'ENGLAND fans have been told they risk being mugged or raped at next year's World Cup,' writes Shaun Custis in The Sun, under the subtle headline 'Come to World Cup - and get raped or mugged...'.
'ENGLAND fans were last night warned they risk being held up at knife-point or raped on the streets of Brazil during the World Cup,' writes Martin Lipton in the Daily Mirror.
Wow. What have England fans done to deserve being targeted in such a brutal manner? Why don't they pick on somebody else?
Oh. Wait a minute. It turns out the story is that the Brazilian sports minister has admitted Brazil has a problem with violent crime. Against anybody and everybody. It's just that we (well, the tabloids) only really care about the England fans.
As you were.
Perhaps all this mugging and rape is why Charles Sale tells us in the Daily Mail that 'England fans turn backs on Brazil as FA fear lowest turnout at tournament in years'.
Surely not? This is Brazil, man. There must be more people going to Brazil than Japorea or South Africa.
Let's read on...
'The FA believe England will be cheered on in Brazil by the smallest number of official supporters seen at a tournament for years.'
Is anyone else starting to think that the key word in that sentence is 'official'?
Let's read on right until the end...
'FIFA said yesterday that 27,000 World Cup tickets had been bought from England in the general sale, though many of those would have been multiple purchases.'
Oh. 27,000, you say? That sounds like quite a lot.
If we were cynical types (we are), we might think that certain people are desperately trying to justify a week-long jolly in Brazil (we do).
Keeping Up With The Jones
When Martin Lipton is not warning England fans (only England fans, mind) about muggings and rapes, he is speculating that 'Roy Hodgson is considering playing Phil Jones as a defensive midfielder at the World Cup'.
Lipton writes: 'Hodgson has always picked Jones as a defender and deployed him primarily at right-back.'
...except for the time he played in midfield against Brazil just six months ago. Lipton should probably rememnber - he wrote the Daily Mirror's match report for that game.
What A Difference A Week Makes
The Daily Mirror's Manchester man David McDonell after the Bayer Leverkusen win: 'Moyes deserves huge credit for successfully guiding United to the knockout stage - with a game to spare - in his first experience of the competition proper. Succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson was always going to be a difficult task, and while United's domestic fortunes have fluctuated under Moyes this season, they have fulfilled their remit in Europe.'
The Daily Mirror's Manchester man David McDonell after the Everton defeat: 'There was no hiding place for David Moyes last night as his creaky Manchester United tenure lurched into full-blown crisis.'
From credit to crisis in seven short days. Sterling work.
As much a cliche as the 'dreaded vote of confidence' is the 'curse of the Manager of the Month award'. It is cited by David Anderson in the Daily Mirror to explain Newcastle's 3-0 defeat at Swansea. Where was this famed 'curse of the Manager of the Month award' when August winner Brendan Rodgers beat Manchester United in his next game, September's Arsene Wenger immediately led his team to an unbeaten four-match run or Mauricio Pochettino picked up four points in his next two matches after being handed the October award?
It's almost like there's no curse at all and teams simply have off-days. Stick that in your intro, Dave.
Hands up if you ever seriously thought Southampton were going to finish in a Champions League place this season. If you now have your hand in the air you are either Mauricio Pochettino or The Sun's Dan King.
He (King, not Pochettino) writes: 'Even before Delph's fabulous goal, the first big doubts about Southampton's Champions League bid had already surfaced.'
'The first big doubts', Dan? Really?
Eden Hazard is described by The Sun as 'hit and miss under Mourinho'. Mediawatch would argue that there has been considerably more hit than miss about Chelsea top scorer and joint-top assist-maker Hazard this season. But that's what happens when the report is written by a north-east correspondent who sees a player twice a season. Yes, David Coverdale, he was rubbish at Newcastle last month. But do you know what else...he's f***ing brilliant.
According to the Daily Mail, Jermain Defoe 'showed Roy Hodgson why he should go to Brazil with a brilliant display'.
Mediawatch will reserve judgement until we've seen him score against somebody other than FC Sheriff, thanks.
Tortured Intro Of The Day
From Niall Hickman in the Daily Express: 'DEBATE continues over the future of Britain's proposed bullet train, but there was no arguing over Eden Hazard's two high-speed finishes which de-railed Sunderland.'
Quote Of The Day
"He hasn't been any trouble all season" - Mark Noble on Ravel Morrison. Who wants to start the slow handclap?
Headline Of The Day
'EDEN RIFLES' - The Sun.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'It's ALL OV-ER' - The Sun. The goal was scored by Bryan Oviedo, you see.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'An Indianapolis man is facing charges after reportedly "swinging" his genitals at two women on the street. Shawn Harvell, 34, of Indianapolis, was arrested Tuesday afternoon on charges of public indecency, resisting law enforcement, criminal confinement and battery. Police said an officer driving on 38th Street near Lawndale Avenue was flagged down by two women. One woman, 29, told the officer that Harvell approached her on the sidewalk from behind and grabbed her by the arm. The woman said the man had his penis out of his pants and was "swinging it about in a rotary helicopter motion," the police report said' - The Denver Channel.
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