The Page That Emancipated Itself From Mental Slavery

Luis Suarez was a changed man who had redeemed himself - at least that's what some people thought. Plus, Neil Ashton invites you to attend the funeral of English football...

Last Updated: 25/06/14 at 12:29

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"I have always had that temperament, desire and hunger on the pitch and it will continue to be that way. But I know now I have to control it more. I am trying hard, and I have changed. I don't want to create any controversy or anything. These things stay with me but I tell you I am improving my attitude on the pitch because I know I was wrong in the past and I was creating an image of myself I know wasn't me" - Luis Suarez, January 14, 2014.

"When you have children and family, you want to change for them because maybe in a few years' time, your children can see on the internet what their dad was doing. I am an easy guy off the pitch and on the pitch I knew I had to change because I love football" - Luis Suarez, May 16, 2014.

"I want to change the bad boy image that has stuck a bit because I don't think I am at all how I am portrayed. It's awful to hear and read what is said of you. I think I have been a role model since last summer. I have been professional" - Luis Suarez, June 15, 2014.

We just look forward to more of the same bulls**t in six months' time.

Redemption Wrong
'Suarez must have felt after all the criticism he has received that this was a night of acceptance, of redemption' - Henry Winter, Daily Telegraph, December 16, 2013.

'Since his ban Suarez has provided a masterclass in attitude, endeavour and honour' - Neil Ashton, Daily Mail, December 18, 2013.

'Redemption of Luis Suarez nears stunning finale as Reds challenge for Premier League title' - Independent headline on March 26, 2014.

'Liverpool striker Luis Suarez completed his redemption from outcast to hero'- Reuters, May 5, 2014.

Mediawatch takes only the smallest pleasure in being proved right for staunchly remaining utterly unconvinced by such 'redemption' talk. It was, after all, the only logical stance.

Scoring goals is not a means or method to redemption, and it boils our p**s that people ever believed that it could. Redemption is achieved or earned by showing atonement, remorse and regret and admitting responsibility for all of your past actions.

Suarez simply didn't do that - his charm offensive merely an exercise in pulling the wool over the eyes of those who were wilful participants in such blindness.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me thrice, shame on those that talked of 'redemption'.

Nothing To See Here
Hats off to the Liverpool FC official website, who publish a brief match report for each of the World Cup matches in which any of their players feature.

'Suarez And Uruguay Complete Comeback' reads the headline. Well yes, in a fashion.

'Luis Suarez completed the 90 minutes as Uruguay booked their place in the last 16 of the World Cup with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over ten-man Italy.'

Number of mentions of Suarez's little incident in the seven paragraphs that follow: 0.

Unfortunately, that report has now been removed from their website. At least a nod to self-awareness, then.

Mediawatch suspected that if there was one person more annoyed by The Sun's ridiculous England coverage yesterday it would be the Daily Mail's Neil Ashton. "Hey guys, I thought I had the 'exclusive' on going overboard here." Well done, The Sun, because you have riled the beast.

'England R.I.P' - shouts the headline on the front page of the Mail's World Cup pull-out. Amazingly, the paper also take the step of giving the entire page the 'white text on black background' treatment. Because football has died, you see.

'Clueless. Lifeless. Useless' is the tagline to Ashton's piece that calls for the sacking of Roy Hodgson and mourns England as a 'spent force in world football'. Because of course we were winning tournaments like shelling peas not too long ago.

'We came to Brazil with dreams of making our mark,' Ashton begins. 'Instead England arrive home after the worst World Cup showing in the history of the national team. Their credibility as a footballing power is shot to pieces after defeats by Italy and Uruguay and a lifeless 0-0 draw with Costa Rica.'

Hmmm. Mediawatch would argue not even qualifying for the World Cup in 1974, 1978 and 1994 is worse than qualifying and being knocked out early.

We would also point out that England's 'credibility as a footballing power' already looked fairly shot after failing to get beyond the quarter-finals of the last eight major tournaments before this World Cup. Let's not now pretend that England's 'dreams of making our mark' involved any more than giving it a good go.

