The Page That Signs Off With No Style

Terry Venables saw this Brazil exit happening (but then forgot again), England are burying bad news 'like 9/11', and Martin Keown mourns the death of something he loves...

Last Updated: 11/07/14 at 09:18

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Ahead Of The Game
Phenomenal revisionism from Terry Venables in his column for The Sun, discussing Brazil's exit from the World Cup. He saw it coming, you see. Way back.

'As Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari reflects on his country's World Cup KO by Germany, he can't say he wasn't warned,' soothsayer Venables begins.

'Big Phil should have seen it coming. Not just in the last few weeks when this crop, or should that be crock, of Samba stars have been hugely disappointing. I reckon they were flickering long before that.

'Way back in November 2010, in fact. That's when Gareth Bale ripped Maicon apart for Tottenham apart against Inter in the Champions League. That's right, the same Maicon that was in Brazil's defence. If he could not compete with the world's best then, why is Scolari picking him?'

Mediawatch is getting pig-sick of this Maicon argument. He played 26 times in Serie A last season for Roma, who finished second to Juventus and conceded the second fewest goals in the division.

Three years ago, Miroslav Klose had just completed a league season for Bayern Munich in which he had scored a single goal, after scoring just three times in the previous season. If he could not compete with the world's best then, why is Joachim Loew picking him?

Apropos of nothing (everything), here are the thoughts of one of The Sun's columnists on June 12, the first day of this tournament:

'I am going with Brazil. I said they would win it when they were awarded it. I said they would win it after the draw was made last year. And I am not going to change my mind now.

'The Samba Boys have been contenders at virtually every finals they have appeared at. The thought of another nation lifting the trophy in their own backyard this time is almost inconceivable.'

You don't need us to tell you which Sun columnist 'wrote' that. He saw it coming four years ago, but then forgot when the tournament came around. How unfortunate.

Reade-ing The Riot Act
In the Daily Mirror today, Brian Reade claims that England have been 'spared the long lens holiday shots' after their exit because of Luis Suarez's bite and Brazil's debacle.

Mediawatch would spectacularly refute that England have escaped criticism, largely because for the last two weeks we have been forced to read almost nothing but, but we'll allow Reade such 'artistic' licence.

In addition, we'll forgive Reade the astonishing lack of self-awareness in questioning why people are writing columns on Suarez and Brazil rather than focusing on England's poor displays, despite there being 14 days between those two events. Reade's own first column after England's exit from the tournament? Why, it was 'Luis Suarez: Liverpool must play hardball as Barcelona go from tiki-taka to tacky-tacky,' of course.

Instead, Mediawatch invites you to play a game. It's more of a multiple-choice question actually, but beggars can't be choosers:

What stance does Reade take on the on-pitch events that distracted attention from England's failures? Is it:

a) Well, other important things happened that were considered newsworthy?

b) The Suarez bite may have taken the attention of the media, but behind the scenes England and the FA will be working hard to improve and re-energise?

c) It is akin to the 'burying of bad news' leaked e-mail following the death of 2,996 people in the terrorist attacks on September 11 , 2001?

It's c) of course. Astounding.

Marked Down
Whilst Argentina v Netherlands may have been tough viewing at times, we were at least able to watch Nigel de Jong demonstrate a wonderful example of the man-marking role, keeping Lionel Messi silent by failing to leave his side throughout his time on the pitch.

Mediawatch was therefore amused (but not surprised) to read Martin Keown's thoughts in the Daily Mail on the man-marking role.

'De Jong did well for an hour but man-marking is a dying art and I'm not sure there is room for it in the modern game,' Keown begins.

So it's 'dying' although it worked? And there is 'no room for it in the modern game' and yet it was used effectively in the most recent high-profile match? Okay fella.

Don't worry though, for Keown has an explanation for his point.

'To stay tight you have to forget about being in possession.'

Yes, Martin, that's right. You absolutely can't stay tight and yet be in possession of the ball. Apart from the Dutch last night, it appears, who with the dying arts of De Jong at their disposal managed to have 12% more of the ball than Argentina.

One Is Never, Twice Is Always
Terry Butcher was invited onto BBC Breakfast on Thursday morning to discuss the Argentina v Netherlands game from the previous evening, and displayed some bizarre logic as to the reasons the Dutch lost the penalty shoot-out.

"He [Louis van Gaal] couldn't take off his goalkeeper like he usually does," was Butcher's slightly simplistic summation.

Given that Van Gaal has done that once in his 28 years in management, and it was seen as an unprecedented and startling move when he did so, Mediawatch would suggest that 'usually' could easily be interchanged with 'did it once and that's all I can remember'.

Beyond Parody
Congratulations to the Daily Mail website for the most Martin Samuel-esque headline in the history of Martin Samuel-esque headlines.

'Martin Samuel: Luiz lost his way against Germany... Brazilian's horror show (and Gary Cahill) proves just how good John Terry is.'

Never mind six degrees of separation, this is a man that can find the Terry angle in each and every scenario.

Unnecessary Clarifications Of The Day
From the BBC website's list of things Luis Suarez can and cannot do during his ban:

' - Watch football on the TV both at home and in public places.
- Play football on a games console.'

Thanks. For. That.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'It's Mats Humble' - The Sun. Even by normal standards of crowbarring surnames into headlines, that's a poor effort.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A teenager accused of sending a lewd video faces having pictures taken of his erect penis by police.

'The 17-year-old allegedly sent the video to his girlfriend, 15, after she sent pictures of herself.

'Prosecutors now want him to be taken to hospital so that they can take a picture of his erect penis to compare it with the one in the video and have requested a search warrant for this to happen.

'Jessica Harbeson Foster told the Washington Post: "This is a 17-year-old who goes to school every day, plays football, has never been in trouble with the law before.

'"Taking him down to the hospital so he can get an erection in front of all those cops; that's traumatising"' - Daily Mirror

Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters Andrew Sheena, Robert West and Willard Price. If you spot something that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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