is a mystery to us; it smacks of smug hindsight.

Worse still, it's smug hindsight from a man who wrote these words just a day before: 'So tweak a couple of things. Play Wayne Rooney down the middle behind Daniel Sturridge. Let Raheem Sterling wreak havoc in wider areas. But don't change much.'

So to re-cap: Do this. And then if it doesn't work...WHAT THE F*** WERE YOU DOING?


Home James
Mediawatch naively wondered who would be the first to say 'ROY MUST GO' without properly thinking it through - of course, it would be Neil Ashton. 'This is a resignation issue,' he writes in the Daily Mail.

There is a case for saying that any manager who loses the first two World Cup group games should not survive, but Ashton spectacularly fails to make that argument. Instead he makes an utterly bizarre argument based around a suggestion that Hodgson got something wrong. He's just not sure what.

'How about we set out to win the tournament at hand with the country's best players available playing in their best positions and worry about the big picture another time?' he asks.

Well how about explaining yourself, Neil? Are you talking about Rooney in the first game (even though you argued on June 10 that Rooney should be pushed out wide to make way for Raheem Sterling in the middle)? You must be, because against Uruguay, the 'best players available' were playing in 'their best positions'.

Ah, we've just realised why Ashton is so upset with Hodgson. Of course.

He wrote this on June 10: 'There is room for him at No 10 in this England team if Wayne Rooney moves out to the left and James Milner plays on the right against Italy. Danny Welbeck - reliable yet unremarkable - would be sacrificed.

'Rooney, whose finishing was of the highest order in training yesterday, provides experience and Milner adds security on the right in place of Adam Lallana. Roy Hodgson has to make this happen.'

Ashton thinks Hodgson should quit because he didn't pick James Milner. Well, it's a first.


Making Plans For Luis
Neil Ashton also rages at Hodgson for 'not making a plan' for Luis Suarez. 'Is this for real? Were they being serious? It cannot be so. Say it ain't so.'

Pray tell, how do you 'make a plan' for a world-class striker when you do not have world-class defenders? Perhaps he should have summoned the ghost of Bobby Moore. Or simply played James Milner.

'Perhaps he believed, when England drew 2-2 in the Maracana last June against Brazil, that his defence would be good enough to win the World Cup. He called that wrong because Glen Johnson, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines were in the team that afternoon,' writes Ashton.

Firstly, we suspect that a day on which England conceded two goals is not the day that Hodgson started believing in his defence. And secondly, again, who the hell else did you want him to pick? We agree that Ashley Cole should still be in the England side ahead of Baines, but when it comes to central defenders - who would be at the heart of any plan for Suarez - the cupboard is empty.

But yes, Hodgson out. How did he not magic up a world-class centre-half on the eve of a World Cup? Sack him. Actually, sacking's too good for him. Burn him.


Child's Play
We wondered on Thursday whether The Sun's Neil Syson is proud of the 39 words he contributed to their front-page 'story' that consisted of a photoshopped image of Daniel Sturridge, Wayne Rooney and Raheem Sterling with fangs. On Friday we wonder whether he's equally proud of his front-page story that accompanies a picture of Wayne Rooney's four-year-old son in tears. Is he fair game because he's a Rooney?


The Almost Man
Four words from Harry Redknapp in The Sun that prove his England would have done no better: "The defence was solid."


Worst Headlines Of The Day
'UR HISTORY' and 'URTHEGUY...2 ENGLAND...1' from the Daily Record.

Headline Of The Day
'Forget Rooney inquest, look first at the defence' - The Times.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A man was arrested after shoppers in a supermarket spotted him MASTURBATING while strolling around the aisles. Derek Bennett, 26, told police he was 'genuinely shocked' anyone had seen him pleasuring himself in the shop. Two customers saw Bennett nonchalantly strolling around with his penis out at a Tire and Lube Express branch of Walmart and reported him to security.

'When police arrived, he legged it from the store in Oklahoma - but officers gave chase and nabbed him last Saturday at 12.45pm. According to a local television station, Bennett immediately admitted to exposing himself but said he was genuinely surprised he had been spotted. He now faces multiple counts of indecent exposure.

'This incident comes just a fortnight after 49-year-old Frederick Tennyson Davis was caught playing with himself in a Toronto library while clutching a cucumber' - The Daily Mirror.


If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at theeditor@football365.com, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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