Yes, that’s Stuart Pearce – who we suspect lives in a cupboard in the Sky Sports studios along with Alan Curbishley, Tony Gale and, bizarrely, Steve Round – taking a guess at Sam Allardyce’s line-up for his first England match and picking a man who has not played for England since 2012 and another who is unavailable because of injury until at least February 2017. Oh and Wayne Rooney in midfield. And Andros Townsend.
Mind you, this is the man – lest we forget – who made Fraizer Campbell an England international striker.
Shoddy stuff from the Daily Mirror, who go with a ‘SAM: ‘I’LL BRING STARS IN FROM THE COLD’ headline that really quite strongly suggests that Sam Allardyce has said that he will bring stars in from the cold. Of course he has said no such thing but Darren Lewis was clearly told to produce a double-page spread on England and that’s exactly what he has done – by guessing which players might get a call from Allardyce and delivering it as word straight from the fat horse’s mouth.
Shockingly, the story that Lewis has uncovered is that Allardyce will ‘open the door’ to a player he signed for £15m (Andy Carroll), another whose goals have just earned him the England job (Jermain Defoe) and two more who were in Roy Hodgson’s provisional Euro 2016 squad. Hmmmm. Mediawatch suspects that neither Danny Drinkwater nor Andros Townsend will have even felt the need for a jumper during their two months out ‘in the cold’.
It’s a mystery
Excellent updates from Sky Sports on their Sam Allardyce press conference live blog:
11.03: Sammy Lee is alongside Sam Allardyce at St George’s Park – will he be a member of the new backroom staff?
Don’t know much about physics
Here’s former Fat Man Neil Custis in The Sun:
‘New boss Jose Mourinho looked unimpressed yesterday as he conducted a press conference outside. The original room, crammed full of media, was so hot it would have melted the sun.’
Non-story of the day
Never mind that the game is not actually taking place, Mediawatch is shaking its head at The Sun’s back-page story:
JOSE MOURINHO and Pep Guardiola WILL shake hands at today’s Manchester derby.’
Once again, a reminder: If the exact opposite is a far, far better story, FIND ANOTHER ANGLE. Unfortunately, nobody has ever started a news bulletin with: “Today, war has not broken out and nobody was killed…”
Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough
From the Manchester Evening News: ‘Mourinho tells Manchester United legends what they should do with their opinions.’
Good; it’s about time somebody gave the likes of Scholes a dose of ‘shut the f*** up’.
“When people belong to the club history, they are different to a normal pundit. You have to look at them in a different way. You have to be respectful with these guys…I would say to them, ‘You are welcome at the training ground.’ Any time you want to give an opinion, welcome, it is your house, it is your home and you can be back when you want.”
Oh. Not sure ‘telling somebody what they should do with their opinions’ often means ‘come round and tell me about them, so I can listen respectfully’.
No sh*t Sherlock
‘EDDIE HOWE believes Jordon Ibe can break into the England squad after his £15m move to Bournemouth,’ says the Daily Mirror.
We should bloody well think so. The alternative is that Eddie Howe has just paid £15m for a footballer he believes to be roughly as good as Scott Sinclair.
For those about Divock…
Mediawatch stared at the Daily Mirror’s headline of ‘BALLON ‘D’OR‘ for a very long time before we worked out that yes, it was indeed sh*t and made absolutely no sense. The ‘story’ is that Divock Origi is ‘gearing up for a six-way battle to be Anfield’s No. 1 striker’.
Indeed, he is so geared up that ‘despite involvement in the Euros, he has already joined up with his new team-mates on their pre-season tour to America because he knows the challenge to make the team is intense with Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings, Gini Wijnaldum and Christian Benteke all looking to impress Klopp up front’.
And also because he only played 18 minutes of football at the Euros.
Writes the informed Mike Keegan in the Daily Mail: ‘TOTTENHAM misfit Clinton Njie is set to complete a move to Marseille – which should see Georges-Kevin N’Koudou head in the opposite direction.
‘Despite suffering from a number of injuries. Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has seen enough of the Cameroon international and has sanctioned a move away from the club.’
A few hours later…
#thfc Pochettino says Bentaleb, Fazio & Pritch are not in his plans but Njie is! Says Cameroonian has a small injury so was left in London.
— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) July 25, 2016
Bizarre phrasing of the day
‘Former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore has unleashed a scathing undressing of Arsenal’s squad as Arsene Wenger stutters in the transfer market’ – Metro website.
The Pog days aren’t over
Want to know why Paul Pogba is still not a Manchester United player? Well, Jack Wilson of the Daily Star website claims to ‘exclusively’ know.
According to the renowned gossip-peddler: ‘PAUL POGBA has agreed personal terms with Manchester United – but his holiday has left the move in limbo.’
Confused? Let’s read on…
‘Starsport understand United chiefs have already hammered out terms on a mega-money contract for the Juventus star.
‘They have held talks with Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola and all parties have settled on what the midfielder will earn at Old Trafford.
‘United now need to negotiate a fee with Juve, who are still working out how much they want for their star man.
‘The issue could be forced by Pogba himself if he formally tells Juve he wants to leave.
‘But he has instead flown out to America for his holiday and has told Raiola to sort everything out.’
Ah. So it’s almost like the move has not actually happened because Manchester United and Juventus have not agree a fee and it’s absolutely nothing at all to do with holidays.
Recommended reading of the day
Oliver Kay on the 1966 survivors. It’s behind a paywall but you can read it here.
Simon Burnton on the continental view of 1966
ESPN break down the stats on a potential striker for Arsenal