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Opinion

‘Media deception on England is almost as bad as Steve Bruce and Newcastle United’

1 month ago
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I watched the England match on Sunday afternoon.

A 1-0 win over Croatia.

I thought we deserved to win, just about.

A game where very little happened but England just edging it.

However…my biggest take of the afternoon was the quite unbelievable media reaction to what we had watched.

I don’t think I have ever seen more desperation to mould a positive ‘good news’ story than what I witnessed today.

Honestly, this media deception on England is almost as bad as that with Steve Bruce and Newcastle United.

We all know that winning is what it is all about and England did win. Plus, as I say above, I thought Gareth Southgate and his players did deserve to just about win.

However, this was by the faintest of margins.

Yet, what I heard in commentary and in the BBC studio and from various journalists and pundits on Twitter and elsewhere, was how brilliant England were.

Hang on, I’m sorry, but Gareth Southgate and England, just like Steve Bruce and Newcastle United this past (2020/21) season, were very definitely not brilliant.

It was super tedious to watch and apart from Foden hitting the post early on and Sterling finishing off Phillips’ excellent assist, what else happened?

Always useful in these circumstances to consult the facts, see what the statistics said about this stellar England display…

The BBC Sport stats show that England only had the same (50%) possession as Croatia, the same number of shots (eight) as the opposition, whilst as for efforts on target it was only one other apart from Sterling’s goal, whilst on corners it was only one for England.

I thought about the Croatia team and there wasn’t a single player who really impressed me, so looked back on their qualification. In their group they won only five of eight games and that was in a group of Azerbaijan, Hungary, Slovakia and Wales.

Obviously that qualification was some way back so even more informative is recent form, in their last 13 games now, Croatia have won four, drawn two and lost seven.

In reality, they are now a pretty poor team on their way out and England struggled to beat them.

I watched Italy and Belgium the last couple of nights and they were on a completely different level to England, just imagine how the English pundits and journalists would have reacted if England had played like either of those two???

England have been gifted a very easy group, compare ‘England, Croatia, Scotland and Czech Republic’, to ‘France, Germany, Portugal and Ukraine’….?

I envisage the usual easy route to getting out of the group BUT once England meet anybody decent in the knockout stages, reality will be coming home, it’s coming home…unless of course Gareth Southgate is prepared to play his best players in an attacking formation.

If all of this sounds familiar then you are surely a Newcastle United fan…

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