The Page That Has Mastered One Stroke

World Cup failure Paul Merson says it can't get any worse for England, Shaun Custis says Andy Carroll would have made a difference and Martin Samuel does his usual u-turn...

Last Updated: 26/06/14 at 12:36

Latest Articles

The Page That Is Afraid Of A Face-To-Face

Post comment

Rio the player-pundit reasons why United will win the title, former superstars just won't start at the bottom anymore and we solve a Roberto Martinez mystery...

The Page That Has To Do Everything

Post comment

Apparently we can learn a lot in 15 minutes, and Paul Scholes can't figure out why there's friction with Wayne Rooney...

All Articles

Chapter And Merse
"This is the lowest of the low for England. It doesn't get any worse" - Paul Merson in the Daily Star.

And yes, that would be the Paul Merson who played a part in the failed World Cup qualifying campaign for USA '94. To be fair, he probably doesn't remember.


Dossing It Off
Perhaps we should have stopped reading Shaun Custis' Sun 'England dossier' at the point when he suggested that Roy Hodgson erred when taking Rickie Lambert to Brazil instead of Andy Carroll. Custis is such a fan of his fellow Geordie that he lambasted Fabio Capello back in August 2010 for not picking Carroll after two games of his first full season in the Premier League and wrote in May 2012 that 'ENGLAND'S Euro 2012 glory charge will rest on the shoulders of Andy Carroll'. In short, he loves wor Andy and his love is blind.

But we carried on. For you. To read such gems as...

* Hodgson 'negated Rooney's goal threat by playing him on the left'.

From where Rooney missed the best chance of the game against Italy.

* 'Sterling ended up in a more alien position on the right when Rooney went back into the middle against Uruguay.'

That will be the 'alien position' where he largely played for Liverpool last season.

* 'Bringing in psychiatrist Steve Peters could be questioned because not every player goes for the mind games stuff.'

Not every player needs a physiotherapist either, Shaun. Probably best to take one, though.

* 'Everybody was just a little too happy-clappy when bums needed kicking.'

Honestly, we're losing the will to live here.


The U-Sual Suspect
Martin Samuel has a theory on Luis Suarez in the Daily Mail. It's marginally better than Wednesday's theory that Roy Hodgson's major problem is a lack of goalkeeping cover (apparently illustrated by the fact that legendary Northern Irish goalkeeper Pat Jennings would get into this England squad. Yes, really), but it's still a) deeply flawed and b) at odds with everything Samuel has said before. Standard.

Samuel's theory is that 'everything he despises about the English game is what keeps him in check'. Which basically means that the ten-match ban Suarez was given for biting Branislav Ivanovic last year has somehow stopped him from doing it again. For a whole year. Or 47 games.

'Only the quiet men of the FA's disciplinary arm have succeeded in controlling those animalistic excesses,' writes Samuel, seemingly forgetting that a) Suarez managed a full two-and-a-half years between his first and second biting offences and b) that lengthy ban for his use of racist language didn't curb too many of his 'animalistic excesses'.

Samuel also forgets his own reaction to that ten-match ban in April 2013: 'The FA is increasingly a rogue regime in need of monitoring. Flushed with the success of banning Luis Suarez for 10 games for an offence that previously received a yellow card, the FA wishes to further nail its other racist bogeyman: John Terry.

'The time to address biting was in 2006 when Defoe did it, but the FA chickened out. Now they have Suarez and a perfect storm in which a referee was blind-sided and missed the action, they can appear tough.'

It seems they did an excellent job of 'appearing tough', Martin. After all, they 'kept him in check'. Ish.


The Good Book
The Daily Express' John Dillon is sensible enough to admit that Greg Dyke reading a book called 'Death in Brazil' (a 'story' which made the back page of The Sun on Tuesday) is a 'minor incident' but then loses his sensible head in a storm of nonsense to rival that if his contemporaries at more successful newspapers.

Dyke reading a novel by Peter Robb that describes Brazil's multicultural history through the mediums of sex, food and death apparently 'offers a glimpse into how the English game is being run at the top'. Erm, what?

'Those pictures undermined any belief the supposed crusader in the corridors of power has his mind fully on the job of ending the imbalance between the big clubs and the national side.'

Forgive the repetition, but erm, what? So the problem is no longer what he was reading but the fact that he was reading at all. The snooty b***ard.


Puppy Love
The search for What's Wrong With England (apart from the FA chairman reading books) has taken the Daily Express to Michael Owen, who tells us it's because players are 'mollycoddled' in the Under-21 system at their clubs, unlike Owen, who made his Liverpool debut at 17.

'He says that a player like him would these days have been parked in an Under-21 side and found it so much harder to break through.'

Yes, it was terribly tough for the mollycoddled Jack Wilshere, Luke Shaw, Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling to break through after making their league debuts at 16, 16, 17 and 17.

Scratch that excuse, it must be the books.


Cemental
Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have an awful lot in common: Both play occasionally for Manchester United, both are incredibly lucky to be at the World Cup, neither has looked remotely any good for around two years. They also now share a new favourite word.

Phil Jones: "I'd like to go back to the club and cement a regular place. I've said in the past few years that sometimes it doesn't really affect me but it is nice to cement a regular place. Hopefully I can do that."

Chris Smalling: "It's the end of the season so obviously we will go on a break and next season I will look to really kick on and cement my position. Roy knows that I am a centre-back and I really want to cement it and be that number one. I feel that if I get my chance like I did today, I can go out there and deliver. Hopefully if I can go back to my club in the summer and really cement it, I can hopefully cement it for England as well."

The building trade awaits.


Sympathy Quote Of The Day
Luke Shaw on the fight for England's left-back spot: "There's not just Leighton Baines - there is the likes of Kieran Gibbs and, obviously, Danny Rose."

Has an 'obviously' ever been less, well, obvious?


Headline Of The Day
'Deeply flawed character has kicked Liverpool in teeth' - The Times.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'Goo or die time, Korea' - The Sun.


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

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

O

K FIFA we're done, you can ban us now

jimmyjazz
Barcelona transfer ban upheld

A

h Daniel. I could spend hours on this subject putting the world to rights. You can even take a step back and ask why football fans (and society in general) have this need to know that something will happen before it actually does. There are times this important, when it comes to things like war, food production and natural disasters. A man you've never met changing his job? Not so much.

ajsr1982
Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

G

reat article. Hits the nail on the head. Encapsulates why I don't read tabloid newspapers anymore. The only thing worse is the 'told you so first' headline when they get lucky.

ianonabeach
Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Premier League: Edin Dzeko signs new four-year Manchester City deal

Edin Dzeko has signed a new four-year contract with Manchester City.

Champions League: Callum McGregor on target in Celtic draw

Celtic claimed a 1-1 draw with Maribor in Slovenia in the first leg of their Champions League play-off clash.

Transfer news: Juventus insist there is no truth in Arturo Vidal to Manchester United talk

Juventus director general Giuseppe Marotta insists there's no substance to the talk linking Arturo Vidal to Man United.

Mail Box

So Long And Good Luck To Nani

A Mailbox that offers best wishes to a departing hero, defends Olivier Giroud, tells us to steady on over Calum Chambers and makes some amusing predictions...

Mailbox: Feeling Sorry For Poor TC23

If there's one loser in all the machinations at Man United, it's poor TC23. We have mercifully few mails on United, but lots on Arsenal and in particular Olivier Giroud...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property