England's brave lions were proud of the 2-0 win that secured qualification for the World Cup last night. None more so than Jack Wilshere. He said:
"It's amazing. I would probably say it's the biggest achievement in my career to date."
Over England's ten qualification games, Wilshere made two starts, playing a grand total of 146 minutes. He scored no goals in those minutes. Both Andros Townsend and Rickie Lambert played more.
So 'achievement' might be, y'know, a little strong, Jack.
Stick Shift (One)
'Hodgson deserves moment of glory after all the stick,' says Mr Grumpypants Steven Howard in The Sun. Oh that's nice. Lovely. We definitely agree.
But what stick? Let's Google 'Roy Hodgson Steven Howard' and see what we get...
'Blame Roy and FA for this fiasco...STEVEN HOWARD says English football can have rarely been at such a low ebb after a horrorshow 12 months.'
'Despicable...Roy's dropped a right clanger and, to think, the FA snubbed Harry Redknapp for him.'
'Hodgson's run out of ideas.. but England have run out of players...STEVEN HOWARD says English football is facing its biggest crisis since the FA came into being 150 years ago.'
'Hodgson drags us back to Dark Ages.'
'So Roy, remind us, what are the 'football' reasons for axing Ferdinand? STEVEN HOWARD says the Ukraine game showed England cannot afford to leave out a defender of Rio Ferdinand's class.'
'Who are you kidding, Roy?'
'Prof Hodgson is stumbling on...STEVEN HOWARD reckons England boss is getting off lightly and needs to do his homework.'
And this is the 'man at the heart of The Sun'. Which tells you everything you need to know.
Stick Shift (Two)
"He's come in for some stick at times," says Harry Redknapp of Roy Hodgson in The Sun.
Mediawatch feels like a broken record, but what stick?
"I wouldn't trust the FA to show me a good manager if their lives depended on it. How would they know? What clubs have they ever run? Who do they speak to who really knows the game?"
Oh. That stick.
Behind The Boys
Mediawatch dared to suggest on Tuesday that The Sun were less than helpful before England games with their doom merchant ways. How wrong could we have been? They give every England player at Wembley a rating of 10. Yes, even Danny Welbeck. Even Chris Smalling. See, they do love England.
Mediawatch will not pretend that we were massively impressed by Chris Smalling on Tuesday night but the Daily Mirror's mark of 5 for the Manchester United defender seems more than a tad harsh, particularly as their first criticism is that 'his distribution was wayward'. Smalling's pass completion rate was 87% - the fifth-best of any England starter and better than Steven Gerrard or the 'absolutely magnificent' Leighton Baines.
On Friday the Daily Mail declared the decision to drop Jack Wilshere 'would represent arguably the biggest gamble by an England manager manager since Glenn Hoddle left David Beckham out of the opening 1998 World Cup game' and on Wednesday Martin Keown uses the same newspaper to describe the decision to pick Michael Carrick as 'bold'.
They're incredibly easily shocked at the Daily Mail.
For the record, picking Andros Townsend was 'bold'. Picking the Premier League champions' best midfielder not so much.
Matt Barlow gets all mystical in the Daily Mail: 'HALF-TIME was looming when the cameras found him. Heavier and rounder than 40 years ago but it was unmistakably him, high in the stands, wearing a blood red tie in support of Poland, casting his spell. How else could you explain the strange force-field around Wojciech Szczesny's net?'
Two words, Matt: Danny and Welbeck.
Bad news sells. We know that. We're not naive (unless we're talking penis beakers). But even Mediawatch is a tad surprised and not a little disappointed that at 11am on Wednesday morning - roughly 13 hours after England secured their World Cup place - the top headline on the Daily Mail football homepage is 'Ravel-Zaha bust-up! England U21 team-mates in furious on-pitch row as Morrison is denied hat-trick in another stunning display'.
The second? 'Suarez at centre of another 'dive' storm as Liverpool striker scores crucial penalty in Uruguay's World Cup win over Argentina.'
The third? 'Ozil fears as Arsenal star limps OUT of qualifier to give Wenger injury headache ahead of weekend.'
The fourth? Something about Gareth Bale, of course.
Did we imagine that whole England/World Cup thing?
'Stuart McGurk is a Senior Commissioning Editor at GQ,' it says here. Stuart McGurk is also a prize berk.
Here's what he wrote yesterday on the GQ website under the headline 'Why I Don't Want England To Qualify':
'It's fair to say that, come 10 o'clock tonight, England could well have qualified for the 2014 World Cup. It's also fair to say they won't have done this with any style. They won't have overwhelmed Poland, or produced breathtaking football...Ask yourself, when is the last time you enjoyed watching England play? When is the last time it was actually a pleasure? Possibly back when Paul Scholes was playing. Almost certainly when David Beckham was in his pomp.'
He must be one seriously pissed-off McGurk today.
Oo-Er Of The Day
From the BBC's clockwatch on Tuesday night: 'In the goalscoring run of his life, Aaron Ramsey runs on to a cute ass from Craig Bellamy...'
'Modern Football, Eh' Quote Of The Day
Daniel Sturridge on why he's not in charge of the music in the Liverpool dressing-room: "It's too much stress for me having to look after the music and making sure that everybody's vibe's right."
Either that or he doesn't want to risk the wrath of Steven Gerrard if he doesn't play 'Sussudio'.
Headline Of The Day
'Snap, tackle and strop!' - The Irish edition of The Sun on Noel King's tantrum.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'OFF TO BROOZIL' - The English edition of The Sun makes us wince.
Non-Football Story of The Day'
'Think your commute is bad? Consider that of Elee Medina, 28, who was spotted Sept. 30 "fidgeting" with his pants near an apparent pile of poop in the parking lot of the Seminole Country Inn in Indiantown. Medina told Martin County Sheriff's deputies he stops there several times a week, noting "there were no other places to go to the bathroom on his way to work at FPL (Florida Power & Light Co.) from (Green Acres)," according to recently released sheriff's records.
'About two weeks earlier, Seminole Country Inn officials asked for an extra patrol in the early morning hours because someone had been defecating in the parking lot "several times a week." A deputy rolled in the parking lot about 6:20 a.m. and saw a man later identified as Medina. He was "fidgeting" with his trousers and got in his car. "I then observed what appeared to be defecation and wet wipes in a pile on the ground where I previously saw Medina standing," the report states. Medina said he stopped to drink water and rest because of his lengthy commute from Green Acres.
"I asked Medina about the defecation and he said he didn't see it until I pointed it out," the report states. Evidently, Medina wasn't able to wipe away the investigator's concerns. The deputy saw an apparent reddish brown spot on Medina's white shirt "which was consistent with the color of the defecation on the ground."' - TC Palm.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotters David Clarke, Lawan Hawizy and Stewart Dove. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at email@example.com, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.