Look who was MOTM in Belgium-Italy…

Date published: Tuesday 14th June 2016 11:55

If I fell…
It should be the last straw, the point at which The Sun stop compiling their ratings ‘using Opta data’.

Their man of the match for Belgium v Italy: Marouane Fellaini.


That’s my only joy…
Last week we had Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail writing that ‘the mood in the camp seems as tense as it has ever been since Kevin Keegan masterminded an early exit from Euro 2000’, largely because Joe Hart refused to talk about darts. And now this from Dave Kidd in the Daily Mirror:

‘THE contrast between England’s uptight PR operation and the openness of other national teams seems starker than ever in France.

‘Last Friday, Spain’s David De Gea immediately gave a press conference to deny allegations that he arranged a ‘forced’ sex party involving prostitutes while he was an Under-21 player.

‘Meanwhile, Chris Smalling was refusing to divulge too much information about England’s cuddly toy lion mascot, while Joe Hart was acting as if the players’ games of darts were classified under the Official Secrets Act.’

Words almost (but never) fail Mediawatch. Does the Chief Sports Writer of a national newspaper really believe that the two things are comparable, that the denial of a sex crime can be contrasted with a footballer being coy about darts?

Has it occurred to any of these poor journalists that footballers representing their country at a major tournament might not want every headline to be about cuddly toys and darts? Mediawatch would like to suggest something utterly outlandish: Write about the football.


Surprise surprise
Worrying that you don’t know enough about Eric Dier? He’s ‘proving to be a midfield sensation’, apparently, so we really should learn more. Thankfully, The Sun’s Football Editor Charlie Wyett is on hand to answer some key questions, like ‘WAS HE BORN IN PORTUGAL?’, ‘DID HE FIND IT EASY?’ and ‘WAS HIS SIGNING FOR TOTTENHAM A SURPRISE?’

This is Wyett’s answer in full to that last question: ‘Dier had already stated that he wanted to return to England. Spurs activated a £4million clause in August 2014 and he was their third arrival behind Ben Davies and Michel Vorm. He scored on his debut at West Ham and impressed marking Diego Costa in the Capital One Cup final against Chelsea.’

So it turns out that we had no idea that we wanted to know if his signing for Tottenham was a surprise until Wyett asked whether his signing for Tottenham was a surprise and then entirely failed to tell us whether his signing for Tottenham was a surprise.

Tell us now.


Hide and seek
It’s the ‘picture of £21million new boy Ilkay Gundogan Manchester City did not want you to see’, according to The Sun.

‘The German international midfielder’s arrival was announced on the club’s official website yesterday. But the huge brace on his injured knee – and his crutches – were carefully hidden from view.’

We will just leave this here…


Vlad all over
A little bit naughty from The Sun, who headline their ‘INVESTIGATION’ into Russia’s army of hooligans with the words ‘PUTIN BOOT IN’. The implication is very clear that Vladimir Putin has personally sent these thugs to France. This is compounded by their description in the third paragraph as a ‘neo-Nazi mob linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin’. They also promise to reveal ‘why mob leaders are so powerful they meet with Putin to discuss plans’.

It’s hardly subtle.  The message is clear: This is Putin’s army sent by Putin.

Until we get to the 16th paragraph, which reads: ‘Eventually, Putin was forced to meet with leading thugs to discuss a peaceful resolution.’



Worst opening paragraph of the day?
‘IF ICELAND ever want to turn their fairy-tale run to Euro 2016 into a movie, they can ask goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson, a part-time film director responsible for his country’s Eurovision Song Contest entry four years ago’ – Chris Wheeler, the Daily Mail.


Nowt so Kia as folk
The career of the Daily Telegraph’s Sam Wallace has been leading up to this very moment:

‘As part of the Uefa Euro 2016 tournament, Aston Villa assistant manager Steve Clarke has been put on the spot – in an all-new Kia Sportage – and forced to answer quick-fire puzzlers from Sam Wallace, the Telegraph’s chief football writer.’

Forced? Was he reluctant? We bloody hope Wallace was.

The best part of this ‘Carpool Q&A’? The car is stationary so Wallace and Clarke look like wise guys talking in the car to try and avoid the Feds. Because of course the Feds always want to know whether the assistant manager of Aston Villa rates John Stones.


Look no hands
Surely if you make your living from stories about grown men spending time with their girlfriends, you would be able to spot when people are actually, you know, holding hands.

Jack Wilshere fiance


Recommended reading of the day
Jack Pitt-Brooke on Luka Modric
Gabriele Marcotti on Antonio Conte’s tactics
Sid Lowe on Spain’s striker problem

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