We reveal the one thing worse than England’s stinking performance against Slovenian rule-breakers

Editor F365
England fans react to missed chance v Slovenia
England fans react to missed chance v Slovenia

England were pretty bad against Slovenia in Cologne, but they absolutely were not alone in that regard, while rules and records were both ‘broken’ and a ‘mystery’ opponent that is almost definitely Netherlands awaits.


England weren’t very good against Slovenia on Tuesday night, in news that we’re guessing you are by now familiar with.

But England weren’t along in not being very good against Slovenia on Tuesday night. Because there was also this intro from the Daily Star’s Jeremy Cross.

England stank the place out with a performance more Oh Doh Cologne than the sweet smell of success.

He’s gone full Mike Walters. Never go full Mike Walters.

He’s still thinking about those balls, isn’t he?


Ruled out
The Mirror know exactly what they’re doing here.

Why Slovenia were allowed to break UEFA rule during dismal England draw at Euro 2024

It was a rubbish game, England were rubbish, and there’s a clear subtext here that somehow something underhand or untoward has been allowed to occur.

Obviously, it’s not true. Slovenia didn’t break a rule, with the Mirror backpedalling from that claim even by the intro.

Slovenia were able to get around a new rule during their dull stalemate against England on Tuesday night.

Even ‘get around’ is a stretch.

The rule in question is that at this tournament only the captains of each team may discuss the referee’s decisions with him in a move designed to prevent players surrounding the official.

Part of that rule is that any teams captained by a goalkeeper nominate an outfield player as the designated referee-whisperer in the captain’s stead for pretty obvious and practical reasons.

Which Slovenia, captained as they are by Jan Oblak, duly did against England as they have throughout the tournament. Just like Denmark, captained by Kasper Schmeichel, have done throughout the tournament. Just like Italy, captained by Guinluigi Donnarumma, have done throughout the tournament.

We get that on its own this is a relatively minor example that doesn’t really do much harm, but this story really is ‘Slovenia follow rule precisely as laid out by UEFA’’and has been deliberately packaged and headlined as the opposite by a newspaper and publisher that get absolutely no benefit of the doubt for this kind of sleight of hand.

It’s not even the first time they’ve done it. Eyes peeled if England and Italy both win their last-16 games and meet in the quarter-final to see if the Mirror will also report on those dastardly Italians breaking a UEFA rule against England.

Obviously it doesn’t count or matter when they so wantonly break that rule against anyone else.

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Broken record
Few things set Mediawatch’s Spidey senses tingling faster these days than a headline like this one from The Sun.

England break unwanted European Championships record as Three Lions scrape through

We do have some pedantic semantic objection to ‘scrape through’. England have not been good by any reasonable definition, but they had already qualified before Tuesday night’s game and have never been anywhere other than top of the table since the moment Jude Bellingham headed them into the lead against Serbia in their opening game.

But never mind that. It is very obviously the record they’ve broken that we’re interested in here.

Generally, this is a tactic used to make a ludicrously niche and specific stat sound like something everyone always talks about. Like when everyone suddenly pretended ‘youngest player to score in six consecutive Premier League matches’ was a thing after Rasmus Hojlund did it.

This one isn’t quite that. It’s lowest scoring European Championship group. Which, fair enough, is a decent enough stat that hasn’t needed to be caveated into absolute meaninglessness.

But it still doesn’t work. For one thing, quite obviously, England cannot break this record alone. It takes four teams to bumblef*ck their way cluelessly around a country playing six games between them to break this particular record.

Even more importantly, though, they haven’t actually broken it. They’ve equalled it. They’ve equalled an unwanted record. Look, it even says so right here in the story.

And they contributed to the joint lowest-scoring group in European Championship history.

‘England and three other teams equal unwanted record’ – there’s your headline, fellas. Happy to help.


The unsolved mysteries of unsolved mysteries
England’s qualification may have been drab, but it is also a thing that definitely happened.

And that means it’s time to look at England’s knockout path. Lord knows Mediawatch loves a permutation, so there will be no criticism here over the existence of such content.

But Mediawatch does reserve the right to laugh like a genuine lunatic for an extended period of time at The Sun describing England’s last-16 opponents – very probably the Netherlands for reasons explained here – as a ‘mystery third-placed rival’ like they’re going to jump out of a big box with all question marks on it.

Mediawatch is also fascinated by this bit from that story.

Footie powerhouses France, Spain, Germany and Portugal are all on the other side of the draw.

So that means England won’t face either of the bigwigs until the final, which takes place on July 14.

Either? We are simply desperate to know which two of those four ‘footie powerhouses’ The Sun don’t deem to be ‘bigwigs’.


Horror story
The Sun have also hit upon a favourite way of describing that difficult half of the Euro 2024 draw. See if you can spot it.

England through to Euro 2024 last-16 vs mystery third-placed rival…but at least Three Lions avoid HORROR side of draw

Mbappe scores on return but French flop means they go on HORROR side of Euro 2024 draw in 2nd place

‘None of us need reminding’ – England forced to confront dreaded ‘ITV curse’ to avoid horror Euro 2024 last 16 tie

How England’s Euro 2024 fate could come down to YELLOW CARDS with horror clash against Germany waiting in wings

England’s horror route to Euro 2024 final if they fail to beat Slovenia in last group game


Tennis balls
Mediawatch made a decision today that it would swear off WAG content. There’s obviously loads of it, yet again, because there’s only so much you can say about another boring England performance before quite literally the only option left to you is attempting to ensnare a few passing masturbators with the lure of a possible glimpse of side-boob.

But we can’t ignore this one from the Daily Star, even though it is even more tenuously a football story than most WAG content, which is very tenuous indeed.

As we approach what is by common law required to be described as the Great British Summer of Sport with Wimbledon just around the corner, the Star have found a way to link football, tennis and WAGgery in a perfect storm of depressing sh*te.

Wimbledon star’s WAG who is also tennis pro admits she’s been messaged by footballers

There simply aren’t enough sighs in the world to adequately convey our reaction to the description of world number 17 and Australian Open quarter-finalist Anna Kalinskaya as ‘Wimbledon star’s WAG who is also tennis pro’.