The Page That Is Also Half Everyman

Thankfully only one paper labels Gerrard 'England's Lionheart', whilst El Tel (sort of) saw this coming. Plus, Rodgers will choose to buy Pogba for £30m. Perfect...

Last Updated: 22/07/14 at 12:37

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Question Of The Day
Do we know if Steven Gerrard has to call a soldier's family to explain why he doesn't want to play for England? Or is that only if you have the temerity to be young?

Someone give 'Wrighty' a call to double check.

Tell Me What Makes A Man

"When you become a man and you're picked to play for England at this level and you find any excuse not to be here, you don't deserve to be here" - Steven Gerrard, June 22.

"To ensure I can keep playing to a high level and giving everything to Liverpool Football Club I believe this is the right decision, and having Champions League football back at Anfield is another big factor in my decision" - Steven Gerrard, July 21.

Damning With Faint Praise

With even Gerrard admitting that England never truly saw the best of him as a player, it's quite a task to pile praise on the midfielder following his international retirement. The Sun give it a good go, however, with the nauseating headline of 'Stevie G-oodbye' followed by the tagline 'End of England era'.

Mediawatch can't help but feel, however, that the paper have undermined their point slightly by their choices of Gerrard's three best performances in an England shirt.

Whilst including the victory over Poland last October that helped secure World Cup qualification is understandable, the other scream of damning with faint praise: a 29-minute substitute performance against Germany over 14 years ago and a 3-0 victory over Andorra, who had a world ranking of 163rd.

What memories.

Contradiction In Terms

'I was not surprised by Steven Gerrard's announcement,' announces Terry Venables in The Sun. Fair enough, El Tel, good call. Although most of us did see it coming too.

'I thought he might have hung on for one more campaign and tried to lead Roy Hodgson's new crop of kids to the 2016 Euros in France.'

So, you weren't surprised Gerrard decided to retire, but you thought he would play on for two more years? Glad that's clear.


Mediawatch understands that David Anderson is desperate for Liverpool to bring in a marquee signing, but can't help feeling that his claims in the Daily Mirror have stepped away from ballsy and into territory signposted desperately optimistic.

'He [Brendan Rodgers] is prepared to spend £30m on either of Juventus stars Arturo Vidal or Paul Pogba, or Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus.'

Oh, is he now. Well that's fine then, we can't see any issue with that. Never mind that all three players are valued considerably higher than £30m, because that's all Rodgers has got. So that'll have to do. We wonder which one Rodgers will choose?

In other news, Mediawatch has a ring fashioned out of a Hula Hoop, but we're not sure which of Sofia Vergara, Emma Stone or Salma Hayek to woo with it.

Two's Company
'Hull City play TWO pre-season friendlies in ONE night as they draw 1-1 with North Ferriby United and beat Harrogate Town 5-0' screams the headline on the Daily Mail website, reporting on an occurrence so unusual that it justified match reports from both fixtures against the might of Harrogate Town and North Ferriby United. Mediawatch was tickled by the description of Harrogate as 'a fellow Yorkshire town' to Hull.

The report sat as the fourth biggest story on the Mail's football homepage around 8am, but by 10am had mysteriously disappeared. Perhaps that's because there is nothing unusual whatsoever about such a scenario.

A quick poll indicates that Rotherham, York, Spurs, West Brom, MK Dons and Ajax are amongst a host of clubs doing exactly the same this pre-season. Leeds United actually played against themselves last week - we're not sure how the Mail coped with such a baffling occurrence.

And spare a thought for Arsenal, who have fixtures against both Harrow Borough and New York Red Bulls on Saturday, matches played on different continents. How will they cope?

It's almost as if football clubs have enough players to name two different teams, exactly the same as Hull City did. We know it's a slow news period, but come on.

Nothing Compares 2 U

Mediawatch makes no apologies for thoroughly enjoying the optimistic manner in which sections of the media rush to make comparisons between players, both to hype up said player's reputation and to sensationalise their story. 'Liverpool eye up the new Messi' is a typical example of the breed.

Unfortunately we've now had our fun, because Mediawatch has found the most laughable example it has ever witnessed. Nothing will match this Rutland Times effort.

'Rangers sign up teenager once labelled the next "Gareth Bale"' reads the headline, with the 'Rangers' in question being Deeping Rangers of the United Counties League Premier Division.

Fraser Sturgess is the player in question, and the 'next Gareth Bale' is taken from a quote by former manager Stephen Powell, who called him "a Gareth Bale type player".

Sturgess was released by Peterborough last year and was capped twice by Wales Under-16 team. Do you think they're getting a touch carried away?

Worst Headline Of The Day

'England's Lionheart' - Daily Mirror. Most other players stay away from the unrealistic hyperbole, thankfully. But not everyone.

Non-Football Story Of The Day

'While many stars are likely to have devoured caviar at one point in their lives, US rapper DMX has revealed that he is more of a dog food connoisseur.

'Speaking to TMZ at LAX airport, the hip-hop star, whose real name is Earl Simmons, admitted that he sampled the dry and wet dishes that his dogs consumed, to make sure they were eating only the best.

'"Honestly speaking the canned stuff smells the best but as far as vitamins and minerals and nutrients, [pet food brand] Iams is pretty good," he said' - IBTimes

Thanks to Matthew Charlesworth and Adrian Fletcher. If you spot something that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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