'We are sick of hearing empty promises. To hear that we are building for the future again must make every supporter sick to the stomach. Let's build for the here and now... It is time for someone else to have a crack at the job.'

Mediawatch wonders just who that 'here and now' manager is of which Ashton dreams. Could it possibly rhyme with Rarry Hedknapp?

Jeepers Keepers

Poor Martin Samuel. With the World Cup forcing him to write a great deal more Daily Mail feature content than usual, his creative juices seem to have run a little dry. Especially when the only remit is to be negative about England.

'Roy's No 1 Problem: England's goalie cupboard is bare' screams the headline to Samuel's piece.

If you were going to ask Mediawatch to make a list of Roy's problems, we're pretty sure that central defensive weaknesses, Glen Johnson's regression, no replacement for Steven Gerrard that can stay fit or in form, a lack of a world-class striker and doubts about his own coaching performance would all come before the problem of goalkeepers.

'John Ruddy was relegated with Norwich City, Scott Carson is a forgotten man, Joe Lewis is now an understudy in the Championship and Chris Kirkland is at Sheffield Wednesday.'

Yes, Martin. But none of those are in the England squad.

'Between 1963 to 1990, England could choose from Gordon Banks, Peter Shilton, Ray Clemence, Peter Bonetti, Joe Corrigan, Alex Stepney and Phil Parkes - all of whom would get into this squad.'

Yes, Martin. But you have chosen a period of 27 years to name eight England first-choice goalkeepers who are better than England's current third choice, which doesn't really prove any point whatsoever.

'The Northern Ireland goalkeeper, meanwhile, was Pat Jennings who, some argue, was the best of them all.'

And there you have it. Samuel is using the fact that Northern Ireland had a great goalkeeper 30 years ago to lament England's current goalkeeping situation.

Is that the best stick you have, Martin?

Wing-Back To Basics
Congratulations to Andy Hinchcliffe on ITV during the Uruguay v Italy game for taking until the second half of the match to realise that Uruguay were playing a 3-5-2 formation rather than 4-4-2.

That may sound like a rather minor irritation to you, but Hinchcliffe is employed as an expert summariser. And if there is one thing that he should be an expert in, it's wing-backs.

In his playing days, Andy Hinchcliffe was a wing-back. In fact, there is an argument to say that he was more wing-back than footballer. His was a career defined by being a wing-back. And yet it took him over an hour to realise that he was watching wing-backs.

Next week: Ian Wright fails to realise that Karim Benzema is playing as a striker.

A Savage Review
Complimenting Kolo Toure on his defending is a difficult task, but on the BBC last night Robbie Savage managed to find a niche angle on which to praise the centre-back.

"Listen, Kolo Toure's just had his best season for Liverpool."

Which is true, of course. But it was also his only season.

Spot The Odd One Out
Headline in the Metro: "Jaws 3"

Headline in the Daily Express: "Jaws III"

Headline in the Daily Mail: "Jaws III"

Headline in The Sun: "Jaws 2"

Because if it didn't happen in the Premier League or the World Cup, they're not interested.

Inaccurate Stereotype Of The Day
"There is no better team at keeping a clean sheet than this Italian team" - Alistair Mann on ITV.

Number of clean sheets kept by Italy in their last 13 internationals: 2.

Don't let facts get in the way of a good footballing stereotype though.

Headline Of The Day
Chewy Luis and the Blues - Hats off to Huffington Post for this beauty.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'Police say a 41-year-old Ohio man was reportedly high on hallucinogenic mushrooms when he mutilated his genitals on the grounds of Ypsilanti Middle School last week.

'Sgt. Geoff Fox of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office tells deputies were called to the school around 1 a.m. June 18 to find the man on his knees, naked, with blood all over his legs.

'"He mutilated his genitals with his bare hands," Fox said. "He was doing a lot of yelling and screaming."

'Fox said parts of the man's body were transferred with him to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, where he remains in stable condition' - Fox

Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters James Pender, Hugh McCarthy and Ed Goodman. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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