Phil Foden has made the headlines by having a family who like music while England go crazy…
Phil yer boots
What’s the biggest story in football on international Tuesday ahead of an England game and World Cup play-offs?
If your answer is ‘England international Phil Foden’s family having a party on Sunday which he did not attend that was over by 10pm’ then congratulations, because you could get a job for The Sun website.
Richard Moriarty starts strong by exclusively writing that ‘ENGLAND ace Phil Foden’s family provoked complaints to police for holding a “music festival” with a blaring sound system on Mother’s Day’.
One complaint according to Cheshire Police, but who’s counting? Probably Cheshire Police, to be fair.
As for describing it as a “music festival”, that is purely down to Seline Waters on a community Facebook group, so it’s definitely worth topping The Sun’s supposed football homepage.
But this is definitely a football story because look…
‘His club Manchester City have been dubbed the Noisy Neighbours over their rivalry with Man United — but on Sunday, all the racket was coming from his mansion.’
But not the mansion where he actually lives, which seems kind of important.
Spot of fuss
Mediawatch often repeats the sentiment that if the exact opposite of a story is more newsworthy then it’s probably not actually news.
That sentiment came to mind after seeing the tabloid back pages get all giddy at the ‘news’ that England players are practising penalties after losing a major tournament on penalties.
‘250 DAYS UNTIL THE WORLD CUP KNOCKOUT STAGE – DON’T WORRY, WE HAVE STARTED PRACTISING…Penalties’
That’s the incredulous back page of The Sun while the Mail Online break out the CAPITALS with this:
‘England are practising penalties ALREADY – with eight months to go until the World Cup in Qatar – as Gareth Southgate bids to rid his team of the shootout heartache they suffered in the final of Euro 2020 against Italy’
All together now: Of course they bloody are. It would be ludicrous if they weren’t practising penalties considering that’s how they lost the Euro 2020 final, which utterly exposed the lack of regular penalty-takers in the squad.
As Gareth Southgate himself says: “What is apparent in terms of regular penalty-takers for their club, we really only have Harry Kane and James Ward-Prowse.”
So what’s the solution? Maybe some practise. It’s not rocket science and it’s not, Charlie Wyett of The Sun, a ‘master plan for world domination’. It’s penalties, not invading Ukraine.
Do Ron Ron Ron
Neil Custis has two bylines on the back page of The Sun. Well done, Neil.
The first is just plain odd (wrong) as he claims that ‘CRISTIANO RONALDO says he is ready to stay at Manchester United for another year’.
He really, really doesn’t.
He was asked – during a Portugal press conference ahead of the North Macedonia play-off – if he is thinking about international retirement. Here’s the video:
“If I feel like playing more, I will play.”
Cristiano Ronaldo has strongly rejected suggestions that he could soon retire from international football, suggesting he is his “own one boss” pic.twitter.com/bpmrkGFMXb
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) March 29, 2022
No mention of Manchester United. And why would there be when he was talking about Portugal?
But the best part of this whole story is Custis reporting that ‘there were rumours Ronaldo would be off in June after he was dropped for the Manchester derby at the start of this month’.
And who spread those rumours, Neil? Oh.
The second byline gives Custis a chance to revisit an old feud as he reports that ‘BITTER Louis van Gaal told Ajax boss Erik ten Hag to steer clear of Manchester United’. Van Gaal may well be ‘bitter’ but he is also one of a handful of people best-placed to advise Ten Hag about the Manchester United manager’s position. Maybe the adjective should have been ‘EXPERT’.
Brit of nonsense
On the inside pages of The Sun, throwback columnist Andrew Dillon is partying like it’s 1976 with this hilarious gag:
‘IMAGINE being a Welsh or Scottish football fan for a moment.
‘Now that you have put aside the urge to question your existence and stopped worrying about having no friends, just think what it must be like.’
Alternatively, imagine being the kind of [redacted] that thinks that is funny.
There is an awful lot that is bizarre about Stan Collymore’s advice to Dele Alli to retire from football and go back-packing, but five paragraphs in, we suspect that Collymore has paid zero attention to Alli and how he is perceived.
‘The initial criticism of him was: Is he too nice? The best in the world tend to be really ruthless with a devil about them that Dele didn’t have.’
Are we talking about the same Dele Alli? As Jamie Redknapp said in 2017 after he flipped his middle finger during an England game: “Dele is a lovely kid. But he also has a devilish side which has led to moments of madness on the pitch. Although he has to control this part of his game, we must not try to knock it out of him.”
That was literally his reputation: As a talented player who had a little too much of an edge. Nobody other than Collymore himself has ever said he was too nice.
Here is the line though:
‘I don’t think his clothing, or hair, or what he drives make a big difference but they can allude to a person’s character. I wonder what he is trying to portray. That he wants to be a bit bohemian and has given up on the life of a footballer?’
So to precis: His clothing and hair do not matter but what do his clothing and hair say about him?
We don’t think Alli will be taking up Collymore’s offer for a ‘call and a chat’ anytime soon. And not just because he will be unable to see his phone through all the smoke from his patchouli oil.
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