Jurgen Klopp has mugged Jordan Henderson right off. But England’s players do not seem to be defined by a game that happened 25 years ago.
We have four more days of this…
Stop it. There has to be some new material out there. pic.twitter.com/ZeQoqIOgAQ
— Football365 (@F365) June 25, 2021
They’re building up to ‘ACHTUNG SURRENDER’ on Tuesday morning aren’t they?
Hend of conversation
The back page of the Daily Mirror manages to not mention sunbeds, ‘whining German fans’ being ‘barred’ from Wembley (because of a global pandemic) or ‘Herr’ references. But they barely stumble over that low bar with this effort.
‘JUR GOING HOME’ is the headline to a story from John Cross, who writes:
‘Jordan Henderson has revealed how Jurgen Klopp tried to wind him up over England’s Euros showdown with Germany.
Well Germany scraped into the knockouts by virtue of a late goal to rescue a draw with Hungary. Klopp is hardly in a position to ‘wind up’ one of his players. But go on.
‘Liverpool’s German boss sent a text message to his captain Henderson as soon as Germany clinched a last-16 tie with their old foes at Wembley on Tuesday.’
This should be good. Did Klopp tell them England are not creative enough, they’re not positive enough? Did he stoke Henderson’s painful memories of watching the Euro ’96 semi-final as a six-year-old? Did he claim the sunbeds ahead of Liverpool’s next training session?
“As soon as the final whistle went he just sent a smiley face emoji!”
Oh my. JUR GOING HOME indeed. That is brutal from Klopp. Next season will be awkward.
Inside the Daily Mirror, Andy Dunn continues to be ‘Britain’s best Sports Writer’ by discussing the quotes from Marcus Rashford about how “some of the players weren’t even born” when England were knocked out of major tournaments by Germany in 1990 and 1996.
‘Maybe that is why this England squad do not quite understand the emotions that swirl around an age-old rivalry that will be renewed at Wembley on Tuesday,’ Dunn says.
That line is followed by these words from Rashford:
“There is no point fearing the past. You can’t go back and change it. And you don’t have time to get involved in that sort of build-up because there would just be too much emotion in the game. If you go on the pitch with all that build-up, we could end up with eight men on the pitch.
“Anyone who is a fan of football, you get built up for these types of games and rightly so. In camp, it’s different because as a player you have to be focused.”
For one of many players who ‘do not quite understand the emotions that swirl around an age-old rivalry,’ it sure sounds like Rashford feels “there would just be too much emotion in the game” if the squad lets itself get carried away. That’s what the media is there for; he and his teammates realise and ‘understand’ the context but will focus on the match.
That really does not mean they ‘do not quite understand the emotions that swirl around an age-old rivalry,’ one half of which does not realise they are really in an age-old rivalry. They understand. They just do not particularly care that England lost a match against their upcoming opponents 25 years ago.
Case for the defence
Speaking of the media letting itself get a little carried away, Dunn adds elsewhere:
‘Whatever combination Southgate selects at the back – and he has tried three options so far – is there a better defensive unit in the tournament?
‘Not on the evidence of the group stages.’
Yes on the evidence of Italy also conceding no goals in the group stages while allowing 12 shots in comparison to England facing 26 so far.
And that is without factoring in Italy keeping 11 clean sheets in a row. England have been solid defensively but there is objectively ‘a better defensive unit in the tournament’ right there.
Czech this out
The one thing Euro 2020 has properly lacked so far is a supercomputer, but the Daily Mirror website is here to plug that particular gap.
‘Supercomputer predicts how Euro 2020 will now play out – with emergence of unlikely winner,’ is their tantalising headline. They are backing Czech Republic to win the whole sodding thing ‘despite a third-placed group stage finish’. Because obviously no-one could possibly lift the trophy from that sort of situation.
The nerds behind this prediction are Sportradar, who have used their ‘innovative Simulated Reality solution’ to suggest Tomas Soucek will be a European champion this time next month.
There are a few self-trumpeting paragraphs documenting the success of their group-stage predictions, from which they ‘played out five correct scores and ten correct results’. From 36 matches. This thing has got just over a quarter of the results from the tournament so far right. That truly is innovation.
So well done for thinking Belgium would beat Russia 3-0. But what happened to England’s 5-2 thrashing of Croatia? And your Simulated Reality solution might need a tweak considered the initial predicted final of Czech Republic against Denmark is no longer actually possibly.
As funny as it is to laugh at Tottenham and their continued quest to replace Jose Mourinho, there is a line and the Daily Express website has crossed it with this headline:
‘Tottenham next manager EXCLUSIVE: Ryan Mason put on standby as farcical search continues’
He is on standby, of course, to take charge of pre-season training, which starts on Monday week, in the event that Tottenham have still not appointed a first-team coach. It is one of remarkably few sensible decisions they have made this summer.
‘Renato Sanches highlights Liverpool transfer truth for Jurgen Klopp’ – Liverpool Echo.
Renato Sanches, the man who has ‘highlighted’ this ‘transfer truth’, is mentioned literally once in the entire article: in the 11th paragraph.
Pick and mixed
Credit to the Daily Mail for their exclusive on Manchester City signing Jack Grealish after Euro 2020. Great get. Top work.
But suggesting that Pep Guardiola oversaw ‘a mixed season’ and then in the very next paragraph documenting how they ‘romped to the Premier League title with relative ease and lifted yet another Carabao Cup,’ before losing in the actual Champions League final and FA Cup semi-final, is impressive. Mediawatch can only dream of such ‘mixed’ success.
Recommended reading of the day
Jacob Steinberg on Raheem Sterling
George Caulkin on taking a tournament penalty