Mediawatch has got sod all idea why you would want to combine a Euro 96 side and a current England team but if you are going to take on this utterly mental task, then at least put more than seven seconds’ work into the project.
Eric Dier with his two caps and by-no-means-guaranteed England place > Paul Ince?
Dele Alli and Jack Wilshere out of position > Steve McManaman and Darren Anderton?
Has somebody (Ray Wilkins) had a drink or seven?
Time for a poll…
England’s best DM of last 20 years?
In da club
The football media has an obsession with Mark Noble – largely because said football media ‘boasts’ a disproportionate number of West Ham fans and Noble is a) always available for an interview and b) Mr West Ham. Such an honest professional and such a travesty that he doesn’t have an England cap and yet Ryan Mason/Danny Drinkwater/Jonjo Shelvey…boo-hoo-bloody-hoo. What do you mean he’s not quite good enough? F*** off. And have we mentioned how West Ham won the World Cup?
The MailOnline take this obsession to new heights on Wednesday with their feature on the 15 greatest ever one-club men (‘heroes who dedicated their whole careers to one side’), featuring Ryan Giggs, Jamie Carragher, Matthew Le Tissier, Paolo Maldini and, erm, Mark Noble.
Just a handful of things here…
a) They have made a point of not including Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta because they have not yet retired; Mark Noble has also not yet retired. In fact, he is only 28.
b) Noble has actually played for Hull and Ipswich on loan, making him a three-club man. That’s a shit list for another international break.
c) Where the f*** is Franco Baresi?
* They do have a point about Ryan Mason, mind.
The real victims
Thirty-four people were killed in the Brussels terror attacks on Tuesday. But by Wednesday The Sun have revealed the true victims of this week’s atrocities.
— Hakon Hoyland (@hakonhoyland) March 22, 2016
Yes, that’s exactly what Europe ‘fears’ right now – that some football might (and that is a massive ‘might’ pretty much dismissed by UEFA) be played behind closed doors.
And it doesn’t end there. The Sun’s new Chief Football Reporter Neil Ashton tells us that England’s stars will be ‘caged lions’ in Chantilly in the summer, when their hotel will be ‘turned into a fortress’.
‘Hodgson had wanted the Chantilly base to be an oasis of calm amid the tournament bedlam, even initially talking of his players being able to cycle to the training ground. Such thoughts have long since vanished as the reality of a tournament in 2016, in a country which has been hit twice by horrifying terrorist atrocities in recent months, becomes clear,’ writes Ashton.
‘It means any thoughts of a relaxed environment, with the England players casually sauntering through Chantilly, have been replaced by a full security operation.’
Those bloody, bloody b***ards, attacking the right of every professional footballer to casually saunter.
Is this still a thing?
‘THE man who plotted to BAN Leicester from his Super League was forced into a humilating U-turn yesterday’ – The Sun.
1) There isn’t a Super League.
2) Can you be BANNED from something that doesn’t exist?
3) Is not being invited to (clandestine) talks possibly about an imaginary Super League the same as being BANNED from an imaginary Super League?
From Anthony Kastrinakis in The Sun: ‘Chelsea stars can expect incoming boss Antonio Conte’s meticulous attention to detail to start at FOOD.’
Amongst one of his diktats is that they should all eat a ‘rich breakfast’. Apparently this is ‘indicative of his controlling style’. He’s basically Mussolini. With eggs.
What on earth are the Daily Mail suggesting here?
‘NO DOUBT they all wish Joe Hart a speedy recovery from his calf injury, but spirits were noticeably high among England’s back-up goalkeepers yesterday. Jack Butland of Stoke, Burnley’s uncapped Tom Heaton and Fraser Forster of Southampton could hardly stop smiling as they went about their work.’
Well, apart from in all the other images on the MailOnline story in which they all look rather serious. But presumably they’re all grinning inside because misery-guts Hart is usually such a f***ing party pooper.
Old news, new news
Daily Mirror website, March 16: ‘Leicester are set to reward Claudio Ranieri with a new deal in a bid to fend off interest in the Italian. The manager, 64, has two years remaining on the contract he signed at the King Power last summer, but his success with the Foxes has attracted admiring glances around Europe. Leicester could lose Ranieri as early as this summer, according to The Times , as his current deal contains a break clause that can be activated by either party. The Premier League leaders will table improved terms in a bid to nail down the ex-Chelsea chief’s future and remove the termination clause from his contract.’
Daily Mirror back page ‘exclusive’, March 23: ‘LEICESTER have told boss Claudio Ranieri he will be rewarded for their unforgettable season with a double-your-money deal worth £3million a year.’
It’s amazing what international week desperation can do to a newspaper…
Recommended reading of the day
Julien Laurens on the future of French football
John Percy interviews Ryan Shawcross