Marcus Rashford ‘homes’ and 16-shot ‘cautious’ England

Date published: Monday 16th November 2020 11:44

House sweet house

Not only is Marcus Rashford a national hero and all-round f***ing legend, but he is also far better at writing Mediawatch than Mediawatch so we need to add very little to this…

…other than to point out that the definition of ‘home’ is ‘the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household’ so no, Rashford has not bought ‘five luxury homes’; he has bought five pieces of property as investments. Which is wise. And don’t think for a second that we don’t notice the syntax that suggests that each ‘home’ cost over £2m.

That might be the least of the crimes here – and there are many (all of which we predicted) – but it makes everything that little bit more despicable.


Caution advised

Marcus Rashford was missing for England’s defeat to Belgium along with Raheem Sterling, Harry Maguire, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez. That all seems quite important as we judge that defeat. It also seems quite important to note that England were not really outplayed by Belgium and also that this was England’s second defeat in ten games stretching back over a year. Oh and that Belgium – ranked actual first in the world – are unbeaten at home in four years.

Unless you are Dave Kidd of The Sun and you want to condemn England and Gareth Southgate to the highest, writing that ‘Southgate’s England are too cautious’, despite having 16 shots against Belgium, which was twice as many as the hosts.

‘They have failed to score from open play in four out of five Nations League matches this autumn and that is simply not good enough for a side with aspirations of competing at the very highest level.’

Has he forgotten the World Cup already?

Seriously, England are probably not going to win the Euros but what happened on Sunday was that a team with injury problems played a difficult away game and held their own, but got beaten by a massive deflection and a wrongly awarded but excellent free-kick. Dries Mertens did not ‘expose cagey Lions’ Euro flaws’; he simply hit a brilliant dead ball.


From a distance

The Daily Mirror‘s John Cross writes that Jack Grealish ‘was England’s best player by some distance, he thrilled and entertained and had you on the edge of the seat’.

Neatly, Cross wrote the Mirror’s player ratings in which he gave Grealish 8/10, ‘some distance’ ahead of 7/10 Harry Kane, Mason Mount, Bukayo Saka and Harry Winks.


Pick your corner

Andy Dunn, Daily Mirror:

‘According to Chris Waddle, Jordan Pickford might have done a little better for Belgium’s opening goal.

‘Chris, had Pickford kept out Youri Tielemans’ deflected stinger, it would have been a contender for the Nations League Save of the Tournament, if there is such a thing.

‘Eric Dier and his ill-advised pass were culpable but not Pickford.’

Alex Milne, Mirror website:

‘It wasn’t his worst night by any stretch of the imagination, yet Jordan Pickford once again didn’t cover himself in glory, particularly with Belgium’s first goal.

‘Yes, Tieleman’s strike took a deflection, but the fact is Pickford still managed to get a hand to the shot, and probably should have kept it out.’

Oh Chris. And Alex. Listen to Andy, who excuses Pickford but then writes at length that the Everton man really should not be England’s first-choice goalkeeper.

But at least they didn’t invite a pile-on just seconds after the ball trickled across the line after two deflections…

Let’s face it, they’re not appealing for considered opinions.


Laser love

Question for the Daily Mail’s Ian Ladyman:

Can a deflected goal really be described as a ‘laser-like right foot shot’? Wouldn’t a laser have gone straight through Declan Rice and Tyrone Minds?


A new low?

Even for Jake Polden, this was rotten.


Let’s pretend

How do local newspaper websites cope with the international break?

Well they produce headlines like this…

‘Liverpool news and transfers LIVE – Dayot Upamecano snub, Joel Matip exit, Alejandro Balde linked’

Sub-headlines like this…

‘Liverpool transfer news and updates including the latest on Dayot Upamecano, Joel Matip, Alejandro Balde and more’

Opening paragraphs like this…

‘Dayot Upamecano tipped to snub Premier League move, Barcelona reportedly want Joel Matip and Liverpool linked with Alejandro Balde’

And then literally never mention those stories again in the blog, because actually f*** all is happening and f*** all is likely to happen in January.


Undroppable force

A welcome return for the Manchester Evening News and their favourite word…

‘Manchester United have two undroppables for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s perfect approach’ – November 16. The players: Bruno Fernandes and Fred.

‘Manchester United fans think they might have four new undroppables’ – September 24. The players: Mason Greenwood, Donny van de Beek, Eric Bailly and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

‘Manchester United confirm new undroppable after harsh reality check’ – August 18. The player: Luke Shaw.

‘Manchester United have a new undroppable from unbeaten run’ – June 28. The player: Luke Shaw.

‘Manchester United fans name new undroppable after Sheffield United win’ – June 26. The player: Nemanja Matic.

‘How Manchester United have discovered a new undroppable in their attack’ – April 21. The player: Daniel James.

‘Manchester United have discovered six undroppables’ – April 12. The players: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Fred, Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Martial.

‘Manchester United have new undroppable for Man City derby fixture’ – March 7. The player: Nemanja Matic.

‘Manchester United might have a new undroppable in Eric Bailly after Chelsea performance’ – February 18.

‘Manchester United player Scott McTominay is undroppable claims Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’ – December 4, 2019.

‘Manchester United’s undroppable restores their identity in win vs Tottenham’ – December 4, 2019. The player: Marcus Rashford. But also Scott McTominay.

‘Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has another Manchester United undroppable after Norwich win’ – October 28, 2019. The player: Scott McTominay.

‘Manchester United have a new undroppable in Axel Tuanzebe’ – October 16, 2019.

‘A Manchester United player has become undroppable again’ – February 7, 2019. The player: Nemanja Matic.

‘Manchester United have nine undroppables under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’ – January 8, 2019. The players: Phil Jones, Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Anthony Martial, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, David de Gea, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard.

Manchester United, there, having 18 undroppables in less than two years. And Nemanja Matic fulfilling that role about 427 times alone. It’s almost as if it’s too facile a term to use so frequently.

But here is by far our favourite MEN headline of this genre, from December 3 of last year and based on quotes from Solskjaer:

‘Manchester United players told they are not undroppable’

Somebody tell Luckhurst and co…


Recommended reading of the day

Paul Wilson on Ray Clemence

Daniel Storey on the fine margins of the England game


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