Some curious logic from Rio Ferdinand over the weekend, who believes that John Stones should start for England at Euro 2016 because Gary Cahill will probably not play at the World Cup in 2018.
“I mean no disrespect to Gary Cahill but Cahill is not going to play at the World Cup (in two years’ time),” says Ferdinand with a large dose of disrespect to a player with 43 England caps.
Oddly, Ferdinand – when naming his England line-up in the Daily Star last week – found a place for Wayne Rooney in his starting line-up; we should point out at this stage that Rooney is two months older than the past-it Cahill.
Presumably, Ferdinand’s advice to Sweden coach Erik Hamren would be to drop 62-goal Zlatan. After all, he’s unlikely to be at the World Cup in 2018.
We also have to wonder why Ferdinand was so ‘gutted’ to have missed out on Euro 2012 at the age of 33. After all, we mean no disrespect, Rio, but you were not going to play in 2014.
You need a back page? Will this do?
The Sun’s Neil Ashton has more than justified his early arrival in France (remember that last week he suggested that ‘Hodgson loves a walk so he’s bound to be caught in the thick of it’ when whimsically writing about Chantilly cream?) with a back-page ‘exclusive’ about England’s security plans.
‘ROY HODGSON has ordered Fort Knox-style security at England’s training base,’ he ‘exclusively’ writes. ‘The Three Lions manager is so concerned about opposition scouts spying on his training and tactics ahead of the Euros, he has demanded seven-foot tarpaulin screening around the entire perimeter.’
The problem with this ‘exclusive’? Ashton wrote this himself on May 17:
‘ROY HODGSON has changed England’s Euro 2016 training plans because he fears being spied on.
‘The Three Lions usually work out at the stadium the night before games – but Hodgson will now take the final sessions at their training base.
‘The camp in Chantilly, north of Paris, will have French gendarmes patrolling the perimeter.
‘Hodgson has also ordered giant screening to go up around the edges of their training camp to make sure that the opposition cannot send lookouts over to watch them train.’
Is he claiming to exclusively be able to reveal that the screening is made of tarpaulin?
Elsewhere, the non-story of Roy Hodgson saying that England will not cheat or feign injury dominates the back pages. Hint: When the exact opposite of your story is a better story, you’re struggling.
Daniel Taylor and Dominic Fifield (together?) write this in The Guardian: ‘Roy Hodgson takes his England team to Euro 2016 on Monday insisting he wants them to resist any temptation to be “cynical” and there is no need to develop the streetwise edge Wayne Rooney has said the team should adopt.’
Taylor and Fifield then quote Rooney from June 2014, just after England had exited the World Cup.
Now if only Rooney had been asked about this subject as recently as this weekend? Maybe that would be worth quoting, rather than attempting to suggest that Rooney and Hodgson disagree by digging up some two-year-old quotes?
Wait a minute, what’s this?
Here’s Rooney from two days ago:
“If you’re looking at that, then I think we’d be struggling if we’re relying on that to win and go far in the tournament. It can be a small margin which can benefit you, but the other things we’re doing and planning completely out-weigh that. That’s a tiny thing you can do better.
“Harry (Kane) had seen his opportunity, I think if the referee had played on, we might have went on and scored. In the past we’ve always been an honest team, an honest country.”
It’s almost like it’s not really a story.
Congratulations to the Daily Mirror’s James Nursey, who ‘learnt’ from Sweden’s 3-0 friendly win over Wales that ‘Zlatan will light up the Premier League’. Having not watched the game, Mediawatch is still unconvinced that the multiple title-winner and scorer of almost 400 senior goals is any good.
The Metro website have found one man convinced of Zlatan’s pedigree. The headline? ‘Exclusive: I’m desperate for Ibrahimovic to seal Man Utd transfer, says ex-Arsenal star.’
The ex-Arsenal star in question? Dennis Bergkamp? Patrick Vieira? Ian Wright? John Hartson? Of course it’s sodding John Hartson.
Ruck of the Irish
The Daily Mirror claim that ‘Shay Given, John O’Shea, Glenn Whelan, Aiden McGeady and skipper Robbie Keane…were central characters on the night when Thierry Henry’s infamous handball turfed Ireland out of the World Cup’.
Well, Given and Keane were; the other three were sat on the bench.
Oh when the Saints…
Martin Samuel, the Daily Mail, October 2014: ‘The problem is Koeman has made it look a breeze. This way the Championship lies. Not this season, maybe not next season, but ultimately. If the board thinks it can get away with it year on year, there is an inevitable conclusion.’
Southampton’s points haul in 2014/15: 60.
Martin Samuel, the Daily Mail, September 2015: ‘A year ago, the summer sales gave Ronald Koeman the chance to build his own team; this time he will have seen the departures as debilitating. Indeed that was the problem with last year: it made the process look easy. It never is.’
Southampton’s points haul in 2015/16: 63.
Martin Samuel, the Daily Mail, June 2016: ‘SELLING players catches up with every club eventually. Southampton may have defied gravity again this season but Ronald Koeman knows it cannot last.’
Samuel is slowly turning Mediawatch into a Southampton fan.