Maguire ‘points blame’ and Maddison protests after Southgate ‘confronted’ by England star over Grealish

Editor F365
England players James Maddison, Jack Grealish and Harry Maguire with manager Gareth Southgate
England are obviously in turmoil ahead of Euro 2024

Gareth Southgate was ‘confronted’ by an England player over Jack Grealish, except he specifically definitely wasn’t. Harry Maguire ‘points blame’ either way.


Confront page news
The England squad was officially announced on Thursday and there were more ‘brutal’ calls and ‘ruthless’ decisions from Gareth Southgate, for there is no other way of describing the selection of a major international tournament team.

In reality, the decisions made were all entirely justifiable, even if plenty still disagree with some of them. And that’s fine.

The omission of Jack Grealish ranks high among the biggest choices Southgate made. There was understandable ‘shock’ and even ‘anger’ in the England camp when that filtered through.

But these headlines are hilariously and seemingly deliberately inaccurate:

‘Revealed: Gareth Southgate’s players were ‘shocked’ by his call to axe Jack Grealish from England’s Euro 2024 squad… as one senior star ‘confronted the boss to understand his decision” – MailOnline.

‘England star ‘confronted’ Gareth Southgate to explain Jack Grealish’s surprise Euros axe’ – Daily Express website.

Note the use of quote marks around the word ‘confronted’ in both stories. The MailOnline obviously goes further and lifts an apparent line from the original article but the key is most definitely in the claim that a player ‘confronted’ the manager.

Yet the Daily Telegraph, the outlet both aggregators are using, says no such thing. In fact, Matt Law and Sam Wallace specifically tell us:

‘There is absolutely no suggestion of any row or confrontation.’

All that happened is an unnamed ‘senior’ player ‘approached’ and ‘spoke to’ Southgate to understand the manager’s justification and relay that properly to his teammates.

What absolutely did not take place is a ‘confrontation’ between said player and Southgate, because obviously.

The best bit is that the Express point out in their story that ‘it’s emphasised that there were no confrontations following the decision,’ while the MailOnline report that ‘there is no suggestion the decision sparked argument or confrontation’.

No suggestion…aside from that bit where you outright state it in quote marks which quote no-one in the headline. What a shame it remains a) unchanged, b) the story atop their website as of Friday lunchtime and c) wrong.

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Forced entry
Slightly less egregious is the Daily Mirror website‘s take:

‘Gareth Southgate forced to explain Jack Grealish axing to shocked England star’

But that is still nonsense. Kyle Walker didn’t corner Southgate and threaten to take his lunch money if he didn’t tell him why his mate had been dropped. We don’t think.

And they obviously ruin it all anyway by later publishing this story: ‘Premier League chief stunned by Gareth Southgate decision as England boss confronted’.

At least there are no quote marks around ‘confronted’. But that begs the question: why use that misleading word in the first place?


Blame game
Harry Maguire being dropped from the 33-man preliminary England squad was another surprise but not one Southgate would have been ‘confronted’ over by another player to explain: the Manchester United centre-half did not recover sufficiently from injury and it was deemed too big a gamble to take him.

Handily, the man himself knows who to hold responsible for this grave injustice – or at least this Daily Mirror website story suggests as such:

Harry Maguire breaks silence and points blame for missing out on England’s Euro 2024 squad

He ‘points blame’ at his own injured calf. And maybe loosely Jacob Harry Maguire, who “pushed myself too hard” to try and get fit. But they know precisely what they are implying with that headline.


Gazza strip
The selection of Kobbie Mainoo was predictable and thus not at all clicky. But the Daily Mirror website love a challenge so we get this:

Erik ten Hag told he has player at Man Utd that Sir Alex Ferguson always wanted

It is major international tournament time so every other England story must make some reference to Paul Gascoigne. And Mainoo has ‘drawn comparisons’ to Gazza, with Stuart Pearce the only man apparently daft enough to do it.

Pearce has, however, been entirely stitched up. This is the extent of said comparison:

‘Kobbie Mainoo could end up being England’s unexpected star player at Euro 2024, which often happens in these major tournaments. In my time we had the likes of Des Walker and David Platt who enhanced their reputations, even Paul Gascoigne.’

That is it. That is how Ten Hag was ‘told he has player at Man Utd that Sir Alex Ferguson always wanted’, as long as you include them alongside some completely irrelevant and three-year-old quotes from Ferguson about wanting to sign Gascoigne.

‘Erik ten Hag told he has next Des Walker at Man Utd’ would have been just as accurate. So not very.


Jack of all trades
As an aside…

‘Jack Grealish’s fall from grace mirrors Paul Gascoigne’s – but in reality Jack is no Gazza’ – Daily Telegraph.

Good lord, let it go.


Appear to agree to disagree
‘Maddison breaks silence on England axe and appears to disagree with Southgate’s decision to cut him from Euro 2024 squad,’ screams another Daily Mirror website headline. And ordinarily Mediawatch would do the whole ‘and there we were thinking he would come out and agree with it’ line, but actually that is literally sort of what Maddison actually did.

Sure, Maddison ‘still thought there would be a space for me in a 26 man squad,’ but he also wrote that ‘ if I’m honest with myself, my form for Spurs when coming back from injury in the second half of the season probably wasn’t at the levels I had set which gave Gareth a decision to make’.

It was a very sensible and level-headed reaction at a difficult time and it’s weird to suggest otherwise.


Wherefore art thou, Romero?
‘Four-time Man Utd trophy winner, 37, looks unrecognisable as he heads to training with dramatic new look’ – The Sun website.

BREAKING: Sergio Romero with dyed hair still looks exactly like Sergio Romero.

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