Oooh La La
Robbie Savage wants to know why England could not have done what France did and managed a 'complete reversal of fortune' since 2010. As he also says in his Daily Mirror column that Loic Remy 'looks a real threat' (he's played 11 minutes), perhaps we shouldn't take his views too seriously. But this is our job and we are nothing if not conscientious when it comes to reading nonsense from no-nothing fools.
Firstly, what Savage doesn't mention is that France were drawn against Honduras (world ranking: 33), Switzerland (6) and Ecuador (26) at this World Cup, while England faced Italy (9), Uruguay (7) and Costa Rica (28). France's World Cup draw was widely heralded as a 'dream' while England clearly received a much stickier end of the stick.
What Savage also fails to mention is the wealth of talent that has become available to Didier Deschamps, who - in contrast to 2010 - has Champions League winner Karim Benzema, £60m-rated midfielder Paul Pogba and phenomenal talents like Blaise Matuidi, Raphael Varane, Mamadou Sakho, Mathieu Debuchy, Yohan Cabaye and Antoine Griezmann at his disposal. Eliaquim Mangala - said to be a £32m target for Manchester City and Chelsea - cannot get in the starting XI.
England? England have a central defence of Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill; Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are in reserve. They have a midfield consisting of a 34-year-old and Jordan Henderson. Their most promising player is a 19-year-old who has not played in the Champions League. Should we go on?
A pre-tournament study by Forbes concluded that France's squad was the fifth most valuable in the World Cup behind Brazil, Spain, Argentina and Germany. But why oh why could England not manage a complete reversal of fortune like France? C'est une mystere.
A Moral List
Mediawatch thinks that biting people is fundamentally wrong but mostly a bit weird. Does it think that biting makes Luis Suarez the sixth-worst villainous sportsperson of all time? Erm, not so much. What fool would?
Step forward the Daily Mail's Jeff Powell, who has compiled a 'HALL OF SHAME' that puts Suarez just below a boxer who could have killed an opponent by having plaster of Paris taped onto his knuckles. But crucially just above serial doper and liar Lance Armstrong, match-fixer Hansie Cronje and drug cheats Ben Johnson, Marion Jones and Diego Maradona. In the curious moral maze of Powell's mind, all those crimes pale into insignificance next to biting a chap.
Mediawatch notes that Powell does not mention rogue Suarez's history of using racist language and there is no room for John Terry in Powell's 20-strong list. There is room for a Ukrainian pentathlete who cheated at fencing in 1976, mind. Which is obviously much, much worse than using the words 'f***ing black c***'.
This Mediawatch is exclusive. We know this because Mediawatch is paid to write this arsey, cynical look at football media (and broken penii) for Football365 and nobody else. Perhaps we should put an 'exclusive' tag on the top of the page like The Sun on their 'exclusive' Alan Shearer column, which is 'exclusive' basically because they pay their employee.
So only readers of The Sun on Friday can read that...
* 'Today's match-up in the Maracana means at least one European side will be in the semi-finals.'
That's exclusive right there.
* 'It could be as many as three with Holland and Belgium also flying the flag for Europe in the last eight.'
This is all exclusive; strictly speaking, we shouldn't be repeating this stuff.
* On Thomas Muller: 'It's fair to say he knows where the goal is.'
That's 'exclusive' expertise.
* On Neymar: 'A remarkable player in a very unremarkable Brazil team.'
You simply cannot buy that level of expertise. Except, oh yes you can. Exclusively.
Give It Away
Note to the MailOnline: If you really want us to 'scroll down to see the final score' of a ridiculous head-to-head between France and Germany (Mathieu Valbuena is better than Toni Kroos, apparently), it's probably best not to have 'France 6-5 Germany: Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema and Co set to outclass Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller as Les Bleus come out on top in comparison of the European titans' as your headline.
Blast Of The Day
Headline on The Sun's back page: 'YOU'LL NEVER WIN IT AGAIN.'
Sub-headline in The Sun: 'German boss blasts our World Cup hopes.'
Opening paragraph in The Sun: 'GERMANY coach Joachim Low has written off England's chances of EVER winning a tournament again.'
Actual quotes from Joachim Low: "If other countries like England have a problem, their league has a disadvantage because of a higher percentage of foreigners so it becomes difficult for the national coach to get things moving.
"We have changed over recent years with lots of young German players in German clubs, given an advantage over foreigners and we're benefiting from that. In England there are many foreigners and perhaps that is not always beneficial."
The eagle-eyed amongst you may spot that at no point does Low even vaguely say that England won't win the World Cup, or indeed mention any tournament at all. It's almost like this connection only exists in the fevered imagination of Steven Howard. Bring the old boy home...the heat is clearly getting to him.
On The Same Page
Steven Howard in The Sun: 'Waiting in the wings to replace him (Low) is Thomas Tuchel, the hugely successful but recently departed manager of Mainz.'
Antony Kastrinakis in The Sun: 'His (Low's) reign will end if he fails to deliver here. Jupp Heynckes is likely to succeed him.'
Do you trust the man 'at the heart of The Sun' or the self-appointed European Football Correspondent? Tough call.
Unnecessary Quote Marks Of The Day
'BBC commentator Mark Lawrenson has come under fire for a 'sexist' comment made during the Argentina versus Switzerland World Cup game. Switzerland striker Josip Drmic's weak shot at goal during their round of 16 clash with Argentina on Tuesday evening prompted Lawrenson to state Drmic 'should have put a skirt on' - The 'sexist' Daily Mail.
Naive Quote Of The Day
"I don't have to prove [anything] - I've been a professional footballer for eight years" - Marouane Fellaini.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'Frank is Tor-iffic' - The Sun. Toronto like Frank Lampard, you see.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'Some people are just never satisfied, as illustrated by a man with an enormous penis who wants surgery to make it even bigger. Billy-Tom O'Conner is not letting the fact women have refused to get intimate with him on account of his 10-inch member dissuade him from increasing its size still further. O'Connor said he wants to make his penis into "a monster" and will undergo penoplasty to enlarge it.
'He has previously worked in pornography, but this procedure is being done purely for his own pleasure, he told Philip Schofield on This Morning.
'O'Conner told the TV show: "On two occasions I have got to the point where [girls have] seen it and they've refused me...they just point plank say they're not willing to go any further with that. But most girls absolutely loved it."
B'ut males left feeling a bit inadequate by this enormous appendage can take comfort from a recent study, which found men with larger penises are more likely to have wives who cheat on them' - International Business Times.
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