Join us as the British tabloids decide that England football victory comes in tandem with victory over laws designed to stop the spread of coronavirus…
Convicted criminal Nick Parker is a busy boy at The Sun, producing front page after front page of football-related content designed to cheer a nation. There was this. And before that there was this.
And now, with England on the verge of a semi-final clash, there is this…
— Tomorrows Papers Today (@TmorrowsPapers) July 4, 2021
Yes. ‘ENGLAND ROAR ON’ and they are the ‘BEST BAR NONE’. Because Stuart Pearce has ‘roared’ that this England team is brilliant. And do you know who is also brilliant? Boris Johnson, that’s who. Because how else would you prepare for a Euro 2020 semi-final but by conflating the winning England football team with the Prime Minister, who is also absolutely the ‘BEST BAR NONE’ for allowing people in pubs to order at the bar in the middle of a pandemic that is currently seeing infections increase at alarming rates. Atta boy.
Oh and don’t think we don’t see who you have chosen to represent this great England team on your front page. Ain’t no Englishman like a shouty white Englishman.
We continue the theme as we move to the Daily Mail, who have dug up David Mellor – a member of the cabinet 30 years ago – for his views on this great England victory (over Ukraine and ‘draconian laws’). Young people might need reminding that Mellor’s place in the history of football begins and end with him reportedly wearing a Chelsea shirt while making love with his mistress, though this was later said to be a myth.
But this does not stop the Mail giving Mellor a platform for his views on how English football victory over Ukraine is actually a parallel with English victory over coronavirus.
‘At that moment it seemed to me that we hadn’t just won a football match, we were throwing off the shackles of more than a year of oppression, restrictions and fear.
‘We hadn’t just beaten the Germans and the Ukrainians – we have beaten Covid.’
The same Covid that has led to almost 2,000 people being admitted to hospital in the last week? That Covid?
‘Since March last year we have been cowed and afraid – afraid of getting ill, afraid of spreading the virus, afraid of undermining the NHS, and – increasingly – afraid of disobeying authority.
‘What Napoleon and Hitler couldn’t do to us, this virus has.’
Are we still talking about football? Well, ish.
‘We ceased going to the pub and we postponed weddings indefinitely. We accepted that we could not visit our loved ones in care homes, and even that we could not gather at funerals.
‘But we cannot be stopped from celebrating football triumphs.
‘A goal is a goal, and we’re bloody well going to cheer about it.’
Do you bloody well have to?
‘But even if we don’t emerge as champions, Saturday’s win marked the effective end of lockdown. There is no going back now.’
Oh for f***’s sake. Can it not just be a simple victory for an England football team instead of it being painted as a victory for the liberty to spread disease?
‘When Harry Kane sent the Ukraine keeper the wrong way and slotted the ball home, we were all simply England fans.
‘Delirious, whooping, bellowing England fans. And a nation united is a nation that will no longer be stopped by authority from enjoying a normal life. After that liberating display, we won’t stand for the doom-mongering any more.
‘In the run-up to the postponement of June 21 as Freedom Day, I sensed a certain wariness about taking the plunge – but now the campaign to end all restrictions on July 19 has gained an unstoppable momentum.’
Anyone else now wishing we had lost to Ukraine?
Made in stone
The Sun are also claiming this breaking news story as an exclusive:
‘ENGLAND fans want a statue of Gareth Southgate erected in the town in which he grew up.
‘They have launched a petition to honour the Three Lions boss in Crawley, West Sussex.’
Ahem. The petition was launched in 2018 and it was on BBC South East news last week, so Mediawatch is not quite sure what makes this three-year-old story an ‘exclusive’.
Oh and the petition organisers themselves say it ‘started as a joke’ and asked people to ‘keep sharing.. just for shits and giggles’.
Other than that, it is another brilliant exclusive from The Sun news team.
Ticket to ride
Elsewhere, it’s apparently news that people want tickets to England’s semi-final clash with Denmark and that people are willing to sell those tickets for large prices. There is widespread surprise at these notions with the Daily Mirror noting that ‘even the England players are under huge pressure from family and friends desperate to see the game at Wembley’. Even the England players? Whatever next?
Well let the Daily Mail tell you: ‘Such was the demand that many supporters were placed in an online queue – only to discover there were no tickets left when they reached the front of it.’ All that is missing is an exclamation mark!
We don’t think the Daily Mail’s Arthur Martin has ever tried to get Glastonbury tickets.
There is a black man on the back page of The Sun, mind. A black man on a unicorn. Which means that some anodyne quotes from Gareth Southgate about not being “totally satisfied” with just a semi-final place are splashed on that back page with this headline:
‘RIDE TIME RIGHT PLACE’
The less said about ‘UNICORN ON THE 4th OF JULY’ the better. Though going back just 32 years for this particular cultural reference is an improvement on the usual Sun fare. It’s practically topical.
And the hurt goes on…
‘Twenty-five years on, Gareth Southgate has finally got the chance to lay to rest the demons which have haunted his career’ – Daily Mirror, June 29.
‘GARETH SOUTHGATE can banish 25 years of hurt by leading England to victory over Denmark in Wednesday’s semi-final’ – Daily Mirror, July 5.
Can the poor b***ard ever get some rest?
It took a full 11 paragraphs of this absolute bum-twaddle from the Liverpool Echo…
‘Everton manager Rafa Benitez can help Liverpool sign Kylian Mbappe’
…before Everton manager Rafa Benitez was even mentioned.
By which point Mediawatch was so exhausted that we were almost ready to admit that yes, Benitez deciding to lend Moise Kean to PSG for another season will definitely lead to Mbappe joining Liverpool. Never. In. Doubt.