Reach for the Sky
Not all TV channels can have the rights to World Cup games. But that need not mean that they cannot provide comprehensive and entertaining coverage.
The World Cup wouldn’t be the same without animals predicting the outcome!
2010: Paul the Octopus correctly predicted Spain 🐙 🇪🇸 ✅
2018: Who will Achilles the Cat predict this year? 🐱 🇷🇺 🤔
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— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) June 13, 2018
Look at the back page of the Daily Mirror. Go on, look at it…
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) June 13, 2018
It seems pretty unequivocal; Jose Mourinho ‘has backed England to win the World Cup’. Elsewhere, we are told that Mourinho has ‘tipped’ England to win the World Cup. The back page of the Daily Express claims that he has ‘tipped England to spring a shock by lifting the World Cup’.
Has he? Or has he he been paid by sponsors Jaguar to do an event with schoolchildren and been sensible enough not to rule England out of winning the World Cup? It feels like it might be the latter.
John Cross (for it is he in the Mirror) continues: ‘It is the ultimate vote of confidence from The Special One for Gareth Southgate’s World Cup campaign as England look to end the nation’s 52 years of hurt since their 1966 triumph.’
The ‘ultimate vote of confidence’? Mediawatch suggests that Cross looks up the word ‘ultimate’ if he believes that Mourinho saying that England ‘can’ win the World Cup qualifies as the ‘most extreme’ vote of confidence he could have issued.
Indeed, he admitted that Brazil, Spain, Germany and France are the favourites and went on to say: “I do not think we will have a surprise, like a country that has never won.”
So he really has given the ultimate vote of confidence to Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Uruguay, France, England and Spain.
We presume he has seven houses so he can stick one on each of his ‘tips’.
Was there no point while Richard Tanner (of the Daily Express) was writing that ‘the Manchester United manager believes the fact that all of Gareth Southgate’s squad play in the Premier League – which he describes as the best League in the world – gives them a critical advantage over their rivals in Russia’ when he thought ‘hang on, all our players always play in the Premier League?
Clearly not, as that forms the second paragraph of his story about Mourinho ‘tipping’ England to spring a shock’.
As easy as it is to laugh at journalists taking anodyne quotes and spinning them into big news, Mediawatch is getting a tad nervous that there is a narrative developing here. When we asked for an end to negative England stories, we did not ask for a tsunami of positivity to create great expectations that England cannot possibly match. Can they win it? Well, yes. Will they win it? Most probably not, as they not won a knock-out game since 2006.
But the big story comes from the Daily Star’s Chief Sports Writer Jeremy Cross, who claims that ‘ENGLAND have revealed their secret weapon for the World Cup – and its made of foam’.
A ‘secret weapon’, you say? Fascinating.
‘Gareth Southgate’s men have turned to the ‘Nerf Rocket’ in training ahead of their opening Group G game against Tunisia in Volgograd on Monday.
‘The toy is like a hand held missile that can be thrown huge distances and makes a whistling sound as it flies through the air.
‘The idea was the brainchild of Aussie sports science expert Bryce Kavanagh, who is working in the England camp.’
It sounded like they might have just been having fun rather than revealing a secret weapon, but now you have used the word ‘brainchild’, we are convinced that this may actually win England the World Cup.
Our only worry is that now they have ‘revealed’ something – and it’s been written about by a Chief Sports Writer so it must be important – then Brazil and Germany might copy. Why didn’t they use their ‘secret weapon’ in, erm, secret?
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) March 27, 2018
Honestly, who has a ‘brainchild’ and then parades it round willy and indeed nilly?
Solving a mystery
The start of the #WorldCup is just a few hours away but where are all the @England fans?@RachelBurden goes in search of England supporters in Moscow. ⚽️👀#5liveBreakfast#bbcworldcup pic.twitter.com/Ko0mPyXzww
— BBC Radio 5 live (@bbc5live) June 14, 2018
Where are all the England fans? Probably at home, packing to go to Russia for Monday’s game, which is being held 600 miles away in Volgograd.
If you find any England fans in Moscow…do tell them they have royally f***ed up their travel plans.
Footballers getting over stuff with arses > football
You know what Sun football like more than, well, football? It’s football folk getting over football disappointment by going on holiday with their attractive, scantily clad wives. There is literally nothing better.
From The Sun football homepage on Thursday morning – the opening day of the actual football World Cup, no less:
‘SMALL MERCIES Smalling doesn’t look too bothered by England snub as he tours Asia with wife.’
‘JUR-NEYMAN Klopp appears over World Cup heartbreak as he sips beer in St Tropez.’
‘NOT SO BUMMED OUT Fabregas forgets World Cup snub on holiday with stunning wife.’
The latter of course is accompanied by pictures of the arse of the wife of Cesc Fabregas. Which is really not creepy at all (it is).
After all, why report on football when you can report on footballers smiling next to attractive, partially clothed women?
Coming soon: Footballwifearses365. 16 Conclusions will be interesting.
Silly Sun though…they really have missed a trick with that Klopp ‘story’. Let the Daily Mirror website show you how it is done…
‘Jurgen Klopp enjoys beer and soaks up sun in St Tropez as he eagerly awaits Liverpool fixtures announcement’
Boom. And indeed boom.
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) June 14, 2018
Jack Wilshere is also hinting at an Arsenal stay, which is a pretty snazzy trick to pull with one ‘cryptic social media message’.