Mediawatch: If only England could call on this trio…

Date published: Thursday 2nd June 2016 12:09

For Foxes’ sake
The Daily Mirror’s Brian Reade is desperate to make the point that Leicester are better than England. So desperate that he willing to mangle a few facts in pursuit of that dream.

‘Kasper Schmeichel had a statistically better season than Joe Hart, keeping the same number of clean sheets but making 100 saves to Hart’s 71,’ writes Reade.

Hmmm. What Reade does not mention is that Schmeichel faced 136 shots on target to Hart’s 106 so ‘statistically’ there really was sod all difference between the pair. Oh and Hart recorded his 15 clean sheets in three fewer games.

Oh and Mediawatch has no problem with admitting that ‘England don’t have a defensive midfielder in the same class as N’Golo Kante’ or ‘as creative a wide-man as Riyad Mahrez’ but ‘an attacking midfielder whose pressing is as successful as Shinji Okazaki’s’?

Where to start? With the words ‘Dele’ and ‘Alli’ or with the minor point that Shinji Okazaki is a striker?


Snakes and adders
‘Roy Hodgson has yet to show, five years in, if he’s as inspirational as the highest level as Ranieri’ – Brian Reade, Daily Mirror.

Only Scouse maths could calculate May 1, 2012 to June 2, 2016 as five years.


Challenge Marcus
Mediawatch is already thoroughly f***ed off with the shortening of Marcus Rashford to ‘Rash’ so we were already ill-disposed towards The Sun’s story even before we examined it in detail.

Apparently Roy has issued a ‘challenge to kid Rash’. It sounds like calamine lotion is required.

And what is this ‘challenge’?

‘TEEN TERROR Marcus Rashford has been told to become a nightmare for the rest of Europe.’

Actual quote from Hodgson: “It will be very interesting to see in a squad of 23 whether or not he can bring those qualities to bear at an even higher level.”

The Sun’s Charlie Wyett has one HELL of an imagination.


This time…more than another time
Regular readers of Mediawatch will know that John Cross ‘exclusively’ wrote this on May 19 ahead of England’s clash with Turkey:

‘Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy will be given a chance to prove their strike partnership is an option for the Euros.

‘After starting one and introducing the other off the bench in both March friendlies, England boss Roy Hodgson is set to name both Tottenham striker Kane and Leicester hot-shot Vardy in his XI against Turkey in the warm-up friendly in Manchester on Sunday.

‘They did both start when England won their final Euro 2016 qualifier in Lithuania last October, but this is a chance to play them together up front – Vardy has previously often been used out wide.’

Jamie Vardy then played out wide.

And now Cross is back again on the back page of the Daily Mirror, writing: ‘Jamie Vardy gets another chance to stake his claim to a place in Roy Hodgson’s European Championship first XI in the send-off friendly against Portugal.

‘Leicester hot-shot Vardy will start alongside Harry Kane at Wembley on Thursday night as England manager Hodgson looks to pair up the Premier League’s top two strikers.

‘Tottenham’s Vardy scored 24 goals this season and was one behind Golden Boot winner Kane.

‘Now the pair, who both scored as England began their Euros warm-ups with a win over Turkey in Manchester, will get a further opportunity to show they can be the strike-force at the tournament in France.’

‘Another’? ‘Further’? Hmmm. Even Cross’s colleagues at the Mirror no longer believe him; their predicted line-up graphic for the clash with Portugal shows Vardy out wide on the left again.

John Cross: The boy who cried (Leicester hot-shot) Vardy.


On the other hand…
‘HARRY KANE and Wayne Rooney are set to lead England’s attack against Portugal tonight’ – Neil Ashton, The Sun.

Well one of them will be in Mediawatch on Friday.


Story: Jose Mourinho could pull put of Soccer Aid because he does not want to be the focus of attention.

Headline on the Metro website: ‘Mourinho set to pull out of first Old Trafford match as Man Utd boss.’

It’s almost beautiful.


World War IV
Sticking with the risible Metro for a long second…

‘Gundogan and Ozil in quality XI that shows the Prem is stripping the Bundesliga of its talent’ is the headline.

Also in this ‘quality XI’ that proves that ‘in terms of pulling power in the transfer market, however, it’s no contest as the Premier League continues to strip the Bundesliga of its stars’: Liverpool’s new second-choice keeper Loris Karius, Tottenham back-up centre-half Kevin Wimmer and Leicester striker Shinji Okazaki.

The Bundesliga must be utterly terrified.

After all, no English clubs would have wanted recent Bundesliga signings Arturo Vidal, Medhi Benatia, Robert Lewandowski, Thiago or Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Presumably, they could sign any of the above if they simply snapped their fingers like The Fonz.


Revelation of the day
‘REVEALED: Messi valued as world’s most expensive player at £163m while Harry Kane is among top five after successful year’ – MailOnline.


‘REVEALED: MailOnline must think we’re all completely mental if they expect us to believe that Harry Kane and Anthony Martial are both worth more than Paul Pogba.’


Breaking news of the day
‘Aaron Ramsey bleaches hair for Wales’ Euro 2016 campaign’ – Sky Sports.


Shaggy dog story
This is a genuine story on the MailOnline football – yes, football – pages:

‘No loyalty in football? Tell that to these stars and their dogs! Lionel Messi and Alexis Sanchez are among players who’ve found love with their four-legged friends.’

It includes the following phrases, presented (almost) without comment:

* ‘Arsenal’s fleet-footed forward Alexis Sanchez makes no bones about the affection he holds for his pair of golden retrievers.’

* ‘Hector Bellerin has always been a player of pedigree, having arrived from Barcelona’s youth academy, and it’s only fitting that the Arsenal defender has fallen for a gun dog.’

* ‘After Tottenham’s unexpected title challenge was scuppered, at least Harry Kane can return home to the unconditional love of his two labradors.’

* ‘Having their owner leave is probably the saddest moment in the day of any dog and one that was perfectly captured when Chris Smalling headed into training leaving ‘Miley’ watching in his wake. The sound of the Manchester United defender’s heart breaking can almost be heard as he takes one last look back towards the Cocker Spaniel-Jack Russell cross he shares with partner Sam Cooke.’

* ‘Marcelo seems to have answered the debate over whether pets take after their owners as the Real Madrid defender bears a striking resemblance to his Newfoundland Lola. The pair share the same approachable demeanour and, of course, swathes of unruly black hair.’

* ‘Colombia forward James Rodriguez is an unadulterated animal lover who has been pictured on Instagram with an assortment of unnamed dogs.’

(The slut).


Recommended reading of the day
Ben Lyttleton on Marko Arnautovic
Tim Vickery on Oscar Tabarez
Philippe Auclair on Andre-Pierre Gignac


Thanks to today’s Mediawatch spotter Paul Rayner. If you see anything that belongs on this page, e-mail us at

More Related Articles