The Page That Knows It's Definitely Not A Date

A 90-minute 'era' for England that made you long for Lampard and Gerrard. Maybe. Plus, Louis van Gaal imposing 'strict new rules', that aren't strict or new...

Last Updated: 04/09/14 at 12:17

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Era All About It
After being forced to watch last night's unappealing fare at Wembley, Mediawatch will concede that England v Norway was not good. England were lacklustre and disappointing, dominating possession but creating few chances. But it was only a friendly.

Mediawatch thought it knew how England friendlies worked, especially after major tournament disappointment - win and it is meaningless, a big exercise in 'who cares anyway?' but fail to win and it's a disaster.

The papers this morning manage to find a slightly new angle, however: The disastrous win.

'Heaven help us,' reads the Daily Telegraph headline, talking of a 'new era stalling'.

'Another false dawn,' claims the Independent, whilst the Daily Star go for 'Nor Hopers' and the Daily Mail decide 'Snoreway' is an acceptable pun.

Finally, Mr Grumpypants Steven Howard in The Sun described the performance as 'ten times worse than Brazil'. Time truly is a wonderful healer.

There are plenty of reasons to criticise Roy Hodgson's tenure as England manager (and Mediawatch would agree with many of them), but concluding that this is the end of another 'new era' based on a 90-minute victory with a young team in a game that most of the media derided for being meaningless anyway seems a little strong.

If we didn't know better, we'd say that many are gearing up for a 'Hodgson Out' onslaught should England fail in Basel on Monday.


Well That Didn't Take Long
Steven Howard's introduction to his piece on England in The Sun: 'Come back Frank and Stevie G, all is forgiven. And you Ashley as well. For if this is the way ahead, then God knows where we are going.'

Yes, because as England's youngest team in 12 years failed to impress, we should all long for 36 and 34-year-old midfielders (and the mind-numbingly tedious debate regarding their presence in the team) and a 33-year-old left-back, all of whom have retired from international football.

'ArryMediawatch was immensely surprised to see Harry Redknapp offering his negative opinion in The Sun. It's not like he'd have an agenda on England.

'What possible value is there in a total non-event against the worst Norway team we have seen for years?' Harry asks.

He's right of course, this was effectively a 'non-event', so very little point making sweeping conclusions based on it, eh?

'A few months after a disastrous World Cup: Yet another massive letdown for everyone. It is disappointment after disappointment.'

Oh.

'Half the players don't give a toss,' Redknapp boldly continues.

We've been here before remember, Harry. If you are going to accuse half the team of not caring about England, you have to at least tell us the eight players that played for England last night that 'don't give a toss'.

Otherwise, it just sounds like you're bitter. Perish the thought.


Moore Or Less
Mediawatch has read quite enough about the low Wembley attendance for one morning, but we would like to end it by presenting the Independent's Glenn Moore with a calculator.

'The England football team has seen too many false dawns to be excited by another new start, so this one was launched in a two-thirds-empty stadium.'

The attendance was 40,181 in a stadium with the capacity of 90,000. That's 45% full, so a darn sight closer to half-full (or half-empty, depending on your slant) than 'two-thirds-empty'.

Why the need for such an obvious exaggeration?


Cease The Opportunity
Mediawatch makes no apology for enjoying the following paragraph on the Daily Mail website on their (non-) story regarding James Milner's misplaced second-half pass, or 'crossfield shocker', being made into a Vine.

'Fans have immediately ceased upon Milner's woes by posting his disastrous attempt at switching play.'

If you're going to write an eight-line piece (with four images and two videos) mocking the incompetence of an England player, it probably helps if you know the difference between 'ceased' and 'seized'.


Hanging On The Telephone
'Manchester United players forced to hand in mobile phones by Louis van Gaal the night before matches,' farts the headline on the Daily Mail website.

'Manchester United stars are forced to hand in their mobile phones the night before a match under strict new rules from manager Louis van Gaal. The Dutchman has laid down the law since taking over from David Moyes this summer.'

Well, isn't he just the big old dictator. However, Mediawatch does seem to remember this mobile phone rule from somewhere before. Ah yes, here we go, to the final paragraph in the story.

'The mobile phone rule was introduced by Sir Alex Ferguson in an attempt to prevent the leak of team news.'

So those 'strict new rules' are actually just the same rules as before. What a scoop.


Asking For It
"England may continue to play in front of small crowds during their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign," said Roy Hodgson on the sparse England crowd last night. "We'll find it hard to bring attendances back to very high levels because the opponents we're playing won't excite the public."

Sometimes the punchlines write themselves.


Lazy Days
Shout out to the Daily Star for their wonderfully lazy player ratings for England v Norway last night.

The paper awarded marks out of ten to 27 different players, and 24 of them were given a six. Consistency is the key.


Worst Headline Of The Day
'Snoreway' - Daily Mail. It's just awful.


Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A man who was allegedly high on meth reportedly fought off more than a dozen police officers while publicly masturbating.

'Andrew Frey, 37, apparently made a series of outbursts and then began masturbating in an Oregon restaurant, The Oregonian reports.

'Incredibly, police were reportedly unable to subdue Frey with a Taser. It took 15 officers to finally take him into custody and stop him pleasuring himself.

'Frey later reportedly told authorities that he took methamphetamine and couldn't remember the obscene incident, according to the Marion County Sheriff's office.

'Frey was treated at a local hospital and then booked into county jail on charges of public indecency, theft of services, and resisting arrest' - Huffington Post

Thanks to Ed Taylor and Philip Holland. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at theeditor@football365.com, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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