England ‘work experience kid’ Kobbie Mainoo is no Lewis Cook, mind…

Editor F365
Kobbie Mainoo and Lewis Cook
Kobbie Mainoo and Lewis Cook

Kobbie Mainoo is getting a great deal of England hype after that win but let’s remember that he’s not Lewis Cook. Or Kalvin Phillips.


Not enough Cooks
Mediawatch agrees with the Daily Mail‘s Craig Hope that Kobbie Mainoo was extraordinary in England’s win over the Netherlands.

Sensational first half. Flicks, tricks, drive, imagination – Netherlands could not live with him. His run to tee up Foden for big chance typified his fearlessness. Not as involved after break but kept running and running and never hid. England’s best. At 19, what a star!

So it would be churlish to rewind the clock three weeks to when Hope pretended that he knew exactly who should have been playing alongside Declan Rice; but we are really sodding churlish, so here we go:

There has been talk out here among the press pack and former players that the solution for the deeper midfield role is sitting at home in England. Not Jordan Henderson or Kalvin Phillips, but Bournemouth’s Lewis Cook, who had an outstanding season and was capped by Southgate in a friendly against Italy in March 2018.

Alas, Cook is not here…

And alas, what a right load of hindsight bollocks that was from a man who had literally never written about Lewis Cook before.


The Main boy man
The giddiness about Kobbie Mainoo is real – we’re giddy too – but let’s not pretend that he is 12 years old, people.

AND we all thought England had just the one generational talent.

Kobbie Mainoo was effectively brought to Germany as a work experience kid but has emerged as the key kid behind this country’s attempt to rewrite history.

The double ‘kid’ has us squirming but it was late. For the subs as well as Sun Football Editor Charlie Wyett, it seems.

But ‘work experience kid’? Behave.

Pesky fact: Kobbie Mainoo had started two of England’s last three games before Euro 2024.

👉 16 Conclusions on England 2-1 Netherlands: Watkins, subs, Mainoo, Southgate, *that* penalty and more
👉 ‘Arise Sir Gareth of Southgate’ as England fans respond to epic victory
👉 England player ratings v Netherlands: Watkins a national hero as Foden, Mainoo shine


Pump up the volume
We are a stuck record on this particular subject but ‘speak volumes’ refers to, well, not actually speaking at all. Or, as the dictionary would put it, ‘convey a great deal without using words’.

Which brings us to this on the Express website:

Gary Lineker’s eight-word statement on England star Kobbie Mainoo speaks volumes

A few things:

a) a statement cannot ‘speak volumes’.

b) he says about 100 words; you just chose eight.

c) it’s not a f***ing statement; he was just talking.

d) you’re being weird.


Southgate, you’re not the one
Negativity sells – we all know that – so there’s more traffic in England disappointment than England glory, which is why we end up here on the Express:

England into Euro 2024 final thanks to hero Ollie Watkins as Southgate proven very wrong

You might naturally think that Southgate has been ‘proven very wrong’ by Watkins, but of course you would be mistaken; he was clearly proven very right by the Villa striker.

What’s actually happened is that the Express’ desperation for a negative spin has seen them claim Mainoo’s brilliance as a chance to kick the England manager:

Southgate’s claim that he didn’t possess a natural midfield replacement for Kalvin Phillips after England’s 1-1 draw with Denmark in Group C was met with bemusement.

Mainoo proved why every time he intercepted a dangerous ball, lasered a direct pass through the lines or confidently took on a Dutch player. Manchester United and England have a gem at their core.

Now we all laughed at Southgate for that nugget, but just after full-time of one of the greatest England results in history – managed brilliantly by the coach – is not the time to be proclaiming that actually, Southgate got it pretty wrong with something he said four games ago.

Can we just enjoy it for five minutes please?


Look of the Irish
If Mediawatch were John Cross, we would a) chill out a bit about self-embargoed quotes, but also b) be a bit p***ed off that we slog our guts out in Germany along with our Daily Mirror colleagues only to find that the biggest story in football on Thursday morning after you watch England beat the Netherlands in a European Championship semi-final is:

Roy Keane’s brilliant reaction to England’s last-gasp Ollie Watkins goal vs Netherlands

From the TV. In England.

We’re told that ‘fans spotted’ (it was on the telly) the ‘hilarious’ reaction (he literally did nothing) to Ollie Watkins’ goal, which is clearly far better content than could have been written by anybody actually at the match or anything – and this seems important – written about the match.

Irishman Keane was on punditry duty for ITV and when Watkins’ shot hit the back of the net, English colleagues Gary Neville and Ian Wright went wild celebrating. Keane, though, was unmoved, holding a wry smile and only moving a few inches to the side as he looked over the studio balcony during replays of England’s historic moment.

So, basically, ‘man who does not support England did not celebrate England goal’. Hilarious. And clearly the biggest story in football.


‘You might not like it, but Sam Matterface is growing into an accomplished commentator’ – Telegraph.


👉 16 Conclusions on England 2-1 Netherlands: Watkins, subs, Mainoo, Southgate, *that* penalty and more
👉 ‘Arise Sir Gareth of Southgate’ as England fans respond to epic victory
👉 England player ratings v Netherlands: Watkins a national hero as Foden, Mainoo shine