The Sun‘s Chief Football Reporter Neil Ashton was very clear before kick-off on Saturday what he thought of the decision to award the England captaincy to Harry Kane over Gary Cahill…
Gary Cahill captains Chelsea to Premier League title without JT holding his hand, but is overlooked by England in favour of Harry Kane.
— neil ashton (@neilashton_) June 10, 2017
Now some of you might think that Cahill’s culpability for Scotland’s equaliser might have changed Ashton’s mind somewhat by Monday. Oh how little you know about the arrogance of journalists at a leading national newspaper…
‘GARY CAHILL must be miffed at being overlooked for the captaincy, with Harry Kane preferred.
‘He skippered Chelsea to the Premier League title when the belief was he needed John Terry to hold his hand through matches.
‘Instead, Cahill emerged as a leader, scoring important goals too.
‘He was England’s most assured defender for 87 minutes on Saturday but will not be happy with the mistimed challenge that led to Scotland’s equaliser.’
Nobody was, Neil. Thankfully we had the actual captain on the pitch to show real leadership and save the day.
Sometimes you just have to admit you got it wrong (unless you are the Chief Football Reporter of The Sun).
Solid as a rock
Mind you, Neil Ashton is not the only Chief Football Reporter/Writer wilfully ignoring Gary Cahill’s role in England’s rotten performance on Saturday. Here’s John Cross of the Daily Mirror with his player ratings…
‘CAHILL: Wonder how he felt not to get the armband? Solid in defence. 6’
Solid in defence apart from that cock-up that led to the opening goal. Obviously he ‘will not be happy’ about that.
Talking ’bout a revolution
Mediawatch is amused that John Cross now suggests England manager Gareth Southgate ‘may look at a back three’ now.
Regular readers might remember that he wrote this on Thursday:
‘Gareth Southgate may join the back-three revolution for this weekend’s qualifier against Scotland, having already tried it in a friendly in March.
‘Southgate could use the back three because of a lack of options for the midfield anchorman role – Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson is a long-term injury concern while Jack Wilshere has gone backwards.
‘That leaves just Eric Dier as a holding midfielder and is the reason why Southgate will look to a back three while also having options at wing-back.’
We suspected at the time that Cross a) knew absolutely nothing about formations and b) had forgotten about Jake Livermore.
We were right.
Silence is golden
Crossy has been busy, with seven bylines in Monday’s Daily Mirror. We cannot fault the man for his output.
We can, though, fault him for writing that ‘THREE LIONS hero Dominic Calvert-Lewin put England on top of the world – then claimed they are ready to become the new golden generation’.
Because he clearly said nothing of the sodding sort. Largely because it would have been an absolutely mental thing to say.
Five ridiculous headlines from far more successful websites
‘Arsenal fans worried Ian Wright just made an unthinkable transfer suggestion for Arsene Wenger’ – Daily Mirror. Second biggest story in football on Monday lunchtime, folks.
‘Arsenal duo caught trolling Tony Pulis over Serge Gnabry’s Bayern Munich transfer’ – Metro. Can you troll a man not on Twitter? Can you troll a man not on Twitter by simply ‘liking’ a tweet?
‘Rooney enjoys holiday with old United pal Brown, Zidane relaxes in Italy…and who are the lovebirds?’ – Daily Mail. We’ll help you out here because we wasted a click: The ‘lovebirds’ are Danny Ings and his girlfriend.
‘Victor Lindelof’s WAG: Meet sexy blonde Maja Nilsson dating Man Utd’s new signing’ – Daily Star. Just to clarify, when they say ‘meet’, they mean ‘look at some pictures of’; they are not going to arrange a date.
‘Playboy model and ex-wife of former Man City striker Valeri Bojinov posts amazing naked yoga photo’ – The Sun. So the ex-wife of a man who left Manchester City in 2010 has done some yoga and it’s above England winning the World Cup on the football homepage. Isn’t 2017 brilliant?
Mediawatch enjoyed The Sun’s feature about the our Under-20 world champions, headlined ‘What next for the glory boys?’
From this insightful feature we learn that, of the 13 ‘glory boys’, five ‘need a loan’, while the rest – barring Dominic Solanke, who has already moved to Liverpool – either ‘want to step up’, are ‘keen for a top-flight chance’ or are ‘destined to play a bigger role’.
Thanks. For. That.
‘When are Arsenal Premier League 2017/18 fixtures revealed? Full list, TV details, pre-season games and more’ is the headline. Very clever indeed from the Daily Mirror, but just to be clear…
Arsenal’s Premier League 2017/18 fixtures will be revealed at exactly the same time as all the other Premier League 2017/18 fixtures are revealed. The ‘full list’ will then be revealed. Then you have to wait another three weeks for ‘TV details’ to be revealed. There is literally no new information right now.
But what a lot of delicious clicks you can pick up from a Google search of ‘Arsenal fixtures’.
And another thing…
Mediawatch wonders whether Martin Samuel would like to re-visit this column after Andorra beat Hungary on Friday night.
Patronishing highlights include…
‘Andorra are useless and the theory that by letting inferior nations into major competitions, their standards will improve is growing more discredited with each passing year. Andorra are not getting better.’
‘It is a pointless existence, often literally, as the qualification tables show. Andorra are there because of football politics, because they are good for one vote for a man in a suit in an office in Switzerland, just like all the other nations that are taking up space on an already overcrowded fixture list.’
‘They do not even play their biggest games in their own country, preferring to take those matches to Barcelona in Spain. Like their football, their continuance is cynical.’
For the record, this is the current Group B qualification table. You may remember that Latvia have appeared in a European Championship (2004) so it looks very much like Andorra may be getting better after all.
— #WCQ (@FIFAWorldCup) June 9, 2017
Oh and they have played every game of this qualification campaign in Andorra. It’s going quite well.