Alas, the perfect England midfielder is ‘sitting at home’ as hindsight is 20:20

Editor F365
Gareth Southgate, Adam Wharton and Lewis Cook.
Gareth Southgate, Adam Wharton and Lewis Cook.

The England press pack has decided that Lewis Cook should have been in the England squad all along. They just never mentioned it.


Not enough Cooks to spoil the England broth
If you weren’t already aware that the England press pack live in some kind of bubble during a major tournament then read this from the Daily Mail’s Craig Hope on who should play in midfield v Slovenia.

Well, it should not be Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Southgate does look set to make a change in midfield. It wasn’t a great look for the England boss to be speaking about ‘experiments’ at a major tournament, a failed one at that.

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, so it will be one of Conor Gallagher, Adam Wharton, Kobbie Mainoo and Jude Bellingham who partners Declan Rice.

Alas? Alas? Mediawatch has done some extensive research and we cannot find one single member of the English media who suggested at any point that Lewis Cook deserved an England recall. Not one. Nobody had him in their preferred England squads; nobody opined his continued absence from the England scene.

But now, in the midst of a tournament, the ‘solution’ was apparently obvious all along.

Odd how Craig Hope himself never mentioned Cook when discussing the final England squad, picking Kobbie Mainoo as his choice in midfield for the opening clash against Serbia.

He also picked Kyle Walker at centre-half in a back four – a position we don’t believe Walker has ever played – because he didn’t ‘rate’ actual centre-half Marc Guehi, so maybe we should take anything he says with a pinch of salt.

By this week, Hope had switched to wanting Jude Bellingham in midfield alongside Declan Rice (and has relented on Guehi) and then suddenly throws the name of Cook into the mix, pretending that the England pack (and they are a pack) knew all along that the Bournemouth man should have been in Germany.

Hindsight is 20:20. Especially when you have picked that hindsight out of your arse.


Whar? What is it good for?
As part of that discussion about possible England midfielders, Craig Hope writes:

Wharton is the best technician but does not have the legs. To bring him into a side struggling for intensity would be a risk. Mainoo has better energy but, at 19, the Manchester United man is perhaps too inexperienced to be thrown into an environment where pressure is affecting the players, by their own admission.

Odd that Hope has decided that Wharton ‘does not have the legs’, as we have also read this from Richard Jolly in The Independent:

Kante is famously a workaholic. Wharton’s skills on the ball should not deflect from his work rate off it: he covered more than 11km when Crystal Palace beat Liverpool at Anfield.

It sounds like he might have the legs. Though obviously he’s no Lewis Cook. But who is?


We can’t handle the tooth
Mediawatch is a tad embarrassed to admit that we stared at this headline on The Sun website for quite some time…


…before we realised it’s because ‘Harry Kane bites back’.

So it does make sense; it’s just utter shite.


Qualify Street
Elsewhere in The Sun, we learn ‘How England can qualify for last 16 TONIGHT as Three Lions seek favour from Euro 2024 rivals’.

First, Spain are only England’s ‘Euro 2024 rivals’ in the sense that every team at Euro 2024 is an England rival.

Second, what an absolute load of tosh. One of the captions on one of the images adorning this piece is ‘they are relying on Spain to lend a helping hand’. So the team in first place in their group and about to play the 57th best team in the world is ‘relying on Spain’?

Are we really into the realms of ridiculousness where we are pretending that England fans and players should be cheering on Spain against Albania so England can secure qualification TONIGHT rather than TOMORROW? Apparently so.

With the final group game against Slovenia tomorrow, Gareth Southgate’s side could end up in third place if they lose the game and Denmark beat Serbia.

And if that happens, Mediawatch is sure that The Sun will be among those applauding England for a safe passage into the last 16.

👉 How Euro 2024 works: tie-breakers, predicted knockout routes and why the draw helps England
👉 England Euro 2024 permutations: How they can qualify and what happens next if they do


How do you solve a problem like left-back?
The Sun, June 23: ‘WHO’S LEFT? England facing Euro 2024 injury crisis with makeshift left-back Kieran Trippier nursing injury ahead of Slovenia clash’

The Sun, June 24: ‘LUK WHO’S BACK Luke Shaw returns to England training as he hands Gareth Southgate huge boost ahead of Euro 2024 clash against Slovenia’

It’s almost like there was never a Euro 2024 injury crisis.