The Euros: how are the media coping so far?

Recent posts


When it comes to international football the English media have a bit of a problem.   For through the normal football season they are happy to cast their ire over most teams after the event for not seeing what to do before the event.

But with the internationals, the English media is normally totally pro-England, as you might expect.   And yet clearly the England team is not setting the world alight.  Indeed for many it all looks a bit below the standard that we watch in the Premier League each week.

As one who was at 18 out of the 19 Arsenal home league games last season along with the home Euro matches I would say the standard of play we are seeing at the Euros is not at Arsenal’s level.   Indeed Arsenal would beat this England team  hands down, (particularly if Saka and Rice were playing for Arsenal not England.)

And this situation is giving the media quite a problem in England.  They are 100% committed to England, just as in the league they are 100% committed to Manchester City ( at least in terms of their football if not in terms of their economics).

But really England are not that good.   So writing a load of twaddle that tells us that England are good but we the poor TV viewers simply can’t see it, which would normally be their approach, now won’t wash.

Thus someone needs to be blamed, and it is interesting to see how this plays out.  For example, The Telegraph goes with David Moyes looking like a reluctant divorcee dragged out to a wine bar.   Which is amusing but not quite the point.

Another Telegraph article however gets closer to the issue: Southgate’s ingrained conservatism did not cost England here – but it soon may,  which when you remember that is in the Telegraph, the newspaper with the most “ingtrained conservatism” of the lot, is actually quite droll.

But eventually, even the editors realise that criticising England where foreigners are involved can only go so far.  And thus they then instead speed off with “I spent the day riding trains around Germany – and it was a nightmare.”   Ah well, reality comes to everyone in the end, even journalists.

I’m not there, but from what I gather the statement,”Euro 2024 host nation’s railway system has been described as being in ‘permanent crisis’ and England fans have been among those to suffer,” is pretty much on the nail.

As for the TV coverage, again during the League season the media will rarely have a word said against it.  But these are TV pictures made by foreigners so open to all sorts of incompetence.  After all it was the English who invented television.  

And the future does not look bright

But there is an alternative approach from the Guardian which argues that “England players not fit enough to press effectively, claims Gareth Southgate”.  Apparently the squad has ‘physical limitations’.  Which is funny – I didn’t see any during the league season.

Declan Rice: however argued that the “players are putting pressure on themselves” – but really if that is the case it is up to the vast management team that England carry around with them these days to ensure that this does not happen.   Where are the psychologists – don’t say they didn’t take any!

But the Mirror has gone into utterly uncharted waters by criticising English referees with Wayne Rooney and Gary Lineker criticising Premier League officials Anthony Taylor and Stuart Attwell after a controversial VAR call as Xavi Simons was “denied a winner “

But of course it is not all fun and banter.  The Mirror tells us that “Police launch murder probe as man beaten to death inside pub after England draw.”   Did the death have anything to do with football?  It is utterly and totally appalling whatever the cause, but there’s a clear implication in the headline that football was in part to blame.

It was ever thus.


7 Replies to “The Euros: how are the media coping so far?”

  1. You make a great point.
    Saka, Rice and Guehi have been the most consistent over three games with Bellingham in two out of three ,but getting found out against better opposition in Denmark. Trent cannot handle the 360 degree monitoring of a midfield player and gets caught often with the ball.

    Trent unlike Saka cannot handle double marking and tight pressure as he is not use to that at Man city, and has been wasteful with his greedy solo efforts and again unlike Saka has not provided one good cross.

    Saka has handled the pressure well and double marking as he does with Arsenal, and although not 100 % fit, he is still arguably England’s best attacker and definitely the most consistent.

    Rice went into double figures with interceptions, so he also is playing well and doing what the manager ask of him, which is to mop up after Bellingham, Trent and Folden when they often lose the ball.

    Bellingham needs to drop back to play along side Rice, who is having to do all the donkey work on his own, by mopping up mistakes from Trent and Folden. This will add balance strength stability and the chance for Bellingham to start his position with more space and to bring the midfield forward from deep as a group line.

    They also need to drop Folden and Trent from the squad, both cannot handle the tight pressing from the opposition at international level. Both Folden and Trent have been wasteful with the ball for the pass three games ever since the start of the competition. As it stands, Gareth is trying to prove critics wrong but his stubborn attitude is going to cost this unbalanced England side.

  2. BBC commentators, particularly Shearer, were so blindly pro-England that it became laughable, because of what was actually taking place on the field. – Shearer even claiming that Kane was playing well despite not touching the ball.

    Their post-match criticism of England was seemingly an attempt to make us forget the earlier rubbish which they had talked,

  3. I was amazed at how poorly England played that second game.
    To me not even worthy of PL level.
    No energy, not really a hint of desire. Like they were ‘turned off’.
    Guess White was not completely wrong not wanting to be part of that – and a proof how the chemistry between him and Saka is of strategic importance to Arsenal.

  4. I was in Germany on a train holiday the week before the Euros and can attest to the railways beind very poor for timekeeping. Every mainline train I was on was delayed and a couple were cancelled

  5. I found it interesting to hear rumblings of discontent from the media regarding Southgate and his tactics after 8 years of loyal, unreserved support. It seems more likely than ever that Southgate will go after the Euros. This will, in turn, provoke another flurry of activity on the betting markets, followed by an even busier Summer for the Gambling Commission.

    The England performance against Denmark was bad enough, but having to listen to Shearer droning on during the commentary, when even the casual observer could not fail to be aware of what was wrong was the final straw. I had to turn the sound off.

  6. At a tournament where I thought that the officiating had been of a decent standard, I found it very interesting that the PGMOL partnership managed to consign my enthusiasm to the garbage can after their showing during the France vs. Netherlands match. It was the longest VAR delay of the tournament so far.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *